Thursday, 31 March 2016

Weird and wonderful Bruno Weber Park

We went to the Bruno Weber Park in Dietikon (not to be confused with Dietlikon which is a completely different town) on our last day of the Easter Break.

What a place! It’s a bit of an enigma in many ways. It took us forever to find a way in by car – there are no signposts on the road leading there so we sped right past and ended up on the other side of the hill, with an infuriating glimpse of the tower just 50m away. When you finally take the right road, the only place to park is in the car park for the sports centre, with a 10 minute walk up the steep hill. In hindsight we should have gone by train (details below) as Bruno Weber Weg (the road inaugurated by the municipalities of Spreitenbach and Dietikon in 2006) leads from Dietikon Station to the site (a 30min walk or 5min bus ride)

Swiss artist Bruno Weber (1931–2011) was born in Dietikon. In 1947, he completed college in Zürich, began training as a lithographer with Orell Fuessli (Zürich) and then studied in Italy, Greece and Czechoslovakia before returning to his beloved Switzerland. He discovered his passion for sculpture after thirty years of painting. He then extended his sculpture garden (Bruno Weber Park) where his house, comprising a 25ft tower, is situated. Bruno also created the sculptural decorations on the Uetliberg mountain, including the street lamps leading to the top of Zürich plateau (Uto Kulm) and park benches, that you can enjoy now.

Bruno Weber Park covers an area of 20,000 m2 and is decorated with dozens of columns, reliefs, heads and gargoyles. A 12 m high tower at the entrance area and the estate tower were also built, forming landmarks overlooking the Limmat Valley. The Wassergarten, which opened in May 2012, is embraced by two 100 m long winged dogs (Flügelhund) forming an exciting footbridge from which you can look down on the water garden. Two dragon figures (one male and one female) also mark the entrance into the 'magic forest'. The dragon motif runs through Weber's entire work – supposedly the balance between woman and man. The dragon gate is the prototype of the so-called Drachentor sculpture that represented Switzerland at the World Expo 1992 in Seville. And Bruno became hugely influenced by Antonio Gaudi after visiting Park Güell in Barcelona, which is evident throughout the park.

The Gaudi-esque features of Weber’s back garden really are thrilling. There are unicorns, gargoyles, winged dogs, giant snails, serpents with cats heads, a finger lion (!) there are grockles and snufferwinks (what we called them anyway) and oodles of weird and unworldly characters dotted around with a host of mosaics thrown in. There is a pavilion with thousands of mosaic features, suns, moons and figures, and inside Bruno talks about his treasured work on film. I particularly loved his self-portrait and landscape scenes, which were hung without fanfare, on the walls. We loved walking through this weird and wonderful landscape and the girls were so excited when they saw the pond full of frogspawn and a line of frogs organised along the side looking right at them. (I think this is the first time I have ever seen a frog swimming!)

But there were a few really infuriating factors about this place – the ticket office is an unassuming, uninspired cabin on the left hand side, there is absolutely ‘no pik-niking’ allowed in the wooded area, despite some amazing sculptural picnic tables. There are smaller dragon bridges which you can't go on (although I admit they are probably a little hazardous for children) And there was this whole area in front of the house fenced off so we could only go halfway down the delightful little staircase at the front. The incredible house is now out of bounds (Bruno’s wife, Mariann Weber-Godo, still lives there) despite being open to the public for many years. These few things were particularly galling - especially after paying 45fr for a family ticket - the house is very much an integral part of the site.

But, despite this, my adult's stuffy viewpoint about value for money, we all had a ball – it's nice to achieve that old fashioned sense of awe and wonder - and I am certain this particular outing is one my daughters will never forget (and will probably zanily colour their view of the world for some years to come!) This outing is really pricey but it is an ‘arty’ fun experience far unlike any other I have had in Switzerland so far.

Travel info
  • S12 from Zurich
From Dietikon Bahnhof the park can be reached by:
  • Bus 325 (Weinberg stop) with a walk of 7 mins
  • Bus No: 306 with a walk of 10-15mins 
  • By foot, following Bruno Weber Weg, in around 30-40 minutes.
Admission is: Adult 18fr, children 6-16 10fr, children 3-6 6fr, family 44fr.

