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
|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!
Every time I get my car inspected (the safety check), they adjust my seat. It's not part of the check, so they must have mechanics with either teeny weeny legs, or very long legs. And, being in Decor, I know a little about tiles and I can tell you that even in English, people get confused.ReplyDelete
I guess the mechanics have to have short legs so they can walk under the car for the inspection! Well that's my theory anyway. And I'm glad it's not just me that gets confused with this stuff then. Sometimes my eyes just glaze over so I was REALLY glad Jordan was there!Delete
Oh I cannot wait to see small glimpses of the renos, if you decide to share! I love that little note you left for Andre ;)! I hope his work trip to Istanbul goes well, I am sure he will get it all put together nicely, but maybe they think he'll do a great job anyway (vs some kind of secret way of testing his skill)!ReplyDelete
I'll be happy to share pictures of the bathrooms once they're all done (the before pictures, maybe not so much). As for André he could have applied for a promotion some time ago but said he didn't want to work in that kind of area - i.e. moving out of what he's doing now and basically just being an admin for one of the bigwigs. Who knows, maybe this will lead to bigger and better things, although his former unit AND another unit have told him there's a job waiting for him any time he wants!Delete
I thought it was funny that you did not know plumbing stuff in English, much less French. It sounds like you will have nice new baths when all is said and done. I clean or declutter in more like ten minutes intervals since it is hard for me to stand up at all. I was going to send you a Christmas car but could not find your address. Can you send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send a card next Christmas?ReplyDelete
I set my timer for an hour and just keep plodding along until I more or less get that hour in. Even with just an hour, the place already seems easier to breath - although it might only be me that notices it! And I've been reading about your and Tommy's efforts to declutter and while he may grumble I'm pretty sure he appreciates how much better the place looks really!Delete
Your comments about tidying motivated me to go and sort out the growing mess in a corner of my bedroom. It took about twenty minutes, and you are right, it makes such a difference to just get in and sort it. Thanks for the inspiration:)ReplyDelete
Ha, new year's resolutions and all that. But seriously, an hour a day (or thereabouts) really works well for me, whether it be in the basement, the garden or the house. I suppose it also helps that I just leave everything out when I'm finished for the day because I live alone. Who knows what our places will look like by this time next year. The Show Homes of Dallas?Delete
I'm envious of your bathroom projects. This spring! I didn't even make it awake to midnight. Thank you for the card. I have post holiday greetings to send soon, after my kids are gone back home or school, and I need things to do that aren't housework and decluttering.ReplyDelete
With all your kids being home, you have far more important things to do than worry about decluttering. There's plenty of time for that afterwards, right?Delete
My husband is a foot and a half taller than I am so when he drives my car and doesn't reset the seat, I can't even reach the pedals when I get in- there is no doubt I need to readjust it.ReplyDelete
Ha ha, well at least you don't drive around for a month wondering if you're going blind or shrinking! Jordan said I have my seat so close to the steering wheel I could drive with my teeth, but then again, we're not all six feet tall are we!Delete
I hope I'm an Aunt Chippy when I'm eighty. I'm much braver now than when I was a young woman. I don't care much what people think about me anymore.ReplyDelete
Take photos of your bathroom before and after so we can see. Yes, I'm nosy.
