Thursday, September 22, 2011

Close ups




















Apart from discussing the unfathomable mystery of why the Swiss only sell eggs in packs of ten and four instead of sixes and dozens or that their letter boxes are bright yellow instead of red and I seem to be the ONLY non-homeless person who ventures outside to walk their dog before brushing their hair or having a shower in the early morning I thought I'd add some pictures and see if you can guess what they are.

Besides, I'm waiting on a phone call from someone who had me recommended to them as a freelance 'tidier' up of ESL background report writings and seeing as nearly four months have rolled by without my bothering to find an answering machine it's best that I stay here for now.

Ready?



















I'm pretty convinced that my Mum had a dress with these flowers on them in around 1974 and that when she got sick of it she cut it up and sewed some table napkins. However, here the flowers are the non-wearing, shy and forgotten variety.......














.... because they're wallflowers. Okay, I'll stop that now. Having a narrow workbench and a shelf means that we no longer have the hotplates as our sole space to cut veges and plate up and the cracks in the floor tiles means that if Milly's bored she can just flop out and lick them any time she likes. Canine chup-a-chup if you will.




















Who knew that Switzerland's Lac Leman had such exotic sea anemone flourishing in the depths?














No-one, because our towels need to be taken out of our windowless, fan-less and vent-less bathroom and hung out by the bedroom window to dry long enough to stop the mouldy damp pong that leaves you filthier after drying yourself than before you had a shower. However we think it's October when the concierge flicks on the central heating and the towels can happily stay above their little radiator and the neighbours beyond the trees are treated to an unobscured glimpse of me getting dressed.




















These little buggers look good but hurt like hell.....

















.....when they drop the equivalent of seven storeys out of the oak trees that form Milly's part of the apartment gardens and land on my head! The pods have little spikes in them that grip my hair with a ferocity not before demonstrated to me by anything in the plant world. And dammit, these chestnuts are not the ones that you can eat.




















Many's the time I've stared deep into these cracks....














....before hacking at it with a bread knife and stuffing it with gruyere and proscuitto. This Swiss/French version of a 'ham and cheese sanger' is about the cheapest food option there is, not to mention delicious. However, leave it longer than eight hours and the Pain Genevose is harder than the trunks of the trees that rain down those spiky chestnut pods.

















Our house has the basics but desperate times call for a visit to the kiddie craft section of the supermarket.














Four tubes of acrylic paint, three canvases and a brush set later and my 'modern interpretation of gum leaves' was excreted out. Anything to adorn our enormous, empty white walls. They've been hidden behind the sofa for the last month because Love Chunks hasn't got around to hanging them up: presumably symbolising his subtle but understood opinion of my painting abilities.




















Blue spots. If only the eye would stay on the blue spots....




















....that feature on the pillowcases and NOT on the humungous brown-tinged smoked glass mirror that has been permanently stuck to the wall. We have set the bed up so that we don't scare ourselves with our own reflections and certainly don't want to spend even a tiny moment thinking about why the previous owner thought that installing such a big arse slab of glass was a tasteful idea.


















Somehow, I have to convince these to stay as leaving is going to make things unpleasant over the coming months.
















Milly's fur coat is convinced that an Australian summer is approaching and thus, every time she flaps her ears or I pat her, a cloud of loose orange hairs is puffed up into the air before adhering to something dark like our lounge or my trousers. Swiss winter will invariably result in a coat being bought which she will loathe. We live in hope of her intelligence that she'll soon understand the link between Walkies and Wee-wees and enduring a strap-on tartan back warmer.




















These are everywhere in Geneva and despite their age, people still use them.




















Fresh water drinking spouts are quite decorative and are perfectly safe for refilling bottles. Half of them are human or horse height and the others are directly on the ground, specifically for dogs. All except Milly who is inexplicably frightened of them.














Tiny little zig zag edges mean that it is safely sealed.....














.....until I next wander into the kitchen and wonder what chocolate I'm going to have with my coffee. I may not officially review chocolate any more, but I still buy it, eat it, love it.

22 comments:

Wally The Walrus said...

We have the issue with cat hair, not dog hair. The cat hair accumulates, especially with things getting warmer and the cats losing their winter coats.

At times the balls have been so large I reckon we can make a spare cat. The chaps christened one such new cat 'Trev'.

So we had (at the time), Pest, Max and Trev.

