One Word Photo Challenge: Llama

Llamas in Welschenrohr

You have llamas in Switzerland? Yes of course we do, although not as many as cows. I am not sure how friendly they are, but now and again you find groups of llamas parked somewhere on a meadow. They are patiently waiting for a walk. They are quite hardy animals and are at home on slopes which is the main reason we have llamas in our country of mountains and hills. Apparently if you want to go for a walk, then take a llama with you. They can be handy for carrying the rucksack and other items you take with you. They seem to enjoy a good walk, even if it goes up and down.

One Word Photo Challenge: Llama

Daily Prompt: Tenterhooked at Christmas

Christmas Lights in Feldbrunnen

Every year same time (1st December) and same place (main road through the village), we have our Christmas decorations. They are also the same decorations since a few years. To give it credit they were changed  from a few dots of starry pinpoints of light to this shooting star theme, but they have been shooting regularly now for a few years.

Am I on tenterhooks planning the Christmas feast? Not really, because there is nothing big to plan. It was only today when I realised that Christmas Eve, when we have the big celebration, is on Sunday evening. What’s the problem?  Switzerland is very strict about keeping holidays which means that you last chance to shop for food will be Saturday, to cover Sunday, Monday and Tuesday when the stores will be shut for the Christmas holidays.

Today at lunch we had a discussion about it.

“It means I will have to buy everything by Saturday.”

“No problem (Mr. Swiss is a man and rarely has problems). You can order all the food and I can collect it on Saturday.”

It is wonderful to have someone that stands by you in times of need isn’t it. That there will be no chance to buy anything that might and will be forgotten during the three days of Christmas closure is never a problem for a man. The housewife finds a solution somewhere, she is an expert multi-tasker.

And so my brain began to mentally plan for three days eating buying everything on Saturday. I know I can freeze it all, but I also know I do not like eating thawed goods daily. If I was still a Brit living in England, there would not be such a problem. Tukeys are frozen in any case, I think they are born frozen. If you buy one big enough it will be enough for a few days, even if you are reduced to turkey sandwiches.

We are swiss and do not do turkeys. You might find a couple in the supermarket, but who knows where they come from and how long they have been dead, and so tradition reigns again.

Up to Sunday evening we will be eating frugally with sausages and soup and pasta or perhaps fried spam. If there is nothing left a plate of spaghetti will always fill you up with a tomato sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan.

Then we arrive at Christmas Even in the evening, the big eating day. It will be beef filet again. It is expensive, but we all like it. With some fried potato and veg it will be enough.

Christmas Eve meal 24.12 (4)

This was last years meat, and this year will be no different, but less. I can manage one piece of meat, perhaps a half of a second piece, but I no longer have such an appetite. Mr. Swiss agrees and No. 1 son will probably eat at least three, so let’s keep it realistic. Christmas day lunch will probably be a smoked ham, I can already buy that a week ahead as you can keep it for a least a month. And Boxing Day will probably be spaghetti with a tuna fish sauce, although the supermarket will probably be open for a few hours.

Last year we planned deserts after every meal and last year we had a freezer full of frozen berries and ice cream that no-one ate. This year it will be ice cream if you feel like it.

I think we will survive. Why does this happen every year? I do not need this feast of giving, eating and planning.

I am radicalising Christmas at home, and everyone is agreeing. We abolished Christmas gifts a few years ago, we stopped decorating – at least I did. The Chrismas tree is plastic, maximum 20 cms tall with a few lights and is usually perched on a shelf. We still have to eat and it is only once a year, so they say. I am suspended on the tenterhooks until it is finished and then we can get back to “normal”- Anyone for a cervelat? (standard Swiss sausage which can be eaten hot or cold and you can keep them at least two weeks before eating).

Daily Prompt: Tenterhooked at Christmas

Good Morning


Not too bad at all, consdering that I was expecting doom and gloom this morning according to the weather prophets. They said we will hang in mist for two days. When Mr. Swiss arose this morning it was very misty, but by the time I stopped hugging the duvet the clouds began to clear and there was even some blue sky showing.

Yesterday the trees were covered in frost most of the day. It is also very cold still, but no frost on the trees.

I was busy yesterday reading on in “The Shining” by Stepen King. I decided to read the book, as after reading the sequel, Doctor Sleep, I realised that some of the story lines in the original book did not fit the film I saw.  I am glad I am now reading the book as it is even better than the film, with a lot more details about “The Overlook” hotel and its dim past. There were even gangsters that killed each other in one of the rooms. There were animal shaped bushes in the garden which now and again decided to move and a few other strange dead people walking around.

It was a night of horror as Mr. Swiss found a film that he recorded known as No. 10 Cloverfield Lane. I do not watch TV very much, but even this film got my interest. It was a typical madman keeps woman, and a man, in his hidden bunker. He wants to protect them from the Martians that have landed and want to take over the world. It does have an interesting twist at the end, although I do prefer to read a book.

Road to Langendorf 01.12 (10)

And now I should really move on. I have one of those dinners today that I can begin to cook now and let it simmer until lunch time, meaning I have time this morning for other things, like a little bit of ironing, a walk with the vacuum cleaner and just taking it easy.

I was studying my iPad at 5.30 a.m. this morning and when I was finished I fell asleep again, meaning three simultaneous alarms awoke me at 7.30. I just like to keep track of time now and again, although I slept on. Sunday there is never anything really interesting happening, so I will move one. I am being observed by about 20 sparrows in the opposite tree, something like Alfred Hitchcock here sometimes, although sparrows do not usually pounce, they just sit and wait for a fresh filling in the birdhouse.

Enjoy the Sunday wherever you are, it will be Monday soon enough and another refreshing begin to the week ahead.

Birdhouse 01.12 (2)