3rd of Advent weekend with the kids.

As usual the closer we get to Christmas the faster the days seems to pass and the faster the days pass the higher the stress levels rise. One would have thought that I would be more at ease this Christmas than the last one. After all, last year I had barely started to recover and I mostly fumbled and stumbled myself through Christmas. If it hadn’t been for the kids I would probably not manage much Christmas at all.

Okay the tragic passing of my girlfriend a couple of months ago hasn’t helped things but this year I at least feel a bit more prepared. That of course also means not only that the plans are more ambitious this year, but that I have no excuses. Well keeping busy keeps my mind of Carola and how much I miss her. That last bit doesn’t always work though.

Well I have almost managed to buy all the Christmas presents and I have started preparing the Christmas food. Yesterday I made the Christmas ribs. One big advantage with the Swedish Christmas specialties is that most of it is old-fashioned food that not only can but pretty much should be prepared in advance.

Christmas Village 2017Last Friday I also put up the Christmas village so it would be there when the kids arrived yesterday. It got extended with one more cottage this year. As usual I took a couple of photos and published them to this years Christmas photo album photo album on my Flickr account.

Anyway, back to the 3rd of Advent and the kids. They came yesterday morning and stayed until this afternoon. Me and Jonathan had just finished a 3 episode sitting of Big Bang Theory when my ex rang the doorbell.

Not very surprisingly a lot of the weekend was spent on Christmas shopping, decorating and movie watching. Me and Jonathan watched the second Bond movie in my box set that I purchased recently, From Russia With Love, as a matinee on the Saturday and finished the day off, together with Timothy, by watching Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. There vill be a review of that one on my Book & Movies site by the way but I can spill the beans right now and tell you that we both liked it.

Well now I’m going to sit down and catch up on my reading .

Christmas market in Lausanne

Today me and the kids went to the Swedish Christmas market in Lausanne to get our yearly fix of Swedish food products for Christmas.

Actually we first went to Balexert in Geneva to do some Christmas shopping and to pick up Jonathan’s vest for his suit. It actually went unusually smooth. Even Timothy found something fairly quickly. Not that this years shopping ordeal is over by any means though. I still have quite a few presents to buy myself and the kids have to buy the presents that they are going to give between them as well.

After that shopping spree we drove to Lausanne. It was a bit of a pain to get there as usual. The drivers in the French speaking region of Switzerland must be among the worst highway drivers in Europe. They constantly hug the left lane and never cares about anyone else.

Once there though it was surprisingly easy to get the shopping done and nothing was sold out despite the fact that we were later than usual. I was afraid that there would be massive queues since we were a bit late but there was almost none at all. Smoked eel, fish (sill), Swedish cheese, elk sausages etc. etc. all went into our bags smoothly.

We even got some real “Julmust”. Normally we buy that at Ikea but since the fucking bean counters ruined the Swedish shops at Ikea we buy less and less. This year Ikea’s own brand of “Julmust” was even more abysmal than their usual surrogate. Everyone, except the unsuspecting foreigners, know that “Ikea’s own brand” is just a rewriting of “We buy at as cheep as possible on the world market”. This years batch must have come from North Korea.

After the shopping we want home for a late lunch. I made some Jambalaya-like stuff on peppers, chicken and Chorizo from the Basque region.

To Timothy’s great despair we went out again after lunch. Well him and me at least. We had to go down to the florist where he is going to do his “stage” later. There were some paperwork that had to be done.

I think this was the busiest Saturday in quite a while. We only had time to watch one episode of The Orville just before Cassandra had booked the TV at 6 o’clock in the afternoon. That was when the free beta of Monster Hunter started on PS4.

Well, at least now I can sit down and relax a bit.

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.

Finally I got around to sit down and do some writing.

I have been feeling guilty for quite a while for not taking the time to write something on my blog. I am still suffering from the loss of my girlfriend though and I have not really been able to get myself to do much more than work, sleep and binge watch TV shows.

