Saturday, 30 April 2011

Did You Watch?

Yesterday I watched the Royal Wedding on the BBC coverage that we pick up here in Switzerland. I sat on my couch with my knees pulled up around my chin, my arms wrapped around my legs, and a big grin on my face for the whole ceremony.

I thought the wedding was beautiful and I did think it was important.

With an event of this magnitude, it would be impossible to not have those who criticise the public focus on the wedding and who think that media efforts would be much more appropriately channelled to training their lens on crises happening in this cracked world that is our broken home.

Of course it is easy to see their point of view.

But also, for one day, I don't want to hear it.

Because why does a celebration of happiness have to be scorned and unjustified? First world guilt, quite simply. There is always a reason why something 'shouldn't be'.

It shouldn't be!

The cost!

It's not right!

What about the people?!

No!

That's why I hugged my knees to my chest yesterday and smiled as over a million people in London turned out in person and respectively queued to yell congratulations. To cheer. Who felt a collective shiver as a groom looked at his bride and told her, 'You're beautiful.' As a bride looked at her groom and said, 'I'm so happy'.

It was about happiness.

It was about love.

It seems that politics is always justifiable, but why not love?

Of course it's a word so overused it can seem to ring hollow. But it's not and is not deserving of scorn. Because every once in a while we really do need a reminder on a grand scale that it's out there. It's life changing. It exists. We believe. We're powerful because of it. It can be better.

All of it.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Is It Too Late To Talk About Easter?

It's the most curious thing: I could have sworn that yesterday was Monday, which means that today is only supposed to be Tuesday.

But it's Thursday.

I seem to have fallen through the rabbit hole of time.

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date. I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date.

I knew that chasing that white rabbit who was holding a large pocket watch and wearing a smart waistcoat was a bad idea: never trust animals that are better dressed than you, and own a time piece. But I thought he was the Easter Bunny. I really wanted more chocolate. But instead of falling into a chocolate stupor, I'm lifting my head to realize that two days have apparently gone speeding by and it's Thursday, not Tuesday.

Normally I love it when this happens because we're a lot closer to the weekend than I thought, but I had plans this week! Plans to get together with people!

Le sigh.

So how about I stop moaning and instead take you waaaay back to Sunday (can you remember that far back?) and tell you all about what Dan and I did on Easter Sunday.

On Saturday we went onto Bern's information page to get an idea of what Easter festivities would be happening around our fair city on Sunday, and I spotted a gathering that was solely dedicated to egg cracking.

"WE MUST GO TO THIS," I shouted in caps lock and italics.

After the ringing in Dan's ears stopped, he agreed that we should go. Now my dear Canadians (who don't have any Swiss or German monkeys hanging off their family trees) you're probably wondering why I was so giddy to go to an egg cracking festival. Well the thing is that the Swiss are really quite fond of consuming copious amounts of hard boiled eggs around Easter.

I mean, you should have seen the brightly coloured hard boiled egg displays at Coop and Migros. It was insane how many eggs there were, and after watching a sweet old couple carefully fill their egg carton with a rainbow of colour, I finally realized *ding* this egg eating phenomenon is a big thing here. And when Dan and his colleagues got off work early last Thursday, Dan called me to say that he was still going to be late, because they were all going to be sitting around drinking some beer and 'cracking eggs' before heading their separate ways for the long weekend.

It was baffling and hilarious to me. The point of egg cracking as M'dame Jo and then later, Dan, explained to me is each person taps their egg, end to end. Whoever has the weakest egg will suffer a crack. Then you turn your eggs around and tap on the opposite end. Again, whoever has the weaker-ended egg will suffer the crack, then each person takes the uncracked side of their egg and the two strong ends bash against each other. The person who's strong-ended egg doesn't crack is the winner.

Got it? Okay, this will come in really handy for understanding what the egg cracking festival was about. Close your eyes and imagine a whole bunch of strangers (all who are bringing their own hard boiled eggs) gathering in a square, then approaching each other and offering...to bump eggs.

Yeah. It's as awesome as it sounds.

Only problem is we missed it because we incorrectly assumed this event couldn't possibly be over before 11:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday.

It was.

And the Swiss morning person strikes again and ruins all my fun!

But we still did have a good time wandering in Bern. There was a bit of jazz playing down at the Muenster that we took in, Bern's flags were flying, people and dogs were running through fountains, and the sky was a nice white light for taking a few pictures.

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(the little girl was very concerned her mom would be dragged through the water by the dog, so she was trying to 'hold [her] back')

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Internet, I double dog dare you to go up to someone and ask to bump eggs.

Double. Dog. Dare.

***
Disclaimer: if you, the reader, ask someone to bump eggs, and you live outside of Switzerland, you aren't carrying eggs, it's not Easter, and you find yourself getting punched in the face, the writer of this here blog can't be held responsible for such consequences. I do however reserve the right to laugh at you.

Monday, 25 April 2011

I Basically Need to Exist in a Giant Hamster Ball

Today, Dan and I decided to tackle a 15km rollerblade.

At the end of the run, we had to turn a sharp cobblestone-edged corner to get to the train station. I tried to maneuver the corner, but the roughness of the road combined with my lack of athletic agility meant that it didn't go well for me.

I lost control.

Instead of smoothly rounding the corner, I instead went careening across the road, arms straight out in front of me yelping like a puppy, and hoping with all my might that hedge in front of me would provide a sturdy barrier I could easily bump into.

Umm, I crashed through it.

There are some apartment dwellers in Burgdorf who now have a Caitie-shaped hole in their front yard hedge. I should feel terrible about this, but I sort of can't because clearly the people in that apartment hate living things, which is why they have a hedge growing around their yard that is the 21st Century answer to a cholera plagued moat with a few sharks thrown in JUST TO BE SURE. That is to say, this hedge is basically made-up of the botanical equivalent of ninja stars.

NINJA STARS.

After I crashed through the hedge, I found myself lying on my back, with one leg still uncomfortably stuck in the branches. After wrestling my leg free, I clumsily regained my wheel-clad footing, looked remorsefully at the hole in the hedge, and then felt the stinging barbs of about ten or so star-shaped nettles embedded in the torn flesh of my bare legs (to clarify, I was wearing shorts).

Ohhh fuuccckkk!!! I screamed in my head as I tried to pick them all off me. I couldn't very well scream this painful urge out loud because I had gained a curious little audience of highly amused spectators and I didn't want anyone to think that careening out of control across a road, through a razor sharp ninja star hedge, and landing on my back felt like anything other than like landing on a giant pillow of cotton candy.

What? This crash? I did it on purpose you fools. You should see me when I roll around in poison ivy, just for fun! hahaha.

I had to be tough.

Plus I was embarrassed as hell.

After a lame attempt at cramming a broken branch across the gap in the hedge (maybe they won't notice!) I tried as quickly as possible to get back on the road and get the hell out of there.

I tripped and would have fallen on my knees onto the road had my dear sweet Dan (who was almost helpless with laughter) not managed to keep my flailing body upright so I could maintain some of my dignity as I lamely wheeled away from prying eyes, picking ninja star nettles off my ass.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Spring: Purple

And this Internet, concludes the documenting of all the spring colours that have been bursting around my house since March.

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Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you get to share it with family as well as indulge in your very own gluttonous basket of chocolate.

You're never too old to go searching for treats.

Happy Easter.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter's Coming

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Are you as scared as I am?

I don't like the Swiss Easter Bunny and his buck-tooth bride.

I am going to lock my door.

I don't want those delicate hands nestling chocolate eggs amongst my couch cushions and plants.

No thanks.

Keep moving Easter Bunny.

Keep moving.