Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Sad cat news

When we re-homed our girls last year we asked their new owners to keep us informed of news both good and bad.

Athyr, the chocolate point, has a very aggressive form of cancer and does not have long left. Although we are both heartbroken by the news we know that her new owner will let her go when the time is right...

ETA: If you look at my profile picture on the left you will see Athyr using her radiator hammock as a kangaroo pouch. Even though we have been missing the cats for a year we are going to miss her even more now.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Black dog????

Nope, but as you may have gathered from the previous post, there is a very grizzled, dark grey, wire-haired terrier type of thing that is looking for ankles to snap at...

One of those cryptic things that I find really annoying.

But maybe now I understand a bit better...

Last week I was listening to the radio, which sparked a curiosity in me, which led me to the internet and quite unexpectedly....something went 'Clang!'

As a result- I understand something.

As a result- I feel really angry

As a result- I feel really betrayed

And I can't take it up with the person responsible.

When I realised last week, I felt angry yet detached. Tonight, out of almost nowhere I am consumed with rage. Impotent rage. That hurts most. I really want to have a damn good fishwife-of-a-scream at the person involved. I can't. I'm pissed off. Hurt. Betrayed...20+ years on...

Monday, 8 December 2008


The rest of the first week was spent quietly - Number Guy was at work, so I had a hard time going to bookshops, having lunch with the odd glass or two of wine, that kind of thing. It was tough, but I made the best of it ;0)

After work on Thursday we headed off for a 5-hour drive to
Yosemite National Park. It was a long and boring drive in the dark but eventually we made it to the Wowona Hotel . What you can see in the link is the main part of the hotel, but there are other buildings in the same style. The really funny thing is that it was just like being on the set of Dirty Dancing . No kidding!

After we signed a sheet confirming that we were 'Bear Aware' we headed off to the room. We had missed dinner but since we were there on the Romance Package (!) we at least had strawberries and fizzy wine...

Breakfast the next day was fantastic (at last) and we set off fairly early into Yosemite Valley. The road drving in was fine - we were on the inside hugging the cliff. The way back wasn't nearly so much fun - right at the edge of the road and TWICE some jerk nearly drove us off the road, too busy admiring the scenery....

Have to say, the scenery is amazing. Sheer granite cliffs that tower thousands of feet above the forest canopy. I can't possibly do it justice - just trust me when I say that if you ever get the chance, then you really must visit this place.

Tired, and not a little shaken by the near-misses, we arrived back for dinner. The evening meals were mostly organic and we were completely stuffed.

Sadly, the weekend buffet breakfast was really bad(can you tell I like my food?) but we made the best of it and headed out to the Mariposa Grove which has some Giant Sequoias. If you click on the link you will see a picture of The Fallen Monarch, which has been on its side for about 200 years and doesn't show much sign of diminishing any time soon. We headed for the upper grove but about an hour and a half in my energy levels plummeted. Although it is very unlikely that we would see a bear, since the area is very popular with tourists, be obeyed the guidance and didn't take any food with us, so this meant I could go no further. However, Number Guy reasonably felt that he was unlikely to make it to Yosemite again, so having dropped me back at the hotel he headed back to complete the walk. Sadly for him, he still didn't see any bears....

A bit wiser re portion size come dinner time, we had only one starter, main and dessert between us. Even so, we couldn't finish all the food.

On Sunday we said goodbye to the park and headed sort of westish (our map wasn't very good so we were kind of dog-legging along0. The drive was gruelling - very hot and not many places to stop. In addition, we passed many CAFOs - Concentrated Animal Feed Operations. Can't be much fun for man nor beast - you smell these things before you see them. The animals are very closely confined and fed an unnatural corn-based diet which is so unhealthy for them that some of them actually end up exploding becasue of a build up of gas. If you want to know more, read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

CAFOs are a damned disgrace. I don't care whatanyone says. There is NO justification for this type of farming. We don't need to eat meat every day. It SHOULD be an expensive luxury for all sorts of reasons. I am no saint, and I know there is room for improvement in my life and my eating habits. I'm just glad to say that this is something I have done something about. We all can. There is no excuse.*

* Well, there is actually - If you live in that area of Los Angeles where there are no grocery stores, only fast food outlets, I accept that you have to eat somewhere....but lordy, what IS the world coming to??

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Monday 10th November

Number Guy had to work, so we set up camp in a hotel in Mountain View. Different Hotel - same crappy breakfast...

I had more than breakfast on my mind - C, fellow British native and Rowanette- had kindly offered to take me out both Mondays that I was in Mountain View. I think we were both a bit nervous, to tell the truth. We had never actually met in person and it's a long day if you don't hit it off. Happily (for both of us) we got along like a house on fire. Now that I think about it, that isn't such a good choice of words. California has a 'fire season' and homes and lives were in danger. Thankfully, C and her family were all safe, but my thoughts definitely go out to those affected.

We had a relaxing day (well, it was for me since I was neither driver nor tour guide!) visiting beaches, forests, coastal viewing points.

And of course, no visit with a local would be the same without a visit to an LYS. C warned me as we drove up - 'It doesn't look much, if you didn't know what was inside you wouldn't bother.' She was right - it looked like like a petrochemical nightmare. But step into Purlescence and you will find a knitting/spinning heaven. I was very restrained and only purchased two skeins of Socks that Rock and one skein of alpaca laceweight.

On that happy note, C dropped me at the hotel to await my prince...

Once said prince arrived, we headed off to Palo Alto for something to eat. We happened across Sprout and had a couple of amazing salads.So good, in fact, that we ate there twice. Good food, if you knew where to look, was definitely outweighing the bad

Monday, 24 November 2008

is it jet lag or am I just being lazy?

Slept like a log from 8.30pm until 4.00pm. Awake until about 6.00am, had to drag my ass out of bed at 10. I'm not convinced that this is a result of the travel, since I do have episodes like this from time to time. Not complaining though - I didn't have to go to work today...

So, where was I? Ah - THAT trip on Highway 1.

The weather on our first Saturday was a bit gloomy. We headed north and then roughly west through Muir Woods . By the time we got there the fog was coming in, so we couldn't see the wood for the trees, or the trees for the get the idea. Patches of sunlight kept breaking through, so we drove onwards to meet up with
Highway 1. All of the advice given in the website is well given. It would have been a bit hair-raising at the best of times, but add horizontal rain, fog and nightfall it turned out to be a it of a nightmare. In the UK there are barriers along the edge of dangerous roads. Not on HWY 1. At some points the road can only be inches from the edge. The driving conditions just kept getting worse. I'm sure the view would have been spectacular, had we been able to see it. I'm not planning on doing it again any time soon to check it out, though.

At one point in the afternoon we stopped for some food - it was awful, so I left it. Number Guy needed the fuel, so he was forced to eat his. I wasn't downhearted, though - we were headed back to Sebastapol where I knew I could get something good at the East West Cafe (that lamb salad again, yum!).

We got back to the hotel, fed, watered and weary at about 8.00pm. The day had turned out to literally be a washout, but I knew that there was indeed breathtaking scenery when the weather finally decided to let up.

Sunday saw us driving to Mountain View via Carmel along HWY 1.The road at this point was much better, so I was able to enjoy the coastline. It was stunning. No other way to describe it. We stopped for lunch at a somewhat dubious-looking roadside cafe which turned out to serve great food, so by now the good food experiences were outweighing the bad.

Carmel is very picturesque and the beach is stunning. Unfortunately the infection that had been following me around for 4 weeks decided to lodge in my sinuses, so I was feeling really crappy. We cut the visit short and headed to
Monterey. As luck would have it we stumbled upon a clinic on our way to Fisherman's Wharf so I was at least armed with a prescription.

Again, can't remember the name of the restaurant, but we had another great meal. Mine was a bit like risotto, but with very small pasta instead of rice. It had crab and lots of garlic - I wish I could have bottled it and brought it home.

Got to Mountain View about 9.00pm, a great time had been had by all.

ETA - forgot to say that we were sat by a window while we had our meal. Turns out is it a favourite site for brown pelicans , which are actually grey. Some were intent on sleeping, others were coming and going. They don;t seem to be the most agile of birds but we managed to avoid any pelican-through-window incedents :0)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

First full day.

