The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Wednesday 26 May 2021


Well it looks like spring is finally poking its nose round the corner after what must be one of the wettest months of May in recent history. Not only wet, but pretty darn cold for the time of year. Not that that bothers me too much, but it's quite something that I've only just turned the heating off today and it's 26 May!!! We've had tons of rain and I reckon that must have translated into snow at the higher altitudes (along with avalanche warnings). I mean just look at the picture I took out my bedroom window this morning. Yep, that's snow on them thar hills!

Still, as I say, it looks like we might be turning a corner here now. I heard a very loud cuckoo in the back garden this morning and had a lovely woodpecker chipping away at the plum tree this evening. So now that the good weather is on the way, André offered to take my car into town and wash it for me! Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way a slob. I wash it regularly, I actually vacuumed it last week and I never throw stuff on the floor! It's just that it would seem my rims have been bugging him for ages so he took it into town and did a pretty good job cleaning it up. What with that and the neighbour's daughter offering to do the inside for me it is positively gleaming! Anaëlle (the daughter) does a really meticulous job cleaning cars and since she wants to earn a little pocket money why not! I had to stifle a giggle though because André had cleaned his car (his pride and joy) first before taking my car into town, and when he got back a bird had left a massive "gift" on his windscreen! Man was he pissed! And then again tonight, more bird poop on the hood of his car - which was when I realized that he parks closest to the house and just under the eaves I have a bird's nest, so I guess he'll need to keep a rag and bucket handy for a while!

He went in to Geneva to stay at a friend's on Friday night and then Saturday had a birthday lunch with another friend. He hadn't planned to stay over but ended up calling me just before 9 p.m. to say he wouldn't make it home before curfew so was going to sleep over on Alexi's couch. When he got home the next day he looked rough, saying they'd stayed up half the night chatting and when he'd finally laid down to go to sleep Alexi's cat spent half the night playing with his toes like he was some kind of new toy, so he got no sleep. Not that he was too bothered though as he loves cats and wants to get at least one when he moves into his own place. He and Lily had two cats but, of course, he had to leave them behind when they divorced, so he's looking forward to getting one of his own!

My friend and I had planned to "play it by ear" (i.e. wait for the good weather) before we go out walking again, and I had asked if he would be up for trying to hike up to La Bourgeoise near Samoëns, or if he fancied catching the cable car up to the Plâteau de Beauregard near la Clusaz in order to do the three-four hour walk back down. Well I think we'd decided on la Clusaz and the cable car - and then the dreadful cable car accident happened in northern Italy, killing (I think) 14 people, with one young boy being the only survivor! I had a brief "flicker" of maybe giving the cable car a miss but I know, in reality, I would still take one tomorrow! Same as flying. I hate flying but if not flying means I can't travel to the places I want to visit, well then I'm just going to fly and deal with it - usually by imbibing the in-flight white wine and trying to sleep through it!

The cable car accident this week in Piedmont, northern Italy!

Off on a totally different tangent, a few months ago my neighbour mentioned the Yuka app to me, which is an app that you can use to scan the bar code on an item of food or beauty products, for instance, and it will tell you what's in it and give the item a "safety" rating. Well last week I finally cracked and went to the hairdresser's to get this mushroom cloud on the top of my head brought into submission. When I mentioned that I'd been finding my hair to be a bit oily lately she suggested a particular shampoo and it seems to be a good fit, for the moment. It's a really attractive looking shampoo, but just out of curiosity I scanned it with the Yuka app. Well, it may be pretty but it wouldn't appear to be highly rated due to its high phenoxyethanol content (you can look the "benefits" of that up on google if you're interested). So on a whim I scanned a few more items and the results were interesting, to say the least. Now I know you can't live in a sterile bubble (nor would you want to I suspect) because it would be fundamentally impossible and every time you did come into contact with something "unsuitable" you would probably have a violent reaction to it but, as I say, the results were interesting!

The Yuka app!

Yves Rocher face cream

Face cream from the local supermarket -
about the same price as the Yves Rocher cream,
neither of which are expensive

Brut deodorant

The shampoo I bought from the hairdresser!

