Monday, January 04, 2010

Hello 2010

Hello 2010; sorry I’m a bit late.

Switzerland and France were great but I’m culturally confused.

Every year that I’ve lived in Bangkok I’ve found it tough to accept that Christmas is on its way; the most important sign of all - the weather - is wrong (I am British… remember?) There might have been carols playing since Halloween finished; there might be thirty foot Christmas trees in all the malls, holly and snowflakes on the sky walk, but with a constant temperature of around 34°C, well, I can hardly believe Father Christmas is due.

But if real Christmas weather was what we wanted… this year we certainly got that.

We opened our presents on 23 December and then we flew to Geneva. Cor blimey, it was cold. Actually, ‘cold’ doesn’t begin to do it justice: it was ab-so-bloody-lutely freezing. What a total wuss I’ve become since living in Bangkok.

On Christmas day (the real one) we donned Michelin man type clothing and wandered about a mostly closed Geneva. It was probably just as well because boy was it expensive. We spent a couple of hours in Starbucks and then narrowly avoided lunch in MacDonalds by discovering an Italian restaurant in the city centre… See, crazy?

I was able to access the foreign language centre in my brain. At one time this contained quite a bit of French and German, a smattering of Latin and Thai, plus a minute amount of Spanish, pretty much for the ordering of beers only. Unfortunately, in Geneva, every time I opened my mouth to speak, a mad mixture of French and Thai emerged. In the end, I decided it was better to keep quiet and gesticulate a lot.

I didn’t ski – have I told you how MUCH I hate skiing? Still the family – and the chosen family, with whom we went – have all survived the Alps again without any broken bones.

We got back yesterday. The really awful thing about being British is that I'm already moaning about the weather. It’s hot here - even though it's the coolest time of the year - but we have air con... I can’t quite get it set right so I’m still sitting in a perishing cold wind… And I’m still wearing a cashmere hoodie and sheepskin slippers.


Flowerpot said...

If it's any comfort it is SO cold here in Cornwall, JJ! My nose was dripping like a tap when walking Molls on the beach earlier - so attractive! I've never been skiing and can't see it happening but I think I'd rather go for warm than cold! Take care and happy 2010...xx

JJ Beattie said...

Flowerpot, that made me laugh. The biggest irritation while we were away were the sound of children sniffing! Runny noses everywhere.

I have to confess to feeling quite jealous of your beach though.

Queenie said...

Oh hurrah, you're back! Glad you had such a good time. It's freezing here, too - not Alpine, but about minus five which is still effing cold if you ask me. I'm at my desk, fully dressed plus fleece and scarf and hot water bottle on my lap, the extra heater is on, and my feet are still a bit chilly in their sheepskin slippers. Roll on summer!

liz fenwick said...

I am so with you about it not feeling like Christmas in the warmth as we tried it here this year!

Welcome back and happy new year.

SueG said...

glad the ski trip didn't cause any injuries. Hope I will be able to say the same for mine next week! And what does it mean that I love to complain about the weather?

Denise said...

Christmas lunch in McDonalds -now that would have been a bad memory!

I'm with you on the language confusion. I don't think I know that much French, but it appears in every other sentence when I'm trying to speak Spanish. Then they reply in English...

Most of the UK is due snow tomorrow , so click the air con down a few notches and you can join in!

Pat Posner said...

It was -7 here this morning. That's b. cold! My nose was like Flowerpot's when walking (and sliding) Tim and Ted in the snowy, icy hills this morning.
Have a great year, JJ!


Anonymous said...

Glad you're back - love the rings, your man is a darling. See you soon, Jane x

Debs said...

Having spent a few Christmases in South Africa I have to agree with you that the cold definately adds to the spirit of Christmas.

Mind you, that said, I'm so cold at the moment that I'd be only too delighted to come and join you for a few weeks.

ChrisH said...

Minus 7 this morning. MINUS 7!! It was horrid so have to confess to being a tad envious of the heat over there.

Anyway, dear heart, here's wishing you a not too hot, not too cold, just right sort of year with lots of writing successes.

Amanda said...

Snowing here this morning and set to get worse :-(
Hope 2010 is just right for you!

JJ Beattie said...

Queenie, I think that's a similar temperature to Alpine! Blimey.

Thanks Liz, it's very odd indeed and not at all right.

Sue, that you're almost English?

Denise *sigh* in the event I didn't know much French either... I see the promise of snow came true!

Thanks Pat. MINUS SEVEN? Holy cow! Wrap up warm won't you?

Jane, hello honey. Not sure about Sat night - the old bloke doesn't get back from Singapore til Sat afternoon... but will try to let you know. Can't wait to see you.

Debs, I'm really trying hard not to whine about the weather here!

Chris, thanks sweetie. No more grumbling... honest.

Amanda, thank you. I can't believe the weather you're getting! Astonishing.

HPofP said...

It's colder here than it was in the Alps. I don't mean the 'it feels cold but isn't really as cold' kind of cold. It genuinely IS colder.
We also have more snow than we had in the Alps. There's at least 10" in the garden and well over a foot in Charlie's field! Such a shame we don't have any hills ...
AND we haven't had to go back to school yet! We're into the third day of closure. Yippee.