Browsing Posts published in February, 2013

Eat, Pray, Text

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Despite perhaps glaring evidence to the contrary (lounging about the home for over 2 years), I’m not much of a homemaker. Oh I can tackle toilet cleaning like it’s a gold medal event, but the rest of it remains beyond my grasp. A woman’s place is in the revolution I always say, and in our house there’s a corollary for a man’s place: the produce aisle. He who cooks has to get the groceries.

But every now and then, I tag along. When you don’t have to worry yourself with melon thumping and bread squeezing, you have time to have a look around at the coming and goings of people, an interesting pastime for foreigner like me. Not long ago, I was intrigued by some unexpected shoppers: monks.

Perched high above Vevey is a Buddhist monastery, and for some reason I was surprised to see the faithful in the aisles of the local Migros chain store (as opposed to their food magically appearing by meditating really hard). They were all robes and smiles and shaven heads, and I found myself following one of them—one could say stalking, I say casually observing. I figured if I could just see what they were buying, I could duplicate the purchases and eat my way to inner peace. Continue reading “Eat, Pray, Text” »


I’ll tell you one thing, upheaval is good for a marriage. We haven’t talked to each other this much for years—occasionally fretful, rarely fractious and often funny debates about the next phase of the Big Adventure that extend into the wee hours. All this between being joyous and serene. Oh, and a big merci for all the encouraging comments. Worry not dear Finders, we are doing just fine. It’ll all work out for the different.

Anyway, here’s the deal: I’m taking this blog down to twice a week. Now just stop with the moaning and the whining. You try churning out these doodles while giving your already twice made over life a full re-do. Cripes, I couldn’t make this merde up if I tried, but just because I’ve got a delicious influx of plot doesn’t mean that I have the time to narrate it. You’ll still get all the sordid details of this small but occasionally interesting life.

So, after this week, I’ll be here Mondays and Fridays as usual, but Wednesdays you’re on your own. You’ll be so busy finding solutions for me that you won’t even notice, the most obvious one being the richest of you decides to pay me to write about nothing (hey, it worked for Seinfeld) and everybody’s happy. Continue reading “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” »


Stranger than Fiction

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Honestly, sometimes I think the universe sends me crap to deal with as a way of encouraging me to keep writing. Sure, a minor life crisis is great blog material, but truth be told, I don’t need to suffer for my art. I’d be more than happy to press on with little stories about whatever mundane foolishness happens to be rattling around in my head.

Well, all I can say is I had it coming. I asked for this. Why just the other day I said to Neil, “What in the name of god am I going to put on that blog next week? You cooked, I ate, end of story.” Neil, as usual, didn’t have too much to say, but the universe said a mouthful. “Here, I got something for you: a total shitstorm. More uncertainty and existential angst than you can shake a stick at. Think of the fun people will have reading about that!” Continue reading “Stranger than Fiction” »


Overnight Sensation

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So there we were, living our dreamy yet slightly risky Swiss life. Risky because any time a couple lives on one self-employed income in a foreign (and expensive) country, well, there’s always the chance that things can change quickly, leaving said couple in a precarious position. One day we were rolling along on our skin tight budget. And then, literally overnight, as they say in my homeland, “There it was…gone.”

Neil’s major source of income, a beloved Canadian company for whom he worked joyfully for 15 years, has decided to close—a sad event for all involved. We’ve always known this could happen, and that uncertainty was a point of discussion at every point along the way in our Big Adventure Abroad. Continue reading “Overnight Sensation” »


So, yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I have to admit my sweetheart did not disappoint. Oh now I know you think I’m going to regale you with a tale of romance done Rusty style. Please. I live in Switzerland where they sell the world’s best chocolate in gas stations, I get dinner handed to me 7 nights a week, and I haven’t worked for over 2 years. What’s left?

No, my monsieur knows me very well. The path straight to my heart was in his good morning greeting, “Happy One Billion Rising Day.” See, for me it doesn’t get any better than that.

In case you missed it, V-Day, an organization dedicated to ending violence against girls and women, challenged every human being on the planet to refuse to accept that 1 in 3 females are subject to violence in our lifetimes. That’s a billion people, and that’s a billion too many.

Yesterday, sisters (and brothers) everywhere answered the call to Rise, Strike and Dance and it was beautiful. I’ll take rights and respect over roses any day.

