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Feb 16 2019
We are very sorry, there will be no post this weekend….
The reason is quite simple: All of us three thought the other one would write something. So on the end Odin was snoring through the days and relied on us, while Patrik and I – being busy with work – assumed Odin or the other one would have plenty of time to play author this week…
Well, apparently not.
Means the mood between us is a bit….well, it could be better!
However, we agreed that Odin will write a post for next weekend – he promised and even swore on his paw!
So, there isn’t much more to do for us than wishing you all a cozy and sunny weekend – at least spring sent his prematurely greetings to Switzerland!
PS: The truth of all this is, we honestly lacked ideas…. Bet, that’s what you suspected too!
Feb 09 2019
Not so long ago I’ve heard about LUSH….Well, the soaps….and started to inform myself about these products. Mainly on their website, but also critical comments in the internet, written from people, who tested them.
According to LUSH, everything is produced without animal testing and only natural ingredients are used, which are fair traded. Therefore, these products do not harm the environment and many are even vegan.
Of course soaps are known since, like, forever. So nothing new about that, BUT….
I couldn’t believe my luck, when I discovered they even have shampoo and conditioner in their assortment – as a SOAP BAR! Does that really work? Do you get the familiar foam you want to have? And how nurturing are these products for your hair?
Slowly, it dawned on me that when using these soaps I would reduce the plastic bottle waste a lot! THAT convinced me definitely – I had to test these slippery buggers!
For Christmas I got a shampoo (GODIVA) and a shower bar from my mum, which I couldn’t wait to test. And WOW, was I flabbergasted! The shampoo not only smelled fantastic, but my hair did become clean indeed and…lush! It obviously worked very well and I was positively surprised!
Well, the next step was, A. get one more shampoo (I wanted to test SEANIK), plus a conditioner (BIG) and B. get rid of the existing hair products in our home – and asap (in using them up of course).
Meanwhile, I’ve tested SEANIK and BIG and must say I’m so more than happy with the result! I’m still amazed how much foam you get with the shampoo. The conditioner still seems a bit odd and I’ve got to get used to it, but I really can’t imagine going back to plastic bottles again!
Each less is a win for our world…small steps, but – hey, better than nothing!
LUSH also offers bars as body lotion, face cosmetic and even make-up. And last but not least dental care, such as tooth-”paste” – which isn’t a paste, but powder or tabs. I’ll have to try this soon.
One more plus: When flying with only hand luggage, you have your “liquids” not liquid anymore and much less weight to carry (and more room for other stuff, hehe)!
Well, visiting a LUSH store does take some time (ask Patrik)! Not only have they a huge selection of products, but one can also test most of them. It’s definitely not easy to make a choice at the end…. *sigh*
In order to store these soaps at its best – they shouldn’t be wet or in the shower all the time – I decided to hang them in small net bags on the wall. It doesn’t only look pretty and organized, but the whole bathroom smells wonderful and fresh…shame I can’t include a sample of it with this post.
So, to cut a long story short: I’ve definitely found my products and I’m convinced of doing something good – for myself and the nature!
And you know what? My problem about plastic bottles, waste and not wanting to harm the environment when being on the boat, it’s suddenly solved as well!
Soapy greetings to you all
Jan 19 2019
And it’s actually such a shame, since I’m half Italian: My mum is Swiss, and my dad is Italian. But my parents divorced when I was two, so sadly I never learned this beautiful language. (But I grew up with a very loving, Swiss stepdad!).
I did two attempts, though, to learn Italian. First time, when I was still child and the second try was 19 years ago. Both courses weren’t very successful…and since I never had to use this language in my daily life, I forgot most of it again. Only a few scraps remained and when I hear Italian, I understand a word every now and then, but never enough for a proper conversation.
Nevertheless, I do have the Italian look, though. However, it’s more frustrating than enjoyable, because, when travelling to the canton of Ticino (Italian part of Switzerland), or to Italy, many people there think I’m Italian and start speaking in their language to me. When they realize I do not understand them and cannot speak, their reaction is often quite irritated. I guess, they think I don’t want to speak Italian (for whatever reason that might be), therefore, I never really dared to travel to these southern parts of Europe. Wanting to speak and understand the people, but not being able to, was getting on my nerves.
