Wednesday, 29 February 2012

brunnen sunset

i live here! *pinches self*

spotted via the brunnen tourism page on facebook and taken by irene schmidt.

Monday, 27 February 2012

a litle insight

i was tagged by bianca at back to bobs

1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
5. Go to their blog and tell them they’ve been tagged!
random things about me
1.  i was born the day that elvis died - 16 august 1977.
2. every year or so my taste buds develop and i like something i used to hate - most recently gherkins.
3. i love swimming in deep water.
4. at the age of 14 i was an extra in the TV series 'an american werewolf in london'.
5. i have to be very drunk to get up and dance at a party.
6. i attended my niece, faye's, birth. she is almost 15!
7. my grandpa, peter west, was the first ever gillette razor man on TV. he was a rugby and cricket commentator first and foremost but also did wimbledon and hosted come dancing, miss world and a few game shows. i have recently discovered that his BBC desert island disk interview is still on-line so i'm listening to this as i type :) he died 9 years ago and we miss him dearly.

8. my favourite language is greek cypriot (closely followed by italian).

9. i have swum with sharks in mexico and thailand (knowingly) and in perth (unknowingly at the time).

10. i hate goodbyes.


11. having lived in so many cities and countries, i felt that bristol was, without question, the place i most wanted to settle. however, now, brunnen, in central switzerland, is very definitely home and i could not be happier here.

questions bianca asked me

1. If you were on Mastermind, what would your specialist subject be (what do you know heaps about)?

i would be awful on this show! something to do with childcare?!

2. Name one thing you want to do before you die.

have children.

3. What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?

girls aloud (ha!) i went with my cousin, phoebe, a few years ago and it was one of the best nights of my life. we had such a fun time and just laughed, danced and sang our hearts out.

4. What’s the weirdest thing someone’s asked you?

 this is so tough! i'm sure i must have been asked some odd things but nothing sticks in my mind.

5. What’s your biggest regret?

doing this PhD is the answer that first springs to mind but i know that that is short term and i’ll be very happy to have done it in my life. my biggest regret is staying in a bad relationship for too long. neither of us were happy and it was only once i got out of it that i realised just how damaging it had been for me. i have learned from that experience though – to never settle for anything less than i know deep, deep down in my heart is not right for me.

6. What is your favourite book from your childhood?

this is difficult as it depends what age and there are so many. but two firm favourite authors were roald dahl and arthur ransome. i can’t wait to read those with my children. also poem anthologies by michael rosen were wonderful.

 pictured above reading roald dahl's the magic finger at about 5 or 6. in my swimming costume!?

7. What’s your biggest pet-peeve?

the sound of people biting their nails (it makes me want to throw up) and people using the word ‘nom’.

8. Name one thing you’re terrible at.

mental arithmetic. i just cannot do it to save my life! i often have to count out loud and on my fingers. thank goodness for calculators. i got an A in maths GSCE but only because a tutor trained me to pass & i promptly forgot everything i know (which i’m prone to doing whatever the subject!). i often wish i was better at maths given that it would help a lot with my knitting when amending and designing patterns.

9. when you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

a teacher. i used to arrange all my toys in a classroom set up, take the register (my absolute favourite thing to do) and would even put those animals who were going home for lunch in a cupboard for an hour. i just loved being organised and still love that now.

10. do you have any phobias and, if so, what are they?

i get very claustrophobic. i used to suffer from crippling anxiety attacks so any situation where a room is crammed full of people and i can’t easily get out will get me pretty stressed.

11. Name one guilty pleasure.

eating my body weight in pasta.

  bloggers i tag
lottie, if you want to keep your blog food focussed, you're welcome to guest post here on my blog x

to those who i've tagged, please don't feel you have to do this just if you think it's a bit of fun!

  questions for them

1.    what achievement are you most proud of to date?
2.    what is your current obsession?
3.    what makes you belly laugh?
4.    what is the thing you cook best?
5.    what talent do you wish you had?
6.    what is the most recent thing you've learned?
7.    what is your favourite way to relax after a tough day at work?
8.    where would you like to go on holiday next?
9.    what is one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do?
     10.   name one thing you’ve inherited from either parent. 
     11.  what is your favourite (alcoholic) drink?

