Monday, September 29, 2014

A little gift for Expats

Australian illustrator Shaun Tan, who today won the world's richest prize for children's literature, reflects on the quiet mysteries of everyday life in his collection of stories with pictures, Tales From Outer Suburbia.


In this exclusive story, a family gets a surprise when a foreign exchange student, Eric, comes to stay. Although everyone is delighted with the arrangement, cultural misunderstandings ensure, beginning with Eric's insistence on sleeping in a pantry cupboard rather than a specially prepared guest room.

A captivating, sweet and incredibly intriguing story showcasing Eric's interest into the smaller, finer things in our world, those things we sometimes neglect, are the things Eric explored and wondered about the most. Tan uses funny and random drawings of Eric hiding from the family in tiny places around the house like teacups and cabinets. He stays and learns the basic in's and out's of life and goes his own way, but not without leaving his own colorful mark on the gracious home that allowed him to stay there. This is a great example of Shaun Tan's lesson's that can be learned through a simple picture book.

As charming as he is curious, by the end of his stay this intriguing house guest will capture your heart.

A glimpse into what is it to be a little different.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

My 25 favourite Fall Movies

A lot of the movies that I’m drawn to this time of year are related to Fall or Thanksgiving, but an equal number just give me that cozy Fall feeling.  Here are 25 of my favourite Thanksgiving/Fall themed movies  – I hope you find some that you and your friends and family can enjoy as well!

A side note for your convenience: Below you’ll find a list of 25 movies and a television show – some items are appropriate for children, and some are definitely not! Films with asterisks by their titles can be found on family-friendly channels such as The Disney Channel, ABC Family, The Hallmark Channel etc.

25 Movies for the fall:
1.  Remember The Titans*
2.  Stepmom
3.  Miracle on 34th Street*
4.  City of Angels
5.  A Family Thanksgiving*
6.  Planes, Trains & Automobiles
7.  Gigantic
8.  How to Marry a Millionaire
9.  Big
10. Baby Boom
11. Simon Birch
12. A League of Their Own
13. Funny People
14. The Big Chill
15. Son-in-Law
16.  Any John Grisham movie – The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Chamber etc. (I love these because they’re long and great for a stormy day with a cup of hot cider/tea/chocolate/coffee/whatever!)
17. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey*
18. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving*
19. Pocahontas*
20. E.T.*
21. Wild America*
22. The Wizard of Oz*

23. Winnie The Pooh and The Blustery Day*
24. The Kid*
25. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving – a short story by Louisa May Alcott

Which movies would make your favourite list?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From "Tit Chino" to "Shah Vow Zen"

Thousands of English-speaking expats are likely to remain tongue-tied with the pronunciation of the Swiss cantons. A new map now provides a remedy.

Twitter user Deedee has labelled all the Swiss cantons' names, with English syllables and words, for English speakers to be able to say the name correctly - more or less.

Where do you live? In Sung Gull Len! Basel-City is "bars Hellish indeed", Graubünden is called "Grow The Burn" and Neuchâtel is to "No Shat Tell".

John Wubbe, the president of Züri Expats is enthusiastic: "The map is awesome!" It is very difficult for most English-speaking expats to pronounce Swiss German words correctly. "Plus a different dialect is spoken in each place." Thaks to this map, the expats can learn the correct pronunciation of the cantons, says the Dutchman, who has lived in Switzerland for 14 years. 

Try for yourself...


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tomato Crumble and fresh goat cheese recipe

A good friend of mine once gave me six adorable Le Creuset mini-pots for a house warming party. I have found the perfect recipe to go with it:


Ingredients:
For the crushed tomatoes and fresh goat cheese:
- 4 tomatoes
- 150 gr of fresh goat cheese
- 2 table spoons of olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 twig of basil
- pinch of La Baleine Fine Salt
- 1 pinch of sugar
- Pepper
For the crumble dough:
- 70 gr of flour
- 70 gr of parmesan
- 70 gr of butter
- 2 table spoons of fine breadcrumbs
- 1 branch of fresh rosemary

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 180°C (thermostat 6) and take the butter out of the icebox.
For the crushed tomatoes:
1.) Bring water to boil in a cooking pan.
2.) Remove the tomato stem and cut them slightly with the tip of a knife before dipping them about 20 seconds in boiling water.
3.) Remove with a skimmer and dip them in a salad bowl of cold water in order to stop the cooking and refresh them.
4.) Remove the skin from the tomatoes then cut into small cubes.
5.) Thinly chisel the garlic and shallots.
6.) Pan fry the garlic and shallots with a thin dash of olive oil and add the diced tomatoes.
7.) Add the chiseled basil and a small pinch of sugar to avoid the acidity of the tomatoes.
8.) Allow to cook on a low flame with a top for 10 minutes stirring from time to time.
9.) At the end of the cooking, add some La Baleine Fine Salt and pepper.
For the crumble dough:
1.) In a salad bowl, mix the flour, the parmesan, the softened butter and the rosemary twigs.
2.) Knead until you get a sandy texture.
Presentation:
1.) In a baking dish previously oiled, alternated the crushed tomatoes and goat cheese.
2.) Finish with the crumble dough.
3.) Cook 10 minutes at 180°C (thermostat 6).
Serve tepid or cold, slightly sprinkled with La Baleine Fleur de Sel to  convey the touch of exception and crispness. Delicious with an arugula salad!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Calling out for a good cause...

