Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My to do list

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My daughter walked into my bedroom at 8:47 and saw me still in bed, reading. "Now that's the way a retiree should behave."

I was just postponing my to do list and enjoying a last snuggle on a gray, wanting-to-rain day. I didn't tell her what the rest of the day would be like. I hope by the time I crawl back into bed tonight with the book I'll have checked off most of my to do list.

  • Bill clients for May
  • Work on novel...we know Janet knows Rod's alive. Annie found out and now she has to decide to go against her friend's interest and tell Roger.
  • Work on vendor database
  • Finish getting medical stuff to insurance company
  • Make minestrone soup (perfect day for it and we've lots of leftovers to add without making the other soup we do with leftovers Soupe de la Poubelle.
  • Go through emails...only about 50 but when the newsletter is released it will double.
  • Physio for back and neck--hope to walk if it isn't pouring: good thinking time and exercise
  • Go to bank (across from physio)
  • Watch the Chase
  • Watch Max Keiser
  • Maybe watch commentaries on the new BBC Sherlock Holmes (or not)
  • Sort laundry
  • Make appointment to have my hair trimmed 
  • Continue to enlist Roundtable candidates for newsletter
Except for sending bills I like everything on the list I'm doing.

 Looking at the list, it doesn't seem quite so bad. And besides, no one ever gave me The Retirees Manual.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I facebook therefore I am

I'm not anti-facebook. In fact it is a great way to keep up with my friends as well as the activities of the Geneva Writers Group, which has added so much to my life and my writing career.

Thinking about it, led me to thinking about culture and it dawned on me much of today's culture isn't as such.

In the old days culture could be shaped by artists, writers, musicians etc. Today it is shaped by corporations.

Think about it. Disney and Barbie show little girls how to princesses and clothing queens. Grown up girls measure their worth by the labels they wear. I'm a better human if I wear something by Chanel rather than Wal-Mart. I'm not a better person with Prada shoes, and my feet might hurt a bit more making me grouchy.

The same with cars. If people appreciate the craftsmanship of a Mercedes that's one thing, but if they drive a Mercedes to impress others...well that's another.

People wait in line to get the newest smartphone. Why when their old one works?

What gets out to the public to embrace has to go through the corporate gate keepers. To a certain degree the internet helps. Writers can kindle their books, although the rare one ever makes it big. The same with singers. Artists need to be popularized. In the old days artists had patrons and today corporations often serve that purpose.

Now much of modern life is great. Given a choice of surrendering my laptop or my daughter, I'll fall back on the old cheapskate Jack Benny line when he was being held up and the robber said, "Your money or your life," he replied "I'm thinking it over." (Just kidding Llara)

My junior year high school English teacher just died. He had carved out an artistic life for himself among other things by writing his own plays and making sure they were acted locally. Remembering his love of the written word, I can only wish I'd seen one.

In my village in Argelès, there are many local organizations that act, sing (including American Gospel which really sounds funny with the French accent but the music is tiptop) paint, run local festivals celebrating their history, etc. The events are corporation free produced locally with internal passion by the participants not set to externally generated concepts.

It would be dumb to rule out everything produced by a corporation. That would tank the world economy. But maybe thinking about what is enriching a life might be a good step. Accepting what is liked because it fits is one thing, but doing it for a label or to impress others, is another.

Forgive me...today I'm a COW--Cranky Old Woman.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Leonard here we come

Bill paying day is not fun even though I keep all things that need to be dealt with in a folder with a Van Gogh painting to make it less onerous. All non-personal mail goes into it and then I go through it in a demi-marathon (not enough for a marathon but still time consuming).

In among the dregs I found three tickets to see Leonard Cohen at the Montreux Jazz festival in July. I hadn't realised they'd arrived.

Hey Leonard

Julia, Rick and I are coming,


Friday, April 26, 2013

Youtube and Ground Hog Day

In a way youtube is a bit like the movie Ground Hog Day. Movies, TV shows, music that we almost forgot all can be recaptured with the click of a mouse.

Last summer my housemate and I were walking on the beach in Argelès. A fire was raging just south of us in Spain when we watched first one than another and another and another Spanish planes swoop down and pick up water.

Yesterday, I relived the moment on youtube when I was hoping to find old You Are There programs. Afterall Howdy Doody with Clarabell and Princess Sommerfallwinterspring were available. I even found Ivo Robic's Morgen.

