Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day !



My 'national anthem'.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bite Me

So instead of reading a blog about the wonderful holiday I had in London last weekend; meeting up with an old friend and our exploits at Gordon's Wine Bar, the Veuve Cliquot Champagne bar at Harrods and how much fun we had, you get to find what happens when I get bit by insects in Switzerland.

I love all things Swiss, if you've ever read anything here, you know this is true. I've adjusted to the change in climate, food, culture with great ease for the most part (and yeah, maybe a few pounds). But Swiss insects,like mosquitoes and horseflies seem to have some unusual properties that my body cannot handle. Keep in mind, I'm from Canada. I grew up in Manitoba and have been bitten by mosquitoes the size of sparrows, I've survived multiple wasp bites, bee stings and one very nasty bite from a black widow spider (while living on the Wet Coast) without much more than some ice and calamine lotion. Also 'the itch' from Clear Lake on so many occasions during my childhood, I should be scarred. But no, I am Canadian, little biting black flies and dense clouds of mosquitoes don't phase me.

The first summer here, my arms were covered in swollen red oozing bites that I attributed to spiders in the new house. The second summer, after having gone back to Canada and been bitten by both Albertan and Manitoban bugs with no horrendous reactions, I was amazed to return home and watch a simple mosquito bite turn into some large, red, owwy mass that took days to subside. Last summer, I dragged out the Deep Woods Off and basically coated my arms, legs and face every night before I went to bed.

Yesterday I was cleaning the pool and got bit by a horsefly. This is what my thigh and knee looked like this morning, even after icing it for hours last night.







In desperation I took some Benadryl today, all the while knowing that antihistamines are like dropping (bad) acid for me. I get woozy, see little trails of light and basically feel worse for the cure. Then I went and passed out for 4 hours. I still feel achy and weird, but the swelling has gone down a bit and the bites don't look quite so angry.



Tuesday, June 07, 2011

For Dani



Just a thought.
via boingboing

Thursday, June 02, 2011

No Matter What You Do, Be Amazing !



via thedailywhat

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer Fun

Ack! Has it really been almost two months since I've posted ? And it looks like squatters have been in here while I was away.

* kicks the empty beer cans into the corner, wipes away some cobwebs*

Ahem. Yes, well, what have I been sooo very busy doing that I couldn't even stop in and drop a line or two? It all started with the very early arrival of summer this year. Seriously, since the beginning of April, we have had maybe 3 days with rain and temps above 20C everyday. And with the arrival of summer, I was compelled to deal with some VIP's.

Very Important Projects.

The first of these was dealing with the terrasse, which I let slide into some state of disrepair and stainage last year.


Before                                                             After

Once the entire terrasse had been swept and power washed, we had the 70 year old Ungaro (yes, we ARE equal opportunity employers!) come in and repair all the cracks and spalling grout,despite his fervent wish that we replace the entire terrasse with SMOOTH rock.


Then there was this bit of street side property that has been a weed and nettle infested eyesore since we moved in.




This required the accumulation of some rocks:




Weeds begone...                                                             Eh, Voila!

Now if that wasn't enough there was another thorn in my side that had been poking at me since we moved in, this slope:



It is much steeper than it looks and cannot be mowed, which means that for the last two summers I have waved the weedwhacker over it and tried to keep the bunch grass and dandelions at bay. But no more, no I am SO done with that shit. I have rocks:




Probably not nearly enough, but enough to start. Stripped and ready to go!

Also, I have the cutest helper in the world:



Did I mention that I'm walking 5 km a day as well? Yeah, because hauling rocks and digging dirt doesn't burn enough calories to rid me of a winter of fondue and raclette, apparently.

The Big G and I have done a bit of travelling in the last few months; Basel, the UK, a wonderful luxurious weekend in Lugano and have more travel coming up : 5 days in Paris (starting this weekend !!!) and then I'm off to London to meet up with an old friend. As always there is more than enough to do and see in Switz alone and if I drag myself away from landscaping long enough I hope to do some Swiss tourism this summer too!

And the pool is open and should be warm enough to swim in by the end of the week! Yaaaaay summer!