Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Monday, 22 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
2. It's been snowing here non-stop for almost 2 days. Not very heavily or anything, but constantly, so it's really accumulated and every trip outdoors involves inadvertently standing in a puddle of slush that you thought wasn't there. Don't forget your waterproof shoes, Steph.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Not so relaxing after all, then. Grr.
* Sorry Steph. We heard that you wanted us to wait so we could go there with you in the evening after we'd got back. I'm sure we can go again, though, since we saw NOTHING the first time round. And maybe mum n dad will be such experts by then that I won't even have to go with you!
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Sunday, 30 November 2008
And now they've vanished from the shops. Where have they gone? The shelves are flooded with every other imaginable festive biscuit and I'm tormented daily by Reto's hideous zimtsternen (which he loves and I hate) and IT'S MADE ME REALISE THE TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF SELF-DENIAL. I won't fall for that one again then, will I?
And there might have also been a photo of me looking all cranky and cold and being rained on. It's nice to be home (where there's almost no snow and absolutely no rain).
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Soy sauce might start living in the fridge from now on. Although the fridge isn't really big enough to accommodate the bottle. Oh, Switzerland.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Thursday, 20 November 2008
In case it's not clear what I'm talking about, apparently Switzerland changed the rules a little while ago (like a few months or so). Before the rule change, I would have been able to get a Swiss license by just turning up with my eye test results and saying "gimme a license, yo" or something like that, but now I have to not only do the eye test and say "gimme a license, yo", but I also have to pass a theory test in a national language. Which for me means french. And I have a relatively limited period of time to do it in. Fortunately we Australians are exempt from having to do a practical test, which is both idiotic (changing sides of the road? If I do ever get around to driving a car in this country I'm sure it will be in a VERY UNSAFE MANNER, even if I do know all the road rules) and great (I don't want to have to do one).
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Monday, 10 November 2008
There's a bunch of people in London. I live in a tiny town in a tiny country.
Just because the flight is only an hour and a bit doesn't mean it's quick and easy to get there. 7 hours passed today between leaving the Hotel Kizzy and arriving back at our place.
I'm an atrocious public singer.
No big surprises anywhere, then.
Friday, 7 November 2008
Thursday, 6 November 2008
The other day some of the groceries I bought at Migros didn't make it all the way home (who knows what happened. Maybe they fell out of my bag, maybe I never put them in. Who knows).
And I've lost my favourite beanie. Now I only have the blue one that makes me look enormous-headed.
Normally I never lose anything. Possibly I'm turning into my sister. Did I ever mention the time she lost her glasses and I found them (undamaged!) in the gutter, hidden under leaves, on a major road about 5 blocks from where we lived?
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
In other news, my current favourite recipe is this chestnutty/brussels sprouty pasta (apologies to southern hemisphere people who aren't currently drowning in chestnuts and brussels sprouts):
An onion, sliced
Some bacon, chopped into wee bits (I use maybe a rasher or so, but I don't particularly like bacon)
Brussels sprouts, yuckier outer leaves peeled off then the rest sliced (I use about 200g, possibly)
Chestnuts (cut a cross onto the flatter side with a sharp knife. Bung them in a saucepan of cold water, bring it to the boil and as soon as it does (boil), take it off the stove. Take them out of the water a few at a time and peel off the shell and the skin. It gets harder when they are cooler (ie. it's harder to get the skin off), but when they are hot you burn your fingers. So you really can't win. Then slice them up a bit. I use ... maybe 12)
salt, pepper, a splash of oil
Chuck all the ingredients into a frying pan. Cook them until they look delicious (10 minutes or so?).
Meanwhile, cook some pasta. Serve in the traditional fashion (probably with grated cheese, too. I like gran padano). Yum.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
In reverse chronological order, I've been: off at film festivals. Just the one, actually, a short film fest last night, which we left early because we were both knackered and it was never going to end (really, we left at 1am or something and there was at least an hour and a half left). But it was super, and we saw some excellent flicks including quite a few Swiss ones, which was nice (because normally you never see anything Swiss, or if you do they're normally crap/weird/incomprehensible. Sadly enough, possibly the only Swiss movie I saw before moving here was this odd thing about an insane woman who was in some sort of rambling manor house type place in french Switz and there was a would-be-murderer and some possibly-incompetent policemen and a lot of fog and they all ran around like nutburgers. If anyone knows the name of it, please tell me). Anyway, that was nice but verrrry,very smoky and today all my clothes stink.