Well, as you can see, I finally got around to do some writing. The kids at my place and me and Jonathan went to Balexert this morning to pick up his new suite and then we all went down to Happy Grill to get some take away which we ate in front of the TV watching the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

I have to say that I am positively surprised by Discovery. I was afraid that it would be full of SJW nonsense or just in general screw with Star Trek canon but it is actually quite watchable. Sure the Klingons are fucked up but the rest is not bad at all.

I have spent quite a bit of time with the kids since they had two weeks of school holidays lately. I took three days off both weeks so I had in total about five days each week with the kids. We spent some time going shopping, going to the cinemas and some dining. The featured image above is from our visit in Nyon by Lac Leman where we went for some traditional Filet de Perche.

As usual when me and Jonathan comes together there is some Sc-Fi and/or Fantasy on the menu as well. The last couple of weeks we have watched Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok and Transformers 5. Cassandra got to see the The Emoij Movie as well. All of them was actually quite watchable. Some of them surprisingly so. I was expecting Transformers 5 to be pretty much crap but it was not bad at all…for being a Transformers movie that is.

Now I am going to try and do a bitch of catch up on my Books & Movies site as well. I several books and movies that I have read or watched respectively in the pipeline waiting to be reviewed.

Autumn is coming!

Well, actually, autumn is pretty much here already . The threes are loosing their leaves and it is getting cold and rainy. Some people like the autumn for all the colors. Okay, I can agree that it is pretty but it is for such a short period of time. After that it is just dark, cold and wet and you know it is just getting worse because, after having suffered through the autumn you have to suffer through winter. I hate the autumn!

Maybe I am extra negative this autumn with all the calamities that has happened lately as well. Just to add to the miseries my ex’s lawyer finally decided to actually do some work but as usual her “work” basically consisted of throwing together another letter with totally outrageous demands. This woman is batshit crazy. If she has her way she will take whatever I have left and I will have to continue paying for the rest of my professional life. The sad thing is that when me and my ex talks we seem to get along pretty well but then this woman manages to persuade my wife to do something else. I am so feed up with this crap. After the death of my girlfriend and now this I do not really know why I keep going? I’m not really motivated for anything.

Birthday cakeAnyway, let’s try to move over to some more pleasant subjects. We’re almost at the end of October and, with both Cassandra and Jonathan having their birthdays in October, this month is kind of a “birthday month”.

So last weekend we celebrated Jonathan’s birthday. His real birthday was yesterday but then he was back at his university in Lyon so… He wanted to go back to a Japanese restaurant that we’ve been to before along Lac Leman but that one had closed shop so after some looking around on TripAdvisor I found one in downtown Geneva, Sauan, that looked interesting so we went there.

Sauan Japanese Restaurant in GenevaIt was quite a hit actually. The food was excellent and the prices were…acceptable. At least by Swiss standards. Me and Jonathan had one of their seven course menus with a mixture of fish, shellfish, vegetables and some meat. Only two of the courses were actually cooked as in heated. Not that this was much of a surprise of course. Everything was nicely and elegantly served. No forks or knifes. If you cannot manage chop sticks then go somewhere else. Even the soup was supposed to be eaten with only chop sticks. Not that this is really that difficult, it’s just a bit unusual for a westerner to pick out the solid content with chop sticks and then drink the broth using the bowl as a cup.

Then it was of course time for cake in the afternoon back at home.

WP_20171020_17_48_11_RichSince the two small ones didn’t really appreciate the Japanese cuisine as much as me and Jonathan, not enough dead land animals, I had brought home some of the latter for lunch the next day when I made a simple entrecote with fries and a salad. As you can see from the attached photo I also found a nice little sauce to spice it up with.

Now I have just finished my work for this week. Since the kids are on school holidays, at least the two small ones, I have taken the next three days off to spend some time with them. Next week Jonathan will also have three days of holidays so I will repeat the procedure next week.

At the shores of Lac Leman

The swan? Well I just felt like adding this photo at the end of the post 🙂

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!