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.

 

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.

Went for some Jalfrezi with the kids last weekend.

Last weekend the kids where at my place for the entire weekend again. We did not really have any specific plans saving our energy and money for the Christmas season. Jonathan needed a new suitcase so we went to Balexert to pick one up but that was more or less all we did.

Lunch at Le Mahal in St Genis-PouillyExcept for a trip to the new restaurant, Le Mahal, in the village. Unfortunately it is yet another Indian one (we now have two of them in this small village) but it is within walking distance and it is open all days of the week.

When I saw that they had Jalfrezi on the menu I had to go for it. It has been years since I had a good Jalfrezi. Jonathan decided to join me. I have to say that it was quite good. It was as spicy as it should be (which means bloody hot) without being so overwhelming that you did not taste any of the other spices.

Lunch at Le Mahal in St Genis-Pouilly

In the evening it was film time as usual. I had just received a box set with all the James Bond movies on Blu-ray so Jonathan jumped on that one. I am actually a bit ashamed that I have not gotten around to add the Bond movies to my collection until now. Of course we are going to watch them in the proper order so last weekend it was time for the first one, Dr. No. I am a wee bit surprised that a movie so old is actually still quite enjoyable.

Well, that´s all for last weekend. The coming weekend is probably going to be spent on shopping for Christmas presents.

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!

Weekend with the kids.

My last post had the title Weekend without the kids so I guess I had to give this one the title Weekend with the kids. Yeah, yeah I know, a tad uninspired but what the heck. I am trying to keep up with the posts on both this personal site and my Books & Movies site where I am currently four books reviews and one movie review behind.

Anyway, as the title states last weekend was a weekend with the kids. Actually the kids came on Wednesday evening and staid until Sunday afternoon. I had to work on the Thursday but I took the Friday off so it was actually a long weekend.

We did not do very much though. This was only the second weekend since I got my Playstation 4 so I pretty much had to pry the game pads out of their hands. We did go for a lunch at the Italian restaurant in the village. I also managed to force them out of the apartment for some air on the Saturday so we could go to Balexert since I needed to buy some new trousers.

Apart from that it was mostly gaming on the menu this weekend. Well I managed to squeeze in a few movies in the evenings as well. Ghost in The Shell and The Assignment. Both of which turned out to be okay but nothing really to write home about.

Okay there was of course a more traditional menu as well although I cannot say that I did anything special this weekend. Mostly just simple comfy food. Barbecued sausages, Thai chicken and rice, pasta with tuna sauce, my mothers sausage stew, home made burgers and of course a nice English breakfast on the Sunday morning.

The weather was, and is, excellent. Mostly sunny and around 30 degrees Centigrade so we could have all the meals on the balcony. In all a rather relaxing weekend although it feels like it passed in a blur. I didn’t get around to taking any photos at all. Even the featured image of this post is “archive footage” but given the binge playing on the Playstation it felt like a suitable photo to reuse.

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!

Holy crap, time flies. Yet another weekend has come and gone.

I cannot believe how fast time flies right now. It feels like the previous weekend was just yesterday and  yet another one has come and gone. I did not even get any time to write something on My Ramblings until now.

Weather ForecastWell, the kids were in St Genis for the entire weekend again and it was another fairly calm weekend. The weather was (and is) great and the forecast for the week is pretty darn good as well.

We went for lunch at Palais de Asie, one of the favorite restaurants of the kids. Asian buffet, all you can eat. As usual it was pretty good. No stars in Guide Micheline of course but freshly made and quite tasty for a buffet restaurant. The kids love being able to take what they want. The drawback is that everyone gets completely stuffed (all you can eat remember…) and just dozes off in the sofa when we get back.

Well, we livened up the spirits a bit with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter later in the evening. Not great but okay and lots of satisfying violent special effects of course. A review will come later on my other site.

Preparing to play Hexagonal chess.

On the Sunday we got around to do some family activities in the form of playing cards. I have not played cards a lot lately. It was great fun. I used to play cards a lot when I was young. After all that was a time when telephones were big clunky things with a rotary dial and computers had 25 by 80 characters and a green monochrome screen so entertainment was strictly non-digital.

After the cards Jonathan lured me into a game of Hexagonal Chess. Also quite fun but he had obviously practiced before (I call that cheating) so I lost.

For lunch on the Sunday I made a Saumon au Chili, Citron Vert et Orange avec Pomme de Terres et Salade (featured picture). I thought it was excellent but the two small ones were not impressed. They raided my snacks storage later in the afternoon. Sigh…

Well, it was a good weekend anyway.