Sunday, 24 October 2010

Home again

Hmmm, yes, that last post - perfect example of what happens when you are interrupted mid-ponder and decide to save the post and finish it later and then hit "Publish" by mistake and think to yourself "I'd better come back and sort that out later" and then you go on holiday instead. Honestly, I had a stunningly witty ending to give you involving ruminations on why companion sets are so called but I have forgotten most of it and since we have been to the cottage (twice) and Geneva (once) since I last posted, I can't be bothered to try to remember what I was going to say. Let's all agree it would have been hilarious and move on, shall we?

So anyway, yes we went back to the cottage for a quick visit before we left to go on holiday. This wasn't as obsessive as it sounds since we had to let a man in to look at the damp work that needs doing, but it did also give us a nice little break before our....slightly bigger break. It also let us formally christen the cottage "The Corbies" by installing some permanent residents to keep an eye on the place.

These are primarily Husband's fault. They are hunting lures he found on the internet and since that little shelf above the stairs was crying out for a big stuffed fish or similar, he bought them. The addition of the googly eyes was a joint effort. We think they add a certain je ne sais quoi. My mother thinks they're creepy.

Geneva was lovely if cold and a bit blowy. Husband went off to his judgely conference on Monday and the boys and I pottered about Geneva. We discovered a lovely little zoo in a suburban park (free! There wasn't even a box where you could make a donation to the upkeep and I was actively looking for one!). We also found a little artificial beach festooned with swings made out of old tyres. I had to use a crowbar to get the boys away from this place

and the next day they dragged Husband and me back for another go. We also decided to spend ridiculous amounts of money (when they say Switzerland is expensive, they are really not kidding) on train tickets for a day trip to Montreux. It was worth it though - the scenery is fantastic, even if you have a constant soundtrack of "Smoke on the Water" running through your head the entire time you are there.

We visited the 11th century Chateau de Chillon and it was just lovely. Being October, it wasn't too busy so at times we had parts of it all to ourselves.
The boys were particularly fond of the dungeons, where legend has it a monk called Bonivard was chained to a pillar for 6 years. Lord Byron later visited the castle and heard the legend and it prompted him to write "The Prisoner of Chillon" and also to carve his name in the pillar to which Bonivard was supposed to have been chained. Fortunate for Byron that he was famous so his scratched name in the stone is now a tourist attraction in itself, rather than just a bit of rather arrogant vandalism!

We decided to walk back to Montreux rather than take the bus and took a lovely lakeside path all the way back - it follows the edge of the lake in the picture below which was taken from the top of the Chateau keep.

Apart from the lakeside, Montreux is pretty much vertical and we clambered up to the top of the old town for dinner, finding a fantastic little restaurant serving game of all descriptions. "Madame" in charge was lovely, very French and chatty (I am glad Husband's french remains in better nick than mine!) and she really took to the boys. It helped that both FB and SB were being very co-operative during the trip and were happily ordering their dinners and drinks in French. FB opted to try horse, much to Madame's approval. Husband and I had venison in different forms and it was heavenly. If only that restaurant wasn't a two hour flight, a one hour train journey and a stiff 20 minute climb away, I swear I would eat there every day.

And now we are home again. The washing is done, the boys' bags are packed to go back to school tomorrow and I just have to prepare the makings of Husband's lunches for the coming week. Back to earth with a slight bump. But if you are very lucky, next time I will tell the tale of my horrendously scabby finger.


  1. The corbies are just the thing - 'There were twa corbies sat on a stane..." and all that.
    Loved the description of your trip, and am appreciative of the verticals. I went with my daughters to Portugal once opon a time, and they wore my legs to stubs!
    Beautiful pics. Thanks!

  2. Your trip sounds so wonderful. Now I have the urge to go -- I'll just add it to the list of places I must see.

  3. Finger? Oh no! What did you do?
    Your little jaunt looks wonderful. Glad you and the kids had a good time!

  4. Hunting lures? Do people hunt ravens in Scotland? I don't imagine they'd taste very good. Your trip sounded lovely. Did you bring your flare gun to Montreux? ;-P

  5. Can't wait for the finger saga. Ish.

    Do you think that Geneva may have had the edge on North Berwick and my auntie's flat?