What we miss from Switzerland and France
I leave out our odyssey with the return journey from the USA to Switzerland even though it took over 30 hours. So we’re beaming ourselves straight to Switzerland. Our homeland. So – the crucial question was – where do we live at this shit lockdown theater? I, in this case Thomas, am lucky that my father bought a house in the Grisons mountains years ago. That is usually empty anyway and that’s where we settle in. And we also go to France. Oh yes – in this report I will write down facts that are conducive to logic. So if you have weak nerves, you should throw in a Valium or drink a liter of beer on ex. Anyone who continues to read is themselves to blame and must not complain afterwards. 😩
Grisons mountains as a view
So we didn’t feel bad in the mountains. I mean, the view is fantastic to have so direct the view of the Weisshorn. My sister Corina and her husband have been looking to the right here for a few years and so the house has not completely disintegrated. It’s old and quite rustic. But snucky to live there. I mean – we have been living for 3 years on almost 7 square meters, since a house with two floors is the mega luxury. We also had powerful visitors. Friends came and went – it was like at the train station. Train pulls in, people get off, people get on, train leaves. That was really funny and we were especially happy about Sabine and Reto from www.living-in-a-box.ch. We haven’t seen the two of them anymore. By the way – they have written a guide to vanlife. Is really awesome and has extremely good tips and tricks in there. Buy it! Click on the image. You are not vanlifers? No campers? No matter – buy it! 😂
So what do we do all the time?
Yes, really – that was a difficult question at the beginning. What do we do in a house in the Grisons mountains without a TV connection, without Internet access, without sauna, without Jacuzzi, without hammock, without Duro, without Thermomix, without everything? I decided to rebuild the website and make it bilingual. Claudia has fulfilled a long-cherished dream and written a cookbook. And she did everything on her own. And with everything, that means exactly that – recipes, photos, layout, image editing, cooking and arranging for photography – everything. I’m very proud of Claudia. Buy the book! Is also available as an ebook. How? You are not campers. Buy it! 😂
The rolling furnace
Oh yes – the book contains 34 recipes. In order for this to work with the book and the recipes, Claudia had to prepare each recipe three times. Once to determine the recipe. The second time as a corrected version after recipe adjustment. The third time to take pictures. And – I had to eat all 102 menus. Can you imagine? It was a struggle. A powerful battle. But I was very happy to do it because my sweetheart – No, that’s not the cynical part of the report – cooks incredibly delicious. So I was able to endure 102 culinary delights. Oh and something else – Reto from Living in a Box – took the cover photo. Did I mention that Reto is a professional photographer? no? Ask me if you need promotional photos. I know a very good photographer.
Here is the book: Book with softcover
And here is the ebook: eBook in the app
Off to France – Vive la France
After about 3 months, however, we were pretty much stunned in the Swiss mountains. We did a lot and did a lot, but always in one place. Always the same rut. Pfffff… That’s when we came up with the idea, which we had had in the back of our minds for quite some time. We are finally doing a housesitting. So we signed up and browsed the platform for house sittings. And indeed found a sitting. Actually more of a dog and housesitting but only from September. We didn’t want to wait that long and coincidence has arisen that we can also “sit” his newly acquired house in France through a mutual friend. He would be very happy about it because otherwise the house is empty and a few conversions still have to be carried out. Cool – there is something to work on. That fits. Oh yes – Fact 1: Crossing the border to France without border control during lockdown.
Boatsitting would also be an option
But before we do the first sitting in Tournus, we had another opportunity to do a boatitting. The boat is not just any boat. It is a canal ship of 25 meters in length. Completely made of steel – a ship weighing several tons. We would not have had to move the boat but only look at the dogs. But things turned out differently. Because Rachel, the owner of the boat, actually wanted to go to her grandson in England. But in 2020, the world was up for crazy decisions. Regulations that contradict absolutely every logic and without a scientific basis have made the joy of boatsitting run aground. Nevertheless, we were allowed to spend 2 nights with Rachel on the houseboat. What a great thing such a canal boat.
Tournus – we live in a villa from 1874
Tournus, where is it? At first, we really didn’t find the town that exactly. When we stood in front of the big gate and Hugo opened us, we couldn’t get out of the amazement at first. The house, built in 1874, is huge. Hugo first leads us through all the rooms – and there are a few of them. The habitable rooms alone – so I count – amount to 13 rooms. So here we live about 3 months now and will scrape old wallpaper from the walls, prime walls, install sun visors, build a fence, manage garden etc. And we were safe at 5 or 6 flea markets. They are a fabulous experience in France. What you can find there is incredible.
Salles sur l’Hers – a small town in the Aude, France
Here we did our second housesitting. The focus was on the Golden Retriever called Wooster. The property turned out to be huge. To walk with the dog gassi once around the country, it took 8 to 10 minutes. Yep – as I said, huge. There was a tennis court on it and a swimming pool and a ride-on lawn mower with which I mowed the lawn for 3 hours. I think I mentioned it before – it’s huge. Was very pleasant because we could and move freely. Why do I mention this? Because at the time there was still lockdown. Fact 2: A virus stops at the doors and property boundaries. As soon as you move outside of it, you are killed immediately.
Wooster a very special Goldi
The owners of Wooster and the property told us from the beginning that Wooster is a very special dog. Well, our experience has shown that every owner of a dog says that about his dog. We also got from our Irish setter. But Wooster really turned out to be a unique dog. He was enormously talkative. Of course in Hundisch which we did not always understand immediately. When we didn’t understand something Wooster wanted to tell us, he simply took Claudia or me by the hand with his muzzle and then led us to his ball, to his plush toy or to the meadow. I’m exaggerating? No, he really took us by the hand with his and guided us. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Wooster has grown very close to our hearts in these 3 months.
Shopping in Salles sur l’Hers
We went shopping at least once a week to the neighboring town. That meant about 30 minutes driving time. Previously, we had to print out a form from the Internet and fill it out manually. So France is French. It had to be entered where we are going, where we come from, how long it all takes and the reason. Fact 3: If we had had to stop at a gas station on the same route to refuel and there would have been no second completed paper, there would have been a bus. Yes, a virus is of course enormously afraid of a completed paper that does not control a sow anyway.
After 10 months in Europe, we were fed up with all the unprovoked and logicless panic modes and decided to return to our vehicle.
Yes, Switzerland is beautiful. Yes, France has so much to offer in terms of old buildings, dreamy villages and great flea markets that are unique. Nevertheless, after a short time we wanted to discover the world again. There are so many beautiful spots on earth and rarely do we all really realize that. And all the whimsical measures, which are not based on any scientific basis, are not even remotely based on evidence, are intended to stop a deadly virus? Especially since the existence has not yet been provided by any of the 194 countries of the world? Does this just seem strange and strange to me? Well, we book a flight to the North American continent and then we’re away from the madness.