Spring Hols 2017…

So it’s back to school for us this week, after 2 weeks of Spring holidays.

We didn’t do very much this holiday. Our big thing was building a garden seat out of 2 pallets which we saved off the sidewalk last year.


Here’s a picture summary of the process: sawing, sanding, gluing, varnishing and assembly. It took us about 4 to 5 hours in total but we waited in between for better weather and for the glue and varnish to dry. Tobias’ friend came over to help us twice 🙂
The finished product! And it cost about CHF45 for additional support planks, glue, varnish, hinges, and screws. We have 2 different heights for the back support so you can choose a more upright position or a more laidback one 😉

Then there was the Ferienpass (holiday programs from the parent association in our village) in the first week. Tobias visited a bus factory and made a model bus out of metal. He got to spray-paint it and it is a useful pencil-holder. There were other programs he was interested in but they were full. I helped out again at the playgroup Ferienpass program, where we made bunny bags and sang bunny songs (the theme was bunnies because of Easter).


During the second week, we went over to a friend’s and played games for an afternoon, which was great fun. On another day, Tobias went for a movie with his friend, by themselves. i dropped them off and picked them up. They loved it! We got in some squash practice. And of course, Tobias cooked 2 lovely dinners as he always does during holidays.


He cooked his favourite sushi and spaghetti carbonara.

So although it has been a rather quiet-type holiday, compared to our usual, we enjoyed it. Now onto finishing the school year in style 😉



Autumn Holidays 2016…

i know this is an extremely belated post. We have been back at school for 4 weeks now. i have tried a few times over the last few weeks to get this post written but somehow it never happened. So this week i decided that it has to be written and it got moved to the top of the ‘to-do’ list.

Our autumn holidays was the first 3 weeks of October and while it was not as exciting as last year’s, it was still fun-filled and we managed to do a fair bit.

In the first couple of days, we focussed on getting some housework done. Tobias then went off with one of his best friends to a nearby waterpark, Bernaqua, for an afternoon. The next day, we met up with some friends from Niderwalden at the Toni Zoo for lunch and a lovely walk around the small but well-kept zoo.

One of the highlights was the Foxtrail! We did this scavenger hunt type game around the city of Bern. We did have rather high expectations after reading great reviews. But it was a bit of a let-down. A few of the instructions were not well written, so we got confused and turned around quite a number of times. The helpline was not as helpful. But i think it was because this was originally meant to be worked out in German and being English-speaking meant we understood the instructions differently. We had also expected to learn more about the city as we chased the “fox”. However, there was little write-up to learn from at all. What was expected to take us 2.5 hours, took us 3.5 hours. Oh my, my feet were nearly falling off.

Top Left: One of the clues, Top Middle: This tunnel took us ages to find, Top Right: Another clue, Bottom: Such a lovely view of the Aare!

It was not a great experience but it was not all that terrible. We did see parts of Bern we would otherwise never venture into and walking along the river was lovely. i can see that it can be quite fun for an adult group of close friends. But we had children with us so such long walking times with very little rewards of learning or anything else made it difficult to justify the costs.

After all that walking, we took it easy and took in a movie the next day. ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ was a great movie and we loved it. Even in German, the story came through nicely as did the funny bits.

As it is our tradition, every year in the first week of October, we attend the Suisse Toy Fair! This year saw us spending more time in the electronic games section (E-games) and it is no surprise as this has been the trend. There was even an entire hall devoted to LAN gaming! Tobias has said he might try and see if he can register for entry for that next year… hmm… this mama doesn’t quite like that idea.

Tobias had a great time in a pallet gun game. He had to queue for about 45 minutes but he thought it was worth it. And it did look like loads of fun.

Top Left: LAN Gaming, Right: Trying out VR, Bottom Left: Pallet Gun Game

We also put in some practice in our squash game. And watched yet another movie, ‘Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children’, which we absolutely loved! Definitely going to get the book!

In between all that, Tobias cooked a dinner of stewed meatballs and a breakfast of healthy blueberry donuts. We also painted our dining area wall a bright sunshine yellow!

