3 of us malaysia

So long, farewell...

...Auf Wiedersehen, adieu

As we say goodbye to 2011, we also say our fond farewells to this blog as it is today... tomorrow, in 2012, it will be relaunched as trippingdifferently.com

We have had loads of fun writing this blog & it has grown & helped us to grow & work through various events in our time here... now the time has come to say "goodnight" & 
Au revoir & move on...

So we hope you will join us at our new blog.
Thank you for following along...


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3 of us malaysia

It's Snowing! It's Snowing!...

This year the snow is soooo very late - it arrived just 7 days before Christmas!
We suffered cold winds & rains for a fair number of weeks, which ended in a big storm on Friday with 50km/h winds.
Then at last, the snow came on Sat & has been coming down since then... today is the 4th day of snowfall...
i'm ecstatic as is Tobias! ;)

Here's a picture from Saturday's snowfall:

Here's one from yesterday (3rd day):

Today it snowed steadily from the wee hours of the morning till about a half hour ago. So i would say we have had a good 6 to 8 inches of snow :D - the kids are absolutely loving it - having snowball fights along the way to school & of cos at break time in school. It made Tobias & a few others late for school yesterday - the teacher let them off with a warning this time, next time they get a strike against their names.

While we suffered the rain storms before the lovely snow came, Tobias & myself went & made candles in the old hospital by the river in town. Tobias fell in love with candle making after he got to make one with our friends who live in Fribough. So this year he really wanted to go make more. But school timetables did not allow us to go to there again & make them with our friends there. Instead we made them here... which i feel is much better - not so crowded here as it's not in such an open place like in Fribough.

Have a look at our works of wax ;)

Tobias made the greenish ones on the left & i made the other two. We sent 2 of these to Singapore, one to each set of grandparents. Hope they will like it.

May the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ brighten this Christmas season for you & May His Light shine on your path in the coming year.

PS: i sit here writing this blog, listening to the song, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." - it certainly does look that way :D
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3 of us malaysia

Daddy Moments...

...this is one of those...

Look at the seriousness with which they are tackling the task of building their very first model plane together ;)

My dad - Tobias' granddad - had bought a couple of model plane kits for him cos my brother had a few and Tobias would like one too. The plan had been that my dad would build it with Tobias while we were in Singapore. However, as it turned out, between our many appointments and my dad working, there wasn't time. But it was decided that it was better this way cos that made them easier to carry home, instead of having to fear them breaking while en route, we simply packed them in their boxes into our suitcases.

The basic body of the plane has been finished but they are still adding little bits (decals) here and there so there is not yet a completed plane to be photographed. But they enjoyed working on it greatly.

I could have done it with him too - making it a mummy/son project. But I know I'm just not as good and I wasn't sure about which decals went where - the instructions were not exact on this point.

There was another reason why this became a daddy/son project - it just seemed like a father/son thing - don't you think so? This always makes me wonder about the question of how little boys wanna be like their daddy and little girls like their mummy. Is it genetics or more than that?

Even though Tobias spends more time with me, (just because daddy works away from home a fair bit), he still loves and sometimes even prefers to spend time with his daddy. He likes a lot of the same things which daddy likes. He is a daddy's boy :)

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Literary Happenings...

So November is over & that means the crazy finger-numbing typing has stopped ;)
And the result is ... see for yourselves below:


The story is only half done... hoping to finish in a couple of months - *fingers crossed* seeing that I haven't yet actually finished any of the stories I have written...

The other exciting happening is - I attended my very first Book Club *super happy*
Discussed The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen.

I like the book, love the magical elements, love how she uses candy to carry the emotions of the characters, great use of words and metaphors. A lovely story.

I thoroughly enjoyed discussing the book with 6 other wonderful ladies. They brought to the table issues and themes in the book I did not even give a second thought to. It is so nice to be in a lively discussion about written words... i missed that so much ;)
Looking forward to the next one!

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3 of us malaysia

Schlaf im Stroh... Sleep in Straw...

We had 3 weeks of Autumn School Holidays in October... and we had fun ;)
Our biggest adventure was Schlaf Im Stroh - we slept in straw on a farm :D

There are farms here in Switzerland which have turned their upstairs barn space into little sleeping areas, filled with straw and you can book a night or two or three or more for a sleepover. They do groups too. There are some farms which have more child-friendly things to do than others. But overall i think they are all quite good. They are also organised - as you would expect from the Swiss - check out this official website.

