Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
To make sure only CS received the video I decided to check out my mail accounts and found I received the video. Ooops! CS’ ears turned a bit darker red. She moved a bit restless on her chair but was darn determined when she told me: "Hey, look you. You sent the e-mail off, so you write an apology to the recipients”. OK, no sweat. I wrote the apology and when going through the recipients we found that also a real estate agent in the area had received this video. Ooops! We never met this lady before and short before we left for Canada, CS sent her an e-mail with the request to contact us and show a few houses in the area once we arrived in Canada. Wee, that’s a good start of new relationship! Anyway, I sent off the mail and had the first reply from Babs, who laughed her head off and had already posted the video. Thanks Babs! You’re a great sport. The next one to reply was Ginnie. Also here no harm done. I guess most people took it well and had a good laugh. One of the persons who didn’t reply yet and didn’t contact us yet is this real estate agent. I wonder why… I only noticed that the prices of houses in the area just went up by 20%...
As they say “you get one chance to make a first impression”, I guess I blew mine and will probably have to rely on the second one.
For all of you who haven’t received the e-mail and therefore missed out on the video, check it out here. Advise: parental guidance required, not suitable for viewers under 16! And, don't forget to turn up the volume as this makes the video complete.
Have a great day!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
We arrived in Montreal at 4pm and thought we'd be honest and declare that we had 400 cigarettes (2 cartons) each instead of the accepted 200. Last time, we also did this and went through without a problem (hey, it's not like we were selling them here!). Anyway, the ladie at the second control sent us through customs. It was a great, big line! Shesh! We were watching as the people in front of us had to open all of their luggage, were questioned and almost treaten like criminals, and that's where we began to sweat! We had declared the ciggies, but not all the schnapps that we had brought. Two for my Dad (one was from Ernst, see previous post), one for my Mom and one for my best friend, Christiane. So we were over by about 1 liter! O-oh!!
After 50 minutes of waiting in line and sweating our butts off (it was also pretty hot in there), we came to this very nice customs officer lady. She just looked at us, at my Canadian passport and then at the mountain of luggage we had on the trolley. She checked our declaration and said:"One carton of cigarettes too many per person?". "Yes", we said. We bought them at duty free, but we're here for 3 weeks. We don't mind paying the extra fee. That's why we declared them." She took another look at our bulk of luggage, then at the line getting longer and just said: "I'd usually have to make you pay for the extra, but the line is just getting longer and I'd have to go through all your luggage. So you can go and enjoy your stay." Ha! Welcome to Canada! I'm not sure if it was the long queue that was waiting, our heap of luggage or OX's charm (I still think it's the latter), but we came through without a scratch.
My Dad was waiting outside and was worried that something had happened to us, so he was really relieved when he saw us finally come out. We were just relieved to have had so much luck. We drove home, unpacked the bare necessities and had a bite to eat.
The next post will be about OrangeX's blooper! Stay tuned!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I seem to have been running around all day yesterday and today! I've been washing, cleaning, e-mailing and blogging in between and doing basic groceries for our dear Dutch friends, Jaap and Patricia, who will be house-sitting our home and enjoying a bit of Switzerland for a few days around Christmas time.
I also went for a quick visit at an old friend of the family, Ernst, (my dad's best friend) to pick up some self-made kirsch. The kirsch is not actually self-made, but he "owns/rents (?)" a few fruit trees such as cherry, plum and I think also pear at a nearby farm (they do that here in Switzerland) and when the fruit on his trees are ripe, he picks them and brings them to be distilled. I had a sip of it today, and although I'm not a big fan of it, this one was soooo smooth and tasty. I'll have to write a post about Ernst one day, not because of the kirsch, but because he has been like a second father to me throughout my years in Switzerland AND because he's incredibly crazy. He's a 74 year old kid. I kid you not! No wonder his grandchildren love him so much!
What's up this evening? We'll be bringing Dale, our cat, to a friend's house for holidays - What!?!He's entitled to vacations too, you know? - then order a pizza and do some packing. Tomorrow, I will clean a few windows (where Dale scratches when he begs to come in again), vacuum the couches (where Dale loves to nap), clean the kitchen floor (where Dale eats and I love to cook), finish packing, go for a massage at Paolo's followed by a hair trim at Markus', get a few last things in town to bring to Canada, quick meet up with my almost 18 year old godson and bring the luggage to the main train station in Basel to check them in.
After that, I'm not sure I'll even have the energy to eat!
Friday morning: Panic! Have we got everything? Will Jaap and Patricia find everything they need? Where's my freaking adaptor plug? What time is our train leaving again? I wanna see my Family!!!! Get me outta here! Are we there already??
So. I'll post again from Canada (a little). AND I will be politically correct... If I don't post before X'mas, I wish each and every one of you a Happy Holiday Season. Love ya all!
Monday, December 11, 2006
You'll find the things I have done up to now in bold characters:
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins - Not yet, but it is definitely on my "to do" list [I'm so jealous, Shelli. ;-)]
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive. - No, but I did drive a formula car
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it. - I still do!
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper. - I may have no kids, but I did babysit
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment. - Who hasn't?
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day. - My accents changes contantly depending if I’m speaking to a French-Canadian or a Frenchman/woman or from Swiss-German to High-German. I can't help it.
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love - I'm not sure about this one, but probably
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow - … and a goat... and I wasn’t very good at either
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days - It’s called fasting and the longest was 10 days on water and broths.
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the snake river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house - Too expensive in Switzerland. But we will, soon :)
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently - Daily
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favourite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds.
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane - The “real” pilot was sitting right next to me.
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart - More than once
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild - Yes, but not gathered by me
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper - As a kid, when I was school carnival queen and when I was 30-something, I was part of the audience on a TV show.
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Para-sailed - I did paragliding (tandem), so I’ll consider it as a yes
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read “The Iliad”
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions - We only had one up to now, and I missed it (I was already in Switzerland)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair - Many, many times. Actually, I’ve been through most colours available on the market!
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
So there. Now you know.
I'm not the tagging type, but feel free to do this blog.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Am I going to end up with two apricot halves on my face? Do I have to buy them extra? Fresh, or canned?? Will I look like this for ever? What will happen to me? Will ivy leaves (they look like it) grow on my face after use? Questons, questions...
I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I wanna use this!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
- 9.30 am: Dale (our cat) is hungry and is very persistent in waking me up. Finally get up at 9:40 am
- Drink coffee, feed Dale (cat), chat online with our friend Jaap from Holland, more coffee, do some wash and read blogs until about 1 pm
- Took a hot bath (including exfoliating face scrub) until all wrinkled (wrinkles from overtime in tub, not from face scrub. Note: wrinkles no longer visible)
- Drive to the store and do a few groceries
- Watch the news and then a cooking show (I love cooking!)
- OrangeX comes home around 7.45 pm from work and we have a drink together
- Have dinner and watch a few criminal series, then off to bed
Note that in between, I keep letting Dale in and out of the house. (Not very exciting, eh?)
Dec 7th. (a bit more exciting)
- Wake up, smell coffee, get up at 7.45 am (am I nuts, or what?!?) and kiss OX before he leaves for office
- Drink coffee, throw in the last wash, make grocery list for coming days and go through my blogroll until about 9.45 (Dale has been fed)
- Take bath, fix face (some call it make-up) and hair, then drive off to yearly dentist appointment (check up only and DH) for 11:30 (very human, thank you).
- Arrive at said dentist 10 minutes early and sit in chair chatting with assistant. 11.30 sharp, dentist comes in and starts checking. As usual, nothing, and dentists congratulates me on clean and healthy teeth. What can I say? He has all these instruments in my mouth! I say: “Hank you”. Go through DH and am outta there at 11.55 am (with my last x-rays – Hey, I’m going back to Canada. I’ll need them there.)
