As for me, I had a long list of things I wanted to get done so just jotted them down as I thought of them and managed to knock out quite a number over the holidays. I even managed to get to IKEA and buy new mattresses for my bed - that is quite an achievement for me as while I love the products I hate the store - the heat, the crowds etc. While it was busy of course it was nowhere near as busy as if I had had to run in there after work or at the weekend. On top of that a haircut (finally) and I got to try out a new local massage place. What bliss. And while I know it is true, when I finally looked at the figures I was still shocked to see how much cheaper these things are in France than in Switzerland. For both the massage and the haircut things were about half price compared to Geneva. So I guess it is obvious why so many Swiss residents do their shopping over our side of the border! I also got to meet up with a friend of long-standing who had just come out of hospital and discovered a lovely new (to me) restaurant on "her" side of Lake Geneva. On the way out we passed a realtor and I nearly fainted when I saw the prices over that side. Crikey, because of the proximity to the international organizations, the banks and the big multinationals I would say prices are about two-thirds higher than over "my" side (i.e. south) of the lake. What's more, prices were hit in the recession and have actually come down. Jesus H. I looked at a couple of apartments (2, maybe 3 bedrooms) and they can run around €500-600,000 ($500-600,000)! It's no wonder rents are high in Geneva. And of course, I am still talking about France. To buy that same apartment in Geneva would set you back around CHF 1,500,000 ($1,600,000)!!!!! I kid you not! Prices over my side of the lake are considerably lower, although still not cheap by anybody's standards. I guess I won't be moving anytime soon then (not that I want to anyway - I love it where I live).
I didn't get to see my boys on Christmas Day, which was fine by me actually, because I hate having to do something just because it is a particular day, but they all came over on 29th December and it was really nice. I happened to be sorting out old photos before they came and they had great fun looking through them (as you do) and it was lovely to be with them. I only saw OH before Christmas as he was trying to be with his children, although it wasn't possible for him to see all of them unfortunately. Something he said was quite interesting though. He went to midnight mass in his local village on Christmas Eve and outside the small church there were two armed police officers. He happened to look up and in some kind of scaffolding/crane just next to the church and normally hidden from view was another police officer, also armed. How sad is it that we have to have armed police at our churches now.
New Year's Eve I spent quite happily on my own. I usually like to stay up till 1 a.m. our time to watch the fireworks in the UK but didn't quite make it this time. I think I was snoring my head off at 11.30! But all in all it was a lovely break.
So now it's back to work and time to take down the Christmas tree (I didn't get round to it before). Apparently the snow is on its way and we will have to knuckle down till the end of winter. But, if winter only starts in January I can hardly complain - it's just when it drags on for months and months that it gets me down. So on that note, I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Till the next time.