A few photos left over!

As always, looking back in the cold (and I do mean cold) light of day at the last few days, there are always a few pictures that really should have been shared on these pages. The cemetery that we walked round yesterday morning was called the Père Lachaise Cemetery and is extraordinarily large and some of the gravestones are amazing works of art in their own right; the one on right below put me in mind of Stonehenge! Not all are by any means old, for example the actress Anna Karina has been recently buried there.

Returning to the birthday celebrations, some of Mary’s pictures caught some wonderful Safi expressions whilst opening her presents.

The play room looks like a small corner of Hamleys but Safi was taken by the good old fashioned jig-saws we bought her and immediately started doing one, once her guests had left; enlisting the help of Mary and Aline. At the finish there were about four pieces missing, Mary could see problems looming ahead, of returning it to Amazon etc.etc. Safi looked around and slowly opened her hand to reveal the missing pieces, having kept them back so she could be the one to “finish” the puzzle. Smart lady!

She was so taken by the unicorns, that they went off to school with her on Monday! The outlook from the hotel in Paris, was exactly as it had been the first time we visited and the chap did seem to remember us; in fact we convinced ourselves it was probably the same room.

When we were leaving we said the usual goodbyes and he yelled after me, “And next time, no tempest please!” Presumably assuming we had come from England and brought it with us. The lovely taxi driver misheard terminal 2A for terminal 2E, it’s all in the pronunciation, but seemed un phased as we pulled into 2E and then upon realising our error, he did some amazing back doubles in the airport and dropped us outside 2A. In fact the ticket was wrong and it was 2F, but not that long a walk inside. We passed over London and the flight was fairly smooth; a BA person flying as a passenger in front of us, (gently reminding the man sat next to him that this was an emergency exit, so put your bag in the locker above sunbeam) told us that flying from Berlin the day before had been a little “sporty”. They didn’t serve hot drinks on the way back; I guess just in case it got a little sporty again.

Amazing how much gubbins is in those wings! And Wembley stadium viewed from afar but always reminds me of where my working life started. Not in the stadium but in LWT’s Wembley studios, close by; and, of course, Mary’s.

Funnily enough, Mathieu said one of his early jobs was working on a documentary in this very cemetery. So there we are folks, I hope you enjoyed the trip, as much as we did. Next stop is probably Gruyères again for Zach’s tenth birthday 😱😱😱😱, now that just does not seem possible but watch this space.

As always, thank you so much for reading and comments are always most welcome.

Take care M 🎧 and M 🎶🎵🎶 👋👋🇨🇭🇨🇭

Oh, hello from blighty!

 

What a fantastic evening last night in Paris. We caught the train from Geneva to Paris and Boris, have we got news for you! No customs checks at all!

We just got on board and away we went. Mathieu picked us up in Paris at Le Garde de Lyons and transported us to our hotel. We then had drinks and dinner in a wonderful Paris cafe!

As the storm outside intensified! The meal cost for three, came to less than a meal for two in Switzerland! So I will now stay in Switzerland but eat in France! 😆😂 Makes total sense to me!

So a great shot of the staircase at the hotel and we had a walk the following morning round the wonderful cemetery that is so close to the hotel.

Wonderful statues in such wonderful places ! And there you have it;

The best moon shot I ever took and Mary enjoying the breakfast delivered to our room.

Take care, good night!

Thanks for reading M & M xxxx

The party.

This morning a rather crowded dining room; shock, horror! But the moment I had been waiting for so long, very nearly arrived. You may remember my obsession, on previous visits, with the egg boiling machine; I have accounts of it all going wrong, of eggs cracking open, resulting in the white foam invading everywhere and the machine being removed; of people just not knowing what to do. Well, this morning an oriental couple sat down and then the gent wandered off to the far corner, grabbed two eggs and some other bits and pieces and sat back down with his wife. Immediately I realised he had simply taken two raw eggs, assuming they were hard boiled. My excitement mounted alarmingly and I gestured to Mary, drawing her attention to the two eggs lying idly on his plate. On the strength of what we were about to witness, Mary ordered another small pot of tea and we sat back in comfort to observe, what we thought might be a wonderful slapstick moment, of the chap cracking the egg open only to discover it was raw. An eggcellent moment of hilarity was about to unfold. Just before the moment of truth something triggered the wife to call a halt to the proceedings; what sixth inscrutable sense kicked in, we shall never know, but it did. She removed the eggs, went back to the machine, read the instructions carefully, that are only in French, English or German, so good on her and proceeded to plunge the eggs into the now boiling water and returned to the table with her little portable timer. We finished the tea and left deflated.

Off to the flat, where Zach did his homework and the cake was completed by Laura; it turned into a huge chocolate cake, accompanied by dancers as requested, which became the main birthday theme.

Transported carefully to the farm, the cake candles were added later. Laurent and Aline did a marvelous job, as always, entertaining the party arrivals and the adults assembled and put the world to rights; Brexit of course being the main featured topic of discussion.

Jean-Denis and Lilliane (the other grandparents) arrived followed not long after by Caro and Julian and wine was taken and food provided. The children were loud, but that’s children for you, and they all certainly seemed to have a great time.

We got some great family pictures despite Zach complaining at one point that his legs were aching; the football from yesterday taking its toll!

The presents were opened, Happy birthday was sung and the cake was cut.

Some boys continued to be boys! Finally peace was restored (guests went home!) and Safi played with some jig-saws. More pictures tomorrow, because it’s late now and we have to drive to Geneva in the morning, probably in the rain, where hopefully we will catch a train to Paris and Laura a plane back to blighty; fingers crossed for that one!

