The season has begun

I’m a passionate paddler, standing on the board.  In winter Switzerland is not suitable for this sport. The reason is simple, you never really know whether your own stability can withstand the weather conditions. Occasionally it can’t. In winter the water is 5 degrees centigrade and a bath in the lake could end fatally. I enjoy life too much for that.

Therefore, I yearn for rising water temperatures and calm wind conditions. Last weekend the water was 7 degrees and the wind conditions seemed to be stable. I couldn’t resist. Equipped with shoes, gloves, cap and safety vest I set off onto the lake. The calm was indescribable. The peace, the cold but with warming rays of sun, the isolation (there’s no telephone and no other water sports enthusiasts) I enjoyed the indescribable feeling of being at peace with the world. It was just great. After weeks of internal sorrow at last I have found peace.

But as so often nature is unpredictable. In spite of the weather forecast, which didn’t foresee wind, the wind got up. Obviously, I paddled only close to the shore and obviously, I could have stopped at any time and gone on shore, but then I would have had to carry my board at least 2 kilometres. The wind grew stronger and I could no longer stand but had to kneel down to avoid losing my balance. The paddling became one-sided – always only on the right-hand side and therefore really strenuous. I felt the cold water, but I wasn’t cold.

Without an accident and without an involuntary bath I reached my staring point again. The season has begun. And respect for the superior strength of nature again became clear. I am looking forward to the summer!

Image source: pixplosion /

Water-skiing in autumn

It is the end of September. Thy sky is grey and cloudy and the wind is blowing strongly. I have to be honest and say that this Sunday morning I don’t feel like going on the lake to experience the joy of water-skiing. I would have preferred it if, because of the high wind, it were cancelled. I didn’t dare to call it off myself, because I would have to pay for the hour and in addition would have looked like a failure and wimp.Read More »

Open-air racetrack Oerlikon – holiday extension

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Summer is coming to an end. We are back from the holidays and the daily routine has re-started. But because outside it is still high summer, we try to come to terms with the inevitable. After work and school, we undertake things with my youngest, which extend the holiday spirit.Read More »

Formula E in Zurich

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I have to admit that I have never understood how people can get excited about watching in the blazing heat how fast cars can race past them in endless curves. Time and again. Wzum, Wzum, Wzum.

I have never raised objections when one of the men close to me wanted to spend Sunday afternoon at home in front of the TV even when the weather outside was so good. We all have our funny tastes.Read More »

In distress on Lake Zug

It is an incredible day. The end of April and the temperature climbs above 25 degrees. Sunshine with a few hazy clouds. Nothing can stop me. Together with my youngest we pack our stand-up paddles and drive to Lake Zug. The access is ideal, straight from the parking lot into the water.Read More »

ZSC versus EHC Biel

HockeyIt was a good evening at this ice hockey match between ZCS and EHC Biel in the Hallenstadion in Zürich.

Firstly I haven’t experienced so much flirting in years. Once or twice I was even addressed as Fräulein. And that has not happened to me for ages. Read More »