We stayed at the Erlebnishof Hatti. So it turned out that we were the only guests for the night that we chose - it was a Sunday night, apparently most people come either during the weekdays or else from Friday to Sunday morning. Very few actually stay Sunday night till Monday morning.

The one downside to this whole adventure was that Walter could only stay with us for the night and then he had to go back to work very early the next morning and didn't get to stay for the morning's activities.

There is soooo much to share from this adventure...

We arrived on the farm about 5.30pm on Sunday evening and were welcomed by the farmer's wife and told to make ourselves at home and that the farmer would be back from the fields in about half hour and we can help out around the farm.

We started small... playing with the many many bunnies they have...

Here's what the farm looks like:

There was also a lovely view:

Then we got to work helping the farmer. Here Tobias is pouring out feed for the sheep.

Then we helped to herd the goats back to their stalls - actually these animals are really quite smart, the moment you open the gate to the field, they start running up the hill to their stalls cos they know what awaits... Food! ;)

Here Walter & Tobias are laying out bread for the horses in their stall... i did not know they would eat stale bread and the farmer says it makes it more interesting for them if we spread it around a bit.

We then watched the farmer feed the pigs - i never knew how violent pigs can be when it comes to getting their share of food. i also did not know that they liked soured milk.

Then came the part where i was slightly afraid... i have always been slightly afraid of birds/fowls with sharp beaks... i have always worried about being pecked by those very pointed beaks! Not as scary as i imagined. Unless you are food, they are really not interested in you. So we went to feed the chickens.

The farmer also showed us where they laid the eggs - they had these big boxes where they put a whole lot of what looked like wheat kernels to me. The chickens lay them in there, hiding them among the kernels. It was really very fun reaching in and searching for the eggs. It was even more exciting when the eggs are freshly laid and they still feel warm. We got to feed chickens & pick eggs both that evening and the next morning. That evening all the chickens were rushing to the feed we threw out for them so none of them were sitting on their eggs. But in the morning there were a couple who weren't interested in the feed. Tobias went up to one of them and said in Swiss German, 'We are not going to hurt you. Please may we have your egg.' Then he reached in slowly and took the topmost egg. Soooo cute!

Tobias also got first hand experience at milking the sheep. This farmer did not keep cows but he had sheep so he produced... well, the sheep produced the milk and the farmer collected it. Here Tobias was putting feed to keep the sheep happy while being milked.

Then he was allowed to help prepare the pumps.

The farmer even let him try his hand at attaching the pump to the sheep's udders.

By then it was quite late. And we still haven't had our dinner. So we said good night to the farmer and went to have our packed dinner which we brought with us. Father and son had a game of table soccer before bedtime.

This is where we slept.

OOooh, before i forget, the farmer was so very nice and gave us 3 boxes of eggs to take home - 18 fresh farm eggs!!

It was a cold night and we all wished we had brought more to wear to sleep but we survived - next time we know. 

i heard the farmer get up and start his day at about 5.30am in the morning - Wow! being a farmer sure means long days - 5.30am till at least 8.30pm if not longer. But we were visitors so we stayed in bed. Tobias was a little sad that he missed the morning milking as that is when they milked the goats as well.

But he got to do something even better. He brushed down a horse.

It was a cold and rainy day. It had started raining the night before and kept on raining that whole Monday - it was light rain but it just didn't stop.

Then he got to ride on the horse. We rode (well he rode and myself and the farm assistant walked beside him) to the farm down the road which had Lamas and Alpacas. Very cute.

Then back to the farm again.

Just before we left the farmer let Tobias ride with him in the little sewage truck (it did not smell cos it's all contained) as he needed to drive it out to clean the sewage from the outdoor toilets they had installed.

Then it was byebye.

Tobias loved it soooo much that he has asked to go back again but this time for two nights instead of just one!
We certainly will be going back - anyone like to join us?
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3 of us malaysia

October Flew By... November Is Here!!

November - if you have been following this blog for more than a year, you know what comes around in November.........
50,000 words in 30 days - Hurray!!

