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Getting out and doing stuff: 5 things 17.2.2020

  • Armin’s big work project is finally over, which in theory might mean that we all have family time and can do stuff again. Maybe? I mean we’ve never been very good at doing stuff anyway but it would be nice… unfortunately his hand is still buggered and there will be no skiing for us this year. Boooo. It feels altogether like we haven’t had a winter; no proper snowfall in Zurich either, barely a dusting, and it’s already warming up. Hard not to feel gloomy about the winters yet to come.
  • Kids have officially quit Pfadis (scouts), which they’re very happy about and I’m weirdly sad. It was always a challenge getting them motivated to go, and it’ll be great having our weekends unscheduled, but there were some very good times in there. And it just feels like they’ll be missing out on fantastic camps. But I get it; I’m not a joiner either. But awww.
  • That kid thing of resisting doing something SO HARD and then really enjoying it (but still not wanting to do it again)… it’s basically human nature in its purest form, right? We dragged them out for a walk yesterday and they were FOUL about it. Completely foul. And seemed to spend a lot of it moaning. And yet right afterwards, Claudia said thanks for that, it was awesome. Bloody monsters.
  • Also, we went out for dinner on Saturday night, for no particular reason (this never happens!) and although the whole thing was nearly called off by a pubertal tantrum, very nice it was. Again making me keenly aware of how much more fun family life is with every passing year. And it suddenly occurred to me that there are 10 restaurants literally within walking distance of our house. Very few of them seem appealing but of the three we’ve been in, two were much nicer than expected; the other one is a bit depressing, but it has great food and delivers. So obviously we need to make a point of checking them all out. Sadly there is not a single coffee shop in the neighbourhood, not anywhere. And that’s appalling. But for restaurants, we have a lot more choice than I realised. Even if they do tend to fall down on the ambience front, in a very Swiss way. I miss SA restaurants so much.
  • Meanwhile, in non-leisure news: I’m interviewing for a couple of jobs that are very junior but would at least take me in a more interesting direction. Struggling with an appropriate level of motivation, though. It’s been a long time of needing to manage my expectations and ambition, not get too excited at opportunities that don’t pan out, and also feeling very uninspired by most options. Got to try to dredge up some actual enthusiasm for the least bad options. Which is weird because I am by nature an optimist and excited to see where things take me! And yet.

Nos 10-11 of #52recipes: double chocolate muffins, mostly to use up the buttermilk from the previous week’s roast chicken, but also for my ongoing quest for great chocolate muffins. Success! These were exactly right: rich and moist and properly cakey. I’m very much in favour of healthy, low-sugar muffins, but not when it’s chocolate, please. And enchiladas; I made this recipe (with added chicken and sweetcorn), but honestly, it’s a bit weird – the tortillas are filled with only cheese, then all the sauce went on top. Made for a very stodgy underlayer.

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