The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Thursday, 28 May 2015

The phantom fart hound!

Many years ago - probably 15-17 years ago I guess - when my oldest son was about 10 I think - he invited a friend over to stay for the weekend.  We live in the French alps and it was winter, so full on skiing season.  My favourite local ski resort is a small town called La Clusaz which is about 30 mintues from home.  Isn't it beautiful!

Anyway, we decided to take our boys and their friend up to La Clusaz for dinner.  Unfortunately, being ski season, the place was jammed to the rafters so the restaurant offered to find us a table if we were prepared to sit "in the back by the bar".  No worries.  Not a problem.

So we ordered our food and sat down to wait.  Unfortunately, my ex and I had both ordered foie gras, thinking it was pâté de foie gras.  Wrong!  It was foie gras itself and we both hate the stuff.  But being typically British (me at least) we were too embarassed to send it back so I set about trying to eat it in tiny bites.  My ex, on the other hand, couldn't stomach it at all and since I wasn't about to eat his also we had to revert to "Plan B".  Plan B, of course, was "give it to the dog".

The restaurant had a lovely Pyreneen mountain dog.  Aren't they beautiful? 

"Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog" by HeartSpoon

Well beautiful when they are clean and dry but wet and smelly is another thing.  Nevertheless, my ex kept trying to feed the dog bits of his foie gras.  Only problem was, every time he went to carry out the dastardly deed, the waiter kept running back past our table to order more drinks.  I swear it took about half an hour to get a small portion of foie gras into what, in all truth, was a very enthusiastic large, smelly dog.  But, persistence prevailed and he finally ate the whole lot, much to my ex's relief.

The downside?  Well there had to be a downside didn't there!  The dog by this time was extremely comfortable and happy - if a little "gassy".  So he made himself completely at home right under our table (hidden by the table cloth), just in case any more tender morsels might be coming his way.  BUUUUUT, what do contented, "gassy" dogs do?  They let rip of course.  The only problem was that while the dog kept letting out these horrendous farts nobody could see HIM - just us!

My ex and I started to laugh and the more we laughed the more the dog wagged his tail - thinking himself extremely clever no doubt.  And the more the smell wafted.  The kids had no idea what we were laughing at, and we were so convulsed in laughter that we couldn't tell them!!!

I'm not sure we ever returned to that restaurant, and goodness knows what our poor visitor thought.  He probably told his parents we really had a few screws loose.  Come to think of it, he probably wouldn't be far wrong!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A journey of 10,000 steps ...

... begins with a single step!  Well of course it does.  I was feeling pretty fed up about my weight (again) this weekend and since I KNOW I am not going to faff around following a conventional diet I have to find some other solution.  I mean, I don't normally obsess about food but mention the word "diet" and I am a gonner.  But I was getting pretty uncomfortable with my undies pinching, not to mention the warmer weather, and "hot and sweaty" for all the wrong reasons is just miserable.  So out, yet again, came the pedometre.

I know that they say that you should push yourself to take 10,000 steps per day to improve your fitness and (hopefully) lose weight.  I also know that when I am at work I average between 6,000 and 7,000 steps per day, so not much.  Well Monday lunchtime I went to the gym (you know the one that is highly-subsidized and just 3 floors above my office that is just too difficult to get to) and piddled around a bit on the bike (while reading) and did a few floor exercises, and you know it feels SOOOOO good on my back.  (Those of you who get "typist's hump" will know what I am talking about).  So why oh why don't I go more often?  Beats me!

Then yesterday I finally managed to get my backside out of bed early enough to make it to the border to get an earlier bus, which allows me to hop off the bus on the Mont Blanc bridge and walk the 3.5 km to work.  And you know it is just madness NOT to be doing this.  The weather is glorious, Geneva is stunning, and I feel so good afterwards.  I mean, look at this for a walk to work.


