Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Orange and I wish all of you bloogers around the globe a very happy, healthy and successful new year! Will be writing about our trip to Vienna soon. Until then, best wishes from Bad Fischau, Austria.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

No more working this year!

I'm home! I made it out of the office early! A unique moment on my last working day of the year. All that needed to be done is done and if things are not done, because of missing information, at least people are informed on the status. No business e-mails, no business calls, just Mrs. CS and I and some relaxation in Vienna in the next days with our dear buddy Pinki and his sweet Andrea. Nice to have a few days of after a somewhat turbulent year; hopefully the next year will be just as exciting but the portion of stress could be a bit less.

Christmas was a good kick-off for the Vienna trip as our Christmas was cozy and relaxing. I saw Ingo today at the office and he looked pretty well dried up again, so no worries there. Mrs. CS was the smarter person today taking the day off so she has a head start on packing for Vienna. I wonder what to bring; should give Pinki a call to find out about the weather. My guess is it's cold and there's plenty of snow around Vienna. Can't wait to go over and finally take the time to really see Vienna. Imagine, I have been there at least a dozen times over the past 2 years. Always business wise and I never had the chance (never made time) to take a closer look at this beautiful, historical city full of culture. But....tomorrow this will change. The batteries for the photo camera and video camera are charged, cameras are ready foraction, so we'll probably prepare you a nice little video once were back to share some of our impressions with you.

That's all folks! (at least for now) Wishing you all a healthy, happy and good start of the New Year!

Post-Christmas Post

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas and had the opportunity to enjoy the company of family and/or friends.

Mr. Orange-X, Dale and I spent a quiet Christmas Eve just the three of us, watched a few movies - the cat slept through most of them - unwrapped our gifts and enjoyed the peace around us.

Dale was actually too lazy to play with the ribbons. We tried to make him play, but he kind of looked at us as if he were saying:"Your kiddin' me, aren't you? Okay, just because it's Christmas, I'll swing my paw here and there and maybe nibble a bit on the shiny ribbon, but there's no way I'm getting off my chair!" He looks a bit shocked that we mistook him for a Christmas tree, doesn't he? At least he let us take a picture.

We went to bed at a reasonable hour and slept until 10:30 am. We knew that we would probably need the sleep.

On Christmas day, we invited Ingo and Silvia, a couple of friends, over to dinner. Ingo works for the same company I do. He moved to the south of Germany little over a year ago and his wife still lives in the north of Germany. I spent the afternoon making the preparations for dinner while Orange-X cleaned up a bit, ironed table cloth and napkins - yes, he can iron! - and decorated the table with great care. I think he did quite a nice job.

Once they arrived, the party began. We had a really great time and I was glad that I had told Ingo to bring their toothbrushes - just in case it would get "too late". After a few beers, wine and a couple of single malts with the coffee, we realized that it had gotten "too late" and Silvia put a quite "marinated" Ingo to bed. I couldn't believe it: It was already 7:15 am!! So, Mr. Orange and I cleaned up and hit the sack as well. We woke up four hours later and prepared a light breakfast in order to soak up any superfluous alcohol that might not yet have reached the blood vessels and calm certain over-irritated stomachs. Silvia and Ingo left shortly after breakfast and a some strong coffee and/or tee. Orange and I just dropped on the sofa and decided that we weren't up for any further activities. We spent the rest of the afternoon at home doing "absolutely naaah-thing"!

In the evening, we decided to try out Orange's newly received Christmas webcam with our best friends in Canada, Christiane and Robert. It took Robert some time to adjust sound and image, but we got it working and chatted for an hour or so. It was so good to actually see them again. I really miss them. Funny we never thought of doing this. We had so much fun that we promised to use this great communication form on a regular basis.

Gotta go. I have some washing to do and packing for our trip to Vienna tomorrow.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Maybe a white X-Mas after all?

Leaving the office today it was snowing. Absolutely not in line with the forecast for the week, but a nice surprise. I can't remember the last a white X-Mas. Must be quit a while ago...
It was a nice feeling driving home while the snow flakes were glistening like a starry curtain, reflecting the headlight beams. It really gives this warm, cosy season feeling.

When I came home, approaching the house via the garden as usual, my big black friend was waiting for me at door. Not in his usual lazy pose, but comfortable lying face down on the doormat. Guess the falling snow didn't appeal to assume his favorite pose. His usual "meow" and loud purring were a nice welcome home. Dale and I went in together and since that moment he stuck to me like glue. He kept rubbing himself against my legs, purring loud as 8-cylinder Jaquar. Of course I should have known! It was after seven pm and he had been alone all day. Being alone all day for Dale means no snacky in the afternoon so the poor guy was just hungry! I went up the stairs to the office to say hi to Mrs. C-S (a.k.a. "old blogger") and then took care of my buddy, often called "our son".