Day 4 - on target!! :D

26 more days...
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3 of us malaysia

Go Fishy...

i was inspired a few Fridays ago & we had fish - 2 Fridays in a row...
Now is that such an exception? Is that really so special? Fish 2 Fridays in a row?...
Well, not if we were in Singapore or somewhere which has a coast & an abundance of seafood... but we are not in such a place... we live in a land-locked country where seafood is not only limited but expensive as well. So yes, fish 2 Fridays in a row is something to write about ;)

Fishy #1
Salmon & Capers Pizza
Yep, i made... or i should say WE made pizza - Tobias helped :)
Everything from the dough to the rolling out to the baking & laying on of ingredients.
No i did not get the order wrong - this was made with smoked salmon so the fish needed no more cooking so the pizza dough was blind-baked & then the ingredients laid on. There is also no tomato sauce on this pizza - it was layered with a blend of cream cheese & fresh cream.
However,... yes there is a "however",... the recipe called for the pizza to be blind-baked on a clay pizza plate - which i didn't have - but i did have baking beads, which are normally used as weights for blind-baking pie-crust... so i used those instead. Did not quite work as planned... the pizza turned out to be more of a pita-bread texture that a thin-flat pizza. Also i didn't know exactly which bread flour was required so i simply picked one of the many available here.
BUT... the family LOVED it ;)

Here's the process:
Waiting for the dough to raise - i enjoyed kneading the dough lots - very therapeutic as many have told me.

The baking beads.

Little Chef rolling out the dough.

Cooling the baked pizza.

Left, Right, Bottom: Original Salmon & Capers variety, Variation - with tomato, Variation - with tomato, without capers.

Fishy #2
i love, really love, LOVE Japanese food & miss it greatly.
i finally found the right sauce for the cold Soba dish which i have always wanted to make & so i made Cold Japanese Soba Noodles with Cold Japanese Tofu & Pan-fried Red Snapper with Terriyaki Sauce, & Tempura Veggies.
Once again, the family LOVED it :D

Here's a picture of the table all set with the food (not very clear as this was taken on my handphone & in a hurry - we were hungry - hehhehee):

Now i dream happily of the next dish i will attempt...
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3 of us malaysia

Gerbils R Us...

That's right... we got ourselves Gerbils!! & we are happy, excited, pleased, excited, elated, delighted... did i mention happy & excited? :D

We have been very lucky to have been given not only 2 lovely Gerbils, but everything needed to provide them with a good home & wonderful care... we got the whole works (cage - both big & travel ones,  food, bedding, lots of home-made housing - which i love!!) from a generous friend who is now having a great time settling into uni life in England ;)

So meet Nox (the black one) & Puddle (the brown one):

Here is one very excited, over-the-moon little boy standing next to their cage:

We love watching them scurry around, hiding their food under the bedding, chewing up cardboard & paper to "decorate" their little home, sitting on their hind-legs eating their little bits of food, climbing up & down ;)

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3 of us malaysia

On a Roll Here...

Hehehhee... indeed i'm on a roll here... 3 posts in one day... never done before!! ;)
Ok that's enough!

i thought i would post something related to just US - that's Walter & Sandra.

We celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary yesterday & since we did go out to celebrate (just a simple meal at a typical Swiss Restaurant in our little village) & i've never actually officially recorded any of our celebrations (they have been small & private - twice we were in another country), i thought this time i would.

Here we are at the restaurant - not the most flattering photo of us - taken by Tobias ;) who wasn't quite sure how to work my camera, which is a little different from his own.

Here's the yummy food we had - i had Broccoli Cream Soup & Cordon Blue, Walter had Gazpacho & Wood-grilled Meats... (these were taken with my handphone as my point-n-shoot is just crappy in low light):

The food was very good - if anyone comes visiting, we'll take you there. Everything, except my fries, was homemade & very fresh ingredients were used. It was also very very filling!!

& of cos here's my cute face - can't do without a picture of him - he was there after all ;)

To quote a beloved friend:
"(We) survived the 1st-year novelty, 5th-year trial and 7th-year itch! :D Looking forward to (the) decade!!"

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3 of us malaysia

More seriousness...

Tobias has been serious about another activity besides his new passion with the guitar...

He's been going for Judo training since February & he loves it!! He looks forward to every training & would even endure having his fingernails & toenails cut (they have to be short for the training sessions) Having his nails, especially toenails, cut, are a big thing for him, he's very sensitive & says it feels very painful to have them cut (i never cut too close) - but that's a whole other post.

Anyhow, so it has been more than 6 months since he started & he is still loving it so i though i share a couple of pictures since he just got his Judoki (the Judo 'uniform' - for lack of a better term). You can only wear the Judoki once you have finished your 1st 6 months & have interest to continue & be a member of the Dojo.

Here is he looking very serious as they sit for their greetings:

Here he is in action (i know a little blur - blame it on a not so great point-n-shoot cam):

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