- Back to school today! I’m looking forward to getting back to work, and getting the kids back into their routine, but for maybe the first time, I’m not actually desperate. It gets better, people. It really truly does.
- The year is off to a good start. New Year’s Day was unexpectedly gorgeous: clear skies and sunshine you could actually feel – a very welcome break in weeks of grey. We hopped on our bikes for a ride down to Katzensee; family bike rides are still always a special thing. We’ve only done short ones, and not often, so every time it feels new and wonderful that they’re big enough to do this now, and enjoy it the whole way through, without whining. And it was just such a beautiful, peaceful afternoon.
- Tweede Nuwe Jaar* was even better! Well, the weather was worse, and we didn’t really want to go out, but we did, to ride the new Stoos funicular. So glad we did: despite the clouds it was clearer at the top than we thought, certainly clear enough to be enjoyable. And the snow was powdery and perfect. Perfect for sledding, that is – we didn’t ski, but it looks very nice and beginner-friendly up there, pretty sure we’ll be heading back soon. Gold star to us for beating our inertia to have a really good day out.
* “Second New Year”, ie 2 January, is an unofficial thing in Cape Town and an official thing here. Well, it’s mysteriously called Berchtoldstag, although St Berchtold’s Day is actually on the 6th. But it’s a semi-official holiday in Zurich, for reasons unknown.
- The rest of the week was rainy and lazy, which is, to be frank, kinda how I like it. There should be a goodly dose of hermitting at New Year. It’s in the rules. But we also beat our inertia again on Friday to go see some showjumping! A first for me. Armin last did this as a kid, in Namibia. It was his mother’s thing. Are we turning our family into horse people? How weird.
- And finally, the Christbaumbrennen rounded off not just the week, but the whole Christmas season. I love this tradition so much. It’s just a bonfire and a sausage party (ahem). But between the kids running amok among the (next year’s) trees, whooping in the dark, and the cozy feeling as we all enjoy our Wurst and Kartoffelsalat at long trestle tables in the barn, and, well, the glorious FIRE… it’s just such a lovely way to finish the holiday.
‘Safunny thing, we basically live in a commuter town… it’s very suburban. But it’s also a working farming village, with traditions like this doing a lot to keep that village feeling alive. I’ll never stop enjoying that.
No 1 of the all-new, all-own-books #52recipes! Butternut and sweet potato curry from Nigella’s At My Table. Fair warning, you can expect at least 40 of the 52 to come from Nigella and Smitten Kitchen, because I have both of their new books and have made Lists. So much for breaking up the Smitten Kitchen monopoly of my own kitchen. Anyway, the curry was grand, although I didn’t entirely hew to the recipe; my family being very heat-averse, I used just a spoonful of bottled Thai yellow curry paste, rather than making Nigella’s own paste mix. Much safer. I do claim this as one for the challenge, though, because it would never have occurred to me to chuck a tin of tomatoes into a pumpkin curry along with the coconut milk… and that was an absolute win.