The birthday girl and a picture that Zach drew.

Thanks for reading M & M 🎂🍷🎈🎈🎶🎵

Saturday and Laura is flying in!

Gruyères was remarkably quite again last night but looked as beautiful as ever. We dined once more in the Rampart Restaurant, served by a Swiss waitress. Mary had a humble cheese salad whilst I spoilt myself with a small steak. Did I say, the waitress the first night was from Portugal and the second night was from Belgium?  The lovely Belgium one complemented Mary on her French and explained the strong regional variations of the cantons in Switzerland.

We breakfasted almost alone and collected Safi and Zach at nine o’clock from the farm. We stopped again at the co-op to buy pizza for the troops tonight and a metal grill to cool the birthday cake on. Bye bye £35 for buying just half a shopping basket full of goods! I actually think it’s better when you have no idea how much you are paying, which is why I often like to pay in cash with Swiss Francs and don’t convert; unfortunately when you pay in the supermarket by credit card both francs and pounds come up on the read out in front of you. I’m sure the cashier always wonders why I always seem to gasp so loudly and without fail, as he asks me politely to enter my pin, and he contemplates whether I simply have indigestion or maybe that the mad Brit in front of him is just about to have a heart attack.

Back at the flat, Mary set to work to bake the cake and the troops watched a video of Spider-Man while Zach blew bubbles! We watched Laura’s plane take off a few minutes late from Gatwick, on Flightradar24 and then after a swift brunch, I and Zach headed for the football and Mary and Safi remained behind to start on phase two of the birthday cake.

As you can see the cake didn’t quite fit on the purchase from the co-op and in fact experienced a small hair line fracture on the right! Never mind, when it is soldered together with its other half, I’m sure all will be well. Safi played happily with her scientific kit, (there are no lenses in the glasses!) whilst Zach battled on the pitch and a certain intruder had to be kept an eye on, and definitely away from the cake!

After the second half of the seven cake was baked, we all went back to watch Zach’s team playing well but unfortunately not winning the tournament but we were delighted to have seen him play.

The sun shone down on the Cafe du Cheval Blanc over the road from the flat, as Laura arrived home not long after we ourselves had returned. In the end, the pizza was put on hold, and we all went out for a meal fairly locally; where Zach proudly pointed out his name on the notice board in the restaurant, announcing the day’s proceedings at the indoor pitch. After dropping everyone back at the flat, Mary and I returned back to the hotel.

Never knowingly not looking a good dessert in the face, the troops end the meal in style. A very badly snatched picture of the notice board but the boy done good.

Tomorrow the party, so please do join us!

Thanks for reading M 📷 & M 🎂 ………….. comments as always welcome.

Happy Birthday Safi

The official day of the birthday but the party is not until Sunday. After spending only £147 in the co-op, on the usual bread, cheese and toilet rolls; we picked Safi up from school and after a quick lunch dropped her back for ice skating in the afternoon. At the same time we collected Zach after his morning at school and swimming. Keep up at the back!

Last night, a salad to start and then a rather splendid venison sausage and Mary had Rosti and we were both joined by a cat, who we were both sure shouldn’t have been there, in yet another crowded restaurant!

We headed, after collecting Safi, to a little cafe in Romont for some cheeky birthday cakes.

Back to the flat to Skype Laura at work! And then we dropped them back at the farm! Laura arrives hopefully, storm permitting, tomorrow but first we collect them both at nine in the morning and then take Zach for football after lunch!

And relax…………….

Thanks for reading! M 🌭 & M 🍰

 

What a beautiful day!

The day dawned magnificently. It has been cold but absolutely stunningly clear all day, with a glorious blue sky.

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Last night we were in the Rampart Restaurant and Mary had a mushroom pie, she has had before and I plumped for the Trout and almonds; both washed down with a couple of glasses of rosé! In a singularly uncrowded restaurant, with Gruyères looking as always it’s photographically stunning self.

Breakfast in the hotel was just as uncrowded! And we were soon up and away, in our very pretty little blue hire car (I think it’s a Renault) to explore Estavayer-le-Lac, after sussing out where to take Zach on Saturday for indoor football.

The dashboard light stayed on all day, which was a bonus but the car seemingly does enjoy talking to you! Telling you when the road is rather narrow; the little country route to Laura’s flat is like that and madam Renault told us to be careful, a good five minutes after we had been on it. And at least three times, as we entered towns various, she told us we would need a sticker but didn’t explain why or what for. Thank goodness at least like one we did have she doesn’t suddenly pipe up, “Please observe the speed limit!” Anyway, a look round a small chateau, a black and white cat that jumped down from a roof onto a wall in front of us and frightened the life out of both us, all happened in Estavayer-le-Lac before late morning coffee was taken. We were both greatly relieved that the cat wasn’t a small bear; Alaskan thoughts still remain.

The church was, as often is the case with these places, amazingly glorious. And Mary took a stunning close up of our very own St.George.

An interesting little town that we think we have visited previously but when there were more tourists and a “bit of a do” going on.

Lunch was taken very late and consisted of a simple croissant of ham and cheese, eaten in the extraordinarily decorated interior of a snack bar and the ‘ology in the car just got completely out of hand showing me a route to a pub I had lunch in last week with my chum Casper Mill. Informing me that if I wanted to get to Watlington, I would have to cross international borders; another by product of Brexit, already?

So home to Gruyères, the deer and the surrounding mountains, with the moon coming up, and tomorrow we shall see both Safi and Zach.

Thank you for reading M 🎧 & M 🥂