We went to the thermal pools at Yverdon-les-Bains, which was a lot less charming than it should have been. We went on Thursday, when it was freezing, but sadly not freezing enough to be snowing, and if there had been any snow in Y-l-B it had all melted by the time we got there (which decreased the potential charm enormously). Because I'm a relentless optimist I didn't take an umbrella. This was a bad decision, because apparently the bus system in Y-l-B is atrocious, so we ended up walking around in the rain for aaaages. Anyway, the pools themselves were okay, but not really warm enough, which is a strange problem to have in thermal pools. When we were in the outdoor pool (in the cold cold rain), I was cold. Sitting in a thermal pool and having goose bumps from the cold? Stoopid.
I've eaten mountains of chestnuts. By which I actually mean I've had them about 3 times in the last week, which really isn't very much, but in relation to the number of chestnuts I've eaten in my entire life it's heaps. The first time I had chestnuts was when I was about 15. I was in London and for some idiotic reason I thought they were horrible. The second time was probably about 10 years later, in Germany, and I thought they were great. The third time was probably last year, and I haven't looked back since. Living in a country where they are readily available certainly makes a difference. That being said, I hate the way that pumpkins are considered primarily to be decorative items in this country.
I bought 2kg of Lindt balls from the Lindt factory shop the other day. Then I hid them from Reto, becuse if I don't he'll scoff the lot before I can get a look in.
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Sir. At least it's a promotion from Mr.
Monday, 27 October 2008
Had porridge for breakfast. For the first time in years, and it was super. I had it with sliced banana, milk, sugar, a smidge of nutmeg and some chopped almonds. Yum.
Had a pleasant post-lunch rendezvous with people from french (class) and had a surprisingly lovely time. Not because they are normally not nice people to spend time with (far from it), but because I am normally so packed full of french-rage that everything associated with it annoys me. We're on holidays for a week, though, and this was lovely.
Bought a magazine about philosophy. In french (as in the magazine is in french). Look at my non-rage!
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Saturday, 18 October 2008
.. the high point of the day was still, without a shadow of a doubt, the bit where a helicopter carrying a life-sized sculpture of a giraffe flew over the town. I can't begin to tell you how sad I am that I didn't have my camera with me.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Not that I want to sound like a whiny old enemy-of-the-youngsters or anything, but today I saw a dude at the train station who was wearing his pants practically around his knees (in this manner, although admittedly not quite so low. That "knees" comment was an exaggeration:
). Which, as I explain for my mother who may well read this, is the fashion in some circles. And much as it may be a stupid way to dress, I'm hardly going to go around getting all huffy about it and carrying on about young people today, but this guy at the station, his pants were actually falling down a bit with every step he took.
Had I been a totally different person, I would have dakked him. It would have been a sensible thing to do, and it would have made a good point. Reto doesn't agree.
When we got back from Norway (just after it had turned FREEZING here, although as it turned out that only lasted for a moment and now it's high-teens or so every day), we found that our heaters had been turned on. I don't really know what's considered normal in this country, but in our flat our heaters aren't really under our control. You can turn them up or down but never entirely off, and so our flat is always heated in the months officially dubbed "cold". You wouldn't think I would have a problem with that, what with my constant whining about being perma-freezing and having numb fingers (which I home-diagnose as Raynaud's disease, by the way) and so on, but as it turns out I do.
It's not cold at the moment, we don't need heaters, and as it turns out my problem isn't that I'm always cold but that I have no powers of homeostasis. When it's cold, I'm cold (and I get colder and colder and never warm up), and when it's hot, I'm hot (and I get hotter and hotter and never cool down. I like to put my feet under the cold tap before I go to bed in summer because otherwise my feet feel like they're burning).
It's too hot in our flat. I'm sleeping really badly and having a lot of idiotic nightmares (which happens when I'm too hot). I'm drinking about 8 tons of water a day and still feeling dehydrated. And I totally disapprove of me getting around in a tshirt (and jeans) in the middle of autumn.
Then again, it's still better than being cold.
Monday, 13 October 2008
At this stage, ABBA and show tunes (from Annie Get Your Gun, because I'm still in the As) are looking like the best options.
UPDATE: No, the song list seems to have EVERY SONG KNOWN TO MANKIND, including Hats Off To Larry (which I always said would be my karaoke song because I was always sure it would never be on any karaoke song list. I'm pretty sure I stole that idea from my sister, actually, song and all), and songs from the musical episode of Buffy. Huh.
Sunday, 12 October 2008
not those ones
we did walk up here though
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Friday, 3 October 2008
I've seen 16 or so movies. I've spent about 25 hours on the train travelling between Fribourg and Zurich (including last Friday night when something stupid went wrong with the train signalling or something and I spent 3 hours on the train instead of 1.5 getting home again, grr). I've spent a lot of time embracing the awfulness of being a refugee or hoping to be recognised as one, of being stalked by psychopaths in the dwindling hours of life on earth, of being in flailing relationships, of having mentally unstable family members, of being in comas, of being a Dutch teenager stuck between cultures (that one was really crappy), of being a Norwegian train driver (there was no awfulness in that one. It was charmingly bizarro and pleasantly familiar, what with having spent so much time on Norwegian trains lately), of being kinda nutso and prone to bursting inappropriately into song, of getting too involved with other people's lives of crime, and now I'm looking forward to getting back to the non-horror of my life.
