Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Giro d'Italia final update

Two days late, because that's about the average Small-Boy-induced delay. Savoldelli hangs on for his second Giro.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Mary, Mary...

We spent yesterday afternoon - a hot, sunny, cloudless day - in the garden. Yes, we worked in the garden on a Sunday and yes, this is frowned upon and yes, I also did two loads of laundry and hung it on the line to dry so everybody could see I did laundry on a Sunday, which is also frowned upon. So sue me. How can we do the garden on Saturday when we have to shop on Saturday, because you can't shop on Sunday. Put that's a topic for another post. Back to the garden. We put in the herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, corriander - the chives and sage survived from last year and in theory the peppermint comes up every year), a row of tomatoes, some eggplants, and some zucchini. Yes, we're late on this. I know. But I've got my excuses, um, I mean I've got my reasons. For one thing, Small Boy keeps us pretty busy, plus he has impeccible timing - as soon as there is dirt under every last fingernail, he'll need something RIGHT NOW. For another thing, we're moving. It's looking more and more like it'll be an August 1 move date, which means the tomatoes, eggplants, and zucchini will bear fruit and veggie after we have gone. Which definitely takes some of the incentive out of the gardening, you know?

But it had to be done. Something, anyway, had to be done. At least R. had already downed the weeds and roto-tilled so it was just a big bare patch of earth and no longer a jungle of weeds and grasses. But a big bare patch of earth is no great shakes either. You see, we live in a farming village. A Swiss farming village. These Swiss farm wives do not mess around and they are not hobbyist gardeners. They have big serious vegetable gardens that are perfectly weedless (okay, they use Roundup, but still), beautifully laid out, and carefully tended. Did I mention there is not a weed to be found? (I know, it's the Roundup, which I resist, but still). I'm a hobbyist gardener, and by comparison my garden looks ragged around the edges. Okay, I admit it. It is ragged around the edges. But at least it exists.

For I feel a certain amount of unspoken social pressure to keep the garden up. A farm garden belongs to a farmhouse, and to make it worse, our garden runs along a fairly well-travelled sidewalk and everybody walking by can see it in all its (ragged) glory. Please don't misunderstand, I enjoy the garden, and I missed it last summer when I was not allowed to work it (I was pregnant and toxoplasmosis negative and my OB outlawed the garden and its by-products), but I'm a hobbyist gardener and my garden does not match up to local standards. It just doesn't, and sans Roundup it probably never will. Plus I'm learning as I go with this garden thing - I'm a city girl and and the end of the day I don't know what I'm doing. I rely on my mother-in-law for planting dates and what flowers are socially appropriate, and I watch my neighbors' houses for the magic It's Now Geranium Season day. One day - the same day - everybody suddenly has their geraniums in the window boxes. I never seem to get that memo.

But I try. The geraniums go in, a weekend or more later than everybody else's. The garden gets planted, usually too late and probably not laid out all that well. I tend the garden, but without Roundup I'm fighting a losing battle and it will never be spotless. But I try, and, for the most part, I enjoy the effort and I will miss the garden after we move.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Giro d'Italia Update

Savoldelli hanging on by a thread.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Giro d'Italia update

Basso redux.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

We're going for it

We're putting in an application for the northern unit in the cool new construction building in the university neighborhood.

This might possibly be the fastest decision we've ever made.

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Giro d'Italia update

Rising from the ashes...


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Every day should look like this...

10:30 am:

Garbage? On the kerb.
Laundry? Running.
Dishwasher? Emptied.
Kitchen sink? Clean.
Flowers? Watered.
Small Boy? Napping
Paper? Open.
Coffee? Hot.


11am update

Laundry? Wet in machine awaiting attention.
Small Boy? Teething.
Paper? Unread.
Coffee? Cold.



Giro d'Italia Update

Boy, you turn off the TV for a few days and Ivan Basso implodes.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I want it, I want it, I want it!!

Oooooh, today's new construction building in the same neighborhood as yesterday's cool but sub-optimal unit (from now on, let's call this the university neighborhood) is really really cool! Also not perfect (but what will be). Of the three units one is too small for us. (But would have been really nice in the pre-Small Boy days.) That leaves two. Both have lift access, though the one on the south end of the building has a smaller, older lift that will once again require some form of contortionism or much Small Boy carrying. The unit on the north end of the building has a new, spacious lift. The kitchen/dining/main living room layout of the southern unit is better than the kitchen/dining/main living layout of the northern unit, but the bedrooms/office of the northern unit are better than the bedrooms/office in the southern unit. The northern unit has a utility closet, the southern none. Are you following all this?? Yeah, me neither.

The buiding will have its own play area for kids in the back, and common green space so even though we lost out on the garden units we would have some outdoor options in addition to our private terrace. And each unit has washer and dryer in the unit (hello, that's what I'm talking about) and parking in the garage (for an extra fee, of course, this is Switzerland - but remarkably reasonable monthly fees for a parking place). And it's really quite quiet for that it's so close to a busy street with bus routes.

Me like.

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Monday, May 23, 2005


Well, it's time to move. We've been here since December of 2000, and although it's been nice it is time to say goodbye to the country life. You can't beat the rent (none) or the view from our train station, but for a variety of reasons it's time to move into the city.

We looked at an apartment today and have four more appointments later this week. The apartment we saw today was fantastic, though not without some serious drawbacks, chief among them being the single washing machine and laughable dryer for a building with nine units. Getting into the lift with the stroller is going to require some serious contortionism, too. It is possible to leave the stroller in the bike room or the parking garage, but then I have to open three doors with either the Small Boy in my arms or carrying the Small Boy in the Dreami. For that matter, the Dreami itself takes up most of the floor space of the lift. So when I say the apartment was fantastic, I mean the neighborhood, the floor plan, the total square meters and that terrace! are fantastic, but the apartment as a whole is sub-optimal.

One of the buildings we're looking at tomorrow is in the same neighborhood as today's fantastic-but-with-serious-drawbacks-unit. And it's new construction. As in, not even finished yet. Even so, 20 of the 23 units are already taken. Of the three remaining units one is northern exposure, so possibly not a lot of natural light; one is southern exposure but abutting the busy road with bus stop; and the third is on the third floor and there doesn't appear to be a lift so we're back to the whole Small Boy/stroller/Dreami issue. And none of the remaining units have garden/green space, although they all have a private terrace. Again, sub-optimal but all the units are surprisingly affordable for the size, neighborhood, and newness.

Realizing that every apartment we look at will probably be sub-optimal, it's just a question of how sub we're willing to get.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Where we're living now

Looking across the street (note the cow)


The Garden

This is our garden (photo taken last year - this year a freak late snow crushed a lot of the tulips).

This year we have added geraniums - the hanging kind - on the balcony. I will miss the garden.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Thanks for the memories

One of the great things about living in Switzerland is that with a little bit of planning, it's pretty easy to see some stage of the Tour de France live. If you're a cycling fan, this is a huge plus. This year, they're making it especially easy for me. And you can bet I'll be standing on the side of the road somewhere, wearing yellow, and saying Goodbye.

And Thank you.