Chronicles of a writer abroad

Odds and ends


We went on a beautiful hike this past Sunday. It started with an hour-long train trip to Luzern. From there, we set sail for an hour-long ferry ride down Lake Luzern, which deposited us at the Rigi-Bahn, a steep and very scenic ride up what has been dubbed the “Queen of the Mountains.” After we disembarked and ate lunch, we began a four-hour hike that took us through dense forest, along ridges offering jaw-dropping views of mountains, far-away cities and the lake, and through pastures filled with cud-chewing cows.

Okay, so show us the pictures already!

Well, um. Here’s the thing. Normally I love to pepper these boring narratives of mine with photos, but on this day…I forgot to bring my camera along.

I know. I know. I tried to not rue the mistake as, from the boat, I saw a beautiful castle nestled in the trees high above the emerald waters of the lake, or as I saw the lake shining  from high up on the mountain, and especially as I espied a baby cow perfectly framed against a backdrop of powdery mountains.


My only consolation is that I enjoyed this area so much that I plan on taking future visitors to Switzerland there, and I will redeem my chance to photograph it in all its glory at that time.

I’ve just submitted finished submitting work for two writing deadlines (one with my critique group and the other relating to a workshop I’m attending in early October), so being a little burned out, especially by writing, is my excuse for not blogging yet this week. A summary of some things that have happened since my last post:

On Saturday I saw the Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris,” which I recommend, especially to writers, lovers of Paris, and those who like journeys into the past and the magic of nostalgia. I went in knowing very little about the film, and I think this is probably the best way to watch it, so if you haven’t watched it yet I won’t spoil it for you by saying any more!

On Monday (in addition to writing work) I spent a chunk of my day watching an on-demand version of the Layton funeral, which I thought was beautifully done but so, so sad. The poem that Olivia Chow chose to be read for Jack, e.e. cummings’ “I Carry Your Heart With Me” was perfect — and hearing it in French only deepened my love for it. As I watched, I got to thinking about how in 2011, there has been a very highly-publicized wedding (that of William and Kate) and now a very highly-publicized funeral. In 2010, I was involved in two such events (a wedding and a funeral) on a very personal level, so I know that these events are emotionally intense enough without the additional stress of millions watching. So while I am a gawker who can’t help herself, I also feel a great deal of empathy for Jack Layton’s family — imagine having to hold up under so much attention and scrutiny! This is a reality that public figures and their loved ones have to accept, though, I suppose.

And that about brings us up to speed. Oh, a couple more little things: today I found an underground (literally) gourmet store that sells cardamom pods and tahini, both of which I have been on a quest to find since arriving in Zürich. Also, I started my new adjusted running regimen, and as I predicted, it’s so much more enjoyable now that the pressure’s off…and I guess the temperature being 10 degrees or so less than last week is a help, too.

Bis bald! (Be back soon!)


4 thoughts on “Odds and ends

  1. I’m glad you are finding the temp more to your liking – I can’t imagine even breathing in 34C -ugh! Now that you are caught up on your writing projects, do you wait in anticipation of a critique?
    Good news about Fred who qualified for Hawaii by placing 4th in his age category in Kelowna over the weekend,
    Talked to your Mum last night to catch up on their camping trip which was wonderful, as usual.
    Maybe I should be using ‘bullets’ in this note 🙂

  2. Leaving the camera behind makes it harder to share with others, but don’t you find that some of those images are better burned into your memory for not having to fiddle with intervening technology. Look. Consider. Store. Move on.

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