- Off to the grocery store, come home, unpack, spay oven to clean and start making a Tiramisù (I’m the Queen of Tiramisù!)
- 3pm: I have so much mascarpone cream that I decide to get extra biscuits. Walk to the store (about 20 minutes one way) and do a last small Tiramisù and clean up kitchen.
- 4pm: check my mails, answer my good friend Nicole and decide to wash my winter jacket
- 5 pm: I start typing this
There! See?? I’m actually busy. Not exciting busy, but busy.
So, if you'll excuse me, I have to go now and marinate the lamb and prepare the potato-leek gratin.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The last 1.5 days weren’t easy, though. Well, I have worked there for over 8 years, so it’s no as easy as one might think to just “let go”. Yesterday, the company organised a get together for me and we all met in the showroom 3:30pm (in order to get the guys from the workshop over as well). I was all nervous and fidgety from 3pm on. As soon as my supervisor, M., started her speech, I got a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit (at least, it felt like it). Luckily, I had asked her to keep it short and sweet and she did. I’m very thankful for that. M. then handed me a dozen of beautiful roses, two framed group photos of events that I had organised and a voucher for a dinner for two at one of my favourite restaurants, The Boomerang.
When my time came to say a few words, I had forgotten all I had wanted to say. To be honest, I think I said something like going back to the land of the polar bears, seals and moose and everybody laughed. I know I said a few more sentences about 8 years, going through changes, and blah, blah, blah, but I’m not sure in which order.
Then we opened a few bottles of crémant, beers and soft drinks and I got to chat with just about everyone there. Around 5pm, there were only a few of us left, so we opened another bottle of the bubbly stuff, and another, and then another. Martin, a colleague and good friend, entertained us with endless jokes (how can he remember them all?) and were laughing tears. By 7:30 pm, most of us (me for sure) had their share of alcohol, so I hitched a ride home with Doug who had joined the celebration later and was still pretty sober. Since Orange was out for dinner with customers, I let Dale out for a short run, just sat down and did nada. I decided I was too tired and still too buzzed to watch TV, so I went to bed. Good decision!
This morning, Doug picked me up and we drove to the office (my car was there). I spent the morning filing a few last things I had on my desk, meeting with M. to go through my goals (I’m happy to report that I have achieved 95% of my bonus! YAY!!), and saying goodbye to everyone personally. The latter was tougher than the day before. I have grown very fond of many colleagues and I won’t forget or loose track of them. I then went for lunch with M., our customer service team and our two receptionists. Saying goodbye to the people with whom I worked so closely for years was definitely the most difficult. I got in my car and drove right past the company with mixed feelings of sadness, relief, happiness and excitement. I have ended a chapter and I’m starting a new one.
When I got home, I saw that I had a missed call. It was TBF, so I gave him a ring back (my first call as a temporarily retired person!) After chatting for a few minutes, the wise TBF said: “Don't worry. In a couple of weeks, you’ll notice that people will start asking you: ‘What do you do all day?’ And you’ll answer: ‘I don’t know, but I’m always busy.’ ”
I guess I have to start practising, now. I’m a busy woman, you know! Any suggestions?
Sunday, December 03, 2006
I can't seem to embed the video in here (Copyright?), but here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/v/pa_7P5AbUww
Now just sit back and enjoy the next 5 minutes and make sure you have your sound turned on.
PS: On Tuesday at 12:00 noon, I will be celebrating my - as TBF calls it - retirement!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Not that I never sneezed before, but it was more like stopping it in the middle of the “explosion”. You know, like “Aattttttt..nnn….” I choked it and then back in the lungs it went. This can be quite painful, and there are some cases where people broke a rib. Amazing, isn’t it? That a lot of pressure you’re holding back, there! Anyway, about a month ago, I noticed that I sneezed out (don’t worry, I turn away from people and cover my mouth). It went kind of like this:
Me: “Hatschiii!... Excuse me.”
OrangeX: "Bless, you sweetheart."
Me: "Thanks." – Pause – "Hey! I sneezed! "
OrangeX: (Confused look on his face) "Yes, I know."
Me: "Nooooo! I mean I really sneezed!"
OrangeX: (even more confused look on his face) "Huh??"
Then I started thinking back and… Bingo! It occurred to me that a few weeks after I gave my resignation, I started sneezing normally again.
I’m not looking forward to the next case of flu, or anything like that, but it does feel nice. I sure hope that in time, my resignation will cure more of the current psychosomatic illnesses/states that have been living with the past couple of years.
I know it’s a small step, but for imagine how I’ll feel after a couple of weeks of real convalescence! WOW!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
To put up a post or comment sometimes takes 2-3 times or more before it's up there and the most annoying was that, if I write a text directly in blogger, I often loose the whole post. I have started to write all my entries in Word and then tried to post them, but 2 out of 3 don't work. Then I tried, and tried again until it worked, or until I was so fed up that I just left it be.
I've also updated my Explorer a couple of weeks ago. Could it have to do with that? I know that some of you use Firefox and swear by it, but I just can't get used to it, and I've had my problems there, too. Of course, I've checked for viruses and defragmented my drive. The latter should have nothing to do with Blogger, but it certainly didn't do any harm.
Does anyone have an idea what could be the source?? All comments are welcome.
Have a great week!
PS: Countdown is running... 11 1/2 workdays to freedom!!!
Monday, November 13, 2006
OrangeX and I have also been busy preparing for Canada. We've been spending much of our free time looking at houses in different regions of Ontario. Little by little, things are looking up. The job opportunities look petty good although they might take us to the greater Toronto area instead of the Ottawa valley. But that's also fine with me. I can't say much more for now, but we will let you know as soon as we can.
Orange will be in Holland for an company training all week and is driving back on Friday with his sister and brother-in-law for the weekend. YAY! The week after that, he'll be finishing the last part of his management course near Frankfurt, so I won't be seeing much of him in the next 2 weeks. Pack, unpack, wash, pack, unpack, wash. UGH! The weekend he comes back, we're invited to a 50th birthday party to which we both are looking forward to. It's never crazy, but we always meet really interesting people there.
And from then on, I'm down to my last 7 days at work. I'm trying hard to leave the office between 5 and 5.30 pm, but it doesn't always seem to work. I find myself concentrated on something and before I know it, it's past 6 pm.
We have also booked our flights for Canada. We leave on the 15th december and return on January 5. I haven't spent Christmas in Canada since I left 22 years ago, so this will be a première. It's really exciting for me.
That's all for tonight. If I find the energy, I'll write a bit more this week.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Some of you (my Dad, amongst others) whished to see the finished product. Well, Tadaaa!! Here it is, before...
The "after" picts were taken during our European exhibition and you'll notice that I took our company logo (to spare the innocent, as Mrs. TBF would say).
So. If I can do your car, just let me know. I will also record my new swearing technique, if you want (depending on how difficult the task is ;-).
As for the rest of the week, OrangeX and I just relaxed at home and celebrated our birthdays in peace and quiet. Also nice, no?
Yesterday, we went out for dinner to celebrate and in the rush, forgot to take the camera along. Oh well. The food was great. The funniest thing was that towards the end of the evening, this guy walked up to me and said: "Don't I know you from somewhere?". I looked at him and suddenly, my eyes beamed: "Christian!". Believe it or not, it was my tutor during my apprenticeship at Swiss Telecom 20 (!!) years ago! He sat a table away from me the whole evening and I didn't notice (ok, he was sitting almost behind us). Such a pity that I didn't have my camera with me. We chatted for about an hour, or so, and exchanged e-mail addresses. I'll keep in touch with him.
