Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fiat 500!!!

So exciting! Somebody parked a Fiat 500 in our street!! How I'm supposed to sleep tonight?!?

Which will win? Bike or Fiat 500?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Celebrations & Excitation

This was one of those weekends where you need Monday off to recover. It started on Friday with the 19th birthday of Toño's godchild. Followed by a house warming party of our swim buddy Gambling Shark and his boyfriend Christian on Saturday (ingredients for the buffet were flown in from Barcelona). And today, we celebrated the 85th birthday of my father.

Despite his age, my father is still fit as a fiddle, though he had to cheat death several times during those 85 years. One reason for that is that he can't resist ladders.

This picture was taken the day before our wedding where he took care that the facade of the house is clean and tidy for the occasion.

Today we came together in the same courtyard to listen to the tunes of the village's brass band and have an apéritif with family and neighbours, which was followed by a classical Sunday roast in a fine restaurant.

Of course, today's dinner was rather humble after those festivities. We just had some roast beef with mango chutney.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No Good Vibes

It will still take more than a week, until will back on air to give Zürich the rhythm it so needs (and also deserves).

All we can do now is to listen to the canned editions. While doing so extensively, the urge came up to see Jackie Brown again. The urge met little resistance.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Getting Hotter

Do you remember those cute buggers?

Toño finally went to the supermarket, to purchase pot and soil in order to get them growing. He called to inquire whether he should get the too small or the too big pot. I ordered him to go for the bigger one. When he came back, showered in sweat, because he did not only had to hand-carry the pot but also 40 litre of soil, he declared that we are going to eat every single habanero chili these plants will ever produce!

Well, his efforts have paid off and the plants have gained admirably in size and posture. The pot seems just right now and the first fruits start to grow.

Lately, Toño started to cook hotter food. Officially, to clear my intestines from the parasites that I might have caught in India. However, I reckon, it's to prepare my taste buds for the dishes to come in a few weeks.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Country Cousins

The other day, I read in the business section of the Herald Tribune that the latest trend in the U.S. of A. seems to be to skip out on grocery stores and farmer's markets. One has to go right to the source by buying shares of farms.

Well, I'm (again) ahead of the wave and took care to be born into a farm. And since Toño is also of agricultural descent, we actually know how to get our milk into the glass and our steak onto the plate.

Cherry Fever

It's cherry season. However, the biggest issue about cherry season is to get dead ripe, deliciously sweet and deep brown-red cherries. In supermarkets you usually only get quite tart and bright red variants, which are easy to transport. So the only way to obtain cherries I actually like, is to go to the farmers' market or to your farmer of trust.

If you have them in your kitchen and if you managed to get rid of the pits without turning your kitchen in an abattoir, you can proceed making delicious dishes - such as cherry pie...

cheesecake with cheery topping (cooked in port or rum)...

or add them to your morning smoothie.

What is your favourite cherry treat?

Added later

And here are Sylv's favourites.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mopping Up

I'd just been exposed twice to bad service, however, the service providers tried to control the damage.

Last night, when I was red eyeing back from India, I was served only a sandwich and an instant soup. This was in business class. Coach was probably on a liquid diet. The caterer of Swiss in India was on strike. However, at the gate in Zürich, we were greeted by friendly hostesses, which were handing out a box of chocolate to each passenger.

The other mistake happened to Amazon, which sent me a parcel with the correct packing list, but the wrong content. It was quite difficult to get to the correct contact page on their website for my particular case. They replied that a) the right stuff will be sent (it did arrive), b) they will pay me 2.66 £ for my troubles (this is probably the sum which makes 90% of customers to stay loyal) and c) that it were prohibitively expensive to send the wrong delivery back. I should keep it or give it to charity.

Well, I'm not quite interested in the stuff. So if you want to become a charity case, please contact me if you want a kind of road movie on high heels with Bette Middler (more about) or a novel about the journey of three people around the South Island of New Zealand in 1971 (more about).

Thursday, July 10, 2008


In 24 hours, I will be on my way home to Toño. It's about time. This Indian vessels based on the Leander Class design are just a bit too unconformable to stay on longer than a fortnight. And last but not least, I reckon, both desperately need a hug and a bit of cuddling.

To be honest, there is also another reason. Toño is an excellent cook. There was hardly a day, when I did not think of the farewell dinner he'd made me:

Chicken Cooked in Coconut Fat with Ceylon Cinnamon and Coconut Milk Rice

The luscious bird bedded in well balanced flavours was served by Toño with a bottle of Bollinger.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Taj's Laundry Basket

I just had to take a picture of this laundry basket:

Luckily, my caring employer takes care of the bill. 2.5 $ to wash a pair of undies... They smell now of perfume instead of ship's diesel. Tomorrow, we have to go back on board. Saturday was our day off and I could not be bothered to do anything more than enjoying to get my laundry delivered.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Princess and the Pea

There was the traditional lake crossing in Zürich...

... and of course, I'm abroad. My packing list were not speedos but wellingtons, an umbrella and imodium. Yes, I'm in India. Mumbai to be precise. In the middle of frigging monsoon and parted from Toño. Despite of staying at the lush Taj Mahal, I'm far from being in exuberant spirits.