Friday, 20 January 2012

Today's Conversation

Reto: It's funny how often you see people wearing Lonsdale (brand) clothes here.
Me: Really? Why is that funny?
Reto: Because it's something that no one but neo-Nazis wears in Switzerland and Germany.
Me: Huh?

Wikipedia elaborates:

"In the early 2000s, Lonsdale clothing became popular among some European neo-Nazis, allegedly because a carefully placed outer jacket leaves only the letters NSDA showing; one letter short of NSDAP, the acronym for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the German name of the Nazi Party. Wearing a brand with no Nazi links in order to express Nazi sympathies helped bypass strict laws concerning the public display of Nazi symbolism. In the Netherlands, Belgium, northern France and Germany, the term Lonsdale youth became widely used to describe teenagers with far right tendencies, and the brand was banned from certain schools in the Netherlands."

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

b) am having another baby

Ooh, bad timing what with all the recent international moving! Not to mention all the weeks and weeks of cleaning and moving and temporarily staying in a few different places (and christmas and all the boozy potential that I once again missed out on). Then again, maybe it was good timing, what with all the heavy lifting and toxic cleaning products and festive hangovers I managed to avoid.

Apparently it's a boy this time around, and he's due in May. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Australian experience of having a baby compares to the Swiss one (Switzerland has set a very high standard. Reto is sceptical about Australia's chances, but that might just be his extreme patriotism talking. Who knew he was an extreme patriot?). I'm also looking forward to see how we manage to agree on a name for baby #2, because as it turns out Reto has truly appalling taste in boys' names.

a) I've moved to Australia

.. which is something that I've been not mentioning on here for quite a while now. It's a looong, involved and boring process to move to Australia if you are not Australian yourself, or rather, if you are the spouse and parent of Australian people but not Australian yourself. It's ridiculous, the hoops Reto had to jump through, the forms we had to fill in, the medical examination Reto had to undergo, and most significantly, the price we had to pay (about $2500 all up! Just for the luxury of being able to live in my own country with my own husband!). Anyway, after 6 short months it was all organised and now he's a permanent resident and we could even get divorced and he would still be able to live here forevermore (or something). And perhaps he'll even manage to be Australian in a year or so! Before I'm allowed to become Swiss, which seems ridiculously unfair.

And how is it to be back? Hard to tell, so far. We only arrived the other day, and the jetlag (and, more specifically, Nonie's jetlag, which has us all waking up at 5am whether we want to or not) is a bit disorienting. It's hot. And was everything always so expensive here? It makes Switzerland seem like some sort of bargain paradise.


Well, never mind those 9 or so months of silence since my last post. Never mind the fact that the only people likely to notice that there is a new post here are probably people I know in real life who won't be shocked by all the plot developments about to be revealed. Never mind that Facebook now fulfills practically all my needs related to sharing my life with people a long way away (or nearby, whichever) and that my blog is totally superfluous. Just in case you don't know me in real life or haven't been paying attention, you'll no doubt be interested to hear that

a) I've moved to Australia, and
b)am having another baby.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Take That!

Well, as it turns out my baby sign antipathy has moved on a bit. As you will all recall (no doubt), I'm not a big fan of these signs, and complained a bit when someone gave us one when the No was born. Nonetheless, we dutifully hung it from our balcony (and never gave it another thought. We can't see it, after all. We will be taking it down next week when the No turns one, though. Next week! One! Already!).

The shoe was on the other foot when Reto became the godfather of someone, and we embraced our (his) duty to provide the geburtstafel and made (showing surprising drawing/sawing/painting skills we never knew we had) a completely excellent sign ourselves.

And now, such is our enthusiasm for all that DIY, that completely unbidden, without godparental duties or any sort of decent excuse, we made this completely fantastic sign for some friends who just had a baby. I think they might be baby-sign non-embracers too, but they did their best (hah!) to look pleased when we gave it to them, and now they really have no choice but to bung it in their front garden for all the world to see. And yes, we will be checking to make sure they do.