That is all for tonight. I'm still battered from last week's exhibition, so I'll take it a bit easier for the coming weeks - if I can :-)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
- 1260 - The spectacular Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France; the cathedral is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 1360 - The Treaty of Brétigny is ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War.
- 1648 - The Peace of Westphalia is signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years' War.
- 1795 - Partitions of Poland: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is completely divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia
- 1857 - Sheffield F.C., the world's first football club, is founded in Sheffield, England.
- 1861 - The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States is completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.
- 1917 - Battle of Caporetto starts on the Austro-Italian front of World War I
- 1929 - "Black Thursday" stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.
- 1930 - A bloodless coup d'état in Brazil ousts Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the First Republic. Getúlio Dornelles Vargas is then installed as "provisional president."
- 1935 - Italy invades Ethiopia
- 1944 - World War II: The Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku is sunk.
- 1945 - Founding of the United Nations
- 1954 - Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States support to South Vietnam
- 1960 - Nedelin catastrophe: An R-16 ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad at the Soviet Union's Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing 165. Among the dead is Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin, whose death is reported to have occurred in a plane crash.
- 1964 - Northern Rhodesia gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes the Republic of Zambia (Southern Rhodesia remained a colony)
- 1973 - Yom Kippur War ends
1977 - Veterans Day is observed on the fourth Monday in October for the seventh and last time. (The holiday is once again observed on November 11 beginning the following year.)
- 1980 - Government of Poland legalizes Solidarity trade union
- 1986 - Nezar Hindawi is sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing on an El Al flight at Heathrow. After the verdict, the United Kingdom breaks diplomatic relations with Syria, claiming that Hindawi was helped by Syrian officials.
- 1990 - Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti reveals to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian "stay-behind" clandestine paramilitary NATO army.
- 1995 - A total solar eclipse is visible from Iran, India, Thailand, and SE Asia
- 1998 - Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission
- 2002 - Police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, DC.
- 2003 - Concorde makes its last commercial flight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic transport to a close, at least for the time being.
- 2004 - A plane carrying ten members of the NASCAR Hendrick Motorsports team crashes en route to the race held at Martinsville Speedway. There were no survivors.
- 2005 - Hurricane Wilma makes landfall in South Florida.
I think I have to contact Wikipedia.... They forgot one very important event. I admit, it might not important to to every single human being on earth, though :-)
In 1965 at 12:10 pm, I, CanadianSwiss, saw the light of day for the first time. Yes! Today, I turned 41 (although I've never really grown up)
And you know what? I'm thankful to have such great parents, family and friends (cyber and not so cyber). You all mean a lot to me.
Have a great day!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I tried to call Anjella that same evening but her boy friend told me she was in no state to come to the phone. “It’s okay”, I said, “I’ll call again tomorrow”. The next day I called Anjella again and we had a long talk. I can tell you this was an emotional talk. We agreed on me coming over to Holland as soon as possible to discuss the arrangements for Selina. We had to arrange for the custody and Selina herself at that moment didn’t want to think about it at all. You must know I haven’t seen or heard my daughter since Anjella and I split up 4 ½ years ago. I would go up to Holland the 1st week of October.
Due to the start of Anjella’s chemo-therapy treatment I had to postpone my trip for a week. I drove up on the 11th of October to meet with Anjella at her place. It was tough to see her again after the last visit to her place in June this year. Last time we met everything was okay, now all is uncertain. I just hope that the therapy helps her to slow down the growth of cancer cells and won’t wear her out. Anjella told me she had the chance to have a serious talk with Selina about the custody and Selina prefers to stay with good friends. I just hope this moment won’t be for the next 5 years. I want my daughter to go through high school and do her studies to become a registered nurse having her mother around. Dear God, just don’t let Anjella suffer and don’t take my daughter’s mother away….
I spent most of the Wednesday with Anjella at her place. We sat outside in the garden and around three o’clock I heard the gate to the garden close. I turned around and saw “my little girl” coming in with her bicycle. At first she didn’t look at us. She put her bicycle away in the shed and after she came out, she turned her head towards us for a short moment. , enough to raise my hand and say “hi” to her. She answered with a “hi” and disappeared towards the front door. Within several seconds she appeared again and walked towards us. I got up and walked towards her, and then we just hugged and cried. I can’t describe the feeling of holding my daughter again after such a long time, but it has been my biggest wish over the past 4 ½ years. Finally a chance to see and hold my daughter again! I had to take along look at this young woman. She’s 1.74m and she has grown up. The little girl I remembered has vanished completely. Now she’s a teen, aware of the seriousness of Anjella’s situation and showing enormous love and care for her mother. I can understand why she wants to become a registered nurse. She’s born to be one. Selina sat down on my lap and we chatted for quite some time. I can’t describe the happiness in me in spite of the sad circumstances. Selina indicated it was strange and she would need some time to get used to the situation. That she will get, I won’t force anything. Re-building the relationship with my daughter will take time. I even got to meet Selina’s boy friend, Dennis, later that afternoon. Dennis is an uncomplicated young man with tons of ambition. I left them early in the evening to go to Brenda, my sister, as I would spent the coming nights at her place. Selina and I agreed on me coming over again the next day. As Anjella gets her treatment on Thursday we would probably meet at the hospital. I arrived at my sister’s place and I was drained. I felt exhausted but happy. I sent Selina a text message later that evening to tell her how good it felt to have seen her again. She replied she enjoyed it too…
We saw each other on Thursday and spent a bit of time together. As Anjella had her treatment on Thursday I left them early in the afternoon. Anjella was exhausted and needed some rest. On Friday, before I drove back home, I went by to see them again. Just for a short moment, but enjoying every second of seeing my daughter. It’s clear now; we’ll be in contact more frequently by phone, text message, MSN and in person. I promised Selina to be back in Holland the 1st weekend of November. Then we will see each other again.
Yesterday we were on the MSN messenger for a brief moment and today we talked on the phone. I’m happy the barriers have come down and that there’s also the initiative from her side to contact me.
In the past 4 ½ years we haven’t had any contact and I must say I was dead tired and emotionally drained, but inside I was filled with joy and happiness. She will need her time but now she knows I will be there for her and she can call me anytime. I’m looking forward to the next trip to Holland. I’m taking it easy for now, so you’ll have to wait for some photos until the next time or the time after that but there wil come a moment where I will share the moments with you. It was just so great to finally see Selina again...
How about last Saturday. We were invited by Thomas, and his lovely girlfriend, Nicole, for dinner at an Australian restaurant nearby called the Boomerang. It's always tough to choose the main course there because everything is so good. Hmmm. Filet of Roo? Emu steak? A Town and country steak? Ahhh yes. Perfect. The town and country is about 180-200g (6.5-7 ounces) of beef filet wrapped in a nice strip of bacon and served with a baked potatoe and season veggies. I admit that it is NOT Canadian beef, but it's pretty damn good! I'll have to ask them where they get it from.
Anyway, we had a fun evening together and many, many good laughs.
I kown I'm a bit late with this post, but what the heck! I lookk forward to going back again, maybe with Mr. and Mrs. TBF? I know they've been wanting to try out this restaurant for a while now.
Orange-X was in Holland from Wednesday until Friday and it turned out to be a very special few days, but I'll let him write about that.
