I don’t feel like narrating much this time. These are just some pictures from 3 separate days of walking. The top most was the best, weather wise. The other two days were gloomy. Zürich is a very lovely city.
The month of May is going to be really busy. German class has started again, but this time it’s intensive. The worst part is getting up early. Every night I have Spätzli to tend to, and by the time I get to bed, it’s nearly 1am. It’s a real struggle to not have dark puffy eyes every morning. Why couldn’t they have afternoon intensive classes as well? I would pounce on those in a heartbeat.
I ended up taking a Perlsacktier friend to class with me one day. His name is Herzig, the Swiss word for “cute” and “hearty”! He is a raccoon with purple stripes.
The entire week since class started, Michael was away at a conference in Paris. I was so lonely, and I must say that I hardly looked after myself when it came to meals. I was so relieved when he returned. We had a fun time out on Saturday. The above photo was taken at our bus stop in Affoltern. The tree is so beautiful with its pink flowers. So many other trees had red leaves; they reminded me of autumn.
I took another Perlsacktier out with us, this one called Hubert, the spotted goat. We found a new large white Furby plush at Manor. It’s surprising how much cheaper some toys are at Manor (department store) compared to Franz Carl Weber (specialist toy store). I couldn’t resist.
Finally, we had a short break sitting on a bench and watching people go by. Later that day, we watched Iron Man at Kitag (cinema). Yes, we love action movies. They are worth the money spent, if only for their loud sounds and visual effects.
Now to study for Monday’s German test. Argh!
When Daylight Savings Time began just days ago, it became very difficult to even see my little guy. He would start coming out at 1.30 am, which would be impossible for me to manage in the long run. I was worried, unsure of what to do.
Yesterday, I decided to wake up earlier to see him before he retreats to his bed. I got up at 8am on the dot, and there he was, running on his wheel. I took him out, got some photos, fed him his treats. I noticed that he hardly ate the vegetables and nuts, instead storing them in his pouches. He was also too excited or in a hurry for some reason; He didn’t want to sit still. It was basically no fun seeing him before he went to bed.
I did notice one other thing. I opened up my curtains to let some light in, and after I locked his cage doors, he gathered some dry food, had a drink and then went into his burrow for the day. The bright daylight signalled to him that it was time for bed. So… I figured this was how I could train him to get up earlier at night. My brown curtains were always closed until I woke up; They must have been too dark all along.
Since he went to bed early after I opened the curtains, he got out earlier at night, more in line with the time he used to wake up. Success! Last night, I opened up my curtains just before I went to bed. I think this is the only way to get him up earlier, but I’m now happy there’s a trick to this. Hopefully, he’ll soon even wake up before midnight.
I think I made a mistake with my ‘oil is my friend’ post. I used the Le Petit Marseillais body oil as a replacement for body lotion. After around two weeks, I realised it wasn’t really working any longer. My skin felt like it was cracking with a pinching pain all over my arms. I even tried spraying more oil, but that didn’t seem to make it any better. It didn’t absorb and left an oily mess on everything I leaned on. The rest of my body was also really dry and peeling in some areas.
OK. I ran out that same day to get some body lotion. In my haste, I bought something my sister had tried and said it was fine, but I personally never tried before. It was the Garnier Intensive 7 Days lotion. If you are really peeling, this isn’t the thing to use. I found that out the hard way. The day after that, I decided to get a body butter in a tub instead, something thicker. Being a cheapskate that won’t pay triple for Body Shop butters, I decided on I am natural Body Butter, a brand that I found in my local Migros supermarket. I always choose Shea whenever I can, as it’s supposed to be the most moisturising. As soon as I opened it up at home, I was happy. It was a thick butter that was guaranteed to get good results. By then, Michael had already threatened to slap Body Shop butters right onto me if this didn’t work!
I still used the Garnier lotion all over, followed by the thick Shea butter on areas most needy. The thick butter would be very difficult to spread if used alone, so I think applying the lotion first was the best idea.
Fast forward three days, my skin is all back to normal. I still use the body oil sometimes, for that extra boost. Now I know that it’s not meant to be a replacement; It’s a supplement. The same goes for The Body Shop Hemp Hand Oil. I now use it after I apply a lotion or cream first. Oh, how shameful. After that raving review, I feel like a complete failure. You had better not take my advice too seriously!! Although, I recently rubbed that Schwarzkopf hair oil onto my scalp after some slight itchiness, then washed as normal, and it worked like a charm.
As you know by now, we have a hamster!
We originally wanted to have mice, so they could fit into the smaller Ferplast cages. However, we could not find any mice to adopt. It is not a pet that is popular in Zurich. We even looked for breeders, but there were none. So, we chose the next best: a Syrian hamster. They live alone, which is a plus. Even though I wanted a pet, I didn’t want to be overrun like before.
