Back from Holiday!

Actually I was back already on Monday evening but it is not until today that I actually get some time to finally write a post about my holidays. I am 4 book reviews behind on my Books & Movies site as well.

Well I guess that I have some catch up to do but that will not happen tonight though. You see I picked up my new toy just before lunch. I have been pondering about upgrading my old Playstation 3 for some time. I have been sitting on the fence a bit as to whether I should go for PS3 or Xbox One. I had almost decided to wait for the Xbox One X to come out and go for that one. However, my daughter has been giving me some various, more or less subtle (usually less), hints about new games. Most of them for PS4. Well, what the heck, a PS4 goes for 399 Euro here in Europe which is not a huge amount. I am sure everyone outside of the European Union will disagree of course but unfortunately it seems to be impossible to get rid of the worthless, tax greedy, wankers in Brussels.

Anyway, I ordered a PS4 Pro which I, as I wrote, picked up today and this evening it’s going to be install time. The Xbox One X? Well, it is not coming out until fall and then we have to see if there are any first generation issues but next year I might get one of those as well.

I believe I mentioned holiday in the title so maybe I should say something about that as well. It was the, more or less traditional, visit to grandpa and grandma for the kids. CERN pays for a “home leave” every second year but of course I have to go on it in order to get any money so the last Friday of July me and the kids boarded a plane for Copenhagen.

At the Artillery Museum in CopenhagenWe spent two full days in Copenhagen going to the Botanical Garden, the Artillery Museum, the Zoo, Copenhagen Aquarium and last but not least Tivoli Gardens. We had booked two junior suites at a great hotel just a few steps from Tivoli Gardens and with our rooms on the 15th floor we had a great view as well. The kids did enjoy themselves even if they complained about too much walking. I’d say that they have been spending too much time on the couch so some physical movement is just what the doctor ordered.

After our days in Copenhagen we went on to Sweden for their visit to their grandparents. Apart from spending time with their grandparents we also went to Glimmingehus to see black powder cannons being fired and to Tykarpsgrottan which is actually not a cave but an old chalk mine.

At Glimmingehus watching black powder gun firingAll in all a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday. Of course I took a bunch of photos which I uploaded to my Flickr account. This time I brought my SLR camera. Usually when flying I take a smaller camera but I have not been doing much photography lately and felt I wanted to catch up on that so I went for the SLR even if it is bulky as hell on the plane.

The photos are uploaded to the following albums:

Botanical Garden Copenhagen

Copenhagen Zoo

Copenhagen Artillery Museum

Tivoli Copenhagen

Copenhagen & Sweden 2017

The last album contains mostly photos of interest for family and close friends.

Bags packed…

So the bags have been packed. Luckily I usually do not bring too much stuff when traveling. Out of three suitcases I managed to squeeze myself into a half one. The rest went to the kids and Cassandra did not even pack all the stuff she brought with her from Bellegarde.

Anyway, now we are set for our trip to Denmark and Sweden. The kids have chosen The Revenant for tonight’s film-time and then tomorrow morning it is off to the airport. Fingers crossed that we will have good weather, especially at Tivoli Copenhagen.

The featured image of this post? It is grilled chicken pieces with a Greek salad that I made for lunch.

Three days with the kids…well kind of.

Okay, last week/weekend I spent three days with the kids… kind of. So you ask, what do you mean “kind of”? Well I had to work so the kids have been here since Thursday and I  came home and made lunch . Then I went back to work for another four hours.

It’s a good thing that I live about ten minutes from my work. , unless there is one of these all too common traffic jams caused by the total incompetence that the green communists responsible for traffic planning in Geneva possess that is. Then it is more like half an hour and good forbid that I have to go downtown Geneva.

So it was a bit of a different experience actually going home for lunch and cooking lunch for the kids as well as not coming home to an empty apartment after work. Also, the kids being there on the weekdays meant that we had plenty of “filmtime” in the evenings. We went through Kong: Skull Island and Logan. Unfortunately we were not exactly impressed by any of them.

On the Saturday we wanted to go to Val Thoiry for a haircut but when we came there there was a two hour queue (drop in only, no reservations) so we decided to just go around and do some shopping and then we went to Leon de Bruxelles for lunch (request from Timothy).

Mini cruise on Lac Leman

Mini cruise at Lac Leman (Geneva)Well it has been another weekend and as usual that meant that the kids came over. This time we made a little trip to Geneva and took a mini cruise on Lac Leman. I brought my SLR this time and got some quite nice photos. I uploads A few of them to this photo album on my  Flickr account.

Mini cruise at Lac Leman (Geneva)

Afterwards we went to a nice Italian restaurant in Geneva.

The weather was great as you can see from the photos. According to the forecast it will continue to be nice with 30+ degrees for the coming week or so.

Red Pesto ChickenNow for the usual food stuff. Obviously l did not cook anything for Saturday lunch. In the evening l put together a red pesto chicken with olives and Feta cheese served with bread and a salad. It went down quite well with the kids.