Monday, 20 February 2012


 and in no particular order...

·         blogging in attempt to avoid my bastard thesis (for this is the only way i refer to it these days)

·         weaning myself off sugar in my coffee (a habit i took up again when i moved back to switzerland)

.       about to go for a walk to try and blow my thesis blues away

·         swooning over my gorgeous boyfriend (a daily occurrence of course)

·         looking forward to skiing as a treat once i’ve finished two more chapters

·         feeling proud of various members of my family

·         waiting to sign a contract for a new job. i’m going to be a swiss resident again. so thrilled!

·         uploading videos of my granny to flickr (that i’ve been taking over the past five years) to store them there and one day get around to editing them for the whole family

·         finishing knitting projects for polly, wilfryd and bess

·         planning knitting projects for raffaele and darcie

·         designing business cards for figs and roses

·         contrary to the above, wondering if i might abandon the whole figs and roses plan and just enjoy a year (or two) of knitting for friends and myself (i’ve never knitted anything for myself!) and learning more and more skills*

·         feeling the closest i’ve ever felt to quitting my PhD. which i won’t. ever. i just wish i had never started one**

·         collecting recipes and ideas on pinterest for my office packed lunches

these are  two images i spotted on pinterest the other week (via as petals fall) to inspire me to push on through this hideous phase. the image at the top of this post is some post it notes i bought myself to cheer myself up through this stage too. i love them.

*i never intended figs and roses to make serious money (that would never work with the hours required to knit one single item but it would have covered the cost of materials of course. now i have a job which will mean i can afford to buy all the yarn i want (!!), i wonder whether i should just indulge in projects that take my fancy and get pleasure from giving them to friends. we shall see...

**i still believe that a masters does not *nearly* equip you with an idea of just how tough a thesis is to write. the first few years are fine, the data collection is wonderful. but the writing up stage? hell. on. earth.

this blog was inspired by bleubird vintage's post 'saturday'. what are you doing currently?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

my little brother is 30!

my wonderful little brother turns 30 tomorrow. he's in LA celebrating and currently lives in beijing so i haven't seen him for a while. this is a virtual birthday card to him with some of my favourite photos of the two of us plus one of my favourites of him at the end on a camping trip we took a few years ago to durdle door in dorset.

30 years ago my dad picked me up from school to tell me there was a surprise at home. my response: ice lollies? i was a very jealous 4 and a half year old and there are so many dreadful things i did to dan as a baby (!) but we are wonderfully close and i miss him.

so, happy birthday dan!! your 30th birthday card to me had me in tears and is the nicest thing i have ever read. i am still waiting for our picnic :) but maybe we can have it on a boat or up a mountain when you come and visit me and raffaele in switzerland.

i love you ever so much and am ever so proud. may this year be a fabulous one for you and this decade the best yet.

nancy xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 16 February 2012

our love ♥

those that know us (or me) know that these words could not be more accurate. this was my valentine's message to my wonderful man, raffaele. i love him so much it often feels like my heart might burst. we are so very lucky to have found each other. (sorry for the slush but sometimes it's necessary to shout it from the rooftops).

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

slalom skills

here i am on my fourth ever day of skiing practising my slalom skills on the nursery slopes of stoos. i managed a red run the day before with no falls but definitely think i need to keep learning the basics before i feel comfortable on the big runs. really really loving it though and it's so exciting to see what progress can be made in just a few hours. raffaele, of course, continues to be a wonderful teacher. we had a fantastic three days skiing when friends, sam and lucy, visited us from bristol and my parents arrive tomorrow for six days so we'll be up on the mountains lots more over the next coming week. i just LOVE swiss life!