Winter Holidays

I had a lousy week a while ago. Just after the kids went back to Bellegarde on a Sunday afternoon I got sick with the flu the very same evening. I was totally nocked out for three days in a row and then it took me a week to start firing on all eight cylinders again. Being home alone with a flue was the most depressing days I’ve spent since my girlfriend passed away.

Luckily last week and tA chilly February day in Nyon.his week is the Winter Holidays in French schools so I have had the kids at my place a bit more than three days last week and all of this week. Actually it was only the two small ones that were at my place last week since Jonathan, being at university level, do not get the luxury of two weeks of holiday.

It is called a Winther Holiday but, since none of us are very interested in winter sports, to us is it like any other holiday. We watch movies, play games, go out for some dining and make some excursions.

At Balexert about to watch Black Panther.Yesterday we watched Black Panther in the IMAX salle in Balexert. It was not too bad but it is, not very surprisingly, totally overhyped by the clueless SJW’s. There will come a review soon on my other site.

The forecast said that today should be a sunny day so we had planned to go and have a look in Shilliger in Gland and then go for a walk along the lake in Nyon and have a lunch there. Unfortunately the forecast was way off and it was windy, gray and cold as you can see from the photos attached. Well, it was nice lunch even though it became less of a walk along the lake than I had hoped for.

A chilly February day in Nyon.Tomorrow we are going to make into a resting day with no plans for the day. I suspect a sleep in with a late morning is on the menu…as well as some more movies from my collection of course. Jonathan and I are still kind of binge watching ourselves through my 007 collection. We have just come to the Pierce Brosnan period.

One of my orchids about to flower.Oh by the way. One of my orchids have started to go into flower again. I hope I will have the same success with the rest of them.

I uploaded a few more photos from the last couple of days to my Miscellaneous 2018 album on Flickr.

Another two weeks gone by.

Another two weeks has gone by. I’ve spent both weekends with the kids at my place although we did not do anything special this time. Jonathan and I continued our semi-binge watching of 007 and watched through another two movies each weekend. Actually, as I am writing this on a sunny (for once) Sunday morning we still have one movie to watch this weekend. Cassandra has submerged herself in one of the Christmas present games, Monster Hunter World. She actually went out of bed around 4:30 this morning to start to play!

Next weekend is the start of the school Winter holidays so the kids will be at my place some more during the week after that. The plan is for two of them (Jonathan do not start his holiday until a week later) to come next Sunday and stay a few days beginning of the week. Then all of them will come for some days the week after. I will plan some time off from work that week.

As we did not do anything particular these two weekend, which the kids are generally quite happy with since it gives them more game and movie time, I haven’t take any photos so the featured image of this post is a photo of my new sub-woofer. I had ordered it quite a while ago and it got delivered just before last weekend. It was the last weak link in my home cinema setup.

Of old my old stuff my old sub-woofer was probably the one thing I was actually quite unhappy with. It was musically quite correct but as soon as it was forced to go down below 35 Hz, which would be quite often given the kind of movies that I watch, it started to rumble and distort the sound. This one is a quite affordable mid-range model which, with a 800W RMS Sledge amplifier and a 12 inch driver, packs quite a punch and delivers down to 16 Hz without breaking a sweat. I guess some might consider it butt ugly in the living room of course but hey, not me, I am a home cinema geek after all.

My only problem now is that I have to be careful not to give the neighbors “the shakes”.

A Boys Only Sunday

Well, it is about three weeks since I last could be bothered to post anything. I have been wanting to sit down and write something several times but never managed to gather the willpower to do so.

It is not much that has happened after all. I survived the lonely first week of January although that was really a tough one. The divorce is dragging on. As usual my wife’s lawyer has shown absolutely no life signs whatsoever. I am not sure if she really is such a two-bit incompetent lawyer that she cannot be bothered to do her work or if she intentionally delays everything knowing full well that I am paying around 25 000 Euros in “temporary payments” to my wife every year. Money that she of course is not going to consider when we negotiate this bloody French payment compensatoire that I have to pay once the divorce is finalized. My therapist decided to increase the frequency of our sessions since she felt I was getting too depressed again.

Anyway, enough of the whining (it does help to write about it though so…). The kids were at my place all of last weekend as well as this weekend. Actually, already last week Jonathan said that he was going to stay the entire weekend regardless of what Cassandra (who only wanted to stay for the Saturday) did. So this Sunday we had a Boys Only Sunday.

Not that it was that much different from any other Sunday. Me and Jonathan did some binge watching of James Bond watching The Spy Who Loved Me on the Saturday and Moonraker yesterday. I had almost forgotten how crappy Moonraker is.

Burger lunch on our Boys Only SundayOf course a Boys Only Sunday, pretty much a Boys Only anything for that matter, requires some Boys Only junk food so we had some home made burgers. It is a kids favorite when I serve all the ingredients separately so it becomes do it yourself burgers.