Number Guy and I decide we have a mission - find some good food. So far all we had seen was fast food outlets, in even greater number than the UK. Things were not looking good. In a somewhat reflective (and Hobbity mood) Number Guy asked, in a plaintive voice ' Do you think they've heard of second breakfast?'.

We headed south west into the
Russian River Valley ,in search of lunch, to Sebastopol . We struck gold first try, in the form of the East West Cafe. I can't remember what Number Guy had, but I devoured one of the best lamb salads ever. There's only one word to describe my state after this - replete.

Feeling all warm and fuzzy, we headed into a bookshop close to the cafe. A few
essential books were purchased before heading west to Bodaga Bay for a stroll along the beach. We then headed inland towards
Healdsburg with only a brief stop for
salt water taffy which is ridiculously moreish. Some people might say that I had more than my fair share. I'll plead the 5th ;0)

The road to Healdsburg passes many vineyards, which were looking a little bereft without their leaves. We saw many houses built within the woods - I guess this makes it cooler, but too gloomy for my taste. I need lots of light and these houses looked darker than a bad day in Glasgow.

The small part of Healdsburg that we saw was very pretty - the fact that they had a great fabric shop may have influenced my feelings somewhat..... We stopped so that I could do the obligatory wine tasting and asked for a recommendation for dinner. Can't remember the name of the place, just that it was on the main square (no, not due to wine consumption!). Dinner wasn't quite as good as lunch, but it was still delicious. We struck up conversation with a lovely couple who were delighted by the election result - in fact, during our holiday many people seemed eager to tell us how great this was.

We got back to the hotel about 9ish, still suffering from the effects of jet lag. This meant that the completely inane and pointless canned music in the hallway failed to keep us awake. Really, what is the point of that? It's bad enough in lifts!

Our plan for the next day was to drive along Highway 1, the coast road. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake, but more of that tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


Back in Zürich. From sunshine in California to snow here. Just a little bit of a shock, as you can imagine.

Jet lag has not been as bad as I was expecting - I think it was worse going than coming for me, which is the opposite to Number Guy.

I wish I could put some amazing photos here, but my camera was out of action....

So how was the trip? I would give it 8/10. I had a great time overall, but it didn't start out that way.

First impression after flying for 12 hours from Amsterdam to San Francisco? Grilled meat. Yep, you read that correctly. The airport has a continual meaty smell. Thus far, my stereotypical views of the US were confirmed. (yeh, I know, I was only in the country 5 minutes....).

After collecting our 'small' rental car, we drove north over the Golden Gate Bridge towards Sanoma County. I was all ready to be stunned by the Golden Gate...but I was....underwhelmed. It may have the edge on colour, but
The Forth Road Bridge which joins Fife to South Queensferry (near Edinburgh) far outstrips it. Oh well, onwards north through California. Again, nothing but disappointment. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. Scrubby countryside peppered with ugly housing and industrial areas.

By this time I had been awake for well over 24 hours, so I guess I wasn't best placed to be positive about what I saw. Add to this the crappiest road signage I have ever seen, I was completely failing to see what is so great about California.

Eventually we reached our hotel in
Windsor and collapsed into bed about 8.30pm. A (very short) twelve hours later we emerged into the dining room for the worst breakfast I have ever seen.
Biscuits and Gravy. Lordy, what IS that about? Apparently it is a traditional Southern dish. Why didn't they just keep it there.....?

To sum up, just in case you didn't notice, at this point I am jet lagged and completely unimpressed by the experience thus far. However, some small portion of my brain is working, and I remind myself that just because something is different doesn't automatically make it bad (except Biscuits and Gravy. That is Just Plain Bad.) If I wanted it to be like Switzerland or Scotland, I should have stayed where I was.

Having given myself this foot up the backside we venture out to see just what California has to offer.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Go, America!

I am sitting at my laptop in tears of joy this morning. The US has just elected its first black President.

God Bless America!

Saturday, 1 November 2008


My iPod Shuffle is not old.

Why has it died???????????????

What's the best kind of mosquito?

A dead one.

It only took a year... work out how to get the World Service and Radio 4 on my TV.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Another Good Thing

No Guy Fawkes Night = no month-long scarefest with fireworks :0)

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Is it just me?

So, I'm unwell and grumpy. Easily annoyed. But what about just a little bit of manners?

Phone rings:

Unknown Voice: Is Number Guy there?

Me: This is his wife.

Unknown Voice: Oh, is he not there?

Me: Tell me who the heck you are and I might answer you...

Actually, what I said was 'Who is calling?'

Unknown Voice:(sounding surprised to be asked)Oh, it's X mobile company.

Off to crawl grumpily back under the duvet...

Dear Swiss Man Flu virus

You know how I love Switzerland, all clean, leaf-free and snowy.

You know how I love to sit in my living room watching the snow fall, even when I am feeling really crappy, content in the knowledge that even if I do feel at Death's Door, it is a Swiss door so at least the door bell works....

But I've had enough of appreciating how much better it is to be ill in Switzerland now. How about a compromise? How about visiting someone else the leaf-blower man...or the early-morning-shift snow plough man....?

Dear Snow Plough Man

You know how much I have come to love Switzerland. All snowy and clean and with passable roads.

It is thanks to you that the roads are clear and the buses come on time.

And I guess you really did have to plough outside my bedroom window at 5.55 this morning, just as as I managed to get to sleep. But you must know how ill I am - I didn't make it to Spoogler coffee today. I am much in need of some sleep, beauty-enhancing or otherwise.

So, how about a compromise? Plough all of the other roads and then plough outside my window. Maybe at 11 am?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Dear Swiss Garden Maintenance Man

You know how I have come to love Switzerland,all cute, chocolatey and clean (cowbells that keep you awake all night notwithstanding).

And I understand that to keep this little country neat, there needs to be a host armed with leaf blowers, swooshing those errant leaves back to where they belong.

. I am trying to understand your frustration - swooshing leaves for 5 hours yesterday, only to find they are back today.'s Autumn. These things happen.
How about a compromise - swoosh once a week at 10.00am, instead of every day at 7.00?

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Go see them!

On Sunday I managed to drag myself from my deathbed to see
The Blue Man Group

If yo get the chance to see them,grab it. The performance was amazing. And we weren't even in the 'Poncho Section...'

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

What next in my 'collect a condition' set?

It would appear that my feet were jealous of the attention that my teeth were getting, and decided to join the party. For a number of months now I my feet have been painful in the morning - the first few steps after getting out of bed were, hmm, uncomfortable. The past week or so it has been getting to the crippling stage. Today my osteopath concluded that I have
plantar fasciitis .

What I find a bit frustrating is that it is my 'unsuitable footwear' which has been at least partly to blame. I have always made sure I had 'feet-shaped shoes' to ensure that I didn't end up with 'shoe-shaped feet'. Pity I didn't pay enough attention to arch support, eh? That together with the vast amounts of walking that I have been doing have resulted in the current problem.

If you look at the link, you will see that there are quite a few painful interventions which seem to have little benefit. So I won't be opting for any of those!! I have dug out my pink Crocs to wear around the house, since these are 'approved'. Arch supports and footwear with appropriate arch supports, together with the osteopathic treatment, will hopefully do the trick. That and a bit of rest. Darn, looks like I'll just have to laze around a bit more......

Travelling about

It's always good to see friends. An added bonus is that when we have friends to stay Number Guy and I get to see more of Switzerland. At the moment we have had a sustained period of warm sunny weather. Hard to believe this then:

We started at Zürich Hauptbahnhof and headed for Chur. This in itself was a rather splendid journey of about one and a half hours,if memory serves me correctly (well, I'm getting on a it, so maybe it isn't ;0). When we got there we hopped onto the
Arosabergbahn . As you can imagine, the scenery became quite stunning at this point. Having arrived at Arosa I decided to conquer my dislike of cable cars, the result of which was the breathtaking views you can see above.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

I'm afraid we'll have to fingerprint you, Ma'am....

I never thought it could happen to me. In fact, I was fairly certain I would never allow it to happen. But, well, you know how these things can happen, right out of the blue....I'm going to the USA...and I am actually quite excited about it.