As a kid You Are There was my favourite program. The narrator would treat a historical event as if the news were covering it live. The reporting of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to my lifelong love affair with history. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryQmwHxvqGA

And I found it. There was no real video, for this was the radio not the television version.

As a child I never dreamed I would be able to walk the floors where Mary walked, stood where she stood when her secretary and the rumoured father of her child was murdered as she watched. 

As an adult I never dreamed I would be able to hear the program again.

I wish the series would be recreated. History as entertainment might help bring a change to those that those who do not history are doomed to repeat it and we would repeat less mistakes of the past.

Relistening to the program I was as entranced as I had been as a grade school child.

Ground Hog Day, youtube I love you.

Library sale, perfect for a lazy reader

Ok, I admit it. When it comes to reading French books, I'm lazy. My pledge to myself to read at least one French book every two weeks has slipped to one a month and sometimes one every six weeks.

However, I eat English books. Nary a week goes b when I don't swallow any where from one to three books. Sometimes at night I hold my eyes open to get to the next chapter and morning usually start with a chapter or two or three or . . . depending on the time I wake. If I beat the birds I can do more than four chapters before the day needs to start officially.

Twice a year the Library in English nestled in the American church in Geneva has been a godsend. I could never feed my habit if I had to pay transportation prices or even Kindle prices. Also, as a person who wants to own as little as possible, books are meant to be read and passed on--with only a few keepers. Had I kept every book I read in the past year or the 23 years I've been in Switzerland, I would not be able to move through the house--in fact I'm sure my housemate would have thrown me out long ago, although as a reader, she might have kept a few of my books before passing them on.

For a reasonable annual fee I get to take out six books at a time.

Two of my favourite days of the year are the library book sale where thousands of donations come out on tables (many years I help put them out but this year my back whispered none too softly I'd be crazy to lift those boxes). 

Also part of the tradition is to have lunch: egg salad sandwiches, chocolate cake and a Coke or if it is later in the day, tea and cake.

It is the time to roam through the books and buy a few to help support the library. And who am I kidding. It helps support the reading habit, one addiction I have no intention of breaking.

Signs to love

This is the shelter at the Corsier Port bus stop. The glass is shattered. The powers that be have posted a warning. The only problem it says, this door is out of service, but it is a stationary window.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Old Patterns

When my daughter was a teenager one of the family "rules" were sharing at least one meal together each day, although there were modifying factors if either of us had plans out.

The table was properly set with full and formal manners that would have pleased even my stuffy mother, and intelligent, polite conversation was expected. The subjects kept up us caught up with our lives, let us make plans, but movies, books, politics and culture in general also would pop up as topics. Almost anything was up for chatting.

Manners and topics aside, it was just nice sharing time together.

We would also have rude suppers, where we would sit in front of the TV. MASH was a favourite rude supper viewing or if we had a book that was just too exciting not to read we would read at the table.

Now that it's my daughter and me In Geneva we are trying to have one meal a day together with us taking turns cooking. The old rule of whoever cooks doesn't clean, but the cook better cook neat, still applies.

We are experimenting with recipes. Today Llara tried a vegetarian haggis. The girl misses Scotland. I have spent so many years missing her, that having her front of me for a meal, that I don't really care what she cooks. However, she's a good cook and can recognize a pleasing recipe. True Scots may shudder, but it still was wonderful. Here's today's.


Serves: 10
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 5 fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 5 tablespoons dried red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons canned kidney beans, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 250g steel cut oats

Preparation method

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 1 hour

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We're back with our flash fiction

My free writing friend and I had missed many too many sessions. She just wasn't on line at our appointed time. That wasn't like her. Then I got an explanation.

Her cats in playing had disconnected the Internet. 


Mowgli and Boubou, are not the cats in the picture: her cats are even cuter.

We free write two ways.

One: When I'm in Argelès we meet at La Noisette and depending on the weather sit outside or in, drink hot chocolate or some cold drink. Originally, we'd spy a person and then write for ten minutes using the person as a trigger. Sometimes what we imagined was very similar. One time we even gave the character the same name. Other times a person reading both pieces would never see the connection.

Two: When I'm in Geneva and more and more in Argelès, we open a book and select a line.

Either way, days I do the free write, I can get into my own writing a better. I do post the exercises on http://flashfictionexercises.blogspot.ch/ as a reminder of what I've done.

Our next section will be Thursday night. That is if the cats behave.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

C'est gratuit

"C'est gratuit."

