Where the cheese comes from

June 15, 2010, 3 Comments

A week is said to be a long time in politics, but for me the last few days have felt rather short. This time last week the big London launch was only a few hours away. It felt a bit like preparing for a wedding, thinking about the guest list, wondering if there was enough wine, ironing my shirt, suddenly realising I had to make a speech. And with 130 guests, I had a few butterflies.

And funnily enough the event itself was rather wedding-like, purely from my point of view. There were friends from all the different parts of my life, some of whom I haven’t seen for years or even decades, but I only got to chat with each of them for a few minutes. It would have been lovely to have more time to catch up but it was just great to see them at all. A book launch is a perfect way to find old friends. Forget about school reunions or Facebook – write a book and catch up with old friends that way. It’s much more fun!

London done, I’ve made the most of a few days off to discover parts of my own country that I have never seen. I may know Switzerland abnormally well but there are so many parts of Britain that are still waiting for me. Like The Dales. My knowledge of that part of Yorkshire is limited to certain TV series, so it was wonderful to ride on the Settle-Carlisle train, enjoy the green and pleasant land, and taste some cheese. Switzerland has its own version of The Dales, especially when it comes to the cheese.

Emmental cheese comes from a region of Switzerland to the east of Bern. At its heart is the River Emme, hence the cheese’s name, which becomes clear once you know that the German for valley is Tal. That isn’t too different from dale (and many English Ds become Ts in German, eg unter means under), making Emmental worryingly close to Emmerdale, though perhaps Wensleydale is a better analogy. After all, there aren’t many crashing planes, lesbian love affairs, exploding buildings or murders in peaceful Emmental. It is Switzerland, not a soap opera. The other big difference is that a nice bit of Wensleydale has no holes. I kind of miss the holes: they’re the best bit of Emmental cheese.

3 Comments on "Where the cheese comes from"

  1. swisswatching Tuesday June 15th, 2010 at 04:39 PM · Reply

    I have to admit to never having watched Emmerdale and to not particularly liking Wensleydale cheese, but I do love the Dales, the very beautiful Emmental area and the yummy cheese around the holes!

  2. Rahel Thursday June 17th, 2010 at 08:55 AM · Reply

    I started to read and like your blog and so far it gave me many amusing moments!
    Being a Swiss living abroad I experienced many similar things (just the other way around) and – ironically- somehow started to get to know my country better than when I lived there.
    Thanks for sharing your storries and making me giggle! I am already waiting for my mother to send me your book!

  3. Kim Friday June 18th, 2010 at 01:47 PM · Reply

    A belated thank you for a great evening – great to catch up with some old faces and scoff some Swiss cheese and chocolate. Hope sales of the book go well.

    Now then – nothing about Switzerland’s performance in the World Cup?!

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