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01/12/2010 by etiennefish

So the world has been thrown into a type of chaos utterly at odds with the muffling whiteness blanketing the city of Geneva. At around mid-afternoon today, the snow once again started swirling down. This is generally something I find exciting. Something about snow immediately transforms me back into a 6 year-old on Christmas Eve. In fact, last Saturday, was evidence of just that.

Right off the back of a fabulous Thanksgiving, celebrated Swiss style with amazing friends, horrible old Swiss records, delicious foods, and warming gluhwein, the holiday season officially started for me. It was also formally kicked off by the first snow floating down from the sky.

The table is set in our time warp home.

Last minute cooking of foods

Almost ready

Preparing the wine

My (failed) attempt at a pumpkin shaped cheeseball

The gang- ready to consume the feast

Best photo of the night- Azreal tries to surreptitiously join in the Thanksgiving gorging. He is not nearly as sneaky as he thinks he is.

By the time Friday’s re-enactment rolled around, officially undertaken to contain the vast (and amazing) quantities of leftovers (into our bellies), the snow had sadly melted. However, when I woke up (at stupid o’clock in the morning. Thanks boys) to feed the fuzzy monsters, full of intentions to immediately resume the catatonic prone position underneath my oh so warm duvet collection, I looked out the window and on to a dazzling winter wonderland of sparkling snow-covered vistas. Snow was still falling heavily from the sky, with what looked like no intentions of letting up. My 6 year old self knew that there would be clearly no more sleeping for me.

And so I cuddled under blankets, impatiently waiting for the housemate to wake up. I mentally compiled an increasingly long list of adventures that must now be undertaken in view of the current (amazing!) weather situation. I was just contemplating flinging open the bedroom door and jumping up and down on the bed to hurry up the waking process, when finally, the door creaked opened. I immediately pounced. ‘GREAT, you’re awake! There’s so many things we have to do! So first we need to walk into town and get cappuccinos and croissants, and then we need to walk around the lake, and then we can walk into old town, and then towards Plainpalais, and of course we’ll be taking photos of everything, and we’ll look for some gluhwein and hot chestnuts and it’ll be amazing. Wait, maybe we could just prepare some gluhwein at the house and then when we get back home we’ll just have to heat it up.’ I paused for a breath, and before I had a chance to carry on about inviting people over to ours for snowball fights and igloo building, I realised she was just looking at me blankly. ‘What?!’ I asked, ‘Have you even LOOKED outside yet?’ I may have looked slightly incredulous. ‘What are you talking about?’ she replied, ‘I just need some coffee.’ ‘No no! You have to look outside! It’s SNOWING! And there’s so much snow already! I mean we just have to go on adventures! You have no choice! There’s so many things to do! And you just wouldn’t wake up! I was waiting FOR. EVER! Come on, we have to go!’ See? Snow may make me slightly ridiculous. I don’t see this as a bad thing.

She got her coffee. And while she didn’t seem nearly as excited as me (dubious might be a better adjective to describe her feelings about the plans I had made for both of us), she bravely acquiesced to my demands, and heavily bundled, we were soon on our way out into the newly white world. We walked around all day, save for a short break to watch the England v. South Africa rugby match. It was amazing (although not the outcome of the rugby game). We also managed just about everything on my list of to-do’s. We were still in town as it got dark, and had the chance to photograph some of the newly lit Christmas lights. Here’s a small photo journal of our wintry gallivanting around Geneva-land:

Snow covered apples in the garden

The cats were not interested in adventuring with us, or playing in the snow at all. These utterly spoiled beasts chose to do things like this instead. I don’t believe my housemate blamed them. I was quite put out.

There was also a lot of this. They like to make out and then spoon. It would be semi-disgusting if it weren’t also so adorable.

Statue near the train station

Scarves for sale!

Strolling along the lake

Snow over the lake

A fabulous band we listened to in Rive

I love this close-up

Carousel at the entrance to Old Town

Snowy fountain in Old Town

Park in Old Town


Frolicking in the snow

Swingings in the snow!

Pretty buildings

Feeding the birds at the lake

Cold birds

Swans waiting for their foods

Pacman Christmas lights around the lake. So cool!

One of the many Xmas decorations around the lake that I didn’t really get…

Snow still coming down at home

Peaceful night in the garden

The next day. Only melting a little.

Sadly, though, while there was a slight bit of snowfall on Sunday, things had been efficiently cleared by the Swiss (damn them!) and we were back to work on Monday (we were hoping for a long weekend. Sigh…).But now, it is Tuesday, and the world has been thrown back under a thick blanket of snow. We were warned (by official Swiss government emails no less), that we’d get 20 cm tonight, and the forecast shows snow through at least the weekend. The most unfortunate issue in this whole business is that a little group of us had made  plans to finally see Harry Potter this evening (which I was oh so patiently waiting for). Due to the level of extreme snowfall currently flying out of the skies overhead, we all left the office early. I had planned to take the same bus that goes past my house to get to the cinema in town. The ride to the house itself usually takes, I would say, 7 minutes max. Forty-five minutes later, I was finally able to get off at the stop near the house. We abandoned all hope of a night at the cinema. I went to the store, got things for eatings, and tromped through the thick snow home. But then, the second disaster of the evening struck. I forgot my house keys at the office…. SIGHHHHHH…

I immediately called my housemate who travels to Lausanne every day for work. I told her about my predicament, and asked when she’d be home. Her train was already delayed. So now here I was, stuck out in the snow, food in hand, clambering kittens mewing at the door ready to greet my arrival (i.e. demanding to be fed), and I was locked out. I thought I might have to head back into town anyhow. Luckily, I remembered that the key to the garage under the house had been hidden outside for the gas guys to come refill the tank. So I let myself in. And now here I am, whiling away the time in dark, scary, serial-killer looking garage, hoping that eventually a train will take my housemate back to Geneva, so she can then get on a bus that will take her home so that she can unlock the door and be my hero.

Her train has been delayed at least another hour. It is cold in here and my computer batteries are starting to dwindle. I have wrapped myself in cast-off clothes that I had put in the garage, waiting to be given away. They are helping tremendously, but my hands and toes are still little more than icicles. Should I walk into town just to have something to do? Should I wait it out here? Why did I forget my keys!?!? GRRRR! I have cocoa in my shopping bag, ready to be made for the warming up of chilled bones, if only I had access to hot water. Sigh… I guess I’ll sit it out here a bit longer. Then, it might be time to endure the gridlocked roads that are currently infesting this city so that I can get a hot cup of coffee, preferably made in the Irish fashion.


I finally made it into the house at around 9:30pm last night (I left work around 5ish). My housemate had a multi-hour nightmare trip home, completed by a half hour hike through the snow filled city (part of which I accompanied her on). In the night, we got more than a foot of snow (like at least 35 cm according to my measurements). Unfortunately for us, Switzerland is ever the efficient country, and therefore there was no snow day for us (insert pouty face here). This is very disappointing in my world view as I was counting on a relaxing day of hot cocoa, snowmen, snowball fights, photos, and warm duvets covered in fuzzy kittens. One can always dream. Sigh….

Watching the snow cover our garden. Finally safe, sound, and heavily bundled, shortly after finally getting into the house.

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December 2010
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