Sunday, April 25, 2010


Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Blog Is Brought To You By Grappa Nardini

So I've been pretty busy lately. Every weekday morning I get up at 5:30 am to take The Max to Lausanne Gare so he can catch the train to Berne to attend his German class, something I've been doing since February, but this week, instead of crawling back into bed and catching a few more hours of the precious precious sleep, I've come back home, made myself presentable for public inspection then driven back into Lausanne to attend French class.Yes, after 2 years (less 6 months exile) in Swiss Romand, it is apparent that I am not magically going to be able to speak French through some invisible osmotic process, despite the fact that I can read it quite well and if I pay attention can follow a TV program. But I really can't speak it...a combination of my confusion around the extremely complicated French grammar, my execrable accent and the fear that my usually erudite self will appear completely moronic has prevented me from uttering little more than the standard politesse phrases and forced the Big G to handle any conversation 'en francais' more complicated than ' Bon jour monsieur'. And I'm really enjoying the classes, being in a group of other people who are in the same boat has taken the edge off my self consciousness and after only a week, I'm already being able to 'think' of ways to say the things I want.But today I couldn't go to class due to a swollen lip, facial abrasions and sore knees resulting from an encounter with Grappa Nardini.

Last night we all (The Big G, his son Matthew and gf Monica, The Max and myself) went for dinner and had fondue chinoise,

a tasty Swissy kind of meal that involves thinly sliced pieces of meat that are cooked in a broth at the table then eaten with a variety of flavored mayonnaise sauces, as well as yummy pommes frites and a large salade melee.We ate until we were uncomfortably stuffed (a common side effect of fondue chinoise) and consumed an extra bottle of wine in the process. I think that's where it all started to go wrong for me. We came home and had our nightly ritual of Nespresso deca and a schluck of grappa and I went out on the terrasse to have a smoke and wrangle the kittehs back into the house. Stryder,
(this guy ⬇)

was arsing about and I leaned off my chair to grab him and fell flat on my face on the patio that is paved with STONE. Actually I didn't fall quite flat, as my rather Gallic-shaped nose hit the ground first and deflected my head so that instead of breaking my nose I scraped the hell out of my lips and the nostrils on one side. Yes, there was blood...and I think the only reason I wasn't howling in agony was because of the influence of my good friend Grappa Nardini. I stumbled into the house and after rinsing off the blood, hastily applying ice and repeatedly asking the Big G, "Is it straight? Is my nose straight??" my abraded knees and I went to bed.When I limped my way into the bathroom this morning and caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror I knew no amount of coverup was going to stop people from assuming I'd been involved in some domestic dispute. Rather than attempt the challenge of explaining (in FRENCH!) what had happened, I've opted to skip class today. And no, I do not have a drinking problem.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


The delightful Dani Dragonfly has bestowed yet another award and honestly, I am again flattered and grateful (grateful because I was wondering what the hell I was going to blog about) and so thank you ma petit lilubelle! Although I am going to play loose and whacky with the rules, because I'm like that.

So, seven tidbits about me that:
a) I am willing to reveal
b)Won't bore you all to tears
c)Will not incriminate me in any court of law
d)Will not embarrass, shock or awe my family and friends

Hmmmm...not as easy as it seemed at first. Did you know that quickly repeating the phrase 'Honest Scrap' sounds like 'Honest Crap'? So here's some honest crap:

1. I have big ears. They don't stick out (thank heavens!) but they are large and flat and have not been seen in public for some decades now, thanks to having long hair that covers their pancake-like placement on my skull.Despite the fact that they are not beautiful little shell shaped pink orbs, the lobes are pierced and I wear the same pair of earrings for years on end, because why bother with all that frippery if no one ever sees them?

 2. I smoke. And I'm mostly unrepentant about it.I willingly tolerate being a modern day leper and go stand out in the weather to get my fix and don't smoke in my home either. Nor do I smoke a lot...I have been smoking cigarettes for 35 years now, never more than half a pack a day and in the last few years I've made an effort to 'smoke healthy' which means only smoking the first half of a cigarette and being picky about the kind of tobacco and additives that I consume. That said, I would rip The Max's arms off and beat him with the bloody stumps if I ever caught him with a cigarette in his mouth.Would I like all the health benefits that could be mine if I quit? Yeah sure. Am I going to quit? No, not likely. I did quit for a year once, but in all honesty, I like my nicotine...a lot.
(As for smoking any other...uh...substances, I refer you to disclaimer c) above)

3. I'm related to famous dead people. Although I was born in Canada, my parents didn't become Canadian citizens until I was 8 or so and I grew up listening to my grandmother regal me with our 'illustrious' ancestry. Not only am I related to Martin Van Buren, the eighth POTUS but am also eligible to be a Colonial Dame of America because I can trace my ancestry back to the Mayflower. Woo hoo!
(I also grew up never knowing my aunts,uncles, cousins and other relatives because they were in the States and we were...on the Prairie). I learned to sing the American National Anthem before Oh Canada, I still say zee instead of zed and am always mistaken for an American wherever I go...thanks Mom and Dad for that midwestern twang.