With a big smile the young girl  handed me the yellow flower as I sat on the bus bound for home. As she continued down the aisle I saw the words, "Compliments de TPG" written in red on the back of her white T-shirt.

The TPG is the Geneva Bus System, which makes it possible for me to have given up the expense and aggravation of owning a car for over 20 years. It was late in the day and I'd just made a useless trip into town and was eager to get home.

The girl, probably no more than 20 with long, dark hair, also handed out a small brochure singing the praises of locally grown flowers, vegetables and herbs. It is a matter of principle that whenever I can, I buy things locally-made from an environmental perspective, the desire to support my community and the strong belief that every centime I spend, is a political statement.

However, none of my purchasing philosophy was at play as I watched the girl with the bucket of flowers, individually wrapped,  as she handed them to people. Many of their faces wore the tiredness of the late afternoon. A couple of people frowned and shook their heads as if the flowers would some how hurt them. 

But most faces sloughed off the cares of the day replacing them with a smile as they took the flowers. My smile as I looked at the flower went all the way through to my heart.


RB2 and I both went to work for a company in Switzerland at the same time and shared the company apartment and very soon a friendship.

We'd go food shopping in France on Saturday morning and sometimes not get back until Sunday night starting with the question "I wonder what's down this road?"

We'd take trips to Garmish where my cousins lived and where he had to take exams for a degree program then play with my cousins (forced hikes, jazz, etc.)

I showed him Boston.

We talked on every topic possible. He was the brother I always wanted.

He fell in love with Argelès too, bought a house then fell in love with the girl next door, married her and had a son.

That was in the early 90s. Over the years he's moved a number of times: Spain, France, Switzerland. His last sojourn in Switzerland was just far enough away that seeing him and his family was difficult.

He will moderate my commitment ceremony to Rick in August.

But his wedding present is not just being there. He, his wife and son are moving back to Argelès.


Monday, April 22, 2013

"I make money on painting, I lose money on my films"

That's what the drop-dead gorgeous Austrian director Edgar Honetshläger www.honetschlaeger.com/about/ said when we talked with him after seeing his film Omsch at the Nyon Visions du Rèel documentary film festival.

Each year I try and do many days at the festival with the creator of  http://livinginnyon.com/ (see for more film reviews). Sadly, so far it has only been one each year because of other commitments.

Omsch covers Honetschläger's friendship with his cantankerous, wise neighbour from the woman's 90th year to her 102nd when she died. Friendship between generations and despite often large swarths of geography, their friendship was touching, wise and sometimes funny.

Northern Lights by Nick Bentgen reported on a remote corner of Michigan where the main interests are snowmobile racing, cheer leading and body building. Like many young directors the film needed to be cut where the camera was too in love with beautiful shots that stayed on the screen far too long. The three families and the three interests were too jumbled, while alone each would have made a separate and social revealing documentary. Still, it was an interesting social commentary in a sad, depressing way, although sad and depressing is not a reason not to tell a story.

Just the opposite as Asi son les Hombres? told by Klaudia Reycike, using family films. Born in Peru she moved to Switzerland when her mother married when the child was 10. Because phone calls were expensive the family sent videos back and forth. Klaudia moved to the US then back to Switzerland where she now lives with her husband and young son. Her family ended up in Florida. Talking to her aunt, mother and grandmother in Florida sandwiched between the family films, it is a startling revelation of cross-culture, changing mores, strong women, male-female relations that brought long, long applause from the audience that included Klaudia's mother, aunt and the Peruvian Ambassador to Switzerland. For a first film, there was not one thing that could have been cut. I would go see anything this woman produces.

Dayana Mini Market is almost documentary meets Bollywood and tells of a Sri Lankan family living in Paris. Despite money problems, they share living quarters behind their store. The tenderness of the family working together for the common good was a perfect film to top off the day.

Another aspect of the festival that I enjoy is lunch and conversation about the films not only with my friends, but other people we see. Than there was the nice glass of wine while waiting for the last friend. I
asked the waiter...

"Ou est la toilette."
"Les fleurs dehors." Then he laughed and showed me that the toilet was really inside at the back of the restaurant. When I returned I told him, his toilet was pretty, but I would love to see flowers to make it even prettier. He pointed out that there really were no flowers outside.

There were so many good films, that I didn't get a chance to see.

