Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday morning leisure…

Or living in the slow lane today.

In our hectic lives we run around doing this, doing that, accomplishing much, accomplishing little: most of us have forgotten the merits of “taking it easy”.
We have bought into the “if I’m busy, I must be doing well”.

Just a reminder: slowing down, not accomplishing anything more than a decent breakfast in great surroundings with a plan of “who knows?” or “not much” in answer to the “what are you doing today?” has great benefits.

My headache is gone, my blues chased away by a gentle breeze, my eyes fresh from all the sunshine, who knows (who cares?) where today will lead – “whatever, it’s all beautiful” my little sister used to say.

so it's not a paper copy, a newspaper downloaded is still readable

View out the window

Friday, August 29, 2014

Well travelled: I not it

Now you are thinking, what does she mean – she travels a lot so of course she’s well travelled, but as we should now know from fallacious headlines – things are not always as they seem.

This is more a story of my prowess as a finder of all things misplaced.

As is my want, I put on my walking shoes, gathered up reading glasses, camera and looked for my change purse to put in the backpack that I use to walk to the village for both coffee and mail most mornings: change purse had gone missing.

Check and re-check purse, check and re-check office, check and re-check bedroom, dump contents of purse onto desk, check and re-check car (on the thought that after our trip to the restaurant last night maybe it had fallen out of my purse). Nothing.

Upshot: had to take the car to the village as needed to then return to the restaurant and all this within the hour as I had loaned the car to my oldest son and he was leaving in an hour.

Breakfast with my usual band of friends (when it’s just the three and me we can have some highly entertaining discussions); off to the restaurant. Checked where I had parked, went to the restaurant and inquired, then checked where we had been sitting – nothing. Asked at the small grocers in case someone had found it on the parking and turned it in – nothing. 

All the while I am using a technic that I have pushed upon more than one person who has misplaced something: think back to the last time you saw it, had it, used it.

Ah ha, hadn’t actually taken it out at the restaurant so the last time that I was sure to have used it was yesterday afternoon up in the village when I went for my afternoon coffee. So back up to the village, where – miracle of miracles (but then I do tend to be lucky that way) – I had dropped it on the parking and someone had turned it in to our small grocers. (Had I thought faster, I would have checked there first and saved myself the 5 or 6 kilometre trip to-ing and fro-ing, but first thing in the morning, our brains are sometimes not yet in gear!)

Point: I still can find things (that I shouldn’t have dropped or misplaced in the first place, but let he who is without blame, cast the first stone); thinking produces results; there are still honest people in the world; I can travel great distances for not much.

By the way this is just a change purse, no ID, the only things of value (beyond the approx. Swiss francs 20.00 that will be there usually) were my Cumulus number (fidelity card to the local grocery store) and the chip for the village carton crusher (deposit had been Swiss francs 20.00): still worth recuperating.

Your reward for wading through this story that-all-of-us-experience more than once in any given week – the roses and flowers on the dock from my yesterday’s walk.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Franco-American Flophouse: Amazon in the Hexagon

The Franco-American Flophouse: Amazon in the Hexagon

She says it well: in past months I have also begun to resent the fact that be it a book or a DVD series, it is easiest to just head to Amazon instead of having to actually get in the car and go to a book store (and I might add, as I live in a country where English is not the native language, there are often valid reasons such as price and availability of the original version to order via Amazon). I am a card-carrying member of the American Library as well.

Nothing is making me do this, but I am slowly waking up to the fact that soon we may have ONLY for all of our purchases - a monopoly. I thought that our governments were supposed to watch out for this kind of lack-of-choice-for-the-consumer type of entity (never mind that they - and I am speaking of they, as in many corporations, not specifically Amazon - then promptly take their profits wherever they are taxed the least, leaving us often to pick up the tab on that as taxpayers as well).

Nope, it again comes back to an ancient philosophy that many of us have forgotten: personal responsibility. If we don't think about our actions, our purchases, our investments, soon we have no choice and someone else is doing out "thinking" for us.

Stop and reflect - what kind of a world do we want, not only for ourselves, but also for our children and our grandchildren. I for one am paying much more attention to my purchases these days. Food - locally; clothing and gifts - nothing "made in China" (and yes, if one pays a tad more attention, one can actually find locally - or at least indigent to one's own country - items) ; gas - I have my own personal boycott of one provider; anything else, I try not to purchase imported - again personal boycotts on some countries whose political policies I find either inhumane or otherwise totally lacking in ethics.

