Archive for the 'Thoughts' Category

Slumdog Millionaire

I have just finished watching this movie – Slumdog Millionaire by director Danny Boyle (who also brought us Trainspotting, The Beach A Life Less Ordinary, 28 Days Later…), .  It is incredible.  I have watched my share of movies and I have to say, this is amongst one of the best I have seen.  It is set in India – a place close to my heart.  Although the movie is mostly entertaining, it does touch on some deeper issues and it doesn’t approach them gently or subtly.  These are issues that I have seen in action in India – where the guardians of children cut limbs off their kids so that they will get more money begging.   Seen the beauty of the Taj Mahal and the ugly slums & deep poverty right outside the gate.  It is a strangely beautiful country with beautiful people.  I must go there again!

Here are a couple of comments from critics:

A blast of raw, colourful energy elevates this gritty tale into one of the most enjoyable films of the year. And the fact that it also highlights some striking cultural issues makes it one of the most important as well.  (Rich Cline)

At times, it feels somewhat schematic and overloaded. But the spirit of the thing — both the narrative and the filmmaking — is undeniable. (Shawn Levy)

Visually dazzling and emotionally resonant, Slumdog Millionaire is a film that’s both entertaining and powerful. (Rotten tomatoes)

Go watch it if you can and want.  I mean, you don’t have to!  Just if you want and have the time!

Excessive Hairdressers?

Like my new hair-do?  No, just joking!

So, Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the seemingly excessive number of hairdressing salons here in Switzerland?  They are on every corner.  Actually, from our apartment walking into Aarau I pass SEVEN hairdressers (in about 400m).  I went to get my haircut a couple of weeks ago and the hairdresser tells me there are 50 hairdressers in Aarau alone.  That is catering for a population of 16,000.    In Manukau, New Zealand, for a population of 360,000, there are 140 hairdressers.  So that makes it about 8 times more hairdressers per capita here than in Manukau.  Wow!

But then, have you seen the haircuts people have here?  They are perfect and everyone looks stylish and good.  And you pay too, about $80 ($120 NZD) for a women’s haircut in Aarau which seems to be about the average.  I was paying about $40NZD (about $25CHF) for a haircut.

But the service is perfect.  And they take more than 10 minutes to cut hair too!  On arrival, they open the door for you, take your coat (which they do give back!), ask if you would like tea, coffee, juice, water (with or without bubbles!)  I was even offered fancy Christmas herbal tea and biscuits.  They take you to a chair and talk for 5 minutes about what you would like to have done and give advice / tips.  After washing you hair and massaging, they cut it.  And boy, they cut so well.  Like every hair is in place and with such attention to detail.  Anyway, perhaps enough babbling.  I have had my hair cut twice since being in Switzerland by different salons and both were incredible and professional and friendly.

I love my Swiss haircuts.

Weight a minute

In which Dan tells of his battle of the bulge, and breaking his addiction to other harmful substances.

It’s a compelling tale, so do read on…
Continue reading ‘Weight a minute’


I know Michelle writes better blog posts than I do, so I’ll make this quick.


She used several exclamation marks, and even wrote some words in CAPS, but I’m not entirely convinced that Michelle managed to express just how awesome it is to have snow around. Trust me: think about just how awesome the most awesome thing you can think of is, and multiply it by a factor of at least 10 or 12. Then you’ll have some idea of the order of magnitude of awesomeness I’m trying to describe. And it wasn’t even the best snow.


This is an awesome lamp. It takes our already-awesome apartment into the next league of awesome.


Political Moan

It is not like me to complain about the government (I know, I know – that is a big, fat, hairy lie).  And it is the NZ government that gets me so fired up and I don’t even live there anymore.  But that Helen Clark…. Grrr.  I’m not even going to apologise to all you Helen Clark supporters because every ‘good’ thing she does is only ‘good’ from the outside.  Underneath it is just bad policy involving more cost to to the taxpayer, more bureaucracy and childish behaviour from the NZ politicians.

I believe the Swiss have the best government ever.  Although, when speaking to a Swiss, they seem to only find faults.  But it is true democracy, where the people decide everything.  True, it takes a bit longer but at least the end result is what the (majority) people want.  And all the politicians have day jobs, none are full time politicians.  Isn’t that something!?  They are real people with real jobs with real families.

Oh and don’t get me started on families, or more specifically, the breakdown of marriage and families…  Here is a media release from Family First – a NZ organisation who I support.

Ok enough moaning, must look up that verse from Romans 13:1-7 to put out that fire burning me up!