Next year, I promise myself to do at least three days.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It shouldn't take so long

Mission: Tickets to see Leonard Cohen, book two seats on Easy Jet and hotel in Amsterdam

Time: Start 10 am--finish 11 pm

Get email my cousin has made a reservation at the hotel in Amersterdam where we will meet up. Dates are wrong. I change them on line. I get a message from cousin that was their reservation. Send copy of booking to cousin and she says she understands that the words "Kevin made a booking for you" does read like he made a reservation for me.

Cousin to straighten out their booking.

Call to make my own booking. Hotel says do it by email.

I do it by email.

They email saying they need a fax

I email I don't have a fax.

They agree to accept email request for reservation.

They email and say my credit card was denied.

I call Amex. They tell me to enter number but before I can get to the second number they say "Let's try something else" Repeated over and over and over. Remembering definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly the same and expecting a different result, I try another Amex number.

Get through to human who says my card is good.

Four exchanges of email to ask hotel to put card through again.

By 11 p.m. card is approved and reservation secured.

In between battles with EasyJet that keeps disappearing from screen. Finally get reservations for my fiancé and myself

In between battles with ticket place although easier.

Go to bed with confirmation of airline, hotel and concert. Dream about being a hermit.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dreaming several lives

Winter has returned with winds and cold. Trudging up to the post to pick up a registered letter I started thinking, (always dangerous). What if I had many lives to live what would I do.

First I knew without doubt I would be a writer and Swiss in all future lives. Hopefully many people I adore from this  would turn up in my other lives, but aside from that what would I do...what would I be...?

Here's what I came up with...

An anthropologist but studying modern life in different countries.

A journalist the kind that gets to travel the world and report on world leaders.

A potter

A painter

A biologist working with plants

A college professor

I would speak English, French, German, Italian all fluently and almost without errors. (In this life my French stutters along and my German is buried deep in my database to be brought on in small doses) I suppose I can claim to be almost bilingual in this life but quatra-lingual in all others.

I would live as a base in different lives in Geneva, Paris, Edinburgh, Montreal, Stuttgart. I would also live in the Alps alà Heidi. I would live on the Maine coastline.

I would master math instead of it mastering me.

I would ski

I would swim

I would always have a small house of flat.

I would try not to have a car

In all lives there were would be black chocolate

I'd make a film

In none of the lives would I work for a corporation

I'd be a rabel rouser 

I'd ride horseback through the surf

I'd have daughters and lovers in all lives

Don't think I'm dissatisfied with my current life. In fact it as perfect as it can possible be with just enough problems for me to be thrilled with new violets in the spring, DVD nights, a hug a good meal, friends, etc. I think I've crammed as much as I reasonably could into this life. But it is fun to dream...


Friday, April 19, 2013


Spice and herbs are supposed to be good for your health such as

  • Sage for memory
  • Cinnamon manages blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol.
  • Turmeric for cancer, asthma, arthritis
  • Parsley bad breath
  • Oregano anti bacterial
  • Garlic antibacterial (and anti vampire)

I love spices and herbs for my cooking, but I don't cook enough Indian food (although I do some and it pales in comparison to what my Indian friends make) so in the mornings I usually take a small quantity of turmeric. Does it help my asthma? I don't know but I feel as if I'm doing something other than complaining.

This is our spice draw with two small containers of turmeric. To the left you see red pepper. Yesterday the red pepper was where one of the turmeric jars was. I didn't read the label.

Good thing there was a glass of water handy. And now the red pepper is to one side.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring day

Spring was late this year...very, very late...but today was its second appearance.

We're ignoring rumours of temperature drops tomorrow.

How to celebrate such glorious weather?

A lunch with a writer friend along the lake.

Then stopping to watch the pansies being watered by the tomb of the The Duke of Brunswick, full name Charles Frederick August William (1804-1873). He was said to be have many talents including his horsemanship, languages and musical abilities. Exiled from Brunswick, he fled first to Paris and ended his life in Geneva to which he left a great deal of money to build his tomb modeled on one Italy. (I also just learned he paid for the wonderful gold-tipped iron gates that mark the entry to the Park des Bastions.

Then on the way to bus, this sign. I've only seen one and it looks home made. Somehow there's a story.

 Back home I curled up with a new library book and heard a melodic tinkling. Only after searching did I realise it was the chimes that my housemate had brought back from her sister's house. In the winter the thick windows and the thick walls dulled their angel notes.

