Clover luck

       
My luck is changing! 

I had never found a four leaf clover before this trip! 

While Lily has found over 25 in the last months, I found one, I really did!

She has her clover glasses on and this whole trip has accumulated and gifted quite a collection of four leaf clovers. 

I think it’s remarkable !

It’s rubbing off on Cedar also. 

Have you ever found a four leaf clover? 

Hope you’re feeling lucky!

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An alpine birthday

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth 

And we wish you a good and happy life on earth!

(Alternative birthday ditty)        The traditional pancake breakfast substitutes for a cake when we are camping. Lush toppings, fresh berries, cream, yoghurt and maple syrup. I eat renegade savoury pancakes first, gruyere cheese and pesto.

  Craved farm animals from Werner reifentiere. Found at Pastorini in Zurich. Up up up on the cable car from Falkenberg to Oeschin. Summer tobogganing.       The ausblick/outlook is enthralling.     Postcard moments. Oeschinersee. The lake is turquoise. Crispy clear and cold, it is fed by the snow melt and glaciers.       I am enchanted by the alpine flowers and the children hunt out wild strawberries and raspberries. It keeps them busy and happy for an hour and I can soak up the incredible environment at 1500 or so metres above sea level. We are blessed with mostly sunshine and wonderful cloud pictures being sucked on by the peaks.       Another gift was a junior Opinel whittling knife . The end is round so not quite as perilous but just as sharp. There are sticks of softest pine to be found in the woods. This fellow hiked up with his alphorn! I opened conversation as we had all been guessing what was in his pack, and he willingly took it out and played for Us some folk tunes. The harmonic singing of the horn was beautiful to me. It seemed so fitting in this environment. I couldn’t have imagined a better spot to hear it for the first time since childhood.   The sound carried across the water and the long tones needed the space. Magic.   There are many carving and sculptures along the lakeside path. Cedar played his own little birthday Sansula and enchanted us.  

     

 The folk art and carvings on the buildings continuously impress me in Switzerland. I have been guessing they are winter arts to keep hands creative when indoors for much of the year. Strong traditions. The little model house had a barn full of cows like Cedars birthday cow Tulip.  

  Jesse dared to leave the signed pathway (incredibly practical signs for Wanderweg/walkway with distances and times, everywhere in Switzerland. I love the walking culture. This has been a focus of our trip) and despite our resistance ( I’m imagining lost on the mountain in the dark with hungry tired little people) found us a gorgeous place to have a fire for our traditional Swiss sausage roasting. 

  

   

Who loves chocolate and hazelnuts in fire cooked banana s? Have you tried this? Wait  until you have a bed of embers then lay upon it bananas with their side split and chocolate stuffed in. Yum.      Walking down the mountain is not always easier! I think the grade was about 16%. Sore knees and ankles. 

So happy to get to the playground at the bottom! We walked back to camp at 9 pm via the restaurant for slices of cake and warm milks. I took candles and we had a mini birthday celebration there. A super special family day! Hooray Cedar!

To you we sing

And happiness we bring

To celebrate your birth

An angel here on earth. 

Thanks to friends for this song

The wild poetree

  
The wild poetree 

whispers of  gypsy winds and 

lilting lullabies 
Embers of emotions 

Smelting words into

Liquid form with the nights midnight ink
Worlds arise in misty form

Spun from dreams and breath

Wonderous creation
 Dewlit strands of silk

Thread these visions into cloth

Of determined gold
Delicately held

Tapestries of memories

Unfurl me gently
The spool of life spun

I return to poetree

My nest high above

Roselinde

  

A moment, a day, a moment.

A moment captured. Beauty. 

  

  Sometimes a photo is the only way to really see these wriggly little peoples faces! Who is this shining being smiling so contentedly? Like a happy cat I imagine he purrs. Warming himself on papas comfy back. 

We spent this day at Türler See(a lake is a see) in the near from Zurich ( more Denglish). We made a jetty our home for the afternoon. The forest behind us, the green water and hills framed by reeds. When I swam far into the lake and spun around I was overjoyed with the beauty surrounding me. So much of my stress and my worries dissolved in the moment. This gift from nature offered freely to us. Serenity in nature. My place of worship.  The water a soothing balm. A moment. A much needed moment. 
    

Lily wove up minute armbands from the reeds. Her nimble fingers astound me! I am so happy that from my coconut weaving she has absorbed this method and can apply it to other materials so easily. Lily had her 11 th birthday this week, I’m so full of love and wonder for this delightful child! Lucky me. Sure we have our challenges together, but more and more as this trip extends I see Lily cleared from the tiredness and influences of school and peers and see her nature shinig through. I credit her resilience to handle the adventuring lifestyle as I know for myself it’s not an easy path yet it has many rewards. 

We had read recently, The Golden Goblet, as part of our Ancient Egyptian curriculum and spoke about the reeds along the Nile and the character Ranofer and his friend in the reeds and how the reeds squeak and rustle. Read it. Reed it. What did the frog say in the library? Read it read it read it….

  One of these perfect dragonflies landed on my leg, oh lucky me I thought, surely a blessing. Then it bit me! Haha. Did you know they bite? Beware the vicious Swiss dragonflies!  

