Saturday, December 31, 2011
Dropping by, saying hi
Thought I should slip in a post before 2011 whizzes by unrecorded as far as this semi-abandoned blog is concerned. Before the year goes to sleep and never gets up again.
December - We were in Bochum, Germany, to visit ma- and pa-in-law. We ate at the Bochum KFC before we swung into their street in time for a late tea. Hope we didn't reek of fried chicken as we never tell them we eat KFC, haha. It snowed on Dec 19 in Cham but the snow didn't stay for Christmas although the ground was still fluffy up on Zug mountain, which was where we went so the dog could enjoy running and hopping in the white stuff. I also made choco cake balls a la Bakerella.com and flourless Lebkuchen cookies for the first time.
November - The dog, dogpa and I came home from our caravan holiday in Spain and France, stopping for one night in Lausanne (CH), where we were delighted to find a place to plug into power for free. Made Fluffy Semolina Pudding for the first time and it was a keeper! So was Pear Touronde, something I found in a library cookbook.
October - In the second half of the month, we set off for France and Spain in a motorhome rented from Germany just across the border from Basel. Great! No need to do hotel-hopping, no need to pack and unpack half the time. Forgot to send labrador-shaped cookies to the guide dog school on Oct 2 to mark Umbria's birthday. Did it last year.
August - We went to Riquewihr in Alsace, France, before Aug 1 to escape the Swiss national day fireworks for doggie's sake. Came home in early August.
Dog finds a best friend in Enya, an Irish soft-coated wheaten terrier. They are so evenly matched and neither dominates the other. They love each other so much they lie down facing one another smiling and grinning and licking each other's faces.
Dog's other good friend is Tatcha, who also comes from the guide dog school. Tatcha is very small for a lab at 20kg (although she has put on 1kg and is now on a bit of a diet; her dogma says they walk and walk for hours and the pooch does not lose an ounce!). We once went on a walk at the foothill of Zugerberg with Tatcha and her two humans. She found a big stick and carried it doggedly for almost two hours - until our little picnic stop distracted her from her self-appointed duty.
Indra and Mumtaj visited us in August or September (yikes, my memory fails me). The former did not bring 'proper' shoes and walked around in her Hush Puppy ballerinas in cold, drizzly weather to the shock and horror of locals. The latter became good friends with Umbria and took dozens of pictures of the four-legged model. Oh, and we made a silly video with the dog a la Wegman's Weimaraners. Dogpa drove us to the Gotthard Pass and to the foothills of Mount Rigi and we took pictures up on a narrow rock which everyone climbed up including Umbria.
Dogpa and I went to Malaysia in April and a bit of May. Caught up with a few friends. We visited Pulau Sibu off Johore, Cherating (Impiana) and Laos. Luang Prabang was a lot of fun and relaxation; we took a lesson in Laotian cooking at Villa Lao in Vientiane.
Ann Marie visited us in March (if not February); she loved the huge strawberries; she and I went to Lucerne for the day with doggie.
February - We flew to Malaga (without dog), rented a car and drove to Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada and Priego de Cordoba. This was my birthday trip and enjoyed it immensely. The Spaniards are an amazing people. Just to stand in an ancient courtyard and think of how much history they have lived through almost blows one's mind.
Among the memorable books read: That Thing Around Your Neck - C Adichie, That Old Ace in the Hole - A Proulx, Big Little Life - Dean Koontz, Stroke of Insight, City of Falling Angels - J Berendt.
Will not try to over-stretch my memory and remember too much of this year. This is all for now.