African Hair Style

As you may know, I am a keen traveller and actually have itchy feet in this very moment. But I am lucky to have the world or at least parts of it in my classroom. So I learn bits and pieces of other languages, cultures, dos and don’ts while working.

What do you learn at work?

The first word I normally want to learn from people with different mother tongues than me is thank you followed by hello. I remember many moments when I opened doors and hearts by just simply saying one of these words in their language. I also still see the smiling faces, mine included. The latter I rather feel than see, though ;-). Read more

Yellow the second

Yellow 102

Hello, here we go again, exploring some yellow around the world. But first of all, I would like to ask you: Have you seen and found some things yellow since reading the first part of this post you would not have thought of? Curtains, mugs, underwear, glasses, advertisement, toothbrushes, drinks, fancy cakes…

As promised in my last post, Sulphur-crested cockatoo let me fly to my beloved continent Down Under on his back and here we are now on a continent where things seem a bit different than elsewhere. Especially, when it comes to the wonderful natural world of Australia. Many species are endemic – meaning they originally only occurred in Australia – and they look quite special, too. Whats more, I found some in yellow for you to enjoy!

Acacias or wattles as this family of flowering trees is called boast more than 700 species. Most of them are native to Australia as are the following.  Read more

Yellow

Lately, when my mind was still and free to let ideas flow during a yoga class, the topic yellow jumped to my mind. I acknowledged it and focused on yoga…

But yellow stuck in my mind and I thought to give it a chance keeping it there for a while. And then, when we went for a little hike on a weekend, I saw and looked for yellow everywhere :-). My hubby said he would dream of yellow things so much a theme it was that day.

A lot of flowers actually come in yellowish whitish nuances. Especially, those early ones now flowering in the forests.

Having some ideas in my mind on how to fill this topic, I went through my archive of photographs and was overwhelmed by the sheer number of flowers and photographs I found. So I decided to post quite some images of all kind of yellow things I found and took photos of. Still, it is only a fraction of what actually exists in yellow all around us. Who knows, maybe you see yellow all over the place after reading and looking at my posts. The socks of your neighbour? The wallet of your boss? The ticket to your favourite theater? The most used ingredient in your kitchen? Whatever it is, I am very interested in reading what you stumbled over. Please feel free to comment or send a message my way.

I would like to start with some early bloomers.

Yellow
True Oxlip (Primula elatior)
and for my German-speaking readers: Hohe Schlüsselblume

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Message from a bird

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

G’day mates

My name is Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and I just flew in from Down Under to bring you a message from Lady Bird.

How are you going anyway? It was a long flight for me, but I am doing fine, thanks dude.  So, rumour has it that she is working on the next post behind the scenes and I heard it is about the colour of my headdress. I feel quite honoured, I must say. How do you like it, by the way?

While I am here: do you have any tips for flyaways in Switzerland? Please send me a carrier pigeon with details. I appreciate it, mates.

I gotta go now, my girlfriend is waiting.

Take it easy and see ya later!

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Nowruz – The Beginning of a New Year

I have the pleasure of working with people from all over the world. In a German class I teach I might have course participants from ten different corners of the world with as many languages and cultural backgrounds. Learning is quite often mutual in these classrooms.

When we started the lesson on March 20th with me asking the students what date it was and what was so special about it, I received different answers. Most said that it was the start of spring, but one woman originally from Afghanistan told us it was her beginning of a new year called Nowruz.

So at the exact time as spring officially starts, people growing up with the Persian culture celebrate their new year. This year, it was exactly on March 20th at 5:15:23 pm MEZ. That means, the beginning of the Persian new year changes every year as does the beginning of spring.

Maryam, a friend of mine from Iran I taught German quite a while ago, kindly let me in on the traditions around Nowruz. I was warmheartedly welcomed in their home and served lovely black tea with a hint of fresh mint and traditional specialities in what looks beautifully Iranian.

Nowruz-11
Tea the Iranian way

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Spring is coming. Hooray!

Today, I just want to bring some early spring magic to your screen. I know that not everybody can be out and about right now, so I thought I’d post some colours and joy of this unique season that is just about to start for real here in Switzerland. Expect more photographs than words today.

Spring is coming
Wild garlic covers this forest’s floor. Can you smell it?

Not only wild garlic covers forests’ floors, but also an amazing flower. It is when another true spectacle happens. Starring is the wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) which quickly starts to appear at the end of March and the beginning of April with its delicate white flowers. They form like a carpet and I just saw them described as “a galaxy of stars“. I find this a beautiful metaphor.

You can tell from the anemone’s occurrence that you stand in an ancient forest, for they spread very slowly – less than two metres in a hundred years (100 years!) – and mainly reproduce asexually. Hmm, the biologist gleaming through here ;0): This means, the flowers just give pollination a try, but as there are not yet many insects around at this time of the year, the plant growths mainly beneath the earth. You may even spot them in cities, then you know, there must have been a forest in the old days.

Now enjoy the galaxy of stars in truly ancient woods. How old this one may be?

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Spring is coming-3

Spring is coming-4

Daffodils, they are not the be missed. You know, we call them “Easter Bell” in German and they should be in flower when we celebrate Easter. This year, most of them did not make it in time, too cold was the weather before Easter. But I am sure they will bloom very soon. Here is one that stands out probably feeling like a VIP (very important plant) between grape vines that are still some weeks away from opening up their buds.

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Spring is coming
When buds finally open up. Isn’t this pure magic?
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Oh, did I mention those breathtaking BLUE skies? They are a perfect canvas for willows in flower, I think.

 

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White works, too ;-).

And a final image to colour your screen today. I hope you enjoyed it.

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What do you see?

Two weeks ago I went to see a musical. Dirty Dancing that was. Unfortunately, my husband who presented me with the tickets was suffering from a flu and could not come with me. Finding somebody to accompany me on such a short notice was impossible. So, I went on my own. Best seats, sixth row, close to the center.

When I arrived and wanted to go to my seat I had to pass someone, who was already sitting there wearing a bright yellow safety jacket. It is narrow between the rows of seats and one should best get up in order to let people pass. But somebody next to him said that he could not stand up. Okay, I said and did not further bother but decided to just tell him that I would pass now and that I hoped he was okay when my knees touched his. “I am fine”, the man gently said not looking up. I passed and made myself comfortable feeling excited to watch Dirty Dancing in a theater. The seat to my right was of course empty and I invited the young lady and her mother, as I learned, to come closer and fill the gap. They happily moved a little more to the center. I found it awesome to see so many young people being interested in the movie, that hit cinemas back in 1987! The sixteen-year old even said: “Oh mama, why did we not live back in 1963?” The year Dirty Dancing plays in.

Anyhow, todays story is not about Dirty Dancing – the show was good, but I prefer the movie with Patrick Swayze for obvious reasons :0) . But rather about Fredy. He was the man with the yellow safety jacket sitting in the same row as me.

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