Jesse and I were able to read a lot. We later spoke about how reading is an escape from the moment. It disconnects you from the moment, I looked at where I was and my family and saw I didn’t want to be disconnected, but I enjoyed the distraction as I was so tired this day, sometimes reading is sleeping with eyes open. I read so little now compared to having the reputation as a book eater years ago, Jesse rarely reads also and I gave thanks that he is so available and present usually. Luckily Lily and Cedar where very occupied and happy playing and making boats from sticks and string so we could tune out.   

My loyal servants. My feet. How did we get here?      

Cedar is gaining confidence in so many things, especially the water. I only thought to give him floaties (water wings) on this trip at my cousins suggestion. It really suits him to feel safe in the water and he’s finally getting wet! On the opposite side of the lake from the “paying a small fortune to swim” section you can find beautiful quiet places to bathe for free!

Waking up to…

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Waking up to the beauty of the Sense river in Switzerland. A steep gorge and rocky bed. This unique covered wooden bridge frames the morning sunlight.
Yesterday we hiked up the valley to a hidden, adult size bush-cubby and made a fire. Swimming sunning roasting haloumi marshmallows and flower sausages. Across the water is a small house built into the cliff, Villa Anna. Intriguing.
A happy warm family day lingers with me this morning.

What are you waking up to?

Right now.

Right now I’m amazed we can move from this

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To this

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In less than half an hour! Phew.
Negotiating a stau, kilometres of traffic jam on the French Swiss border region in 40 + c heat panting out the windows and aiming to stay friendly we sweated down to Vevey looking for a swim and a camp spot. The sharp silhouette of alpine pictures and immense lake of Geneve is so enticing but where the heck can you find a free place to swim! Many beaches are privatised unfortunately for us who want something a bit quieter. Lucky turn down a lane we find a sweet rocky beach with only… 100 others. It’s a dream!
It’s taking a lot of courage on this our fifth official day in our van. We where held up for weeks with mechanical misfortunes, luckily while still at my parents so we could get a rich time of connection with them and Cedar could accompany Opa on the farming adventures. But hallelujah for journeys beginning since I last posted in excitement! Lots of dear friends and family we’ve seen, cherries eaten, wandered up and down wobbled and cried and re calibrated.

Hooray for water. Hooray for adventures. Alls well that ends well. Now for a dip in that clear clean water.

Where are you? Warm or cold? Winter or summer?

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Out my window

Out my window. Glimpses from our journey in Europe.
Sometimes it’s picture book surreal and other it’s autobahn efficient or industrial. Come along for the (slow) ride.
It’s great (such a relief, scary and thrilling) to be moving once more. Our mechanical hurdles in Germany overcome we now head into southern Switzerland. We arrived from Germany 3 days ago to stunning snow capped mountains, it’s all melted off now I think. This week is a heat wave with 30 Celsius plus every day. Up front in the van it says 43! It’s hot for around here.  It’s painfully hot to be driving in this old mobile with all the windows down. Keep cool people. We ran into a stau ( kilometres of traffic jam) soon after this”)

Lakeside Vevey here we come! We’re heading to the Montreux Jazz festival. We heard its good busking for Jesse and the children and I can chill out by the lake. Hopefully it’s as good as it sounds because we left a natural paradise in the mountains to come down! The first day and night was Terrible! Too hot too tired too busy too grumpy nowhere to camp not coping  I want to go home! But after a few hours sleep in a hot train side, car park (glamorous) the next day was better. There is a side to this journey that is absolutely crap and incredibly challenging. The idea is that it’s outweighed by goodness, time together, adventure, inspiring connections and natural beauty. It usually is, but I’m still getting the hang of it only a week into the ride. 

 All signage has just gone from German to French, HELP! With three ( oops four languages! my swiss friend corrects me. ) national languages Switzerland is an incredibly diverse ethnic country. My family all live in the Swiss German cantons but I wish I had a better grasp of French alongside my German.  At any time I can hear a handful of languages in the city which thrills me after living in a small rural community for some years now. People watching is so fun. 

Stinkin hot right now but oh so pretty in the rolling hills! Yodeleeehee….

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Summer is in full glory the golden crops are being harvested, hay is being made and flowers abound!

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We wonder a lot at the size of these beautiful old houses. Was it because large families lived together. Or simply when you spend so many cold months indoors you need more space or some other…. I understand there is a lot of indoor storage space for food etc, and often the animal stalls for winter are under the same roofline. I’ve been lucky to explore a couple of these type of houses. As a child we visited friends of my mamas in the Bern hills and I remember the guest room next to the animal stalls. The pungent smell coming through the walls it seemed, never mind the drying sausages hanging in the bathroom….  I’m hoping to visit these kind farmers again on this trip, they are some of the few elders still living an incredible nearly self sufficient traditional farming life. I’m imagining the pot of warm fresh milk will still be there on the back of the wood stove!

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Notes in italic added a few days later. 

I’m interested if anyone knows if it should be Ouside my window, or is Out my window passable English? 

My English is going out the window! In our family we is speaking richtig gut Denglish, deutsch/English.