David goes to Hong Kong on a study trip

As part of the CAS Design Cultures at the Zurich University of the Arts, David spent a bit over a week in Hong Kong and Shenzhen (China). It was a fascinating cultural experience in the most vertical city in the world. Almost the population of Switzerland is packed onto a space two thirds of the size of Canton Zurich, and two thirds of Hong Kong is reserved for green space! Everywhere there is bamboo scaffolding at frightening heights above ground! Going to China for a day was a great eye-opener too…

And it’s gone!

We installed the 6.4m cat ladder when we moved to Schrennengasse, but the then cats never got the hang of it, despite several training sessions involving brooms and other instruments of torture. For other reasons we don’t want our current cats to go out, so the ladder was never really used. Seán and David removed it this week to make space for the balcony water irrigation system due to be installed in the coming days…

David, Jacqueline and Áedán visit Southern Scandinavia

The iconic image symbolizing our trip to Scandinavia is the Øresund Bridge which we went across in a train and passed under in a ferry! We were away for nearly two weeks and visited Hamburg, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Malmö and (briefly) Lübeck. Throughout Sweden we were haunted by advertisements of political parties – there is a General Election in Sweden on 9th September 2018 – and by various “Centralstationen”. We had great food and drink throughout and of course good coffee and kanelbullar (and anyhow great breakfast) in independent coffee shops. We even went cycling in Copenhagen and had a delightful trip to an unknown part of the city. All together, a really pleasant trip.

Studies completed 2

David celebrated the completion of further studies this summer. Having gone back to university at the age of sixty, David has now successfully completed a CAS in Design Technologies at the Zurich Arts University, having completed a CAS in Design Thinking in the spring. Next step: CAS Design Cultures…

David & Jacqueline go to France for a week

The perfect excuse that the Mayday holiday fell during the week led to the idea of visiting David’s cousin John (and wife Kim) in their house “in the middle of nowhere” in the Limousin region (near Limoges). The second half of the week was spent in the Provence region (not really “just around the corner” from the Limousin!). To break the journey, we stayed in a delightful chambre d’hôtes in a castle near Valence (Château du Besset). The original idea was to travel to and from France by train and then rent a car there. Unfortunately, the French train staff were on strike, and so the plans needed adapting. We went a day earlier than originally planned and stayed a further night near Taizé (in the Logis d’Azé, a beautifully restored farmhouse in the village of Azé): we also visited the Sunday service in Taizé, which was a very interesting experience.

All in all, apart from over 1500 km driving and a very late train and almost missed connection in Marseilles, we had a very pleasant time and caught up not only with John and Kim but also with many old friends in Seillans and Nice. And, of course, we ate very well too! And met various sweet cats (Norman, Alphonse, Koos, Poes-Café)…