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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

tara onions

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

This perfect light, golden tones all around and cooler temperatures gently ease us into this new season of Autumn. The summer bedding is fading but trying to hang on continuing to perform in the sunshine, the summer veggie plot is almost at an end with the soft herbs going to seed and the green tomatoes fooling us into thinking that they may ripen on the vine (they will not), the lawn is showing signs of worm casings and a scattering of colourful leaves greets us ever morning – a time of change.

It has to be said that this summer was really fantastic, long days of warm sunshine, almost enough rain to keep the lawn green and that perfect blue sky. A hot summer like this reminds me to take a closer look at my garden. It brings to the forefront the areas I will need to concentrate on when the guests have departed and the rosé is finished. And so the list begins; add even more mulch to keep greater moisture in the beds, explore even more fully hardy but drought resistant perennials to reduce watering, reconsider the choice of planting for the vegetable plot when a holiday is planned – goodness I’m beginning to see a pattern, all of these issues revolve around water, the lack of rain and the need to irrigate. This may have something perhaps everything to do with the fact that I have a south facing garden on a hill with clay soil. Oh the work!

hotelvalrose 6974

By Sunita Sehmi, Walk The Talk

The Hotel Valrose in Rougemont, Switzerland is a delightful property, located a few minutes from the ski slopes in Switzerland's Lake Geneva region. It was constructed in 1904 to coincide with the opening of the Montreux-Oberland Bernois railway in the Pays-d'Enhaut district. The hotel is being managed by Florian Carrard, a former chef at the Lausanne Palace. This venture was the idea of Jean-Jacques Gauer, a former director of the Lausanne Palace, and Edgar Bovier, executive chef at the Palace. I was very fortunate to spend a weekend there and interview one of the investors, John Grohe, a business man with a soul and a deep desire to connect communities. I hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did.

What was the idea behind revamping, redesigning and rejuvenating the Valrose and how did the project become a reality?

My brother and I have always had a deep connection to Rougemont, as our father has been living here for many years, and thus spent a lot of time here with our own families. For all the residents, and us, seeing this establishment closed was a real shame. The discussion to define the project began in 2013, with our friend Edgard Bovier (Chef at the Lausanne Palace, and Rougemont resident) and Jean-Jaques Gauer (former Director of the Lausanne Palace), and later on a couple more partners. It did not take much time for us to be convinced and motivated to rehabilitate the Valrose – as the land was acquired in 2014. We are all lovers of the village and of good food, so it was important for us to create something reflecting that.

dean electric muscle stimulation

By Dean Marriott

This summer I made the move from Morges to Berlin.  After 4 years in Switzerland, the time was right for a change.

I had bought my apartment in Berlin some 10 years ago with the intention of one day taking advantage of this wonderful city.  Having studied in Germany as part of my undergraduate program, I always knew that eventually I would return and hopefully revive my hibernating language skills.

The curious thing about language is how dynamic it really is – it evolves without you even noticing.  That is unless you have been out of that linguistic framework for some 25 years!  Indeed, it’s proving difficult to substitute my antiquated German expressions for the modern parlance, especially when it feels that I am adopting the persona of an MTV presenter, injecting apparently ‘cool-sounding’ English words into an otherwise standard German phrase. I never thought that I would feel empathy for the Académie française, but sometimes I can’t help it.

Anyway, as part of my integration into my new world, I felt that I should embrace change wholeheartedly. So, what better way to face this head on than to join a gym.  But not just any old gym.  Oh no.  This is a gym where I only need to (in fact I am limited to) attend a maximum of 3 times per week for a maximum duration of 20 minutes per session.  Sceptical?  I certainly was.  So, I signed up for a free trial.

Samoens in snow

by Gareth Jefferies, Alpine Property

We often get asked what the weather is like in the Alps. And where we get our forecast from. There are loads of resources available. I rarely use just one, I get used to putting them together to get an overview of the situation.

Our favourite forecast is from an amateur forecaster in Chamonix, it's good for most of the Haute Savoie. We find it works fine in St Gervais, Samoens and Morzine too.

We often use Snow-Forecast for long term trends, it's free up until 6 days however don't get too hung up on the actual numbers. It should be renamed rain-forecast in the summer.

gareth blog weather chart

And then MeteoBlue, this goes into more depth and forecasts further into the future.

If you want to get back to basics then there is always the pressure charts. The best are probably from the Met Office.

gareth blog weather chart 2

For a more micro idea of the current rain/snow there is a real time radar, this is great for picking dry periods between showers.

gareth blog radar

Webcams in the Haute Savoie.

When things are a bit grey in the valleys, we use the webcams to see what is happening on the mountain!

When there is a thunderstorm it can be fun seeing where the lightning is striking. This site shows the real-time strikes and is very accurate.

Author's bio

Alpine Gareth 200Gareth Jefferies left the West Yorkshire Police in 1999 to make a new life for himself and his wife in the mountains.  A keen skier, with a love for all mountain activities, he really appreciates the distinct seasons that you get in this region. He now has 3 children, all of whom love the outdoors - indeed one is aiming to compete for France as a Biathlete in the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne!

Responsible for marketing and technology at Alpine Properties, a French-registered estate agency with bilingual agents located all over the French Alps, Gareth is usually the first contact you will have the company. He is always happy to discuss your project with you, usually by email, suggesting various properties and making appointments.

www.alpine-property.com

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Claire Doole Metal Packaging Europe AGM
Metal Packaging Europe, AGM, Lisbon

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

A straw poll of colleagues and clients confirmed my view that people often confuse the different roles.

I frequently receive confused requests. Not so long ago, I was asked to moderate when in fact after some discussion the client and I agreed they needed instead a Master of Ceremonies. Another client contacted me to moderate, but in fact what they required was a Master of Ceremonies and facilitator.

When organizing an event, how do you make sure you get the right person for the right job?

Some broad definitions to keep in mind:

  • A moderator guides the discussion, often but not always in a panel format.
  • A Master of Ceremonies is responsible for the "show* - the whole event as it unrolls on the day.  
  • A facilitator is responsible for a process - helping people make decisions and achieve results.

While there are differences in responsibilities, there is a common base of skills across the three roles: you need someone who is neutral, is a good listener, and is a clear and confident communicator.

The nuance is that the different roles require more of one skill over another. By understanding this difference, you can be sure that you have hired the right person for the right job.

From my experience, here are the prerequisites: