The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

I'm too old for this!

Crikey, what a week last week was! Apart from being incredibly busy at work it seems like all my "end-of-term" parties came about during the same week. I ended up going out every night since last Thursday, all day Saturday and Sunday and then again Monday and Tuesday. Problem is, while an evening out with the ladies from the sewing club ladies is just the thing for us adrenalin junkies, I ain't 25 any more. I remember when I first came to Geneva, I lived in the city itself as a single girl for five years and I never, ever, stayed home in the evenings -  not even once!  Quite an achievement but then I suppose I was that much younger right! But I am soooooo glad not to be going out tonight.

Last night was the final of my monthly patchwork lessons down in a place called Cluses. So far we have been making small projects designed to teach us different techniques and I have to say Lydie, the teacher, is excellent. When we go back in September we will start working on a jellyroll quilt and I am really looking forward to that. She did offer to do a couple of afternoon courses during the holidays where participants can make one of two tops, each aimed at teaching a different technique. So she asked anyone interested in participating to let her know which project they wanted to make along with their sizes so that she could get the appropriate patterns - small, medium or large!!! Well, I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this one can't you. Bloody hell, have you ever seen French women - they come in sizes "skinny", "extremely skinny" and "invisible"! I, on the other hand, need an "extra large" in France just to house my "womanly assets". Flaming hell, where they will be putting in bust darts I will be inserting tent poles! Somehow I think I won't be bothering with this particular course, all the more so since it will be given during the day time and I work full-time - thank God for that, is all I can say! Still, the thought of stripping off in front of a bunch of French women has bought home to me (yet again) how much weight I have put on in a relatively short space of time. I had started at Weight Watchers in January but then two deaths in the family in two months, and two trips back to the UK and I kinda got out of the swing of it and, to be honest, while I'm sure it works, I can't help feeling that Slimming World is much easier to follow and more effective.  But of course they don't have it over here and trying to do it online when you have as much willpower as a chocolate teapot just isn't going to cut it.

Anyhow, today at lunch I was talking about "Brexit" to a Scottish colleague and he said that finalizing the purchase of a house in Switzerland on Friday had been completely overshadowed by the vote. When I commented to him that it probably made financial sense for him to buy a house after many years of renting he said "oh, I bought it to lose weight"! Funny that, I'm sure a WW subscription is a helluva lot cheaper than spending 2 million Swiss francs on a house, but then what do I know! Anyway, he explained that since it is out in the country he will now be able to cycle to work and back every day, thereby getting a couple of hours of exercise in each day and hopefully losing about 10 kg in the process. I don't know about you but I still think a subscription to Weight Watchers would have been cheaper but who knows how the Scottish mind works! Anyway, idiot here then challenged him to see if we could both lose 10 kg by Christmas, so I guess we're on. I'll probably lose the bet as I swear it's easier for men to lose weight, but if the alternative means having to strip down to my bra in a sewing class and drag a hand-made marquee over my head, I think I'll go with the weight-loss challenge. Watch this space - I'm off to shave my legs before weigh-in!

Anyhoo, I'm not a football fan so haven't been watching the Euro 2016, but I have to say "well done Iceland"! What an achievement. Of course they knocked England out of the tournament a couple of days ago (and this from a country with a population of 320,000 people)! What can you say, except well done - I hope you go all the way (even if you have to forgive them for using up all the vowels in a game of scrabble)! And blimey, well done England - fancy leaving Europe twice in one week. Again, what an achievement!

Talking of Brexit, I was up at my son's the other night discussing what we plan to do when Brexit comes into force (if it ever does - but that's another story). There is no rush of course but we pretty much agreed that we will both apply for French citizenship. There is no problem with being an Anglo-French dual national, but I did check that there would also be no problem for him having Franco-American citizenship - and it seems that there won't. Blimey, he'll have to buy a new handbag for all those passports!  It's not so much a problem for my other son as he both lives and works in Switzerland, but son number two and I are both in France. Anyway, when leaving his place you come out onto a landing and are immediately faced with a field as it is quite rural. And in this field are a couple of (very noisy) donkeys. Actually, aren't all donkeys bloody noisy - we have had all manner of beasts in the field behind my house and donkeys do seem to take the gold medal in the noise-making Olympics - even worse than a randy bull, in my expert opinion.

I guess it must be something about my family then that seems to attract donkeys, as my parents' home in Dorset backed onto a field where the owner kept a couple of donkeys - Bailie and Mary. Aaaaahhhh! I remember my dad used to go to the back fence and throw apples for them from the tree in his back garden. Anyway, one day he got it into his head that Bailie was getting more apples than Mary and "it just wasn't fair", so he did what any upstanding proponent of justice and fair play would do - and "invited" Mary into the back garden by way of the gate! What on earth he was thinking we don't know but he had this bloody donkey in the back garden, with Bailie looking forlornly on from social purgatory in the field.

In retrospect it might be that my dad was already starting to become unwell at this point - he must have been around 80 years old, I guess, and his behaviour had certainly started to become a little strange, to say the least. He eventually went on to develop full-blown Alzheimers, but at this point we didn't know he was ill, so just took it as one of dad's madcap schemes. The problem was, instead of behaving in the conciliatory manner of all well-behaved donkeys and eating the apples my dad had so kindly provided for her, Mary tootled over to his veggie patch and started munching her way through his lovingly tended carrots!

At this point dad must have realized that Plan A wasn't exactly working so had to instantly switch to "Plan B". Plan B, as it turned out, was my old man standing behind Mary and trying to push her back into the field. Well, if you have ever tried to push a reluctant donkey anywhere it didn't want to go you will realize that "Plan B" wasn't going to work either.  That being said, it was incredibly funny watching my 80-year-old dad trying to push this donkey out of the back garden. What a pity we didn't have a camera to hand! Eventually the owner managed to get Mary out of mom and dad's garden, but I suspect that was the last time she was ever invited over for lunch, the ungrateful cow - er donkey!


  1. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your post today!, especially the donkey story!
    Can I get in on the 10 kg challenge (even though it will require math )?
    The Euro games have been on my television daily. Son3 is home for a brief visit and he follows it, so by living and breathing in the same space, I am following it this week also.

  2. I have a very Gary Larson sense of visual humour and the image of my dad pushing that donkey makes me laugh every time I think about it. I couldn't bear having to sit through all those football games though - now rugby is another matter of course. And you are more than welcome to join in the diet challenge. According to Mr. Google 10 kg is about 22 lbs (although I wouldn't mind losing around 15 kg to be honest - but mustn't be greedy). Weigh-in on Monday. Anna

  3. I will weigh in Monday to get a base weight and then will begin.