Another problem is of course, eating in a restaurant and do grocery shopping. I’m vegetarian (no fish and seafood either), so it’s important to me, what I eat and buy. And sitting in a restaurant with my mini dictionary all the time is annoying! Luckily, the Italian kitchen is already much veggi-friendly, but even so…
Well, suddenly a new motivation to learn Italian has occurred: Luna Azzurra, who lies in Loano, Italy! Although, the Italians there speak surprisingly well English, Patrik and I want to blend in and belong a little bit to this beautiful part of Italy. Even if it’s just for a few weeks per year!
Matteo, though, doesn’t speak English at all, so the communication between us is – mildly said – complicated. Writing emails and Whatsapp works very well, a lot of good translation programs exist. But every time we meet, it’s frustrating and embarrassing!
Basta! End of 2018, Patrik and I signed up for an Italian course. We chose a small group (8 participants at the most) and it started this Monday, 14th January. Patrik had, of all things, to travel to the states last week, so he missed the first lesson. Never mind, I was there naturally, and it involved more like, introducing each other, getting the books and being informed, how the course will be held. I must say, to my delight, we are a very likeable class, surely also thanks to our teacher. She actually is Italian, but married a Swiss guy and, therefore, chose to live here 40 years ago. But her heart still beats for her home country, according to her! Lucky us, that means we have a teacher who is determined to teach this language to us with her whole heart and soul! So yes, I have a very good feeling and look forward to continue!
Jan 05 2019
Hi everyone! We hope your New Years Eve was as much fun as ours!
As mentioned earlier we had booked a table at “Shardana Wine and Sea” and from the first moment, we didn’t regret it! I must admit though, I was a bit sceptical…not that I didn’t trust the chef and his ability to cook lovely meals, or the restaurant itself. But how do you celebrate New Years Eve in Italy? What were we supposed to do? Since we don’t speak and understand Italian, I was a bit worried about that.
Well, no need for that, as it turned out! The restaurant was fully booked (which means about 25 guests) and the atmosphere very familiar and heartily! We arrived just after 9 p.m. and the chef and his wife guided us professionally through the menus and the wine, explained our food and what would happen next.
Karaoke was surprisingly a highlight and – while singing and partying – we truly felt like being part of a big family! We had so much fun!
About half an hour before Midnight, the obligate panettone was served, plus a bottle of prosecco. Yes, a whole bottle was included with the menu – unbelievable!
While the countdown was on, people started to open their prosecco bottles and counting loudly backwards accompanied by the oversized clock on the screen!
ZERO – HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Hands were shaken, people were hugging and kissing each other – even Patrik and I got involved in the overwhelming event!
Around one o’clock, the “leader of the pack” – Giancarlo – announced that we would relocate to the the Yacht Club! All righty, said and done. People were grabbing their jackets and belongings and off we went. Patrik and I stopped at Luna Azzurra on the way, to leave our half a bottle of wine, which was leftover from the dinner. At the Yacht Club, Giancarlo offered a glass of prosecco to all of us, and we tried to mingle in. Some were dancing, others just talking. A live band was playing, but even so, the atmosphere was gone somehow.
So after finishing our glass, Patrik and I decided to call it a day….well, night….and started to leave. Meanwhile, the owners of Shardana also had arrived, and we took our chance to say goodbye and thanking again for the fabulous dinner and evening!
Back at the boat, Patrik and I started to watch a movie and at three o’clock we went to bed. Tired and very happy we fell asleep – nighty night!
The next day – sunny again, by the way – we didn’t do much, except of sleeping in (me at least), removing the old bimini bares, mounting the outboard holder and completed this and that. No stress!
All in all we completed everything we aimed for while being in Loano. The garage is organised and looks very tidy, Luna Azzurra has been baptised once again, we met Matteo and his wife and discovered some new shops in town and outside (grocery and handy ones).
A cool thing was clearly to get to know our “next-boat” neighbour Alberto, who owns the beautiful ORION, and the boat owners on the other side. It was good to meet and greet, even other boat owners on our pontoon, who were there for a few days, waved their hand and we said our “buon giornos”, buon natales” and “buon annos”. Slowly but steady, it seems like we start to belong to the Marina di Loano, which is a lovely feeling!
