Can't believe I haven't blogged in a whole month. So much has happened. I will post the following holiday blog and continue afterwards:
Monday 10th August 2009
We arrived yesterday evening after a good drive through lovely scenery. The weather was also hot and sunny but soon changed as we arrived in the Bernese Oberland to rain! Think we brought the bad weather with us. We drove through four countries in one day – England, France, Germany and then Switzerland.
We only ended up delaying our holiday by one day in the end which was good. Harry is fine and my thinking now is that he had a mild bug and not swine flu as he would have been a lot worse than he actually was. Also the rest of us haven’t been affected.
Our mobile home is very spacious and seems to be better designed than the Canvas ones. After a good night’s sleep we had breakfast before walking to the lake. We saw Richard and Margaret an elderly couple who we seem to meet most years on the campsite. They are also staying until the end of the week after being here for 4 weeks.
We then drove to Interlaken and stocked up on provisions from Migros. We then went swimming. I am determined to get fit this holiday. I swam a mile and Graham swam for one hour. The children then went to the outdoor pool and enjoyed jumping off the diving boards. Back at the campsite, it started to rain again. We ate our evening meal of pasta carbonara, salad with gruyere cheese and a few pieces of chocolate. Harry then went back to the lake for an evening swim. The rest of us stayed at the mobile home. Finished reading ‘Compelled by Love’ by Heidi Baker and started ‘Israel’s new disciples’ by Julia Fisher. Have to go as I’m being called to play cards.
Thursday 13th August
We’ve had a great couple of days. On Tuesday we walked up Harder Kulm which was hard work! Graham, Charlie and Rosie had been at the top for 45 minutes before Harry and I arrived. It took us just over 2 hours to reach the summit, but the fantastic views were worth it. I walked down and the others caught the funicular. I met them at the outdoor pool. What a hot day. We all caught the sun and have a healthy glow. I made sausages, noodles and salad for tea. We then took our chairs to the lakeside and watched a glorious sunset.
On Wednesday we drove to Heimwehfluh which is a twenty minute steep climb to the top. Don’t think I could have managed more. I have a blister and have done something to my knee! It was so hot and we stayed in the restaurant for ages reading our books and looking out over Interlaken and both lakes. The children enjoyed the zip wire and rodelbahn to the bottom and funicular back up to the top a couple of time. I finished my second book ‘Israel’s new disciples’ which was so thought provoking. I hadn’t realised how few messianic Jews there are in Israel, but the number is really on the increase and they will be a ‘light to the nations’ before Jesus returns.
We then went to the outdoor pool and I swam a mile. We then walked to Pizzeria Mercato and had pizzas and salad for our evening meal finished off by McFlurry ice creams from McDonalds. Back at the campsite we had early nights- think we caught too much sun.
Again, today is a really hot day. The others are all in the lake for an early morning swim (except myself and Charlie who is still in bed) We plan to catch the cable car up to the Neiderhorn , do about an hour’s walk down to Vorsass where we will hire trotti bikes( scooters) down to the bottom of the mountain. It is such good fun and I love whizzing along at speed feeling the breeze and smelling the cut grass whilst taking in the beautiful scenery.
Saturday 15th August 2009
Writing this sat on our balcony overlooking the Wetterhorn and First. The weather has continued to be gorgeous and hot. We had a great couple of days in Interlaken and spent most of the time at the lake and the pool. I swam a mile yesterday after having the most horrendous migraine though. I haven’t had a migraine for over a year now and had a mini one in the cable car going up to the Neiderhorn on Thursday. I had two consecutive ones yesterday morning in bed and stayed in bed all morning. Graham took the children out on pedalos whilst I slept. I think a combination of cheese, chocolate and wine the night before contributed to them plus the extreme brightness from the sun. We walked to the Metropole hotel and had ice creams after swimming. Then we walked to the lake to watch the sunset. Today after packing up we drove to Oberhofen and spent most of the day by the lake and pool. I swam a mile and then sunbathed and rested for the rest of the time. I am now on book 5- The Crimson Rooms, by Katherine McMahon after finishing ‘On His Majesty’s Service’ by Bengt Wedemalm and Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. We then drove to Hotel Bodmi in Grindelwad where we stayed in February. Kurt and Elizabeth the hotel proprietors warmly greeted us.
