Messages les plus consultés

mercredi 30 septembre 2009

Les poux sont parmi nous

We here at the Effacé household are going through a transformation of sorts. We now have a floor full of dirty draps, linen, towels, bedding, blankets etc...clothes to be sterilised.

We also have 6 radical skinheads due to the drastic measure needed to rid off the head lice.

I am outraged !!!

Pauvre Shrek, his week of supposed rest has turned into an endless nightmare of washing loads of machine, hanging out laundry and general household chores. Most of all he has been here to instigate attack on the head lice. We used the Laxazol shampoo but that did not seem to phase the poux out so close shaves for the 3 boys and baby Benben and ultra short dykey cut for me. Lil Miss N has been left with her status quo bangs.

Woe woe woe is me, woes are us.

mardi 29 septembre 2009

Shrek's culinary prowess

I have to congratulate Shrekkie for a meal well prepared and executed tonight. He made pan-fried Perche du Nil and sautée button mushrooms accompanied by white jasmin rice.

It was yummylicious.

We all revelled in Shrek's exhibition of culinary mastery.

Gluttony is a vice

I have learnt today after discovering a package of pre-washed and pre-cut salad mix has gone rotten that sometime it does not pay to be greedy when it comes to buying certain fresh foods...mostly prepped salad.

The lesson is to not let half-priced fresh produce go to waste by leaving it for more than two days. It is to be consumed preferably immediately or at most a day later but under no circumstances should it be left to its own devices in the vegetable compartment for too long.

Lesson learnt after having wasted 2.15 CHF.

Say cheese...

I love Merveilles des Maroilles and Boursault cheeses. They are utterly delectable: tasty morsels of dripping, runny dairy with bite and strong character/gôut.

I also love love love the ultra creamy 'Masgonzola' which is a 50%-50% mix of Mascarpone and Gorgonzola. I find Most Italian cheeses fad, bland and tasteless but I particularly like Masgonzola. mmmmmm

Engadiner is a blergh cheese. I have to include my likes and dislikes contrasted agaisnt one another for comparison.

After the assault of cheeses on sale, I now have cheese withdrawal symptoms aka dairy product overload. I need to stave off the coagulated milk for a short while before I will regain my lust for cheeses.

vendredi 25 septembre 2009

Swiss admin (in)efficiency

I have yet to encounter such a pathetic system of administration.

I called up the library today to renew some books and to reserve places for next Wednesday's children's spectacle.

The conversation went something along the lines of ...

Me : Hi, I would like to reserve places for next Wednesday's spectacle please.

Librarian : Sorry but I cannot help you, the library's lending services will be open from 3pm onwards.

(me wondering what the heck this so called librarian was doing when she could have easily fished out the reservations page and simply note and why the hell she answered the phone in the first place if she was not supposed to 'help' or 'offer any service' )

I soldiered on

Me : In that case can I at least renew books under my borrower's card please ?

Librarian : No you cannot do that either. You will have to call back at 3 pm or from 3-6pm, that is when we 'officially' open.

Me : So you cannot help me out with 'jack'* can you ?

Librarian : 'apologetically' I am afraid not.

I was again wondering what good a librarian was when she could not simply look up the reservations page and note my name or type my name and click a code for renewal of the books. She was there to answer the phone and to inform people that the library's lending services (and all related services) are only available during limited opening hours and even if you call and hear a voice on the other side outside of these opening hours you will get shit all.

Please refer to my previous post regarding pathetic opening hours.
I guess I can draw a conclusion Swiss are not library-goers or users hence there is no need for 'decent office/admin opening hours'.

One more reason as to why the Swiss admin system cannot advance or make improvements and they are representative of most systems here... I rest my case.

*Jack is slang for nothing at all.

The potty is for my entertainment or torture ?!

I am going to start the arduous process of potty training Baby Taz. It is not going to be an easy feat, by no means. On the contrary I expect lots of setbacks and caca cleaning and a hard won battle with sweat and some tears.

