Monday, 31 December 2007

2 weeks to go

...and still not organised!

In spare moments (I can tell we aren't working hard enough 'cos we still seem to have some of these) we are doing 'stuff.' So we now have our cable/internet/'phone sorted out - well as far as we can.

Number Guy is having a well-earned rest. Some of his friends are staying over New Year and they have all gone walking. In the pouring rain (he he he). I was knitting, and the results can currently be seen at Twelfthknit but I have the feeling that this will have to stop.

And for no reason at all, here is a pic of Athyr when she was nobbut a kitten.

Friday, 28 December 2007

minor hiccup

...the 'house' isn't going to arrive before Number Guy starts work. Sheesh. Now, don't get me wrong - I think it's great that only a week after we arrive most of our life arrives, it's just that we will have a week's 'holiday' with none of our stuff and so much to do that we won't be able to.

I think the only thing we can do is resolve ourselves to do the important things that we can do, and spend the rest of the time being tourists.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Moving madness

Wow! Number Guy just ahd a 'phone call from the movers. Apparently a 40' container might not be enough for all our things....good grief.


All out vaccinations are up to date, except the ones against
tick borne encaphalitis . This is a very real problem if one is likely to be out in the woods. We did think about getting it done here but we are a bit late - it is 3 vaccines each 1 - 3 months apart. Rather than confusing the issue by starting it here and continuing it over in ZH, we'll keep it simple.

So our first week will consist of:

unpacking (assuming the trucj arrives...)

getting health care sorted out

getting vaccinations sorted out

getting sight tests so we can apply for international driving licenses.

This week consists of -

somehow getting to, and surviving, Christmas,

preparing for 4 friends to stay from Firday to Wednesday (ie for New Year)

arranging for mail redirection

continuing to sort/throw out rubbish

sorting out paperwork to be taken

getting a valuation for our wedding album (just in case....)

So, what will this week bring for you?

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Taxes and insurances

If I have warbled on about this before, just skip this post ;0)

So I guess many folk have heard the expression that 'You can't escape death and taxes'. But the Swiss tax system is a whole new ball game. There are NINE different types of tax. Yep, nine! There's federal, cantonal and community for a start. I haven't found out yet what most of the others are (try looking here if you feel you must), except for the ninth one, the only one we won't have to pay. The church tax. Since we are not members of any mainstream church, we don't have to pay the tax. But I do wonder what will happen if I feel the need for a moment of quiet contemplation in one of said churches. Will a deep, booming, heavenly voice inform me that my tax return is wrong....?

We have to have health insurance and I have to have accident insurance (Number Guy's employers are obliged to provide his). I am still uncertain about how the service actually works. I think that if one has a discounted policy, one then ends up with a GP-based system a bit like the NHS. Otherwise, one 'simply' makes an appointment with the appropriate doctor/consultant. What I am not sure about is what dies one do about having a 'GP' in that case. After all, there surely must be someone with an overview....? No doubt all will (eventually) become clear. What I do know is that 10% of all costs are payable by the patient. There is also, surprise surprise, an excess on each policy. One can pay bigger monthly fees to have a reduced excess, but if regular use is made of the health service there isn't much to pick and choose - the costs work out pretty much the same.

On the organisation front, I did manage to make quite a dent in the living room tidying last night. But then I decided to wrap Christmas not quite back to stage one, but Could Do Better for sure. I am trying to conserve my stocks of 'essential must haves' - you know, vanilla pods, star anise, baking parchment, rubber glves etc ;0) It isn't that I think I can't get them in Switzerland, obviously. It's just that when I am having a mental breakdown trying to get X, Y, or Z fixed and my Superb Grasp of German has let me down again, I don't want to find myself in a snotty heap, crying because I've run out of something that I don't yet know where to find. Like Marmite. Actually, I've already found out where I can get that - result!

But now that I have mentioned Mental Breakdown...I was lying ib bed this mornig thinking 'Oh f***, it's 3 weeks till we go.Oh f***, it's 3 weeks till we go.Oh f***, it's 3 weeks till we go.'

You know what, it's 3 weeks till we go. Oh f***

Saturday, 22 December 2007

We interupt this move... 'enjoy' Christmas. It just gets, make that 'it just gets more stressful'.

I looked at the pitiful pile molehill of presents for under the tree and nearly had a complete flaky. Now, Christmas is not about who spends the biggest bucks (well, it is in some places, but not chez moi). But even allowing for that fact, it became clear that I had not really been thinking about Christmas. At all. Not one iota. Not even an ounce of effort. And today is Saturday. The Last One before the Big Day...

So, loins were girded and we did venture forth. I reckon I got the best part of the deal - I only had half-hour queues to stand in - Number Guy had to do The Christmas Grocery Shop. It only took him three hours and by that time I had done the CHristmas Shopping and managed to squeeze in a cup of coffee :0)

So I now feel a but better. To be sure, a couple of the presents that I had already bought for Number One Son I was really pleased with - lots of thought had been put into those ones...but my mum and dad's gifts were...not even finished (uep, I only had 2 bits of Christmas knitting and I even failed on that).

