Tag Archives: Switzerland

May and looking back at April – work

The first of may 2015
The weather is properly Mingin in Switzerland a description my phone disagrees with. It a bank holiday here and nothing much is about to happen at all, the TV has been switched from orchestral musical offering to a Phil Collins / genesis offering from yester/yesteryear if the wall of organs and superabundance of hair is anything to go by.

The updates have been coming out of London, performance numbers for the month of April, now that it is done.
At this moment I’m not sure what to make of them, 5% above target and a big day yesterday, on a Thursday, why? It seems like an improbable sprint to the line where a staggering across personal best close to the target was all that we had reason to expect.

Never been much for the daily trading numbers, still not really, they can drive poor short termist thinking that tempt poor quality thinking. Two good month and an upward trajectory is needed though, to keep belief and push on, doubt would not be helpful right now.  Like the manager of a football team on the brink of relegation whose team start winning games after only a few tweaks, wondering on how phantom such turn around are, do mix with disbelief to dampen celebrations.

Plus in the real world more important matters draw close – more destruction of the instruments of civilisation with the conservatives vs the better side of people… The devil vs the angel on the shoulder … As a extreme … A week away

I was looking forward to this mini break and catching up on sleep, so far that’s worked out rather, with little of the morning being encountered by conscious thoughts. It may be a bit of a waste of valuable holiday but it’s not  utterly without its merit.

We’re on the 10th floor, a duck chose a close proximity fly past, from the distance I could see it coming then zip past the large window, it was really travelling at quite the surprising pace.


Another actually today – Zurich and Work brought together by the mobile phone

Grandfather was on his way to having a lasagne for lunch when I woke up on my first day away.

As a present to myself I had gone without an alarm and local time it was already 11. The lasagne was a packaged thing, frozen ready meal and it was in the oven. I settled in for some tea and a bit of bread. When the lasagne emerged it hot, as you would hope, so was its plastic container which had clearly began the process of melting.  Grandfather seemed ok with this, taking it as a sign it must be properly hot, while I asked if if wasn’t perhaps intended for a microwave and wondered how much flavour had sweated out of the plastic and into the target meat, cheese & pasta offering.

Meanwhile – For the first time in what comes close to forever the website is up on last year and for the first time in potentially even longer than forever it was chasing down its target. It’s was close yesterday, with two days to go but neither of those two days were weekend days so odds were very much against hitting the target, still, to be so close. This morning while sleeping, I received a text about yesterday’s figures, I don’t really know what that means. No memory and no particular natural inclination toward daily trading numbers, make it hard to turn that into a useful update.   I think the numbers are ok not good not bad, not quite what was needed but I really don’t know, probably should. Part of me likes to think that this turn around although to late will hold, part of me likes to think because it happened on my watch i can be pleased with myself & honestly part of me is.. But really lets look at the facts if it hadn’t turned around I’d probably just have considered the issues too widespread, too deep engrained and intractable.. So if you don’t take the blame you can’t legitimately claim the almost victory. What victory this may be, could well whither back into phantom nothingness in May because (and this is the main point) nothing so hugely revolutionary has changed. Just tweaks, pressures and nudges. It might well be two month of long absent good fortune which like a sunny day will once more cloud over. Still for now and for almost the first time in the year I’ve been there, there is a localised sense of hope. So as I sit on the balcony in Zurich, a little washed out and beleaguered from the effort of it all, realising how ridiculous that sounds but feeling it so none the less. I think to not think on it too much, switch it of, receive no emails and just try to dial up the gold music in my head.. Ultimately it matters not the fate of the site is sealed, all that rests on this is a line on my LinkedIn account and how my 4 month tenure here will read, it is in that way of no real consequence, despite this I should prefer the better times to persist, the probably unnecessary voice of ego and its emotive and illogical demands.

Actually today – Gatwick

I was going to try to keep notes of this year, only work prohibits and distracts me, while what focus on sic efforts there is falls upon the slow recollections of nine current holidays and books.

My efforts then, have been short lived. Not though entirely forgotten.

Zurich. It’s been a fun journey, where I left work with ample time, arriving still earlier than expected in Victoria, a healthy buffer about me.
The intended train as selected from the handy thetrainline site – cancelled, this ought to have run an alarm bell, it didn’t. Instead I was pleased to find a Gatwick express was due to depart in short order and shuffled of in pursuit of that.

The atwick express did not depart on schedule and as I sat it was rather notably on the full side. It had been de-expressed the announcement told us, assuring that the departure would come any time now. Today it would be stopping on its route.
Leaving Victoria it was soon evident that going was going to be more of an issue than a couple of additional unscheduled stops. Carefully, reticently it edged it’s way through South London, like a snake taking m desperate care to go unnoticed in the urban undergrowth.

Gatwick was not getting noticeably closer. I had my buffer mind and bugger all choice other than to sit their and hope good things would come to pass.
I was quite glad I had not cut things more fine, though I did start to ponder on the gate close time rather than the takeoff time, that couldn’t be any hour away by now.