Now that all shops are open again I went out the other day looking for a travel bed for when the Munchkin is here. In the end I bought a larger playpen which will serve as a bed for when I'm babysitting him in July. It's now set up in prime location near the stairs in the living room and my house is starting to look like a day care centre - not that I mind, of course. Heck we had Jordan's first drum set in that exact same location for goodness knows how many years, plus the high chair, plus the toy box, plus ....! Jen has a physio appointment tomorrow afternoon and asked me to go over to babysit Charlie for a few hours, so that will be nice (for me at least - I'm not sure he could care less at this point)!

And finally, I've taken a few more bags of clothes to the charity bin and started going through some very old issues of the BBC's Good Food Guide. I've been tearing out interesting recipes to try and throwing the rest of the magazine out, and the other day I found a recipe for aubergine, garlic and feta salad which was delicious (I was maybe a bit heavy-handed with the raw garlic but what the heck, it keeps the vampires away)! Then today I tried out fatoosh, which is a recipe I picked up from a Palestinian blogger and boy was it a big success with both of us. Mind you, all those fresh herbs and sumac (luckily I had some in the cupboard) are bound to be a recipe for success, right? So I've now been officially invited by André to come over and "cook in his new place any time I want"! Ah thanks babe, can't wait to take you up on that!

Fatoosh salad - it's delicious!

Sunday 23 May 2021


It's been a pretty meh week this week, with just one day of decent-ish weather and the rest being wet and cool, so a crappy May all in all! My friend came over on Thursday (the only decent day) and we drove out to the lake at Thyez and then walked on into Cluses - which he seems to really like for some reason. The restrictions on café terraces have just been lifted so we were able to sit outside and have a drink once we got there and it was so nice to see people outside having lunch and a chat after so many months of restrictions. I think we've got about another three weeks (not sure of the date) before we'll be allowed to eat indoors but hopefully by then the weather will be hot and no-one will want to eat indoors anyway. Goodness knows the cafés and restaurants could do with a break right? On the way back I realized that Cluses' market is an all-day market so we had a quick wander round there and again it was really nice. There's quite a large North African community in Cluses so there were lots of lovely spices, dates, olives, almonds and cakes on sale and the smell was just wonderful. Maybe not as strong as the souks in Istanbul or Marrakech, but lovely all the same! All that and I clocked up another 14 km, which is just as well because I haven't done much else this week!

I also got a message from my friend this week to say that she'd finally been granted French citizenship, and I'm delighted for her. She jumped on it as soon as the Brexit vote went down so she's at least a couple of years ahead of me. So while it takes ages, I guess the wheels of bureaucracy finally get there in the end don't they. I'm not really expecting anything for another two/three years anyway, but in two years time I will be 65 (yikes) and then having been in France over 25 years (nearer 35 at that point) and having a French grandchild I will be able to apply by ascendency so half this stuff I've been studying up on will no longer be necessary! It'll happen in the end, I suppose, and that time will go by whether or not I've started the process anyway, won't it!

I was feeling a bit lethargic this weekend so finally gave myself a metaphorical kick up the butt and started sorting a few clothes out to put in the charity bin. When I tried some of them on I can only think "what on earth was I thinking????" so I quickly bundled them up and dropped them off immediately before I changed my mind! So just another - oh I don't know - 10,000 hours of sorting and I'll be good then! 

André has worked from home all week this week as there are major roadworks going on in Geneva, so I think he's getting a bit restless. That being said, he showed me a Youtube video of some guy having facial and nasal hair waxed which was pretty funny - well at least, the friend sitting in the background seemed to think it was hilarious as he was doubled up! I don't know which country they were in but the scream that this guy lets out when they yank his nasal hair out is quite something - not that we'll have an awful lot of sympathy for him, eh ladies?

Eewww yuck!

As I said, we've had so much rain this past week I realized I'd have to do something about my little greenhouse as the sheer weight of the accumulated rain was making the top sag. I've managed to wedge a few cross-poles up to the roof to hopefully keep it at a slope and help the rain to drain off it before it tears it. Note to self, "when you go out in the morning to push the roof up with a broom and, hopefully, clear the rain water do it from the inside if you don't want to get a shower!" I've actually taken to leaving an old spoon up by my raised beds too in order to do a bit of "slug-flinging" as the buggers keep getting into my lettuce beds! Well that and having a dedicated bucket and trowel for shit-shovelling deposits left by neighbours' dogs!!!! I've mentioned before that my back garden is open so my lawn seems to be fair game for quite a few dogs to come and "relieve themselves", including a dog belonging to one family who would go absolutely ballistic if someone else's dog left them a gift on their lawn! Still, I guess you have to take the good with the bad and on balance I'd say the "good" far outweighs the bad as far as my neighbours are concerned!