Further info

The park has been blighted by lack of finances through the years, which is evident in the groups of un-positioned, unloved sculptures dotted around here and there. And despite 20,000 visitors per year, the trustees announced its closure in August 2014 due to financial troubles. But with support, and a petition of over 15,000 signatures, it opened again eight months later (April 2015) And if the finances begin to flow the trustees have set out a longer term plan. By 2018 the infrastructure for the preservation of the park to be provided and the renovation of paths and squares will be carried out. By 2022 it is planned to open the park for overnight visits, including artificial lighting, renovation of buildings, pavilions and villa. By 2026 it is hoped that the park will have been declared as a national monument.

And I think this definitely has huge potential as a national monument. So please support it if you can!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter!

I love Easter. But it’s not quite the same as it used to be when I lived in the UK, with a big family or friend get-together and a huge roast dinner, usually consisting of a succulent leg of lamb. Now we live in Switzerland, leaving family and our closer friends behind, the big Easter get-together has had to take a back seat (for the time being anyway)

And this year, my husband is away in the US for work so it’s just me and my two girls. So it’s down to me. Our Easter weekend began last night, with the girls snuggling up with mummy and the popcorn on the sofa to enjoy The Voice on the BBC. A very late night. So it wasn’t until around 10pm when I got chance to sort out our traditional Easter Egg Treasure Hunt. I have a series of clues I use, adding a few extra details, hiding places and rhymes so it is a little different each year.

I also have a lovely little selection of re-usable decorated eggs, which I build on each year. I found a couple of beautiful ones in Vollenweider this year – I had to tiptoe through the outrageously priced but incredibly beautiful chocolate sculptures to the back of the shop where the cheaper items are hidden away – and picked up a couple for a few francs each (top left and right) 

My youngest daughter loves to decorate our Easter tree
I then get a big bag of choccy eggs from Aldi and put them inside my treasured egg shells. And let the fun begin! I often hide the eggs in more unusual places – slippers, plant pots, etc so there is a humorous element to the treasure hunt thrown in. And at the end, the final ‘treasure’ was a couple of ‘Paint Your Own’ bunnies set of two which I picked up at Manor for a bargain 2.50sfr (The store begins its Easter sale a few days before Good Friday!)

And for the first time this year we made Jamie Oliver's hot cross buns. Very easy and incredibly yummy. Recipe below:

Easy Hot Cross Buns

Add 200ml semi-skimmed milk and 50ml water to a small pan and place over low heat for a few minutes until slightly warm. In a separate pan, warm 55g butter over a low heat until melted. Transfer warmed milk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in 2x7g sachets dried yeast. In a large bowl, sift 455g strong bread flour, add 1tsp sea salt, 1tsp mixed spice, 1tsp cinnamon, ½whole nutmeg, 55g caster sugar. Finely chop 2 pieces stem ginger and stir into mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg and add it to bowl. Using a fork, mix well to a rough dough, then knead for around 10 minutes until soft and springy. Return dough to a flour dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.

Transfer dough to a clean flour dusted work surface and knock back, then sprinkle over dried fruit (55g sultanas or raisins, 30g dried cranberries, 2tbsp mixed peel) and knead into dough for 1-2 mins. Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each into balls, spacing them out on a greased/lined baking tray as you go. Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Mix 2tbsp plain flour and 2tbsp water into a thick paste. Gently pat down the risen buns then carefully trace a batter cross over the top with a spoon. Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and transfer to a wire cooling rack, brush over a little runny honey and leave to cool.

Top tips:
• Swap the raisins and dried cranberries for your favourite dried fruit.
• To keep the buns moist for longer, soak the dried fruit in fruit juice for a couple of hours beforehand.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Proposed vote seeks basic income for all

A friend was given a 10 franc note this week at Zurich Hauptbahnhof – and so were hundreds of others! The cash giveaway was highlighting an incredibly inspired vote which will hit the ballot box this June.

In the summer referendum, every Swiss adult resident will have the right to a guaranteed basic monthly income of 2,500 francs a month if the proposal to voters is accepted!

If the plans, which will go to the ballot box on 5th June, go through, our country will become the first in the world to provide a guaranteed unconditional monthly income to its residents, whether they are in employment or not. The idea has been put forward by a group of intellectuals with the aim to break the link between employment and income. The initiative also aims to give each child 625 francs a month.

