Monday, 31 March 2014

The Canton of Zurich - in the midst of a Tick Attack!

On Saturday evening, after a lovely day out in the Swiss sunshine in Zurich visiting Zurichhorn park, we found we had brought back a rather disturbing visitor on the upper leg of my 7-year-old daughter. It looked like a tiny black dot behind which her skin had reddened furiously. Thank god her dad was there (I'm embarrassingly squeamish) as we slowly realised that this black dot was moving and he grabbed it with tweezers and pulled it out of her leg cleanly. Ugh.

So it was a meeting with our first Tick. Really nasty little creatures which can cause Lyme disease (which can affect the nervous system) and encephalitis (a form of meningitis) Worst of all it seems that the Canton of Zurich is in the centre of an endemic - see map here. So I am watching my daughter with bated breath, desperately hoping that we don't see any rashes or flu symptoms develop. And avoiding woods (and wild vegetation) until next Winter...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Swiss mums rock

Wow, got to see the amazing Swiss democracy in action at first hand today. I was invited to a meeting of parents - read mothers - about the class teacher who has taken over maternity leave for our Grade 1 children. She's at a major disadvantage as the previous teacher was excellent and is sorely missed but she seems to be struggling to settle in at all and establish any kind of position of respect.

But there was no bitching or back-biting here, much to the astonishment of a parent used to the drawn out, tedious, bitchy path that parental meetings seem to take in the UK.

As this ordered, respectful meeting of nine intelligent mums quickly developed, it was soon clear that they just wanted the best for their children and to establish a line of communication with the teacher which is currently lacking. Each mum put her point of view forward and a general discussion ensued, before the meeting was wrapped up with the decision that a meeting would be set up between the teacher in question, the head-teacher and a parent from each grade applicable.

A meeting, without an agenda, that concluded with a firm step towards an agreeable conclusion within an hour. In all my years of experience of parental meetings in the UK, I can comfortably say that nothing like this has ever happened!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Ringing in the Spring

My 4-year-old enjoyed 'Ringing in the Spring' around the village with her Kindergarten class on Friday. They rung little bells and gave out posies of flowers as they travelled around. Yet another lovely tradition the Swiss have. They sure know how to celebrate the seasons. I created a little watercolour of my Spring posy from Bebe.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Easter egg competition at Franz Carl Weber

The Franz Carl Weber toy shop in Winterthur (and probably Zurich too) is running an Easter competition and the girls have this week really enjoyed decorating their paper egg pictures (see below) with the promise of receiving a little Easter surprise when they return their works of art to the shop. The closing date is 19th April when three eggs will then be picked out for their lucky owners to receive a voucher worth 200 CHF!
Easter egg by Poppy, aged 7

Easter egg by Bebe, aged 4