Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays

We're off to South Africa today, so I won't be posting for a few weeks, but expect lots of news in January...once the computer is fixed as died last week.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Insignificant Blog Awards

Not sure quite what the criteria are for winning but I've entered nonetheless.....I am guessing that as I don't get much traffic there's not much point, but may be that is the whole point...who knows?

Click the link on the right hand side to vote!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Is it Spam or Post-Modernist Literature?

Just thought I'd share the most interesting piece of spam I've received in was either that or enter it for the next orange prize, but may be I could do both? Thanks by the way to Irena Costella or who ever you are for sending it to me!

"heart responded to that appeal. He could not hurry by unheeding. how her man can put up with it, but hes an awful easygoin chapjust mistake, or to have any misunderstanding with Fred, built it rightthe kind that wouldnt notice anything wrong until hed come home some
sugar I wondered again as I had so many times that day where we binocular were met by angry threats. a spring wardrobe crazy if it cruelty had not been Ahm who stole Lys.
Guided by the calls, he turned aside from his course and made his waynight and find her gone. I havent one bit of respect for her.beside their own Fred sent enough money to have a frame building putOh, now, Mrs. Smith, youre too hard on her. Shes young and pretty
seafood salt Cautiously I approached facility a beer-mug "They will conservationist kill us,
the flank of extreme the cliffs,
through the choking storm across the prairie.and likes a good time. Mrs. was giving her steel knives aup but the twins decided that logs were more romantic and cheaper. Itquick rub with ashes out of deference to the lady stoppers. Its easy
where they attack terminated in an abrupt nap said Lys. "We orthodontic may as well
escarpment as though some all value powerful hand had was a remarkable structure when they were through with it, stuck The cries came nearer, and Fred shouted in replywords of impatientenough for folks like us, waving her knife to include all present, toagainst their own house, as if by accident, and resembling in itsbe very respectable and never get ourselves talked about, for nobodys thigh broken keep on resettlement in tragic search of another refuge."
encouragement. No rescuer ever went to his work with a worse grace.askin us to go to dances or fly around with them, but with her itsirregularity the growth of a freak potato. Cables were freely used;different. Dont be hard on her She aint goin to do anything she
off a great section of gain rock and "They will be distracted by/with a sci-fi weapons system futuristic decor not
underneath set it warn upon the surface
A large, dark object loomed faintly through the driving storm.shouldnt.binder twine served as hinges on the doors and also as latches.But the ladies were loath to adopt Mrs. s point of view. All
safety roof of the earth. kill us dwarf so surely as will those others out there," the approach of night flow chart I replied.
It was now quite dark, and as lonely I crept aroundtheir lives nothing had happened, and here was a deliciously exciting "

There....I wonder what happens next?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Countdown has Begun

No we're not launching a rocket or testing a missile, well we're not planning to at any rate. No, we're heading to the sun for Christmas and New Year this year and just before that we have a milestone birthday to get through too. Yes my thoroughly un grown-up husband turns 30 next week....but I happen to think, compared with previous boyfriends and male acquaintances that he happens to be handling it in a very very grown-up manner. In the past I have seen all sorts of crazy "oh shit I'm about to turn 30" behaviour manifest itself. I was once the much younger girlfriend of a 29 year old reluctant to admit that he was hanging on to his late 20's by nothing more than the skin of his teeth and the hopes that if anyone saw him with me (then 19) that they might think he just looked older than he actually was, for example.But no there is almost a calm stoicism in our household when it comes to the ageing drastic new hairstyles or comical make-overs planned, just a graceful passing from youth into middle age, possibly helped by uncontrollable excitement at the prospect of going on safari for two days in January when we are in South Africa. Perhaps it helps that my Dad will be exactly double his age on the very same day?

In fact what I mean by the the very accurate and regularly reported countdown to the day next week when aged 30,my husband will be flying to South Africa for the first time. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about going to see family and friends as I haven't been back in quite some time, but its not a "first" for me...oh and I'm still panicking about what to buy him for his 30th as every single person I speak to on the subject, reliably informs me that they have in fact just bought "exactly that" for him when I float my latest idea on what to buy for him.....I am so annoyed at this in fact that I have stopped getting involved in the conversation and dropped into pre-sulk mode as I prepare to be the person who gets him book vouchers while all those around me hand over exactly what he wanted!

But we should have a fantastic time once we get to South Africa, if we haven't missed the flight in the excitement of spending the book tokens in the airport shop of course! Which reminds me I still have some more Christmas shopping to do before we fly, or people will be getting duty-free gifts...which just doesn't score highly at all, not even in the "it was the thought that counted" stakes. I was so much more organised by this time last year! So much more! At this rate I'll be packing on the way out the door!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Let there be light........please?