Continue reading “Dance Like Everyone is Watching” »


The Sands of Time

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Well, given the long awaited arrival of the Finding Me in France e-book, my delightful former French neighbour and ambassador of adventure (and book promotion), Jean-Claude returns just in time.

He sent me this photo and I wondered whether he’d joined the French delegation to Mars…

but then I realized space travel would be far too boring for JC. I mean does this look like a man who would be caught dead in a spacesuit?

This is the Sahara desert and I’d say Jean-Claude looks like the King of it all. He dragged his FMIF copy along (god love him) to make introductions: Modern book of doodles, meet some of the very first doodles ever recorded.

He sees this as the earliest blog in existence, and he may be right. I’m proud to be associated with this unknown ancient storyteller. I’m thinking we have a lot in common, perhaps we’re kindred spirits or at least kindred giraffes…

It’s amazing to think about someone sitting in the Sahara desert thousands of years ago carving out their world for all to see. Maybe we haven’t changed all that much. I bet if he looked hard enough, he’d find there’s a rock out there with a perfect depiction of an arse and a red-headed husband. Merci JC, you’re the best!



Say it Again Sam

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Well, it’s time for another language rant. You have to agree it’s been a while. Let me preface this whole thing by freely admitting that I am a ridiculous person. That’s never stopped me before, won’t stop me now. I say ridiculous because I still expect to be visited by the French Fluency Fairy who will sprinkle glitter on my tongue while I sleep, allowing me to wake and recite Balzac and Baudelaire with ease.

I’ve been so busy marvelling at mountains, moving apartments, zipping up to Zurich, and starving half to death while Neil was away that I haven’t so much as blown a bit of dust off my French study books. And yet, I walked into a computer store in French speaking Switzerland and assumed all would be well. Continue reading “Say it Again Sam” »


This Just In

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Cripes, it’s like CNN over here. We interrupt this blog break to bring you breaking news. Finding Me in France (the book, not the now multiple award-winning blog) is going into its third printing. It should be done on or about February 19 and available at Indigo, and fine independent bookstores across Canada. Not in Canada? Well, hold on to your chapeau

The even bigger news is this:

The e-book is here!!

Now you can have stories about my arse and over 140 colour pictures wherever you happen to be. So Facebook it, Tweet it, Pinterest it and, in a nod to old times, tell all your friends.


The Trophy Wife

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A few weeks back, I received notice that I was shortlisted for the 2012 Canadian Weblog Awards in not one, but two categories: Best Blog by an Ex-Pat and, drumroll please, Best Written Blog. Well, you’re never safe from surprise ’til you’re dead.

The first was thrilling, doubly so because I actually won this award last year. To be nominated and then shortlisted again, well, a lovely surprise that. But the second was even more exciting. I was stunned to see my doodle collection being recognized for the quality of the writing.

Mostly I don’t give a merde about awards and accolades or uninhibited criticism for that matter, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stuffed with squealy delight to have been whittled down to one of the top 5 best written blogs in Canada. I had visions of trying to load the washer while wearing a tiara, a huge bouquet of red roses in one hand and the Stanley Cup in the other.

Well, late last night, the results came in and SWEET JAYSUS I’M DOUBLE FISTED!! First place in BOTH categories—moi! I’m speechless, well, figuratively. I’m not one to blow my own horn much, but I’d say congratulations are in order. I should say I’m humbled and honoured and all that crap. Too bad, I’m running with this for all it’s worth. Cripes, poor Neil, there’ll be no dealing with me now.

Seriously, though, it is an honour and my sincere thanks to the judges and to Elan Morgan (aka Schmutzie) who runs the awards. Another big merci to Scott McCulloch, blog tech extraordinaire.

Of course Best of This or That really doesn’t matter. What means something to me is the fun I’ve had writing about my life as a French femme and now as a Swiss Missus. And what matters more is that you Finders have found me. The kindness and positivity and joy of this crowd is what deserves recognition. What we need is an award for Best Blog Followers on Earth—you’d all be wearing crowns and swigging champagne from gilded cups. Merci bien mes amis.

And now I’m taking a well-deserved break for a week. Don’t look at me like that or I’ll smack you with my Queen of the Blogosphere sash.


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