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established… Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Top 10 things foreigners find remarkable about Switzerland

These are from a newspaper article back in 2007. I haven’t experienced all of them as yet. I love no. 10 though – so true! And I have added a few of my own…

  1. How early people get up, even in the weekends.
  2. That nobody complains, even when he/she can wash only once a month. (referring to the community washing machines in apartment blocks, i think – they often have strict rules and rosters as to who can wash, when etc.)
  3. That no Swiss person understands that people eat cheese-fondue other than in winter (i know, I wanted to eat a Raclette in summer and that was weird enough for my Swiss relatives but they let me anyway)
  4. That Swiss people always dress up..even if they get some milk (yip, no pyjamas and barefeet at the supermarkets or petrol stations here – not like NZ where that is quite normal – believe me, I have worked at both!)
  5. That entire Switzerland finds it normal that there are lots of traffic congestions in summer due to road works. (well, I guess everything is covered in snow in winter)
  6. That after 6 months in CH you are annoyed if your neighbours flush the toilet after ten pm. (we have read in our apartment contract that we should refrain from running water after 10pm)
  7. That Swiss parties end 11.30pm latest.
  8. That Swiss hosts start cleaning up during the party!
  9. That Swiss hosts expect guests to help with washing up. (haven’t experienced that yet…!)
  10. Swiss really like if you are spontaneous-as long as it is planned!

and some more:

– they still have intermissions at the movies here.

– that it is quite normal to work less than 40 hours a week. And there are heaps of part time jobs (even 10, 20 & 30 percent).

– the shops are actually shut on Sunday (and people are outside doing outside stuff – not shopping!)

– they don’t race cars here. It is illegal to have legal car races!

– that you can drink a beer on the tram on your way home from work, and no one thinks you’re a homeless drunk.

the list could go on…


So most of you will know that I like cars.

Switzerland has no shortage of great cars, which is to be expected, since we have Audi, BMW, Porsche, VW etc. to the north, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Fiat to the south and Citroen, Peugeot, Renault to the west, and TVR, Lotus, Aston Martin and co. just a bit further west still. We won’t go east to the Trabants, Ladas and Tatras.
There’s a healthy smattering of Japanese cars here also, particularly Toyota.
And if you look hard enough you might find a Rinnspeed.

So, I’ve always had a handful of cars that I’ve liked, and thought I share them with you all. I’ve created a page on which to list my top ten cars. They’re in no particular order, since I just cannot pick one. I’ve added two cars, so far – the Citroen DS, and the Audi RS4 – along with a bit about them and why I like them. More will be added shortly. I hope over time that as my perceptions and experiences change, and as new cars are created, some will be bumped off and new ones will be added. So, feel free to add your 2-cents-worth!


“Be the change you want to see in the world”

I would like to share with you part of my online ‘word on the web‘ daily inspiration from 3 July. Currently working through the book of Obadiah.

There is always a temptation to expect God to bring about his purposes supernaturally, and yet doesn’t it make sense that God should use people to do his work here on earth? …There is a poem (wrongly) attributed to Teresa of Avila, which starts:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Some people object to this poem, as it appears to deny that God has any supernatural power, but I think that we do well to take it to heart. After all, if we wish a blessing on someone in need but do nothing to meet their need, what good have we done? If we are to truly serve God, our actions must match our prayers, hopes and words. As Mahatma Gandhi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Passionate Contentment

But godliness with contentment is great gain. – 1 Timothy 6:6

Passion… is a word that keeps coming up in my life the past couple of weeks. God must be telling me something. I just read a chapter about it in “Tender Mercy for a Mother’s Soul” (a very encouraging book for busy Mums by Angela Thomas Guffey). If people were to ask me what I am passionate about and if I were in ‘Mummy’ mode, i would say – an empty dishwasher, cloth nappies or more sleep.

As a mum I find it a constant struggle to juggle my own passions and gifts with everyday life – children, husband, church, friends, work etc. So I searched for the answer. Here it is… Don’t juggle, they can all work together! Easy! The trick is not to have a list of priorities (1. God 2. husband 3. children 4. church – a list I have seen a lot) instead – have just one priority – God and his kingdom come first. Just listen to God. Phew! There it is. Now I just have to live it.

It is easy to pick a passionate person (Pastor Andrew, Pastor Steve, Rosemary to name a few, and Daniel after reading a book by Mark Driscoll!) What is so different about them? Here is what Gordon Macdonald says “you know them because they are not hurried, they are not shrill, they are not out to impress. You know them because when you come into their presence, they make you think of Christ. Somehow you feel that you have understood a little more of what it was like to be in the presence of Jesus…. they have a quiet energy that pushes them along.” It is these passionate people who have taught me to listen to God, to take the kids with me when I go on a church job and can’t find babysitters, to skip my ‘to do list’ and go to the beach for the day with my bible and my kids if I need a breather.

So I can relax and be content pursuing my various passions such as being a mother (making aeroplane darts, unloading the dishwasher, hanging out nappies) or cruising round Takanini with a van full of the awesome (ly noisy) Trinity girls or drooling over beautiful VW beetles going down the road or staying in random hotels just to check out the service or dragging the whole family out traveling the world for a year (perhaps the latter three I should delete off my list of passions?!).

Philippians 3:12 says Not that I have obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me… So, let’s turn our eyes toward heaven. Jesus took hold of us for a purpose. Let Him give wings to our passions, let us live according to holy contentment, and in all these things… press on!