The US has never been on my list of 'must see' places, but now I am beginning to change my mind.We are planning a holiday around a business trip and plan to spend some time in Yosemite. I made a little joke about bears, cars and can openers. Then I realised it wasn't actually a

And being the relaxed person I am, I am paying plenty of attention to
this. I particulary like this piece of advice:

If you see a bear anywhere else, keep your distance .

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Tooth

My dentist has confirmed that the health insurance has accepted that the cause of the problem with my tooth was caused by an accident (if one can assume that being kicked in the face by 3 girls was an 'accident'!!). Anyway, the important point is that the company accepts that this was not of my own doing.

I have an appointment on Monday to discuss 'tactics'. I am a little concerned because when I asked if the tooth could be out by Christmas, the dentist said 'Yes, but you won't have a tooth.' My understanding was that whether it was the crown of my own tooth cut off and glued back, or a plastic tooth glued in place, at no point would there be a gap in my smile. Bear in mind that the whole process is going to take about a year.....

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Sharp intake of breath

I have just had a letter from my health insurance. I*think* they are paying for the treatment. The letter, naturally enough, is in German. I am not sure if they are paying for the root treatment which was done on the tooth, or if they are paying for the whole implant.....

I am feeling almost excited. This isn't the correct word, but when you have something hanging over you and it looks like it might be coming to an end it is a big relief.

Of course, I am ignoring the fact that this means I am a step closer to having the extraction done.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Is this the end of life as I know it?

Sanomigran, also known as Pizotifen in the UK and Mosegor in Switzerland, is no longer available here. It is no exaggeration to say that without pizotifen I have no quality of life...

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The frustrating incident of the quince jelly in the night-time

Ok, so I accept that 10.00pm is not the best time to be manipulating a pan full of quince + juice and a stand with a jelly bag. Let's just cut to the chase and admit that about a third of the juice ended up all over the floor and up the walls....

After that interlude, I decided to just 'make the damn stuff'. Of course, I could not find the sugar, the ring on the cooker was too small to bring the pan up to the boil and so it went on. Finally, at 11.00pm I decided enough was enough. If the now-boiling mixture didn't pass the
wrinkle test I didn't care, and surely there must be something to be done with about 3 litres of quince syrup????

I was a bit apprehensive this morning, but as you can see I have some jars full of glowing loveliness :0)

Admittedly, it would not win a
WI prize, due to the slight cloudiness. This was caused by the squeezing that I had to do last night to rescue as much of the juice as I could. Had everything gone to plan ( and YES!!! if I waited for Number Guy, who offered to help) the juice would have been strained gently with no squeezing and hence no cloudiness. But it isn't going to be judged by the WI, so I don't care!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Gnashing of teeth...

I phoned my health insurance company today.

They do not have the x-ray plus report from my dentist.

I know he sent it.

It's not that I am looking forward to this procedure - but it needs to be done.

This is very frustrating...

Sunday, 28 September 2008


Number Guy and I had a great day out yesterday, courtesy of our Gemeinde (comununity).

After a tour of the local area ( I understood about 5% of the commentary since it was in Swiss German) we were served lunch. Now, this was a potentially difficult situation - we were fairly certain that horse would not be on the menu and reasonably certain that veal would. Of course, with our high moral standards we decided that we would politely leave it on one side. Then, of course, we were worried about offending a community that we are trying to be part of. Next we gave ourselves a verbal whipping for being so weak and small-minded. And so it went on. Eventually, we decided on what we felt was the only sensible course - we would eat the veal...and feel guilty after. I ate the veal...and didn't feel guilty, but I did feel uncomfortable.

This doesn't mean that I am ever going to buy veal, nor am I going to eat it at a restaurant. At the end of the day, it WAS more important to me not to reject this hospitality. Am I willing to lay aside all of my principles to become part of a community? No. But this one I can live with.

Before our meal we had a wander around the Hebsmarkt which was, it has to be said, somewhat of a disappointment. I had been expecting lots of local producers and artisans, but there was a preponderance of plastic. But there were a few delights:

These pear-like fruits are actually quinces. I was so excited to find them. The price? You won't believe it. A whole.....2CHF a kilo. In other words, 50p/lb. It was only my lack of jam jar capacity that stopped me buying the lot. Even better, I then
spied a very rare bird indeed - the lesser-spotted spinner. Yep, I found a spinner. Even better, she seems to be a lovely lady, who is going to collect me in a couple of weeks to take me to a spin-in. I don't need to worry about my lack of Swiss German - the lingua franca is fibre :0)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Hand me a hanky

I think I'm going to cry - I've just been listening to

The Book Thief again.

I just had a great phone call with my boy...

..and that's all I want to say about that ! :0) :0)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Only 3 years late....

Pattern: Cabled Socks

Book: Home, Debbie Bliss

Yarn: Cashmerino DK

Mods: Wrapped short-row heel; the directions in the pattern left holes.

For: My mum

Finished: Sept '09

Started:....blushes...3 years ago...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

An observation....

When the weather got really hot at the beginning of spring, I had a few weeks of suffering with migraines, including one real belter that was one of the worst I have ever experienced.

About a week/ten days ago it was as if someone had thrown a switch and summer immediately became autumn. Once again, my migraines have been bad. Today, after a visit to the Lang shop (more later) I am again suffering.

Seems to me that the changes in weather are really influential so I I will be paying attention to seasonal changes next year.

Now I am going to curl up on the sofa with my yarn haul from Lang - it is modest, only 2 sweaters-worth, but I am certain petting it will aid my recovery ;0)

Monday, 15 September 2008

Herbst is here.

Yep, there is a definite autumnal feel to the air - almost as if someone has flipped the switch on summer. I always feel a little despondent at this time of year. However, I am hoping that there will at least be some sunny days between now and the spring. The weather in Glasgow is almost unremmitingly grey and wet between October and March and I have high expectations that Swiss winter will be cold but sunny. A girl can hope.

The osteopath that I am seeing has given me a regime for using the PC and for knitting. It's not a lot but it is better than I thought. I really was staring a life of no crafting in the face. It was ugly.

So on that note, my time at the PC has come to the end for now. Here's a picture to remind me that the sun will 'return' next spring.

PS - and while I am thinking gloomy thoughts about world, here is something which would have made me laugh a lot (instead of a little) if it wasn't so pertinent...
Earth to America

Saturday, 6 September 2008


What I don't like about Burda patterns:

Lack of seam allowances, which have to be added on either when you trace the pattern as I am doing, or added directly onto the fabric.

What I do like:
downloadable instructions in English . Particularly useful when you've been daft enough to buy a pattern with 6 different languages, none of which is actually English...

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Choice of weapon

For some people, the Addi Lace is a prerequisite for successful knitting. For me, however, the weapon of choice is the humble highlighter pen, preferably in an assortment of colours.

For a simple shawl this is unnecesary, but if yo have ever knit one of Anne's shawls, you will know that 'simple' isn't the word that would usually be used to decrible her work. Hence the colour-coding helpas I attempt to knit

Attempt is the operative word. The written instructions are making perfect sense, but I am a charts girl. And one of them isn't making sense at all. I have emailed Anne and I know that she will attempt to clarify things for me. Why 'attempt'? Well, my poor brain is like mush and I cannot quite explain what the problem is. Either it's because I still haven't recovered from the 10-hour stopover at Luton on Thursday. Or I am getting a bit dottery. Hmmm.

Sunday, 3 August 2008


...without my knitting.

The scarcity of blogging has mainly been due to RSI. Which is also affecting my ability to knit. So much so, that I left it all back in Zurich and have brought none to the UK with me.

I'm not liking it and am somewhat concerned about what I will do it if doesn't get better. No knitting? Sheesh...

But I AM going to a knitting meet-up today, so I can at least soak some up by knitterly osmosis :0)

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Life's hard

We are going back to the UK for a couple of weeks. I am not looking forward to it - the climate here is so much more agreeable. However, I am giving myself a slap around the head for such thoughts. I'm lucky I have the chance. And I will hopefully get to see some of my friends. Which brings me on to a little difficulty.