Today, we spent about four hours sticking racing stripes on an AC Cobra (yes, it belongs to R.) The front which I did with a colleague last week went pretty well, but the back end of the car is a hell! I've done this for the first time in my life, for goodness' sake! I think that I even invented new curse words!... No, I will not repeat them! Never, never again will I do this! I know... I'm a wreck right now. The thing is that the bum of the car (think 3D now) has - if you stand behind it- a vertical and a horizontal curve, which means that the 2 stripes that you are soooo trying to set straight on that stupid (sorry R.) car ass will end up coming together at the bottom of the boot/trunk no matter what you do. Not to mention having to demount the licence plate, the license plate lighting to get the f**ckin' tape under it. I'm lucky to have so much hair because I'm sure I ripped out about 10'000 of 'em. Yes! This car is coming with us to the exhibition. I've had it! Why am I the stupid idiot alway trying to help and make every one happy? I think I'll need therapy soon! Geezzz! GOD! I can't wait to be outta there! And I love the company for what it used to stand for and the founder of the company, R. (even if he drives me nut sometimes. Heheheh). Now, how coconut crazy is that? Sal, you're sane compared to me.
Pffff. Decompressing....Sorry, but I had to get it out of my system.
I'll be out at the RehaCare in Düsseldorf, Germany all week and won't be back until 2-3am on Sunday. And I doubt that I'll write anything on Sunday. Have a great week!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Anyway, Mom: Again, happy, happy birthday and all of our best wishes to go along with a fantastic woman. We'll be there on your next birthday. And that's a promise!
I love you!
Saturday, September 30, 2006
We were already practically falling asleep when the waiter came to us to take our orders, but we managed to stay awake until dinner was served. We had the foie gras and then beef with morels for the main course. I think I was too tired to really eat, but I did finish about half of the main course. A pity really, because it was delicious. After dinner and a digestive, we headed back to our room to find a Cava (local champagne) in a bucket filled with ice-water to welcome us. We decided to open the bottle even though we needed the sleep more. To our surprise, we finished the bottle out on the terrace and chatted until about 2:30 am! See, that's what good weather and the calming sounds and scent of the sea can do to you!
I woke up around 8 am the next day and the first thing I did was to go on the terrace and take in the sounds of the waves on the rocky shores and the pebble beach. I was in heaven! OrangeX got up shortly after and we showered and got ready for breakfast. After that, we decided to go for a walk and explore the hotel surroundings and the beach a bit. We decided to have a look and see what Villajoyosa was all about and found a very quiet town. Nevertheless, we walked along the beach, bought ourselves a bottle of water. The weather was clearing up and the temperature was increasing by the minute, so we walked back up the steep hill back to the hotel. It was after all a 2+ hour walk, so we were longing for the pool. Once we got to our room, we jumped into our bathing suit and went to the pool to relax.
We didn't do much more that that the whole three days, except for a short excursion in Benidorm about 10km from Villajoyosa. So it was sleep, pool, drinks at the bar, food and then chatting away on our terrace.
It was exactly what we needed! I wish we could have extended our stay a few more days, but we had to return. We do want to return to Spain. Maybe next time, we'll visit Sal, a blogger pal near Madrid.
If you want to see pictures of the beautiful setting and views, you'll find them here. I've been back to real life for 4 days and I wanna go back!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Furthermore, Blogger is now throwing me off everytime I add links and publish. So you'll have to google or wiki whatever you find interesting until I have solved the problem. Anyway.
One of the things I will miss very much will be our so called “MasterClass”. It’s an annual event where we invite the Product Managers and/or Sales Managers and/or Marketers from all countries selling our products to participate. We prepare hands-on trainings on products, inform them of our development plans, brainstorm about future needs, organise workshops and have an external speaker over for an afternoon to talk about a specific marketing topic. And then, we organise team-building weekend activities for those who wish to participate. In the past years, we had wild water rafting, abseilen, night sledging in the mountains, paragliding, kayaking, adventure trails, cable gliding, and other fun stuff. This year, we are focusing our new product launch based on racing. The reason is that R., a quad - or tetraplegic, if you prefer- is not only the founder of the company but also came up with the idea of this new design. Now guess what his pastime is? Of couse! Racing. He races his Shellby Cobra (450HP) against able bodied competitors using a sip and puff system that enables him to shift gears; gas and brakes are hand controlled.
Now to this year’s “the company I still work for” MasterClass. Kick-off was last Wednesday around 1:30pm and we went through all the workshop and brainstorming bits. Then came the weekend: We left the office premises around 3:30 pm on Friday afternoon and made our way to our hotel Colmar, France, where we had booked rooms for everybody. We met for a few drinks at the bar before going to a typical Alsacian restaurant. After dinner, we took a last drink at the bar and all went to bed.
I must emphasize that nobody outside the Marketing team of “the company I still work for” has even the slightest clue of the whole event and what is carefully prepared for them. We follow the racing theme, yes? Okay. On Saturday morning, we had breakfast together and left the hotel around 9:30 am to visit the car museum in Mulhouse - if you like Bugatti, you’d love it there – and had a guided tour through the history of it all. We had lunch there and departed for the next “unknown” destination, which just by chance happened to be a race track.
We arrived and all “we” saw were motorbike trainings. Motorbikes? Hmmm. Everyone watched for a while and then, this couple came over to our group and started explaining to our guests that they were about to get some driving training on either… *drum roll*… a) a Ferrari or b) a Formula Ford 2000 car. You should have seen their jaws drop and their eyes light up when they saw the 2 Formaula cars and the one Ferrari pushed out of the hangars! They were all excited like kids seconds before they open their Christmas presents. For me, this is always a brilliant moment!
We had some theoretical training on security on the track and were given papers to sign (the usual insurance stuff). We formed two groups and had to choose which vehicle we wanted to drive. Since we had quite a few tall and bulky guys, I opted for the Formula car: 160 HP, weighs next to nothing, a one-seater, your ass to the ground and a real racing feeling. Shortly after the training, we started driving. The 1st round with the Ferrari was always driven by the trainer followed by a quick pit stop to change places and the next 4 laps by the newbie. The ones like me who drove the Formula were on the track all alone. There were other cars on the 3 km track as well, so we had to keep an open eye. I must admit that it can be quite scary to get used to this car type during the first two laps (after which we had to do a quick pit stop). From then on, I had another 4 laps to go and was not half as scared. Actually, I must have been doing between 190-220 km/h (120-135 mph) on the stretch of the last lap. There is no speedometer on there, so I can only guess, but I really pushed down the pedal. It was great fun and I would have done a few extra laps, but the next was waiting for his turn.
R. also came by with his Cobra and took on passengers to show them what racing is all about. He loved it and so did we. It was absolutely exhilarating!
At dinner, all were talking about their driving experience and I think we made a whole bunch of people very happy. We had a few drinks on the terrace and then in the bar, but I think all the excitement got to them at some point and some had to get up very early to catch their flights to their respective countries, and went to bed at a fairly reasonable hour (1:30 am).
I got home around 10 am on Sunday, but I was beat, so I just took it easy. Socializing can be so tough! This week at work was also pretty strenuous, but I am looking forward to the El Montiboli . Yes! OrangeX and I are flying off to Alicante/Spain for a three day rest. No laptops coming with us. No way! We’re going to do NADA! Just get some sun and let ourselves be pampered. Thanks for the hint, TBF.
You'll find pictures here.
Have a great weekend and see you all next week!
Publicity for donkey riding in Thailand
"Would you like to ride on your own ass?"
Temple in Bangkok
"It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man."
Bar in Tokyo
"Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts."
Ticket corner in Kopenhagen
"We take your bags and send them in all directions."
Hotel in Moscow
"If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it."
Cocktail lounge in a hotel in Norway
"Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar."
Zoo in Budapest
"Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."
Medical doctor in Rome
"Specialist in women and other diseases."
Hotel in Acapulco
"The manager has personally passed all the water served here."
Boutique in Tokyo
"Our nylons cost more than common, but you’ll find they are best in the long run."