Originally, I wanted to get one from a breeder, but I have no idea why we ended up choosing from a pet store instead. It was probably impatience! I did not know he was not tamed, until I saw him try to bite the shop assistant’s hand. Oops…. but it was too late to change our minds. We adopted Spätzli on 4th February, and had to work hard to get him to trust us, or rather, me. I deal with him the most. He is black and white with short hair, and he was already 7 weeks old at the time of adoption.
At first, the very sound of my voice scared him. Then, changes in my voice scared him. After that, my angry voice scared him when he bit me. He slowly got used to me, but still didn’t like being picked up. I bribed him with treats of fresh veggies and almond pieces, and only gave them to him when he sat on my hands. If he did not let me hold him, there would be no treats.
Fast forward five weeks, and we have one tamed little cutie that really has an odd schedule. He would only get up after 12 midnight, and would be in bed by 8.30 in the morning. Since I am no early riser, I wait until after midnight to see him. I change his dry food and water just before midnight, so these noises wake him up gently. If I have to do some cleaning of his cage, I would wake him up earlier by lifting his house. It’s evil and I don’t like doing it, but I cannot clean his place at 12 in the morning! It’s a good thing he doesn’t really soil his home like rats and mice would. I just need to change his tissue paper bedding and perhaps scoop out a bit of his litter. He is the cleanest pet I have ever had.
That brings me to the topic of his litter. I did some reading, and found that using soil is very effective in cutting down smells. Others have tried it with good results. The soil absorbs urine and masks smells, just like in nature. Of course one can’t use garden soil because of all the insects and fertilisers present. What I use is compressed soil blocks you can get at the reptile section of the pet store. I used Plantation Soil by Exo Terra. I expanded the bricks with water, then partially dried off the soil by airing some in broad, shallow containers. Baking would be faster and better since it also kills insects and germs, but it requires much more work, and you could potentially end up with a dirty oven. I give my little guy a lice, mite and worm treatment, so I’m not too troubled by simply air-drying the soil. I also mix his soil litter with bark and wood chips, which seems to work fine too.
We also got a Wodent Wheel for him, which he absolutely loves. He uses it every night after our play time. He is a pro runner!
I also give him back rubs while he lays on my lap. He loves it! It’s so fun to see him stretch, yawn and grind his teeth while on my lap.
In the above photo, you can see he has the cutest little lower jaw which is white, while the rest of his head is black. To me, this makes him look like a little guinea pig! <3
Here is one last flattering midnight photo of Spätzli, but not so flattering for me:
A few years ago, I would have never put anything to do with oil on myself. I always thought it would cause breakouts, and would be much like rubbing on cooking oil. In the case of hair oil, I thought it would make my hair look lank and unwashed. **Cue the pictures of girls with flat, oil-slicked hair which have probably not been washed for weeks.**
Body lotions, hand creams, leave-in conditioners and serums were what I used to moisturise with all these years. I did not know the wonders that a bit of oil could do.
I started off with hair oil first. I chose the Schwarzkopf Oil Elixir (shown below). I rubbed a small drop onto my scalp before washing, because my mother, a medical doctor, told me perhaps my scalp eczema was caused by a build up of dirt, skin, or shampoo/conditioner which required some oil to dissolve. It helped, but as soon as my scalp healed, I forgot to continue doing it. What I did continue to do was use the oil on my hair daily. I really love how it made my hair shiny, smooth and hydrated. It works much better than hair serums I used in the past. Perhaps the argan oil ingredient really makes a difference.
After the success with hair oil, I decided to try body oil too. I think this body oil by Le Petit Marseillais is terrific. It contains shea, argan and almond oil, giving it a divine fragrance. Absorbs into the skin quickly. I need it because I have dry arms from constant washing. I wash up to my elbows after doing household cleaning, otherwise I may get allergic reactions. One spray of this oil is just perfect, and my skin is buttery smooth again. I am now using it in place of body lotion, too. This bottle is likely to last longer than the same amount in lotion, because you only need to use a little. It’s great value!
I couldn’t resist The Body Shop Hemp Hand Oil either, since I had a coupon for 10% off! I always love indulging in hand treatments. I use one drop for both hands. Instant softness! It does leave a slight oily feel, but I’ve grown to like that… it means my hands are nicely hydrated.
The next thing I may try is an oil facial cleanser, but since I read so many positive reviews on Clinique’s 3-step system, I will be giving that a go first. Manor.ch is having a CHF20 rebate this week, yay!
What are your thoughts on using oils on your skin as opposed to lotions and butters? Have you already known all about body oil while I still lived under a rock?