Lilith and I have a little arrangement - she tapes ER for me, I buy Swiss chocolate for her. I have been putting off sending the next chocolate installment beacause I thought it would survive the journey better in my suitcase, rather than going by Die Post and Royal Mail. So what's the problem? The heat. It's been knocking 30 degrees for days now. Not the best chocolate buying weather. Had to give in today and hope it has survived the trip.

As you can see, my life is full of difficulty. Too hot to buy chocolate. Life is hard ;0)

Friday, 11 July 2008


I have found a group in Zurich, thanks to some information given to me on a Ravelry forum.

I really feel the need to be involved with a sangha (community) right now. My practice has dwindled to almost nothing and I know I will benefit from being with some others trying to tread the same path.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The tooth is a gonner...

Latest in the 3rd root canal saga- ie The Front Tooth

So, M got a copy of the x-ray that was done in January at the dental hospital. I am really angry because the damage was evident then. Bear in mind that I had gone with a problem in that tooth so the dentist was looking for a problem with that tooth yet failed to see it. However,it hasn't affected the outcome, but I still think it is pretty poor...

M consulted with an eminent dentist that he knows. It seems that the tooth is not being resorbed from the inside out as he had originally thought, but from the outside in. This has been caused by trauma in hte past - possibly when I was beaten up when I was 17, or a number of other events. My accident insurance in Switzerland *might* cover the cost, or they might not.

Where does that leave me? Well, the root treatment has been completed as a (literal) stop-gap We have to keep an eye on some other teeth for the same problem.... this tooth will snap off, so I will have to have it removed. The plan is that I will have an implant. This will take about a year from start to finish. At no point will I have a gap in my smile - this is *so* important to me, as I am sure everyone will understand. The plan would be to remove the tooth, immediately screw(!) in the implant, cut the root of the tooth and glue it to the teeth either side. Part of what has been upsetting me has been the procedure itself, but also the idea of that gap. I think some gum may need to be transplanted, maybe a bit of bone as well. All in all, a long drawn out procedure.

I am going to allow myself to wallow for today. Tomorrow it has to stop - I haven't just been given a terminal diagnosis.

Edit - sorry if the post only makes sense to me - I'm not in the best state right now to be making sense.

There's a buzz about this house.

I have about 20 more rows and then I will 'bee' finished
The Bee Stole . I hope it blocks put enough, because I am having doubts at the moment...

As a 'reward' to myself I am currently handwinding this:

For this:

The yarn is the recommended
Blue Moon Fibre Arts Raven Clan. At the moment I am a bit disappointed with it. The yarn itself is beautiful. However, if you look at 'Valkyrie' you will see that it has dark purples in the black, with maybe a slight tinge of red. If you look at the skein, you will see that there are some very bright red bits. Some of the yarn is very pale. In my opinion, a poor dye job. I think I should have taken this up with the company- I have no doubt whatsoever that they would have dealt with my complaint to my full satisfaction. But at the time I had literally just moved to Zürich, so that was just too much for me to deal with. I will definitely buy from them again, and would recommend them to others, I just wish that I had acted.... still, as I wind the yarn (1 hour so far- I cannot find my ball winder and my swift has beein missing-in-action since we arrived) I can see that these lighter bits just might add a reasonable highlight. Time will tell

Edit to add: On further examination of their site, they do say that due to the skein size of the Laci yarn (1600m) 'the dye absorbs unevenly creating a lot of color texture within each skein.' Certainly the pink skein that is currently on the title page shows this - but even allowing for this, I don't think it's the skein that I have is an example of their best. But is still feels great :0) and I am going to knit it up.

Further edit: Now I am feeling bad, because of what they said on their site, so I took another picture of the skein:

What d'you think? I was expecting very dark shades. Am I being too picky?

Losing is winning

When it comes to weight loss,anyway.

As you will know if you hang about this blog, I have migraines. Terrible migraines ( why am I adding 'terrible', I wonder? Let's face it, if you have had a migraine, you know that they are all terrible. Suffice to say, some of them have been more terrible than usual).

I would like to shake by the hand the person (people?)who linked tryptan drugs with migraine prevention/treatment. I take Pizotifen on a daily basis and Zomig when I have an actual attack. As well as the actual migraine itself, I can get a lot of head/face/neck pain which the Pizotifen helps to keep at bay.

However, Pizotifen does have one significant drawback - weight gain. Here's a little something that I found on the net:

Investigating the obese patient
The causes of obesity include:

excessive calorie intake
Cushing's syndrome
polycystic ovary syndrome
medication (oral contraceptive pill, corticosteroid analogues, sulphonylureas, tricyclic antidepressants, pizotifen)

I don't know if I have said this before, but one pharmacist rubbished my complaint that when I take 1.0mg I find it hard to stop eating, and when I have to take 1.5mg I literally cannot stop eating. When I went to the doctor here, she was astonished that I had been prescribed Pizotifen, since here they use it to treat anorexia . Need I say more?

Here they tend to use Magnesium therapy . I tried that but it didn't do much for me. However, with the recent upsurge in problems I have started to take it in conjunction with the Pizotifen.

So, what is all this rambling about? Put simply - when I am on high doses of P, I eat like ahorse and gain weight. When I am on lower doses I can fight back a bit and shed some pounds. I have lost 10lbs in the couple of months. If I lose another stone, I will be back at an acceptable weight. This is still the weight that I was when I was 9 months pregnant, so I don't think it will be unreasonable.

Sunday, 6 July 2008


I am trying to listen to spoken German on the tv/radio each day. I am in a strange place where I can often understand enough to get the general idea of what is going on, but the finer points elude me.

For about an hour today, while I was making up 2 different batches of bread, I was listening to what I assume was a comedy.

The plot, as far as I understood it:

A man, a book stolen - from his bedroom, a night cleaning woman called 'Ivan'(!) and the search for the book. Which, by the way, was about cleaning tips for novice cleaners. Or was it...

Friday, 4 July 2008

There's a monster in my kitchen

Or maybe it's just bread....

I resisted buying
Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day for quite some time. I get easily hooked on the latest fad and thought this was just another. But having seen it reviewed on one or two blogs, I decided to give it a go. I found a copy of the master recipe on the net (and inside the book they encourage you to share this recipe, so my conscience is clear) and whipped some up. I love it. To be fair, my son isn't so keen but I notice he is eating it up ;0)

What you see above is a 4-loaf lot of the Challah bread. I am going to be adding some muesli to one loaf-worth to make the Swiss Muesli bread (seems like the obvious thing to do...). The rest will keep for up to 5 (or is it 9?) days. Then it must be used or frozen. The next batch I am going to try will involve an oat bread as the base. With about 100 recipes, I may be some time working through this book.

Health wise, things are a bit up and down. While I am loving the hot weather, my migraines aren't. About 10 days ago I had the worst one for over a year. At one point I realised I was actually moaning uncontrollably with pain - it felt like someone had poked something through my eye and was scraping the top of my skull with something sharp and spiky. Since then I've had to up the migraine meds plus take far too much Zomig. I am assuming it is dehydration so am drinking like a fish. Teeth - I think the second root canal has worked - yipee! I am getting occasional bits of pain but think it is settling down. The 3rd one? Well, it has been fine since the calcium hydroxide was replaced about 10 days ago - almost no pain. However, today it is a bit sore so OF COURSE I am worrying. I go back on Thursday for the next part of the treatment and am trying not to think about other things at the same time as keeping my fingers well crossed.

German- I have stopped for the summer. I am delighted that I am getting to the stage of being able to have more and more conversations with people. I am not saying I am producing cutting-edge theory or interesting discourse, but some progress is being made,

Scotland - will be back for the first week or so of August, hope to catch up with a few folk then.

And now I am going to sit on the balcony with a beer. Life's hard.

Edit to add: if you lie bread, go get this book! I made the Swiss Meusli bread and it is deelish! I am going to try the oat bread next. I want a 'basic' loaf that we all love.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Baldy's campaing - get your MP involved this Wednesday

If you go to Baldy's Blog you will see that Westminster are having a Bone Marrow donation drive this Wednesday in the Jubilee Room. MPs who are under 40 can sign up to be donors. Everyone can sign the petition which you can find here .