The committee’s proposal is based on a survey, carried out by Demoscope Institute, which demonstrated that the majority of Swiss residents would carry on working, or still look for a job, even if the guaranteed income was approved. The survey also said only two per cent of people were likely to stop working, while eight per cent said they ‘could envisage this possibility depending on circumstances.’

In a statement, the committee said: “The argument of opponents that a guaranteed income wouldn’t reduce the incentive of people to work is by this largely contradicted.”

The federal government estimates the cost of the proposal at 208 billion francs a year. Around 153 billion taxes would have to be levied from taxes, while 55 billion francs would be transferred from social insurance and social assistance spending.

The action committee pushing the initiative consists of artists, writers and intellectuals, including publicist Daniel Straub, former federal government spokesman Oswald Sigg and Zurich rapper Franziska Schläpfer (known as ‘Big Zis’) Personalities supporting the bid include writers Adolf Muschg and Ruth Schweikert, philosopher Hans Saner and communications expert Beatrice Tschanz.

I can imagine people will poo-poo this idea as impossible – but I really think this would work. How it would revolutionise society! In any case, I’m sure the campaign garnered a good deal of support in its promotion at Zurich HB this week. The really funny thing is that my friend, who is French, said people formed an orderly queue to receive their free 10 franc notes and commented how it would have been a chaotic free for all if it took place in his home country. Of course, you have to admit, if any country is going to make this work, Switzerland is certainly the one to do it.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Book of the Week - Wo ist mein hut?

It's funny how different book titles can be when translated into German, for instance Jon Klassen's book 'I want my hat back' has become Where is my hat? (Wo ist mein hut?) But I actually think this is a better title in this case. Because the bear travels through the book not knowing where his hat is. It's got a great little twist in the end and has a couple of animals throwing a wobbler for no reason, much as a toddler does, of course (although to them of course, there is always a reason) Perfect for an adult learning German like me and the simple illustrations are refreshingly understated, enhancing the comedy in this book. Both of my girls, aged 6 and 9 loved it.


Mein hut ist weg – My hat has gone
ich will ihn züruck – I want it back
Schon gut – alright
Trotzdem vielen Dank – Thanks anyway
klettern – to climb
spitz – pointed
über alles – more than anything

Zurich family club offers 'time out' for mums

It's always difficult when you move to a city to find like-minded people to mingle with as there is no easy central point for your community.

However, in Zurich, Wild Tiere Family Club aims to bridge that communal gap by providing a gorgeously designed place for the kiddies to play and for mums to bond over a coffee or glass of wine.

The club has recently been launched by Stephanie, from England, and Irene from Zurich. They are very enthusiastic about their venture and keen to create a home from home for families with as many services as they can under one roof. With German classes and creche facilities available, it is especially helpful for English speaking mums who have just moved to the city with their tots (the club caters for babies and children up to 5 years) and need help getting to grips with their new lives.

The central location (on the No. 6 'Zurich Zoo' tramline, right next to Kirche Fluntern stop but there is plenty of room for parking nearby) means costs are high for the owners so members will need to pay an annual membership fee of Chf 1,200 (Chf100 per month)

This brings unlimited access to the club which is open every day - even on Sundays from 10am to 2pm - and discounts on a variety of services, such as hair cuts for kids (with Pingu on TV!) manicures, pedicures, waxing and massage, Pilates, in specially dedicated rooms. There is a free kids disco on Wednesday afternoons and kids ballet and yoga sessions and lots of special events throughout the year – next up is an Easter Brunch & Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Monday.

In addition, the stylish cafe provides locally sourced healthy food and a wide selection of tea, coffee and wine.

And you get to try it all out for free! To book your day's trial call Stephanie on: 078 740 0337 (email or Irene on: 076 564 4936 (

Monday, 14 March 2016

Easy Carrot Soup

Had a lovely run this morning and thought I should keep the healthy momentum going and knocked up a carrot soup for lunch. This is a BBC Food recipe and has become our staple lunch with a bit of freshly baked bread (I often cheat and get those half -baked rolls) As well as providing a bit of a work out as you grate the carrots, it really is so simple to make – wham, 15 minutes later you have great, slightly spicy soup. One word of caution, don’t throw in any purple coloured heritage style carrots as I once did – the colour will turn from a lovely vibrant orange to an unappetising dark brown!