The other day, just as I was on my way out, my immediate neighbour rang the doorbell and asked if she could come in for a coffee. She was wound up tighter than a coil so I put my plans to one side and sat with her for about half an hour. It was the usual, how much she hates her husband, if she had any money she'd leave him and how he treats her with utter contempt. Thing is, she won't (or probably can't) leave him at this point (she's nearly 70 and has no money) so it's a question of "putting up" I guess. That being said, I asked her to come out walking with me when the weather picks up as surely he is more than capable of making himself a sandwich right? We'll see how that works but if she's never said no to him in the past it will be difficult to start doing so now won't it. But there's an awful lot of truth to the saying that they treat you as bad as you allow yourself to be treated too isn't there!

After that the doorbell went again and I'm already starting to do my Mutley impersonation ("sazzafrazzarazza") because I tend to live upstairs - and it was another neighbour who wanted to know if I had any harissa (I did) as she'd made couscous for 10 and had forgotten the harissa!

Then a few minutes later, another doorbell! Thankfully I didn't yank the door open like an ungracious clod because it was another neighbour whose husband had been picking Lily of the Valley in the woods and she'd brought some round for me - shortly to be followed by yet another neighbour who'd been given some expensive tea by a salesman and she wanted to give it to me as she knows I'm a tea drinker! Add to that the fact that André stayed in Geneva last night at a friend's and then came crashing home around mid-day, took a shower and dashed back out to another friend's for a birthday lunch - it's been like Grand Central Station here! I shouldn't complain though because in all honesty I'll take the noise and the bustle over silence and solitude any day, I guess!

Saturday 15 May 2021

Busy doing nothing!

Actually that's not true at all. I've been so busy this past week it's been great. I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. I get sudden bursts of energy when I get so much done and then a complete slump a few days later. Maybe it's the fact that I now actually allow myself to spend a day doing not much at all that's helping. I've kinda always been someone who felt I couldn't "take a day off" and envied those that could. Hell, my ex had no such problem! But now, well I guess I'm doing it to myself aren't I as I don't owe anyone anything! That being said, I made a cup of tea the other day and walked into the living room to hand one to André - who promptly told me he was busy "landing a 747" (on his phone of course) and he "bet most pilots weren't handed a cup of tea as they were landing"! Ha, and here's me thinking he was working! I have no idea why the thought popped into my head at that point - maybe it was the cup of tea business - but I remember a few years ago reading about a woman whose little boy had just been to see Santa at the store and as they were leaving he said "guess what mommy, I know what Santa's name is, it's Sid. Sid Claus!" When she asked how he knew that he said that some woman had popped her head round the back of the curtain behind Santa and said "Sid, there's a cup of tea here for you when you're ready"! Ha, ha, that still tickles me even now, all these years later!

I was watching a new episode of Our Yorkshire Farm the other night and was absolutely taken with it, as always. For those that don't know it, Amanda Owen is a shepherdess who lives on a remote farm in the Yorkshire dales with her husband, Clive, and their nine children. Now Amanda is a smart cookie and being not only a shepherdess, but an over-six-foot-tall photogenic blond she/they have made their way onto British television giving an insight into the tough life of farmers in the dales! And why not! Farming is a hard and risky business at the best of times and if they can make an income through other means good for them. That being said, they're a hard working and very down-to-earth family and the kids are adorable. Anyway, in this episode eight of the nine kids were roped in to act as "bait" (probably not the most appropriate word) for the North Yorkshire Mountain Rescue team. The kids had a 30 minute head start and were free to go anywhere they wanted on their 2,000 acre farm. The idea was for them to hide and avoid detection for at least two hours, thereby giving the rescue teams an opportunity to put their and their dogs' skills to the test. In the end only the oldest boy, Ruben, managed to evade capture but it was a great programme to watch as the kids - knowing the farm like the back of their hands - really put the rescue teams through their paces!

Amanda and Clive Owen and their family!

And talking of "knowing something like the back of your hand", when I was in junior school (so from ages 6-10) there were no black children in the school at all - which was surprising actually because this was inner-city Birmingham. Still, that was the case until Dale joined our class in our last year. One day our English teacher commented about the expression "to know something like the back of your hand" and what a silly expression that was. "I mean, who in this class could see a picture of the back of their hand and recognize it as their own"? At which point Dale put his hand up and said "I think I might, Sir" and we all cracked up! While it can't have been easy being the first and only (at the time) black kid in the school, Dale fit right in from day one, as you can imagine with a sense of humour like that!