Just called my ex to see how she's doing and of course to see how my "little girl" is doing. Funny enough I still call my 15-year old, 1.76 m tall daughter "my little girl. I have to be careful there as she might be in a position in the near future to spit me on the bold spot without standing on tiptoe. It was good to have a nice chat with my ex again and hearing that everything is going well.

Now I'm at the PC, blogging a bit, staring outside and notice it has stopped snowing. I hope the snow will come down again tonight. The outside world looks so peaceful and clean when snow covers the landscape... I'll keep hoping this year's X-Mas will be white! That's my second biggest wish for X-Mas. So Santa, if you grant me two wishes, you know what to fulfill. If you grant me only one then forget about the snow......

Countdown to Vienna

Another 8 days and we'll be in Vienna (shortly after Mr. & Mrs. TBF come back from there). We're going to celebrate Christian's and Andrea's birthdays AND New Year's Eve! Since he's on December 16th and she on January 16th, they decided to go for the middle and voilà ! New Year's celebration and two birthdays all in one evening! What a party that's going to be! I have to mention that Christian (a.k.a. Pinki) loves to work as a DJ in his free time and has a private CD collection to go with his passion! The place is gonna ROCK! I haven't had the chance to meet Andrea, yet, but I've known Pinki -a work colleague and close friend of Mr. Orange-X) for a bit over a year now.

I'm really looking forward to this trip and discover Vienna and the surroundings. I just can't believe that I've spent half my life in Switzerland and have never been to Vienna!! Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Shame on me! But I'm making up for it. I'll make sure we get plenty of pictures and will keep you in the loop. Maybe I'll even have the chance to blog from there... But for now, no promises.

By the way, Mr. Orange-X just came home, gave me a kiss and called me "old blogger". A week ago, he even called a "Blog junkie"! Hmmm. Must be true :)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Busy, busy, busy...

I've been pretty busy this week and weekend, so had little - well ok - no time to blog, but I will be back soon. I hope to post a few things this week. Until then, here's the cover photo of the card I made for Meret (see my previous blog).

The whisker is in there!

Blog you all later this week.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

An unusual Christmas present

Last October, Mr. Orange-X and I needed to be at an exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany for a week or so. Our usual cat sitter being on holidays during that period, we had to find another solution. So I asked a work colleague and friend of ours if she would like to keep our undersized "panther" for a week. I know she has cat allergies, but she just lo-o-o-o-oves these furry little critters and has been wanting to "test" her allergic reactions after not having had any pets in the last few years. Unfortunately, Berit had planned to go on holidays with her 8 year old daughter, Meret. Oh gosh! What do we do now?!! We started looking for other solutions, but time was not on our side! Ok, we did start asking late.

Then, about two weeks before the exhibition, Berit called me at work to tell me the "good" news. She broke her foot while jogging! Now, who ever said that sport was heathy?! Anyway, to make a long story short, she gladly took Dale for that week and believe it or not, Meret wasn't that unhappy about not going on holidays. She had a cat! All went pretty well except for Berit's bronchial attacks after 3-4 days with Dale. She used her pump a lot, but was very sad when we came to pick Dale up. Meret was emotionally more affected and her wish was to find a whisker (???). Yup. That's 8 year old kids for you. Cats don't loose whiskers like they shed -thank goodness! And guess what... Last week, Mr. Orange-X found one while cleaning.

So... Meret: I am going to make you a special"Dale" Christmas card, with his signature and in there, you will have a personal Christmas present from Dale: A whisker.

I can't wait for her reaction! Maybe I'll use this picture...

Weekend overview

Ahhh, don't you just love weekends? Time to relax and so? On Friday after work and a busy week, Mr. Orange-x and I went to buy our to be Christmas tree: a Nordmann fir. We found it in no time and brought it home, feeling happy and all Christmassy. I'm always amazed to see how the trees are put into this machine and come out looking like a cocoon - neatly tied up in a net for easy transportation.

On Saturday, after the usual groceries, we both had an appointment at the hairdressers, so we drovwe off to Basel. Mr. Orange-X ended up buying 2 bottles of Moet and we had a pre-Christmas drink with Markus, Paolo and their team. At home, we started on decorating the house for Christmas and put up the tree in the stand. By that time, we were starting to feel hungry so we prepared a nice fondue chinoise and decided to decorate the tree on Sunday.