Who cares if tomorrow is rainy or not. Today was perfect. Tomorrow can be perfect too if it is raining. Perfection is in the eye to the beholder, isn't it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


My "brother" (no blood relation but with the number of coincidences in our lives, we've decided to create a  faux fraternal relationship) sent me an article on a scholar who is trying to document Aramaic, the language of Christ, which is still spoken in the village of Ma'loula in Syria.

It brought back memories of walking those ancient, dusty streets in 2001 with friends who are never out of my thoughts (or off my worry list) these days. 

The village is on a sandy hillside and is home to about 2,000 people or at least it was before the conflict started.
As a history buff there was something wonderful about hearing words that were spoken over 2,000 years ago. It didn't take much imagination to picture it as it was then until I saw a sign written exactly like this.

"Sandwiches for sale"

Somehow, I just couldn't picture any Biblical figure walking to the stand and ordering a cheese sandwich, but then again, maybe I'm wrong. People have eaten throughout time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spiced Chocolate Coffee

"Too bad, I don't have a slow cooker," our hostess said.

My daughter, our hostess and I were all sitting on her couch leafing through cookbooks. 

We all love to eat and we'd already sampled much good food from seasonal asparagus to the traditional fondue during our visit to Schwyz.

Outside there was still snow on the mountains and chilly, although it didn't bother Einstein, the St. Bernard, sleeping on the deck.


"There's a great recipe for coffee but it needs a slow cooker."

"I've substituted the oven for one at very, very low temperatures," I said.

Her eyes lit up as she read the recipe. So did ours as we listened. 

A trip to the grocery and we were ready for...wait for this...drum roll...


8 cups brewed coffee
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
4-4inch cinnamon sticks broken
1 1/2 whole cloves
Garnish: cinnamon sticks, sweetened whipped cream, cocoa powder or chocolate shavings

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 3-quart slow cooker and set aside. (We used a Creuset casserole with cover)

Wrap spices in a coffee filter or cheesecloth and tie with a kitchen string and add to slow cooker(Casserole) 

Cover and cook on low setting 2 to 3 hours. We put it in the oven for same period at 50°

Remove and discard spices. Ladle into mugs and garnish. Makes about 8 cups.

The recipe is a keeper. 

After I wrote this I realized that my mother used to have a column called "Stove Stories" in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune (yup, she was a writer too) where she gave people's favourite recipes but also the family stories that went along with the dish. Hmmm must be my DNA on many fronts.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Staying young

Whenever I say I'm retired my daughter rolls her eyes and laughs.

Between writing my novels and running www.cunewswire.com with my partner where we produce 48 credit union newsletters a year of 30 to 50 articles each, maybe retired isn't quite the right word.

One of the things I didn't want to do was to become one of those old foggies who didn't keep up with what was going on in the world. Besides really believing in the co-operative and credit union movements and feeling I'm contributing, I certainly find myself learning things and doing things I wouldn't otherwise.

Today, was one of those chances. I just gave my first webinar--on working with the press. Content didn't bother me. Making a Power Point presentation didn't bother me, but the technology did give me a moment to pause. It was new for my partner, but between us we worked it out.

The reviews are in and my audience rated me "excellent" brag, brag, brag.

Now both my partner and I are wondering if we can use webinars for writing and photography courses or do other webinars for the newsletter.

Old foggydom will have to wait a little while longer.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Inside the Einseidlen Cookie Museum

The atmosphere was wonderful. The smells were wonderful and even better the taste was wonderful. And I think I found the source of a new mystery Murder in Einseidlen. Of course I need to finish Murder in Ely first and have it accepted. Meanwhile I have an offer on Murder in Insel Poel.

Three men and a puzzle

My daughter and I wandered into this Zurich Café for Würst salad and to get out of the rain. At the next table were three white-haired men, most likely retired several years, whom the waitress kept kidding with and vice versa. They had sandwiches and coffee but before each of them was a word puzzle. 

Although my daughter, who does speak German, couldn't quite understand the Swiss German it was easy to see what they were doing. In between bites of food and sips of coffee there were smiles when an answer was discovered and/or exchanged.

The meal over, the men paid their bill, promised to see the waitress soon and tucking their puzzles under their arms went out into the rain.

Ro, this is for you

An angel by Niki de Saint Phalle (29 October 1930 – 21 May 2002) in the Zurich Bahnhof.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

They did it again

I've always loved how the French report the deaths of famous people. They don't die. They don't pass away. They leave this mortal coil poetically.