Hotel in Japan
"Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself."
Car hire in Tokyo
"When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor."
Boutique in Mallorca
"English well talking"
"Here speeching American"
Hotel in Tokyo
"Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notis."
Hotel in Bukarest
"The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable."
Elevator in a hotel in Leipzig
"Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up."
Elevator in a hotel in Beograd
"To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order."
Elevator in hotel in Paris
"Please leave your values at the front desk."
Hotel in Athens
"Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily."
Hotel in Yugoslavia
"The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid."
Hotel in Japan
"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid."
Hotel in Moscow for a trip to a monastery
"You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday."
"Our wines leave you nothing to hope for."
"Salad a firm’s own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people’s fashion."
Taylor in Hong Kong
"Ladies may have a fit upstairs."
Taylor in Rhodos
"Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation."
Dry cleaning in Bangkok
"Drop your trousers here for best results."
Camp site in Germany
"It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose."
Hotel in Zurich
"Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose."
Dentist in Hong Kong
"Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists."
"Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."
Tourist office in Austria
"Take one of our horse-driven city tours – we guarantee no miscarriages."
Friday, September 15, 2006
What Your Soul Really Looks Like
You are a wanderer. You constantly long for a new adventure, challenge, or eve a completely different life.
You are a very grounded, responsible, and realistic person. People may not want to hear the truth from you, but they're going to get it.
You see yourself with pretty objective eyes. How you view yourself is almost exactly how other people view you.
Your near future is calm, relaxing, and pretty much what you want. And it's something you've been anticipating for a while now.
For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I have given my resignation at work last Wednesday. Yes! By the time I leave, I will have been working there for over 8 years! It was a very tough choice, but my health is worth more to me. I have a 3 month resignation period which means that – counting the holidays I have left – I’ll have my last day there on December 5th, 2006.
I know this decision may sounds stupid/weird considering that we are moving to Canada next summer, but if I have to force myself to work every morning for the next 6-7 months, it would have been hell. I sincerely hope that this is not a burn out, but honestly, I think that I have involved myself too emotionally and intensely in this company. Then again, that’s me. I am very emotional and I can only work for a company and products in which I believe. Somehow, the combination of certain people and circumstances in the past few years slowly put an end to it. I don’t want to blame it all there, but it certainly had a strong influence on my decision.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I can freelance and can take on temporary jobs until we leave. I don’t want to build up such a grudge against the company and the people that I end up hating it/them when I leave. I had to do it for me. It will certainly be rough financially the coming months, but I feel confident that all will turn out fine. Still, it was a big part of my life and I am sad to have to take this step.
...Hmmm.... I wonder how I will feel once I have really left… I’ll let you know.
I have so much in my head right now, that I’m not really sure where to begin. I think the best is to start where I promised to start: our last “Indonesian summer party”.
Ever since we told Ma about the first of three Indonesian nights, she wanted to be part of it and meet all our friends, too, so she offered to cook for the group. Because we knew we’d be expecting about 9 guests (plus the four of us), OrangeX decided to take the Friday off to do the groceries and help Ma with the preparation of the meal for the next day. She decided to make a very traditional Nasi Koening (pronounced nasi kooning). It is an aromatic yellow rice, usually part of the Indonesian “Rijstafel” or Rice Table. It can be served with just about any meat (satay skewers, meat balls, chicken, etc.), but Ma opted for meat balls, and chicken thighs and drumsticks served with the obligatory sambals (chilli pastes) on the side. Sliced of cucumber, bell pepper, thin stripes of omelette and dried onion topped the whole thing off. As a starter, she had also made her wonderful Pasteitjes which are something like the Indian samosas, but the dough is filled with a mix of glass noodles, ground beef, onions, garlic (??.. yeah, probably…), carrots and peas that has simmered in a special mix of spices and herbs, then baked in the oven. These are served with a sweet/hot chilli sauce. Yummy!
On Saturday, we prepared the tables out in the garden since the weather looked promising. We were supposed to be 13 people that evening, but Paolo was not feeling well, so he cancelled and Markus decided to stay at home to take care of him. The first guests, Thomas and Nicole arrived first. It was a good thing, since a couple of weeks before, they had brought us a 3 litre bottle of Crémant (bubbly wine) that we had cooled as a welcome drink. I promptly asked him to open it for me and then… the cork broke off!
Not only did it break off, but all the air had somehow escaped and whilst trying to pull it out with a normal corkscrew, the cork just fell into with the slightest push. Poor Thomas! He felt so bad, although he couldn’t have known when he bought it! Luckily, we had enough reserve in our fridge to cover all requests. Rammy, John, Diana and Andi arrived, followed by Doug and we had a few drinks and chats before serving the pasteitjes. Later, Ma, OrangeX and I went up to prepare the plates of nasi koening for each guest. We had a lovely evening with our friends and were even able to enjoy the whole meal outside.
Around 2 am, a few drops of rain started falling, so we all scrunched up under the balcony and I pulled out the sun screen to cover us all. We enjoyed coffee, a few single malts and Speckkoek, and all we had a fun time together. You’ll find all the pictures of the evening here.
On the Sunday, we took a quick drive to Paolo and Markus to bring them a doggy bag that we had carefully prepared of the dinner that we had the evening before. Paolo was feeling a bit better, but still not well. After that, we decided to go to Mount Pilatus, which is about an hour 15 minutes awas from Basel. We took the gondola cableway to Fräkmüntegg, the second highest stop to the top of the Pilatus because 1) we weren't sure how Pa would manage a lower concentration of oxygen (because of his damaged lungs) and 2) the last drive down would have left us but 15-20 minutes of view. Although the Pilatus is by far not the highest peak in Switzerland, we did get to 1416 meters over sea level and Pa took it very well. He really enjoyed the view and the clean air. Pa is very quiet and many would think that he is not enjoying it or that he's just staring into emptiness. He's not! He was fully in awe, probably feeling tiny before those great mountains and peaks covered with the eternal snow, but taking in everything he could. It's a scene I'll never forget. We took in the beautiful view over Lucerne and the lake, had a coffee and sandwich and went back down again. See pictures here.
Yesterday, we drove Ma and Pa back to the Airport. It was again a very sad event. I hate goodbyes and it was so good to have them over for the past three weeks. I will surely miss them, but we will be back in Holland to visit before we go to Canada. For them however, it's their last visit to see us in Switzerland. Well, maybe. I know they will miss it. I hope that Pa stays healthy enough to visit us in our new home in Canada. I truely do.
What Your Soul Really Looks Like
You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.
You are a very grounded, responsible, and realistic person. People may not want to hear the truth from you, but they're going to get it.
You see yourself with pretty objective eyes. How you view yourself is almost exactly how other people view you.
Your near future is likely to be filled with great successes and accomplishments. You just need to figure out how to get there.
For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Last weekend, we had a another little party with friends and on Sunday, we went to Mount Pilatus with Ma and Pa, but I'll tell you all about it in another post later this week. Then I'll have more news for you, but that will also have to wait 'till the next post. And no, I'm not pregnant! ;-)
Anyway, I'l be back to my old blogging self from November on, so bare with me, ok? :-)
Love and miss you all!
Monday, August 28, 2006
One of the reasons for our latent blogging activities is that Ma and Pa (OrangeX’s parents) are visiting us. They’ve been here a week already and will be staying for another two. Ma has been cooking delicious Indonesian and Dutch food for the past week and it’s a blessing to come home after a strenuous day and dinner is already prepared.
The other reason is that I’m very busy at work. We have a big exhibition coming up mid- October where we’ll be launching a new product: Merchandising articles have to be ordered, photo shootings organized, launch pack prepared, leaflets need to be completed and printed, artwork for the booth, and the list goes on. So when I come home these days, I’m just too exhausted to read or write much. But we do have weekends!
