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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!

irina schurov blog may 2018 2

By Dr. Irina Schurov, LiveRight

It may only be May, but the weather already feels like summer! Recently we have been blessed with beautiful sunshine and all of nature is responding with an abundance of blossom, colour and aroma! Many people are enjoying being outside meaning, of course, that the time has come to start thinking about protecting ourselves, and our loved ones, from the active sun by applying a variety of sunscreens. We think we are shielding ourselves and are doing the best for our children when we cover skin with a thick layer of sun cream. However, in truth, this isn’t quite the case. I am afraid I have to disappoint you and tell you that, actually, sunscreen is absorbed into the blood within the first few seconds of application. This makes it a huge contributor to general toxicity in the body.

First of all, sunblocks contain toxic ingredients that are endocrine disrupters, which cause many health issues including cancer, hormonal imbalances, neurological issues and behavioural problems in children. For example, many sunscreens contain the ingredient Oxybenzone, a commonly known hormone disruptor that is not recommended for use on children. It has been demonstrated that Oxybenzone has an estrogenic effect and can, therefore, promote the growth of cells, thus causing cancer.

Another harmful impact of Oxybenzone is that, by blocking all vitamin D, a vital contributor to hormone formation in the body, it causes even further endocrine disruption.

maison de tara sunita 2

By Sunita Sehmi, Walk The Talk

Snuggled in Chêne-Bougeries, La Maison de Tara offers an alternative to hospitalisation for people nearing the end of life who are unable to stay at home but wish to spend their final days in a non-medicalised atmosphere surrounded by warmth, care and tenderness…. a home from home. They offer to any person, young or old, who is seriously ill, a place to stay and be cared for in a family atmosphere. La Maison de Tara commits to bring each resident the same quality of care that a family can give.

I am very proud to say that I am part of the volunteer family at La Maison de Tara. I was welcomed and trusted to be part of the family from the very beginning. People say to me: “It must be so depressing to work there”. They could not be more wrong. The atmosphere is caring, loving and bright.

I sat down with the founder, Anne-Marie Struijk, and asked her to tell us more about her mission, her vision and her desire to let people die in a loving atmosphere.

I hope you enjoy the interview with the wonderful and wise Anne-Marie, who is also the spiritual care educator and President of La Maison de Tara, and if you like what you see please donate to this exceptional foundation.

tara april 2018

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

Wow! What a few weeks it has been. Gloriously warm temperatures, big blue skies, t-shirts and sun hats, winter a lifetime away – spring has really arrived, even though it feels like it could be summer. In Switzerland it this year it has been the warmest April for years and years, lucky us no? Or, perhaps not.

I’ve been having an amusing conversation with an Australian friend at the moment, I recently lamented that last weekend was just too hot for gardening (for me that is) and she just laughed and laughed, heat, she suggested, is what it feels like in the Australian desert! It is what we are used to I suppose but for me gardening a few weeks after Easter in 25c is just a little dramatic. I’d much rather a gentle increase in temperatures and enough time for me to acclimatize to the change in the weather. If nothing else this dramatic jump in “heat” leads me to think about the plants. There is a great gardening rule which is “right plant, right place” which means that every plant is a great plant so long as it is placed in its ideal spot, shade for shade loving, sunny for sun loving etc. Baking on my south-facing terrace this week has led me to think that I will give up on the lovely arrangement of cute little pots I’ve had there for the winter and only keep a few of the big ones. I promise to only plant heat tolerant, sun-loving beauties and shall retire the delicate plants and pretty small pots to the shed (sorry, cave) for the summer.

Claire Doole Soundbites blog
Photo credit: CartoonStock

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

As a journalist, I knew immediately what sound bites I would use in my radio or television reports for the BBC. They were the couple of sentences that made for lively copy and were instantly memorable.

What I may not have grasped in my rush to hit my deadline was that the speaker or in some cases their communications teams had carefully crafted that sound bite with the express intent that I would use it. They knew that sound bites serve as a perfect delivery vehicle for their key messages.

Speakers, who want their messages to be memorable, ensure that they plant at least one sound bite in their media interviews and speeches to illustrate their central idea. They then use them again in their Tweets as 280 characters are the equivalent of around 50 words or 17 seconds of speech.

liz forest PM blog

By Liz Forest, EMF Management

Renovating can be a stressful and challenging proposition, especially when you are going it alone. Don’t have the time, know-how or speak French fluently? Already have a vision for your ideal space but need someone skilled to make it a reality? If you are considering working with someone to plan or manage all or part of your renovation project, here’s a list of what you should expect from any good project manager (PM):

  1. First and most importantly, it is not all about them! Beware if during your initial meeting you hear nothing but “I”—as in “I would definitely…”; “I despise …”; “I strongly suggest…”; or “I can’t live without….”.  Ditto for shameless namedropping or strong or otherwise intimidating statements about fashion, trends, colours, style—unless of course you ask!

  2. They prioritize your taste and needs. A truly talented PM is able to guide you in making well-informed decisions and putting aside their own lifestyle and decorating choices to help translate yours into an implementable vision for the project. However, if you have seen and fell in love with their home or office, don’t hesitate to say you want it cloned!

  3. They have excellent communication skills.  Without a doubt, these include active listening; regular, precise written communications; and fluency in at least English and French. They should also be able to clearly interact in person, by phone or email with you and all service providers on the job.