The Chameleon and I

I remember the first time I saw a picture of a chameleon, bright green on a bright green banana leaf. Its tongue was rolled out, and those eyes! I was fascinated and wanted to find out more. I wasn’t disappointed, learning, among other things, that they can actually change their colour according to their background. Immediately…

The Past in the Future

When I was nine I had to say goodbye to my best friend because she had to leave Oman, where we’d spent two years playing, swimming and exploring the idyllic paradise by the sea. Little did we know that we wouldn’t be seeing each other until twenty years later. We wrote to each other, of…

Teasing Out the Fun at Kinderfasnacht

As a child, I experienced Fasnacht (Carnival) through my father’s tales. So when I moved to Basle, it was one of the events I anticipated the most. I remember my very first Fasnacht after moving to Basle in my early twenties. I loved the idea of walking around the town, especially the old cobbled streets, with…

Home Cred

A Dutch friend of mine just recently moved back to Holland after living in Switzerland for fifteen years. The first thing she mentioned was how wonderful it was to be received and welcomed by her new neighbours with flowers. Immediately she felt at home. When I visited her last weekend we talked a lot about…

Summertime Fun - Secret Ingredients?

Summertime Fun – Secret Ingredients?

Isn’t it fun when you can have summer in winter?  I remember the joys, as a student, of getting extended Christmas holidays so that it’d be worth visiting my parents who lived in Lima, Peru at the time, and I’d spend three weeks lying on beaches, diving into pools, sipping Pisco Sours, speaking Spanish, and…

The Culture of Caring

Supposing there is a gene for caring, I don’t have it. If I wasn’t quite sure before kids, I definitely know now – at least when it comes to all the thankless, menial labour that comes along with having three kids to tend to. I’m quite aware of the implications this may have for me…

Our Little Chalet in the Mountains

As a young teenager I used to live from one holiday to the next. Well, actually it was one ski holiday to the next. Being Swiss, my father, to this day an avid alpinist (mountain climber and passionate skier), always made sure we took full advantage of the Shell home-leave packages we had as benefits…

Mixing Foods

My sister Sarah loves Marmite. This makes travelling easy, or at least returning from a trip with a gift for Sarah: a jar of Marmite and you’re sorted. Now, I’ve always said that when it comes to spotting a person’s true nationality (a game I used to play at airports), you can tell where someone comes…