Archive for December, 2009

Our first fondue in Switzerland! (Well, the first one we did at home. We’ve had a few in restaurants…)

Eating fondue

Our first Christmas in Basel was a success.  We spent the day at home with Aude’s parents (not that there was much choice – pretty much everything shuts on Christmas Eve and stays shut for the next three days).  I’d stocked up on firewood, and we had a fire in the fireplace most of the day.

Aude and her parents went out for an early-afternoon walk in the countryside, leaving me at home to get started with the Christmas dinner.  I opted for a traditional German / Swiss Christmas dinner of roast goose, stuffing, spaetzle, and red cabbage.  In the end, I had to make a small concession to our Swiss kitchen: my oven is too small to take an entire goose, so I roasted two goose crowns and two goose legs.  In the end, it was a better compromise as there was plenty of meat to go around.  The last time I cooked a whole goose, I ended up with about three slivers of goose meat per person and an enormous pile of bones.  I was certain that wasn’t going to happen again this year.

Daisy by stool
We’ve made an example out of Calypso. Here we are showing Daisy the consequences of misbehaving.

Aude hiding
Once again, it becomes clear that Aude was never top-of-her-class at hide-and-seek.

Christmas table
The Christmas table

Christmas table
The Christmas table

Christmas dinner
Roast goose, spaetzle, stuffing and red cabbage

Daisy by Christmas tree
Daisy gets into the Christmas spirit.

Sylvette reading a book

 Catching up on some holiday reading

Fire in fireplace

The new firepalce got a good workout all week



Sylvette in front of the fireplace


Aude with dessert

Aude presents the dessert


Aude’s parents have come to visit us for the holidays. The shopping is finished, the tree is decorated, and we’re all ready for the big day.  After a week of very cold, snowy weather, it seems like Aude’s parents have brought the warmer weather from the South with them.  It’s turned much warmer in the past few days (and is expected to stay this way for the rest of the holiday season), unfortunately with quite a lot of rain.  Still, it gives me a good excuse to stay inside and keep the fire going.

I’m long overdue for an update to the blog. Since my last post, I’ve been to Hyderabad once and Mumbai twice, plus a week in the mountains in Switzerland on our off-site.

We’ve also finally moved into our permanent apartment. The move itself was uneventful, aside from a few breakages. Apparently, the French definition of good packing includes putting books on top of china and glass. With my heavy travel schedule, it has taken a while to get unpacked, but we’re finally settled in. The wardrobes are built (a task I vow I’ll never repeat), the bookshelves are up, and my study is the only part of the apartment that remains a disaster zone.

Aude & Daisy in front of the fireplace

Aude & Daisy in front of the fireplace

Our neighbours' houses, covered in snow

Our neighbours’ houses, covered in snow

Looking out onto the hills behind our house

Looking out onto the hills behind our house

We’re beginning to get ready for Christmas. The weather has turned much colder this week, and we’ve had our first snowfall of the season. We’ve got the fireplace working (just about – the engineer is on his way for another technical visit today to try to solve some problems with the smoke drawing out properly) and we’re ready for the winter.