Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Artwork at Sekundarschule Rosenau

I love looking at young people's art. It has such energy and imagination and I always find it inspiring. So I am very happy to have found a host of local school pupil’s artwork to enjoy. The artwork of students at Sekundarschule Rosenau in Winterthur is being posted on a blog for all to see.

Their latest project involves the continuation of a picture outside the frame and it’s wonderful how the students have approached this particular project. There are rainbows, snakes, pizza cheese, an eyeball and even the universe eeking out of the picture frames. Oil pastels were used to paint the motifs on paper and the outlines of each was carefully cut away from frames found online.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Film Stars don't die in Liverpool at Kiwi Loge

I've found out there is a little cinema, the Kiwi Loge, in Oberer Graben that shows English movies - the more unusual ones you won't very often find being shown. I'm absolutely made up. I used to run a film club in England and knew there would be something similar hiding in Winterthur somewhere - and now I've found it!

And it's showing Film Stars don't die in Liverpool - over the weekend in English (with German and French subtitles) Performances take place at 5.30pm and 8pm each day from today until Monday. Admission 17fr. Here's the blurb:

Film Stars don't die in Liverpool, a movie by Paul McGuigan.

Based on the heart-rending memoirs of British actor Peter Turner telling the playful yet passionate love story between Turner and eccentric actress and Academy Award winner Gloria Grahame (The Bad and the Beautiful). What begins as an exciting affair between the legendary film diva and her adolescent lover quickly develops into a deeper relationship. After all, Turner is the only person who can give Grahame consolation and strength during the last tragic days of her life. As always, Grahame Turner is adorable - for a last, deeply moving performance.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Presidential heavyweights 'battle' it out for top spot

Front cover of this week's Winterthurer Zeitung
The headline story of the Winterthurer Zeitung this week features Michael Künzle, current president of Winterthur, and Yvonne Beutler who is hoping to take his place in the elections to be held on 15th April (Sunday!) I guess it is a battle between the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, also known as the Swiss Socialist Party, (Yvonne) and the more traditional Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland (Michael)

Under the promising headline ‘Collegiality gives way to rivalry’ I thought the ‘interviews’ fairly staid and one-dimensional. I would have liked to see more interesting questions such as What do you think Winterthur will look like in 20 years time? and What do you think of Universal Basic Income? How do you think we can combat the increased automation of people’s jobs? Etc, etc…

I mean, this is a big job right? Winterthur is a fantastic, cultural city, full of incredible, enthusiastic people. It should be at the forefront of culture and progress in the most dynamic way. The only revealing answer on these lines was following the one statement put by the newspaper reporter as: I want to be President of the City because I can bring Winterthur more than my opponent. Here are the replies:

Michael Künzle: I have proven in recent years that I am committed to our city. Our city is doing well. The track record, which I have achieved together with the city council, can be seen. We stabilized the finances, increased the number of employees, renewed the cultural mission statement and subsidy agreements, took decisive steps in the urban museum concept, introduced integrated location marketing, concluded a development agreement with SBB, prevented the school of engineering from leaving the company, and the Frauenfeld crisis AG mastered, the police building brought by the referendum and so on. In the future, we will continue to need stable finances, more jobs, a mixed population, a diverse culture and sports facilities. The goal is a modern, innovative, self-confident city with a high quality of life.

Yvonne Beutler: Winterthur has the choice between two "models" of a city council: a conservative city father and a modern city president, who sees the focus not only in representation, but also in leadership. Together with the city council, I would like to actively shape the development of our city as a team, give it more momentum and give it a fresh face inside and out. Thanks to my previous work as a justice of the peace, I have great experience in developing sustainable solutions for the most diverse people in crisis situations. After 20 years of politics, I know our city thoroughly and I am well connected. I approach openly people and companies, I am resilient and humorous and ready to make unpleasant decisions. My excellent election result also speaks for my performance.

Micheal sites one of his achievements as taking decisive steps in the ‘urban museum concept’ Now I’m not sure exactly what this has achieved, other than perhaps saving money. All I can see is one website where the Kunstmuseum, Oskar Reinhart Museum and Villa Flora have been lumped together and the three museums are now referred together as the Kunst Museum Winterthur. As opposed to one of the museums which was already called the Kunstmuseum Winterthur and is now just called ‘Beim Stadthaus?’ The problem they have is that all over the internet, the Kunstmuseum Winterthur just means the one, more contemporary museum, not all three. All very confusing.