If you are a British citizen you can email your MP and ask him/her to attend. You can locate them through this

Go on - it took me 2 minutes, and that included the time to locate my MP from scratch.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Go me!

Today I went to Zürich Hauptbahnhof to get my boy a 4-week ticket. Great value - unlimited travel around the city, all for the grand total of CHF 81, approximately £40.00. The exciting bit for me was that I did it all in German. More importantly, as far as I am aware, it was grammatically correct German. I realise that this excitement may indicate a need to get out more, but still....

On the dental front, I think that root canal number two (the one completed on Monday) has failed. Why do I tink this? I am starting to get rather a lot of pain in my jaw. And it is the beginning of the weekend. Oh joy.

But just to remind myself how lucky I am, here is the link again to Adrian's blog and the link to the
bone marrow e-petition . I've been keeping up-to-date with his blog and he is having a hard time right now. Go on - help him realise his ambition to ensure that all 18 year olds get a talk about bone marrow donation and its importance. Sign the petition.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The never-ending story...

I have extended my appointment on Monday so that M can have a look at the other teeth that are playing up after he has finished root canal 3. I did a 'scientific' test today - got some very sweet cake and tried to put it on different bits of the area that is playing up. As far as I can tell, it is the surface of the tooth (or teeth - I really can't be certain). This points to a crack in the tooth/teeth, not standard sensivity. When I go on Monday I am going armed with some Nutella which I am going to ask M to apply to various bits of teeth - that should give a much better indication of where the pain is coming from. Necessity (desperation in this case) is the mother of invention, as they say.

And as M said to me today, he hoped my 'dental odyssey' comes to an end soon. Me too.

On a happier note, my boy arrives in Zürich this evening for about 6 weeks :0) so I am going to try to get a very positive frame of mind going and try to think about all the really great things that I have to be thankful about.

Edit: So there I am, having given myself a thorough talking to about being positve,when I break the last of the cereal/desert bowls with defeaning crash. As if that wasn't enough, about 10 minutes later I managed to spill an extremely hot cup of espresso all over my foot. Still lookinmg on the bright side though - could've gone over both feet ;0)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The story so far....

The second root canal treatment was finished today with no trauma. Hopefully that will work.

I am now having problems with the two upper teeth that were worked on a couple of months ago - M had found a secondary cavity under one of them. Everything seemed fine. Now I am having problems with sensitivity when I eat something sweet. It is severe and it feels like it is on the surface of the tooth. If it was near the root where there is some gum recession then sensitivity could be expected. This means that there is probably a crack in the tooth. I guess that means another root treatment... Same old, eh?

We spoke about the front tooth (the third root treatment). There is more of a chance that this will fail because of the hole in the tooth going through to the gum. If it fails an implant would be the best option. However....yep, there had to be a 'however'.. is the problem as I understand it. There are two types of bone material - standard bone behind, and some other kind in front. When a tooth is removed, the bone material behind isn't affected but some of the material at the front is removed. Because of the shape of my teeth there is an increased chance that 'too much' will be removed. In addition to this I don't have very much gum material. This means that it would be much harder to do a successful implant.

It just keeps getting worse, but I am trying to be optimistic. Well, no, I am trying not to get depressed about it all. M and I were talking about why I am having all of these problems. Maybe there is something 'special' about my root pulp - when something happens to tooth the pulp material is perhaps too sensitive. At the end of the day there doesn't seem to be any concrete explanation.

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Guess the cost of living in Montreux is more than I expected...

Turning Japanese

Anyone remember that song? Was it The Vapours?

Long story short, I really like some of the Japanese skirts/dresses that I have been seeing on the internet over the last year or so. Thanks to
Poshyarns for finding

this link to Amazon Japan. Of course, once I had placed the order I realised that there was a book that Roobeedoo uses for skirts that I wanted to order. Oh well, next time. I need to track that one down as well - I am sure I have a link for it somewhere, the question is just where.

I hope that this book will provide the spur I need to get the rest of my craft room organised. It is a complete tip. If this room is a mess, my mind will simply refuse to take on the challenge of a bit of tricky sewing/planning. Don't ask me why, but there it is.

On that note, off to sit on my backside and NOT tidy ;0)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Root canal the third!

That's right folks - I am clocking up one root canal per month!

The story so far.....I went along to see M at 9.00am today and he x-rayed the front tooth, the one which has been abused a bit over the years - bashed with a bottle when I was being careless, walked into doors, that sort of thing. Then he took another x-ray, since as he rightly said, he didn't want to make a mistake. Sadly, the first x-ray was not poor-quality, it was spot on.

Probably as a result of the 'little' traumas over the years, there was a problem with the pulp and it was causing tooth resorption . Basically, my tooth was dissolving itself from the inside out - nice, eh? If it wasn't treated there were two outcomes - firstly, a hole would eventually form which would allow bacteria into the tooth and an abscess would form. Alternatively (or possibly as well as, I guess), the tooth would be so weakened that it would simple snap off. Hmm, even....nicer....

So, root treatment it was.

'Now', said M.'I only have half an hour. There is only one canal in that tooth. Half an hour is plenty of time for me to remove the nerve pulp.Or you can make an appointment and come back next week.'

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. There I was, no Number Guy, no sedative medication...what to do, what to do....? When the last root treatment was done I vowed to myself that I was not going to waver again. Although there was still a bit of a problem with the last lot of local anaesthetic, I honestly suffered much more in the end due to the fear and anxiety in the weeks leading up to it. So I took a deep breath, only cried a tiny bit, and let him get on with it.

Guess what? This time NO PAIN. Ok, one of the injections wasn't painless, but it wasn't awful. Because the bone in the upper jaw is porous it is much easier to achieve anaesthesia :0)

The down side is that when M was doing the procedure it became evident that a hole had already formed in the tooth. This is probably why I was in pain. This means that instead of having one entry to the tooth through which bacteria can enter, there will be two. When I go back next week he is going to fill this hole with a purified form of Portland Cement of all things.

I have to say I am still a bit shocked - went in for a check, came out an hour later having had a root canal. If it is like the other two, I know I can expect a shedload of pain over the next few days, but then it will go. Now I can enjoy the weekend without all of this hanging over me.

So all is good, but I feel like a rung out rag.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Ok, so you can guess what this post is about.. you should probably come back in 10 years or so.

I have an appointment with M on Thursday to discuss my ongoing dental 'issues'....what d'you think? Should I just get him to yank 'em all out? As I sit at the computer the front tooth is playing merry hell and one of my other doublers has decided to join in. Yep, that last can of squirrelled-away Ambrosia* was not Heaven sent - it blasted in on a lightening bolt that has left my nerves all a-jangle. Right now I am ready to talk to the Jehova's Witnesses, The Salvation Army, Streetchurch, born-again Hell's Angels, Wiccans - in fact, I'll talk to any and every religious denomination going if they can put in a word with Someone Upstairs (or Downstairs, not fussy right now). I'm not sure if I am quite ready to sell my soul just now, but Igive it a few more days....

On the plus side, I may be putting in a few hours of teaching. Yep, who'd've thought it! I visited a lovely nursery today and they are looking for someone to fill in for absences. It would probably be about 10 hours a month. It is perfect for me - I would go in, work with the children, then leave. Ok, that's obvious ;0) What I mean is that I would only have responsibility while I was there. No planning etc. It would be fitted around my German classes, people visiting etc. I am not looking for it to change into a permanent post, nor are they looking for someone. I have missed working with small people more than I thought I would so this would be ideal. Obviously I will not be posting anything else about this nursery, but just thought I'd let you know that I'll actually be earning some of my cake money.

I'm off now - here's a picture of the Botanic Gardens here in Zürich,just to be going on with.

*aka canned rice pudding for those not in the know. Some folk would say it's the devil's food. Hmm, maybe that was why the tooth was protesting...

How's THAT for a word!

neunzehnhunderdvierundzwanzig - and that's by no means the longest word I've seen, let me tell you. I prefer to write it this way - 1942....

