50 Amazing Swiss Women – stories you should know about

50 sensationelle Schweizerinnen

50 Suissesses sensationnelles

for anyone 8+

Hello Folks,

I have been busy over the past couple of months, researching and writing true stories about AMAZING Swiss women, present and past, together with my co-authors Laurie Theurer, Katie Hayoz, Alnaaze Nathoo, and Barbara Nigg. It’s been the most exciting voyage of discovery for all of us. Who knew that Switzerland was so full of heroines? This book will come out on 7th February 2021, in English, German and French, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Switzerland. All wonderfully illustrated by Mireille Lachausse.

Check out our video and crowdfunding campaign, please spread the word, and support where you can. You will not regret it!

https://wemakeit.com/projects/50-amazing-swiss-women-book?locale=en

Easter Egg fun with natural dye

This is my all-time favourite Easter activity that I won’t ever skip. I’ve decorated eggs like this ever since I was a little child with my Mum in Switzerland, and I love the deep red tones of these eggs so much more than any more brightly coloured ones. And no matter how careful you are when “wrapping” them up, the result is ALWAYS a surprise. Kids love doing this.

Once you’re done, you won’t only have pretty eggs, they are also perfectly edible, ideal for an Easter brunch.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ca. 6 raw eggs (ideally white ones (for contrast), but any eggs will do. Today, I used brown ones, because this is what I get here in the UK.
  • The skins of about 10 onions (to roughly fill half a cooking pot). The more you put in, the stronger the contrast.) Today, because I was a bit low on onions, I also added a black teabag to the mix.
  • old stockings or tights (clean, ideally…)
  • rubber bands (optional)
  • lots of leaves and bits of grass. I like clover, and any leaf that is young and thin and will stick well to the egg

METHOD

  1. prepare your “broth”: fill roughly half a pan full of water (to sufficiently cover the eggs when boiling), and fill in the onion skins and teabag if using. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes (the longer you simmer, the stronger the colour).

2. Take your egg, and gently cover it in any pattern of leaves as you please. You can use a little water to really stick the leaves to the shell. If “broth” gets underneath the leaf, the leaf pattern will come out “diluted”. You can use rubber bands to fix the leaves (they also create fun patterns). Then, put a bit of stocking over the egg, and tie tightly around it.

When you’re done, it should look something like this:

3. Stick your egg into the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, or however long you like to boil your hard-boiled eggs for.

Then remove from the pan, and let cool. You can also stick them under cold water for easier peeling later, if you like. It won’t affect the colour.

4. When you’re ready, cut open your “stocking”, peel off rubber bands and leaves, and see what wonderful patterns nature has created for you :-). For extra shine and strength of colour, rub in a little oil. The egg is ready for you to eat whenever you’re ready (and no, it won’t taste of onions :-)).

HAPPY EASTER!

It’s cover reveal time!

I’m so very excited to share the gorgeous cover for Slobber Slobber Kiss Kiss, my forthcoming picture book with Helvetiq out in September 2019…and…drum rolls…here it is:

The German version for Slobber Slobber Kiss Kiss: Sabber Schlabber Kussi Bussi

And here comes the French version. Very aptly translated as: Slurp Slurp Smack Smack!

Elephant Inspiration

As I was tidying my desk today, I came across this little gem. Many years ago, I was part of a group of writers reading their works in progress to a roomful of children at the Library in English in Geneva. I read my then unpublished, unillustrated manuscript “The Elephant in the Room”, and then asked the children to draw the illustrations for it… This was the story that would eventually become “Zanna and the Something” – which is published next week at the Festival du Livre Jeunesse in Yverdon. One of the children gave me her illustration to keep – and keep it I did! This drawing has been giving me so much courage to keep writing over the years, to submit and re-submit my stories, even though writing can be so hard… Because this was the very first time that a child (outside my close family) was clearly inspired by something I had written – and that, all these years on, still makes me very, very happy :-).