A colourful life

Saturday, 6 August 2022

snippets from our holiday

August took me by surprise. I forgot my July ...ing post but it will be the end of August in no time. 

We are back from Switzerland, where we were treated like royalty by my brother and sister in law. Sam and Annie meanwhile stayed at my mothers and were also treated like royalty. We met up in Spiez one sunny afternoon and enjoyed some all family time. The male offspring and I went for a refreshing swim in Lake Thun. I thought it was wonderful to swim laps in the cool mountain lake water and the youngsters loved the floating island. Yes, proper 50m lap swimming in a lake, fabulous. We ended the day with a dinner right by the lake. 

We spent a lot of time in the public outdoor pool near my brother's home. James and Alistair loved the diving boards, the waterslide and and the geyser pool. I swam laps in the 50 metre pool and listened to my audiobook on a towel on the shady grass. Richard and James went swimming down the Rhine one morning, which they enjoyed. Swiss rivers are good for swimming and generally safe with easy access and exit points. The Rhine is slow flowing in Basel and very low just now and I didn't worry too much about James, who had no previous river swimming experience. Richard also swam in the Aare in Bern while teaching on a course. The Aare is much faster flowing and much colder, too. I used to go for swims down the Aare while living in Bern. Fond memories etc 

Richard and I went to a retirement party for a former colleague of mine we both collaborated with. This was in Bern and we were glad that my mum hosted James and Alistair for the afternoon/evening. Sam helped with that but Annie came with us. It was nice to catch up with old friends I worked with a long tie ago. I caught up with my now retired PhD supervisor (whose own retirement party I missed unfortunately). He was a most amazing supervisor whose gift for teaching has influenced my own teaching greatly. I know it is silly but I was desperate to tell him about my own achievements because without his support I would not have completed my PhD. I was of course unable to blow my own trumpet but Annie jumped right in saying "did you know my mum....". 

We spent an afternoon in the Jura mountains, the lesser know mountain chain in Switzerland. Less impressive in height but just as beautiful. We took a cable car up the hill, where we found walking trails outdoor activities and restaurant. Richard, James and Alistair got kitted up for a tree climbing adventure. If you are familiar with Go Ape, it was something similar but with a bigger variety of climbs and slides etc. The photo shows them on the training platform, to show the staff they were able to use the equipment safely. Meanwhile, my brother and sister in law, and their cute puppy and I went for a walk. Then we enjoyed cold drinks on the terrace of the restaurant. It was hot. It was also Swiss National Day, which we celebrated with a tasty BBQ later. 

It was hot all the time we were in Switzerland, high twenties and low thirties. I love the heat and miss it now that we are back in Glasgow, where temperatures are much lower. 

My favourite white t-shirt returned from holiday with sun block stains that looked very much like old sweat stains. I decided to soak it in diluted bleach. Chemistry is a wondrous thing because the stains turned a bright pink instantly and the t-shirt looked like a tie-dye job gone horribly wrong. Two options remained - dye it pink/red to cover the stains or try Rit colour remover. I ordered a bottle of the latter and while I was browsing the Rit dye online shop I also discovered dyes suitable for synthetics and I ordered a shade of blue to freshen up my swimsuit, which I had for about 8 years. Meanwhile and unnoticed by me, the t-shirt was drying on the line in the sun and some more chemistry was happening. When I took the laundry off the line, the t-shirt was once more pure white. I wish I had paid more attention in my chemistry courses at university. I'll be able to use the colour remover another time.

Now, all the laundry is done and dinner is nearly ready. It is a vegetable frittata, which I love very much. Thanks for visiting 😊