Last Saturday, we invited TBFs over for an Indonesian dinner before they left for their next trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Ma and I prepared following (well, I helped and she did the cooking): Bami Goreng (Indonesian stir fried noodles), Tjap Tjoi (pronounced Chap Choi, a mix of stir fried vegetable and chicken), Babi Ketjap (pork simmered in sweet soy sauce), and Foe Yong Hai an Indonesian omelet filled with thinly sliced vegetables, ham and crab meat. It was fabulous!
Ma was not only impressed, but loved to watch TBF go for second and third servings (or wasn’t there also a small fourth serving, TBF??). Ahhh! That’s definitely a way to make Mama Orange-X happy!
After a small break, we brought out the Spekkoek, a “thousand layer” spice cake that we served with the coffee. Ma and Pa went to bed around midnight and we spent the rest of the evening with TBFs and had many more laughs. I will add some picts this evening when I get home, or a link to the album, should Blogger not let me! You will notice that we were too hungry to take pictures before the meal, so you'll see mostly leftovers.
Next week, we’ll be having another group of friends over for dinner and I hope that the weather will be better.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
On the Monday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous! After breakfast (coffee for me) we just had to go to Wiener Neustadt for 2 reasons: a) I needed a new pair of sunglasses (I broke mine) and b) we absolutely wanted to see the renovation of Pinki’s (drum roll…) new Bar! Yes! He decided to leave the company and start up his own bar. It’s a thing he’s been dreaming of for ages; plus, he’s a very well known DJ in the region. These past few months, they’ve been tearing down walls and renovating. I tell ‘ya, it’s going to be fantastic!
He’s opening the Backstage Bar on 6th September 2006 and this is what he’ll be offering: a relaxed atmosphere in a mix of modern design and arched ceilings, easy jazz, funk, soul, groove, “chill out” style music (live music on Thursdays), AND you’ll be able to have a normal conversation with friends without having to scream at each other in order to be heard. He’s planning to have live music every Thursday evening. Hey, you might get a chance to see and hear Christoph and Bones live! If you do get an opportunity to drop by, go there. And don't forget to say hello from CS and OX!
Ok. I have to calm down now. Where was I? Oh yes. I needed a pair of new sunglasses. I did... find a pair, that is. You can see them (I think) at the end of this post. Anyway, it was past noon and we were getting a hungry so we walked around a bit and decided to stop by a café. And guess what? They had those lovely opened face sandwiches that we loved so much. Not the same as Trzesniewski's , but pretty darn close! They offered 3 sandwiches and a glass of Sekt (bubbly wine). That was just perfect for me! Of course, the boys needed more than just a mere 3 sandwiches. So, they ordered double the amount… each!
We then started thinking about whether we should postpone the day trip to Vienna to the next day and just enjoy Wiener Neustadt. We knew the weather conditions for the next day were quite unstable, so we decided to drive up to Vienna. Good choice!
We decided to do about the same route we did last January, only with much more liveliness on the streets due to fantastic weather. Besides, it was nice not into got into every second shop just to warm up. I love seeing all those outdoor cafés and watching people. We did a bit of shopping as well. We walked through well known streets such as Kärntnerstrasse, Graben, Stephansplatz to the Stephansdom, made our way to the Heldenplatz to the Hofburg Imperial Palace and to the Museumquartier and, by then, we really needed some refreshments.
We had a beer or two on a terrace overlooking a park and then Pinki’s phone rang. It was one of his friends, Harry, who we had also met in January. We decided to meet him about halfway between Vienna and Wiener Neustadt for some dinner in one of these typical “Heuriger”. We met at the guesthouse “Krug” where Harry and Michaela were already waiting for us. The weather was so beautiful that we decided to have dinner in the lush garden. We ordered a first bottle of wine and considered this to be our aperitif.
We went inside and found quite an impressive choice of cold and hot dishes to choose from: a wide variety of salads, cheeses and bread, hams (warm and cold), braised duck, and much, much more. We were in heaven! You just tell the nice lady behind the glass counter what you would like and she puts it on a plate for you, you pay and take your plates and bread baskets back to your table and DIG IN! Harry had already ordered more wine. It was delicious! All of it!
We ate until we almost burst and then knew we needed schnapps (to help digest, of course). A first round of Marillen (apricot) schnapps was served and then a second. During dinner, we had live entertainment. An accordionist made his way from table to table playing his repertoire. I must admit that I am not that fond of this kind of music, but somehow, it just fit in. We had so much fun, but we knew that the restaurant wouldn’t be open much longer, so we said our goodbyes to Harry and Michaela.
We drove back to Pinki’s after this great dinner and sat outside on his terrace for a while, just enjoying the warm summer night and chatting a bit until we decided to all hit the sack.
We woke up the next morning to non-stop rain. We knew we’d be leaving that same day, so we decided to visit this huge outlet village called the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Parndorf which is close to the Airport. We had to leave the outlet again at 3:15 to catch out flight back to Zurich, so we didn’t have that much time. If there’s one thing I can not do is shop under time pressure, so Orange and I ended up empty handed. Maybe it was better that way. At least for our credit cards! Pinki and Andrea had more luck in finding a few things for themselves.
We drove to the airport and few words were said as we would have loved to stay a bit longer. We were sad to leave our wonderful friends. Saying goodbye is always difficult for me, but I managed pretty well knowing that we’d be back and also that real friendship wins anytime over distance, no matter how far. You'll find the album here.
So for now, it’s: “Auf Wiedersehen”!
PS: The flight back and drive home went well, and we were happy to see our “purring son” again. And so was he.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
When I came down the stairs I saw OX packing his suitcase. Man, not again! Are you going somewhere? I hate suitcases! Ah well, I can complain a bit later, but now I have to go for my morning stroll. I went for a short stroll and came back to have my breakfast served. CS and OX are so well trained. I just have to rub myself, meow once and they jump up to serve me breakfast. Just the way I like it! After breakfast I went outside again and laid down in the garden. Then the moment came that the suitcases came down. I could hear them, but I didn't get up. Okay OX and CS, if you want to go away again, your choice, but I'm not getting up to say goodbye. Yeah, yeah, a bit of petting and off they were.
My only question at this stage was: “Who would serve me while they were gone?” I would probably find out soon enough. I spent the day in the area, walking around a bit, sleeping in my hiding place and beating up another cat, who was trying to eat from my snack that was left outside for me.
This is me, strolling in the area
And here I am lazy, lying on my stretcher in the garden
It must have been around 18.00 hrs when I saw the friendly faces of the neighbours popping up. Aaah, Gaby and her cute daughter Rahel were the ones to serve me. Excellent choice! They always spend time with me and Rahel loves giving me the tube. That's good! They opened the door and I followed them in. Okay people, start petting me and I'll show how cute I am. While Gaby cleaned my bowls Rahel was petting me. Great, but uuhh, where's the tube??? Okay, I get it, dinner first and the goodie later.
Me and my tube!
After I finished my dinner, Rahel came up with the tube. YEEAAHHH!! Feed me! I got a good part of the tube and the neighbours decided to leave. I had to stay inside, but that didn’t bother me too much. My belly was filled and it was getting a bit chilly outside, so I laid down to snooze a bit. Actually I fell asleep and didn’t wake up till the next morning.