The other day I went grocery shopping and stopped in at my favourite store, Fresh, and boy was it busy! People were lined up with their carts waiting to pay all the way to the back of the shop, but the two women on check-out were absolutely nailing it, running two cash registers each at the same time, having one customer unload their goods while they were ringing up the second person. They absolutely rocked. I did wonder why the place was so busy but then realized that Ascension is a public holiday in Switzerland and all those extra shoppers were coming over from Geneva. This was borne out when I went on to the next supermarket and the scene was the same there too. Still, I was in no hurry and if the stores can make good money because of it then I'm all for it!

On Facebook I follow a few sites relating to local news and the other day I saw a post to say that the outdoor swimming pool, les Marquisats, in Annecy would be closed for renovations until September 2023??? Now I'm sure there's a good reason for this but it seems strange to me that the pool has been closed over a year so far because of covid and now is the time they start renovations? Still, ours is not to reason why, I guess!

Les Marquisats pool!

Another thing I've been following on FB is that as we Brits are now no longer in the EU, if family or friends want to come over and stay with us we will have to apply for an attestation d'accueil for them at least 30 days before they travel. Basically what that means is that as now third-country-nationals (TCN - i.e. non-EU citizens), if a Brit wants to come to France and stay in a hotel, no problem - the hotel will do the paperwork. But, if a Brit wants to come over and stay with family or friends, the family (me in this case) has to provide a whole range of paperwork, basically guaranteeing to cover their expenses while they are over here, that I have a place to put them up and that I am here legally - and all this has to be approved by the Mairie at least 30 days in advance! There's been much too-ing and fro-ing about this with some saying that while the clause about TCNs does exist it isn't always applied. So by that logic when my ex comes over in September to see Charlie, André will have to do the necessary to get him an attestation. Oh, and it costs €30 a pop too! I guess this is the way other nationalities (or certain other nationalities) have always been treated but I'll be curious to see how it works in practice. I know when my in-laws came over years ago we never did this - or even when my ex's cousins came over, so who knows what's gonna happen. And of course if France starts applying this to the Brits, then logically the UK will start reciprocating. What a bloody cock up - just another one of the joys of Brexit!

I spent about five hours working in the garden the other day, digging up some more of my veggie patch and trying to get the plants I'd bought planted before they die (a speciality of mine). I also spent a very frustrating hour or so trying to put together my little plastic greenhouse with the God-awful instructions. You'd think "attach parts 1 and 2 to joints A and B" would be easy wouldn't you, but I took that thing apart three times before I figured it out on my own as the instructions were that bad! I also had the joys of trying to get the cover over the bloody thing while holding it together at the same time (André was in the office) and every so often a gust of wind would pick the damn thing up leaving me in danger of flying off inside it like some kind of French Mary bloody Poppins. Still, it's up now and so far so good! I've also passed the 500 mile mark in my walking and while it could definitely be better, signing up for the "Walk 1,000 Miles" challenge again really has pushed me to do more than I otherwise would!

And finally, Charlie is coming along in leaps and bounds now he's more settled. André spent the night at Jordan and Jen's last night as they wanted to play some guitar and Jen sent me a video of Charlie lying on his play mat in between his dad and his uncle playing guitar and him cooing away and (seemingly) thoroughly enjoying himself. Aaahhhh!!

Charlie at seven weeks! Be still my
beating heart!

Monday 10 May 2021

This and that!

We've had bloody awful weather this past week. Solid rain every day - that is, until the weekend, which turned out nice and sunny thankfully. Now here we're back to Monday morning and it's forecast rain all week again. A typical May I guess. Usually rain doesn't bother me too much because I'm so used to it of course, but I feel sorry for people like my neighbour as it really brings her mood down and she finds it so hard to tolerate!