I am only one, some say that's not enough, but if I don't start, why should anyone else?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boom, boom, boom

Halfway to the village I jumped when I heard the first “boom”: although the workmen were on site they were just discussing the day’s activities (at least that is what I presumed as all seven of them were just standing at the edges of the construction zone) so it couldn’t be their machinery; I hadn’t felt anything so reckoned that it wasn’t lighting or thunder (and the bits of grey cloud were far enough away so that I hadn’t even taken an umbrella); school started last Monday, but surely the students weren’t yet to the point of setting off explosions (and it is a primary school in any case even if one never knows these days how much mischief a 6th grader can get up to)…

Then the penny dropped: end August – the grapes are starting to ripen – and as a consequence the noise canons are back to scare away the birds. Hard to imagine that it is already almost time to harvest the grapes, but the booms give away the game and can’t be ignored: summer has truly flown the coop and fall is on its way.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lunch in Italy: Bella Italia

Ah the beauty of living in Switzerland – one is never far from a border. Usually it’s my quick trip to France for groceries (10 minutes at the most); sometimes it’s through France to get to my mountain flat (under an hour driving at 60 km/h – not strenuous and the scenery is gorgeous). But yesterday was special!

I was in my mountains and a friend who has a chalet in another mountain village not far proposed that we re-connect (mind you we do cross paths at the village bakery usually at least a couple of mornings a week). So we met on a parking lot just outside Martigny where I left my car and then drove up the side valley towards Italy.

It is still summer (well the season is still summer and the pass is not yet closed due to snow – still a fresh 6°C at the top) so we were able to drive on the mountain roads and didn’t have to take the tunnel. 

mountain hut

one of the air chimneys for the tunnel underneath

Looking back on the road up

morning clouds in the the valleys between peaks

A glorious, sunny-with-clouds, morning.  

At the Grand Saint Bernard pass (and yes that is where the dogs were trained and raised – still present every summer although they also now have a museum and home in Martigny) we stopped to take in the views in both directions as well as for a short visit to the inside chapel, the canon’s dining room etc. Founded by Saint Bernard, the Archdeacon of Aoste, as a way station on the pilgrimage route to Rome to the aid of travelers, the hospice has maintained this spirit of aid to one’s fellows and hospitality for over a thousand years. The buildings are now divided with one side of the road being more for the canons, “oblate” sisters and pilgrims; the other for visitors – both connected by a passageway over the road, which is in the process of being renovated (this is the only portion that hasn't yet been started, elsewhere they have done a great job). Besides the chapel, which far surpasses my idea of a mountain chapel, there is a collection of "treasures" and various other historically important artifacts. The hospice’s history goes back over a 1’000 years, but the pass at 2’500 meters is also a border crossing and the Swiss and the Italian custom’s houses are still present although no longer guarded.

signs along the way - all with Napoleon's hat mark the path that he took over the alps in May of 1800

the corridor in between buildings - not yet renovated

The Italian border across the lake

The Swiss custom's house on the far right. Seen from the Hospice.
 Beautiful doesn’t quite do it justice, but that’s the word I have at my command.

same mountains that were covered in clouds - an hour later

Then it was down the Italian side and on to Aoste for a walk around the ruins: ruins, which I might add are being well renovated so that the tourist can easily learn some history. Here it was 28°C so it was a day of put on the sweater and windbreaker, then take off same, before re-adding them yet again later.
One of the galleries on the Italian side: notice the rock fall on the left, this is why they are needed.

part of the ruins in Aoste

A leisurely stroll: some gelato (ah the Italian gelati) followed by a leisurely lunch (in a restaurant where the decor would have passed for any similar one in lower Germany: one forgets that the baroque style was in many places) and then the reverse trip back up the mountain and over the other side.

On the way home stopped to take in more of the Napoleonic history in particular at Bourg St. Pierre: imagine Napoleon marching 46’000 soldiers up the mountain and on to Marengo – the battle that consolidated his hold on French politics. In this small village the number of transparent plaques describing various houses, types of furnishings etc. makes it a tourist’s dream. The Swiss have done well.

