Monday, July 29, 2019

My social club….

The local grocery store.

I kid you not: today has to be some kind of a record. I went for a coffee as I needed to go to both the pharmacy and pick up some groceries. The coffee shop up on the upper floor by the post office and pharmacy serves good coffee and I was headed that way when I bumped into a neighbour and mother of a son with whom my youngest went to elementary school!
Hadn’t seen anyone in that family for years so surprise number one that we even recognized each other. Caught up briefly and exchanged telephone numbers so that sometime this fall when we are both back from all our travels we can get together. Whilst talking to her I saw another lost-from-view person, but obviously wasn’t so impolite as to interrupt my conversation so we simply nodded to each other.

I did make it up the stairs to coffee and had just settled in when I saw another close acquaintance coming out of the pharmacy. She lives in town and was accompanied so didn’t pop up and great her. Still.

After coffee off to collect groceries where I ran into three other people, again one of whom I hadn’t seen since my older boy’s scouting days!

As I was checking out I also chatted briefly with one of the neighbourhood restaurant owners. Good to see her as I thought that they were closed for a month. Turns out, no, only 10 days. Yeah – a place to eat that is reasonable and that we all like is available.

Tomorrow I think I’ll stay away from my local grocery store – can’t take the excitement.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Opened up the house; liberated, fed, watered and cleaned their kitty litter – Babette and Cléa; having cleaned up what I left in the living room last night as well as put away and/or
otherwise taken care of what my son had washed; having washed the counter tops whilst making my breakfast; having had said breakfast, leisurely, looking out on the garden, and having done a Sudoku in my Sunday paper it was finally time!

Time to get dressed.

Oh blessed Sunday morning!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Friendship is….

Many things to many people. I could write entire pages on what friendship is.
However, amongst all those others, one is currently very precious: the empathy and
Greetings I received from a friend across the ocean who read about our terrible heat.

For all of you in similar circumstances:

Just want to send you
some coolness! 🛫your friend in Silicon Valley! ⛄

 miracuously it is cooler today!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One does what one has to do…

 Or ironing on the balcony!

Many of you are unaware of the heat wave scorching Europe right now – or are thinking “thank goodness it’s not me”.
We went from hot to hotter to almost-unbearable, but we survived-to-tell-the-tale.

Today it is finally breezy and one recalls what it was like when life was more bearable.
As it was, the days were spent doing as little as possible, airing in the middle of the night in order to shut up entirely the whole day and still suffocating.

Sleep was rather non-existent unless one had a north-facing bedroom.

I bless the day that I changed the windows for triple glaze and more importantly the old wooden frames for PVC as there are now no longer leaks through the wood! Then I installed a ceiling fan – on two it does permit me to sleep – but of course, I am using electricity.
The last of the three elements that have led to better comfort in my bedroom although it is facing the setting sun and exposed to full sunlight as of about 13:00 are the new awnings. Thanks to a friend I knew that there existed a vertical piece in addition to the traditional slanted normal awning. This effectively seals the balcony from the direct sun – although one can see through it fairly well.

Saving the “mattress in the cellar” for the next heat wave.

All this means that ironing anything in the house is a total no-go; have also forbidden the use of the oven for the duration and actually prefer that people living in the house eat cold or heat in the microwave. I prefer going out, but finding a reasonably cool place to eat is also a challenge given that most of Europe does not yet have air conditioning.

So thanks to the early morning shade on the balcony that is where my ironing board has landed. I can iron a couple of shirts, sometimes even three items, without any of that nasty heat getting into my bedroom. A BIG plus, if odd: I am sure that not many people iron on the balcony.

Never mind the glorious view: greenery, lake and the Jura mountains in the distance!

The cat’s pajamas…

Ah the memories this phrase evokes.

My little sister died of colon cancer in 2012 – is it really so long ago – seems like yesterday.
She was a schoolteacher, never married and never had children – she was the perfect aunt
Though to her six nephews – they still miss her.

What, you might ask, does that have to do with the expression “the cat’s pajamas” – an expression that turned up in my word-a-day yesterday. Reading it today brought a flood of memories of that sister: her bright eyes and curly locks as a child, her strength as well – one didn’t lightly run into my sister as she was a lot solider than they seemingly padding warranted. I was gone for most of her teenager years, but as a young adult, then adult we were close in spite of the physical distance and I visited her in everyone of her houses, even taking my younger son for a four-month stint so that he could improve his English.

She was a woman of phrases, going through them by phases: two remain with me today
“the cat’s pajamas” and “whatever, it’s all beautiful”.

How lovely to be reminded of the blessing of that sister.