It’s the little things

On an excursion today from Jaman to Les Casses (below Rochers de Nayes),

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there were a few little magic moments that made it a special day. After getting off the cog train at Jaman, we realised we had unintentionally crashed someone’s birthday party and we had arrived before the guests. There was a little buvette beside the train tracks

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and the owners assured us we were welcome to sit outside to enjoy our hot chocolate with blankets to brave the cold (yes, it’s summer here, but we were high up in the pre-alps), so we did. While we enjoyed our warm drink,

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a 3 piece Balkan band warmed up.  Soon enough, a single train carriage arrived carrying about 50 guests to celebrate a birthday and they were greeted at the buvette by the trio playing piano accordion, guitar & fiddle.

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Love the traditional costumes!

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Walking the trail down in the clouds, yep, IN THE CLOUDS! We walked past a house with a shingled roof that looked like a rumply blanket on the top of the house.

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There seemed to be a whole miniature landscape on this rock when you look closely.

Made by fairies, I am reliably informed.

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and notice on this lichen covered mossy rock, a beautiful tiny flowering succulent.

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Walking with children always makes me more aware of the little things around and this enchanted detail was pointed out, hard to see in this pic but it’s dew drops on a spider’s web between rocks. Magic.

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as well as the lovely dew on a star leaf, anointed by a water-sprite fairy, so I’m told.

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Looking down the valley, the zig zag views always catch my eye

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accompanied by the eternal gamelan soundscape of Swiss cowbells

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which to me sounds like a bell orchestra forever tuning up. I expect when we’re out of sight, the conductor finally steps up and the cows perform an amazing symphony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His and hers

I’ve noticed a real variety of images for the WC here.

This seems to be the classic one used in many areas around Vaud (perhaps over Switzerland, I’m not sure).

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Love the hairdo and bubble skirt. Chic.  A little bit Ska.  Sometimes the bubble dress is red.

And his simply classic styling.

These ones are from the Rex cinema in Vevey.

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And these are from the Museum Art Brut in Lausanne, drawn by an outsider artist (whose name I can’t recall).

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How about the handpainted jobbie for Vevey lakeside swimming pool?

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She’s rocking those boots, don’t you think?

Does he have a Man bag?!  More to come…

Swisswatching

Just finished reading Swisswatching by Diccon Bewes, written by a UK expat who now lives in Bern.

(Thanks for the tip, Cathy!)

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http://www.dicconbewes.com/about-the-books/swisswatching/

Aside from being informative and answering a bunch of questions about the history of this country as well as many of its peculiarities and contradictions, it was a lough out loud funny read.

This is a great summary of what it covers:

“…what do we know about the real Switzerland, the enigmatic one behind those clichéd images?  The truth might surprise you.  Its clean and polite reputation hides a country where graffiti and cigarette ends are commonplace, where queueing is an alien concept, and where recycling is forbidden on Sundays.  As for the Swiss themselves, they can be conservative (and yes, even dull), but they have an unexpectedly liberal attitude to drug use and assisted suicide, and are amazingly creative when it comes to technology and innovation.  In fact, the Swiss are a nation of contradictions held together by a capacity and the desire to overcome them.  How else could they conquer their mountains, repel their enemies and survive for over seven centuries?”

Covering history of the country’s foundations in the 12th century, their famous military and neutrality, the legend/myth of Heidi, the engineering feats that lead to one of the world’s greatest railway system and close to my heart, the glory of chocolate and its central place in this country’s heart and economy.

It certainly helped me understand this land and the people beyond the cliches of chocolate, mountains, gold and fondue.   Highly recommended.