I have been quite busy lately. Sold three bags to Paula, two to Tania and I am in the process of making one for Jenny. I have also been to town to see if I could find an outfit for Mark and Daniela's wedding but was not very successful. I will have to go to town again when it gets a bit cooler. Jenny and I decided that it would be Germany as soon as the weather changes.
Last Friday we attended Martin's memorial service. It is very sad to see somebody who has never smoked and always led a sportive life die of lung cancer. Later that evening we went for our yearly asparagus meal in Grenzach. This time, of course, it was without Harold. Last year he announced that he would have his 100th birthday in that restaurant!
Today we had lunch with Tania, Jenny, and Eric. It was nice to see Tania again. She has her head screwed on right. She seems to know what she wants and how to get it.
Here some pictures of what I am doing now:
We had quite a busy weekend again. We went out on Friday night for a Greek meal in Badisch Rheinfelden at restaurant Dionysos (www.hotel-saengerhalle.com/). It took me a while to find the restaurant. I looked it up on Google Maps before going and thought that it was quite straight forward to find: drive through Swiss Rheinfelden, across the bridge to Germany turn right, drive under the railway bridge and it would be just on the left-hand side. I did not realize that I had not been in Swiss Rheinfelden for at least 7 or 8 years and therefore, did not realize that the bridge was now only for pedestrians! We had to drive back direction Augst and turn off to the motorway going to Germany. I had never been there before and had no idea where it would lead me to. It is not easy if you do not know the road and have to look at the traffic as well as at the signposts. On top of that, it had started raining on Thursday night and by Friday evening, it was still raining in a steady downpour. When we finally found the restaurant there obviously, was no parking space available near the restaurant and I had to park some way away. We got soaked walking to the restaurant, which did not lift my mood.
The restaurant was packed full. We had been sitting at the table for at least 30 minutes and even than it was difficult to get the waiter. At least it gave us sufficient time to choose what we wanted! The food was very good and plenty which is normally the case in Germany. However, I have seldom experienced worse service. The waiter never even came to ask if we wanted anything else to drink. The same thing happened with the desert. Somebody had asked for the desert card but the waiter never came back to ask if anybody wanted a desert, coffee or schnapps. As it was, nobody was interested in a desert and as we all expected the coffee to be the German sort (you get very spoilt living in Switzerland!) nobody wanted any coffee either. I do not think we will be going to this restaurant again quickly.
On Sunday, we had a barbeque at the ‘Waldhütte’ above Oberlarg.
For the past few years, some people from the council have been organizing a "Mai Bummel" in Oberlarg. I think Alan has been to all of them and up to now, I have only joined them at the Waldhütte for the soup and barbeque afterwards. Alan went for the walk with Leslie and Pauline, but Jenny, Eric and I came later by car. As we have had a lot of rain lately, we hoped that the weather would be at least dry. It was dry and not cold but we were still sitting inside with the wood burner on. Of course, Jenny brought far too much food with her so that I had to take all our sausages back home again. It was good fun and we all enjoyed it.
Going back home I took Leslie and Pauline to their cars which were in the village but Alan decided to walk back home and take Aischa with him. The walk from the Waldhütte to our house should not take him more than 20 – 30 minutes. I asked him if he wanted to take the mobile with him but he said he would not be long. After his last episode when he lost Aischa, I should have known better and insisted. After I had been home for about an hour, I started wondering where he was! I went outside to see if I could see them coming but saw no sign of them. I decided to leave the gate and the front door open just in case Aischa should come home without Alan. They both came home together after more than 1.5 hours. Alan had decided to not go straight back home but go for a much longer walk! Next time I will insist that he takes the mobile with him!
Hey, I am supposed to be retired but I seem to be busier than ever before. The mornings start with taking Aischa out for a walk - however, only when it is not raining because she refuses to get out of the door when there is a chance of getting wet. When we come home, we have breakfast while we watch the news on TV. After breakfast, I open my laptop and first have a look if I received any emails. After that, I look into my shop to see how many visitors I had and if I sold anything during the night or to add any new items. This takes more time than I imagined because I decided to do the Dutch and German translations as well. When that is done I post the new shop items onto the social websites and this is where at the moment I spend a lot of time because they still confuse me. I have the hang of Facebook now and I just started on Twitter, which is still very confusing, and then of course there is Google+ but I am still leaving that on the side for the time being. This all needs a lot of reading up. I suppose that once I get the hang of it, it will become easier. At least I hope so! Of course, there are also the links to other websites you have to keep up to get the customers into your shop. However, I have realized that you have to do something every day to keep people coming or coming back. However, it is fun.
In the afternoon I start with the real work - my jewellery and bag making. That is not work though, it is fun.
