Reasons To Be Thankful

Hohenklingen Castle rises above a cottage in Stein am Rhein. 1 August, Swiss National Day

After endless weeks of wonderful sunshine, it’s finally raining – and like the plants and trees all around me, I am filled with gratitude. It makes a change to sit outside on my little terrace sheltered by the balcony above me, and enjoy breathing in this fresh, damp air, seeing the grass, leaves and flowers reviving, and listening to the soothing sound of the falling rain. Nature, too, is grateful.

Evening on Lake Walensee

Prior to this, I have been away: visiting my daughter and son-in-law at the end of July and beginning of August, and my best friend for the following two weeks. With the fantastic weather I felt I was on holiday, so my thankfulness also extends to my hosts/hostesses:  I have been pampered and cossetted like royalty! It was also an opportunity to meet and catch up with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who are all growing apace and even starting to overtake me in height. It also brought another instalment of assorted cheeses from my middle granddaughter and her husband as they continue to fulfil their promise to me on my 80th birthday, to give me 80 different sorts of cheese!

With my daughter and son-in-law, I was also able to see a little more of Switzerland, places I know but haven’t visited for a long time  – the picturesque little town of Frauenfeld, the pretty marina at Steckborn on Lake Constance, 

Steckborn marina

the quaint village of Stein am Rhein 

Village Square, Stein am Rhein

and the magnificent scenery around Lake Lucerne. 

Lake Lucerne from Hergiswil
Steamer on Lake Lucerne

The current President of Switzerland, Alain Berset, happened to be visiting Stein am Rhein on the same day we were there, and it was heartening to see with what little fuss and bother he is able to move around the country. Yes, there was a very unobtrusive bodyguard, but Mr Berset stepped from his car on the public carpark, a rucksack slung over his shoulder, strolled to the helicopter waiting in a neighbouring field and flew off to his next appointment as casually as if he were catching a bus. A few people who happened to be walking by the river stopped to watch, their attention caught by the helicopter, but it was really no big deal. That says a lot about the security of this country.

Helicopter waiting for the President of Switzerland to board – not exactly Airforce1

Many of you responded to my last post, so thanks for your insightful comments. I’m relieved to report that the gentleman in question messaged my friend with an apology and assurance of his enduring friendship. I now know quite a lot more about the lady’s background and I think I understand where her low self-esteem is coming from. We shouldn’t be over-hasty in judging these two; they live in a milieu that really does put accomplishments above character, which I think is very sad. 

Super Sturgeon Moon

I am particularly grateful to my hostesses for their kind understanding of my “Noom needs”: support for my dietary requirements and encouragement to exercise. My best friend has a swimming pool, so I was able to do my 50 lengths (600m) each morning before breakfasting at the side of the pool. In fact, we spent most daylight hours in and by the pool. Just like a super luxury hotel! A very blessed time indeed. Happiness, I am convinced, is a side-effect of an attitude of gratitude.

Morning swim

And having mentioned Noom, I suppose I should give a quick update. Yes, I can recommend this programme. The diet is very sensible and healthy, easy to implement even when I’m eating out or at someone else’s house, and the frequent little prompts and cues – which would be annoying if it were a person nagging – are actually quite helpful and encouraging. I have managed to reach my target number of daily steps and to exercise a bit (especially the swimming) and I can report that since 16 July I have lost 3 ½ kg, which is 7lbs or (for my British readers) half a stone. Something else that I can be grateful for. I seem to have hit a plateau this week, but Noom is reassuring about that, too. So onwards and – downwards! 

23 thoughts on “Reasons To Be Thankful

    • The first instalment of 80 cheeses came last year, on my 80th on 20 June 2021. Since then, I have been receiving follow-ups at regular intervals! Not all Swiss . my granddaughter & her husband live in France near Geneva, so there have been French ones, good old English Cheddar, and the latest batch includes a weird Norwegian brown cheese. All very welcome!

  1. What wonderful news, all the way around. I’m glad Noom is working out for you. I was looking longingly at all those lovely cheeses and thinking about what would have to be sacrificed to enjoy delving into those! But you don’t have to eat them all at once, right? The swimming pool, wow. What a luxury.

    It is inconceivable to this American that the Swiss president can move about so nonchalantly. The Swiss have their priorities right.

    Enjoy that rain. We had a tiny shower this morning. Enough to wet the pavement on one street, but not on the next street. Weird. But the petrichor was delightful. And a few clouds in the sky make it feel a seem cooler, even though it’s a bit muggy and not real cool at all.

  2. Even I feel relaxed after reading your wonderful report. I was particularly impressed with the relaxed manner in which your president moves about the country. I wish I could say the same environment prevailed here in the U.S.

    • Good, I’m pleased you feel relaxed now! We have a system whereby each of our seven Federal Councillors (Cabinet) takes it in turn to be president for a year, so most of the time nobody is quite sure which one of them is in office. Sounds weird, but seems to work!

  3. What gorgeous pictures!! thank you for sharing!
    Are there 80 kinds of cheese? Do you like cheese that much?
    Congratulation on the weight loss. I am yet to follow through with Noom. I signed up for it, but haven’t managed to do anything else.
    Blessings to you!

    • Ana, there are more than 450 different kinds in Switzerland alone, over 750 in the UK and at least 1,000 made in France! I could eat a different variety every single day for the rest of my life!
      Good luck with Noom – it’s working for me.

      • oh my, I am such a cheese dummy! I grew up with only a few kinds, including mozzarella, parmesan and white farm cheese. If I never have another slice of cheese I wouldn’t miss it. I can’t eat the stronger kinds as it messes up my liver, and lately the other kinds gives heartburn 😦
        Noom? what is that? just kidding, I haven’t done anything more than logging 1 meal there. But I am looking to change that.

  4. Such an interesting post, as always! I particularly love the 80 cheeses and the low key dignitary. The rucksack struck a chord with me, as that’s what I carry these days; I gave up on handbags long ago as impractical for my needs.

    Congratulations on sticking to your diet despite being out of your normal routine.

    I agree with you that an attitude of gratitude leads to happiness, though I call it contentment. It is necessary to work at it, though 😉

  5. So pleased you have had a good summer. I am just so relieved that the 30 degrees + of my summer have taken a tumble. I just Don ‘t function in that heat. The cooler September days are with us and a terrific thunderstorm last night cleared the air.) I even enjoyed being caught in a rain shower today. Autumn ready to take her turn now…

    • We’re quite used to hot summers here, and this year has been amazing – but the rain is very welcome. And yes, the forests are starting to turn gold and red – another beautiful season to enjoy.

  6. I enjoyed this reading very much. The thought of 80 cheeses made my mouth water – can you tell I love cheese? In 2019 my husband and I traveled to Italy and afterwards took the train to Lucerne. While there we took a cruise on the lake and the scenery was breathtaking. Thank you for reminding me of that beautiful adventure. I’m impressed by your swimming. I cannot imagine such a feat! However, you have inspired me to at least put more steps into my day. Happy Nooming!

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