Napoleon brought 46'000 men will him over the alps in 1800!

A last coffee and the day had come to an end: have rarely enjoyed such a beautiful day – love those mountains, love the air, had a knowledgeable guide to explore a history and a region that I had not yet discovered. Every Sunday should be as entertaining.

For my sister - just because I found cows!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

“People who need people…”

“Are the luckiest people in the world”.

I will definitely give away my age when I say that this song, sung by Barbra Streisand in her movie “Funny Girl”, is one of my favourites.

I had just returned from my first year in Europe, together with a friend I went to see the new movie “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium” which was headlining with “Funny Girl”.
We then proceeded to go every day that week – I have never since enjoyed a double feature as much as that one and only time of overdosing on two movies five days in a row (in fact I have never since seen a movie more than twice and double movies have long gone the way of profit).

“If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium” so resumed my experiences that first year in Europe: we took an old, refurbished Italian WWII boat that had been turned into a “student ship” from New York to Le Havre (all ten days of it – what a party – and my love of all things Italian probably date back that far – the rolls I definitely remember). Upon arrival we had a two-week bus tour of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland before arriving at our school in France.  The main actor in the movie is, of course, a very good-looking Italian (never mind that he is actually a British actor, Ian Mcshane) who proceeds to fall in love with one of the female (Suzanne Pleshette) tourists. Ah the dreams of love, Italian style. I had, also “of course” left my Swiss boyfriend behind. Romantic love is very popular and prevalent when one is 20!

“Funny Girl” led to a lifelong love of Barbra Streisand and her music.
Last night I watched her 1993/1994 concert (The New Year’s concert) and what a well of memories surged forth (never mind how weird it was to see 20-year-younger Michael Jackson; Steven Spielberg; Michael Douglas - different wife; Jay Leno - kind of the same, he has aged well; and so many other prominent persons).

One song in particular takes on even more meaning all these years later: “People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world”. Why ? It’s very simple: those amongst us who actually need to interact with others, find not only intelligence, not only empathy, not only different subjects and topics, not only shared likes and dislikes, but most of all a connection to the human race.  The loneliest person is one who can’t connect to another human being; one who can’t understand another’s point of view; one who is not willing to risk rejection or misunderstanding by interacting.

Does this mean that I always want people around: of course not! (Those who know me, know that after a few days of “being on”, if I don’t get some solitary “me time” I’ll turn bitchy, uncommunicative and down right surely).  It does mean though that I don’t feel lonely – there is always someone who has walked the same path, someone who has felt the same, someone who has overcome the same obstacle.

Yes, “People who need people” are truly the luckiest in this world. I am blessed.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Yep, got to admit it, I really am chuffed and so am sharing my exploits.

As an elementary school attendee I found things fairly simple, usually got E (for excellent, I am the generation before numerical grades at least the first few years) with one notable exception: handwriting (and that has not improved, neither with practice nor age, some things just aren’t doable).

In Junior High, the majority were A’s and that continued on throughout High School, again with a couple of exceptions, French was one as I recall (lucky to pull a B- some semesters). French was my worst grade in university as well, so it’s perhaps cosmic
justice that I have spent my entire adult life in a French-speaking area of Switzerland.
Mind you, the two years that I attended school in France, I did manage good grades and got the first two “Alliance Française” certificates (hated those dissertations though). The third one had to attend the Sorbonne in Paris to obtain and I had neither the funds, nor the time for that last one. Never mind, I have managed to work, raise a family and pay my bills without ever having recourse to a translation – although when it came to legal matters I found them as complicated as any in English (usually more comprehensible however – go figure).

Today I was reading the local official newspaper, wherein is recorded any new laws, any changes to former laws, criminal procedures, bankruptcy applications as well as the bankruptcies themselves, notifications of real estate purchases, notifications of any official matter (i.e. street changes, amendments to any budgetary items), tenders for tasks/jobs at the cantonal (state) and city and communal levels, any changes to business statues, deaths, etc.

There was an article on how the requirements have changed for obtaining Swiss nationality. One of the new requirements is that the person applying must be fairly fluent in the language of whichever canton they are living in (or at least one of the four national languages) with exceptions made for illiterates, handicapped or the very aged applicants.  The links led to a quiz: twenty-five questions about Switzerland and the Canton of Geneva.