Wednesday August 19th 2009
We’ve had a fantastic few days with amazing weather. I can’t ever remember it being so hot. We only had rain on the day we arrived and sine then it has been gloriously hot and sunny ever since. On Sunday we caught the gondola up to First. The boys and I did the First Flyer which is the longest and highest zip wire ride in Europe. It was amazing but was over too quickly. Graham and Rosie may do it tomorrow but need convincing as they think it looks too scary. We then went to the pool and I swam a mile. On Monday I finished the Crimson Rooms. What a good book. We took the gondola to Mannlichen and did our usual walk to Kleine Sheidegg and then caught the train down. We then went to the outdoor pool but I was too wimpish to swim in it. The others however had a great time in the water whilst I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows- an ok book about German occupation of Guernsey during the Second World War. Yesterday I had a lot of contact with people at home due to a bit of confusion about who was house/cat sitting. The person who had been staying in our house left yesterday and another friend moved in until our return. Apparently the cat has been seen and is ok. I can’t believe I am so anxious about her and wonder whether she would be better off in a cattery next time. Graham and Harry did a huge walk getting up really early and walking from First to Schynige Platte, taking them most of the day. I really wanted to do it again but Rosie and Charlie were adamant they didn’t wnt to do it with Charlie saying he would phone Childline if we made him!! So we went to Pfingsteg and went on the rodelbahns and walked back down to Grindelwald. We then drove to Interlaken and went to the pool. I swam a mile then read and sunbathed until it was time to collect Graham and Harry from the station. We drove back to Bodmi then walked back down into Grindelwald and went out for pizza and then had an amazing coupe danemark. Harry wasn’t feeling 100% and had had too much sun. He is ok today.
We had a great day today as we went to the top of the Schilthorn, catching trains, gondolas and cable cars. The weather was amazing and I took lots of photographs. We didn’t get back until late and after a meal of spaghetti carbonara are just about to start a game of cards. Now reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
The last couple of days were great and the hot weather continued. We arrived home on the Saturday night to be warmly greeted by the cat!
The week was spent unpacking and washing and doing housework and thinking about the church week-end away to Shuttleworth during the bank holiday week-end.
We then had some terrible news. A friend and neighbour of ours died and one and a half hour later I received another phone call to say that our lovely sweet cat Lulu had been found dead - run over on a busy road at the back of our house. I didn't even know she had been on that road before. So I really didn't want to go away and I couldn't think properly and didn't pack any suitable clothes or buy any food. A friend came round and took the boys to the campsite and set up a tent for us. We arrived later and felt in a daze for a while. The first service on the following day I just spent in tears. I cried so much for friend and family, for the loss from our cat and for the grief of the children. God really met with both Graham and I and I did feel His peace and healing through His presence. Ironically the cat was found almost outside my friend's house. There has been so much sadness in our neighbourhood recently with a huge increase in crime, car vandalism, homes being broken into and job loss and illness- all in our quiet close!
So the camping trip was a time of spiritual growth and also a time to spend with other members of the church family which we all really enjoyed. The children enjoyed it particularly. We celebrated Graham's birthday last week and I took him away to a hotel for the night which was great. We went to the gym and swum in the pool and had a lovely meal together. As it was Graham's birthday the hotel upgraded our room which was a lovely surprise.
So now, another time of change. The children are back at school in different classes with different friends, I'm back as a second year PhD student, and Graham is back at work. The nights are drawing in, and the weather is getting slightly cooler- a sign that another season is approaching. However, God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and our hope is in Him.