Stewed Meatballs for dinner, they were yummy!
Delicious Breakfast!
Our spot of sunshine in the house 😉

On top of that, we hosted 3 guests; Tobias’ best friends stayed for a night, another friend who just had an operation came to stay for a night too and another friend stayed one night as well.

i took one of our guest on a walk on top of Weissenstein, the mountain behind our place. We were well-rewarded, don’t you think?

So as you can see, we were busy those 3 weeks in October!


Autumn Holidays 2015… Week 02 & 03…

This is part 2 of my posts about the Autumn holidays this year… if you would like to read part 1, go here.

So we had a few days in Milan in the first week and that was basically the highlight of the whole holidays. Usually we travel all over Switzerland, checking out different museums or animal parks or some other interesting place. But this autumn after the first week, we kinda took it easy and laze around a bit at home and just did stuff near home.

We visited Castle Hallwyl with some friends who are back in country after some years away. i had always been interested in seeing this castle cos it’s one of the few castles with a moat in Switzerland. When we were there, there was a special exhibition about the big fire which destroyed a fair bit of the castle.

We wanted to join the group tour but was told that the lady doing it that day would be doing it in Swiss-German. So we decided not to join it but to wander around on our own cos it would be hard for us to follow along, especially for our friend’s kids who don’t have the language. However, we did get English audio guides which were great.

The castle has several different parts; a front castle, a rear castle, a tower (prison at one time), a barn etc. It had also undergone reconstructions at various times in its 800-year history. The rooms all show different aspects of its history and the story of the family who owns the castle, as well as life in general, medicine and entertainment during those days.

Top Left: Tobias working hard to shape a cannon ball, Top Right: View of the moat from the prison tower, Bottom Right: View of the Front Castle from the Rear Castle, Bottom Left: On the other side of the castle there’s a mill which had an interesting 3 wheel system, only one is left standing now.

Then my Uncle visited us. He only stayed with us for a couple of nights when he arrived and then one other night just before he left. So we only visited, quite briefly, Luzern and our town of Solothurn with him and his travel companion.

Left: The entrance to the old city walls in Luzern. Right: View of the walls from the tower.
This is the view of the city of Luzern from along the wall. That day was quite cloudy but still a lovely view.

That was pretty much Week 02 – we cleaned and tidied and did those 2 little excursions.

It was lovely to have family visiting, we haven’t had family here since my parents and brother came a number of years ago. And now we have had my Uncle at the beginning of October and then my cousin and her parents near the end of October (we only saw them at the start of their trip and at the end cos they were on their way to Italy). Now in November, my brother-in-law and his family will be here but again we will only see them for a meal cos they are on a group tour.

Week 03 saw us going for a movie, Inside Out, which we had wanted to see for a while. And having cinema vouchers definitely made the decision to go easier. It is a great movie! Loved the characters as well as the whole idea behind it.

We did some squash practice and violin practice (there’s an upcoming concert). But the major highlight for me in Week 03 is Tobias cooking his favourite, Kong Ba Bao (stewed pork belly bun), all from scratch. So proud of him! 😀

From Left to Right: Cutting up the meat, blanching the meat, the stewed meat, ready and waiting to go into the bun.
Left to Right: Tobias rolling out the dough to make the buns, the shaped buns waiting to be steamed.
The finished dish; stewed pork on one plate and the buns on another. You assemble the bun yourself so you can make it as big or as small as you want.

It was YUM! And my Uncle said it was even better than the one they had in Zürich, at a Chinese restaurant. 😉

i got the recipe from an old uni friend who has a food blog. So get the recipe here! Thanks so much, V!

This is not the first time Tobias has cooked. He cooks quite regularly at home. You can read more about what else he has cooked here and here.

Well, that’s pretty much it. Week 01 was all excitement with the Milan trip and Week 02 & 03 was a relax homey holiday.

i wonder what the Christmas hols will be like this year.

Are you planning something special for your Christmas this year? Care to share?