I just think that the sooner I start the better chance I have of him getting it.

Here goes...

dimanche 20 septembre 2009

Shrek's most romantic gesture yet !

Shrek showed his sensitive and romantic facet last night. He did the dreaded housework of vacuuming and mopping and proceeded to cook/execute a wonderful dinner by candlelight for the two of us. We ended up with a wonderful meal : Penne aux mélange de champignons à la crème followed by (store bought) tiramisu. We downed a bottle and a half of red wine : Saint Emillion Grand Cru Château Lalande de Gravet 1997 and a bottle of 1996 Château Beauchêne...

Benben assisted us with her presence and punctuated our romantic night by candlelight with periodic bruyant nods of 'dis'approval aka 'cries for attention'.

A good night was had by all.

wink wink @Shrek

P.S. We are still toying with our newest addition aka Lumix TZ7 and have yet to discover all of its functions, future captures will be much improved.

samedi 19 septembre 2009

Pour ma maman

C'est trop trop chou cette petite chanson que j'aime tant par sa simplicité et sincèrité.

J'adore quand Lil Miss N sings one or two lines of the chorus. It really melts my heart. It is very much what a little being would say if they had the know-how and could express their deep gratitude and heartfelt amour for their maman. It is sung with tenderness and through its simplicity the revelation that from nothing at all one can give all stemming from the heart..The infant or child in question is not capable of giving material and physical things/objects with value but from his or her heart is able to give overflowing love and that is ultimately all this maman needs.

Pour ma maman
par Nicole Snitselaar

Dans ma main,

J'ai bien peu de choses

A te donner Maman :

J'ai un coquillage blanc

Une pomme de pin

Deux châtaignes, trois glands

Et une petite pierre

Pour toi maman


C'est pour toi

Pour toi maman

Ma maman à moi

Que j’aime tant !

Dans ma main

J’ai bien peu de choses

A te donner maman

J’ai une petite coccinelle

Une feuille de marronnier

Des aiguilles de sapin

Et un bout de ficelle

Pour toi maman

Dans mon cœur

J’ai beaucoup de choses

A te donner maman

J’ai des guirlandes brillantes

Des montagnes de fleurs

J’ai des ruisseaux d’'argent

Et des perles d’amour

Pour toi maman

Dans mon cœur

J’ai beaucoup de choses

A te donner maman

J'ai des milliers de baisers

Des mots tendres et gentils

Des bouquets de sourires

Des brassées de bonté

Pour toi maman

vendredi 18 septembre 2009

A is for ...

Baby Taz's limited vocabulary can be broken down to the following

mama : which can either mean 'mama', 'I am hungry' or 'I want that', 'Gimme'

papa : denotes any person or people or animal in general

caca : connotates any object and encompasses actual caca, toys, etc etc

nana : means 'maternal grandma' and he actually has this down pat.

I am looking forward to expanding and widening Baby Taz's vocab and linguistics beyond baby babble and the 'a' sound.

I really thought that he had begun speech with words...but it has stalled for a while and he is stuck on mama, papa, caca and nana for now.

Every kid have their own rhymth when it comes to walking, talking and being toilet trained so I am patiently waiting for Baby Taz to dazzle us with pizazz...

Shrekkie wonder

Shrek's idea of a nutritious meal consists of a single popsicle for breakfast which is what Baby Taz has been getting the past few mornings.

Shrek has a very intimate notion of nutrition and so it goes without saying that he feeds the children very high energy food for breakfast.

If it was left up to Shrek the children will be lucky to have two decent meals a week. Real deal meals are the fillers and spoilers for awesome chocolate, ice cream, chips and snackables and junk. I am partly to blame because I do buy the stuff but I feed them proper food first and then they get the occasional treats and sweets as a reward for dessert or just to break up the routine a little.

I crave fresh fruits and Asian staples...
Maybe it is time for a change of scenery.

jeudi 17 septembre 2009


My many newly acquired talents include holding a babe in one arm, pushing a stroller in the other until both infant and toddler are sound asleep. The pinnacle of my achievements involve cooking in complete darkness (because any hint of light will impede Baby Taz from sleeping) and pushing a stroller with my leg.

