The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Friday 17 February 2017


As I mentioned previously, I have been looking around for groups to join locally in order to get out more and meet different people. So finally, after many years of diddling around, last Friday I went to the first meeting of our local "village committee"! This is the group that organizes most of the events in the village (village fête, the annual car boot, Papa Noel comes to school, dinner for the "oldies") and a damn good job they do too. Our is a small village and compared to some of the villages on the other side of the Lake, we are relatively "parochial" (i.e. read "poor") and our village fête looks nothing like some of the other village fêtes where there are quite a few wealthy inhabitants. Think "deepest France" (to cobble a line from Paddington Bear) or "la France profonde". But you know, it is actually lovely. Nothing fancy, as epitomized by kids trying to catch trout in a barrel with their bare hands! Anyway, for several years I have diddled about saying "oh I must join in" and done nothing about it, but last Friday I bumped into my neighbour as he was heading off to the meeting and decided to tag along finally. They are desperately in need of new and young blood so all I can say is hats off to them for doing as much as they do. I'm not sure how many hours I can put in as I am gone at least 12 hours a day, but I will most certainly do what I can - which is only fair when you think of it. I mean, I have lived in this village for 28 years now (I only lived in the UK for 21) so time to pitch in I think.

I also went on a vegan cookery course the other week, given by Migros in Geneva. Migros is the Swiss equivalent of Wal Mart or Tesco, i.e. they are a supermarket but have a finger in every pie, and over the years I have taken many of their evening classes, particularly when I was single. This course wasn't actually that great, nor was it actually that "vegan" given that one of the deserts was made with chocolate made from cow's milk, but since I am not looking to become vegan and am only interested in doing more interesting things with non-meat products, I thought I would give it a shot. Problem was, one of the young women managed to explode the soup while blitzing it so we ended up spending at least 20 minutes wiping walls and floors to get the soup off. As I say, it really wasn't that good, but at least I have tried it right!  I see Migros are also offering a one-off Persian cookery evening that looks interesting, plus vegetarian Indian cookery so I'll have to check them out.

In France, the local "night school" (they call it the MJC here - Maison de Jeunesse et de Culture), is where I took the infamous tap dancing try-out (in over 100 degree weather). They are all over France and offer some interesting possibilities also. As I was leaving my board game evening the other night, I noticed that my local town is hoping to set up a jardin partagé - something which interests me very much. Now I'm not sure exactly what they mean by "jardin partage" but I take it to mean "communal veggie plots". Not allotments exactly but something along those lines, and they are hoping to bring in people to teach organic gardening, if I understood exactly. Valérie, my former neighbour and board game evening co-conspirator, is also interested in this so we have agreed to meet up for the next meeting on this project. It's all go isn't it - but as I said before, I like "all go", and now that I am single and my kids are moved out, I am looking forward to doing more of this kind of stuff. In fact, I remember as a single girl in Geneva, during the five years before I married I never, ever spent one evening at home in all those five years! Crikey, it looks like I'm heading that way again.

On Thursday as I was heading to work I stopped to let school kids cross the road and they were all dressed up for Carnaval. This relates to mardi gras (which is on 28 February this year) but local schools spread out the celebrations over a couple of weeks. I have to say I liked seeing the teenagers dressed up as rabbits, clowns and so on. Halloween hasn't really taken off over here (I don't see any reason why it should either), but Carnaval has always been part of the local traditions.
I obviously couldn't be taking pictures of the kids crossing the road while I was driving!
And finally, a bit of drama the other Friday. I work directly opposite the Israeli Mission which, for obvious reasons, has huge concrete bollards outside it and armed guards. Well apparently there was a bomb scare last Friday evening, the police were called and an untended suitcase was eventually blown up. Turns out it was just someone's suitcase left at the bus stop, and my colleagues think it could have been "one of ours". We regularly have training courses for groups from various geographical regions on the work of our organization. They suspect a group of trainees was running to catch the bus at the end of one of these courses and someone must have ran over to get his ticket while the others held the bus up for him. End result, he forgot his suitcase and his underpants and toothbrush were blown to smithereens! Still, better an unfortunate incident like that than a real bomb any day.

And on that note, I am looking forward to a quiet weekend. No news as yet from the Nutty Professor or the mailbox name-plate Gods. Weigh-in on Monday. I have been really careful counting calories and have exercised every day but I don't actually feel as though I have lost any weight. Damn and drat. Fingers crossed!


  1. I love the drama across the street form work. No one near me ever has their underwear blown up.
    Good for you for finding some different things to do after work. I need to find some groups to broaden my social circle a bit.

  2. That's my aim actually - to change my social circle (not that there is anything wrong with my friends of course) but since retirement is looming I want to "branch out". Oh and I have never had my underwear blown up but as a young woman I did have it go round a luggage reclaim carousel in Bali all on its own when my backpack came open. At least then it was the sexy stuff not the Bridget Jones knickers I wear today!