Last year it took him 20 minutes to lose his head which predicts a late and cool summer. Well, I can tell you that this young men’s prediction was as true as the assumption that the earth was flat. Summer of 2015 was coming early, stayed for long and bestowed a tropical heat upon us. Just great.
This year’s snowman was barbecued last Monday (April 18) and he probably intended to make it to the Guinness book. On a rainy day he entertained people for 43 min until he finally lost his head.
If I still believed in such predictions I would now be on my way to buy a fur coat expecting to see penguins any minute.
I typically write two articles per week. Although, I claim to be an organized person who can set priorities, my writing performance has been rather lousy lately.
Normally, my job (I work for PwC), my personal life and my blog get along quite well and I am very happy with all of it. Normally. Don’t get me wrong; I am still happy but things gained an unexpected momentum.
Some weeks ago I mentioned here that I will visit Paris. When this date was set the planning seemed to be perfect. However, meanwhile a very important milestone in the project I lead has been fixed and for a moment it looked as if I had to shift the trip to Paris. But – much to my delight – it turned out that no rescheduling for Paris is required.
But between now and Paris I am moving house, which adds some dynamics (aka chaos) to the situation. And it leaves me with very little time.
I am able to do justice to my job, my removal and myself but not to my blog. Given I am a person who does not believe in compromises I will interrupt my writing for some weeks and promise to be back mid-December.
Do you remember that we spoke about the spring holidays and the snowman that predicts the summer weather?
We also established that the snowmen’s predictions are most of the times wrong. This year the forecast was particularly bleak. And particularly wrong.
Much to my delight we had a wonderful spring and a phenomenally sunny and hot summer so far. This year, Switzerland (and probably other countries in Europe, too) experienced the hottest summer since 1850; the year when they started collecting statistics.
Well, the majority of fortune tellers err and so do statistical projections of business tycoons. So what do we expect from a snowman.
Most of you will know that I live in Zurich. Moreover, I guess you have heard that Zurich is famous for its banks and for the Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most expensive places on the planet with fancy shops.
Zurich has been founded by the Romans who called it “Turicum”. Turicum already possessed a Roman customs authority. The only proof for this is a tomb stone laid for a Roman citizen who died in Turicum in 180 AC. Back to the Bahnhofstrasse which was definitely not a Roman creation but started its career as a water ditch that was home to frogs if we believe the name that translates into “Frog Trench” (Swiss German “Fröschengraben”) in the 12th century. Only in 1845 the city council decided upon the location of the main station (German: Bahnhof). Of course a place of such importance cannot be surrounded by frogs. Therefore the water ditch was covered and paved what resulted in an important street for carriages and later for street cars. Given so many wealthy people would use the new avenue it was bound to attract luxurious shops.
Besides the financial industry and the expensive shops Zurich keeps to traditions. The most important one is the spring holiday to celebrate the end of winter. It takes 4 days and always ends on the first Monday following spring equinox. So this year it was yesterday. Originally, this Monday was important for workers since their schedule changed. While they stopped working at 5 pm in winter their duty ended an hour later in summer. Therefore it is not surprising that this celebration has been organised by the guilds ever since. Today the guilds are a tradition and a status symbol much related to money and – as I heard – to a lot of alcohol during their gatherings. However, during this holiday (it is called “Sechseläuten” which relates to the bell that rings at 6 pm) all churches, official buildings and many big hotels are flagged, you will walk into marching bands wherever you go and the members of the guilds parade in traditional cloths. And what you see on the image above is not a war but the climax of this holiday.
On Monday at 6 pm they burn a snowman – the symbol for the winter – on the stake while the members of the guilds are galloping around it. Depending on the time it takes until the snowman loses his head summer is predicted to be very hot and dry or rainy and cool. The shorter the time the warmer and nicer the summer is supposed to be. Well, weather forecast is a tricky business and the snowmen do not live long enough to get accustomed to it. A look at the statistics tells us that most of the snowmen failed miserably with their prediction. This year it took the snowman 20 minutes and 39 seconds to lose his head.
The interpretation of this is not a great summer; meaning cool and not that much sun. But given the perfect and sunny spring weather we are enjoying these days nobody wants to believe in this oracle. I will report in a few months about the quality of our summer so we can update the statistics.
Bill Gates calls Warren Buffet not only a friend but describes him as very wise. Forbes tells us that he is insanely wealthy and people who claim to know him say that he was very frugal. Of course, I don’t know Mr Buffet but he seems a very energetic gentlemen to me.
Since some month ago I have been stumbling over many articles that deal with Mr Buffet’s diet. Apparently, he – unlike Popeye the Sailor – is not much into spinach and other healthy food but is a fast food junkie who drinks Coke for breakfast. The journalists are obviously not worried about the businessman’s health. After all it has taken him this far in life and the subject is simply a gap filler.
This week I read another article in a Swiss newspaper that went about Mr Buffet’s eating habits. Those are just the pretext to find fault in the fact that he is a major share-holder of the three large food factories. The journalist tries to disguise his envy by implying we could all meet an untimely death because we are stupid enough to follow Mr Buffet’s “coke-for-breakfast-habit”.
Well, Easter is approaching fast and chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies come along with it. So I hope 🙂 .
Although the nutrition facts for chocolate are rather shocking I have no intention to give up on it. Neither is my espresso consumption what the doctor ordered. Botanically, I could argue that coffee belongs to the family of berries and is therefore a fruit.
If I owned a large and famous chocolate factory I could eat as much chocolate as I wanted. It would even be for free and I could stop blogging because journalists spread the word about what I consider my personal decisions. And maybe I would be sued for making a bad example for people who refuse using their common sense, eating sweets all the time.
Oops, just woke up from my day dream. Until further notice I will carry on blogging.