Monday, February 19, 2007

Year of the Pig

Happy New Year - if you are Chinese, in China or thereabouts or are feeling happy. It is the Year of the Pig.

While on the subject of pigs - watched a rerun of Jimmy's farm diaries on the Beeb. Focussed on Essex pigs. It was rather sad to watch Blaze meet his end like that. Though good to see Porridge again. I still can't believe they are reared for eating. And to think that I ate a slice of Beenham this morning for breakfast.

If you are interested in knowing more about rare breeds-checkout the Essex Pig Company

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Smoke on the Water

So I didn't quite come out to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline, but found myself in Geneva, by Lac Leman (as it should correctly be called, I am told). Did I say 'found myself' ? That would imply that I hopped on a broomstick, said Goodbye Paddock, Hello Greymalkin and arrived in Geneva.

Sigh..if only life were quite as simple. When you decide to tag along with your lord and master on a work trip, and then decide the sprog must go as well, life becomes a trifle complicated. Then there is the business of finding yourself in Geneva airport - one of the 3 people that are missing their bag! Apparently the airline decided loading skis was more exciting than bags containing diapers and baby food (not sure I blame them), so there we were, 6 pm on a Saturday, with the bare essentials. Like all good European cities, Genevans had shut shop at 5.30 pm on Saturdays - so one hoped the bag was going to arrive.

Bags not withstanding , B, the sprog and I found ourselves in Brasserie Baloise drowning our sorrows in what else but fondue, longeole (a raw sausage which I quite took to till I discovered it was raw), and plenty of Kirsch and Gamay ( a local red, I was told). It was a pleasant meal, the service was excellent - which included the sprog being passed around the restaurant like she was a toy, till the waitress ruined it all (for me) by telling me she really liked my husband! Clearly she figured I wasn't the tipper!

The evening ended well enough, till B and I suddenly realised - help, we had no bags! At 1.00 am I suddenly woke up and called the Hotel reception to remind them that we were still expecting our bags. I was pleased with my efficiency and woke B up to tell him that I had spoken the the new chap at the reception, his name was Philip Bonsoir and he would keep us posted. Turns out his name was just Philip, and the Bonsoir bit was the greeting. Du-h. B's not going to let me forget this one for a bit. Though I am blaming it on too much cider and all the Kirsch.

The bag did arrive the next morning, would have been nicer if the reception had informed us, rather than me punching redial like a woman possessed, only to be greeted by a lazy French voice on a machine proclaiming they were open 9 am to 8pm - this at 10 am!

Suitcase in room, and having found my favourite mittens, we decided to explore. February isn't the best of months to explore most place north of 40 degrees ,but here we were. Went to Lausanne etc. , walked, explored, shopped (hard to achieve on a sunday!), and ate of course. Was told off by a French lady for drinking at lunch - who pointed to my wine and said 'poisson'. Determined to interpret , i told B , i think she recommends this wine with Fish! Turns out she meant 'poison' ! So much for the French and wine!

The next few days flew into each other. N and I explored, while B worked and explored when free! The weather improved dramatically, and it was a shame we were not going to ski. I stumbled across the charming restaurant my sister D ate in last summer - was rather exciting! Also found a lovely little store with plenty of fleur de sel - so all gourmet sensibilites were satisfied! One night we ate at the Edelweiss - raclette, fresh lake perch etc. The food was rather good, though the thing with being Indian is that most other types of cuisine seem so basic - sometimes I don't really get what the song and dance is about! Speaking of song - I was invited to play the alphorn by the musicians who had a lively thing going - was quite a lot of fun other than i sounded like a bull frog! Don't think am getting any invites to play at the Montreux Jazz fest!

B and I wondered if time, or Den Bosch had spoilt us. Seven years ago (longer for B), Switzerland seemed a veritable magic land. Perhaps something to do with a honeymoon?

Anyway, so St. Valentine's Day it was, when we jaded souls (!) found ourselves back in the Netherlands. Some rude woman pushed me in Schiphol airport, and minutes later, B found my wallet missing from my backpack!

Not so great end to a lovely few days. Magical it might not have been, but we could get used to this. The Alps, Jet D'eau, Lac Leman and the Longeole, of course!

C'est la vie.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Our Little Babe

Speaking of pigs - here go some winter wonderland pics of our little Babe! They are taken right behind our house.

Pot Bellied Pigs

Was watching Nature Watch on the Beeb today - and came across a pair of the most adorable pot bellied pigs ever! They were called Blossom and Bruno. They were busy eating tomatoes, bananas etc. Bruno is such a man - he was eating the banana with the peel on ! I couldn't find any photos of them on the web but found 2 that sort of look like them!