Edit : ROFLMAO - Yep, Sylvie is quite right. That IS 1924... wlaks away nochalantly, feigning air of complete non-embarrassment ;0)

Sunday, 8 June 2008

whine, moan, whinge

...well I did warn you...

Toothache. Front left tooth. Y'know, one of those important ones that make up your smile?

What to do, what to do.....nothing. Wait until it gets worse. That's really the only option that I can see. Like the last f%&^*(%$ tooth, there is no physical evidence that there is a problem.

And when it does get bad enough that there is no option but to do something, I am not even sure what options are available for a front tooth. Not that I *want* yet another root treatment, but I am rather fond of having teeth in the right place when I smile.

Do me a favour - if you know what the treatment options are, *DON'T* tell me. No joke.

Turning to the dark side..

Crochet. Yep. Dark indeed....

I've been resisting for some time, but when I saw it pop up on
Roobeedoo's blog I finally gave in.

Find out more about the pattern, and see some versions in different yarns

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

I hear thunder....

...must be 8.00 pm in Zurich then!

Das Quiz

I really don't like quizzes, so I am not sure if it is better/worse watching them in German. Still, I promised myself that I would listen to half an hour of Deutsch every day.....and to my surprise, I am understanding a bit more than I expected :0)

One of the good (?) things about Das Quiz is that the questions and answers appear in German on the screen, so this is helping a little with my reading.

And guess what - I even managed to get some of the questions right!

Toothache - what a nerve!

Indeed - since the tooth in question has a nerve no more....still, it feels as if it does and the right side of my lower jaw is making life unpleasant. BUT (and that was a big but....) I am only in pain, not terrified. And that makes all the difference, as I am sure many of you know. There's no infection so it is just a case of hoping that in the next few weeks the pain will abate. All in all my face has had quite a bashing, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

To help keep my spirits up, we've been taking an evening constitutional. We have some beautiful wildflower meadows nearby, but sadly the camera on my phone fails to do them justice.

There has also been a little finishing going on:

This is a Drops design, which for the life of me I can't remember but it will be in my Ravelry account. I like it. Due to my, ahem, somewhat fuller figure, I only have the one button at the neck, but I think it works. This is the second re-worked garment that I have finished recently - the first being the Cocoa 'Jolien' that I blogged about previously. I think the next one up will be the Debbie Bliss Collared Cardigan - it's finished but I'm not feelin' the love.

And now that I have finished wittering on, I should get on with the German. But don't forget - get yourselves over to
Baldy's Blog and sign his petition/get on the bone marrow register.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Previous lives...?

So, what exactly did I do in a previous life that was so bad? Was I Attilla the Hun's right hand woman? Did I squander away a kingdom's riches while thousands of people starved to death? Did I find the cure for cancer and refuse to share?

...because. guess what folks? There might be no nerve, but the toothache is back.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

dropping like a stone

Y'know, I couldn't make this up if I tried.Another tooth is hurting.

The first twinge happened literally as I walked in the door last night after The Root Canal. I tried to dismiss it from my mind. It has been making its presence felt all day.

To add to my woes, it is one of my front teeth - so if anything happens to this baby it isn't going to add any charm to my smile. I am desperately hoping that it is *only* as a result of flossing. When we arrived in Zurich in January I had similar pain, eventually put down to a little gum infection where I had cut it. However (what a monumentous word that is) this tooth has also been bashed on a couple of occasions, so I am concerned.

I am still taking the course of antibiotics prescribed last week. I am still taking the anti-inflammitories (better watch the ol' stomach, of course. I will see what it is like over the weekend. If it isn't better, I am going to pay M yet another visit. If treatment is needed,I'm going to get it done asap since I can't, can't, go on like this.

So my mood is in my boots and quite frankly the Deutsch test tomorrow, which I know will not go well, can go and stuff itself. If I can get out of bed that'll be a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

So, I got the pliers out and....

...well, only kidding. Just.

After good experience at the dentist yesterday when he finished off the first root canal with no problems (this was the one that had been very traumatic whe he was doing the procedure), the pain in the other tooth came back yesterday. I'd finally had enough and got an appointment for 4.00pm today.

It wasn't that I wanted the root canal done, obviously, but the constant rollercoaster of emotions, with me plumbing the depths of terror, finally got too much. I just couldn't go on any longer.

There were a few very minor issues. I still needed more local than you could imagine, and at one point I had a little pain. But it was 'far away' if you see what I mean, not agonsing. M simply (!) gave me even more local and that really was the matter dealt with, apart from one more part. He had found a fourth canal and when he was withdrawing one of the tools it 'ripped' out a bit of the nerve below where the nerve channel n narrows and then open out again. This can happen sometimes. I didn't like it, but it wasn't too bad. M dropped some more anaesthetic into the 4 chambers and then everything really was fine.

This time it *only* took 2 1/4 hours.

So, was there actually a problem? Was a root canal needed? Yes to both. When M reached the top of the pulp cavity he discovered blood - my understanding, remembered through a haze of fear remember, is that the top of the pulp cavity was dead/dying and this is what was causing the pain. In other words, it was only ever going to get worse. And, again, although with hindsight it would have been better to get this over and done with on Sunday, there had been more reason not to.

I'm glad it's over. And I now know that it really is possible to be 'rigid with fear.'

Monday, 26 May 2008

Sign the bone marrow donor petition

As you will know if you've been reading this blog lately
Adrian has just found out that the leukaemia that he is suffering from is going to kill him. Soon.

He has made it his mission to use his last few weeks to bring more awareness and understanding of bone marrow tranplants, thereby encouraging more people to sign up to become donars. An effective way of doing this is to give an a talk to all 17/18 year olds before they leave school. Adrian would like to see this talk become mandatory.

If you agree with this, sign the e-petition

31 degrees

Yep, that's right folks. Depending upon which website you look at, we're in the 30s tomorrow. :0)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

In which I still go on about the dentist...

Well, I ended up in a snotty, crying heap at about 6.30 this evening. Number Guy managed to get in touch with the dentist and he saw me this evening at 8.00pm.

There are still no clear answers. He took another x-ray and it *mostly* looks fine. There is one spot that might be a problem area, but it could be the nerve lying in front. It could actually be a tooth grinding problem, but he wasn't convinced. It could be neuralgia - apparently there is a blood vessel wrapped around the trigeminal nerve (or that is how I understood it) and this can sometimes trigger pain. It could be caused by damage done when the tooth that lies in front of this one was removed a few years ago.It could be an infection.

In short, it could be any numbe rof things and unfortunately there is no compelling evidence for any of them. The tooth is still alive, as the 'ice test' proved (I didn't like that very much.....). He could have done a root canal tonight, and would have done so had I asked him to (!) but it was not his preferred cpurse of action - I could end up with a dead tooth and still be in lots of pain if it is due to any of the other reasons...., I have been sent home with some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory painkillers. There is some evidence to suggest that I might have a bit of an infection and that I am also sufferinig from muscle pain. I've been told to use moist heat on the affected area and to massage also. He reckons that by tomorrow I should know if we are taking the right course of action.

If I do need a root canal he says there are things he can do to help support the local anaesthetic, since this failure to work is my biggest fear. Basically I will go to the surgery an hour before the treatment and will be given an elephant dose of paracetamol and ibuprofen.

I am so grateful that he saw me tonight. Now I am just hoping that this is going to work. I am absolutely exhausted - fear and pain grind you down.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Give me a pair of pliers...

...and I'll pull this %^&$£@"!£$^ tooth out myself.

It's 4.45am as I type this and the pain is getting pretty much unbearable. But looking on the bright side, I guess if it gets a little bit worse I will be so darned glad to get to the dentist that I won't bother with the fear part.

Pain and fear. They wear a person down.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Gender roles

No matter how much of a rampant feminist you might be, there's no getting away from it. Gender matters. At least when you are using German.

I am slowly getting to grips with the dativ and akkusativ. But not knowing the gender of the nouns is taking its toll. As you can see below, before I could even begin to do the exercise, I had to check the gender of each and every noun.
What should be a 5 minute sprint turns into a marathon.

