Posts about Life

The Swiss MOT

The Swiss are reknowned for their efficiency and I’m used to the smoothness of dealing with officialdom here. The extent of the efficiency surprised me a little this morning, though, when for the first time since I’ve lived here, I had to take my car to the testing centre. The “Amtliche Fahrzeugprüfung” is akin to […]

Read more

The difference between racism and ignorance

Richard Herring writes about racism in today’s Metro newspaper, but is Richard’s definition of racism in the context he cites accurate? I think that lumping people from different countries into one group is laziness and ignorance rather than racism. Demeaning someone just because of their race (“colour of their skin”), and not their nationality, is […]

Read more

How to keep you interested

With such a plethora of photographic websites online, both good and not so good, it’s increasingly difficult to gain a reasonable readership of a blog. Blogs have been historically prone to their authors over-thinking their purpose, and aiming for a much wider audience than they are realistically going to achieve. Most blogs have a small […]

Read more

Cutting out the chaff

In order to help me retain focus on project work, documentation and online authoring, I have found iA Writer, a text editor by Information Architects, really useful. As creator Oliver Reichenstein said in a recent article, authors – especially those writing for online publication – often spend far too much time formatting their text instead of just writing.

Read more
Keeping your data safe

Keeping your data safe

Using a mixture of password segments stored digitally and a second segment stored manually, access to online systems becomes highly secure.

Read more

Welcome to Switzerland (conditionally)

(Post originally begun in 2011.) Along with most other households in Switzerland, I received a pre-printed flyer from the Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP) at the end of last week. (Obivously the person delivering them didn’t bother to check the name on the post box, in our case.) The flyer has been timed to coincide with the Swiss national day on Monday, and encourages Swiss nationals to join their crusade to limit or even eliminate the effect that foreigners have on Swiss life. I thought it’d be interesting to write about the concerns raised, from the point of view of a long-term resident.

Read more

Squirrel!

One of the greatest problems that I face on a daily basis is that of a lack of focus. I love to do so many things – taking and editing photos, creating designs for websites and books, programming – that when I’m fired up, it’s difficult to know where to start and where – or […]

Read more

Wonder and reflection

I wonder, sometimes, about the nature of photography and why I spend so much of my time engaged in it. A snapshot, recovered with the use of Photoshop, garners the appreciation of hundreds and hundreds of people, whilst a series which I return to again and again gains less views than I can count on […]

Read more

The Way to Green Crag

I don’t usually bother celebrating my birthday in any great fashion, but as I turned forty this year, I decided to make an exception and plan a short break away with Jo, so that I could look back on the arrival of mid-life with some fondness. After some to-ing and fro-ing on a destination, I […]

Read more

Some favourite memories of 2011

When I look back at the photos I’ve posted to my Flickr photostream in 2011, I see how fortunate Jo and I have been to have had the opportunity to travel so much. Starting with a trip to the photo’11 exhibition in January, my year has been filled with journeys, both long and short. We’ve […]

Read more

Keep Calm and Fit In

I was recently interviewed for the website expatarrivals.com and asked for my thoughts on life as a foreigner in Switzerland. Here’s the transcript of the emailed interview.

Read more

On death

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is […]

Read more

Moving on

I’ve been living in the area around Spiez since moving here eleven years ago and my home for the vast majority of my time here has been in an attic flat at the top of the road leading to the lake and castle. Jo moved to live with me in 2006 and we’ve had a […]

Read more

The ups and downs of life with a foreign currency

To illustrate the precise depth of the devaluation of European currencies, I thought I’d share a few figures with you to explain how the fluctuating values affect me. As I’m British, and Britain still has its own currency (the pound sterling) instead of the Euro, I’ll compare the Swiss franc with the pound. When I […]

Read more
Annual siren testing

Annual siren testing

One of these days, I’m going to remember (without looking it up on Twitter) that the annual siren test takes place across the whole of Switzerland on the first Wednesday of February. More information on the Swiss government’s portal.

Watch video

New role with web agency !frappant

After two and a half years with the Burson-Marsteller Crossmedia team in Bern, I’ve decided to return to my roots as a programmer and technical developer and I’m moving across town to work for web agency !frappant from 1st April 2011.

Read more

I Remember

There are some times of year when it’s strange to be at home in a country where the national history is different. In November, two of them fall within days of each other: Guy Fawkes Night and Armistice Day.

Read more

Zum Wohl

As a British person abroad, there are several aspects of Swiss culture which take a little getting used to. One of them is making eye contact when chinking glasses with someone.

Read more