I got ALL 25 right!
OK so I do read a lot, have played tour guide in the past, I was still very proud that I aced this quiz (that I didn’t have to take when I got my citizenship). Give me some more: learning is such fun!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Accidents – Act III

Ah, almost welcome this one, as now that we have three, things will be fine again (superstitious – who me?).

Now we know that all accidents are dumb, if only one could figure out what dumb things were going to lead to accidents, the world would be a safer place.

And they always hinge on a series of decisions, those famous “what if?”; “if only I had/hadn’t”.  In this case a call to a friend to see if I could have lunch with her as I was returning from the mountains. The original answer was “oh, I wish I could, but I already have another friend coming for lunch”, which a day later changed to “my friend just called to cancel, are you still free?”, which led to my going around via the freeway instead of through France, which led to…

We had a lovely lunch, getting caught up on various and sundry in both of our lives (we enjoy meeting with our other friends as well, but sometimes just two allows one to delve further into the small problems and joys, those that might not concern anyone else).

Being on that side meant that I could also stop first at Ikea to see if there was anything interesting in the “bon fillon” (read rejects, unpacked objects, things that have been returned, etc.) – no.

The real goal was to look into the Nike outlet mall and see if I couldn’t replace my walking shoes. Hate to name names, but sometimes it’s just appropriate (Nike Outlet in Aubonne in case anyone needs to know). Interesting – everything is white and fluo pink, green, yellow or weird shades of lavender, blue, orange. Guess they don’t expect persons of my generation to be interested in a decent coloured walking shoe. Nevertheless did try on a couple whereupon a salesman rushed over to see if he could be of use. I duly inquired as to why they didn’t have anything in beige/black etc. as the lavender and hot pink weren’t going to work with my khaki walking clothes (didn’t bother to explain that they also weren’t going to work with my black trousers and sky-blue shirt), never mind that white gets dirty so quickly when I am walking in the mud! I jokingly asked if there were any more less in-your-eye ones in the men’s section, then actually thought hmmm… maybe not a bad idea since the women’s section also was missing anything at all in size 9 - the ideal size for me.  He disappeared (and must have been collared by another client as I didn’t see him again until after the accident when I went looking for him to report the incident) and I, with one new shoe on my left foot and my normal shoe on the right foot, two cartoons in my arms and my purse, toddled over to the men’s sector. OUCH, right foot came down on something sharp and in a reflex motion in order to not stick whatever it was in further I lifted up that foot and tried to look at the sole (fairly thick let it be noted): not a good idea as since the left shoe was untied and not my normal one, I slightly lost my center of gravity; started to put the right foot down again, but that was too painful so re-balance and down I went.

almost actual size!

Turns out it was the tack part of those huge security tags (the next time they take one off of something you buy, take a look at the size of those things – at least 1 centimetre long if not more!). No one in sight in that isle… took off shoe, pinched to get a drop of blood then looked for the salesman and explained. Got some antiseptic and a bandage: didn’t buy any shoes.

Fortunately nothing else hurt and – as predicted after my last loss in a restaurant – the price was right – i. e. O. Just mad that it ruined my perfect record for the year of no falls (o.k. slightly bruised inside of the left elbow – must have been the boxes in that arm). Going to be entertaining to explain this one on my osteoporosis study report (have to turn in a monthly report for a year about any falls  - one would have thought that at least it could have been a “genuine” one on a mountain trail or something).

So I should be mishap free for at least a bit.
Here’s hoping that none of you ever have any either.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Talk – you’ll meet fascinating people

I grew up very shy (I know, quit laughing friends). Was it due to my needing glasses even before I got them at 10 or to the fact that at that same age of 10, I was already within an inch of my total height or was it my love of reading? Whatever the explanation, I absolutely hated speech class; had to come a bit out of my shell when I did my student teaching, but it was only as a middle-aged adult that I started interacting more with the world of people surrounding me.

I even had a reputation as “stuck up” in high school – no one ever guessed that I was simply too afraid of talking to anyone as I kept my nose in the air or in a book.