Gatwick did happen and in slightly healthier time m thanks to a final stint flurry of speed… Followed by a stop … & a wait – that had been missed..

The platform was over full, scarcely enough for the arrived to arrive and get past the deportees who were struggling to make their way through the arrives to depart. Relaxing stuff, still I was satisfied the timings were looking better than those times not so long ago studying the flora and fauna of South London rail accompaniment.

Also the station came directly into the terminal (South) that I was leaving from so that was handy.
Departures were plugged, herds of gated people types all hopeful of bursting the dam and finding their way through to security and onward.

15 minutes to the gate closes and I’ve scanned my boarding card – some system somewhere might actually know I’m here and would find an outcome which saw me boarding the plane as preferable.. That or a night with a liberated piece of inventory from the not duty free, or perhaps two, a giant toblerone might not be the finest chocolate but i could see it making a reasonable accompaniment to one of their middle of the road whiskeys, when holidaying at Gatwick one must, after all, keep a mind to budgetary considerations.

Not everyone was obeying the queuing etiquette, the notion that’s it’s some sort of UK rest of the world divide is not true, from my experience the orderly queuing and polite order have if anything been on the up among our neighbours while they have dissolved, if ever they were, at home.

Predicting when if get through here was not easy and id debated approaching a member of staff on a couple of occasions but had always been on the ‘it could work itself out’ side of chance.

It’s odd somehow, if I missed my flight it would not be funny but as I stood there now it remained an abstract concept, things could yet be left to play out, so I waited, neither relaxed nor perturbed in the way that was possibly due.

It was the time when the gate was due to close and I was finally headed out of the security check, not inconvenienced by any additional inspectional examinations or inquiries.

The TVs had moved the closing time on by 10mins and I pondered upon an sandwich, 5 or so of the 10 were not past and who knew how many fellow Zurich bound people were stuck behind me in all the kaffuffle… Still inherent obedience kicked in and I plodded on though the retail hit where food could have been had toward the gates. I’d made it, it had worked out, good-ho.

Things to do in Zurich & If Switzerland did

If Switzerland did right wing isolationist parties they’d probably be the best backward looking, nostalgic fictionalising outsider fearing, political groups in the world

Sadly they almost certainly do
Unfortunately they have taken the ukip naming convention as a guide and named themselves CHIp – there should be chips party and by stereotypical rights it should maybe be in my other ancestral home of Glasgow but no need to be overly demanding.

There isn’t vast amounts happening for me right now in Zurich but come a time of finer weather the opportunities improve.
Lake Zurich is 30km long, it is not wide and a round trip probably means a cycle trip of about 65km or so.
Cycles can be picked up for hire for free with a deposit and an ID throughout the spring and summer from assorted locations, though they do run out of supplies at times.

At the other end is the old looking and much smaller town of Rapperswil. For those not so cycle inclined it connected by train but more interestingly by boat.
The boats use the same tickets as trams, buses and trains.
Admittedly this rather stretches Zurich but still .. On the south side of lake Zurich is alpamare a swimming leisure complex with agencies pool, slides, more slides, outdoor wild river rapids pool, sulphur pool and heated under water music pools and that’s going back the many years since last I got there – it’s a lot better than i make it sound and I’m sure it will only have gotten better, for the young or young of spirit. Maybe not for the older – regardless of inner age but that may be untrue.


Here abouts there is also a youth hostel and up in the hills is hoch ybrig – a little skiing area well within the limited commute circumstance of Zurich, where I learnt to ski, such as k have as a small person and worth a weekends visit.

In summer there are many places to stop off and swim in the lake. Some sun, ice cream and a cool off in the lake, I don’t do it justice.

Returning Zurich itself the Limmat river and its canals offer swimming with currents to overrating locals & random visitors alike.
Overlooking Zurich is Üetliberg, a hill that sometimes gets a white cap in winter and on a good winters day can be sledged down and trained back up – it’s a decent old run down.
In the summer you have the views all around and off Zurich from up there and some wondering around in hilly woodland opportunities.
There are also cycle path and a bmx off road track for adventurous cyclists to head down.

For people with little regard for interesting activities there are the extensive array of high priced brand shops in the city center along with some other genuine shops selling relatively normal stuff at swiss – oh my go is that the exchange rate – prices.

On the north side of the Limmat river in the town centre is the old town area – students and post work collectives congregate here among restaurants, bars, cafe and other assorted places.
The ‘day pass’ for public transport does not cover you past the witching hours – (so for those errant minded enough to choose to remain out when all fair minded, would certainly be home preparing for Tomorrows 6am start, through the medium of sleep) – they will need to pay a supplementary fare. They dont operate to standard day routes and the drivers seem quite unclear on the network being operated themselves, so it’s best to know what number is going your way and from where before hand.

