Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year


Usual apologies about not doing the blog for such a long time, no excuses.
I even managed to completely forget to talk about our trip to China in August. I guess I should put something retrospective in on that very strange visit (not so much a holiday as an educational revelation).

So what else has been going on.

Leading up to Christmas my eldest grandson, Leon, has been sick with some digestive system problems, even spending some days in hospital a couple of weeks before christmas. He has been getting nausea and stomach aches and losing weight (mainly because he does not want to eat). After any number of tests, the doctors are none the wiser than they were at the beginning. This reminds me so much of the the "Crohn's" saga with Amber back in 1997/8. We are hoping the result will not be the same. At least he was back with us over Christmas, poor little fella.

Christmas with the Gardiner-Smith's
As usual we had the typical Anglo-Swiss holiday season which allows us to start eating on the 6th of December (Niklaustag / St. Nicolas) and to start dieting on 6th January (Dreikönigstag/12th Night). And just to make sure there is no letting up on the gluttony we stick in a baking day (2nd Sunday in December) and a 2nd festive birthday for our lady Kayleigh of the prolific procreation (15th December).

Do you think the people that decided that 12th night was on 6th January could count?

With 10 at the Christmas table there was little time to get bored, no time to play with the new toys (except for the kids of all ages, yes you know who you are) and absolutely no traditional style TV blobbing that is so popular in the UK.

The favourite presents this year were Pads, or tablets, or slates (depending on whether or not you want to admit that Apple defined the market or not). My vote is with pad, Joss is a tablet guy, I reckon tablets are what you need when you are sick and slates, who would call a piece of hi-tech a "fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock." But a pad, that is what you come home to, that comfortable place where you feel totally at

I still have my vintage i-pad (and still happy with it, thank you very much), but we seem to have a new proliferation of i-pads around the house at any given time. And there is the one Sony Tablet "an Android tablet like no other", because it's like a pad maybe?

Thanks for the Presents
Thanks to everybody for this years presents - The soft face, the Port I cannot drink until the puzzle has been solved, the well charged mouse, the prospect of floating above the earth without an engine (but with a parachute) and the the upgrade to being a complete  Apple convert. Finally the Windows Notebook can be replaced by my a brand spanking new Air). Apologies to anybody I missed out.

Carol the Artist
Over the past year Carol has added painting to her hobbies. She sneaks off to our bedroom as early as she can to can to dabble the night away in the company of her watercolours and acrylics. I am one of the few, if not the only, person to have seen the results of this enterprise.  Give here another year and we'll be looking for exhibition halls.

The 9 to 5
On the work side there have been a lot of changes recently that were out of my control, including the redefinition of my role in the department I work in. I have not been very happy with the changes and have therefore been looking for something more appropriate to my skills (and with the potential for a bit more fun). It looks as though I have found something with my current employer so I will not need to go through the non trivial hassle of changing employers. (Imagine, looking for somebody who would be be prepared to hire me at 30% and handle all of the "organisational" hassle of hiring an invalid). So next year I will be probably doing a lot less trips to Paris but a few more further afield. I will miss my Parisian friends and will need to find some excuses to make the odd visit now and then. More on the new job when things are more or less settled.

I am sure I have missed out on a ton of things that we have been up to in the last 3 months but at the moment in my current drugged up state ( I have a cold) I cannot think of what.

I have already started working on my best of 2011 music list and hope to get this posted before the end of this week, and if I get the chance I might even look at moving the blog later in the week, because if I don't do it this week I think it may be a while.