Once I started however, I couldn’t stop: hopefully I also listen as much as I talk.
This propensity to talk to most anyone, most anywhere (except whilst travelling, for some reason that is when I again regress and try actively not to talk to my seat partner: I’ll opt for the single seat if I can and if not keep my eyes shut to prevent too much nosiness) has led me to some of the most fascinating people.

Stories lie behind the facades of such ordinary-looking people: you never know if the cash register girl might not have fled from her home country as a young child, braving kilometres and dangers that we have no knowledge of; if the elegant looking older man might not have been in the cavalry of some distant country; if the sloppily dressed person might not be a physician of renown.  Even if such is not the case, most have a story to tell: even those who have never left the villages in which they grew up have a wealth of history and culture to which many of us can only aspire.

In just the past months I have met a former ambassador’s wife (you think your life is exciting, how about being bombed at home – and we’re talking about in the USA); a family member of a prominent politician; someone who has actually met and conversed with people that I admire; the couple I shared the cable car with who live just around the corner of my first flat in Geneva; the lady walking her dog who, at one point, lived across the ocean from where we were now, but in the same city as my little sister; the young man who is home on vacation from his humanitarian job overseas. One would never guess from looking at any of them, the wonderful and full lives that they have led.

So, don’t hesitate, engage conversation – you never know what you might not learn, whom you might not meet: living at its best is an exchange with those who inhabit our planet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sometimes dessert comes first…

Or is the entire meal.
When your landlord drops by with a piece of pie looking this good – and you haven’t yet eaten, there is total justification, like I need to justify the pleasures of doing things backwards.

But obviously that is a lesson that I am still trying to learn, having been brought up with a set of rules, which although very appropriate and generally more than necessary for me to live a civilized life harming no one nor myself, sometimes one could wish that they hadn't been quite so un-accepting of the odd deviation from the "straight and narrow".

Still, occasionally I am able to take simple pleasure from doing things "the wrong way", i.e. pie as my first ... or only course.

Monday, August 18, 2014

« Another beautiful day in the mountains” and other phrases

For many of those I know it’s “another beautiful day at the beach”: for those who know me “it’s another beautiful day in the mountains”.

But before getting out and enjoying it, one does need one’s breakfast (or at least I always have – perhaps as a result of growing up in a household where breakfast was mandatory).

Those who know me also know that I can’t eat and not read: o.k. if I have company I do make the supreme effort and sacrifice, unless they too, are enamored with books and magazines whereupon we can all happily read at the same table.

It’s very rarely a book as I need to be able to at least read one chapter but it can be anything from a newspaper (yesterday’s, today’s, a freebee, a costly) to trashy magazines, to more complete magazines. Or, as today, even just advertising materials (after all I do need to get through every piece of paper with printed words on it that comes into my life (fortunately some only take seconds!)

I exchange magazines and books with a friend and in her latest lot she included an airline magazine of gifts (on purpose? By accident? I’ll return it just in case).

On top of all the wonderful inventions (and thank goodness that I am not in a buying mood as several are very tempting: I mean, a lovely piece of furniture that hides the kitty litter tray, or a padded bench for storing shoes… that would certainly be a good addition in my entryway where depending upon the body count in the house we can have almost wall to wall shoes of varying sizes and styles) there was two pages of “the best t-shirts of 2013”.

Now I love reading, I love plays on words, I love people who can use words judiciously, I love words – get the idea.  But there’s nothing quite like a short succinct sentence – one that can be printed on a t-shirt, a sweat-shirt, basketball cap, etc.

Many caught my attention, but this one stands out:

“Scars are like Tattoos, with better stories”.

I could philosophize on that sentence, but on the other hand perhaps I’ll just leave it stand for you to interpret personally, in light of your own life’s experiences. How wonderful a phrase:

“Scars are like Tattoos, with better stories”


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Là haut sur la montagne

Viens, viens sur la montagne
Là-haut il fait si bon »

Une chanson de Marie Laforêt exprime le mieux la journée, je devrais juste insérer un mot “Là-haut il fait ENFIN si bon”. Ou encore « Là haut sur la montagne il fait ENFIN si beau » ferait l’affaire également.

Voici enfin ce qui nous manquait cruellement cette année : une journée estivale - peut être bien la première et la dernière, car bientôt on ne parlera plus d’été mais de belles journées ensoleillées automnales.

