New York

Bon Voyage Mimi

Old Mimi

It’s been roughly 1.5 months since we moved to Zurich. I think some of the novelty is wearing off and the reality is kicking in. I know this because things have been running a bit ragged this week.

I had my first pang of missing my house in London (the garden, or rather the washing line!)  as I hung out yet another load of wet clothes in the subterranean “drying room” of our apartment block. It’s actually a good system – all the washing machines are in the basement along with a shared drying room that has washing lines and a dehumidifier (and a small window at street level that always stays open). Clothes dry surprisingly quickly in there, too. But I’m a bit of a clothes-washing addict: I could pretty much do a load per day, except that I feel bad about hogging the drying area – it’s not that big. (And a pang for the environment).

Housework in general is another reason why it feels like the novelty is wearing off. Instead of floating about and loving the apartment, taking joy in keeping it sparkling and neat, I’m feeling annoyed that it’s messy and needs cleaning. I do not love or really even like housework, but I feel a bit like – what else am I here for?  I probably shouldn’t even open that can of worms…

This is coupled with the fact that P is taking a bit of time to adjust to all the changes of the move – he is refusing to settle in his new “Big Boy Bed” at night and when he finally does he’s not sleeping so well (he was previously a champion sleeper), he’s crying when we drop him off at daycare and generally being a bit of a bratty toddler…

Plus we lost Mimi* – P’s favourite toy. A much-repaired grey bunny. We have several Mimis but this was the favourite: “Old Mimi” (there is also New York Mimi, the Nursery Mimi and … uh… Other Mimi). I’ve told him she’s gone on holiday and he seems to accept that. He’ll come out at odd times with “Old Mimi’s on holiday mummy”. We tried everything to find her (retracing our steps, contacting lost & found of everywhere we went, a social media appeal!) but to no avail. It’s hard not to feel like Mimi is a casualty of the move. Although of course the loss could have occurred anywhere.

The thing is – I thought Old Mimi would be with us for the long haul. She was P’s favourite from such a young age and she’s been to Sydney, New York and now Zurich with us. But her loss so soon into our Zurich adventure means that, in the mists of time, she’ll be a “London” thing. It’s yet another a turning point from our old life into the new. I might be clutching at straws, but right now I feel like I have given up so much that I’m extra sad to say goodbye to this rabbit-shaped tie to the past. So I won’t say goodbye but instead:

Bon Voyage Mimi – I’m so sorry we didn’t notice your departure and I hope you’re enjoying your travels. Our new life continues apace. Wish you were here x




* apologies to all Facebook friends who must be heartily sick of hearing about Mimi by now!

Soft Shock

Spring in Zurich

The weather’s come on all warm and springlike. I’m a bit tired and woozy. Although I hate to mention illness in a public (online) forum, it’s relevant that we’ve had sinusey colds and are not sleeping so well. P is still getting used to his “big boy bed” and needs a bit of reassurance through the night too, which doesn’t help. But I don’t really have anything to do so there’s a sort of pleasant… drift…

It’s the perfect day for sitting lazy in the sunshine. Maybe drinking beer. Except I don’t have anyone to do it with, and I’ve got some responsibilities (a toddler to pick up, vacuuming to do, a bit of paid work, blogging, working out what to do with the rest of my life).

I wish I had my fingernails back, a cleaner and some local friends. Not necessarily in that order.

I’ve been wondering about culture shock. I don’t know if hasn’t kicked in yet, or it’s just been very gentle. I haven’t found myself gasping at the huge spectrum of difference I’m faced with. Everything feels pretty normal and nice. Maybe the crash comes later? Or maybe Zurich is just similar enough to both London (a busy European city with lots of banking) and Sydney (there’s an echo of Australia here for me –  pleasant, affluent, quiet, aware of its position of advantage). Maybe it’s the wash of languages rather than being faced with a solid wall of German. I don’t know. But I’m not complaining.

I walked through this incredible park the other day. It was like an idealised world or Stoke Newington on crack: Stock-photo students lounging on benches placed in an arty giant-gravel piazza, happy neighbours playing a round or 2 of ping pong on the public tables, parents and kids enjoying a state-of-the-art playground. A few streets on, the incredible looking MFO Park – which is like the New York Highline on dope – a lazy vertical park dripping with foliage, populated by more brochure-style students and multicultural peeps. P was asleep in the buggy so I didn’t stop anywhere, just noted it all down for future reference.  Need to get among it…