Monday, July 29, 2013

Rainy day update

Life continues apace here in Zurich! B and I sat in our darkened apartment with all our fans on this past weekend in an attempt to survive 36C highs (that's well over 90F - Europe does not believe in air conditioning). However, today the predicted high is 20C, and there is a lovely cool rain that's been falling since late last night. Given how much rain we had this past spring, I never thought I'd be this excited to hear the pitter pat of the drops on our windows.

Last Monday morning, in an attempt to organize, I created a weekly schedule for myself. One week later, I have yet to follow it exactly on any given day. Despite this failure, however, I've found that I have been satisfied with how productive I've been - I'm back into daily German vocabulary cards, I managed to write almost 7000 words on my current story, worked out regularly, prepped several awesome dinners, and actually finished the baby blanket for my grad school friend. Just in time, since her baby is almost 2 weeks old! I'm currently working on a little hat to accompany the blanket before sending it off (I'm using this pattern - so adorable!).

How cute it this!? And yes, it's small on purpose. You can admire my color coding, but if you actually read what I'm doing, that's just dorky (well - it's dorky of you, but of more concern is that it reveals what a dork I am, as well). Ok, fine - if you read it, then the point is that I put most of my 'fun' stuff (eg, baking and crafting) later in the afternoon - so if I am running behind, I don't get my fun reward. It's been surprisingly effective.
I've learned that I am about 6000x more productive with writing and editing if I am not in our apartment (especially since I am currently addicted to Murder, She Wrote, and all eight seasons are available on Netflix), so I have been frequenting a large Starbucks almost daily. I appreciate that it allows one-hour of high-speed internet access and then reduces bandwidth, but doesn't cut me off entirely (is this how the US stores work? I can't recall). Definitely smart. I focus better in coffee shops - my dissertation was largely written in ones around Boston - but it also gets me out of the house regularly (important for my sanity). Another bonus is that I get to people-watch and eavesdrop. I hear a surprising amount of English, although usually not American (or native-speaking). But I also have lots of opportunities to practice my German comprehension (and without any pressure to actually speak it).

I was quite happy with how the baby blanket turned out; I think it looks much better in person than any picture I managed to take (maybe it's time I started trying out those DSLR camera tutorials on DVD...that can be part of my 'craft time'). It's a little knobbly around some of the edge, but the border greatly helped to 'normalize' the blanket - definitely a useful trick to remember in the future. However, as much as I was satisfied with the design, I will never, ever make it again. It was the SLOWEST progress I have ever made on any crochet project (hence why I'm sending it as a post-birth gift).

The blanket, folded in fourths. It's quite a good size (exactly how big are baby blankets supposed to be, anyway?). The shell design is from this blog, but I didn't follow the number of rows or the border part of the pattern.
Also, I realized that I haven't posted any pictures of our living room since Ikea shipment #2 arrived. There are still a couple sets of shelves to be assembled, but, overall, voila! We have a living room!

Yayy, a place to lounge! It needs some throw pillows and maybe a second chair, but it's enough to host!
And it even LOOKS like a living room! A side table! Places to sit! A coffee table! A rug! Yes, in case it's not apparent, I'm excited to finally feel that we are living in our apartment, and not just squatting. We still have some lingering boxes (see the right of the above photo), but their numbers are dwindling. And a former college classmate came to stay with us last weekend (she found herself in Luzern for work), so we are officially hosting visitors, if anybody is interested (hint, hint).

This upcoming Thursday, August 1, is a national holiday in Switzerland (think 4th of July in the US or 14th of July in France - complete with the fireworks). B will be taking the Friday off as well, allowing for a long weekend. We wanted to travel somewhere, but we are officially the world's worst trip planners - we only started looking at destinations last night around 11 pm. HOWEVER - we are still hoping to snag a train to somewhere fun, and I have sworn up and down that we will buy some cheap tickets from Easy Jet for future weekend getaways. Swiss blog people - where were some of your favorite weekend trips? I'm taking suggestions!

Baking/cooking post due soon! I'm way behind on sharing what I've been up to in the kitchen.

NB: I think I may have broken my own record on asides and parenthetical comments in this post. I've used up all my 'good' writing on my story, apparently.


  1. Hello from a reader in Zurich. I'm the gal who mentioned Felsenegg before :-)

    For a nice weekend trip, we head to Zermatt. Especially if clear skies are in the forecast. Lots of doable hikes and beautiful views. Typically we'll stay two nights because that way we're assured at least a glimpse of the Matterhorn. Recently we stayed 3 and it was even better!

    One year we went to the Engadine for National Day and stayed in Ardez. (I hope I am spelling that correctly). It was lovely and they have a custom of lighting bonfires on top of mountain peaks; it was cool to watch them from a distance.

    Another year on National Day we went to the Aletsch Glacier. Very nice place and again, beautiful views.

    1. Thank you so much for your ideas! I have cut and pasted them into an ever-growing list of Swiss destinations. We managed to snag a last-minute hotel deal in Como, Italy for this upcoming weekend, but I'm thinking Zermatt would be a wonderful option for our next trip!

  2. You will love Como. Take a boat ride down to Varenna. You will really enjoy that little village :-)