Anyway, Micheal’s goal is ‘a modern, innovative, self-confident city with a high quality of life’ which is just what Winterthur is and why I love it so much. But right now it needs momentum, as Yvonne says. I like her focus on the words ‘shaping the development of the city’ and ‘momentum’ because for me that is just what Winterthur needs – a modern, forward looking approach and a healthy dose of momentum. I think we’re ready for a change. I’m with Yvonne J

Full story here.

For information, politics in Switzerland works on proportional representation and a ‘magic formula’ How good is that? It means the four main parties are dealt with equally and fairly. So the composition of the Federal Council looks like this:
  • Free Democratic Party (FDPP/PLR/PLD): two seats
  • Social Democratic Party (SPS/PSS): two seats
  • Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC/PPS): two seats
  • Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC/PPD/PCD): one seat
Neat huh? We sure could do with a magic formula in the UK…

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Sunday Kunstspaziergang for children

Die Kinderkrippe, 1890, Albert Anker, Reinhart Am Stadtgarten
The next Kunst Museum Kunstspaziergang, for children aged between 5 and 8, will take place at 10am on Sunday (15th April) at the Reinhart am Stadtgarten. The theme will be the wonderful Albert Anker. 

The event comprises a study of an artwork and then the children can produce their own response with art materials. The session, which costs 5fr per child, takes around 90 minutes - just enough time for a leisurely coffee ;) 

You must register for this with Annika at or you can telephone on: 052 243 3903.

Globus is coming to town

Winterthur looks set to finally get its own Globus store. Did you know that the group is owned by Switzerland's largest retailer, Migros? And of course, their former mascot, Globi, probably the most well-known character in the whole of Switzerland.

I am amazed at how long the popularity of this little star, whose first appearance was in 1932, has lasted. Globi is a blue parrot with a yellow beak who wears a black beret and a pair of red and black chequered trousers. 

He was created by the Swiss cartoonist Robert Lips as an advertising character for Globus in 1932 for the company's 25th anniversary. He was originally planned to be called ‘Kimbukku’, but later renamed Globi after the local Basel German (Baseldytsch) dialect word for the department store that created him. Apart from zillions of cartoon books and a more recent movie, Globi also has his very own theme park in Engelberg.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Wild auf Wald exhibition at Naturmuseum

An exciting new Wild auf Wald exhibition has opened at Naturmuseum Winterthur (ground floor of the Kunstmuseum) As part of the exhibition, which is all about life in the forest, there will be various events taking place as well as guided tours, including wildlife safari Aktion Squirrel on Sunday(15th April) between 2pm and 4 pm. Just go along to the Naturmuseum for 2pm.
The next holiday workshops will take place during the spring holidays (24-28 April and 1-5 May) Each workshop runs in the activity zone between 1.45pm and 4.30pm Tuesday-Saturday. Suitable for children aged 6 and over, with accompanying adults.
And also take note that children aged 10 and older can visit the museum unaccompanied - and children go free!

W: naturmuseum

Friday, 9 February 2018

It's Fasnacht!

Manor has given up it's top floor to a scene of fancy dress craziness and there is a wealth of weird and wonderful costumes, masks and accessories right across town. It can only mean one thing. Yes, it's time for Fasnacht! Now, this particular seasonal event is a bit of a Marmite thing - you either love it or hate it. And boy, do we love it.

The Swiss love their traditions and carnivals and this all comes together nowhere better than at Fasnacht, which is great fun, the outfits are incredible - and sometimes rather scary - and all spectators are encouraged to dress up too.

Many of the characters in the parade are mischevious, throwing confetti over people, stealing accessories out of their hair and I have even seen a few teenagers picked up, slung over a shoulder and buried in a wagon of confetti! It is all great fun – everyone has a ball and my girls absolutely love it. Best of all, it is my eldest daughter’s birthday at the end of February so it always feels like an extension of her own celebration.

Bassersdorf Fasnacht takes place this weekend, with the large procession starting at 2.30pm.

Fasnacht officially begins in Winterthur with the Ham feast, kicking off a week long period of different, and sometimes rather surreal, events - including a three day and night party for those who can still party big time! But the highlight is definitely the large carnival which takes place through the city centre this year on Sunday, 18th February at 14:14 punkt.

There is also a Kinder Umzug at 2pm the following day - something we have never seen because in the past my daughters have been at school so we are looking forward to catching up with this one too this year.

And then of course if you can brave the crowds there is the mother of all Fasnacht carnivals in Basel, hailed as one of Europe's top 50 local festivals, details here.