I must say, this is one gift that I'm really happy to be on the giving end of rather than the receiving end, but I really think that Reto and I did a great job with that dingo (it's a dingo, in case you couldn't tell. No, not really an animal that is associated with babies in a good way, but isn't it cute?). Any other baby-havers here in Switzerland who are friends of mine and unlikely to get a geburtstafel from anyone else .. watch out!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Plane Food

Well, we're back from our Australian adventure (did I mention that?) and it was a delight. I'm not really sure where all the photos are, so in the meantime let me just say that it was super, and also wonder .. Why are childrens meals on planes so atrociously appalling? I don't even mean appalling in the way that all plane food has the potential to be revolting, but appalling in the sense that an average meal for the No included something revoltingly deep-fried and reheated, about three types of dessert and an extreme-sugar non-fruit fruit juice. We ordered the "child meal for infant" option (because the alternatives seemed to be a jar of baby mush, which she has never eaten, or nothing), so obviously they were designed for slightly bigger people, but still. Is this ideal? Give a kid some chicken nuggets, Oreos, a mars bar, chocolate mousse and a box of raisins and then hope he settles in for a nice 12-hour nap? And why all the Oreos? They came with almost every meal! Aren't plane meals usually at least a bit geographically influenced? When you're flying out of Switzerland you get a piece of gruyère; when you leave Australia you get cheddar. Who eats Oreos apart from Americans? Where were all the Tim Tams and .. (hmm, what biscuits do Swiss people eat?) ... läckerli? Blergh. I think we might order the veggo option for the No next time, and see if that is any less offensive. That being said, I do wonder if I'm being a bit hysterically food controlly with regard to the No. I have been told by assorted onlookers that it's mean not to give her chocolate, that she deserves a piece of cake, and that she would drink more if we gave her syrop (= cordial) instead of water.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Adventures in Menu Translations

Pigtail of iridescent shark. Huh?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Possibly Forever After All

I found my diamond! Reto called the jewellery shop people and they said there was nothing they would do for me (apart from replace the stone at my expense), so I decided the time had come to actually look for the original. A quick minute or so of sweeping found it. It was on the floor under our toilet. I should have tried that days ago, but the potential for not finding it was a bit discouraging.

Hurray for my reputation as the finder of things remaining unsullied (incidentally, I also found the lost beanie in that post). And hurray for my marriage not falling apart (symbolically or otherwise)!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


No has recently discovered the joy of waving. If she sees herself in the mirror, if anyone comes into view, if she drops a piece of fruit on the ground, if anyone says hello/bye/hoi/gruezi/tschuss/adieu/ciao (etc) within earshot, she waves like a tiny maniac. This arvo on the train she apparently wanted to engage a few strangers and it was so adorable to see them fall victim to her charms. Even the particularly childproof-looking man next to us who had both a book and ipod to absorb all his attention couldn't stand more than a few minutes of No's charm offensive before he was waving back and pulling silly faces at her.

And they say the Swiss are a cranky bunch of grim-faced meanies.

Not Forever After All

Let me preface this by saying it's never me who loses things. I am the finder of things, everyone else loses stuff. When we bought our wedding rings, I thought to myself "The day Reto loses his, I'm going to be really annoyed".

The diamond has fallen out of my wedding ring! I'm so annoyed! I hardly wear the ring around the house these days, too, so having had a good rummage around my handbag and my jeans pockets, it seems really unlikely that I will find it again (not helped by the fact that it's pretty small). Fortunately Reto is on the case of harrassing the jewellery shop where we bought our rings to see if there's anything they'll do about it, so hopefully there's a happy ending somewhere out there, but in the meanwhile, grrr!

On a more positive note, at least I didn't lose the whole ring (that would have been really really terrible, whereas just the stone is more annoying than anything else). Also, if I do have to have the stone replaced I'm thinking of getting something else, perhaps a sapphire, because what do I care for diamonds?
(wedding ring, forlorn and empty, and just in time for our anniversary)