When I woke up I felt I really had to go for a pee. I went to the door to find it still being closed. Hello? HELLO? HEELLLOOOO?!? Neighbours, let me out!! Darn, they’re probably sleeping in on Sunday. Okay, I’ll use my bathroom. While I was peeing downstairs, I heard the door opening: YES, time to go out and have breakfast. Uuh, maybe have breakfast first and then go out? Ooh, decisions, decisions. I decided to have breakfast first after all. After breakfast I went out and spent a wonderful day outside. The weather was very nice, the sun was shining and it didn’t get to warm. B-E-A-Utiful. Before I realised it, Gaby and Rahel came over again. Is it already that late? I must have lost track of time today. Mmmm, get up, stretch and get ready for dinner. Yummie, I just love food. I quickly worked my dinner down and looked at Rahel, hoping for my tube. And yes! Ha ha, the little girl is a fast learner as well! Again I got a nice treat of tube.
While I cleaned myself Gaby and Rahel went down the stairs to go next door again. Okay, I get it. You go home; I stay inside and wait for you to return tomorrow. I’m a fast learner too, you know. While I was cleaning myself I all of a sudden heard a scream. What the heck is going on?? Rahel was crying and I decided to go check it out. Ouch, apparently Gaby wanted to close the door while Rahel was still holding on to the door, putting on her shoes. I decided to show my discontent and I hissed at Gaby: “Be careful lady, watch what you’re doing. Didn’t you see your little girl still had her fingers there?” Rahel was crying and I felt her pain, so I cried with her, hissing at Gaby every now and then to show my anger. I had to be careful though, she still had to serve me the next day…
I got a bit bored in the evening. I was wondering what I could do. Watch TV? No, that’s not a good idea. CS and OX hate it when I watch too much TV. Maybe I could go down in the basement and throw a few darts? Yup, good idea. I walked down the stairs to go into the basement and…darn, door closed. Shit! What could I do now? Aaahh, I knew what to do. I could start writing my post about my weekend “Home Alone”. I went up the stairs again and jumped up on a chair at the dining table. I know CS keeps her notebook here and she hardly ever switches it off, so I should be able to start my writing. I could see the notebook, but it was closed. How could I open it? I tried with both paws, even used my teeth, but all efforts remained without success. I could get the darn notebook open. I was disappointed and decided to go to bed. I walked all the way up, jumped on the bed and fell in a deep sleep.
On Monday morning I woke up when I heard the sound of the key turning in the lock. What time is it? I looked at the alarm clock beside the bed with half opened eyes. Don’t worry dear reader; I’m not going to tell you what time it was as I cannot tell time. I jumped from the bed and went down to greet the neighbours. Same ritual again: petting, purring, waiting for breakfast and of to the garden. Unfortunately the weather was not so nice, but nice enough to motivate me to go for a stroll. Sometime in the afternoon, while I was taking a nap in the garden, I was disturbed by noise. What is going on? What is this loud noise?? Oh no, kids are playing with fireworks! I hate the sound of fireworks just as much as I hate thunder. Fortunately the neighbours were at home and I saw Gaby coming into the garden to open the door for me. I went in, walked up and decided to hide under the bed. At least I would be safe there.
In the evening my lovely neighbours came over to feed me again. I had a great dinner, got my tube (third day in a row! This doesn't happen to me often) and received some nice petting from Gaby and Rahel. I stayed inside because the fireworks really started to shoot out loud. Man, I hate this. I hid under the bed again and fell asleep at some point…
Next morning Gaby and Rahel came in to serve me my breakfast. I heard them come in, but I also heard fire crackers outside again. I don’t like this. I’m staying here, where I feel safe. All of a sudden I se two pair of feet beside the bed and not much later after that, 2 faces. Hello neighbours, are you looking for me? If you are thinking I’m coming out from under the bed, forget it! It’s to damn loud outside. Apparently seeing me with my eyes open was enough prove that everything was okay, so they went down again. I could hear them preparing breakfast and calling out: “Dale, gutti-gutti.” Yeah, yeah, I know, but forget it for now. Just go away and lock the door okay? I’ll come down for breakfast once the noise outside has stopped. I could hear Gaby and Rahel walking down the stairs, go out and lock the door. I stayed under the bed most of the day. In the evening I heard the key turn in the lock again and then I heard 2 familiar voice! CS and OX were back again!! Now I felt a bit safer and I crawled from under the bed to go down the stairs to welcome them back home. They seemed to be happy to see me again and actually I was very happy to see them again as well. I dropped to the floor, rolled on my back to get the attention from the both of them. And as usual, it worked. Four hands were petting me; two voices were telling me how much they missed me and how happy they were to se me again. All that attention, just for me!
So, that’s all folks. That was my weekend at home alone. And uuhh, have you noticed I can write about my weekend in one go? No part 1, part 2, etc. This is the proof that we cats are more intelligent than humans. I guess I’ll never understand humans, but that’s okay. At least they make great servants ;-)
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The next morning OrangeX and I woke up quite rested and found Andrea in the kitchen and then Pinki rolled in to join us. They had slept only about two hours, or so. All of a sudden, Andrea called us all over to the terrace where we saw this and this great picture (photos by Pinki) and sorry, blogger won't let me again.
Christoph and Sascha had fallen asleep on the terrace furniture. I still wonder how Christoph could even breathe in that position! Believe it or not, we then (noisily) started cleaning up, folding tables and benches, clearing away empty bottles, etc. and it took both boys about 10 minutes before they even opened one eye. I had already prepared coffee (they needed it more that we did) and when I came back with the cups, they were already helping out to clean-up the mess of the evening before. We sat down at the table, and Pinki offered to make breakfast for all and came back shortly after with a huge pan of scrambled eggs “à la Pinki”. Everybody dug into it and enjoyed the more than welcome meal.
It didn’t take long that Christoph reached for his guitar and started playing, and Sascha took over the second voice. For the next 1 ½ - 2 hours, we had a second private blues/jazz/bluegrass jam session. It was just fantastic! It’s such a pity that “Bones” wasn’t there, too. What fascinates me the most is when musicians are so concentrated and in their element, that you can literally see the different emotions going through them as they play. Christoph is one of them. He lives the music and music is anchored deep in his soul. I can tell you one thing: this talented young man is 23 years old and I’ll bet he’ll be up there with the big lead guitarist names sooner than we think. So keep your eyes and ears open! HA! And we bought both his CDs and had them dedicated.
After the boys left, we sat around wondering what we’d do for dinner, so we decided to take it easy and go for a meal at a local restaurant about 15 minutes walk from Pinki’s house. There are some really beautiful mansions there. Wiener Neustadt used to be a weekend getaway for the Viennese folk to be able to relax and enjoy some countryside.
We came back home, tummies filled and satisfied but still tired from the week before and the party. It was a beautiful warm summer night, so we went on the terrace, lit a few candles, put on nice background music and laid back on reclining chairs to enjoy a last drink, chat a bit and gaze at the starry sky. We had quite a laugh when Pinki's left legt went a bit crazy (muscle spasms) while reclining. Sitting in a wheelchair all day, he keeps a pretty fixed position ,so when he stretches and his body weight is shifted, his legs start to shake. He's a complete paraplegic at level T8 (8th vertabrae of the thorax), so has no control whatsoever over it. The funny thing is that you totally don't expect it. It's like:"Hey! You can move your leg!" Not!
Anyway, more to come this weekend. All about our short trip to Wiener Neustadt and Vienna... and a certain bar. Oh, and for now, you'll find photos of our day here.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
We arrived at Basel airport and looked at the departure screen. What??? Where’s the flight to Vienna? We checked the printout of our e-ticket to see if I hadn’t made a mistake when I booked. Date: July 28. Check. Departure time: 10:45am. Check, we’re here on time. Look at the electronic board again: No flight to Vienna.
