Life of Ryrie

Adventures in family life


Expat life


I am about to put on my 6th layer.  I am absolutely, totally Freezing (note the capital F).  It is 11am on Wednesday morning, I have only been home for 30 minutes and yet my toes are numb and my fingers are rapidly starting to seize up (so whether I finish this post in one sitting is debatable).  Even my bum cheeks are chilled.

I fear that if I remain in this position, I will have hypothermia before the end of the day.

Continue reading “Cold”

Expat endings

The bubble has popped.  Reality has kicked in.  We are back in England.  The Life of Ryrie Big Swiss Adventure has come to a close.  Well, what a year it has been.  We have lived in a different, non English speaking country.  We have even survived.  We can now do anything, go anywhere.

Here are a few of our best bits…

Expat to Repat

Repatriation.  You’d have thought that this would be the easy part, except that it isn’t.  Having made sure that the first couple of weeks back in the UK were packed with things to do and people to see we have now arrived at the horrid realization that we have no home, none of our belongings, none of our clothes.  Everything is the same, but everything is different too.

We have only been away for eleven months and so nothing looks, sounds or smells dramatically different to how it was a year ago.  But.

Continue reading “Expat to Repat”

Survival of the Fittest

What is it with competition?  Life is one big competition isn’t it?  Survival of the fittest and all that.  So, why can’t kids compete against each other anymore?  Are we seriously thinking that they will be damaged if they lose?  Yesterday was my children’s school Sports Day (or Games Day), which, by the way was only an hour long.  There was a host of excellent games encouraging the children to physically stretch themselves, but there was no official competition.  Participation was the name of the game.  This has got me thinking.

Continue reading “Survival of the Fittest”

International Day

Every school in the world has a fair of some description, whether that’s a Summer Fayre, a Christmas Bazaar or an Easter Egg-stravaganza.  At some stage in the school calendar there is a get together, a chance for a bit of fundraising, a bit of socialising, a bit of teamwork and an opportunity for the members of the parents association to show their mettle.  The International School of Zug and Luzern doesn’t so much have a fair as a summer spectacular, this is International Day.

Continue reading “International Day”

Ha ha ha – stop, thief!

Did you hear the one about a bike that was stolen from a secure underground garage?

It was in Switzerland.

I know, I doubt the punchline made you laugh, it certainly didn’t make Steve chuckle, but it’s definitely a joke.  In the same week that ‘safe’ Switzerland was named the happiest country in the world(!), Steve had his bicycle stolen from our ‘secure’ garage.

When we were about to embark on our Big Adventure everyone, almost without exception, commented on the fact that Switzerland was a safe country.  Well, I have news for you, Switzerland is not as safe as you might think it is.  Having done a little bit of research* I have found out that even though general crime levels are indeed lower than in the UK, the incidence of Intentional Homicide is higher in Switzerland.  The number of murders with firearms is five times higher than in the UK.  There are 53% more car thefts per 1,000 people in Switzerland compared to the UK.  In addition, about 23% of the population are immigrants (high immigration usually being connected to high crime rates).  AND our children had to participate in a routine ‘lock down drill’ at school, just in case some loon decided to take issue and terrorise 900 primary school kids.  So why do we have this perception that Switzerland is safe?

Continue reading “Ha ha ha – stop, thief!”

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