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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!

Smiling storytelling image copy

By Claire Doole, www.doolecommunications.com

Until COVID-19 struck, my virtual training consisted of coaching over Skype for clients I couldn't meet face to face.

Today all my training is conducted virtually over numerous other platforms; clients highly rate the experience and learning and development departments are happy to be able to provide this opportunity for their staff's personal development while working remotely.

In the past 6 weeks, I have been running eWorkshops in writing, moderating, storytelling, presenting, media and job interviews and speechwriting.

This is what I have learnt about what makes a successful virtual learning experience.

EWorkshops not webinars

Clients are telling me they much prefer an eWorkshop, which is interactive and participatory rather than watching a YouTube video or attending a webinar, which is usually a PowerPoint Presentation with Q&A.

I know from my attempts to do yoga online that what I really miss is the individual feedback on what I am doing wrong!

With eWorkshops, participants can get that individual feedback just like in the face-to-face training room experience, as long as the group is no more than 8 people.

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dumplings followlisa

Click on image for the video recipe

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade Chicken and Dumplings! Everyone makes dumplings differently and, although these are not up to the standard of my Tennessee family, we still enjoy them!

stefanobook

by Katie Harwood, Haut-Lac International Bilingual School

As the weeks stretch on and we adapt to our live under COVID-19 isolation rules, children might be beginning to ask more questions about the situation – Why can’t we go back to school normally? When will this be over?

It is entirely normal that they show some apprehension as isolation continues. So how can parents talk to their children about this in a way that comforts them and addresses their questions fairly?

Ask them how they’re doing every once in a while
Sit your child down and talk them through what’s going on, to see how much they know and understand of the situation. By asking the simple question ‘how are you doing’, you are giving your child the chance to say as little or as much as they would like. You do not need to delve deeply into it if your child doesn’t want to, but you are letting them know you’re there and showing them that the door is open should they need it.

Listen and respect their emotions
It might seem like telling a child that everything is fine will be enough to bring them peace. However, that could stop them from digging deeper and explaining how they are really feeling. Instead, listen to everything they have to say and tell them that it’s okay, even normal, to have these feelings. They will come and go like trains into a station, but you will be there for them to talk about it whenever they need to.

Avoid exposing them to too much of the news, but don’t deny anything
The news is a steady cycle of figures and statistics, and constant exposure to it can be anxiety-inducing for anybody. If your child wants to be updated on the situation, don’t hide anything from them. However, there is also no need to play the news in a constant stream in the background.

Mitigate your own response
Children are very sensitive and intuitive. If you are particularly anxious or affected by what is happening (which is entirely understandable), try to maintain a calm outward demeanour around children or they might adopt and reflect your emotions.

treepeony 2020

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

The garden continues to be the constant in our lives. The beds need weeding, the lawn needs mowing, the seedlings need thinning, the climbing roses need tying in, the garden always needs work. I’ve spent much of these last weeks in my garden, like you certainly, watching the weather for much needed rain, pulling the weeds as they grow like crazy as soon as my back is turned. I have managed to spend longer periods of time in the garden as I’ve not been distracted by the general running around and jumping in the car that is my life. I’ve had time to consider things and to plan.

I’ve managed to replant the many plants that spend sometimes years in temporary pots around my garden. Plants that don’t quite fit where I want them, plants that I plan to move on to somewhere else in the garden or plants that I don’t have time to place somewhere more permanently. I dig them up and put them into a pot with new soil and try to remember to water them. I am constantly tripping over these lost souls, I even have a nursery shelf of plants waiting to find their forever home. Happily today I can say that many of them are now tucked into new places, at long last – I can almost hear them sigh.

My raised vegetable beds, I have six, are being slowly taken over by my new found love of dahlias. Out with the tomatoes and in with the cut flowers. I love dahlias but they really do take up a huge amount of space. I mentioned to my husband that I’d really like another two large raised beds for vegetables but he hasn’t seemed keen on this construction project and quickly returned to the safe haven excuse of getting back to the office for a call – in the next room! I’m going to have to work something out. I have planted so many seeds; edamame beans, spinach, courgettes, pumpkins, broccoli, kale, spicy salad mixes and Italian salad mixes, and I know there will be tomato plants once I get out to my tomato guy. With so much growing its a good job that all our summer plans are on hold – I’ll be busy in the garden for the duration.

The raspberries and blackberries are covered in flowers and looking healthy and strong but I always have a big issue with weeds. I garden on a hill, which is not ideal, this makes weeding a very slow and difficult job – trying to not fall down the hill demands a lot of concentration. Last year I tried a weed suppressant trick – weeding the base of the plants, adding compost, covering the compost with cardboard, dampening the cardboard before covering it with wood chips.

This year I’ve done the same just minus the cardboard – for me the cardboard didn’t work very well as it eventually migrated to the bottom of the hill. However, if you garden on the flat (lucky you) it will work brilliantly. The weeds have to work very hard to get through the cardboard and they become very leggy and easy to pull resulting in less weeding which I love.

snailinahole

Click on photo to see short video recipe

When I saw these spirally rolled sausages, I thought... hmmm, that would make a fun "Toad in a Hole". However, it resembles a snail so I've renamed it.