Sadly, our day for departure came too early and on the 3rd of January, 1 p.m. We left Luna Azzurra and Loano. Everything has been cleaned and is in order again. – ready for our future guests on board.
Our journey home took almost seven hours, including two short breaks. On the northern side of the San Bernardino tunnel, the temperatures were tangible lower – around zero deg. C – and we had some fine snow fall. Luckily, we had no traffic jam or some other delay, although the radio warned for traffic problems and icy roads.
Odin yawned at us when we finally entered our house! Our Sweetie-Pie! In we went with our baggage and stuff, afterwards we sent a quick Whatsapp to our parents and our catsitter. Letting them know that we arrived home safely.
Well, Saturday today, and most of the laundry has been done, we went grocery shopping yesterday and. Patrik is already packing his bags again…..yeah, his work will get him to Texas on Tuesday. Visiting customers in the States, he will be away for at least 10 days.
Me, I’ll start working again on Monday. …looking already forward to Easter, when Patrik and I will return to Loano and to Luna Azzurra!
So long, darling!
Dec 30 2018
Already six days have gone, since we arrived in Loano.
The drive went super quick: We left last Monday, at 09.25h and six hours later, at exactly 15.22h, we drove through the Marina di Loano gate! A new record!
We even had a 30 minutes break and lost some time, due to unexpected snow fall at the northern side of the San Bernardino tunnel. As soon as we were on the other side and driving more and more south, the temperature rose, the sun was shining and soon it showed 16, and even 18 degrees C!
And then, suddenly we were here! What a very special moment it was to see Luna Azzurra again – how beautiful she is, exactly as we remembered her!
It didn’t take so long to install ourselves, and soon we clinked our glasses, happy to be here and to Christmas Days – it was the 24th December after all!
Our first evening was very cozy, with a lovely homemade meal – the heating system onboard worked wonderfully – and we planned our stay, what to shop and what we need to accomplish during these days.
We knew that the big shopping mall in Albenga would be closed on the 25th and 26th December, so no stress for a couple of days, but a lot of time to stroll around in Loano and along the beach promenades, have a little lunch and simply enjoy the beautiful and sunny weather.
It almost feels like spring, if there wasn’t the Christmas decoration everywhere. Funny atmosphere actually!
The 27th arrived and we finally jumped into action, driving to Albenga, to the DIY shop, where we bought some storage equipment to put up in the garage. Then grocery shopping which took some time and just before three o’clock we were back at the boat again.
We didn’t do a lot with the remaining day, except install some stuff at the garage and take the dinghy to our boat. We would need it the next day, in order to remove the bleached and ugly looking stripe outside the hull and start polishing.
What we also did was visiting the well known restaurant “Shardana Wine and Sea” – which lies in the marina area. They offer a multiple course menu for New Years Eve and we wanted to ask if a vegetarian version would be possible. At our earlier visits to Loano this year, we ate there a couple of times and knew it’s an excellent little restaurant! So celebrating New Year there, would be a real highlight!
The chef asked a few things, about my eating habits, made some notes and asked us to come back the next day. He would have to think about the possibilities, in order to serve me an equal menu. Exciting – and we looked forward to hear his decision the next day!
That evening Patrik and I decided to eat out and found a miniature pizzeria, decorated as a pirates nest and we soon discovered that it was more a children’s restaurant. The pizza was very tasty, but no salad or another starter was available. At least they had a nice wine list and a very good espresso after the meal.… yeah well, the price was so little, it almost wasn’t worth to call it “bill”!
That meant we were back home quite early and decided to watch a DVD – we took Patrik’s old Apple screen with us and a few movies. So – voilà – there we were, lying on the sofa with a glass of red wine and watched a movie!
The next day – the 28th – we removed the provisory sticker reading Luna Azzurra at the aft and putting up the new one! We also put up the www.freja-theCAT.com font on the boom, plus our registration number. It looks very professional now.