Which we did. We even put on a Christmas CD to help us concentrate on the nitty gritty details of tree decorating. The thing I hate most is untangling the tree lights. No matter how much effort we put into rolling up the lights at the end of the Season, we end up spending 30-45 minutes to untangle them again. Then we take a deep breath, plug the lights in and hope that all bulbs are working. Thing is, if one is defective, the whole chain won't work. If you're lucky, you look through the bulbs one by one and can see if the little wire broken or not. Otherwise, you have to take a new bulb and check through each and every one of the 200 or so sockets until you find the darn thing. If it has to be serial, why can't someone invent a talking bulb that says: "Change me, change me!"?This year, we again held our breath and... 1..., 2..., 3... all the little lights went on! YES! So we spent the afternoon decorating the tree and ... Tataaaaa! Here it is!

Before ...

... and after.

Now, we're enjoying the lights, the scent of the fir and just relaxing. Only thing missing is snow outside and an open fireplace. But Mr. Orange-X is going under the solar lamp!! Also nice :-)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Just an amendment...

Yes, it's true. I am Dutch and I'm proud of it. But that's only the first reason why I am Orange-X. The "X" is a multiplicator and therefore allows more meanings than one. Let me fill you in on the second and third reason for chosing "Orange-X".

2nd: The Swiss flag has a white cross. I am a Swiss resident with a residence permit and my national colour is orange, but I appreciate Switzerland. So I mix the Swiss flag a bit with the orange colour of my nationality et voilà le résultat: A red flag with an orange cross.

3rd: I have a weak spot for Boss clothing, especially the orange line. I simply love the Boss Orange leisure wear. My credit card however is less fond off the Boss orange. Everytime I enter Herren Globus my credit card starts screaming before I have even looked at anything. I guess the card knows already it will suffer an hour later :)

Meet our family

This is Mr. Orange-X. Why orange?? He's Dutch, that's why. This photo was taken last summer during our holidays in Canada.

Meet Dale, our 13 years old and 9 kg cat in his favorite position: sleeping. Now how can that be comfortable?? He and Mr. Orange-X are best buddies. I guess it must have to do with their common love of food ;-)

And finally, yours truly, The CanadianSwiss. This picture was also taken last summer during our vacation in Canada in old Montreal or in french, le vieux Montréal. Great city!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Busy and expensive Saturday

Today, I woke up at - believe it or not - 7.30 am!!! And THAT on a sacred Saturday!!?!! Anyway, since Mark was still softly snooring away, I decided to exchange the "tossing and turning in bed" for a good, hot cup of coffee (from my Jura machine, of course).

Mark finally joined me around 8.30 and we started to plan our activities for the day. We left home around 10.15 and went straight to Ikea in Pratteln to look for a few small things and pillows. Now I expected a Swedish company - even if it's not an expensive store - to have good quality pillows, but the most expensive being around CHF 40.- and having only max. 60% of down feathers, I thought to myself:"No way. I need to get my sleep without getting up with cramps in my neck and shoulders!" So, we crossed the street and went to Möbel Pfister, a trendy furniture and accessory store, and we found our brand new pillows! Then we noticed that the pillows has other dimensions than the ones we already owned. Hmmm. No problem. We'll just buy a few pillow cases that will fit the duvet cases we already had. Let me tell you something... When Mark and I go shopping and come into a rage, we buy. Anyway, we ended up buying 2 new pillows, 4 pillow cases (neutral to go with what we have), two complete sets of cases (for pillows and eiderdown quilts) , 3 vases and when the lady at the cash summed up our new belongings, we were over CHF 1'000.00! Wow! That went fast! But then again, it's Switerland. Eventhough I've been living here for about 20 years, I still sometimes get shocked by the costs of living.

After getting over that shock, we drove directly to our haidresser's, Markus (also very close friend of ours). Earlier that morning, I calld Paolo - Markus' boyfriend and our ex-caretaker- and got myself an appointment for a massage. I was in heaven for 45 minutes! I won't go too much into details, but the experience of meditative music - not really into that, but there, it works! - the delicate scent of the oils and relaxing while getting kneated (not for sissies!)... Well, like I said, HEAVEN! I'm sure that you've noticed in the previous lines that Makus and Paolo are a gay couple, so you ladies needn't be afraid of any advances. Also to the men in the Basel region - no worries! Mark's been there, too and no problem! Not all gay men are after everything that has three "legs".

After that, we went to Sam's to get a Dürüm and did a little more shopping and groceries. Now, I'm blogging and having a nice glass of prossecco before dinner.

Nicest thing of today are definitely the massage and looking forward to sleeping on a brand new pillow. Ahhh, life sucks, doesn't it?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Canadian-Swiss Blog

Hi everybody! I've been reading Blogs for a while now and finally decided that I should start my own blogspot. Today's been a pretty usual Sunday and tomorrow, I'll start working again after a week's break because of a small knee operation.

I'll try to update as much as possible and let you in on a few things happening in our lives.