Then, last but not least, there is our social life, which seems to take up a lot of time in summer. With social life I do not mean the virtual social life. No, this is going out for a meal in the evening or at lunchtime (all possible when you are retired) and of course shopping with girlfriends. And this shopping could be anything - from charity shops to IKEA to property searches. All this makes our season in France fly. The days seem to be too short as are the weeks and months. But as from September this changes again to a quieter pace when we go to Scotland and Ireland.
So, I am not complaining, just wondering how I ever found time to hold a proper job!
Last Sunday we were invited in the village to a 40 years wedding anniversary. We had a great time, the food, the company, the music, the entertainment and obviously, the drinks were fantastic. The invitation was for 'as from 11.30 AM' and we were there about midday. We did not come home until about 7.00 PM and Alan decided to go for a long walk to get the alcohol out of his system which had slowly been building up as we had been out the previous evening as well to a function from his shooting club. As he is not used to having a mobile with him, I specifically told him to take it with him this time. He also decided to take Aischa, our little Yorkshire terrier, with him.
When it started to get dark, I was worried and phoned him, however without success. I tried several time and each time had the same result. I was getting frantic, thinking that something might have happened. In the end, I went out of the house hoping I could see him coming. I saw him coming around the corner and he was on his own! He told me that he had lost Aischa and was very upset, especially as we had just lost our other Yorkshire terrier Krümmel, albeit through old age.
We left the doors to the garden open in case Aischa would find her way back and left in the car. However, where Alan had been walking was cross-country over dirt tracks. My car is not built for tracks like that and the Landrover had been taken to the garage the previous week. The tracks were full of holes and by this time, it was dark. We stopped at places where we thought she might be and called her. We went up and down the tracks and were stuck a few times. In the end we gave up and drove back, hoping that she would have found her way back home on her own. And she had!
When we arrived back home she was trying to get into the front door and the gate to the drive was closed. I wondered about that and then I saw the girl next door. She was still shaking when she told me that she and her boyfriend had come around the corner when Aischa ran in front of the car. They only just missed her! She took her to the front door and rang the bell but nobody opened and all the lights were on!
It was than when I turned on Alan, who was still upset. He very seldom looks back when he takes the dog(s) for a walk. He just assumes she will follow him, which she normally does. However, sometimes she takes her time to sniff at things and is left behind. In addition, why did he not answer the phone when I called him? He had left it in the garage before he left. He put it down to get his coat on and forgot all about it. I just hope this has taught him a lesson but all the same I' pleased that all worked out okay in the end.
At last, I have started putting my jewellery into my Etsy shop. It takes up most of my time now, trying to sort out which ones to use, which to put into the shop first and taking the right photographs. Taking the right pictures is not easy at the moment. By changing rooms, I have provided myself with quite a good photo studio because light is coming in from three directions. The only problem is that for the past week we have not been able to see the sky. The whole valley has been in thick fog all this time, which obviously diminished the light coming in.
Have a look at my Mini Etsy at the bottom of this page for the first few necklaces I have put into my shop.
I finished two further bags today and put them into my Etsy shop.
We burried our oldest Yorkshire terrier Krümmel today. He died on Monday. He had been blind since last year, did not hear much and had lost already a lot of weight since December 2012. He refused food for about 5 days and even force feeding him made no difference. He would have been 16 years old in June.
I used the room, which is between the kitchen and the living room as a sewing room, but it made the whole place look messy and I was not very happy with it. Suddenly it struck me, we have another room which we only use in winter to store the plants which have to be kept out of the cold - not as sunny as the room I was using but then, in summer, it will not be hot and I can have the French windows open. Of course, it will also have to double up as a dining room but four or six people will easily fit around the table in the kitchen. We will not use my sewing room as an official dining room very often and if we get a good summer, we will not have to use it at all. Therefore, I changed everything around and I am much happier with the result.
This was my sewing room before the change.
This is my present sewing room.
And this is my former sewing room which now can be used as a sun room!
As the weather is so nice today I will just write what I have written on my other blog:
Even though I caught this terrible cold while in Holland, am still suffering from it, and while one of the dogs caught diarrhoea in Holland and has to be washed every time he has been out and done his business, I managed to get two bags finished.
Jenny said she wanted to see the pale blue one 'in person' so for the time being I have only put the striped one in my Etsy shop.
Today is the first nice day we have had in months so I do not think I will be doing a lot of sewing today, the third bag is in its final stages and I will put into the shop as soon as I have it finished.
I am surprised that I have sold four bags already and the little black one I could have sold three times. However, I will not be making the same bag twice and since this is just a hobby, it has to be fun and not hard work. I have left all that behind me a few years ago.
Hope though, that the people will like my bags in future as well. I love making them and up to now, all reactions have been great.
At last, I have opened my shop on Etsy. It took quite some time to read everything and to set it up the way I wanted it but at I have finished it at last. For the time being, I only have nine bags in it but as from next week, I will also start putting my jewellery on the shop's site. Anybody interested in visiting my shop: www.etsy.com/shop/PageHirst