Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, however you chose to celebrate! For me, I stayed home alone because frankly I don't like new year's celebrations and would rather be off the roads in any case. I did contemplate opening a bottle of wine to celebrate but then thought "nah, why bother", so I got to spend new year's eve reading and enjoying the silence until midnight. Local fireworks were probably more intense than usual but they only lasted a few minutes. I mean, who can afford a 15 minute firework display anyway! The odd thing lately, though, is that I'm finding I could sleep for Britain if it were an Olympic event. I mean, I went to bed around 1.30 a.m. on New Year's Day (which is a pretty usual bedtime for me) and woke up around 11 a.m. - and there was no booze involved! For a couple of days now I've slept till around 10 a.m., which is just unheard of for me! I guess I'm turning into a marmotte (like Charlie) then! Still, with life starting to pick back up again, I suppose it'll soon sort itself out!
Talking of "home alone", the other day I received a bank letter for André as he obviously hasn't gotten round to changing his address for some things. He asked me to open it and turns out it was his new Swiss bank card so I told him I'd drop it off at his place next time I was in the area. Well I stopped off on the way to look after Charlie on Wednesday and let myself in to leave it on the table, rather than in his mail box. He was in Geneva and told me "not to mind the state of his place", but in reality it was fine except he'd had a few mates over the prevous night so I knew what I'd find ready for the recycling bin! With that in mind I'd prepared a little something at home, which I left taped in the kitchen on the way out!
|I promise you, this is nothing|
compared to what I was expecting
Talking of André, he was telling me that he has been tasked with setting up a meeting for his unit in Istanbul in February. I'm not sure what all it entails but I told him he'd better get very precise terms of reference and find out exactly
what he will be responsible for beforehand, as well as a name of someone he can coordinate with in Istanbul. He is very
junior so frankly it doesn't make sense to me to have him responsible for this, but I guess he'll find out more in due course. Heck we had a huge conference task force which was responsible for booking flights/visas, setting up conference facilities, recruiting interpreters and so on, so I'm thinking there's got to be more than just him for this event, even if it is a relatively small meeting. I'd love to go with him "to help out" as I love
Istanbul, but then when you go on these things you're there to work, not sightsee!
Jumping from the rooster to the donkey (as they say over here), it's now been a year since I turned my television on and I haven't missed it at all! The computer - now that's another matter altogether and in fact one of my "resolutions" (most likely the only one) is to not get bogged down on the computer as soon as I get up. I get so much more done if I limit my time online in the morning that I really want to pull the plug on that bad habit. In the evening it doesn't really bother me, but to waste so much time in the mornings when there is so much I could be doing is just silly!
That being said, the other day I spotted a Jimmy Kimmel clip on Youtube which I thought was hilarious! I have never liked these one man monologue guest shows and the few that I have watched have confirmed that they just don't appeal to me! But in these clips I see that Jimmy and his cousin Sal are forever pranking his elderly Aunt Chippy (who is now over 80 years old)! And she is a hoot! Oh, she's feisty as hell and has a mouth like a dockworker but the other night I must have sat for over an hour watching the various ways they've pranked her over time. One time they had her house painted lime green while she was out. Another time he brought her a brand new car and had it put in her living room! Then shortly after all covid restrictions were lifted he invited her to watch one of his shows in Las Vegas, but beforehand she "had to have a medical, just in case"! How the actors kept a straight face I don't know but boy was she hot when she realized what was going on! But so far the best I've seen was when he "tricked her" into zip-lining off the 12-storey building where his show was taking place - and she would have been almost 80 at the time! The affection that their family seem to have for each other is just lovely, and Aunt Chippy is a hoot - if you don't mind bad language! And now I want to be Aunt Chippy when I grow up!
|Jimmy with Aunt Chippy and Guillermo!|
The other day I was giving André a ride home and as we went round the bend to pull into his parking lot he blithely commented that I could "get a Mack truck between me and the kerb", I took it so wide! Well yeah, I know that, but as I explained to him, all of a sudden I felt like I couldn't see the right hand side of my car and didn't want to bounce off the kerb! So when we parked he took one look at my seat and suggested I "move it up out of the reclining position" so that I didn't have to drive lying down! What?? While I know we shrink with age, I thought it weird that I seemed to have shrunk about five inches in six months and to be honest it was starting to bother me. Turns out one of my kids must have driven my car, and while I'd pulled the seat forward again afterwards I hadn't set the back in the upright position so no wonder I couldn't see the bloody right wing of my car! Huh, and here's me thinking I'd started shrinking faster than Aunt Chippy!
