Book reviews and the bookstore on Boulevard Georges-Favon

While I was waiting for my books to arrive here in Geneva, I found myself without any books at all. I even read everything that Z had brought with him. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read X’s books. So as a treat to myself, I went out in search of the English bookstore in the city. It’s called Off the Shelf, on the second floor of a centuries-old building. Because I had a stroller with me, I had to go in the back way where an ancient elevator wedged into the stairwell JUST fit me and the stroller. Like, just. I almost sent the stroller up in the elevator and ran up the flight of stairs myself. I know that sounds really irresponsible. I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Baby in elevator while I run up the stairs? Just, in case, you know?

Anyway, this place is a book lovers dream. It’s hardly big, in fact, it’s crammed into a former apartment, with each room a different section. It’s a little dusty and quiet, like a forgotten place, but with the sun streaming in through the windows I just wanted to find a warm corner and curl up with a book. It was nice to find a children’s area, because did I mention how many times I’ve read X’s books to him? Here’s the haul I came away with.

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Dessert Porn/Book Porn/Shoe Shame

We finally received our air shipment with all of our stuff I had packed to get us through three months – hallelujah! It is so nice to finally wear something other than the winter boots I was wearing back during Calgary’s deep freeze, especially when everyone else around me was in shorts and sandals.

Shoes

I was actually a little curious as to what I had packed, since I packed everything the morning after our going away party, with a monstrous hangover. What was going to seem like a good idea to my dehydrated, sludgy mind that day? Well, happily enough I seemed to be thinking on my feet, despite my disastrous headache, and we have everything I think we’ll need for the next little bit, before our full household container arrives. And then a little bit extra. The one thing that REALLY made me laugh was the amount of high heels I felt the need to pack. I think I was thinking: Europe! Fabulous! Women wear stilletos! Now that I’m here I’m thinking: Buses! Trains! Parks! Cobblestones! Normal people do not wear stilletos. Oh well. It will be a little shrine to my ignorance on footwear. Of course, there is the chic set at the parks who are there in their lovely heels, but they’re likely not the ones clambering up the mountain of sand to rescue their baby, so it’s just not going to work out for these shoes here. Maybe someday, like in ten years, I might have a date where I could possibly wear these.
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Playing the tourist

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Things have been busy over the past week, and with pretty much all awesome things. Yes, I’ve been looking for houses to rent, but there’s also a lot of downtime (between going to the park and napping, of course). X and I are taking the opportunity to explore our new home, checking out new neighbourhoods and making discoveries. Z joins us when he can too, of course. As we explore areas, we’re also discovering more about the pace of life here. Obviously it’s different for me at home with the baby rather than Z at work, but we’re both seeing how life here is a little less strenuous. Things move a little more gently and time seems softened, maybe by the fantastic weather we’re enjoying. For example, we met for lunch on Friday. I thought we might grab some sandwiches at a mall. That would have been the extent of our lunches back in Calgary, when Z was working. But instead we settled in and split a bottle of wine. As I wandered the flower-strewn streets home with a red wine buzz, all I could think is pretty much life is fantastic.
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Book reviews: Old-timey books!

Wow it has been a while since I’ve been able to post any book reviews. Well, I’ve been busy. Reading has happened less frequently over the past month or so. Also, there’s been a lack of reading material. I packed about three months worth of books into my air freight, hoping that it would carry me over until all my books are delivered with the rest of our stuff. But since our air freight is still not quite here, yet, I’ve had to make do with what I had. It involved reading a lot more blogs over this past bit, as well as stealing my husband’s book for a week or so. I read a lot faster than him: he didn’t miss it.

Both these book unintentionally have a theme of America in the ’20s. It really was a fascinating era. I wish you could pick when and where you were born to. For me, it would be England in the late 1800s, Paris at the turn of the century and America in the 1920s. There was something so glamourous, yet seedy at the same time which must have made it an exciting time to live in. You know, if you didn’t starve to death in that time. Or were poisoned by your own government for drinking alcohol, holy crap.

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Culinary tales of Geneva

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A foodie savant: X has already discovered the joys of ripping off the top of the baguette and eating it on the way home from the grocery store.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that one of the things I’ve been most excited about in my move to Geneva is the food. I have been dreaming about markets that sell just about every food you could imagine, fresh baked bread still steaming from the oven at the boulangerie, locally grown produce and of course, chocolate. I’ve been waiting to get here so I could start creating decadent feasts for my family.

Two weeks in and I can’t say that I’m disappointed. Actually, let me qualify that. I’m definitely not disappointed with the food. It is spectacular. It was everything I imagined and more. The food markets everywhere. We buy a fresh loaf of bread almost everyday, and X is a big fan of the first bite out of it, little munchkin. The range of produce is extensive (I once saw a cart selling every single type of mushroom imaginable – back in Calgary my options were limited to two).

The chocolate is amazing. I don’t know if it’s because we came here around Easter time, but I can’t describe to you how much chocolate is found everywhere. In the grocery store, instead of one candy and chocolate aisle, there are four. People here like chocolate. Not to mention the adorable chocolateries found on every street corner.
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Playtime in Switzerland

This bridge cannot be crossed too many times. That's a scientific fact.

This bridge cannot be crossed too many times. That’s a scientific fact.

Over here in Geneva, we’re still waiting on our air freight to arrive, so we’re living out of suitcases. One of the biggest problems with this (okay, actually there are a lot) is that X’s toys are all packed away. On the other side of the world. He has two books, which we can safely say he’s read enough. I have them memorized, so I know I’ve read them enough. Two little stuffed toys and his Winnie the Pooh round out his stuff. And here I am stuck with him in a small apartment all day! He is very creative and comes up with all kinds of great toys around the place, like hiding in the curtains, bouncing on the couch, and of course the mop is forever fascinating. But there’s only so much an apartment can do for you. And I don’t know how many times I have to say “don’t play in the bidet” before the message gets through. These are words a mother should never have to say. These are words nobody should ever have to say, really.
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House Renters International

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Hmm, this would be an okay place to live.

Nope, we’re not going to be on the show. If nothing else, we’re renting over here, not buying anytime soon. Also, I’d be completely terrified to do reality TV.

This past weekend was one of my favourites – maybe ever. After a week of sort of settling into our new life, we spent two days driving around the countryside, trying to find a new place to live. Our relocation agent gave us a list of villages to check out on both the right and left banks so we obligingly saw them all, taking in the sites as we did so.

We started on the Rive Droite (right bank) on Saturday. The name is someone misleading, because when looking on a map the Rive Droite is actually on the left side of the lake, but the name comes from those sailing down the lake towards the Rhone River, in which case the west side of the lake is on the right, and the east side on the left.
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