Going through my mail today,I received the following mail from Expats in Ticino Yahoo group:

As we are all aware, 2014 has seen an unprecedented displacement of people around the globe. I know a woman in Ticino who has managed to organise transportation of donated items to the Syrian refugee camps. 

She has a delivery from Lugano next Friday, 29th September

If you have any good-quality children' s clothing or baby items (prams, camp cots, linen, etc) that you are willing to donate, please inbox me directly and I will do my best to arrange collection. While she is not able to accept donations of toys, she will take all essentials, including general medical supplies and non-perishable baby food. Thank you for your support.

Regards,
Toni

Toni even went to her local pharmacy and bought small bandages, plasters, antiseptic creams, etc. for the last delivery. When she explained to her pharmacist what they were for, she handed over a box full of samples of similar items. Needless to say, they were gratefully accepted. Simply think of what you'd need, as a parent trying to keep babies and young children healthy in a refugee camp, and, if you have the opportunity, they'll take them all!

Should you wish to participate you can reach Toni under her e-mail address: acsellickpetra@yahoo.com

Bravo and well down to the volunteers for organising this drive!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lady's run Ticino 2014

This weekend, don't miss the renowned walking and Nordic walking event in Locarno. The event is open to the public and is dedicated to all those who wish to spend a day of health, movement and fun. It is definitely worth the trip up the valley.

You'll find three Nordic / Walking paths of various lengths and difficulties (5.5 km, 12.5 km and 16.5 km). Locarno is also providing a varied entertainment programme. They'll be a 5km "Family run" especially designed for families with games and animation along the path.

The biggest news is that the 9th Walking in Ticino edition will feature the 1st ladies run in Ticino. An easy, flat 5km path, suitable for all fitness levels and exclusively for women! Do not miss this Ticino premiere! See you there.

Download the flyer of the Ladies Run in 2014 here.

For more info, click here: http://www.walkingticino.ch

Venue: Lady's run Ticino
Where: Piazza Grande, Locarno
Date: Sunday, September 21st, 2014
Time: 11:00


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

20 ways to slice the European continent

Look what I found on the internet today. This is a wacky piece of information that will bound to make you smile. It is entitled the Atlas of Prejudice by Yanko Tsvetkov. 

Yanko Tsvetkov would best describe himself as an explorer. He insists curiosity is his best asset and pursuing it--his real profession.

A Bulgarian, born in the Black Sea port of Varna in 1976, he has traveled several continents, passed through thick jungles, walked through scorching deserts and booked a lot of taxis in busy metropolises. In the meantime he learned four languages and always kept notes about his experiences, either on paper or in his head.

Take a closer look and tell me what you think...


Sunday, September 14, 2014

A perfect shot

Seen from above these Adriatic aerial views seem spectacular and allow for great photography but can you imagine sitting under one of those umbrellas at a distance of about 30cm from your neighbour. If you're lucky, your neighbour will have bambini and will be hooked to the mobile phone. Wouldn't that be a brilliant interpretation of a nice, relaxing holiday? NOT!

For now, just enjoy the fantastic shots by Bernhard Lang who had the wonderful idea of photographing Italy's Beach Resorts from above:






Saturday, September 13, 2014

Corsa della Speranza 2014 - Never give up on a dream

Get your walking shoes ready... you can run if you like but the main point is to participate. I am talking about the Corsa della Speranza (The run for hope).

"Run for Hope" is an race celebrated in more than fifty countries worldwide for cancer research. It is  a non-competitive event. You can run, march or just walk on a 5 km route through the most emblematic streets of Lugano.

It's a race for everyone, athletes and not sporting: families, schools, societies, children, grandfathers, grandmothers... Revenues made from inscriptions and from spontaneous offers or donations, are entirely paid to the Ticinese Foundation for Cancer Research, which funds International research projects taking place in Ticino.

The Runs for Hope have existed for over twenty years and are held in many countries. The idea was originates in the late 80s in Canada, where the 23-year-old Terry Fox, lacking a leg amputated of a bone cancer, decided to cross the country with a metal prosthesis in order to raise awareness about the disease and to raise funds for the fight against cancer. Terry failed to conclude his stoical challenge. The cancer took him away before. But his brave and generous spirit continues to live through the Runs of Hope.

It's your turn to run/walk tomorrow. Just pop down to Piazza Riforma tomorrow after 11:00 to register and you're ready for the race starting at 18:30. The kids will love running, walking or scooting through Lugano with Mummy and Daddy.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ikea is inspired by Apple

I am a big fan of Apple but also a big fan of Ikea. This is a combination of the two. How do you like it?

To play on the fact that browsing an IKEA catalog is a sort of holistic sensory experience, the company has created this clever new ad, which skewers Apple’s notoriously over-the-top product commercials. The result is hilarious, and the jokes really just write themselves.

 
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