Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peonies Ruled

At least for once, I'm ahead of my Guru (see here and here). Peonies were definitely the must have of early summer 2008. Like on June 7, Toño and I received a delivery of 400 peonies.

What is your Peony experience of this season?

Monday, June 23, 2008

It Sucks!

Next Sunday, I will have to fly to India for my caring employer - again on very short notice. If you think I get any support for my travel preparations since I work for a company that likes to send its employees around the globe, you're completely wrong. The first assistant said that she has to learn to say NO! The other one said that I'm too late since it takes two weeks to prepare a trip - not one. My caring employer sucks!

Well, making the flight and hotel bookings was not so difficult. I've got the visa form from the embassy's homepage, cut out two mug shots, asked for an invitation from the Indian company calling for our service, printed the itinerary, signed where required and went to Bern this morning.

I had to take bus number 19. There was no bus 19 - due to UEFA EURO 08. It was not driving from the train station but from a remote place called Zytglogge. UEFA EURO 08 sucks!

Well I made it to this Zytglogge. but there was no bus stop for bus 19 in sight. There were also no maps indication the bus stop. I had to call BERNMOBIL to get directions. You can't even see Zytglogge from bus stop Zytglogge of line 19. BERNMOBIL, if you shift a bus stop due to some silly ball shifting, please draw me a map. BERNMOBIL sucks!

At the embassy, the slowest lady in humankind, went through the pile of documents only to say "Where is the letter?". Obviously, I need a letter from my caring employer, confirming everything. There is no chance to get anything without The Letter. Do you think this is mentioned anywhere? Embassy of India sucks!

To calm my nerves on the way home, I took a place in a railway coach with quiet area. Of course there was this nasty Swiss lady, which made a lot of noise with her newspaper and by telling everyone, who dare to whisper, to stop talking since this is a quiet are. Fellow passengers suck!.

Added Later:
In order to apply for an Indian visa you have to pay the fee in advance and send the original of the transfer receipt with the application. Thus I had to walk under the burning sun to the post office to transfer the money. Visa procedures suck!

When I came back to the office, I packed everything (Mr Mac kindly wrote me The Letter - although this is clearly not in his job description) and tried to ship it via our company's shipment department. I arrived there at 3:30:30 pm only to read that it closes at 3:30:00 pm. Thus I walked again under the burning sun to the post office. My caring employer's services suck!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Liquidity Crises Pays Off

Since our celebration, we are a bit in a liquidity crises - that is, we are desperately waiting for pay day, which will be next week. Until then, we are chasing after every bargain we get the wind of.

Yesterday, we even went to a public football viewing (Turkey vs. Croatia). Swiss had offered me some free ticket to their Business Viewing Lounge and Mr Mac convinced me to take them (and to give him and Ms Mac a couple of them). With the wisdom of hindsight, I have to admit, I'm lucky to have given in (think free food and wine).

But we were a bit late and there were no free seats available. Thankfully, Swiss knows how to treat their valuable customers and gave us an upgrade to the First Class Viewing Lounge (think exclusive free food, champagne and wine).

My first upgrade on a free ticket!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This morning, I could repack. Rain gear went out and speedos went in. I hope the sun will last more than a couple of days. I could not even retrieve the sunscreen. It has been a while.

Note to self: Buy sun block!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finally & Dry-Shod (despite the rain)

For the third year, Toño's boss organised a South Tyrolean wine tasting (with finger food and band) in Zürich's Frauenbadi (Women's Bathhouse) and I best of it - I could finally participate.

Twice, my caring employer prevented me from enjoying this. The first time, I was somewhere abroad. Then last year, I was forced to participate in a pointless meeting about software safety and to generate even more pointless specifications for a contract we never had a chance to get (I left office at 11:30 pm).

However yesterday, I finally made it. But unfortunately, at the beginning (e.g. while queuing) Zürich was exposed to a torrent of rain, and, due to the gained reputation, the place was packed. While not keeping the visitors away, thanks to the rain, we had not to participate unshod, as you usually have to do at the Frauenbadi, which turns into a barefoot bar at night.

