Favourite Quotes

"When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." - The Sound of Music

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Things I miss in Switzerland

I must be a very greedy person. I never thought of myself as greedy, or of being much of a foodie, but having lived in Switzerland for over a year now I find that the things I miss most from England are mainly food related.

Twiglets. A friend came to see me last week and brought me two six-packs of Twiglets. I have so far eaten seven mini packets, one day, I am ashamed to admit, I ate three in a row.There's just something about Twiglets... the crunchiness, the rich yeasty taste... there's nothing like that here. Tortilla chips come a poor second. Plus, my cat adores Twiglets. She is always much more friendly when she catches the aroma of them in the air!

Mints. Not any mints in particular, although I could wax lyrical on the relative merits of mint imperials, mint humbugs, mint creams and mint crumbles... just plain old mints. In Migros there are just three kinds of mints: sports mints (which are soft and chewy - ick), peppermint lozenges (which come in an unsatisfying small roll) and tic-tacs. That's it. A whole isle of chocolate, mind you, but a disappointingly small numbers of minty treats.

Liquorice. I have had one (yes, one) liquorice whirl since I came here. I miss catherine wheels - the long strand of liquorice and then the squidgy dimpled sweet in the middle...

Cheddar cheese. This may be heresy in Switzerland, but I yearn for cheddar. Tesco's Canadian Extra Mature Cheddar. I could eat a block of it.

And finally, my great yearning... Chinese Takeaway. Chicken chow mein. Sweet and sour sauce. Black bean sauce. Bamboo shoots. Peking duck with pancakes. I used to ring up my brother to pick me up from work and we would stop at the takeaway and I would take these delights home for dinner (and often lunch the next day). Or I would have all my friends round and we would spread bin bags on the floor and order a wide selection of food and then sit and share it...

I had better stop now before I start dribbling over my keyboard!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Taking Things Slowly

So I've been out of hospital for a week now. And I'm bored. I am not allowed to go back to having French lessons. I am not allowed to even think about looking for a job. And I'm not even supposed to be thinking about doing voluntary work yet.

So what can I do?

I go to ergothérapie (Tuesdays and Fridays). I have finished my Christmas presents and am now working on restoring an antique dining chair because I thought it looked pretty. Combined with this are physiotherapy - the session I go to is working on posture. Then there is my Affirmation de Soi group. At the moment we are working on making demands and refusing other people's demands. The problem is I don't have many things to ask and no-one has asked me to do anything I haven't wanted to do this week, so my homework has been minimal!

And then if the weather isn't too bad I go to the Kiosque Biblique at Montreux on Thursday and Saturday afternoons.

And of course on Sundays there is church...

But the rest of the time is just this big empty space that I need to fill.

Don't feel like writing at the moment - still waiting to hear back from the literary agents and can't work out if that is a good or a bad thing.

Oh so bored....

I do not like taking things slowly.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

A break from the mad house...

Well the psychiatric hospital have let the patient in room 133 out for the day and as my sole reader has been asking me to update... here I am.

Have spent the last ummm.... month and a bit back in Prangins. There are many advantages to being in a psychiatric hospital when you are depressed - the round the clock nurses on call, the weekly meetings with your psychiatrist, the structured activities (ergothérapie! I've missed doing you so much...), the chance to look around in the dining room and realise that, actually, there are people in here a lot worse off than you... but sadly the idea of internet access has not quite caught on. It's like going cold turkey - no e-mails, no Facebook, no blogging, no English Forum... argh!

Seem to be slowly crawling out of the pit again, but still ploughing through the 'long, difficult task' of sorting myself out. Some days are good, some days a little bit harder (I know that's from a song, but I can't for the life of me remember which one). I've been able to see Fluffy, the little black and white cat who haunts the hospital grounds and eats cat food faster than any other cat I've known (and this, considering that Tabitha was on a diet for over a year because she was so fat, is saying something). And I have started lots of lovely craft projects and Christmas presents - talk about planning ahead.

While I was in hospital my copy of the 2011 Writers' and Artists' Yearbook came through, so I devoted many hours to devouring it and even more to carefully crafting a synopsis and cover letter, both of which have been put to use in a submission to the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency - eek! The website says they aim to respond within four weeks, so I shall be anxiously checking e-mails every time I get leave.

Well today's leave was for laundry, so I'd better go and get some out of the machine!