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)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I got my annual letter the other day to go and renew my B permit (as in my Swiss residency permit). Normally it's pretty straightforward - turn up, give them a photo and the filled-in renewal form, pay the fee and a new permit gets posted out to me. This year they're making me give them my fingerprints and they want to take my photo themselves, and so the process has involved going to the foreigner office to hand in a form, being sent another form telling me to go to the post office to pay for the new permit and then going to the passport office to have all the biometric stuff done. 3 separate trips to places? Including no doubt having to queue for about 25 years at the passport office because it always seems to be chockers? Sigh.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Things I Haven't Done Recently

The annual balloon festival was on at Chateau d'Oex (quite near here) last week, and we ummed and aahed and then didn't go. Reto was a bit sad because he's just bought a fancy (= expensive) new camera and missed out on an opportunity to use it, but then he had a look at the pictures he took when we went there a few years ago and was appeased.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Nonie Update

You'll all be pleased to know that No continues to be the cutest baby ever. As of this morning (and a visit to the doctor) she weighs in at a whopping 7.9kg, and 72cm (which is actually not whopping at all). Her latest skills include sitting up unassisted (although sometimes there is a bit of falling over involved), saying "doi doi doi" a lot, and flirting outrageously with every woman over the age of about 50 in sight. Really, we can't get through the shortest of bus trips without the No grinning and batting her eyelashes at every potential grandmother around, and thus forcing me into a conversation about how old she is, how adorable she is, how blue her eyes are, and (funnily enough) whether she's a girl or a boy. I am the master of baby small-talk.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Token Effort

I've been inspired to post something new on my blog, partially because, just now as I was having a look through it trying (unsuccessfully) to find something I may have written some years ago, I realised how entertaining and delightful it once was, and partly because one of my devoted fans recently asked me "Are you ever going to put anything new on your blog? I'm fed up with that stupid picture of snow" (or something similarly rude).


"Doodiwindi"*? On the "Macyntyre river"? Seriously, Le Temps, I know that Australia is a far-off and probably not even real land, but don't you have subeditors or something who can check that you don't just make up the names of towns? The Macintyre river misspelling wasn't too bad, but it is the river that ran through the town where I grew up, and therefore my outrage is disproportionate.

* I assume this is meant to be Goondiwindi

The Old New Me

Oops. For the second year in a row I forgot to take note of the anniversary of my new surname. Which was about a week ago now. Happy 3rd birthday, my new name!