Since then all piles of cat hair are known as Trev's.

You need a similar name. Fifi, perhaps?

Kath Lockett said...

Our vacuum cleaner, when emptied, looks like a headless and legless Milly? A 'fifi' is a good description of it, Wally!

drb said...

Beautiful gum leaves!!! Love it!
Maybe you can paint more and sell them! I wil certainly buy them. Maybe you can sprinkle so eulcaypus oil on the canvas!

Love Milly's portrait with the aristocratic background. Sapph's very talented, has a very distinctive style! No wondering where she inherits it from...

Louise said...

Such a great post Kath! I love love love it. Your close up shots are genius!

Your gum leaf painting is brilliant! You've been hiding your talents.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks drb and Louise - I have to admit to a vague yen to get painting again.... But Sapphire's picture of Milly in front of her ancestors is so cute and is now the first thing visitors seen when we open our door.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Oh dear - you have the prospect of a Swiss winter. If its anything like Zurich, you will get some snow - and at Christmas it will be really nice. I was there a couple of years ago about a week before Christmas but like a buffoon I forgot my camera - it was such a shame.

:0)

Cheers

PM

The Elephant's Child said...

Loved the virtual tour. Like Wally, it is cat hair here and, if I could knit, I could make myself a better behaved cat. The drinking fountains are great and your art is WONDERFUL, as is Sapphires. Thanks. Has Milly worn coats before?

Andrew said...

The roll looks like a baguette? It also looks very crisp and delicious. I find the occasional dog hair from our dog, who has been dead for fifteen years and never lived here.

franzy said...

Ahhh, macro - my second favourite camera setting behind 'blurry', but in front of HDR, which I don't know about yet.

Kath Lockett said...

PlasMan, I'm really looking forward to having a snowy Christmas, even if Milly might be looking a bit sulky in some of the photos whilst wearing a dog coat :)

EC, Milly was once given a dog coat and she almost turned herself inside out in her frenzied efforts to tear it off. It's right up there as a NO NO NO with the elizabethan collar worn after surgery, so it'll be interesting in a few weeks' time when we try one on her again.

Yep Andrew, a big baguette. We still find Skipper the rabbit hairs in our things and he didn't make it across the water.

I'm still playing with macro, Franzy, having only previously used it to photograph chocolate. Results may vary.

Jayne said...

Loved this post - as did the Feral teen who read it over my shoulder - hope Milly doesn't get too disgruntled with a new coat.
And I thought your gum leaves painting were good!

Vanessa said...

Two artists in the one house. You are both very talented.

Kath Lockett said...

Thank you Jayne and Vanessa - the youngest artist is the talented one - even her casually drawn cartoons, sketches and designs are awesome, so I'm looking forward to how she develops in high school with art as a real subject.

Ann O'Dyne said...

the portrait of Millys nose is fantastic clever wonderful and adorable.

River said...

Chestnuts from an oak tree?
CHESTNUTS.
From an OAK tree.
???

Why is that paining of yours hiding behind the sofa? I think it's great! Big, bold, colourful.
Perfect for brightening up a big blank space. Get it hung!

I love the gargoyle drinking spouts.

River said...

D'Oh!!
Painting, painting, painTing.

Jackie K said...

I LOVE the gum leaves painting!
Great close-up photos too - excellent post.

ropcorn said...

What fun photos! I can imagine it must hurt to get those nuts on your head though. Ouch! And cute Milly! I wonder how she will like the snow? :p

Kath Lockett said...

Ann, I just love her nose..... and as long as I turn the flash off, she's fairly amenable to being photographed.

Oops, you're right, River. We have heaps of oak trees down there too, but few acorns because they're what the squirrels are busily scooping up. The chestnuts we've got, unfortunately aren't the edible ones.

Thanks for your kind comments, Jackie

Ropcorn, it's going to be interesting to see how our summer-haired, Aussie dog will react to snow and ice on the footpaths :)

nuttynoton said...

my last dog Tim loved the snow he used to run about in it in circles, I think milly may enjoy it,hopefully Geneva will not grind to a halt like the UK did last Christmas! great post good luck with the work!

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Nutty - I hope that she loves the snow when she sees it too but a friend here had a dog who refused to get out of the car or step off the front door if the ground was white....

Red Nomad OZ said...

Oh god, I miss those chocolate posts ...