Browsing Posts published in December, 2012

Oh dear Finders I hope the holiday was kind to you. I took my own advice and ate all kinds of things I say are good for me (medical expertise aside)…

But the tale today is about what I didn’t eat: poultry. Neil and I planned a very quiet Christmas at home, lots of lounging in fleece and flannel, biding our time until the Downton Abbey Christmas special aired. And can I just say the DA writers are trying to kill me, talk about thickening the plot. I’ll say no more for fear of the collective screaming and covering of eyes that have yet to see Season 3.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand—birds. We thought while a turkey was overkill for dinner for deux, a roast chicken seemed just the thing for our first Swissmas. We set off to the grocery store, and, as with every purchase here in the land of luxury, we carefully checked the prices before making any commitments. Continue reading “Where the Streets are Paved with Poultry” »

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A Womb with a View

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Well mes amis, I am reborn, delivered from the depths into this new life. No heels at ungodly hours. No parents hootin’ and hollerin’ at youngsters all hours of the day. No hipster crashing about the apartment next door like an inebriated elephant. While certainly we have some stompers above us, the situation is markedly improved. Be advised, these are early days, so I reserve the right to freak out at the slightest deterioration.

I fit in the shower (trust me, not always has this been the case), the washer and dryer fit in the bathroom, the kitchen feels enormous (by European standards) and the heating is sufficient to defrost the icy pontoons found at the end of each of my legs.

We even have this intercom/phone/buzzer thingy—how it works is anyone’s guess. I do know that it functions not only as the ringer for the main door of the building, but also as our apartment doorbell. Well, I know that now. Continue reading “A Womb with a View” »

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Total Net Birth

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So, a little while ago, something called The Economist Intelligence Unit (don’t ask me) revealed the “best” countries for a child to be born in next year. Number 1? Switzerland. Sweet Jaysus, not only do I have to move again, now I have to have a baby sometime in 2013. Canada was #9, so my fellow Canucks, you all better get yourselves knocked up ASAP.

The analysis was based on a quality of life index that includes factors like crime, job security and, of course, wealth. And there’s no denying it: the Swiss are rich. The cost of living is as high as the Alps, but so are the salaries. The tax structure here is kind to the super-rich, which probably explains why Shania Twain lives up the street from us (no, I haven’t seen her taking out the trash yet). Continue reading “Total Net Birth” »

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A Clean Slate

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Incredibly (or maybe predictably is the right word), I find myself packing up my belongings yet again. I’m up to my very high arse with all things moving this week, so if I were you I wouldn’t expect the usual level of brilliance you find here three times a week.

Ah yes, a fresh start to this Switzerland stage of my mid-life mayhem, that’s just what the doctor ordered. Bring it on I say. I’m tired of being tired and it’s time to get back to bitching and moaning about French grammar instead of my unruly voisins.

And, just as I suspected, I am indeed the centre of the universe. Taking a cue from me, Mother Nature herself has decided to start anew with the first snowfall of the year here. She blustered into town, a giant windbag motivated solely by her own selfish needs. Hmm, reminds me of someone.

On the whole, I am not a lover of winter. The perpetually cold hands and feet, the slip-sliding around, the down-filled layers, plus, I look ridiculous in a wool toque. But there’s something magical about a sparkling white world, especially in this corner of it.

I was trudging home from the gym when I paused to take in this scene. It’s the same walk I always take, but it was so silent and serene; the light was different, the smell was different, anything unsightly was hidden from view. To me, it was a perfect moment.

Looks peaceful doesn’t it? Maybe it’s a sign of things to come. I hope so. I’m counting on this being the storm before the calm.

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Laughing My Ass Off

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A while back I asked you to send me photos of the blook from wherever it happened to find itself. I had a grand time watching it travel around the world like that garden gnome on TV, everywhere from St. Pierre et Miquelon to Paris to Memphis to Morocco. And now I have yet another exotic locale to add to the list: Corsica!

Folks who have read the book will know that I love asses, by that I mean donkeys, and that I used to live across the street from a lively character named Jean-Claude. And here now are two of my favourite creatures, together at last…

JC and Anouch, the Corsican donkey. She’s taking a well-deserved break from her job as head wood carrier for the village.

Clearly, she thinks it hilaaaarious, a right hee-haw. I’ve never been to Corsica, but now I might have to head out there to greet my devoted fan. Gotta love that JC. Anyone else got one for me?

And speaking of books and hilarity, here’s a website for a bookseller that must be seen. It’s a one-stop shopping place for the wackiest books you’ve never heard of, like How to Live in Your Van and Love It, How to Make Love While Conscious and the classic C is for Chafing. Someday I’ll find myself there, I just know it.

 

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