I have pretty much just come back from driving the kids to Bellegarde. This is the worst part, the first evening when the apartment is all empty again.

Oh well, they will be here all of next weekend as well.


Well, that was the end of 2017

So that was the end of 2017. This morning I drove the kids back to my ex in Bellegarde so now I have a lonely week ahead of me before CERN opens up again.

New Years Eve DinnerAnyway yesterday me and the kids celebrated New Years Eve with the usual fois gras canapés, new years dinner, fireworks, watching Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde. Oh and of course watching Dinner for One.

I was not too  unhappy with the new years dinner. I made an entrée of scallops on a bed of salad with a pesto sauce and . . . Burgundy snails. Okay now you probably think I have gone bananas but there is actually an explanation. The two young ones are not at all fond of scallops so they got a plate of Burgundy snails, which they do like, and just a few scallops to taste.

New Years Eve DinnerThe entrée was followed by a lamb rack encrusted with a garlic, rosemary and dried tomatoes and accompanied by country potatoes and haricot verts. Not bad at all.

Well I guess now we have to see what 2018 holds in store. It is not exactly going to take that much to make it a better one than 2017.

Spending the time between Christmas and New Years Eve eating…anything but Christmas food.

As usual when Christmas is over everyone wanted to eat anything but Christmas food. It is also days when we mostly sit down and relax. With CERN being closed for two weeks from the 23rd and the kids having school holidays we can do pretty much what we want.

Well, actually I’m not so sure about the sit down and relax bit though. I feel the holiday days go by faster than working days actually.

The day after Christmas day I had booked tickets in Balexert to watch The Last Jedi in their IMAX salon. With a bit of a sleep in, an early lunch, getting there, watching a two and a half hour movie and a huge mess in the parking garage making us spend almost an hour to get out again the day was pretty much gone when we got back.

At Leon de BruxellesThe day after was fairly calm. We went to Leon de Bruxelles to have some french fries and mussels although I had to do some shopping as well.

Yesterday me, Jonathan and Cassandra went to Ornex to buy the fireworks for New Years Eve. Another one of our small traditions. Cassandra did not really care but she wanted to go to the pet shop in Jardiland (despite the fact that she’s been told that we are not buying any more pets right now).

At Au Carnivore in Geneva with the kidsToday I had booked a table at Au Carnivore in the old town of Geneva were we had a excellent lunch. The name of the restaurant is well chosen so it was of course a nice vegan-free lunch. Then we strolled over to the big butcher at the main shopping street and got us some lamb rack and fois gras for New Years Eve (now I have to think about a recipe too).

The afternoon was comparatively calm. Me and JJ had to go and do some quick shopping but we (especially I) finally got to sit down later when we all played some cards. I really liked to play cards as a kid so it is so nice for me that the kids like it to.

Now I am about to go and fix up some Tacos for tonight and then I guess we’ll sample something from my movie library or Netflix afterwards.

Yes the photos are pretty crappy. Indoor photos taken with a phone leaves somewhat to be desired even with a relatively good phone camera (no matter what the smartphone enthusiasts claim).

Christmas classics: “Julbordet” part 1 & 2 followed by “Julklappsutdelningen”.

Well, yesterday it was time for some of the classic Christmas traditions again. This would of course be the Swedish Christmas buffet followed by the handing out and opening of the Christmas presents.

:Julbordet" Part 2As we have been doing the last couple of years we split the buffet into two. One lunch buffet with the fishy stuff and one evening one with the charcuterie and the hot food.

This is the first year were I’ve been making all the food myself. I have to says that I have been quite nervous. Given how difficult it is to get the proper ingredients for a lot of the dishes here in France it’s not exactly like I can go out and buy me some new ones and start over again if I screw up. In addition the critics, that would be my kids, are quite merciless.

:Julbordet" Part 2Luckily it looks like I managed to get everything right. I am quite happy about how the pickled herring turned out. I made three classical ones and experimented a bit with the last one, a lemon pickled herring. The red and brown cabbage, Christmas mustard etc. etc… all turned out quite good. Actually the only thing I was a bit disappointed with was the Christmas ribs. They turned out a bit bland and not “Christmasey” enough.

Well, I’m happy that went well!

JulklappsutdelningWe’ve picked up a bit of an American Christmas tradition as well. “It is not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls from Nakatomi tower”. So obviously we sat down in the afternoon and watched the original Die Hard.

As usual I’ve snapped a few photos which I published to my Christmas 2017 album on Flickr.

Waiting for the kids…

Christmas three in place 2017The Christmas three is decorated. A real one of course. I’m not a religious person but this is where I draw the line. Not having a real Christmas three is my definition of sacrilege. The presents are wrapped up. The Christmas buffet is prepared. I lay awake a good chunk of last night thinking of what I might have forgotten or worrying if it will taste as it should…and missing Carola of course.

Anyway, this morning I did the final cleaning up and now I am having a breather while waiting for the kids to come.