Friday, March 28, 2008

At Home and Abroad...

I'm sitting winding down with a glass of wine before we start the final cookery lesson. My little Swiss Hobbit is going home tomorrow (I can't believe it's been 12 weeks!) and we have been doing the cookery lessons this week. He has really enjoyed my home-cooked food and wants to learn how to make it, so Hey Presto! We started on Wednesday with his favourite which is a Stir Fry: we fried garlic and shallots in some olive oil, and then we added sweet red peppers, chestnut mushrooms and finally some fat prawns (plus a good dollop of sweet and sour stir-fry sauce, which I didn't make). I showed him how to cook the noodles, and while he was stir-frying, I made the salad. He was thrilled to bits, and couldn't believe we had done it in 20 minutes from preparation through to sitting at the table to eat. And it was truly delicious. Yesterday he wanted to make a carbonara sauce (ham, cream, mushrooms) which we stirred into fresh tagliatelle (plus another salad). And tonight we are going to make a classic Bolognese, which will give him the option of producing lots of different dishes: he can add chilli and beans to make Chilli con Carne, eat it with baked potatoes, turn it into a lasagne or serve it with mashed potatoes as a Shepherd's Pie. (I know it should be lamb, but I can explain that to him.) Hopefully, he will be able to carry on when he is back home in Zurich. I know this is really basic stuff, but that's all he needs to get started. And he seems very enthusiastic.

During one of our conversations in the week, he was telling me that all Swiss men who have been in the Army (conscripted of course) are sent home with their guns! This means that approximately half the population of Switzerland has guns stashed away at home. I was horrified until he explained that they don't actually have any ammunition - or at least they do, but it's in a sealed box and if the seal is broken when "they" examine it, the punishment is prison. Only in Switzerland, I thought. How on earth would the authorities deal with that here? As the Hobbit said, the Swiss are not only "neutral" but also "very law-abiding".

It will seem rather strange without him - for a while at least. He is leaving tomorrow at midday, and will be back in Zurich with his Father by the evening. Father has apparently broken his hand (he was pushed downstairs by his scorned lady friend when he asked her - for the second time - to give his keys back), and has had two operations to fix it. While he was in hospital the ex-lady friend went to his flat (surprise, surprise) and trashed a couple of things - including his favourite picture. All I can say is that it's lucky she didn't know about the gun in the drawer!! Truth really is stranger than fiction. How much better it would have been if his Father had simply changed the locks after they had split up. And less costly in every way. "Hell hath no fury", as they say...

By the way, there is progress with Son's new flat. It seems to have taken ages, but they are about to exchange Contracts - maybe they did it today, but I haven't heard. I don't like to count anyone's chickens, but it does seem imminent. The hopeful date they have given for Completion is Monday 14th April - by a strange coincidence, that's the date I was hoping to leave for France! Luckily, I hadn't booked a flight, and have not yet confirmed dates with my BF there. It hopefully won't delay me by more than a couple of days, but I can't leave before because I have quite a lot of his stuff here: one large bed (in pieces), one large mattress, one large mirror, assorted bedding, towels and clothes, the piano stool, one large wardrobe (in the downstairs entrance hall) approximately 5 boxes of records, a loft half full of boxes containing God-knows-what rubbish and the keys to the Storage Unit which is stuffed to the gills with yet more (probably) rubbish. Poor Son, I don't envy him having to sort that lot, but it has to be done. It's mostly stuff he has carried around with him since leaving home to go to Uni, and I don't think he's looked at it for years. Actually, I'm sure it will be a good "cleansing" process if he can get rid of the things that have been cluttering up his life. He sounded quite cheerful about the whole business today, so let's hope it goes smoothly.

PS. I did buy the car. I put a deposit down and am going to collect it on 7th April. It really does look like a good deal. It is an 04 Reg. Fiat Punto (I've been driving a Punto very happily for the last 8 years, so it's familiar) with only 20,000 miles on the clock, one lady owner and a full history. It's a dark grey metallic, and looks immaculate. I get a year's Tax and MOT, plus a Warranty which I can add to if I want. And it does seem a very good price. It got to the point where I thought JFDI (as my ex-friend Barbara used to say) "Just F****ing Do It." So I did!

9 comments:

Elizabethd said...

What a good idea to teach your young man to cook. Too many men grow up without the slightest idea because 'Mum always did it'.
Glad you got the new car, it sounds like a good deal with all the extras.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Can I invite you over to teach me how to cook?! The car sounds great, hope you enjoy driving it. And best of luck with your son's flat. Hope they stick to the completion date.

Crystal xx

girl with the mask said...

That is really lovely- every time he makes thouse dishes it will remind him of you!

G.I.M x

aims said...

What a tangled web life really is - isn't it? The Hobbit's father sure got himself more than he bargained for. And I agree with the girl in the mask...the Hobbit will indeed be reminded of you every time he cooks those dishes. You've probably given him the desire to learn how to cook as well - and he'll go on and discover more. Then he'll be making meals for all the men of Switzerland with their guns.....:0)
I'm sure you'll remember a comment I made a while ago when I say this.

Now - good for you with the car...where there's a will - there's a way....my favorite saying..

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

All my lovely Blogging friends - how you make me smile :)

Elizabethd, thanks for those thoughts - yes, because he lives with Father he has even less hope of ever learning at home! And I'm pleased with the car. M xx

Hi Crystal, you'd be welcome any time, but I'm sure you can already do the cooking! Just heard this afternoon that the completion date is actually 24th!! France recedes.. M :(

GIM - how lovely of you to visit, and to comment. I do hope it has the desired result - at least he will be able to feed himself on something decent instead of all that "fast food"! And perhaps he will be reminded of good old Hove in Winter, and his "Host Mother". M :)

Dear Aims - yes it's a fascinating life isn't it? His Father still has a lot to learn! I did remember what you said - it could well happen, and isn't it a lovely picture, the Hobbit and all those tough guys? M xx

the mother of this lot said...

I hope you're not too lonely without the Hobbit. And well done on JFDI with the car!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi The Mother, no, not lonely at all, and pleased about the car too! M :)

Donna said...

LOL...So glad you just Fu***** did it!!!lol...There's no other way, really. Sorry about the trip though...hopefully BF will also, "get over it", and get On with it!lol...Have a Fun day anyway!! hughugs

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi Donna - well it had to be that in the end; all that shilly-shallying was no good at all! Funny really. Hugs, Margot xx