Talking of cars, it kinda tickled me (though not really) to read that there was huge disruption in parts of the UK over Christmas with people taking their electric cars to travel long distances to visit family and then getting stuck waiting as much as three hours at charging points to recharge their batteries! I guess that's what you get when they try to push "eco-vehicles" onto the public when the infrastructure isn't ready!
And again in the UK, I saw that the UK border force went on strike for whatever reason - pay I imagine - so the military were called in to take over. Well apparently they did a fantastic job with people singing their praises, particularly at airports, saying how efficient they'd been. I guess the moral there is before you decide to go on strike you'd better make damn sure you're indispensable first!
I think I mentioned in my last post that we'd lost one of Jen's Christmas presents. Well I searched high and low this week and decided to take down my Christmas decorations and pull out drawers and move furniture to try and get this place cleaned up at the same time as looking for the envelope (it turned up). And I've been doing really well, spending maybe an hour or sometimes two every day in a concerted effort to clean and/or declutter - and it's been great. So great in fact that I took a car full of stuff to the charity shop today - and yet there's still loads more that can go when I've got the time to sort it! I'm flitting from one room to the other, as is my want, but it's amazing how much better everywhere already looks just by spending a few hours at a time. I also submitted another medical bill to my insurance company via phone app on Sunday and just 45 minutes later I got a message back to say I'd been reimbursed! Apart from providing excellent coverage, I can't sing the praises of this company enough. Talk about efficient!
Oh and thank you to all the ladies who sent me Christmas cards via Anne's card swap. And Jan (in Santa Ana), yes I've been to the States. I actually lived in the States for four years (D.C. and Pittsburgh) as my ex is American, but when I was offered a job back in Switzerland in 1989 we both jumped at the chance to move back!
Talkng of new year's resolutions, while I think not wasting my mornings on the computer has got to be number one, I have indeed signed back up for the Walk 1,000 Miles Challenge as I'm hoping it will push me to get out walking more than I did last year. That being said, I also logged back into Myfitnesspal - a site I've used in the past for recipes and inspiration. Oh, I doubt very much I will be counting calories as I just don't have that kind of discipline, but when I logged back in the other day for the first time in about a year, I see that I'm actually down nine pounds as compared to this time last year! So I guess the trick is to ignore all dietary advice and just keep doing whatever I feel like!
And finally, wouldn't you know they're coming to install my solar panels on Tuesday - the same day as I've booked my car in for its contrôle technique (the MOT or vehicle safety check). Still, I'm sure they can work without me being home for about an hour. I mean, it's not like I'll be getting up on the roof or anything, is it! Then yesterday I went with Jordan to order all the fittings to redo my two bathrooms. I had a pretty good idea what I wanted anyway, but I really valued the sales lady's help (she obviously knew her stuff) and I'm so glad Jordan was with me to talk the "plumbing" talk! My French is good, obviously, but half this stuff I don't know in English, let alone French. One thing I finally got through my thick skull though is TILES! Tiles are tiles right? Well not in French they're not. Oh I know that roof tiles are tuiles, and floor tiles are carrelage but I could never get through my brain what faïence were. Turns out faïence are wall tiles and on many occasion I've mixed things up a bit so thankfully Jordan was there to explain to the nice (confused) lady that no, I didn't in fact want the pretty mosaic tiles I'd picked out for the roof, they are going on the floor because they are carrelage! I tell ya, I came out of there almost €10,000 lighter and totally exhausted - but not as knackered as that poor sales lady must have been. Still, at least she'll be making good commission!