I went out last week though and bought a few more veggie plants (oh how I love wandering round the big garden centres) and got the last plastic greenhouse-thingy in stock. Well, it's more of a shelter for the tomato plants really, but now I'm wondering if it will stand up to the winds we sometimes get round here. I always plant my tomatoes up against the living room window - where they do well as it's a sheltered, sunny spot up against a white wall. Trouble is, I keep running out of space, so hence I wanted the greenhouse. I took out my little rototiller and gouged out a spot at the top of the garden right next to my raised beds, so we'll see how my various veggies make out up there. I have no doubt they will thrive as it's a really sunny spot, but given the howling wind we had last night I'm a bit worried that I might wake up one morning and find my veggies scattered across the farmer's field being eaten by the donkeys. Time will tell I guess!

In other news I think my kettle is on the blink as now when I turn it on we get loud whistling sounds like some opera singer warming up. Since André has the same whacky sense of humour as I do I mentioned the Florence Foster Jenkins film to him as my kettle sounds just like Meryl the Diva in that movie. So André pulled up the trailer for the film on his phone - and I swear if I hear that bloody thing one more time I think I'll brain him! It is funny, of course, but he keeps playing it over and over to the point that I want to punch him in the throat. Luckily he went in to work twice last week so I did get some respite. On the way home on Wednesday, as he was driving through Geneva he sent Lily's grandma a message to ask if she wanted company - which she did, and I'm so glad he still makes the effort to see her as she's a lovely lady! Her grandkids always called her Abuela, even though she's not Spanish, and when André and Lily divorced she told him that he was still family to her and to keep in touch - and he has! Good on him! Later - and I don't know how we got on the subject  - but he was telling me about a recurring nightmare he has about him being chased round the airport by a dinosaur???? Anyone wanna take a shot at that one?

On Friday I stopped over to see the Munchkin and Jen left him with his dad and me for about three hours while she went out shopping. He is doing so much better, putting on weight and is much more relaxed now that his feeding is getting sorted. He's also just starting to react and smile (a little), so I spent a good 15 minutes telling him the story of how Mr. Donkey and Mr. Horsey in the field behind me decided to have a race, and since Mr. Horsey let Mr. Donkey win, they are now big friends and can't wait to meet Charlie next time he comes over! Rubbish I know but my dad was always babbling away like that to the grands. Jordan just rolled his eyes but Charlie smiled - or it might have been gas, but I'll take it as a smile! Jordan was telling me that they have so much work lined up he'll never be unemployed. So much so that they are looking to take on another qualified plumber and an apprentice but they can't find anyone??? Wow, I would have thought they'd have their pick, what with the crappy economic situation right now. There are three qualified plumbers (Max and his brother - the owners of the company - and Jordan) and one older man in his 40s who is retraining, having worked in the food industry for many years. He was also telling me that they have another big contract in Chamonix (where the Mont Blanc is) and for six months of the year, when access to the mountain refuges is on foot only, they will get taken up there by helicopter! Not bad huh - well it beats sitting on the number 25 bus for 90 minutes every day doesn't it!

Chamonix and the Mont Blanc

We had sad news from work this week when we were informed that a colleague had died (of cancer, I believe) at the age of 58. Many moons ago P had lived opposite me for about a year so my kids knew him. Well, more so André than Jordan, as Jordan was just a toddler. About 25 years ago he was lucky enough to win around $1.5 million (or the equivalent in Swiss francs), and yet within a few years it was all gone and he had nothing to show for it. All of a sudden he had "friends" crawling out of the woodwork who wanted to open a bar and so on, and so yep, just a few years later it was all gone and he had nothing. He didn't even own his own home and was living in a rented apartment when he died. He may have been a fool to lose all that money but he wasn't a nasty guy - in fact, he was pretty kind and decent - if gullible, I suppose. Poor guy, worked all those years and never got to enjoy retirement! It's sobering isn't it!

Then the other day my neighbour came round and asked me if I would keep an eye on their place as they were having to dash off to the west coast of France as Mamie (his mom) is going downhill fast. Well she's 102 so I suppose it was to be expected, but I have to say I was a bit surprised at his reaction. When he got the phone call his eyes filled with tears - and yet he never called her, if she would call him he, himself, told me he would put the phone down and walk off leaving her chattering away to herself, and as far as I could see there was no love lost on his part. For her, on the other hand, he was the Boy King who could do no wrong - and yet it was her daughters who took care of her and did everything for her, not him. She even told me one time how lucky I was to have two boys. I found that quite insulting actually so just said I would have been equally lucky to have two girls as all children were a blessing. I'm not sure she appreciated that though! A couple of days after they left I felt sure I could hear something in their basement, and sure enough there was 10 cm of water down there (again). Our other neighbour came round with a heavy duty drill and was trying to create an evacuation spot to allow the water to escape (presumably with their go ahead), and from what I can see it's ok for the time being - but it's still raining of course! Damn I'm glad my basement has been spared (so far)! 

