Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Edinburgh Half Marathon

 Llara approaches the finish line as they call out her name. She looks pretty good as she wears her medal and clutches her T-shirt.

What I loved about Scotland

Seeing Llara.

The feel of Edinburgh.

The train ride to Glasgow.

Seeing Llara.

Kilwinning. A half hour from Glasgow where J's ancestors came from in the mid 1800s. We found the ruins of an abbey.

Seeing Llara.

Chris, our hop on hop off guide in Glasgow.

The Religious museum in Glasgow. Felt good even for pagan me because it called attention to our human sameness.

The Grand Central Hotel with a water faucet that combined the hot AND cold water.

The Grand Central Hotel that had plug outlets for most nationality plugs.

The Glasgow train station.

Seeing Llara.

Pub grub in the beginning, salad at Llara's and Japanese dragon roll towards the end of the stay.

The major differences between the Grand Central and Guards Hotel. Pretended I was rating hotels. With all out hotel stays over the last few years we've done everything from four star to no stars and all have had some essence of fun.

The beautiful weather--Chris called it the first and maybe the last days of summer.

Seeing Llara run the half marathon. Hearing her name called as I watched her cross the finish line literally moisted my eyes. I think the joy there more than made up for the beginner violin concerts that she had that I went to in motherly support.

Quiz night at the pub even if we know diddly squat about snooker and cricket (apologies to Anil--he tried but that didn't help with team info). At least I knew the Chaucer question.

Seeing Llara's former dorm mate Marianne.

Loudon's tea room.

Did I mention one of the joys of the trip was seeing Llara?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The solution

For the holiday, J and I decided we were to go out and start photographing as many of the painted electrical boxes that we could find. Of course, lunch in a nice restaurant was in the plan.

I took things from my pocketbook to put in my backpack: wallet, camera, pen, notebook, bus pass, etc.

I went to pick it up. It was heavy. I tugged and tugged.

Why was I so weak?

Then I stepped off the strap. Voilà...the backpack was light again.

And off we went to capture 32 of the 150 electrical boxes that we are seeking. One of my favourites is above showing an event where a street car from another city ran on Geneva tracks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We want to be alone

Granted we live a five minute walk from Lake Léman where ducks abound. This is the first time we've had any ducks on our garage roof.

We assumed that they were tired of being with a crowd and needed a little time to themselves away from all the others.

                                                             Photos by J. Schmitz-Leuffen

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Carcassonne cookies
Bin after bin to choose from
Chocolate are best

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bordeaux Haiku

                                              Coloured flower cart
                                              in an old  Bordeaux courtyard
                                              Kevin helped frame it

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Corsier misc.

This is the time of year that one almost needs sunglasses to pass the fields and fields of colza. Photo by Julia Schmitz-Leuffen who also does the photos for my book covers.

I found J driving back and forth into and out of the garage. "Something's wrong," she said. We looked at the tire. One was flat. A temporary was put on but it looks a bit like a band-aid. Glad it didn't happen when we were on the road somewhere.

Three of us, my housemate, a British friend are LWL, ladies who lunch. We take turns experimenting with different recipes. This time S. made a Romanian curly pastry with salad. J.'s turn next.

Desert was a strawberry truffle...we also have the date for the next lunch with a different chef. Meanwhile I'm scouring recipes for my turn to produce something new.

Sunday, May 06, 2012


Someone once said RB2 was the brother I always wanted. A Swiss/Dutchman, 20 years younger and I shared the company flat from 1990-93. We also shared shopping trips to France where instead of coming back immediately we'd roam the countryside, trips to Argeles (where he met and married his wife), concerts, musics, and hours and hours of talking.

In the intervening years depending on where he was living and/or working our time together might be under the same roof or close enough for many get-togethers.  Other times both our busy lives interfered and months would go by with no contact.

Thus when I got an email saying he'd meet me in Yverdon and I'd spend the night I jumped on the train. But no sooner had he served me Dutch pancakes, and I'd chatted with his wife, then he told me to get in the car.

Long ago, I learned to follow him (not a natural inclination of mine.) We ended up in the Swiss Germanic medieval village of Murten heading into a hotel that had a concert by Chi Coltrane. (totally opposite to what he is)

The next morning we watched the Eric Clapton Guitar Festival and his salute to George Harrison, before visiting his wife's brilliant children's play place.

Then off to a chalet for a fondue. I chose the one with morels. He selected a local white wine. He dropped me off at the station.

I just feel so lucky to have this brother wantabe in my life be it daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, annually, whatever.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

You know you will have a cold shower...

...when the repair man who installed the system says in equivalent French "I haven't the foggiest idea why you don't have hot water. The manufacturer's repairman is coming today. Yesterday we'd have paid holiday prices, today the call is free.