I have as a result of motherhood acquired many talents and marvelous multi-tasking. I can probably manage lots of feats unknown to me before but now comes as second nature. I can certainly whip up a mean meal in the dark. I wonder if my prospective employers will find any use for my plethora/arsenal of personal skills.

I can at the very least 'subscribe' to websites such as 'Confessions of motherhood' or 'My life is average' with my everyday lifestories. Ordinary daily routine can be celebrated !!!

After all 98% of the population lead average lifestyles bordering on boring and some of those 98% are struggling to survive ...and only 2% (figures completely guestimates) who own the majority of the world's wealth can afford to live the jetset lifestyle which mind you will get boring too after a certain time. The novelty of anything is what keeps us interested. Hence the jetsetters should swap places with poverty stricken folks every now and then so they can sample life on the other side... It will teach them a thing or two about the values they seem to have discarded.

mardi 15 septembre 2009

Hard sell

Shrek has to be praised for having courageously fought off the insistent door to door salesman trying to weasel his way into selling us a security system we do not need thus helping a damsel (Princess Fi aka moi) in distress from committing a fatal, fatal mistake.

I was silly beyond belief and fell into the trap of leaving my contact details on a 'supposed competition' and led the security system salesman to my house. Luckily Shrek was there to save the day!!!

Nein zager aka nay sayer + hard sell = NO DEAL

Amen to that...

Sometime it does pay to be cautious and to be 'Sviss', after all it might save one from falling into the trappings of 'empty or misleading' promises and signing a dead end contract.

lundi 14 septembre 2009

Curious as to What is in my handbag ??

I have examined and perused the contents of my ultra fashionable bum bag cum shoulder bag and it is unsurprisingly full of junk. The simple reason is that I have four kids and it is imperative for me to keep lots of 'in case objects'. It is rather difficult to wear chic handbags when you've got to be mindful of drool, drippings, vomit and caca pipi...

Inside my all in one bag I have my wallet, ID and the kids, myriad fidelity cards, lip gloss (cos this is very important to maintain one looking fresh), nasal decongestor and bottle of sea water spray, bus pass, library cards, cartes Gigognes (discount family card), carbolevure capsules, small bottle of ointment for malaises, keys, mobile phone, bus timetable, small tube of 50+ suncream, tissues, wet wipes, receipts, vouchers, coupons and bits and pieces and knick knacks...and lists etc...

I am obliged to bring such a fantabulously eclectic cocktail of objects because I might need one or several of the above listed things.

***See 'Murphy's law' entry for more reference

dimanche 13 septembre 2009

My green thumb

Much to my incredulity and total diffidence re my ability to elevate and grow plants on my balcony. They did in fact not only survive but thrived gloriously as evidenced by the pictorial depictions/digital images above. Excuse the poor quality of my now defunct Olympus and sombre lighting (natural). It is a sight to behold, at least in my eyes.

I did not capture the images when the plants were in their full glory so I have to settle with less than desirable and second rate images, better that than none.

Clowning around

One of the reasons I prefer my current abode compared to my old one is that the current one is about a 7 minute walk to the nearest shopping centre, library and theatre, community hall. The shopping centre has attractions and animations/spectacles all year round for kids. This was one such occasion.

I also love the rather reasonable and affordable prices of my local Coop supermarket.
Maybe I can start a 'radins club of M'. On second thoughts I would rather just keep my money saving schemes to myself. Long live the discounts and discounters. muchas amoras (this is probably incorrect but one gets my drift).


It has been a number of years since my teaching days but I have recently discovered that I have not lost my touch. It is my greatest pride when I triumph over difficult students to instil in them a thirst for knowledge and inspire them to attain their personal best (whatever this may be, it differs from one person to the next).