In between we quickly went to “Shardana”, to ask about the New Years Eve menu. YES, he could do it and he started to explain what his ideas were! His suggestions sounded very tasty, with homemade pasta, a mini veg-lasagne and some courses I didn’t understand fully. Well, as long as I won’t have “animals” on my plate, I will be more than happy and I’m sure he will do his outmost! So that was fixed, cool!
Back at Luna Azzurra, we continued with one side of the hull, removing the stripe and see how the polishing would work the next day. Yes, it was already time for a shower and a well earned aperitif! We cooked a lovely dinner and so another movie evening came to an end.
29th December: Busy again, especially Patrik was working really hard, polishing the bow of Luna Azzurra, preparing the surface for the last stickers….well, HER very special logo. The cat and the mouse playing chess!
Meanwhile, I was writing this post….although it was a little bit challenging without my little help LEO. Why? For two days we didn’t have internet connection, which was a bit challenging! No WhatsApp, nothing! We pay for that obviously!
OK, OK, on one hand it’s pretty relaxing, not being able to communicate with the “rest of the world”, but it would be nice to keep in touch with our parents at least, and our cat and house sitter! *sigh*
Today is Sunday and apparently the DIY and shopping mall in Albenga are open. Looks like we’ll drive there later and buy some more shelves for the garage, a ladder, plus one or two more storage boxes. Can’t have enough of those, if you are near the sea with its salt in the air.
I’ll also do some washing today – luckily there is a DIY laundry just a couple of minutes away!
Tomorrow is the last day of 2018 and we do look forward to a sunny day and a sparkly evening at “Shardana Wine and Sea”.
Happy New Year everyone!
Dec 15 2018
Time flies by when you are busy, doesn’t it!?
Well, good for us, that means our Christmas holidays are coming closer and we’ll soon drive to Loano!
The Mercury outboard engine has been delivered to the Marinas Office last Wednesday. Matteo informed Patrik and brought it to our garage – thanks a lot, Matteo!
The ordered towels have also arrived at our place – the just need to be washed and packed down again!
About the bimini and ordering a new one: We received the color samples, which look very promising. But we are still waiting for a price offer, in order to replace the sprayhood (only the cover) as well – maybe. This is still intact, though, but buying everything new would mean, we could have a total new color and wouldn’t have to try to match the new bimini to the existing sprayhood. Apparently, a new sprayhood cover wouldn’t be too expensive, but we’ll see after we get the offer…
Then, we bought some stuff at the sellout. Patrik and I realized that eventually we would need offshore jackets, as well (we already have coastal ones). So, luckily I’ve found a Henry Lloyd jacket in the correct size for me – half the price (!) and Patrik also found a jacket and pants from Gill. Unfortunately, they didn’t have his size anymore in the sellout, so he bit the bullet and ordered at the regular price. Pity! There are also some other parts included in the order, such as a holder for the outboarder, plus a boatswain chair.
We’ve read, by the way, that the Yacht Club at the Marina di Loano offers an exclusive New Years Dinner and we actually considered to participate. But only shortly! The price amounts to EUR 110.- per person – exclusive drinks! The food is most likely not à la carte, which means that I as a vegetarian would clearly have overpaid the whole fun. Thanks, but no thanks!
I’m sure Patrik and I will find a cozy little restaurant in Loano “downtown” and in case this will fail as well, we’ll surely enjoy a lovely meal on board our Luna Azzurra! It wouldn’t be the worst New Years Eve to be honest!
And since we’ll take Patrik’s old computer screen with us, we would even be able to watch a DVD!
Arrangements have also been made for Odin, of course! First we planned to take him with us. But then we realized we wouldn’t have enough time for him. And for the first time for him onboard a boat, I think it would be crucial to spend as much time as possible with him, and see how he feels and behaves.
Now, a friend of us – who also has holiday – will simply move into our house and enjoy a few quite days with reading, do handicrafts and being company to Odin – he’ll be thrilled, I’m sure of that and he won’t be alone on Christmas and New Years Eve!
Last but not least we are thinking about decorating Luna Azzurra with some Christmas lights. We would be the only illuminated yacht in the marina! Well, we still have to see, if and how….
Anyway, we wish you all a wonderful 3rd Advent weekend!