Here is the recipe:
  1. Fry 1½ tsp cumin seeds and ¼ tsp chilli flakes in a dry pan until they emit a wonderful aroma – about 4/5 minutes.
  2. Add 2tbsp of olive oil to the spices and cook out a little.
  3. Peel and grate 650g carrots and add to the pan with 125g washed red lentils, 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock and 125ml milk.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes and blend to a smooth consistency.
En guete!

Ethiopian School Library needs your unwanted books

The Mothering Matters organisation is on the lookout for new or nearly new children’s books in English to donate to a school in Ethiopia which needs books for preschoolers, teens, and all ages in between. Hardcover books are preferred, if possible.

Mothering Matters Switzerland supports the registered Swiss charity Ethiopian Enterprises, who are building a library for a school of 1,400 children in Mohoni. This will be the first library that the school has ever had.

In addition, the school is collecting colouring books and pictures for colouring in. The Mohoni schoolchildren really enjoy colouring, and the school would benefit the children by keeping a supply of pictures at hand. Unused colouring books or individual sheets of good colouring pictures printed from the Internet are all suitable.

Please mail or hand-deliver the books and colouring books/ pages here:

Ethiopian Enterprises
Gartendörfliweg 11
8135 Langnau am Albis

All books must be received by Wednesday, 30 March. Please email any questions to:

Friday, 11 March 2016

It took a while but finally I've realised I am born to run

I had a fantastic run this morning. The sun was shining in a hazy kind of way. The patches of snow were glittering like diamonds in the sunlight and the mist was hanging around above the woods as I entered them. It all felt just right. And when I got home after my run I was buzzing. And that buzz has lasted the entire day.

I haven't always been a runner. It wasn't until I met Graham that I started running 15 years ago (aged 28) He was one of those crazy people who enter running races, triathlons, half-marathons, etc, etc. And one morning he asked me to go on a run with him. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I stuck the kettle on, lit a cigarette and said 'See you in an hour.' After that, he left it for a while but every so often would ask if I fancied going. And then one crisp, frosty, sunny, winter morning he asked me and I said: 'Why not?'

Despite all my efforts to leg it so I could get home for a cuppa, he forced me to go slow. Real slow. In fact, we weren't really running much faster than walking pace. But Gray knew what he was doing. I was hooked. Two years later, I gave up smoking (getting fitter makes you do healthier stuff, I swear) And when I had my two daughters and put on a lot of weight – 15kg! - and the running stopped for a while, I knew I would get my running shoes on again and I now have. And with the running, came the desire to be healthier and lose that weight once and for all.

And as the years have gone by, I have grown to appreciate more and more what an amazingly finely tuned, quality instrument we have been blessed with (our bodies) and I have realised that - as with any vintage bit of kit - it takes more maintenance as it grows older.

So I have stopped eating the leftovers, I have stopped cutting another few slices of cheese for me to nibble on when I do my daughters' sandwiches, I don't have to have pudding or an ice cream when they do. I have stopped all snacking and cut the wine down to a couple of glasses at the weekend. And now I have just 1 stone left to lose - and I've decided this will be the year.

Now, when the children go off to school I don't think about it – if I did, I would probably decide there is a host of other stuff I need to do more urgently – I pull on my trainers and go out the door. And I never, ever regret going for a run. I'm nowhere near Graham's type of runner – I do a relatively slow 30 – 40 minute run 3 or 4 times per week - and that's it. But how I love to run. And even more, how I love to see that weight going down when I step on the scales :)

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Pledge to help women - including yourself!

It’s International Women’s Day! How will you celebrate? Women and girls who are inspired by today’s wonderful Google Doodle are encouraged to take to Twitter to share their own aspirations with the hashtag #OneDayIWill.

I’ve posted mine. #OneDayIWill set up and run an arts school to inspire a new art renaissance which will move us away from money and greed to love and peace. Why not dream big? Because that is my ultimate goal in life – well, to start an arts school which will be accessible to all anyway. So that’s mine. What’s yours?