The other day I got a very sweet message from a former colleague saying that she'd heard I had a new grandson and sending me her congratulations. She's in her early 40s and was saying she's desperate to get vaccinated as she can't wait to get out of here because she's "sick to death of mountains and lakes"! That made me laugh actually, but as she's half Spanish I get that she wants to head down to Spain - it was just a funny way to say it. I mean, who the heck can be "sick of mountains and lakes"? Not me, that's for sure. Talking of which, Marysette (from the sewing club) and I went off walking on Saturday at a new-to-me spot about 30 minutes down the road from here. I'd often seen the signpost for the Lac Bleu but never went down there, and boy was I missing something! It was hot and pretty uncrowded when we got there and somehow, over a period of about five hours, we managed to clock up 18 km! Oh we stopped and had a picnic, then stopped again for a coffee, but still, we put the km in (and I got a rather fetching sunburn on my right arm and a V-shape burn on my neck - again. Will I ever learn?

The Lac Bleu, although "green lake" seems
more fitting than "blue lake" to be honest!


Thursday 6 May 2021

And there you have it!

Well it took a little longer than usual, but Mr. Wonderful of Words With Friends fame finally showed his true colours after about four days! Yeah, hunky "Louis" with the cutey pie dog picture wanted to chat. Now when they do this (according to my own experience and confirmed by other ladies), they're either married/partnered men looking for a bit on the side or they're scammers. And would you believe it, but after "Louis" started to show his hand, "Kelvin" also showed up just dying to play WWF with me. I usually can't be arsed with these guys - in fact I never accept to play against a man now because what 32 year old Nigerian guy (seriously!) is really looking to play Word With Friends? Anyway, I took screen shots along the way, so ladies if "Louis" or "Kelvin" ever wants to play WWF with you, I'd give it a miss!

Gorgeous "Louis" (they never look like the back end of a bus do they!

So he's a diamond miner - dangerous job huh!

And they're always tragically widowed - with their bratty kids being off their hands. At this point I told André I was surprised he wasn't US military (I'm giving André a running commentary and we're cracking up)!

When he asked about my kids I told them one worked for Interpol - just to see if it would shake him up a bit. Thing is, it would be perfectly possible for my son to work for Interpol as Lyon's within easy commuting distance from here. These guys usually have several scams running at once so they don't actually read most of what you've written, so nope, Interpol didn't seem to phase him!

When I asked "Louis" why he was showing up as "Dennis G" on my phone when he sent me a message he said he didn't know - but he quickly corrected his settings to show up as "Louis" again!

By this time he had asked me for a photo so he could "see what I looked like", despite already telling me I had a "smile that could light up the world". I was getting a bit fed up by this time so just pulled the plug and blocked him!

Enter "Kelvin", who's a "military doctor currently on contract with Nato" - in Afghanistan (oh bless his heart)!

And of course he'll soon be retiring (so free to travel and meet up with little ol' me, who he has already fallen madly in love with, ya see)! I told him I was retired from the UN (not true), which was great as their pensions are pretty generous! So then the eejit asks me what "my organization" does (told ya, they don't read everything because they've got several scams going on at the same time)!

So then I asked "Kelvin" why he was showing up as "Sarah Nevada" on my phone. "Sarah Nevada" - ha ha, that's not even clever, but I guess that's the name he uses when he's trying to scam/catfish a man!

At this point I'd pretty much worn my "typing finger" down with these two and at some point I really needed to get in the shower so I just told him I knew what he was up to and basically to f.... off! Still, my car's in the garage, it's raining and I have nothing better to do. Well, that's not strictly true, I have tons of things I could be doing but .... it was fun for a while and André and I have really had a blast drafting messages to these two! So happy days then - I'm off to get in the shower!

Saturday 1 May 2021

Anyone taking bets?

Happy May Day everyone! Actually I'd forgotten it was May Day until I drove into town and saw the vendors selling Lily of the Valley on all the street corners. That brought back memories of an old boss from before I was married who used to bring all the ladies in the office Lily of the Valley on May Day! He was somewhat "bohemian" in his outlook but he was always very nice to me. I never quite knew his family set-up but when he died I was surprised to see the announcement in the paper saying "in loving memory - from A, his partner, M, his wife and XXXX his children"! Good old Mr. T, God rest his soul!

