The Latest News on PESTICIDE!

Hello, dear friends, family, and blog-post followers. I’m in New York for my book launch, and lots has been happening. But first: you are invited to the launch of Pesticide at the Mysterious Book Shop, 58 Warren Street (near the World Trade Center) in downtown Manhattan. It’s on Tuesday, April 19 at 6-7 p.m. ThereContinue reading “The Latest News on PESTICIDE!”

Ukrainian Refugees in Switzerland

Guest Essay from The Local by Clare O’Dea Tomorrow I’m flying to the US for the first time since August 2019.  Thanks to Corona, I’ve been away longer than ever before. I’m very much looking forward to being back, mainly to see friends and family—and to hear American English around me—but also because I’m co-hostingContinue reading “Ukrainian Refugees in Switzerland”

The Happy Swiss

In a recent email, a friend shared the news that Switzerland has just come in fourth in a UN rating of the world’s happiest countries—something I didn’t know. So I decided to find out what this ranking means. If you follow my blog, you know how much I enjoy living in Switzerland and how attachedContinue reading “The Happy Swiss”

Switzerland’s Golden Girls—and Boys

The Beijing Winter Games ended Sunday night, and just when you thought you wouldn’t have to hear the word “Olympics” again until July 2024, you’re confronted with a post about Swiss skiing medalists. And I can’t even ski! Ah, but I’m Swiss, which explains it all. Okay, I’m a double citizen, Swiss/US, but when itContinue reading “Switzerland’s Golden Girls—and Boys”

Beauty in Black and White

It has been at least twenty-five years since I discovered a Swiss art-form called paper-cutting or Scherenschnitte. And now I’ve discovered a new Swiss paper-cutter, Marc Schweizer, who’s about to have a show of his work in the Alps. Although the Chinese had already been making paper-cuts for at least 1500 years, the craft didn’tContinue reading “Beauty in Black and White”

What Do We Mean By Old?

When I was fourteen, my family moved from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to West Vancouver, British Columbia. In those days, Gastown, the historic district of Vancouver, was starting to fill with interesting shops and hip restaurants, and my parents sometimes took my sister and me there for dinner. Although I found Gastown fun, I couldContinue reading “What Do We Mean By Old?”

The Land of the Free

A swashbuckling Swiss is hard to imagine. After all, the Swiss haven’t fought a war against a foreign country since 1515, except when Napoleon attacked—and then Switzerland was conquered (although Swiss forces did win one battle against Napoleon’s troops; there’s a large monument near Bern to prove it.) If the Swiss are known for anything,Continue reading “The Land of the Free”

Hunting (and Eating) Game

In Bern, as in many parts of the world, autumn is the season of cool, crisp air, golden light, falling leaves—and hunting. But here it isn’t just the hunters who get to enjoy the meat they bring down: venison steaks are for sale in local grocery stores.  As far as I’m concerned, though, the bestContinue reading “Hunting (and Eating) Game”

The Birth and Death of the Aare

When I first came to live in Bern in January 1987, only two months had passed since the Rhine had been disastrously polluted by a fire in a Sandoz warehouse on the river’s bank in the Swiss city of Basel. The water used to put out the fire had caused huge quantities of dangerous chemicalsContinue reading “The Birth and Death of the Aare”

Cheese: One of the Basic Swiss Food Groups

“A big bowl of hot boiled potatoes and some cheese? For fifty people?” Peter’s and my wedding had been in the US. Now my in-laws wanted to give a buffet dinner for us in Bern, to celebrate with Swiss family and friends. When Peter told me the main course, I was . . . well,Continue reading “Cheese: One of the Basic Swiss Food Groups”