I find this a very interesting question. Because many people don’t actually think about their ultimate goals in life. If you have no ultimate aim, you can’t take those hundreds of small steps towards realising it. I remember trudging through a snow-filled field with my sister-in-law last Christmas and she was moaning about what was going wrong in her life and her family relationships, etc, etc. And I said to her: ‘If you can take away all possible obstacles, what would be your ultimate goal? Where would you like to be in life and with who?’ And she was completely flummoxed because she had never even thought about it. But of course, most of the time our bigger goals are put on the back burner now we are no longer fighting for our rights as women.

So how did International Women’s Day (IWD) come about? It seems to have begun in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours. A year later, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the US on 28 February in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

In 1910, a woman called Clara Zetkin – leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany – tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She suggested that every country should celebrate women on one day every year to push for their demands. A conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed to her suggestion and IWD was formed. In 1911, it was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland (even though Switzerland was one of the last countries in the world to allow women to vote. It wasn’t until 1971 when women could take part in elections at federal level)

In 1913, it was decided to transfer IWD to March 8, and it has been celebrated on that day ever since. The day was only recognised by the United Nations in 1975, but ever since it has created a theme each year for the celebration.

Today countries celebrate it in different ways. It is an official holiday in a number of places including: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. Other countries, such as Bosnia, celebrate it in a similar way to Mother’s Day with men presenting their wives, girlfriends, mothers and female  friends with flowers and gifts.

However, as we all know, the original aim of the day – to achieve full gender equality for women the world – has tragically still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men. On IWD, women across the world come together to force the world to recognise these inequalities – whilst celebrating the achievements of women who have overcome these barriers.

There are many ways you can get involved in IWD:
  • Make a pledge for parity This involves going to the IWD website and pledging to help women and girls achieve their ambitions; call for gender-balanced leadership and create flexible cultures.
  • Reach out to any woman you know or see who has been done an injustice, however small.
  • Join in one of the many events happening around the world The IWD website shows where events are happening in countries and towns. For instance in London, there are a number of panels, luncheons, and even a football match between West Ham ladies and Tottenham Hotspur ladies.
  • Host your own event IWD encourages people to host a prominent speaker and create an event of their own.
  • Go to Southbank's Women of the World festival - which is launched today and celebrates IWD with a series of events until 13th
And of course, you can pledge to yourself to set your heart goal – I’ve told you mine, it’s now time to tell me yours...

Monday, 7 March 2016

Swimming in the snow!

Dietlikon Dampfbad
We went to the ‘Bubble pool’ at Dietlikon at the weekend. The ‘bubble’ pool is an outdoor ‘Dampfbad’ - Jacuzzi style steam pool at a temperature of between 40 and 45 degrees – but the jets appear at different places around the pool, thus adding to the excitement for the girls – swimming madly from one spot to another, giggling wildly. In addition, it snowed! 

So there we were, feeling lovely and warm from the neck downwards, with chilly noses and snowflakes in our hair! What a great experience for a Sunday. I love swimming outdoors. Since moving to Switzerland with its gorgeously clean lakes and rivers and beautiful facilities I have become a bit of an open water fanatic. You can read my post all about this here. Throughout winter I have been dreaming about swimming in the lakes and rivers again come May…but for now I can happily make do with the ‘wellness spa’ at Dietlikon (which does, in fact make you feel very well indeed) and snowflakes in my hair while swimming ;)

Aqua-Life Dietlikon

The Philosophy of Mr Happy

My 6-year-old daughter is going through a Mr Men phase at the moment – unfortunately, we only have a handful of Mr Men books - but she currently loves Mr Happy. And while I was reading it to her at bedtime tonight, it occurred to me what a philosophical book Mr Happy is. The basic plotline simply involves Mr Happy in Happyland finding Mr Miserable, tucked away down lots of stairs deep in the woods, and immersing him in Happyland, where he inevitably becomes happy. And I thought, this is such a great simplistic view of how easily our moods can be transformed. If you want to be happier – mix with happier people!

And then I came across a review of this book on Amazon which really made me giggle – and if you love this like me you can scroll down to the comment below it where we get a fantastically alternative view of Little Miss Sunshine. Enjoy ;)

Mr Happy -  A Young Person's Guide To Individuation
By Hamilton Richardson

In his third work, Mr Happy, Hargreaves takes us on a Jungian journey to the integrated self.

