Thursday, December 31, 2009

Santa Swiss Style

Santa Claus is a relatively new import into Switzerland, and like all things that are the result of culture creep, sometimes the final product goes a bit awry. For centuries, the Swiss version of the Christmas saint was, of course, St. Nicholas, and he looked something like this:

 A kindly looking gentleman in the tradition of Father Christmas, yes?

But then along came 'Santa', and I'm not sure if the steeply sloped roofs of the Vaudois houses prevents the reindeer from landing atop the tiles, or if the chimneys are too crooked, but Santa has a whole different modus operandi in modern Switzerland. I present to you, B & E Santa!

As you can see, Santa has no reindeer, no sleigh, but has developed a system of ropes, pulleys and ladders that are somehow in tune with the Alpinist dear to the Swiss' heart. Although there are no reindeer or elves, Santa mysteriously has cloned himself for the Swiss portion of his global gift giving journey and has been seen working in teams.

 Swiss Santa is so brazen that even shops open for business are no deterrent to his B&E antics:


Most troubling of all is Swiss Santa's seeming propensity for taking advantage of his new method of entry...the Peeping Santa:

Puts a whole new twist on 'He sees you when you're sleeping' doesn't it?

But all occupations have hazards and unfortunately, even Santa is not immune to the known dangers Alpine climbing:

When the snows have melted, and spring is blooming in the alps (meadows) the Swiss will rescue the corpses of last Christmas Eve and pray that Santa will be more careful next year.

Happy New Year's Eve everyone....I'll try and post tomorrow with some hangover cures and perhaps a resolution or two.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Track Back

Well this seems appropriate...and when you don't know what to listen to, there's always Steely Dan.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I made it everyone! Merry Christmas and may your Christmas be as happy and as filled with joy as my heart is right now! Later  taters!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When you wish upon a star...
(or the very BEST Christmas present ever!)

Way back in September, when I first encountered the Schengen troll and realized I would have to spend some time here in the UK, I thought I'd be home for Christmas, no problem. As the weeks dragged into months, I'd given up even wishing for such a thing, thinking it would only make me miserable to dwell on something that just wasn't going to happen.So I made plans to have Christmas vicariously with the Big G, the Max, Matthew, Adam and the kittehs with the help of a webcam and video stuff and was pretty pleased with my state of mind. I wasn't coming apart at the seams, I didn't snivel everytime I heard a sappy Christmas carol or looked at all the Christmas decorations around Blackheath.

Last Friday, the Big G flew over for the weekend (as he has diligently been doing every single weekend since I got here) and we had our usual lovely, perfect time together. As he was leaving Sunday night, I was a little more anxious than usual, because it would be 10 whole days until I saw him next, so he could spend Christmas at home.But there was something in the air...and on the ground and the runways,a snowstorm had closed the Geneva airport! I was thrilled, it meant a couple more days with my man and a few less days of being without him.On Monday, we strolled around Mayfair in London, window shopping all the posh jewelry shops, high end galleries and tippling a few pints in a cozy pub watching the weather alternate from snow to sleet to rain.It was romantic and magical and I was so damned happy just have him for an extra day or two.

When he left the flat this morning, I vowed to suck it up and not be sad or whinge about anything, because I'd had those couple of extra days and I wasn't going to get all ungrateful on my own ass.I settled into some serious (or frivolous) web surfing and when the phone rang a few hours later I knew it was the Big G letting me know he got home okay.But...(it gets better...sooooooooo much better) what he really had to tell me was a letter had arrived from the canton ( the local authority in Switzerland) stating that since we are going to be married in January, I can go stay with him (er...go home, but shhhhh) while awaiting my visa application to be processed.What does this all mean? It means I'm getting on a plane on Christmas Eve and going home! It is possible that the Schengen troll may have some issue with this, but as I now have a piece of paper from the government saying I can go to Switzerland, I think I can whack him over the head with it until he crawls back under his bridge. And what kind of heartless meanie would turn me back at the Geneva airport on Christmas Eve, with my fiance waiting in arrivals for me? Hopefully no kind at all. Somehow, someway, back in the early crisp autumn nights walking down Lee Park Road, I wished on the right star...I guess miracles need some time to be created.

.... I'll be posting from Switzerland next time!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Obligatory Seasonal Post

To make up for yesterday's heartwrenching, tear inducing post, I give you this and it will make you smile, I promise!
Beautiful, eh? 


Friday, December 18, 2009

Last Minutes with ODEN
There was a guy I used to work with who had the most amazing dog, Buddy, and it wasn't just that he only had three legs, it was Buddy's insatiable zest for life and laughter that always pierced through whatever cloud of ennui that I was surrounded by. When Buddy finally had to go, I know it broke Cory's heart and it was a few months before we were in touch and he told me. I hope this video doesn't make you unbearably sad, but I hope it makes you cry, because then you'll know you're human. For Cory and Buddy.
Last Minutes with ODEN from phos pictures on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

  Blue Monster
So I've been in a bit of blue funk of late. It might have something to do with the fact that it's pitch dark by 4 pm here in London (I'm beginning to think that London is actually further north than Edmonton latitudinally), that is, if the sun even makes an appearance from behind the clouds. Or it might be the impending season of jollity, joy, shopping and Santa that has me feeling like I should just stay in bed with the covers over my head. Not that I've been doing that. *ahem* The Cannonball Read II ? Oh, I've been reading up a storm, but since I don't have the gumption to fill out even a passport application these days, a review is, quite simply, beyond me.

In fact, I've been into 'that London' a few times in the last week or so.A friend of a friend came over for a week long visit and we met up, trudged around in the rain, went out to eat at the fabulously strange Hungarian restaurant in Soho and....went to see Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam!! It was sublime, he played so many of his old tunes (and some new ones, of course) and the Royal Albert Hall is most likely the most perfect concert venue in the world.

I'm getting some of my Xmas shopping done, little by little, although I will have to start sending it back with the Big G on Sunday nights now so that the presents will be under the tree in Switzerland.Last weekend I finally got CS4 and now I can start rebranding the Big G (minds out of the gutter y'all), although it's been a couple of years since I've done any serious graphic/design work and I'm predictably rusty. So what with that and the ongoing effort to improve my French I should be able to hand that blue monster a can of whuppass and cheer the fuck up.

Or I could just go back to bed....

He didn't play this last night, so I thought I'd track it down.

That is all.