A singer will sing his last song, an actor will no more tread the stage. Arthur Miller didn't die, he joined his Marilyn.

Margaret Thatcher didn't die either according to one paper. The translation? The Iron Lady surrendered her arms."

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Transportation mini joys with screens

Because I haven't had a car since 1993 (happily although I do drive when there's no other alternative) I really enjoy public transportation. Things happen that would never happen when I am in a car that make up for the sometime inconvenience. I might meet someone interesting to chat to, see something I wouldn't ordinarily see . . . the possibilities are limitless. I call them mini joys.

The Geneva buses have a television screen for adverts. For months there has been one against family violence. It starts with a picture of a man, woman, child then says

  • "I was afraid of..." 
  • "My boy friend put me down..."
  • "Our son threatens us..."

Even "My girl friend..."

This is followed by "Then I dared to speak" and the hotline number is flashed.

Until yesterday I only saw victims of violence stories, but then there was a very good looking man with the caption "I could have killed my girl friend, then I dared to speak."

Well done campaign. I'd love to know the statistics of those that it has helped. Maybe mini joy isn't quite the right way to describe the adverts but it is a good feeling knowing that people can get help when they think they are in a situation for which there is no cure.

The second mini joy was certainly of a different caliber.

Coming back from Gland and a meeting with my business partner on the upcoming webinar I'm giving on Monday, I got to ride on one of the new trains. It's a split three-level. I loved their screen. It listed all the stops, the time of arrival, the current time and best of all at each station it gave the corresponding trains and the voie.

With the Swiss trains a 4 minute turn around is doable. In France, where schedules are suggestions, I wouldn't want anything less than a half hour or maybe more.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Baby nightmare

There was a blackboard in the window of the entrance to the restaurant Marronniers reading

4 Ever

No. Antonio or Fred or Mohammed, any of the staff would have warned us. We go there at least once a week for their lunch special. We eat their special dinner which is as good as any of my family ever made. Easter dinner there was wonderful.

Never again would I have their pumpkin soup with truffle oil or their gazpacho or their pizza with aubergine and basil. No, no, no.

Then I heard birds singing and woke up.


Just to make sure I checked out their specials of the week.

They are still there.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Back to writing exercises

My writing buddy and I have had a hiatus on our writing exercises.

We meet at La Noisette for hot chocolate, tea, noisette or watermelon punch depending on the season and either see someone to write about or take a sentence from a book, then write ten minutes using the person or phrase as a trigger after which we share what we've done. Sometimes we take the same track other times completely different.

There's been a delay of a few weeks while my writing buddy moved and got settled, but today at 10 a.m. she rang in Skype.


I post my exercises on http://flashfictionexercises.blogspot.ch/ not that they are finished products, but just fun to do and a great stimulus for any other writing I will do during the day.

And best of all, is we have another "writing date" tomorrow morning. A photo of La Noisette below hopefully will encourage those who have visited me in the past to come back again.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Dumb, dumb, dumb

For a smart woman, I, some times, can be dumb.

There were three programs on at the same time this morning. Although I don't ordinarily put on the TV in the morning but I was feeling lazy. Channel flipping (at one time I threw away remotes so I wouldn't channel surf) I came across three programs all that I wanted to watch. Frustration.

1. Time Team, a British show that does three day digs. They were looking for the relics of a copper mine from Elizabethan times in the Lake District.

2. A history program which include information on Mary Wollenstoncraft.

3. A BBC debate on whether the UK should stay in the European Union.

None of that is the dumb part. I didn't think to hit the record button.

Sigh...at least many of the Time Team shows are on youtube.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Swiss Mountain Cleaning


Although I love being Swiss, I never really thought of Swiss humour as one of the reasons I wanted to be Swiss.

Still every now and then, they really nail it.

Not quite as good as  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZwhMsxW17o with my favourite chicken and likeable cow.

Both videos provide a real insight into Swiss beauty. Take an armchair tour.

Monday, April 01, 2013

words that work

 Words keep pouring in from my cousins about my stepmom's death. she was the last of her generation and many went out of their way to visit.

However, the best came from one cousin on my mom's refusal to eat or drink at the end. "Wasn't it an American Indian tradition to stop eating and go off into the wilderness to die?  Maybe I'll think of Norma as our family's irrepressible warrior!"

A tiny irrepressible warrior. She'd have loved that.

as you prepare your taxes watch this