I agree, I think Aunt Chippy is great. Given that they have several aunts someone asked why Aunt Chippy and they said that it was because "she's the loudest". And you're right, I think it's good that as we get older we don't give a damn. As for the bathrooms, I took pictures to show to the sales lady and oh my god, when I look at them in the clear light of day I'm horrified. So I bought paint yesterday to at least get the ceiling painted before they start. That's another bright idea I had!Delete
I think I'm well on my way to being an Aunt Chippy. lol We had our bathrooms done in 2019 and it made such a difference. I'm sure you're going to love it. I visited Switzerland way back when I was 10 and 12 years old. My grandfathers family lived there. I have a bit of regret not moving there years ago because I thought it was the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Happy New Year to you!!ReplyDelete
I'm sure the bathrooms will shock me actually. I've now realized it's best to paint the ceilings before the work starts and when I look up close - oh my goodness!!! And that's interesting that you have family in Switzerland. Do you remember where? It is indeed a very beautiful country and very democratic - they vote on EVERYTHING!Delete
Most are in Berne with some in Zurich. Both places were gorgeous. My Grandparents are no longer alive but when they were they visited every couple of years and I was fortunate to go with on two trips. Maybe I'll go back someday, I just don't care for traveling much anymore.Delete
I've been to Berne a few times (most consulates are there) and it's lovely. As for Zurich, I've only ever flown into it and it's not the first place you think of when you think "Switzerland" and "tourism" is it. Just think, if you'd moved to Switzerland you'd be buying your bathroom fixtures in Swiss German!Delete
Oh do come with Andre and stay longer! Wouldn't that be great? You have a free tour guide over here. I have a guest room too if you wish. In case Andre may need help, you or he can send me an e-mail to email@example.com so that I can share my real name and phone number.ReplyDelete
That's very kind of you T'Pol. I'll let him know. Oh I wouldn't be allowed to go with André because I'm an old fogie and I don't work there anyway but who knows. I'm looking to start travelling again this year, with Holland already on the books for April!Delete
Happy New Year! I hope it's a good one for all of us. Lets hope for some normality for everyone. We've been doing our kitchen since August so my kitchen 'moved' to the laundry room until December! (thank goodness for my lockdown built laundry room!) It was a bit of a nightmare at times as the cooking facilities were still in the kitchen but everything else was in the laundry room which is at the other end of the house. It's not that big a house, until you forget a spoon to stir a pot of something on the hob!! So, when hubby finally finished it all the week between Christmas and New Year and it all got moved back it was wonderful. Just in time to take down the Christmas decorations and get the house back to 'normal'! I'm now trying to get rid of stuff that seems to have nowhere to live now and I've yet to put any ornaments etc back out and it may stay that way!! I hope you have a great year with lots of travel. xxReplyDelete
Happy New Year to you too! I knew you'd started on your kitchen but that sounds like a nightmare. I remember my friend relaying her entire downstairs floor AND a whole new kitchen and she was on her knees at the end of it - so as you can tell, I'm not looking forward to the mess of getting my bathrooms done. But needs must and I'm sure it will be worth it. You'll have to get back to blogging so I can see the pictures!!!! Do let me know if and when!Delete
I desperately need to get my two bathrooms redone, both from the 80’s!!! Also had a basement bathroom demolished about 12 years ago with nothing done since :(. The whole basement was torn apart for a full 20,000.water remediation and never redone). I’m on a mission this year and have set money aside. On Sunday I finally also had an epiphany! On the 16th I turned 69, I refuse to turn 70 with the hoard of crap I’ve filled my huge house with! I’ve ten large garage bags by the door as a start of getting rid of my excess clothes……. I’m done with too much stuff. I’m trying something newish as I’ve tried room to room before but not whole heartedly I’ll admit. I’m picking a category each month. I have ADD and get distracted ha! So maybe this will help. I won’t go down the rabbit hole of all the other things I see. So January is clothing. (I’ve tons in the basement and leftovers from kids…)…. February is dishes/kitchen things, March book’s, papers (also very bad). And so on. I’m a widow so it’s all on me. It’s time. JreReplyDelete
I looked the other day and as far as I can see our bathrooms were done around 1997 so only slightly more recent than yours. When I looked at the paintwork in the large bathroom I saw it with new eyes and realize I'll have to at least get the ceiling painted before they arrive. My ex was a bit of a hoarder and over the years I've had to get rid of all the stuff he abandoned in his farmhouse and got dumped on me when he suddenly went back to the States in 2015 (with 5 days notice) so it's not ALL my crap. That being said, you can't do anything until you get rid of the crap (some of which isn't actually crap either). I mean, I don't see when I will ever need 60 dinner plates again, do you! Your decluttering system sounds a bit like the Marie Kondo method to me so good luck to you. I'm finding the "one hour method" works for me and I just flit from one thing to the next. I'm alone too and have a large-ish house with a very large basement and garage so I know I have to get rid before it all ends up being dumped on my kids if I keel over (from snow shovelling)! Good luck to us and please stop in again and let me know how you're getting on!Delete
Oh, and I forgot to say happy birthday!Delete
Thanks and your talk of plates reminded me in a small well pump room in my basement I still have my daughter’s wedding dishes. She had a beautiful back yard wedding 6 years ago for about 160 guests. We collected beautiful old floral vintage plates, all different both dinner and dessert sized (plus actual silverware for each place setting). Plus several serving dishes. Oh my now I recall each table had four clear cake stands! Although some I’ve given away! In my defense ha! Two more kids got married afterwards, the last a year ago and I kept them in case. But weddings are done and I may see about selling the whole lot or will go to a thrift store. I almost forgot about that mess, shoot.Delete
Oh man, that would be hard for me to get rid of! I love mismatched plates and flora/oldie-worldie in particular. Good luck with that one!Delete