So now I need to tidy the 'public' bits of the house since my parents will be staying over for a couple of days. And I really don't want to - I am descending into a swirling mess of half-arranged possessions waiting for the packers, but needs must.

So, have a happy, healthy, tidy Christmas and don't eat too many mince pies

Friday, 21 December 2007


Honestly, if I had a brain I would be dangerous.... I happened to scroll down this blog and saw that one of the posts had make that 2, no make it three ...erm, make it most of them! Ithought that I had enabled comment moderation - which as well as enabling the obvious, also draws attention to the fact that I have received comments....

SO, BIG apologies to everyone who commented - I wasn't being rude , honest :0)


Well, what started out as frustration this morning has ended up putting a smile on my face.

The relocation company had failed to keep two appointments to deliver book boxes to our door. This is a big deal. Number Guy reckons he has 100 feet of work-related books/journals to pack. As you can imagine, we need to start this asap.

So this morning I called the company and told them how unhappy I was. I am always polite about these things - being nasty is counterproductive and well, just plain nasty in itself. During the conversation it turned out that if we pack the books, they will pick them up from the office - result! It has taken so much pressure off, knowing that we only have to pack 'em :0) And they have PROMISED to deliver them by 2.00pm today...

But I am still fairly paralysed when it comes to 'jobs round the house'. Knowing that in just over 2 weeks the packers come does NOT motivate me. After all, if our whole life is going into boxes, do I really care that there is a bit of dust o the TV? NO!

On the Christmas Front, (yes, it really feels like we are waging war on many fronts here, not much happening either. I have some presents to wrap and a shopping list to write. This was going to be a huge celebration with lots of home cooking/baking, but that won't happen either....but not moaning - still looking forward to the move.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Less than 5 weeks...

...feeling like a ship being tossed by 50 foot waves. No, stop, make that 80 foot..

I don't know why I am moaning - Number Guy has to work his notice and all I have to do is throw out and organise. This is one of the busiest times of the year for him and he is working crazy hours. I think it is finally setting in that while it is a Great Big Adventure, there are some harsh realities - like leaving friends and family behind.

I think we have dealt with all of the legalities and now it is time to sort untilitie etc. HAving said that, the only utility that we have to [ay separately is electricity - the rest is included in our rent, including TV license and Cablecom. We have decided to stay with Cablecom for our TV, Internet, digital package, 'phone etc. This *only* gives us 4 British channels as opposed to the 8 we would have had from Swisscom. But on the whole, I reckon the advantages outweigh the disadvantages - most of the TV that we watch isn't main BBC/ITV anyway and the others aren't available. We could have tried SKY, but the type of insulation on the house means that the facade can't be drilled into, so that is a no-go.

One of the suprises for us has been light fittings - or rather, lack of them. In Switzerland most fittings go with the previous tenant and all that is left is wire poking out of the ceiling, Given that we are arriving in the middle of winter this could be a bit of a problem as we will have so much to organise we won't have many daylight hours to fix lights. Fortunately, a number of fittings are left, namely kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, stairwell. With a couple of plug-in lamps, we will be able to cope for the first few days.

We still need to set up our Swiss Bank accounts (makes me smile everytime I say that). Cheque books are NOT used in Switzerland. There are quite hefty banking charges for using debicredit cards. One way around this, so I believe, is to have a Post Office account. I think this works more like a standard bank account here and use of a debit card isn't penalised. Of course, I could be completely wrong about that...

And just to brighten everyone up on a dull West Coast morning, here is a pic of the garden in the Spring. This garden. The one we won't see this Spring....

Thursday, 6 December 2007

residency and tenancy

We are just back from a long weekend in Zürich. We spent the Saturday and Sunday sightseeing, while MOnday saw us finalising the lease.

The Swiss do not use cheque books and our credit cards were not suitable either for some reason. We had to do a lot of organising to get everything sorted since we do not yet have our Swiss bank accounts (imagine, I am going to have a Swiss bank account...!)

Once all of the paperwork was sorted out we had time to stroll around our house and take measurements. Hopefully this will be of some use today when the agent from the removal firm comes to estimate how much packing materials etc we will need. I am determined that we do not take anything that should be thrown out but as I type things are still in a chaotic mix of 'to be kept/to be thrown away'

We took the usual 'scary photos', plus marriage certificate and passport for our indentity cards so we could begin the process of becoming Swiss residents.

We had some spare time on Tuesday so we took the S-Bahn up the Uetliberg. We took a 15 minute walk up to the top and then went back to the restuarant for a Heisse Schoggi - that's Hot Chocolate to me and you. As you can see, I am already picking up bits of German and Swiss German. I'm not looking forward to the reality of trying to make myself understood, but at least I'll provide some amusement for the locals ;0)

Another random travel've probably seen it before, but I hate having plain old text and no images. If I had more time, I'd save some others to the pc but spare time is in short supply right now

Edit: Well, the agent has been. Any of you know that feeling when you are really embarrassed about how messy your house is, but you are determined
not to apologise to some complete stranger? When you keep repeating 'But it's clean' to yourself over and over....