C’est égal : au moins il y a eu cette journée merveilleuse ; journée pendant laquelle je suis allée voir le nouveau sentier ludique de La Creusaz. On devrait inciter tous les profs du primaire à amener leurs classes ici en haut pour que les enfants voient ce que c’est la nature.
C’est intéressant et accessible à tout un chacun

route vers Sex les Granges

Mont Blanc avec La Creusaz

Mon Blanc vue depuis La Creusaz

Glacier du Trient

"téléscopes" #5 du sentier ludique

Mont Blanc à travers le téléscope

Trient à travers le téléscope

para-avalanches en bois

mur sèche contre les avalanches_ancien

filets contre avalanches: ancien

vue direction Cervin

table en bois récupéré

avec le bois du triage forestier, maintien des bancs et tables

Et sur le retour, un instant de grâce lorsque j’ai aperçu deux cercles dans le ciel : l’un entourant le soleil, couleurs arc en ciel, l’autre le reflet parfait en blanc. Trop grands pour être photographier dans leurs entiers, les quelques bouts que j’ai pu prendre me rappellera toujours d’un instant magique.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Midsummer fete… a washout

No one can claim that summer of 2014 was not wet in Switzerland. If we got extremely lucky last weekend, this week the weather is again influencing festivities everywhere – and not positively!

Normally today would have seen the mid-summer fete up in one of the alpine meadows where the cows summer, but it got cancelled due to the weather. In fact given the temperatures, I am not even sure that the cows got very high up this year.

About the only things still congregating are the mushrooms (found a new variety this morning – and the old have more than flourished), the slugs (ugh – have to really keep my eyes on where I am walking because in between the moss on the rocks, the rivelets on the paths and the slugs no foot is safe: even saw cow patties today) and the rain drops.

We are clean, but even I, who as everyone knows dislikes the heat, am ready for some sun!

slug "party"
mushroom #14


Friday, August 15, 2014

More fun in the village, or…

Mill festival.

As noted in my blog (originally typed "bog", hmmm... am I making a remark about my own writing?) about the fulsome neighbourhood festival last Saturday in the village, the lack of inhabitants in some of the smaller villages certainly doesn’t mean a lack of enthusiasm and energy for festivals.

Last Sunday, it was the turn of the “neat”, “refined” or “fine” mill – “Moulin Fine” – to show off.
Researching a bit I discovered that the “Fine” has absolutely nothing to do with the adjectives that I have cited above, but was, rather, the name of its former owner – François Décaillet, commonly called “Fine”. 
The history itself is that of a cereal mill, which had its ups and downs (for those of you who can read French, the web-site gives many fascinating details:

A foundation duly constituted in 1988 undertook the reconstitution of the mill, which was first opened again in 1992 (they date the original mill back to the Middle Ages, but as the foundation puts it “it slept more than it worked” and was a very off and on type of enterprise.  Other renovations and it opened more or less for good in 2009. In 2014 though they had to replace the wooden water wheel itself, so it is an on-going work of love for traditions that keep it in place.

But back to our festival: this functioning flourmill is open to the public the second Sunday of the month during the “good” (read summer although we have had precious little of that this year!) season with this most recent one being the “cereal market”.

The cereals were brought up from the valley via the old stagecoach road (linking the Valais in Switzerland to Chamonix in France, it is thought that it served quite often various robbers in the area: a quick way to get over the mountain after committing larceny in Switzerland) by a family from Mex and their two donkeys.

Stopping first in Old Salvan so that they, and we, could enjoy some of the traditional dances put on by the “Vieux Salvan”, then down the road in a joyous band (with the organiser repeating every few minutes: “the roads are open, please be careful, particularly of your children as the cars are also coming through”. I noted that most were from out of state and had worried looks on their faces). There was an opportunity to buy bread made from last month’s ground flour as well.

Once at the mill (I was with very smart locals so we reached the few tables first and staked out a spot in the shade), it was party time. On offer, grilled meats including the ever-present sausages, raclette, and platters of the local dried meats and cheeses, all accompanied by your drink of choice, red, white, yellow (beer) with the occasional bottle of water or soda.

Throughout the two millers relayed each other in giving explanations – one could actually watch them grinding the cereal that had been brought up.

– and an accordionist made things even livelier.

All in all – another great way to spend a day.