Snow & returning – UK bound

Snow apparently it can have adverse impacts in Switzerland – bringing dishevelment – boarder line relative chaos – to the very heart of order …

Snow covered tree

!! beware the overuse of stereotypes may prove harmful to acuity !! – & yet

Snow Topped Christmas Tree Switzerland

Snow apparently it can have adverse impacts in Switzerland – bringing disorderlyness to the very heart of order … Heading to the airport we got to the top of the hill in time to see the bus head off, historically I’ve been here quite regularly and it’s always taken me longer to leave than planned for.. Basically put I don’t want to, it’s one of the common themes of my life, some things change this seems one of those that doesn’t, I should be grateful. Can’t live a life on the reactive incoherence and short sighted vision of a child but there’s a truth in it.
So there it was the recently bus departed stop with the snowy ground, relatively clear road and not entirely warm outsideness.
The next one is in 10 mins, would rather walk to next stop, wastes some time and is less cold.
Back turned and wondering another 46 zips past, where’d that come from … Bugger … What ? … Moderate confusion along with a Sense that my propensity to sacrifice waiting for corrective action has done me no favours this time. Patience grasshopper – nope – taint right, time for manoeuvres .. These are more thoughts than were had at time – they were more limited to bugger-wtf-darn-why & what – things of that ilk

The plan remained and arrived in good time for the next bus, procured tickets and sat.
It did not arrive, Swiss busses, Zurich busses arrive – along with being blue, white & cleaner than many houses – they arrive … It begins go occur to me that this may be such a day as when they don’t. A notion I struggle to contend with, flying as it does in the face of an established truth, while also undermining my plan for attending the airport to a quite uncertain extent.

I am not an early to airport person, nor am I at ease with last minute dashing, an hour of airport excess time is about right for a European internal flight-that hour is starting to look decidedly unhealthy. My mother is not of that mind, it’s been a bone of contention since I took it upon myself to take a view of my own on such matters. She is a 2+hour person who would be at the airport by now & she is here, a plan to see me off..
Then there’s that inclination again.. I could sit and wait here but this isn’t the bus I really need I need the 80 and it leaves from down in the village, for me that should be 15mins pessimistically and I need to see how that service is effected. It’s a thought not necessarily shared by the more conservative of approach & as I set off frequent gawping back occurs, no 46 had been seen going up the hill so there shouldn’t be one coming the other way – that’s the premises but it has the potential to be flawed and this time I want to catch it in the act of eluding my bus catching efforts.

No parental marching of any pace – I’ve gotten chubby in that last year, a lack of football and an onset of unrequited years playing their part but still swift enough across the ground even when sliding in marginally impractical (for the current surface terrain) shoes.. Also the person left in my snow dust is not Usain Bolt those few telling years later ..

Sliding and toe pointed skipping over slush.. I’m waved on and that becomes the goodbye, a practical departure from the intentions I guess.. Hit the town centre and with that the brain pulls it’s support, deciding instead to remind me of my unfit state, burning lungs all those good things.. Find another 80 odd meters of semi speed and slow again as the intended way point bus stop comes into sight. Hopefully no blue and white will feel the need to turn into view now, probably near enough to make the back door, probably .. Maybe ..
No bus comes during a more gradual approach.
This stop comes with a service disruption warning – good to know – Taking up a vantage point to see either bus (The one that wouldn’t come, potentially carrying a parental personage and headed to the main station (as a solid alternative) or the intended 80 with it’s more direct approach to airport going efforts…)

After-all subsequently 4 of the 46s had made their way up the hill & what goes up would have to materialise down here …
Eannie meanie Minnie mo …. Tigers & toes – opting now to add that last bit, another thing from 2012 some peace of news came along that revealed to me seo sort of racist origins to this, what is generally just considered questionable judgement nursery rhyme ..

Tigers not being the first animal requiring resolution to that age old question: if one attempts to snare such a beasty by nabbing a firm grip of a poor exposed, innaccesble toe will it respond in a hostile manner expressed outwardly by a bite.  Felt a level of confidence preexisted, sufficiently probable umbrage might well be taken.  Beside any of that, image you got a grip a really firm clamping hold of the afforementioned toe, could you really see yourself clear to seeing that situation as best described as it’s owner having been caught.. In this instance eenie meenie were the 80 to Minnie & Moe’s 46, who would appear? It’s tense page turning stuff for future me to deal with – note to self: always end of a cliff hanger…

Moderate digression.

The 80 arrives (good to get the bus numbers in – most informative useful stuff) so the journey may continue but it will now be solo effort .. The elusive 46 now firmly on London time and operating in full caravan formation mode, one does though appear in the rear window as we pull off.
There’s quite the gap to the next train, the intended next train is delayed – unfathomable depth this.. In the uk during the great phantom petrol shortage of 2003/4 (cant recall but the lorry drivers were threading some sort of strike – heaven forfend) that wasn’t (well not until panic buying disconcertingly promptly set about) the people in their crowd wisdom, set to queuing in their anguished hoards and stockpiling .. Not merely petrol but tins etc .. It’s possible though unproven, SPAM may even have enjoyed its greatest and only resurgence on those proudfull days..

So if the threat of gasoline dependents being cut off was enough to put pay to any flawed notion of British lips (they are as stiff as fresh Brie) then what on earth will this do to the Swiss .. People my people stand stedfast, be strong..
Departure screen delay

Oerlikon station train
A train – not my train arrives on time