4. I am spatially challenged.I have no feel for linear measure, cannot comprehend what it means when someone says a room is 30 x 20 meters and am forever trying to fit large things into small spaces. This is a constant source of amusement for the Big G. Remember on those IQ tests they used to make you take in school there would be a whole section that was devoted to figuring out what shape a flat piece of paper with some lines on it would fold up and form? (actually, does anyone remember IQ tests? Anyone?) I would sit there with my 2B pencil clenched in my sweaty hand, feeling like the village idiot because I wasn't an afficionado of origami, eventually defaulting to randomly guessing at a, b, c or d. Fuck you Mensa, I never wanted to join your little club anyways.

 5. I have a lisp...after some years of speech therapy as a teen it is slight, but I can fall into full-on Thylvethster thpeak after a few glasses of wine. Needless to say, Sylvester is my favorite WB character, despite his unrelenting quest to eat the Tweety Bird.

6. The Max was born at home. This is one of the things I am most proud of and most grateful for. I had been involved with midwifery and had attended a half dozen births or so before I got pregnant and there was never any doubt that I wanted to give birth at home attended by a midwife. Giving birth is a profound experience in any location, but it was wonderful to be in the comfort of my own home, with friends and a truly dedicated, professional and compassionate midwife, Noreen Walker, to support me during labour and celebrate with me after The Max was born. Even if you would never choose to have your baby at home, please support your local midwives, they are caregivers in the most literal sense of the word and can be an asset at any birth, at any location.

7. I love ironing. Shut Up! I love ironing so much I iron the sheets, the tea towels and even t-shirts ( I must add that the nature of clothes dryers here in Switzerland requires that you iron just about everything that falls out of them in a wrinkled, twisted mass).But I find ironing soothing, tranquil and meditative.There's little else when I'm in a crappy mood that can calm me as much as watching all those nasty wrinkles smooth into fresh, warm, flat cloth. Now if only I could achieve this with my skin.

Phew...that was more difficult than I thought it would be, I feel....naked! Now instead of handing this award out to 10 bloggers I'm simply going to list a few blogs and sites that I visit everyday because of their honesty and candour.

Deus Ex Malcontent
Common Dreams
Rants from the Pants
Rainbows! Puppies! Leukemia!

And to wrap it all up, here's Billy Joel:

Thursday, April 01, 2010

So I haven't been posting...not here, hardly commenting on all my favorite blogs because...I've been sick.Wah wah wah! And not sick with real life threatening, drug requiring diseases like the pneumonia a few of you had.Oh no, I was laid low by the common cold, a few days of sore throat, rattly cough and wet cotton batten filled sinuses (and a little fever too, boo hoo). I know, I'm pathetic. I don't get sick very often and this maybe only the second time Big G has ever experienced how truly sad and pitiful I become when I've been waylayed by some virus. I spent ALL of Monday in bed, coughing, sweating, dozing and only got up to pee and find more water.Tuesday and Wednesday I did get my sorry ass up and dressed, but I mostly wandered around in a snot drooling, sneeze fitting, red nosed state of exhaustion.Big G noted, "You don't DO sick very well, do you?"

Today, miraculously (and thank Christ because I don't think I could have put up with myself for another day) I'm virtually symptom free, except for a little residual cough. This is a good thing because it's the start of a 5 day long weekend and we're all going up to Gryon, kittehs included.Last chance to get in some skiing for The Max and myself, do a bit more snowshoeing with Big G and generally lay around and watch all the birds and squirrels and maybe a fox if we're lucky. I'm all excited for the kittehs...look cats!...MOUNTAINS...PINE TREES....BIRDS! But they will most likely be totally blasé about the whole thing and wonder why they had to suffer a CAR RIDE (mewl, meowr, meow, MEEEOOOOOWWWW) for an hour.

So I've got some packing up to do and I hope all of you have a great Easter Weekend, eat lots of chocolate and enjoy some downtime!

Photo courtesy of Black and WTF. This is such a great site, check it out.