The weekend draws to a close

So the weekend is fast drawing to a close. my first full weekend i’ve had since moving to bern, one month ago now. Usually we dance monday to saturday in the company, saturday being half days, so it was great to have a full weekend.

I’m the type of guy who like’s making the most of what he has around him. I like exploring, finding new things, new places, new people, stuff that i’d otherwise perhaps not see, hear, meet.

Having spare time really makes you appreciate it, when it’s over a set amount of time, two days, you tend to pack as much as you can into that. I decided I wanted to go and do some exploring in the area near to where i live in bern. So Jack (fellow colleague), Clemens (whom i live with), and Adel ( my host families brother/step-brother) took the trusty old light blue VW van for a day excursion.

We left bern around 2pm, so not exactly an early start, but we all needed that extra sleep & rest time at home after the hard week! We drove for around three quarters of an hour, stopping off for petrol & ice cream at one point. One thing I forgot about travelling around europe by car is wherever you go, no matter the country all you hear is old british and american songs on the radio, followed by a short intermission by the ‘locals’. Amy McDonald, a fellow Scot, and musician for those that have yet to come across her, was playing on the radio, really nice to hear scottish music being played as we drove deeper into the mountains, through the ever smaller villages.

Arriving in Scharzsee, it instantly had a lasting impression on me. It is a lake, one you could walk around in less than an hour, surrounded by high rising mountains & tucked in with lots of cosy chalets. Apparently this place get’s a lot of people coming through in the winter season for skiing.

Taking a few pictures on my Nikon, we took our bags, snacks & water bottles we had brought and headed off for the ski lifts. 2007 was the last time I was on a Ski lift, when i visited my cousins who also live in Switzerland by Lake Walensee, so it was nice and refreshing to get back on them after such a time. They go much faster than i had remembered, and also take you rather high from the ground, not for those with a fear of heights!

A short trip later and with only a few para-glyders taking off from the hillside below us and some cows with those massive bells around their necks grazing, we arrived at the final stop for the ski lift, based at the bottom of the final mountain to go on and conquer it from there!

Standing on top of our perch, we took in the stunning views that greeted our eyes. The Valley below us stretching out further than the eye can see, the ever impressive alpine slopes adorned with evergreen forests, cows: the valiant makers of toblerone and gruyere, and those beautiful swiss chalets you see in postcards from Switzerland. It really was so nice and refreshing to see. Living in Bern is hardly anywhere near as mad as living in London was, but even still, getting out of the ‘city’ to such beauty and peace really does some good for the soul.

An hour or so later and we had descended to the bottom of the mountain and made our way to the shore by the lake. There is a beautiful half moon shaped pier jutting out into the lake, families and lovers sat dipping their feet into the crisp clean water below. It really is an impressive and somehow filling view to take in, people just happy with life, no outside worries, nothing matters, all that matters is now, in this moment, nothing else. A beautiful moment. The kind of stuff to hold on to for those rainy days we all have.

A nice paddle for me, the water was too cold & the doc has banned me from swimming for two weeks as i recover from my recent ear infection, was all i needed, jack and clemens settled for a refreshing swim and both looked happy as they exited the lake slightly shivering!

Into the van it was, and exhausted from the walk and sunshine that had been out earlier but hid behind the clouds for our walk, i fell asleep for a good part of the return journey.

We arrived home to a nice homemade soup and some good brown bread, the perfect combination & just the kind of hearty stuff one needs after such strenuous activity. After dinner it was a quick outfit change for the theatre, I was going with the family and Jack to see my first german play, Hamlet.

Taking place in the theatre in the same building we rehearse in, the show really impressed and connected with me. Even though i only understood parts of what was being said, the intensity & conviction of which these actors played their roles really struck a note with me and I was happily clapping along for the good ten minute curtain call that theatre’s love to take over here in europe!

A few glasses of wine, and complimentary sandwiches later, it was time for Jack and I to depart and commence the next part of our adventurous day! So onto the bikes it was, and a short ride later we arrived at the venue for our saturday nights entertainment. Our host was Marion, a friend and colleague from the company, who lives in a lovely big house with a big garden in which had been erected a gazebo, bar, seats & ping pong table! Our host lives with a few arty types by the looks of the friends they had also invited, it was a nice chilled atmosphere and everyone was enjoying themselves.

Lots of deep discussions about life and a good few games of ping pong followed, some nice european music was playing, had to get up at one point and put the vengaboys on to raise the spirits and tone of the party it was all getting a but to deep and philosophical! all very nice and it has its place, but saturday nights are for enjoying!

I went upstairs from the garden to the living room where two swiss girls where sitting and sat with them and got chatting about all sorts. It was really quite by chance, but the girl i was sitting next to, name remaining annonymous at present, turned out to be rather a nice one. Cold at first, as all Swiss are to ‘outsiders’, she quickly warmed to me and the conversation was flowing, going from what we both did for work to our backgrounds and what made us tick in the right ways.

It’s funny because i came into it genuinely wanting to just chat to some new people, not thinking anything like wanting to chat them up etc, and I ended up chatting to this one girl for ages! we just seemed to click rather well. Not having a swiss mobile yet, she suggested i connect with her via the ever amazing medium of facebook, and that we meet up soon to go dancing and get to know each other.

Finding a girl with a german name on facebook is hard. There are so many people with the same spelling, different variations on it, i read lots of forums about how to search by city, via friends in common, doing as many things as possible to narrow it down and find her! This seriously took some amount of time, but i wasn’t giving up that easily, and having stumbled accross a boy with a different spelling of the same surname as her, i knew i just had to change the spelling for that and i would find her. I did.

So ….. feeling quite happy about all that, and thinking up what to say in the first ‘hello’ message to her.

All this searching took place this afternoon, i’ve been housebound by the rain that has been lashing down. Which has actually been quite nice, i’ve managed to get a washing done, and it’s been good to just relax at home with nothing to do. I was going to see the premier of The Flying Dutchman this evening, but I and the family I live with are all to tired and decided we shall go during the week.

As this weekend draws to a close, i think to the week ahead.

Monday holds a open rehearsal for our ‘ballet friends’, wednesday see’s another open rehearsal this time for the general public followed by a wine tasting evening. Still to sort out visa’s and all that official nonsense, so that too ought to be done this week.

Rehearsals by the way, and we/the company, that i have been referring to are for Ein Winternachts Traum, a Winternights Dream, and Bern Ballet the company I am now an apprentice for.

The show is based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, with a winter take on the whole thing, rehearsals have bee good so far, challenging and lots of things to learn but i’m really pushing myself and learning so much from my peers and from the experiences i’m having.

More to come on life in the company and the show which premieres in Bern Novermber 3rd should you or someone you know be in the area.

Untill the next time, adios my friend.

Matthew

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