The story starts by introducing us to the supposedly perfect life that our eponymous hero appears to live - the tranquilized bliss and counterfeit euphoria of Happyland. Yet what is it that leads Mr Happy to wander away from an existence that, if truly flawless, should suffice to satisfy and sustain him? Why this need to venture deep into the mysterious unknown of the forest? To open a door in a tree-trunk and descend a staircase beneath the ground to the deepest recesses of the unconscious?

Here lays the crux of this exploration of analytical psychology - the defining happiness of our central character is revealed as nothing more than a persona. His name and outward appearance are a mask to the outside world and from himself. It is the very inauthenticity of this state of affairs that drives him on the voyage to seek out and confront the root of the dissonance that this generates within him.

For indeed, what does he come face-to-face with at the foot of these stairs but his own repressed sadness? This comes in the form of his miserable alter ego - physically identical, polar opposite in mood. It is only through this confrontation with the shadow that his unsustainable persona can find authentic resolution and true integration of the self be achieved. These archetypes are quite literally brought to light as Mr Happy coaxes Mr Miserable up to the surface and into view of the conscious mind in a climax of now genuine peace and bliss.

In a knowing nod to his source material, Hargreaves depicts Mr Happy as round - a shape he shares with the mandala.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Children's Book of the Week

How great is the snow? How great it is to sledge down a giant hill, with the thrill of feeling out of control and alive?

This is what Die Schlittenfahrt is all about (is it just me that has a little guffaw everytime I see the word fahrt? That's a yes then...) And it is all in rhyme so contains a lovely rhythm to this snowy tale. But there is a reluctant father in this case – until he himself remembers how much fun it is in the snow – and then takes over. Suddenly the parents are having the good time, leaving their kids behind! Just a little reminder that playing with children can always be great fun for parents too once they throw their hearts into it J

Words and phrases from Die Schlittenfahrt:

Schlittenfahrt – sleigh ride
Was ist denn los – what’s going on?
bloßen Füben – bare feet
Allmählich – gradually
Spaß – fun
Pardauz – whoops!
Drücken – to press
die Daumen drücken – fingers crossed

Words and phrases from last week:

Klasse! - cool!
Aber..da is ja gar nichts drin - but there is nothing inside
Total nützlich - totally useful
Je nachdem - it depends
Dinge - things/stuff
Du kannst fahren - you can travel
Die Sonne scheint - the sun is shining
Abspringen - to jump
Das Flugzeug - the aeroplane
Wahnsinn! - Amazing!

Geburtstagsgeschenk - birthday present

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Anyone for coffee?

So lots of good news! The Swiss voted against the Enforcement Initiative – 60% - 40%. We've had lots more snow high up here on our little hill overlooking Winterthur. And we finally brought a coffee machine, another Swissli feather in our cap. 

Because the Swiss LOVE coffee. And the reason I have been fairly reluctant to invite my Swiss friends back for coffee is because until now we had no dinky little machine that features in every household and brings forth the most amazing coffee in minutes. Prior to this, my way of making coffee involved at least half an hour of my coffee pot chugging away on the cooker and resulted in rather strong coffee – the kind that leaves a little harshness in the back of your throat. And Swiss coffee always seems to be full of gorgeous flavour and so smooth, not requiring the urgent need to glag a glass of water after drinking. 

But at the same time I was unwilling to go down the coffee machine route - firstly because our kitchen is tiny and I could not see where on earth it would fit, and secondly because it seemed a little excessive for a family that drinks very little coffee (until now, we much preferred a cup of tea)

However, early this morning while shopping in Aldi, an offer on coffee machines leaped out at me. It looked so diddy, funky and cute, it just called to me in a quiet yodell-y kind of way. And before I knew it, I was at the checkout bearing my coffee machine and a pack of little coffee pots.

Two hours later, I am grinning my ass off after three expressos because the coffee tastes good and the machine is so funky – and fits perfectly into a tiny space between my mixer and microwave. So yes, I’m a convert. Bye bye tea bags and hello Crema gusto and Kaffeerahm J