A proper cup of tea…

My first cup of English Breakfast tea with proper milk in weeks!

After our shopping yesterday, I came back to the appartment looking forward to a cuppa but there was only coffee. Now I love a coffee or two in the morning but mid-afternoon I just want a cup of tea. So today when we arrived home from our wanders I went out to buy some English Breakfast tea and it tastes so good that I might have another.

The forecast is not looking good for the rest of our time here so we went to the Rosengarten this morning. It’s a very easy stroll from here and gives lovely views over the old town of Bern. Not many of the roses were in flower at this time of year but it was still an enjoyable walk.

The Rosengarten would be a lovely place to sit with a good book.
A view of Bern Old Town from the Rosengarten.

There’s a lovely restaurant in the gardens and Jügh, our landlord, told us that it’s a wonderful spot to watch the sun set over the old town. We may not get the chance if the days are rainy.

We walked down into the old town very carefully over cobble stones. It was very steep. At the bottom of the hill is The Bear Pit. Legend says that Bern is named for the bears which have been here for centuries. They feature throughout the city; on walls, fountains and hanging from phone lines. The live ones look well fed but I’m not really in favour of caged animals.

Three bears in the Bear Pit of Bern

Bern sits astride the River Aare which is fast flowing. Apparently once a year people jump in and float down stream. I’m not sure it would ever be warm enough for me to do that.

The River Aare in Bern.

Einstein spent some time in Bern and the house he lived in has become a museum.

Einstein sitting in the window of the shop next door to his house.
A plaque telling of Einstein’s time in Bern

There are many beautiful buildings in the Old Town, some with flower boxes of red geraniums. They look so pretty.

I’ve never eaten fondue so we decided that today was the day. Jürg had recommended to go to Arlequin and we found it easily but we’re a bit worried as there were no other customers. It was OK but I can’t say it’s my favourite meal.

Here we are having traditional fondue in Bern

David was sorely in need of a haircut. His eyebrows were resembling those of a certain ex-prime minister of Australia so we’ve been on the lookout for a barber without much luck. Today we found a lovely young lady with time to make him presentable again. Only CHF70 or about AUD105. At home he pays $25. The two coffees we had at the restaurant at the Rosengarten cost us CHF12 or $18. Switzerland is certainly not a cheap place to visit. But it certainly is beautiful.

It’s time now for that second cuppa!

After the ball ……..

Last week I was chatting with my hairdresser, Penny, of Penelope Jane Hair Boutique, at Gumdale as she cut my very short, greying hair and gave me a general tidy-up. She mentioned that her team had been invited to a ball and it took me back ……………….

When I was a young teacher in Nanango I had a wonderful time at the local balls which were held a few times a year in the South Burnett District in the lovely old community halls, Tara’s Hall in Nanango and others in Kumbia, Wooroolin and Tingoora – these were all small country towns nearby.

What a business it was though to prepare for these Friday Night balls! As soon as school was out I’d rush to the hairdressers to have my hair done. After it was shampooed it would be wound tightly on rollers – and, of course, I had long hair in those days so that it could be put up. Then I would sit under the drier which would pump hot air onto the rollers and it would be very uncomfortable and burning hot. I remember trying to slide my glasses in over my ears so that I could read a magazine to pass the 40 minutes or so that it took to dry. What a relief it was when it was finally dry! Then the rollers would be removed, my hair would be brushed out and the hairdresser would attack it with a teasing comb – making backward and forward movements so that the hair knotted and gained body. She would then mould it into the required position, putting about 100 pins into it to hold it in place. she would curl little strands of hair near my ears around her finger to make a little ringlet on each side. Then copious amounts of hair spray would be sprayed on so that my hairdo would last the night out no matter how boisterous my dancing became. The whole process would have taken at least three hours!

At Nanango Rural Youth Debutante Ball 1969 with Joy Perrett, Belle of the Ball. My hair isn’t “up” but it does contain many pins and lots of hairspray.

The balls were great fun and it was just fun in those days – I don’t remember any alcohol. I do remember the large teapots of sweet milky tea and horrible sweet coffee made from coffee essence being brought around to fill our china cups and the wonderful array of freshly made sandwiches and home made cakes. Supper was always delicious.

But when I got home about 1:30am, it was annoying. I could’t sleep with all those pins in my hair, so no matter how tired I was, I had to take my hair out. Brushing out the teasing was a painful process too.

Now my visits to the hairdressers are very pleasant. I’m offered tea, coffee or water and then I take my seat on the lovely massage chair which massages my whole body whilst one of the team shampoos my hair and gives me a wonderful scalp massage – such bliss – I wish it could go on for hours. Then my trim and blow dry takes no time at all and I’m out of there, looking and feeling great. Even if I was going to a ball, my visit to the hairdresser would be just the same – no need for all that carry-on.

How things have changed!