So we went to the Swiss information desk and asked what was going on and showed our E-ticket to the lady at the booth. She made a quick check in her computer, frowned and said: “I’m sorry, but that flight has been cancelled… since June 26th. You mean you haven’t been informed?” By then, I was fuming! Double WHAT??? June 26th? That was over a month ago!! And NO, I received no information from Swiss. The friendly lady behind the counter shook her head in disbelief and started looking for alternative flights for us. The next flight from Basel was at 6:40 pm! No way! We had friends on their way to pick us up at the Vienna Airport and they had already driven 3 hours to make it to Pinki’s party. We ended up having to drive to Zurich to catch the 12:40 flight. We thanked the nice lady for her efforts and she promised to file a report about this and told us to send a complaint to Swiss in writing as well. You bet we’d do just that!
So off we were to Zurich, called Ernst to tell him that we would be arriving approximately 2 hours later, then informed Pinki of our delay. No problem, he said. The summer party starts around 4 pm, so we wouldn’t miss anything. We finally arrived in Vienna and were happy to see Ernst and Helga, who greeted us with hugs and kisses. These two are absolute sweethearts.
We arrived at Pinki’s in Bad Fischau around 3:30 pm and he, Andrea and his mom were already waiting for us to arrive. We were so happy to see each other again! It had started to rain, but that is not a reason for Pinki to cancel any party. His basement is one big party room and the grill and a few tables could be moved to the garage. Although Mama Pinkernell and I saw that the skies were clearing up, but the boys started to take the grill, tables and benches from the terrace to the garage anyway. Half an hour later, the rain had stopped, we had blue skies again and the sun was quickly drying up the terrace.
Ernst, Helga, Pinki mom and CS
Great! The party would take place outdoors after all. Soon after having moved everything back onto terrace and garden, the guests started arriving. After a few drinks and meeting a lot of new people (all in all 58 adults and 14 children!), Pinki started the grill and little after, the scent of grilled sausages filled the air. The guests seemed quite famished, because the 100 sausages we gone before you knew it! Later that evening, Pinki contacted a friend – who just happens to be a caterer – and ordered some pork chops for the hungry guests.
I hope he won't turn the sausage with that thing!
Andrea takes over the grill.
It was a great party with lot’s of music and a variety of interesting individuals ranging from artists/musicians to top management; exactly what we love. Around 2am, OrangeX and I could hardly keep our eyes open any longer and decided to call it a night. Just then, three musicians arrived and took out their guitars and played all night. We thought of staying up a bit, but then again, the need for sleep was stronger. I must say that whether Orange nor I heard anything of the loud music although they were playing just above our bedroom and our window was tipped. We slept through it like babies and woke up to find… Well, more about our trip to Wiener Neustadt and Vienna will follow shortly.
You'll find the first set of pictures here.
Last Friday, we were invited to TBF’s for dinner. We had the starters and a drink up in their so called fishbowl (roof terrace) and went down to the covered balcony afterwards for a lovely dinner. As you might have read in previous posts, Mr. and Mrs. TBF are excellent cooks. We were treated to fried zucchini blossoms with a creamy filling as a starter, followed by a zucchini carpaccio, then a delicious lamb (and two extra pork steaks for the boys) from the grill served with young potatoes swirled in butter and parsley. Of course, delicious wines accompanied the whole meal. I couldn’t eat another bite so I stuck to coffee, but OrangeX and TBF couldn’t resist having a banana split after dinner.
While chatting, I was told by Mrs. TBF that one of my readers, The Medium Swede, thought I should change my profile picture. I won’t go into details, but thanks for the compliment TMS. Oh, and TBF…. Here’s proof that OrangeX doesn’t have his mouth open on every picture. Boy, you really had an influence on him!
We had a lovely evening and left TBF’s around 2 am only to get up at 6:30 am again to pack and catch our flight to Vienna (details in the next post). You’ll find a few more pictures of our evening at TBF’s here.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Then on Saturday morning, we're off to Vienna again to visit our goods friends, Pinki and Andrea, and will not return until August 1st (Swiss National Day).
We'll keep you posted on the events, but I think we will first have to recuperate from it all (all a.k.a. partying, little sleep and quite a few drinks).
So be patient. Have a great weekend!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Of course, I had no results with CanadianSwiss, so I had to use my real name. Go ahead; try it. Here are my favourites, and to make it more fun, I added comments.
Enjoy and have a great Sunday!
sandra is very shy – I am. Really! Mwaaaahahhahahaha!
sandra is an excellent way to sum up your system – More likely to screw-up your system.
sandra is the kind of character that immediately strikes one as pretty damn cool – I like this one!
sandra is an ongoing vipassana practioner and shares a course in miracles with whoever is open and willing – I’m impressed! I do miracles, too??
sandra is available to paint your guardian angel – Taking orders starting Monday. No wait. I have to be in Canada then (see below).
sandra is performing in canada on monday – Performing what? U-oh. And I haven’t booked a flight yet. Where in Canada do I have to be?
sandra is sandra and my sandra is female – I’m thankful that, whoever wrote this, noticed.
sandra is freeware for home use only – Now, OrangeX will be happy to read this.
sandra is in "rare" form – “Rare” like uncommon? Is that good, or bad?
sandra is taking physics and it is a disaster – This person knows me well.
sandra is located in a beautiful late 19th century palazzo – This place is nice, but far from being a palazzo!
sandra is to star in this movie, but if it happens, I will let you know – Yes, please do.
sandra is 5' 7'' tall – I wish I were, but only 5’5”
sandra is a 49 – Clothes size?? Wrong again... Make it a 34
sandra is a certified hypnotherapist and provides counseling and therapy for stress reduction – Your eyelids are getting heavier, he-a-v-y...Zzzzzzz.
sandra is a very powerful shareware troubleshooting and diagnostic tool that has the capability to send a system report from your computer to our technicians – Yup. I’ll send everything to Wikipedia.
sandra is an expert in women's hormonal problems and can show you how to overcome premenstrual syndrome menopausal symptoms – Yeah, right. I'm very experienced. I just decided to close down my offices.
sandra is fundamentally a good person – Fundamentally?!!?!
sandra is a good laugh for me – Who said that?!
sandra is getting what she wants – Well, sometimes I do
sandra is incorrect – Whaaaaat? Tssss!
sandra is also visiting senior lecturer in environmental studies at mount holyoke college – Mt. Holyoke?? Where’s that?
sandra is qualified to administer and interpret the myers – Myers?? Is that a band?
sandra is forced to choose between science and the arts – Arts, please.
sandra is eager to spread the message that “creativity and adventure know no boundaries” – Yup.
sandra is not even close to being as pretty as cameron – Hey, I never alleged that either.
sandra is convinced that the charge is false – Of course, I am. I’m innocent. Really.
sandra is a professional at ease with her coaching of voice power that helps a speaker make a lively connection between the speaker and audience – Can you hear me?
sandra is a heart person – Yeeeeessssss!
sandra is a cop who works with chaplin to avoid the red herrings – Red herrings can be very dangerous, you know.
sandra is a unique opportunity to experience the highest level of competence – In what?
sandra is also available for freelance and session work on violin or viola – OMG. I’d better start practising.
sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross - ???
sandra is an education in itself – I'm more like "a mystery in itself."
sandra is one of the better benchmarking utilities out there – Really? I'm flattered.
*sandra is de perfecte verwezenlijking van fun fearless female van het jaar (sandra is the perfect personnification of the fun fearless female of the year) – Fun fearless Female?? No. No. No. I’m so shy. LOL!
sandra is to star in a new version of the cult musical "the rocky horror show" – A star? I've always wanted to be a star. That sounds like fun. I wonder which role I’m going to get. What do you think?
* OrangeX was kind enough to translate this one for me.