Still, I shold look on the bright side - it's slowing down the cake consumption ;0)

perspective and lack thereof

The toothache is rumbling on. I am trying really hard to keep things in perspective - after all it is toothache and I have access to modern dental facilities. I do not have a terminal illnes, after all. The trouble is that it isn't so much the toothache (which thankfully is not nearly at the unbearable stage) but the fear. Those of you with phobias will know just how this becomes all-consuming and really drags you down.

In the end, you anticipate the event so many times, that you end up 'experiencing' the dreaded event over and over again. So in effect, for the past few days I have been living in the dentist's chair. This can't go on - I am turning into a basket case. So, time to get serious with the thought stopping -mind you, as far as I am concerned there is nothing irrational about these particular fears ;0)

So, to that end, I have made an appointment with my dentist for Tuesday -only to talk. I had a quick chat with him in the week, and he outlined all of the reasons why he thinks it is now down to toothgrinding. And I believe him - it all makes sense. But....I am now in pain when I am drinking hot things, which can be an indicator of problems with the root...yay! More root treatment! Of course, I am hoping that he will still say it is toothgrinding...

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Save a life - be a bone marrow donor

I was incredibly moved by this blog:

Baldy's Blog , written by Adrian from Huddersfield.

Read his blog, watch the video about bone marrow harvesting, then go and register.

In the UK you can register with
The National Blood Service or The Anthony Nolan Trust.

And maybe someone can help me here, as I am being incredibly inept with my web searches. I am trying to find the Swiss equivalent, but all I am getting is hits about the service written by other people, I can't get the actual service itself.All suggestions gratefully accepted.

Edit: That was quick. Thanks Sylvie . If you are in Switzerland and want to join, go to this page

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

How hard can it be....?

Well, if my spinning ability is in any way related to my inability to post one of these pictures, I'm pretty well stuffed....

Are you bored yet?

With all the 'tooth talk'? Had to go back and see my dentist yesterday. He is as convinced as he can be that I am having problems with tooth grinding. I think this is true. All of the evidence, which he has shown me, points to no further problems with the tooth itself. However, I think that there is also a problem with the root in this tooth.

He asked if I was getting 'lightening flash' type pains with hot/cold substanced and the answer is noyes. When I deliberately swirl coffee around the offending tooth, nothing. But this morning, lingering over a coffee before my Deutsch lesson - KERPOW! -Blitzkreig followed by ache all day....

So, anyone want to give me some odds on how soon I'll be back in that demon chair???

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Viewers of a nervous disposition.....

Today we went to
The Rhine Falls . As you can imagine, we saw some amazing sites. Including one we didn't actaully want to....

'Passing water' in public, to be delicate about an indelicate matter, is something that tends to happen when young men have been knocking back far too much alcohol of an evening and are incapable of behaving in a decent manner. It is not something that one expects to find a late-middle aged woman doing on a footpath. In full view of everyone. Leaving nothing, and I mean nothing to the imagination.

I'm sure you're all glad I shared that with you - now I'm off to lie down in a darkened room...

Friday, 16 May 2008


We've been having fantastic weather, which may have boken today :0( so I thought I should have a new hat. A few hours, and much cursing later, here we have my new reversible hat

More bias tape. Love it.

In der Ferien

Yep, 'we' are having a holiday here. My parents are visiting so we are exploring - you've no idea how tiring walking,talking,eating and drinking can be!

Any idea where we've been?

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Ich habe ein Zahnschmerzen.

Ich habe IMMER ein Zahnschmerzen.

Honestly, it's as well we have an Elektroherd. Because if we had a gas oven, i think my head would be in it.....

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Next stage of the saga

Whew, glad that's over. Only took two hours in the dentist today...only had minor issue with the local. I mean, it's typical isn't it? I'm the one with the phobia, so I'm that one that has local anaesthetic issues....

However, as usual my absolutely wonderful, saintly dentist was his usual absolutely wonderful saintly self :0) The (hopefully) good news is that it doesn't look like I will need a root canal done, but only time will tell.

In the meantime I have recommenced my Deutsch course, so the Perfekt tense is currently kicking my ass - yay! - not!

Better go get the homework done.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen

Ok, I realise that this is probably-not-the-best-German-in-the world ;0) But our doorbell is very quiet and I really needed the man from Migros to actually deliver the shopping this time, not simply ring once then disappear if we didn't hear him. It worked. And the the day after, all I had to do was score out 'Migros' and substitute 'Ikea' and the bookcases appeared.

While we were waiting for our delivery, some of the neighbours came to introduce themselves.

Aren't they pretty? Their presence explains the rather tuneless 'windchimes' that I have been hearing lately.

And as usual I've been in and out of the Hauptbanhof - you never know the minute what you'll see. This week it was the turn of
Toblerone, currently in its centenary year. The celebrations are something to see. Don't ask me what's going on - I only live here....

What's in store for tomorrow? Why, another visit to the dentist, what else?

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Calling all sewists...

I took the bull by the horns yesterday and decided that I was just going to give the jerey a go. I am really pleased with the results of this plain pink tee.....except...

Do you see the way the neck isn't lying flat. The facing at the back is also rolling over to the outside. In short it is screaming 'handmade crappy job done here!' Can anyone tell me what I might have done wrong and a possible way to fix it?
Full disclosure - I topstitched the neck instead of understitching the facing. Might this plus the subsequent stitch removal have caused the problem? Is there any that I can recover the situation?

Monday, 28 April 2008

quarantine no more

I guess some folk would think that I was being a bit extreme,imposing a 'reverse quarantine' upon myself while I waited for the measles blood titre result. But seriously, after the year I've just had.....

Anyway, the really good news as far as I am concerned is that the test confirmed that I have indeed been vaccinated against the little red spotty blighter, and the levels are sufficient to provide protection.

Whew, now I can go and eat cake again!


Or - two become one ! I have decided to merge this blog with
Twelfthknit since I am not really producing enough for two blogs. It could easily have gone the other way, but this blog is much easier to manage - if I want to add anything to the sidebar, for example, it's more of a drag'n'drop than having to mess around in the gubbins of the HTML stuff.

So now I can add my sewing/knitting/food links etc without thinking 'Oh, that should really be in the other blog' - as if it makes a difference!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Nothing much

I am sitting with the door to my balcony as I type this - the birdsong is beautiful. And of course there is the odd(in more ways than one) chorus of 'cow bell' thrown in for good measure.

It seems that Switzerland is having a
measles epidemic. My mum thinks I was vaccinated but is not 100% certain. No problem - I simply stopped at
The Permanence today and they did a blood titre. I should know by Monday whether or not I need a vaccine.

And - Go Me!! I had a REAL conversation today. In German! Now there were mistakes a plenty, but I conversed for about 15 minutes with a lovely woman in a local tea store*

That kind of helped to cheer me up after I missed meeting up with some local knitters. I knew they were there somewhere......

Better shut that door - it's getting a bit chilly. But then, I am living in Switzerland ;0)

* Y'know, us Brits think we know about tea...forget it. Come to Switzerland and really get to know it!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

'Easy is relative'

Now, I am not completely daft. I knew that when I chose 'Butterick B4549' that it would not be the '3 hour start to finish' that my latest
Barcelona Skirt was.I knew enough to doubt what it said on the tinpacket But, come on! Easy? Yes, if you have many hours of sewing experience under your belt, but not for a relatively newbie like me.

Still, I didn't let it beat me. Some bits I really disliked doing but I got there in the end. Not too much seam ripping, but enough - I decided that when I took up the sewing challenge I would not live with the unliveable. And at least this time I only sewed the wrong bits together once :0)

I plan to make another to go with the latest Barcelona - it's the linen mix featured in my 'Biased' post. I am not going to make too many in this size, since I hope to be down to a 10 in the not too distant future, but I want to benefit from this experience. Let's see if I can make it in two nights instead of three....

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Happy heart

Just had the results back from the cardiologist - no reason to take the heart meds any longer - yaaay!

As you can imagine, I am delighted. However, there is another part of me that is really angry - or would be if I wasn't feeling so laid back. These results have just added more weight to what I think has become more and more obvious - my last workplace was seriously damaging my health.

More sewing

Really bad photo, but then what do I expect when I take it at 10.00pm?