Which sadly means getting back into all-day french lessons and becoming paranoid about this stoopid exam thing I've signed myself up for. Sigh.
I miss the film fest.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
After the second movie, we were all hustled out a side door and into some crappy alley (nb. much less crappy than the State Theatre's alley) because there was a red carpet thing going on out the front of the theatre. Apparently Sylvester Stallone was there (because the fest is having some sort of Sylvester Stallone flashback retrospective) and they didn't want us rabble getting in his way. Flattering.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
I was having some sort of crisis of personality, where I was doubting whether I really wanted to watch that many movies, and whether I would be able to cope with going to Lausanne every morning and Zurich every afternoon, missing half my french lessons and not getting enough sleep, but ... happily I have now read the Zurich Film Festival programme in english (instead of struggling through the stupid german version that I found at the airport), and am REALLY EXCITED about lots of films, and I don't care at all that it will involve sitting on a train for something like 4 hours a day! Yay for me!
And in other funny festy news, there's a movie on at this fest (Beaufort) that I saw at the Sydney Film Fest last year. That's slow.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Monday, 22 September 2008
The good thing about this holiday, though, was that both of us have been there before, and so it really didn't matter.
In reality they were a lot less green. Plus, I think the photos were taken over something like 20 or 30 seconds, so that's a lot of accumulated light and movement in one photo.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
I've been back for slightly over a day and in that time I've already been thoroughly traumatised at having to wake up at the crack of my alarm clock, I've managed to go to twice as many french lessons as I was expecting (apparently our tiny and relatively happy class has been melded with another one that's more advanced than us, so to catch up to them we're doing an extra 3 hours of classes in the afternoon!), I've been told that I'm doing some sort of DELF/DALF (or whatever it's called. Some sort of internationally-recognised french exam) thing in November, which is probably a good thing but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it, I've realised I actually have forgotten everything I ever knew, and I have discovered that I have no clean clothes.
Remember how happy I was last week? Sigh.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Happy birthday cat, meanwhile, to my mother-in-law (whose birthday was last week some time) and my tiny new nephew Dominic, who was born last week. Honestly, you leave the country for 5 minutes or so and all sorts of things happen.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Sunday, 31 August 2008
Not Stamsund. I think this might be Reine, which was apparently voted the most picturesque town in Norway
The first I remember seeing of Reto was at night, when a bunch of us were sitting outside waiting for the aurora borealis to show up. I'm sure the story would be far more charming if the northern lights had have arrived and we had fallen hopelessly in love under their glowy magnificence or something like that, but instead we sat out in the freezing under the black night sky until we couldn't stand the cold any more, and then I explained to him how to use the washing machine.
Our ancestor. Sort of.
Reto left, and our habit of chasing each other from one country to another began, a habit that was to continue for a couple of years before we decided to try spending time in not only the same hemisphere but the same tiny apartment. Actually, there's also a whole bit of the story that I've left out because it involves me hitting Reto over the head repeatedly to make him realise he was hopelessly in love with me, but I don't really like that bit of the story and so it stays out.
And then we lived happily ever after.
It's my story and I say only the best bits stay in.
thankyou Google Images
Friday, 29 August 2008
Monday, 25 August 2008
My teacher allegedly speaks english,but I secretly suspect that she doesn't at all.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Friday, 22 August 2008
* Obviously if I was actually sporty the minor exertion of three whatever they're calleds (games?) at the bowling alley wouldn't be enough to make my muscles wince. Since I am obviously not sporty, though, the reminder that I did anything vaguely more active than go for a walk makes me feel like some sort of super athlete.
Monday, 18 August 2008
Actually, that's about the extent of my socialising lately, but it's more than usual.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Sunday, 10 August 2008
Anyway, the current, which is pretty zippy, carries you back those 500m that you walked, then you have to swim over to the side of the river and grab onto one of the strategically located poles to get out. I'm not sure what happens if you don't make it to a pole. I gather there is another option for pole-assisted getting out another 250m away, but after that? I think there might be a weir. Which doesn't sound like too much fun.
Anyway, it was super. And surprisingly exhausting, what with the shock of the cold and then the constant minor struggle to keep nicely afloat, and swimming over to the side and so on. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who finds themself at a loose end, with cossies and a towel, in the general vicinity of Berne. Although possibly that description really only applies to people who live in the general vicinity of Berne and who therefore probably already know about it or have done it.
* I have no tolerance for cold water and am a complete wuss about getting into it. It really wasn't that bad, but I carried on a lot.