IMG-20170716-0462For Sunday lunch I did not have anything prepared so I made some quick browsing on some of my favorite food sites, specifically and (. se)  (. fr). What I found was a recipe for porc filet wrapped in Serrano ham with a balsamic vinegar sauce. I could not find any good pieces of porc filet when I went shopping in the morning so l  substituted it for a lovely filet mignon of veal that l found instead. If turned out to be quite tasty. Before being wrapped in the Serrano ham the filet was covered in a mixture of chopped dried tomatoes, garlic, ground Parmesan and chopped home grown basil.

Jonathan had seconds. The two small ones were not too keen on the vinegar sauce (which did get a rather sad grey color, that has to be said) but the rest went down.

Well th th th th that’s all folks (for this time).

Long weekend in Malmö and Köpenhamn

Yesterday I came home from my long weekend in Malmö and Köpenhamn. As I mentioned in my previous post I went there with my girlfriend to attend a wedding.

We took a few extra days as well so that we could spend some time and relax. We had to visit a bunch of family of course but we also had reserved one of the days to go over to Köpenhamn and visit Tivoli there.

It was a quite enjoyable long weekend. After my difficult times last year it was really nice to actually spend some time enjoying myself and do things that I used to do before.

I uploaded a few of the photos I took to Sweden 2017 Wedding on Flickr. Some of the photos are a wee bit poor though since they are taken with my phone.

Preparing for Sweden

Two more days then I am going on a short holiday to Sweden with my girlfriend to attend a wedding.  Will be fun…I hope. There will be lots of people I do not know so I guess I am a bit nervous. I know my girlfriend, obviously, her parents and her son. That’s it. Anyway, today and tomorrow evening I’m going to sort out what I need to bring and start to pack.

And now for something completely different…

The kids came over for the Saturday last weekend. Technically it was supposed to be my ex having them last weekend but since she was working they would have been sitting around alone all day so… She will have them for a long weekend when I am in Sweden anyway.

Jonathan did some binge watching of Voyager (as usual). The weather was rather poor so I had not really made any plans for outside activities. I had bought two huge racks of pork ribs for lunch. I thought that I had bought plenty of food but the kids cleaned me out completely.

Noix St Hacques aux lit de Asperge avec graine de Pin et sauce aOn the Sunday my girlfriend came over for lunch. I had made Noix St Jacques aux lit de Tagliatelle de Asperge avec Graine de Pin et sauce Pesto (featured picture of this post). It was I hit. I managed to pic two of her favorites, Scallops and Asparagus, in one dish.

But then she is not used to cook herself so she is always somewhat impressed by my cooking. She did cook for me last evening though…and I survived 🙂

Well, now it is back to work and then back to travel preparations for me…

Birthday Weekend

Okay, okay I will refrain from going into a rant about how much more I liked my birthdays before. Just insert some random “I hate being reminded about becoming yet another year older…bla bla, rant rant” here and we are done with it.

I have to say that this birthday was a lot more pleasant than my previous one though. For one it was on a Saturday so I celebrated it with the kids. Also, on my previous birthday I was still in the middle of a depression and had crawled into a bottle. Actually last Friday I celebrated 8 months of “back to normal”.

Anyway, back to the weekend. The kids came over already on the Friday. Actually I went more or less straight from work and picked them up in Bellegarde since my ex was working until around 19:30 in the evening. Nice to have a movie evening with the kids on a Friday for once. John Wick 2 was on the menu. Not as good as I hoped but you cannot have everything i guess.

Swedish Midsumme Eve Supper.
Midsummer eve Swedish buffet

Another thing that was on the menu was some traditional Swedish food. It was midsummer eve, or Midsommarafton in Swedish, so I had stocked up on some pickled herring, Gravlax, Swedish meatballs, Swedish cheese and sausages etc… The two small ones were not too enthusiastic about the fishy stuff as usual but Jonathan and I digged in.


View towards Lac de Divonne outside Le Rectiligne.
Lac de Divonne-les-Bains

On the Saturday I had booked a table a Le Rectiligne, a fairly posh restaurant in Divonne-les-Bains that serves classic French Haut Cuisine with a touch of modern experimenting. It was quite excellent, as usual. I had told the kids to bring some decent clothes since it is a posh restaurant after all, which they did. However Timothy, having his head in the clouds as usual, had just grabbed a pair of trousers without looking. Of course they were too small when he tried to put them on so he had to go in some scruffy sports trousers. Arrrggghhh!

Sorbet on the Rocks (yes it is a block of ice)
Sorbet served in a block of ice

I could not help myself snapping a photo of the desert. We sat on the terrace so it was not that much of a breach of etiquette. The desert itself was good but nothing too special but the bowl it came in was a solid block of ice.

The weather was great as well. Around 30 degrees and sunny. Perfect for a lunch at the terrace. The evening became another “filmtime”. This time Underworld: Blood Wars which was a bit more like I hoped for than the Friday entertainment. Review will come up later on my Books & Movies site.

As I am writing this it is Sunday so there’s not much planned. I got some Swedish cheese left so I am planning to make a Tarte aux Fromage et Lardons avec des Herbes out of the cheese for lunch . Then later in the afternoon/evening it is time to drive the kids back to Bellegarde.