Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Time to blow some of the cobwebs off this website and make a new entry or two. Between getting everything ready for the baby at the end of last year and constantly running after the baby since she arrived, I haven’t been able to give this site the attention it needs. That, combined with a relatively light travel schedule last year, means that ‘Where’s Matthew’ has become somewhat neglected, if only because reading that Matthew is ‘at home’ is hardly a compelling prospect.


Tomorrow, it’s off to Fort Worth, Texas for the week.

I’m a well-traveled man, but something tells me that Texas will be more strange and foreign to me than many other distant lands.

At least one thing has made its way into my suitcase that I'm sure wasn't on the packing list!

At least one thing has made its way into my suitcase that I’m sure wasn’t on the packing list!

Daisy with pollen on her nose

Caught! Daisy maintains she wasn't in the flowers, but her yellow nose tells a different story!


It’s a beautiful spring afternoon and we just finished lunch on the balcony.  The barbecue has had a real workout over the past few days, Aude has been busy potting plants, and all around us the trees are beginning to bloom.  It’s getting tougher and tougher to spend time in the office, staring out the window at the glorious weather outside and hoping that it lasts until the weekend.  This weekend we’ve been lucky — the weather has lasted and the weekend as been picture-perfect.

I made the mistake of taking my winter tyres off too early last year, just in time for a late surprise snowfall, but this year I think I’ve left them on long enough.  We’re about to go on vacation for a few weeks, but after we get back I think I can safely remove them without the danger of an early May snowfall.

We are getting excited about our upcoming vacation — a few days in Singapore followed by a week-and-a-half in northern Vietnam.  Friends of ours were scheduled to visit Tokyo at the same time, but they’ve sensibly decided to take a detour and will be coming to Vietnam instead, so we’ll be able to catch up with them in Hanoi for dinner. 

For today, though, we need to juggle a mountain of laundry and my US tax return with a walk in the forest and some beautiful spring sunshine.  I suspect I know where my priorities lie…

Cat in sink

The sink is blocked again....

This seems to happen every morning.  😉

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.

Daisy asleep on the bed


Actually, it’s a cat’s life. Sometimes I wish my life was as simple as curling up on the bed and snoozing in the sunshine. Which is exactly what I did yesterday afternoon.

I used my last day at work as an excuse for leaving at lunchtime. I came home to find the cats curled up on the freshly-made bed, totally relaxed in the afternoon sunshine, and I couldn’t resist crawling into the bed myself and having a little afternoon snooze.

I won’t lie. It was bliss!

Day five of the vacation, and time for me to head back home. Owing to the unexplained disappearance of our gardien, we found ourselves with no one to look after the cats while we were away. Rather than the more orthodox approach of asking a neighbour to look after them (all the neighbours seemed to be away on vacation as well), I flew my father in for the week from Paris.

For him, it was a chance to explore a city he hadn’t visited in nearly twenty years. I cut my trip to the south of France a few days short and came back to spend some time with him.

The only downside? My cats seem to hate him.

Jim in Paris
Jim finds his road


Relaxing in the Jardin du Luxembourg
Relaxing in the Jardin du Luxembourg


On the Seine
On the Seine


Look at me!
Look at me!


By the fountain
Posing by the fountain. Seconds after discovering that the wind was blowing and getting drenched with the spray from the fountain. Oh, how the other tourists laughed and pointed!!


Holding the Eiffel tower
Holding the Eiffel tower. Look, I am a tourist!




Striking the casual, pointing stance in the Marais.


Aude & Jim
Aude & Jim


Jim & Matt
Jim & Matt in front of the Centre Pompidou. The ugliest building in Paris, according to my father.


Jim in front of Paris Plage


Matt & Jim
Matt & Jim in front of Paris Plage


Matt & Aude
Matt & Aude in front of Paris Plage