(picture taken, when the good wine was gone and also most of the visitors, like Mr.Mac)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Isabel (1970-2008)

Some days before our wedding, Isabel had to tell us that she will not be able to celebrate with us. Worst came to worst, when sad word came through that Isabel had passed away the night before our celebration. So for us, last Saturday was not only a day of joy and celebration, but also of poignant grief. Kind of life full frontal (and I'm not even mentioning the stork that was sitting on the chimney all night).

Today, we had the sad duty to carry Isabel to her grave. It was a touching day and thanks to her family and friends, and last but not least Isabel herself, a day as eclectic as Isabel was and will ever be. Toño captured her spirit with the following words:

Poema para Isabel de parte de Antonio

Isabel es una de mis grandes admiradoras, porque le gusta todo lo que escribo y suele decirme que debería de escribir con más frecuencia. Yo no me atrevo mucho... pero a ella le gusta. Por eso quiero compartirlo con ustedes amigos.

Mi voz - entre otras cosas…

El perfume de las flores del campo,
el canto de los pajarillos al amanecer,
el llanto de los niños y su encanto,
la sonrisa de los ancianos al atardecer

las salidas y las puestas del sol,
las noches de firmamentos lleno de estrellas
y también las de lunas llenas
los dias soleados y los dias lluviosos

el ver crecer a mi hija,
el encontrar a mis amigos,
la visita y contacto con mi familia,
las noches de ballet.

Todo ello existe, entre otras cosas, para recordarme.

Porque yo me llevo tu voz, tu mirada y tu ser en mi corazón,
ya que tuve el placer de conocerte en esta mi vida tan corta.
Te dejo pues mi sonrisa, alegría de vivir y valentía,
entre otras cosas también para que me recuerdes.

La lucha contra el maltrato al débil y al desamparado,
la misión por mejorar nuestro mundo,
el compromiso por mejorar la comunicación entre los seres humanos
la piedad tan necesitada.

Y muchas cosas más, deben existir, entre otras cosas, para que me recuerdes.

Y poder estar así contigo, porque no me voy del todo,
ya que seguiremos con nuestra amistad a través de los recuerdos.
Porque viví, entre otras cosas, para conocerte y caminar juntos.
Para agredecer al Creador que existimos y somos.


I met Isabel through Toño. If I remember correctly, Isabel was the first of Toño's friends I was introduced to. If you were not as lucky as I was, maybe the following two links give you a glimpse of what you were missing:
Landscape dancing on the Golf of Finnland
isi eyes

Thursday, June 05, 2008

More Than A Plan

Yes, we have not only a got plan...

...but also a script, amazing guests, fabulous event designers, a brilliant chef, excellent wines, two rocking bands, and hopefully not a drop rain on Saturday (keep your fingers crossed for that). We are eager to party big!

Balcony in Early June

On Mickle's request some pictures of the balcony (in rain).

Unfortunately, there will not be much time to enjoy it, since my next trip is scheduled for Monday. I'll go sailing for a week north of Zealand in Denmark.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Comming Home To Brazil

Do you remember Terry Gilliam's Brazil? In particular, I mean the scene after Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle fixed the plumbing of Sam Lowry and the boys from Central Services came back with the correct form and removed many of the wall panels, spewing ducts and other pipes and tubing (looking like disembowelled intestines) into his living space. Well, I had a similar image, when I came home today:

There was a defective seal below the wash basin of the bathroom, which was dropping with a rate of one drop per minute for months. The water dropped behind the tiles, which kept it from being discovered until the opposite wall in the bedroom started going mouldy.

The machines will have to run for further three weeks. All data are constantly monitored by Central Service (via radio). We are sleeping in the guest bed. Visitors are welcomed, however, we kindly ask them not to stay over night.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Farwell To Fredricksburg

Tomorrow, I can say goodbye to Fredericksburg, Virginia, the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg. This is good, not because this is a bad place, far from, I kind of like Virginia in early Summer. I just long to get back to Toño. There is no better place than to be in his arms and looking into his eyes.

If you ever make it to Virginia, go to Fredericksburg and have a custard at Carl's. It's worth the trip.