The bottomless pit of Swiss health insurance

I’ve been living in Switzerland since early 2001: coming up on sixteen years. Since arriving, I’ve been forced to contribute to the health system by paying monthly premiums to the tune of around Fr. 300 per month. This reflects the bare minimum–the obligatorische Krankenpflegeversicherung–which is a legal requirement. Just like car insurance, a person with health insurance has to pay the excess…

The bottomless pit of Swiss health insurance

Jesus is…

A current poster campaign by the Swiss Christian Action Committee is hanging across the country. Much of the poster is left empty, with the intention that it should be graffitied, in answer to the prompt “Jesus is…”. The accompanying website offers people the same opportunity to give their opinion on what they see Jesus to be. The most interesting aspect…

Jesus is…

A fresh eye

This year’s aim: see new places and try new things. Close to home, this means going out from home and documenting the village where I live as much as possible. Despite living here for nearly five years, the only parts of Faulensee I’ve really photographed have been the views from above the village or from home.

A fresh eye

The early bird and all that

I was half an hour early for an appointment at the Spiez council offices this morning, so I went for a brief stroll through the woods to the top of the vineyards while I was waiting. It was so peaceful, with fresh powdered snow slipping silently from the trees and only two or three other people there walking their dogs. A lovely…

The early bird and all that
Evening light on the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau

The luck and beauty of life

We are ever grateful for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful country. For the luck which means that we are of sufficient means to decide, based on a weather forecast, to drive for fifteen minutes and ascend in a rattling funicular cabin to a place which feels like the top of the world. All to watch a sunset…

The luck and beauty of life

Bloggen in einer fremden Sprache

Ich schreibe seit den späteren Neunzigern Blogposts und lerne seit 2001 Deutsch. Nach drei, vier Jahren hierzulande, am Anfang fast nur von Schweizern umgeben, hatte ich die neue Sprache einigermassen in Griff. Viele Stunden im Büro, viele Stunden vor Stefan Raab im deutschsprachigen Fernsehen, haben mich weiter gebracht. (Von Raab habe ich gelernt, dass es in der Tat eine Kluft zwischen deutschen und…

Bloggen in einer fremden Sprache

Ladies bike for sale

Jo bought a new bike in 2012 but hasn’t used it as much as she’d expected, so it’s up for sale at Fr. 450 (or near offer). It’s a 21-speed Kalkhoff bike, made of aluminium, and in near-new condition. If you’re interested, there are photos and details at http://velo.mhm.li/: please do get in touch via *protected email*, Twitter or…

Ladies bike for sale

Blow-up boating on Lake Thun

Jo found that because we’d saved so many points on our supermarket card, that we could “afford” a kayak using points alone. A few days later, and a large and heavy cardboard box arrived on the post woman’s scooter trailer and we had our dinghy: an Intex Challenger K2.

Blow-up boating on Lake Thun

Provocational advertising by Mediamarkt

There was a lot of fuss when Mediamarkt took over the much-loved Markthalle in Bern, meaning the closure of several specialist restaurants. Their latest advert in the city, announcing the new opening? “Does love enter through the stomach, or by way of a huge selection and great deals?” I don’t expect these posters to remain un-vandalized for long.

Provocational advertising by Mediamarkt

Emmental fire festival

The Fire Festival in Signau, a small area in the Emmental valley, is a Swiss folk and artistic festival; a smaller equivalent of Burning Man in the U.S. My friend and independent filmmaker Yannick de Zordo – who plays bass guitar for Choo Choo and who produced the great video for their song “…

Emmental fire festival