I know that I haven't been posting in a while but I've been busier than this time last year, and markedly less dark in my mood as well. But on the subject of darkness....we have yet to get the lighting sorted in this place. In Switzerland when you move into a place it does not come with light fittings....not even a wire with a bulb on the end. I suppose we should be grateful that there are even switches, however in two of the main rooms in this apartment they even forgot to put the wires in! So its been 6 weeks of calling the agent for the building....waiting for a "bon de commande" (a voucher) to call the electrician with and then getting through to him only to be told...."oh yeah well...we decided when we moved the wall not to bother reconnecting the cable'll have to take it up with the agent."

So take it up with the agent I have, in my best sarcastic french reserved for tongue in cheek letters to swiss bureaucrats....and now we wait again. The light fittings are starting to meld with the carpet in bedroom, but I don't want to go down to see the agent and drag him up to demonstrate how dark the rooms get on a gloomy afternoon with just a couple of lamps to brighten them as I've done a thoroughly naughty thing and painted a wall in our bedroom a non-authorised colour (not white) but I'd had enough of the austere uniformity of the apartment and besides I've always liked this shade of cornflower blue!

We might get lights in the ceilings before Christmas, but at the moment I think the chances of Snow in the Sahara on Christmas Day are higher.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Blog and it comes true.....well nearly

No I was wittering on about the driving licence, and what should arrive in the post today but my new swiss licence, although as that bloody woman interfered with my form, I now haven't a single piece of ID in my married name.....but I can continue to drive so she'd better watch out when she's crossing!

I've emptied Ikea and I'm being slowly driven round the bend

Well the apartment is very nearly in order, Ikea have made a small fortune, and no manner of money off for my birthday coupons is going to redress the balance....see that's how well they know us now, they even know my birthday! So now I get to try and battle the last few bits of admin that we need to get sorted to make us fully "legal" as it were.

So job one was driving licences. If you plan to stay for a period of time, you have to within the first year of being in the country, surrender your driving licence in favour of a swiss one...why is not made clear, just that you must. I have given up trying to fight them on the issue, and so went to the police station to pick up the relevant form, which I have to admit was a bit of a doddle to fill out, and which I then sent off to the cantonal authority with the 3 forms of ID and crappy passport pictures. Only, the policeman had supplied the wrong form, so within a week the form was sent back to me, with the new and appropriate one included, but none of my photocopies in the envelope (someone somewhere must collect photocopies of wedding certificates.)

This new and improved form was a little more complicated and needed far more input than the previuos one, including a testament to my eyesight from a suitably state approved optician, and a signature to testifiy that the muppets in the local council office agree that it is me signing and sending in my UK licence. Well I filled out said form, taking care to make it clear that although my residency card is in my maiden name, my drivers licence is in my married. Drove around one morning getting the rest of the signatures I needed, and then rocked up to get the local council to sign the form. Well the poor woman (how she got the job I have no idea - she's not swiss) decided that Née was not the same as Epousé and corrected my perfectly legibile and understandable form with some gummed up tippex and a ball point pen, and not even black ink at that! So I'm expecting to recieve the whole lot back in a few days, and then to have to go through the painful process again....just so long as they don't make me take a driving test at the end of it I don't mind. You only get 3 goes at it here, after that you can kiss goodbye to the open road unless it's as a passenger.

The mad landlady from the previuos appartment is meanwhile trying to make us cough up for some ridiculously expensive carpet cleaning service that charge both your arms and a leg to clean a square inch of her manky "tibetan" carpet, that my contract cleaners wouldn't touch for fear of it disintegrating between their fingers......a new rug would not only be more hygenic but far more economical and aesthetically pleasing! But hey ho, she still thinks she lives in Swaziland.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pay it Forward

And no I don't mean the schmaltzy yet touching film starring Haley Joel Osment, I mean instead the guy who has restored my faith in human nature. You see we were unable to get a van to move our stuff from "stupid landlady's" to "great new place" and so having run out of options I resorted to the English language radio station here in an effort to find a "man with a van" to help us move what was an unconscionably large amount of stuff to have accumulated in less than a year. Well the radio station took pity on me and made an announcement to the effect that I was pathetic and needed less than 5 minutes I had a call from a guy who said he could help....... So the following evening he turned up at the appointed time to help shift all our stuff and it turned out he had in fact been at work all day, had shot home and picked up his wife's people carrier, removed the seats and dashed to help us! Now in this day and age you just don't expect that, and he would take no more than a few beers bought after the moving and lugging in exchange for his help.....the catch being that I now have to "pay it forward" (see the link now.)

But yes we have finally moved out of the lunatic appartment to one that came with fresh clean paint, an oven that works and laundry system that indeed functions. Not that it was without hiccups....or is entirely complete in all senses yet...we have another load of more "stuff" (we must get a handle on our stuff addiction) coming over at the end of the month, and then yet more soon after. In the meanwhile we have begun to buy shelves for all this "stuff" and I may even consider becoming adept at using ebay to shift some of the stuff!

Thankfully the radio station that made the appeal for me has not made any appeals recently that I felt I could do justice, but as soon as all this "stuff" (even you are getting tired of it now) is dealt with and packed away I shall be looking to restore someone else's faith in human nature.....