Kids, birthdays and recovery.

Well, life goes on and I guess the only thing I can do is to try and pick up the pieces and move on. Although I have to say that thoughts like “Why do I bother…” have crossed my mind lately. I have spent quite some time on my “therapeutic” meetings the last weeks. Minimally three per week. At least it keeps me busy.

Cassandra's Birthday 2017Anyway, trying to move on, my daughters birthday was on the fourth this month and we celebrated it on the Sunday before. Actually she celebrated it twice. Once at my place on the Sunday and once on the fourth at my ex’s place. Come to think of it she actually celebrated it kind of two and a half times since last weekend when the kids were again at my place her last present, that I had to order from Japan (she is a Manga nerd!), had finally arrived in my mailbox when we came back from a trip to Balexert.

Cassandra's Birthday 2017So that weekend it was the usual opening of presents, trip to a restaurant of her choosing and all that. Her choice for this birthday was a Thai/Chinese restaurant in Ferney Voltaire. We have been to the same venue before but it was not the same name nor the same owner this time. Still, it was quite good. No stars in the Guide Rouge but well worth the money.

The kids were at my place the weekend that just passed as well and we went to Balexert since Jonathan wanted to get a new suite for a gala at his university by the end of the year. His birthday is also coming up on the 23rd so he asked for the suit as a birthday present. It will be late though since there is a 5+ weeks waiting time for it. Three piece suit tailor made, bow tie, the works. No half measures when it comes to Jonathan’s party dress code! Wonder if it is related to the fact that two thirds of his Facebook friends are girlies?

As usual when the kids are home there was a lot of cooking going on. I like to cook but in my present, somewhat down, state I cannot seem to be bothered to gather much enthusiasm to cook for myself but when the kids are home it is a different matter.

Chicken with bacon in Cream sauce served straight from the frying pan, Plie avec sauce aux Capre et Lemon vert and Chili with home grown chili peppers were among the items that has been on the menu lately.

Chicken pan with bacon and creamPlie avec sauce aux Capre et Lemon VertChili time again!

Busy last couple of weeks.

The last couple of weeks have been busy as hell work wise. I should have posted something already last weekend but I simply did not manage to find the time to do so. So now I am forcing myself to stress down and take some time to jot down a few words.

The kids came to my place last weekend which was a bit unexpected since it was the last weekend of my ex’s holiday but apparently they had requested to come. Obviously I am very happy about that. I was actually suspecting that it was the PS4 that was drawing them here but in the end they did not actually play that much so I am even more happy about it now.

Trio of CurrysSince it was a bit of a surprise visit I kind of was in a rush to think of something to cook for them. In the end I decided on curry. But to make it a bit more extravagant I did not make just a curry but a Trio of Curries. One rather mild pork curry with peas and squash, a slightly hotter Thai curry with shrimps, carrots julienne, green onions and lime and a “if you have to ask it is too hot for you” lamb curry with peppers and home grown chilies.

One home made Pesto coming up.Today they are here again and yesterday I did some home made Pesto from Basil that I had grown on the balcony. So it was fresh pasta with Pesto on the menu for today’s lunch.

After lunch me a Jonathan had a little mini-binge watching of four episodes of Big Bang Theory. We actually only planned to watch three but after the third episode we saw that the next episode was going to be about Leonard going to visit the LHC in Switzerland (CERN) and I just had to watch that one. I work at CERN after all so…

Unfortunately I had a bit of a nasty surprise this morning. Me and my ex have filed for shared custody for the children but now when I started to bring it up she tells me that the kids, actually Cassandra specifically, are not too happy about it since she fears her grades may be affected by the additional 30 minutes travel time.

Teary EyesI am a bit upset about that. I mean, I cannot argue too much against the fears of my daughter for her education but, for Christ sake, this was what we filed for almost two years ago. Why did my ex wait until now when we were about to go forward to drop it on me? It’s not that we haven’t spoken about it before. Also, I wasn’t really asked when my ex moved the kids from the schools here in St Genis and Gex to Bellegarde. I cannot help feeling that I have been played. My doctor is just in the process of getting me off the last antidepressants and this was sure as hell not what I needed right now.

I just hope that we’re still on track for a “d’accord amiable”. I guess we’ll have to see. I did not have time to discuss it much when my ex left the kids since she was on her way to work. Hopefully it is not as bad as it looks at the time of writing this.

Weekend without the kids.

It was actually quite a while since I had a weekend entirely without the kids but last weekend was such a weekend. My ex is on holiday so she has been having the kids all of last week including the weekend.

Thus I was “available” so to say. Something that my lady-friend was quick to take advantage of. She came over from Geneva on the Saturday afternoon and we spent some time together taking a little walk in the village, watching movies and of course some dining. I prepared Coquelets remplis des herbes avec Petit Pois aux Romarin et Lardons.

That is a recipe that I make now and then. It is a good recipe because you can vary the herb filling and even the kind of bird you are using, to your taste at the moment. I have made it with small chicken, quails, pigeons and partridge.

In the morning next day we had a fairly decent English breakfast, we had some nice time together and finished of with a lunch of Gambas grillée sur un lit de salade, huile de Truffes et Avocat before we went back to Geneva for a walk along the lake.

A really relaxing weekend!

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.

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 matklubben.se and mytaste.com (. 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).

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.