AND .... though I was a little worried that the pedometre would get lodged between my boobs and not register a single step (it didn't - phew!), by walking those extra km from the bridge (3,500 steps for my short legs according to the pedometre) and then walking back into town to the grocery store at lunch-time, I easily made over 10,000 steps before I even left work yesterday evening.  Bliss!

I think I shall have to have a sit down now as I have come over all faint!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Move over Mrs. Malaprop

Like so many others who work in Geneva, every day I drive to the border where I park and then hop on the bus to cross town to my place of work.  It's about a 40-minute bus ride but I at least get to read for about an hour a day that way.  Listening to the people around me it is obvious there are quite a few English-speakers on the bus too.

One day my friend asked if I could give her a ride home that evening since she was car-less.  So we hopped on the bus heading back to the border and were chatting away (non-stop - as you do - being women of "a certain age").  Ursula has a voice that carries (to put it politely).  She is 10 years older than me and I was (trying) to ask her very discreetly if her doctor was OK with her continuing to take HRT - hormone replacement therapy for the menopause - given that she had been on it for quite some time and was nearing 65.  I was interested because I take it and it changed my life so I want to keep on taking it.

Ursula turned round and said quite airily "Oh yes, no problem.  Last time I was a the vet's he said he didn't see why I should come off it"!  The sad thing is that I understood perfectly what she meant and didn't even bat an eyelid - until I saw the shaking shoulders of some of the men standing just in front of us, trying desperately not to burst out laughing!  Ahha, but one of the joys of being "women of a certain age" is that we couldn't have cared less!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Madame, your feet are on fire!

As I was saying in my last post, I really enjoy the theatre and shows - not so much cinema - I wait for most films to come out on DVD!  So this weekend proved to be a mega binge-fest for me.  Purely by coincidence I spotted posters advertising the 100-voice gospel choir shortly to be playing at the Geneva Arena stadium, and then a couple of days later I saw that the Harlem Globetrotters were also coming to town!  What's not to love?  So a friend and I got tickets for both, which turned out to be playing on the 1st and 2nd May weekend.  A busy weekend indeed.

Friday, 1st May was not a holiday for us (it is in most parts of France) so I trudged to work through an absolute downpour that didn't let up all day.  I wore boots and jeans so I could go straight from work to the Arena BUT it would seem my bloody boots have sprung a leak.  My feet and socks were soaked and I was REALLY uncomfortable.  After work, again in the pouring rain (now I know why they have such big umbrellas in Geneva!) I spent a couple of hours wandering round Ikea (ok, trying to find my way out of Ikea) and then went straight to Arena, which is just next door.

Well the concert was excellent.  Beautiful, powerful voices belonging to all these amazing people with so much rhythm and talent.  When I say "rhythm" I mean it quickly became obvious to me that I really am white once they started dancing around!  Just like it became obvious to me recently in Cuba when someone filmed me dancing salsa - I sure as hell ain't latina!!!  (To give you an idea of my "rhythm" picture Prince Charles in a dress and heels).  Anyway, I digress.  The choir were wonderful and had everyone up dancing and singing.  Since this was Geneva they even had the presenters trying to speak French - which went down very well I can tell you!

Since I was already in Geneva I spent the night at a friend's house and when I took my boots off there was steam coming out of my boots - not to mention a very pungent odour!  Good Lord, thankfully I didn't try to kick my boots off at the show or no-one would have seen much through the steaming mist off my feet.

So then last night we were back at Arena for the Harlem Globetrotters.  Now I have been a fan of the Globetrotters since I was a little girl and the Globetrotters 2015 didn't disappoint.  What a hoot they are - total professionals who made everything look so easy.  And again, this being Geneva they were having to try to speak French - much to the mirth of the little boy sitting next to me.  But honestly, they were great, and brought such joy to young and old alike.  In fact, I have just been sitting here watching old videos of the Meadowlark Lemon era and giggling away to myself.  Definitely worth going to see if they ever play near you.

So tomorrow it's back to work to pay for my sins - but sins very much worth it.  It's good to have a binge-fest every now and again!