A sunday in November

When I was a child, at the weekend I could sleep until midday. But from a certain age that no longer worked. However late I go to bed, I always get up at about the same time. By half past seven in the morning I’m already wide awake. For night-birds that must sound terrible; but I’m an early bird and enjoy the absolutes peace in the morning. No telephone calls, no traffic, no stress. I wake up between five and six in the morning, every day, without an alarm. On Sunday morning everyone is still asleep. Then I go swimming, because the indoor pool in Zürich opens at six. I love swimming a few lengths when the first light and sunbeams break through the water and conjure up wonderful pictures. It is a wonderful, meditative feeling, that feels like an inner cleansing. Only, unfortunately, on this Sunday I was far too enthusiastic or had too much energy. At any rate, when pushing off the wall, I had knocked my big toe. Au, that hurt! Now it is black and blue and I can only hope that a bone is not broken. On Saturday morning also, another swimmer had hit me on the hand so hard with his hard swimming aids he was wearing on his hands that today I can still feel it and also have a blue patch from it. And swimming is supposed to a non-dangerous, injury free sport. Thank God I don’t play rugby.
After the swim, despite the painful toe, I felt light and free. I hurried home, but that was hardly necessary. Shortly before eight my youngest was still asleep. I had to wake him up, but with a delicious smelling breakfast that worked easily. Because at nine we wanted to be at the ice-rink. Right on opening time we were there. My toe was protesting, because to force my left foot into my narrow ice-skates, which I had received on my 18th birthday, is even in normal circumstances a demanding exercise. With a painful toe it was a real challenge! But I didn’t want to spoil my youngest’s pleasure. One more try and it’s in! The ice-rink fills up quickly at this time of day but it is definitely not so over-crowded as on Sunday afternoon. Those who come in the morning are the hard core – little girls practice pirouettes, boys who were trying to hit the goal just for fun, old men, who glide elegantly over the ice. My youngest and I are not elegant. I taught myself how to ice-skate and have played with colleagues for hours on the frozen stream. I have no technique, but I’m fast. I watched the little girl, as she received her training and I felt the urge also to learn something. Skating backwards. I watched her and tried to copy it. It didn’t really work. No matter, the important thing is to enjoy oneself. And suddenly he was standing next to me. A gentleman, perhaps a little younger than my father. He was very elegant, I had already noticed him earlier. He said something to me, but it was in French. His well- intentioned advice failed for my lacking language skills. And so my youngest and I received a one-hour free lesson from Eric. Eric is retired and comes from Lausanne. He has time and so he travels by train with his general season ticket and visits artificial ice-rinks throughout Switzerland. He has more than 65 years’ experience of ice-skating. We noticed that and he was also remarkably patient enough to demonstrate it again and again and for the hundredth time. It was great fun with Eric. Simply great and that in the sunshine. We got red cheeks, laughed a lot and now and again landed on our bottoms. Reluctantly we parted from Eric.

We had tickets for the Tonhalle for Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. That was one of a series of family concerts, at which small children make their first contact with classical music. My youngest is no longer a small child but we still enjoy going. That children cannot sit still and now and again a small child yells, is a fact of life and doesn’t really disturb me. But today in front of us sat two mothers and their daughters, about 10 years old. It was terrible. Both mothers chatted quietly with one another incessantly and regardless of what was happening on stage. Even if one couldn’t hear the content of the conversation, it was simply disturbing. And their daughters were even worse. They couldn’t sit still and listen for a single minute. They behaved like four-year olds, but that is an unfair insult, because next to us sat a very small boy, who was about four years old and watched with great concentration throughout the performance. What does one do in such a situation? I saw how the mother of the young boy next to us had admonished the girl in front of her. But that didn’t help much and her mother didn’t even react. How could she, when she was chattering herself? But why go to a classical music concert at all, when she was clearly not interested at all and she was also not prepared to listen to the music even for five minutes? I solved the problem, probably like a coward. We simply changed places quietly. I‘m not going to have the experience spoiled.

We spent the afternoon in a glass atelier. Looked at beautiful things, listened and watched how they come into being. A festival for the eyes.

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The weather that keeps everyone at home

The weather forecast for the weekend is bad. Snow down to 700 metres, rain in the lowlands, grey and even greyer. In the lowlands gale force gusts are forecast. Good weather for tidying up the cellar. But I can’t face that the whole weekend and therefore just before midday with my youngest we get ready for skating. Its blowing like crazy and today I would not have dared to go into the woods for fear that one of the trees might not be able to withstand this force.Read More »

Why I no longer go swimming at 6.00am

Movement is as essential for me as eating or sleeping. I am convinced that, if we were to move as much as we sleep, we could avoid many of our illnesses.

To fit enough movement into the working day of an eager beaver like me is difficult. And then the family, the children, the household are all waiting and for movement one really has to plan one’s time to the last minute to be able to realise it at all.

As I engage in sport every day, the off-peak hours are the only possibility. At 6.00am I jump into the swimming pool and, sunk in waves and thoughts, I swim my laps and by 8.00am at the latest I’m at my desk.Read More »

Capsized again

324052_web_r_k_b_by_kerstin-littke_pixelio-deThe bay is large, huge. You need binoculars even to be able to identify correctly the small yachts at the far end of the bay. The coloured sails help, the white sails mix with the colour of the water and disappear. Read More »