Sunday, December 04, 2011

December Details - Delayed

A few weeks ago, before Sapphire's gastro turned into a six week challenge negotiating the twists, turns and bellyflops of the French-speaking health system, I was planning to write an entry every day for December, adding a photo of something intriguing about Geneva, my own observations whatever life was captured via the camera I'd mostly forget to carry.

However Sapphire's situation has eaten up most of my time and, after being hospitalised on Friday, she's now home with a catheter in her arm, on antibiotics that are only deliverable intravenously. Nurses come at 5.30-6.00am, midday and 9.30pm to put the drip in, clean the catheter and check that everything's OK. She's due back at hospital tomorrow (Monday) for a check up and new catheter so Cabin Fever Will Continue.

Then I thought, why not do December Details - delayed? This tradition started with Appreciative August in 2008, Knowledge November and Doggy December in 2009 and Snappy September in 2010. So here we go:

As you know, Switzerland is a small country in Europe bordered by many others. A five kilometre drive takes us into France: land of much cheaper meat, outdoor markets where smoking a cigar whilst slicing up cheese for customers is permitted and dogs sit in bakeries. Italy is down 'below' and Germany, Lichtenstein and Austria linger around the sides.

Living here we've discovered that our products are mostly from Switzerland in a huge effort to support local industry, farming and the franc and any items that you'd normally assume would have 'Made in China' stamped on their bases instead have Bulgaria, Romania or Germany.

Our budget is tight here so it was with no small amount of joy to discover that my much-needed and recently-purchased long, black and shiny boots were made in Italy. Italy!

Of course they're rubber and only cost me 26 Swiss francs and are for walking Milly in the park after it rains, but they made in Italy. Alla moda!

Even then, Love Chunks saw them and said, "Twenty six francs? Seems a bit much for rubber wellies..."

Not that the French-Swiss would call them Wellies surely?


Andrew said...

Virginia Trioli likes Italian shoes. Maybe she has some Italian gum boots like yours.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kath,

Those boots are so shiny, they almost don't look real.




Anji said...

I hope that the catheter provides the cure for Sapphire.

Cigar smoking cheese sellers!! in France? They must be so close to the border thay can hop back to switzerland again if they see the inspectors coming.

The latest thing I've noticed in my clothes labels is "Designed in sweden/france/italy" "made in India/china etc." sounds posher

21€ for boots - i want some too!

Vanessa said...

I hope this is the end of Sapphire's troubles. Get well soon Saph!
I bought shoes in France in 2008 for the pure reason that they said Made in France on them. I get it.

Hannah said...

Oh god, poor Sapphire! I hope that, at the very least, you and she are feeling better to be taken seriously and have something being done about all of this. x

The Elephant's Child said...

Get well soon Sapphire. Many, many good wishes are going across the seas to you. And much love to your family too.

Kath Lockett said...

Andrew, I bet her gum boots would be those 'Hunter' ones that cost a couple of hundred bucks. Fashion tragics like to wear them with shorts so that people can read the label more clearly.

PlasMan, they're real, baby - and very handy now that it's raining!

Anji I know - I thought that the European Union was pretty damn strict on food hygiene but the Saturday market stall owners must have a clause in their contract that states 'Please have a lit cigarette drooping from the corner of your mouth with a minimum of 3cm of ash *just about to drop* at all times.'

Thanks Vanessa. My GAP t-shirt (bought in London in August) has 'Made in Egypt' on it, which also intrigues me.....

Hannah, the relief of being taken seriously (finally!) is enormous. Now I just hope it works.

Thanks E-Child. Now I'd better log off and wake her up - we're off to the hospital to drop off her latest 'sample', get her catheter changed, have an IV done there and a general check up.

River said...

ITALIAN boots??
My, aren't you stylish!
They're so shiny.

WV = siticat (not a country cat)

River said...

P.S. just a thought here...I had a quick flick through my Folk Medicine Book, on one of the pages it says that bacterias thrive in alkaline conditions. Could you perhaps get a PH testing kit and test Sapphire's urine in the mornings? If she is very alkaline, an easy remedy is to drink a glass of 1-2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1-2 teaspoons of honey stirred into warm to hot water, two to three glasses a day.

Kath Lockett said...

Interesting, River. The hospital doctors have recommended that she avoids all fruits except for apples that are freshly stewed.....

River said...

Wise doctors. Avoid citrus especially, it's very alkaline in the body. Grape juice is excellent however. Small sips reasonably often.

Kath Lockett said...

River, I've now added grape juice to the shopping list....