I finally decide to bite the bullet and buy a size 14 pattern. Yep - size 14. Ever since my last top was dishearteningly too small, I have avoided the issue. I have been losing some weight, but my wardrobe of things which currently fit is alarmingly small. This is a 'simple' cross-over top. I say simple, but let me tell you that fitting the sleeve linings into the capped sleeeves has been a right pain in the ass. So was sewing right up the left side seam, which was supposed to be open from part way up right into the 'armpit'. I have ripped it back but I am not sure how smoothly this sleeve lining will now fit, given that I had graded the seams etc - not much left to work with. Still, I have to fit a zip in there, so I guess I'll manage somehow...

And of course, I am now discovering the problem of having a form which is only vaguely shaped like me. When I can summon up the willpower (possibly when I have lost about a stone) I am going to try tailoring the form to my body shape.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


I never thought it would happen to me. When friends spoke wistfully of a new love in their life I scorned them – this sort of love was not for me.

Yet…now it is here, striking me with the force of a hurricane, I am lost to it. I remember when my son was an infant, gazing at him for hours, revelling in the silky feel of his skin, the perfect curves…

I knew the intensity of that particular love, the love of a mother for her baby, could never find it’s way to me a second time. But it’s here, now– I gaze for hours, lost in the way my love moulds itself to each of my curves perfectly, enraptured by texture, the wild array of colour…

Don’t come between me and my new love.

Bias tape

Thursday, 17 April 2008


I'm not sure how much sense this will make, since I am in a diazepam- and codeine-induced haze :0)

I had a mini panic this morning when it became clear that for logistical reasons Number Guy was not going to be able to make it to the dentist with me. He would be able to turn up half way through, but I didn't know how the dentist would feel about me being 'under the influnce' without a responsible adult with me. Thankfully one of the Spooglers came to my assistance.

L had already said to me that if Number Guy wasn't available she would be able to come with me. I managed to go into the surgery by myself (which was good, because I wasn't sure whether or not I would end up in a crying, snotty heap, which is so bad for the ego!) while L waited outside. I am so grateful to her for coming.

We decided to leave the bottom tooth alone and concentrate on the two upper ones that were causing the bother. The injections were almost painless and thankfully this time there was no problem with the local. Turns out that one of the teeth had a secondary cavity underneath the filling. Boy, am I glad that this was dealt with now since that is hopefully one root canal less to worry about.

Talking of worry, I am now of course wondering why the top two were concentrated on. Is this because the dentist is worried about the bottom local not working....? See how I need absolutely no assistance in thinking of 'worst case scenarios'? Which reminds me. Remember that film, 'Marathon Man', I think it was? Well, when I was having the root treatment a couple of weeks ago, in the middle of all the local-not-working trauma, this sprang into my mind. You know, the bit where they drill into his teeth to torture him???*

Ok, enough already. Hope y'all have a great, dentist-free weekend.

* If I've mentioned this before, just put the repetition down to the diazepam ;0)

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


...will not be a good day.

Firstly, my boy will be going back to the UK and I know that this time it is going to be especially hard to see him go. Maybe even back to the 'Number Guy comes home each night and finds me crying in the bath' hard....

Secondly, my on-going dental saga continues tomorrow. And I am scared....
I now know that injections can be given which are almost painless. I don't know if this is the case with your dentist, but it is with mine. He is wonderefully good at it. So this is a big plus - one of my fears has always been related to injections after various experiences with a series of butchers dentists. However, the other of my greatest fears is that while numbed-up to high heaven, I will suddenly and inexplicably experience excrutiating pain - and this is what happened with the root treatment a few weeks ago.

If it is 'only' a filling that is needed, things should be ok. But if it is another root treatment I don't know quite what I am going to do.

Cat update

One of the great things about the cats' new home is that their new slaves owners send us pics now and again.

As you can see, the girls are missing us dreadfully.....

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Quick, dial the firebrigade!

And they say the camera never lies, eh?

OK, so the woman's head isn't really on fire...Maybe these pictures give a fairer representation of what was really going on.

Yesterday was Sechselauten when the poor 'Boog' (snowman to you and me) gets roasted in a celebration of winter and an attempt to predict what the summer will be like.

Prior to this event there was a big parade - looked like it was a selection of local guilds represented by men and woman in 'olde worlde'* clothing. And there were horses. Lots of horses. Wonder who had to clear up afterwards......

* Actually, I think the menwere doing the representing and the women were the eye candy!

Edit: If you want a proper explanation, go visit
Sylv's Silver Spoon

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

There's no stopping me now!

I just made a restaurant reservation. On the phone. ALL IN GERMAN!!!

Guess what?

I can now add photos to the blog! I had expected that the first one would be of Zürich, but beggars can't be choosers - and as this was a thoroughly enjoyable light read, I thought it could also serve as a recommendation if you are wondering what to read next.

The dental saga continues - there is another temporary dressing in *that* tooth while the whole thing can just go to Hell as far as I am concerned settles down. Just to cheer me up, I am booked in for another filling next week. I hope it is just a filling - watching a grown woman cry must be a disheartening experience for a dentist...

But on a much better note, my dear boy and his girlfriend arrive tomorrow and I can't wait. Even though I just said goodbye yesterday ;0)

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Lordy, Lordy, I done had me a root canal.

Those of a sensitve nature might want to look away now...

Yesterday the tooth that had been worked on last week decided it really did want to get my attention. A small sip of water was all it took and - KAPOW!.

I practically begged the dentist for some painkillers, thinking that surely it could wait the 10 days that I will be in the UK....but no. By 5.30 last night I was up the wall and ended up with a 7.30pm appointment - the timing a combination of:

1. Wanting to be able to get to Scotland to see my son

2. The dentist telling me that the pain might be intolerable overnight.

The injections were fine, and to be honest I think they were even less painful than last time - or maybe it was just that in comparison to the pain in the tooth they were nothin. Anyway, everything was going smoothly, he drilled into the pulp chamber (that makes me want to vomit just thinking about it) with no problems. Then he checked the exposed nerve with a VERY SHARP POINTY THING. How I was every scraped off the ceiling I will never know!

By this time, Mr Dentist was having to calculate just how much local anesthtetic he could give me without there being an overdose. Number Guy sat there, holding my hand, trying not to look green.

Of course, because the nerve was exposed there were only 2 options - tooth removal or proceed. And proceed we did. A combination of not quite the maximum dose of local, plus putting some into the nerve itself (!!) meant it all got done in the end. The end took 2 and a half hours to come. At various points during the procedure I was shaking so much that the instruments were rattling.

In one of the canals the nerve was dead, the other two were very inflammed. AT the moment I have a temporary dressing holding some antibiotic/steroid combo in place, plus a prescription for antibiotics since there was still a little bleeding in one of the canals which might cause a problem.

So after all of this, what do I think of my new dentist? Well, I still think he is wonderful. The difficulties were caused by my nerve endings (I'm such a sensible soul) and I would have had the same problem whoever had treated it. However, I don't think I could have let any other dentist do the procedure - he was so kind, so patient. But let's hope I don't need another one done any time soon...

Saturday, 22 March 2008

No inspiring title

And no inspiring blog post, either!

We had planned to spend Saturday of the Easter weekend out and about. However, a combination of the weather (snowy/thundery) and an almost-last-push on the unpacking persuaded us to stay in and knuckle down. Number Guy has been building (more) bookcases for his journals and ich muss Deutsch lernen. It'll make a change when I can speak German in more than just the present tense. Nonetheless, I have been making myself catch up on some German homework - the toothache last week meant I was just not up to the 2+ hours a night that is needed.

When I have not been studying I've been quite lazy - knitting, listening to audiobooks, enjoying looking out at the snow from a very cosy home. And there have been lost of great non-events. Non cardiac events. I have been off the heart meds for a week now and so far all that has happened has been a couple of really hard 'chest thumps', if that makes sense. I am more and more convinced that my last employment was really screwing up my life.

We will be going 'home' in a little while and when we get back I hope to be able to put some pics on this blog at last. My camera might not be talking to the pc, but I think my new mobile speaks the right language.

In the meantime, its more audio, knitting, snow watching and just a tiny bit of Swiss chocolate eating.