I have been struggling for some time yet when it came to Petit Suisse learning to read Alphabet letter by letter, sound by sound and eventually words, phrases, sentences, chapters and a whole book. It is heartening to report the progress I have been privy to. It might not seem like much when he is able to read such gems as 'la, le, pi, po etc etc' but he is on his way to reading by himself. I can feel that and it perks me up to no end. I really am easily stoked but witnessing slow and steady progress is a process I love.

Way to go... reluctant mum but kick ass teacher. (my own perceived titles)

Important lesson

I have learnt the hard way a very valuable lesson re cooking/baking
My first attempt at recreating 'pots de crème de chocolat' was a complete dud because I wanted a healthy and lighter version and substituted 'low fat cream' instead of using full cream. This rendered the cream runny and yuck... I can only learn from this mistake and advise people that if you are on a health kick and want nothing to do with sugar and cream, stay away from desserts. Low fat and healthy desserts are just not worth the pain. There is no way good 'crème' or cakes etc can taste good if you use low fat instead of full cream...

cream mmmm miam miam

I cannot know wot possessed me to substitute and make the ultimate mistake but I will not be repeating the same mistake next time. Stick to sugar, butter (real butter, no substitutes) and cream and one cannot go wrong.

Don't skim on the fat and sugar when it comes to sweets and treats. They would not be treats if they tasted like cardboard now would they ?

lundi 7 septembre 2009


Shrek cooked dinner tonight. It was an absolutely scrumptious feast. We had Green Thai seafood curry. Shrek should do kitchen duties more often.

***Disclaimer Shrek simply peeled off the plastic of an alu container and reheated a ready made meal. So much for cooking eh Shrek :)
I should have just left the post without the disclaimer, it's a spoiler hehehehe

First in first out

Thanks to Shrek's ingenious ' whatever is on top of the pile' principle we here at the 'Effacé in Switzerland' always end up wearing the same clothes over and over and over again...
Shrek does not believe in 'first in first out' basis for clothes. He refuses to dig into the pile to wash what is at the bottom of the pile first hence renew the load. He simply grabs everything lying on top and shoves it into the machine. Luckily Shrek has learnt the lesson of sorting and separating 'black and colours' from 'whites' at least.
In time Shrek will get the renewal process.

Baby Taz's questionable ancestry

Baby Taz's overly enthusiastic consumption of Italian food such as risotto, pasta points to evidence of possible Italian lineage. I wonder if he has any hidden Italian heritage, on second thoughts maybe Italian food is just accessible and easy to like and palatable when one is undiscerning and at the tender age of almost 2 years.
He wolfs down pasta with consequence but I do hope that he will in time appreciate the much more complex Vietnamese cuisine.


I have a 'Sibir Super Silence' washing machine which contrary to its name is a 'Super Noisy' machine reminiscent of the locomotive running on tracks...I have my very own 'noise pollution' at home, there is really no further need to search for it elsewhere.

I do think that this machine has been a lifesaver and will keep it til the day it dies a valiant and heroic death.

Sibir Super Noisy, I loveth thou.

dimanche 6 septembre 2009

Murphy's laws

One of Murphy's laws that I have learnt the hard way is that

'When you go on an outting or simply leave the house, you will generally not need whatever it is you are bringing such as change of clothes, raincoats, snacks etc etc but the one or few times you forget because you were running late or simply did not want to be encumbered you will need the very things you did not bring.'

End of a love affair

Shrek's long standing and seemingly unwavering love affair with IKEA, the Swedish conglomerate/furniture crap franchise has come to a tethering end because Shrek has discovered after a recent trip that 'economising' or 'corporate cutbacks' have resulted in his beloved store wiping out most privileges that he had become accustomed to.

I am not lamenting the fact that we travel 80kms to and from and waste petrol just so we can eat cheaply, buy unneccesary crap and drink coffee for free or leave the children in the garderie for an hour.
In short, it is probably a good thing and I did not even have to persuade or dissuade Shrek as to the pros and cons this time. IKEA has lost some loyal customers.