Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not Quite New Year and a Fresh Start

So time to restart the blog and hopefully have a more consistent 2013.... I am not a natural writer nor would I say I am even good or particularly enjoy it, but this blog is a great record of our adventures abroad and my crafting, so I intend to do a better job of keeping it up to date.

In 2013 I plan to continue in a similar way, hopefully with less of a break!

So lets recap a little.  End of June was the end of our first full school year in Switzerland.  We also made the decision to leave the International School and fully integrate into the local system.

But first we had 6 weeks of Summer break.  The first week of Summer holidays we spent in the South of France glamping.  Was a wonderful relaxing (technology free) week at the beach.

We returned with a few days to unpack and repack and then the girls and I were off to NZ to catch up with family and friends and celebrate my sister Catherine's wedding and the birth of my sister Anna's first child. Was great to be home for both big events.  But flying half way around the world alone with 3 little girls is no little trip.....

 We all had a wonderful time and the weeks just flew past.  I even managed a little sewing, that nearly broke me, a flower girl dress for Alannah to match the ones the girls used two years ago for my sister Fiona's wedding, turned out ok, if you don't look to close, but took a lot more sleepless nights than I planned.

Wow, my little cousin Chloe.
On our return to Switzerland, Alannah began school at the local primary school.  Was a lovely first day, the whole school has a special assembly to welcome the first graders to the school.  5th graders are buddied up with a first grader and tell a story of their first week at school to make the 1st graders feel more at ease, bring them a special snack and a flower.  Then there are songs and more celebration.  For the first month or so of school the buddy walks the 1st grader to school so they can get accustomed to the route as it is no longer acceptable for Mummy or Daddy to walk you to school.  As a first grader it is time to become more independent and mature in this part of the world.  We are now 6 months into the school year and we all feel the decision to go local was a good one, Alannah has learnt the local language and settled in well.  We all feel much more integrated into the local community.  I just wish I could learn the language as quickly as Alannah has.

Xanthe began a second year of Spielgruppe increasing to three mornings a week, one indoors and two in the forest.

Philippa even started one morning of Spielgruppe in October.

Which means I have about 2hrs a week to myself.  This time has been dedicated to fitness, we have lovely hills and green space around our village and I have taken up running.

As Autumn came and the weather cooled in Basel, we headed South to Italy for one last week of warmth. Italy was fantastic we glamped at lake Garda, visited Verona, Sirmone, Venice and a day at Gardaland which was the kids first theme park experience. We tried swimming but it was just a little to cold even in our wet suits.

Daily gelati was definitely the trip highlight for all.....

We had a few weekend visits to the alps with friends.

Enjoyed local Kurbis celebrations.

Winter came with lots of snow, which we still find a wonderful novelty.  We have had lots of fun building snowcastles, and sledding on our local hill.

Christmas was lovely despite all of us being sick for all of December so we felt a little under prepared and a bit lacking on spirit.

We had a wonderful new years with our friends in the alps.  The fireworks displays down the valley and champagne in the snow was well worth waiting up for.  The best night would have had to be when we dragged the kids on sleds for an hour up the mountain to a little restaurant for fondue and then sledded home by moonlight.   The kids had a lovely time learning to ski, even Philippa had her first go skiing. Will be another year or two before we attempt lessons but she enjoyed being able to give it a go like her big sisters.

 So that was the rest of 2012.


  1. so nice to catch up on your news Margs, I have even set up a bloomin' gmail account so I can comment!! Keep them coming xxx