Friday, 20 November 2015

You can rely on Swiss Post for those letters to Santa

The twinklies are in the shops, the Christmas lights are going up around town, it’s almost that time of year again.

As we open our advent calendars on 1st December I will also ask my daughters to write their letters to Santa this year so we can get them in the post nice and early. This is because the Swiss Post team (who do a wonderful job) will be replying to each and every letter sent to Father Christmas – around 18,000 letters.

However imaginatively the addresses have been written,  ‘Santa, North Pole,’ 'Father Christmas, Lapland,' ‘Père Noël, aux Rochers du Naye' or any other variation, they all reach the Swiss branch of the main Santa Claus post office in Chiasso.

This amazing service has continued for more than 60 years, with each letter being sorted by language and every sender receives a reply – in English, German, French, Italian or Romansch, and a small present – as long as they have provided their address. The envelopes are decorated with a special Christmas stamp and the postmark comes from the Berne-Bethlehem post office.

So don’t forget to get those letters to Santa early – and don’t forget to include your address. Have a lovely Advent time!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Winterthur's International Short Film Festival is launched

The 19th edition of the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland's most important short film festival, kicks off today and will run until Sunday (8th)

A grand total of 59 films from 25 countries made the final selection for the International and Swiss Competitions, with Main Focus featuring everyday Arab life, while the Country in Focus section looks at Bhutan and Nepal. There will also be Swiss premieres of early shorts by Andy Warhol, celebrating 99 YE∀ЯS OF DADA.

On Thursday (5th) and Sunday (8th) there will be special screenings for children, The Magic Lantern: Shorts for Kids – True Courage? a programme of ten shorts for the whole family. The movies show the versatility of short film and most of them pursue the question of what true courage means.

This includes The Little Cousteau, a homage to Jacques Cousteau, featuring a little boy who longs for deep-sea adventures in a snow-covered city and Wombo, featuring an alien who makes an emergency landing on planet earth. But life here is no laughing matter. First, he is chased by a dog, then he ends up in a vegetable basket and nearly gets cooked for dinner. But why is all of this happening to him? The reason is simple: our alien friend happens to look like a potato!