This week being the last week of lockdown (until the next time?) it's been a bit "blah", and even though it hasn't affected me as badly as some, I think we're all ready for it to be over. And it is - somewhat! As from Monday the restriction of staying within 10 km of your home is lifted, but the curfew remains. More stores are allowed to reopen and while I can't remember the exact dates, restaurant terraces are opening up, with cinemas and concert halls to follow, but indoor gyms being the last to open up mid-June. By end of June, "all being well", I believe the last curfews will be lifted and the country should open right back up. To be honest, even if (and when) the numbers start going back up I don't think people will be willing to go into another lockdown, given all the economic and emotional downsides. I guess we'll have to wait and see though won't we. I'll just be glad to be able to go back up the mountains now that we're freer and the snow is disappearing (although there were still avalanche warnings as late as last week)!

I had another doctor's appointment in Geneva last week so my friend met me and we sat and had a drink together on the terrace of a café and both really enjoyed it. He's bored and I guess we're all missing human contact, especially those of us that are either working from home or retired. But can someone explain to me how I managed to walk away with some darning of his to do!!! He was wearing a nice dark blue sweater and when I commented on it he said it had been his father's and he wore it on occasion for sentimental reasons. When I pointed out it would look much better without the moth holes he was mortified, so cue me ending up bringing it home and attempting to clean it up a bit! I walked right into that one didn't I!

On the Munchkin front, Jen took Charlie for his one month check up and explained to the paediatrician the problems he had started having on the feeding front. So the doctor ran some tests on him and while he is indeed slightly lactose-intolerant she said it wasn't enough to justify switching to the rice milk. Moreover she explained that rice milk is constipating so it's no wonder the poor little thing was in such pain the other week. She did say, though, that his oesophagus is quite raw from the acid reflux many babies get when the valve that stops the back flow hasn't toughened up yet, so she's given Jen a treatment for that and hey presto, he's a much happier baby and they're getting several rounds of four hours sleep a night, so everyone is happy!

André helped me move some garden furniture this week and drag up my sunbed from the basement, which I made full use of on Tuesday as it was lovely weather. Just as well I did though because it's been piddling down ever since - drab, wet and grey! So I've spent a lot of time indoors pottering about doing nothing much in particular. Then today the landline and internet connection went down for about eight hours so there was no computer, no wifi, no landline and no Netflix. What to do? Well luckily I had just picked up a Joanne Harris novel called Five Quarters of the Orange and I'm loving it, so not having internet turned into a rather nice bonus today as I got to sit and read for hours. André said the same thing actually, but when I pointed out that if it wasn't restored by this evening he might have to talk to me instead of chatting with his mates, I saw the realization spread across his face that maybe it wasn't such a great thing after all!

There's a group of former long-term colleagues who get on a zoom chat most weekends and this Sunday we were "reminiscing" - as is your want, I suppose, when you've worked together for so many years. At one point we were discussing the different computer systems we'd used over the years, and P made us all laugh when he said that at one of our organization's big meetings in Punta del Este (Uruguay) in 1986 someone told him that a document had arrived from Geneva and he couldn't figure out how it had got there - he'd never heard of a fax machine ya see! Time, tide and technology wait for no man do they! Then the other night I was channel-hopping and ended up watching the 1967 movie To Sir With Love starring Sidney Poitier (can you believe he's now 94)? It's about a young unemployed black man who takes up a post as a teacher in a tough area of London and how he wins over his class of "rough" students, although frankly if you considered that lot "rough", you'd have to agree that the schoolkids in the movie Grease were Hell's Angels! But it was a nice movie and I absolutely loved Lulu singing To Sir With Love. I wasn't a great fan of Lulu but she just nails that song!

And finally, when the internet connection was restored this evening I was catching up on a few rounds of Words With Friends on FB. I tend to end up playing against the same people over and over again - none of whom (except for my friend in New York) is a man. It's pretty well known, in fact, that so many youngish men use WWF to try to pick up women and after playing a few words they suggest "switching to WhatsApp" or want your email address. Well, Mr. Hunk - he with the cutesy photo of him snuggling up to his dog - asked me to start a game tonight so I played the first round. Anyone wanna make bets on how many rounds he plays before he wants to switch to Whatsapp? All bets are currently open!