Category: Story

Searching for my Roots

No, I don’t mean my teeth, but my family history!

Not everyone knows that I grew up with a – very loving – Swiss stepfather. When I was two years old, my “real” parents got divorced. Fortunately, my mum – who is Swiss also – married again two years later and that relationship fitted perfect!

So, all things considered, my brother and I had a very happy childhood and our family was complete when our step brother was born a few years later!

The (already loose) contact with my real father – who is Italian – ended more than 20 years ago. I was sad at the beginning, because the break-up wasn’t my choice and I blamed myself for a long time. But after so many years it doesn’t bother me anymore!

Luckily, the contact with my grandparents (Nonna and Nonno, as they were called, since they were Italians) was always intact.

I know since childhood, that my Nonno wasn’t the real father of my father – but that is a much more tragic story, than a divorce!

If you want I’ll share this fascinating tale with you.

This is my grandmas story – her name was Anna, by the way:

World War II, although almost at its end, still raged in Europe and Anna was a beautiful twenty year old girl, who lived with her family in Naples, south Italy. As it was common in the south, religion and family honour was still very much alive then. Hmm….it still is, when I think about it.

Anyway, as we know from history, allied troops were also stationed in Italy. So it happened that my grandma met a young, good looking English fighter pilot and they fell in love! He’s name was James.

So far so good, it could be the start of a beautiful romance! Sadly, it’s not…..

James had to leave for a new combat mission after a while, but not before promising her and her family that he’ll be back and they would get married as soon as possible.

God, they must have been crazy for each other! It’s unimaginable, how painful it must have been to say goodbye under these circumstances.…

As if this wasn’t bad enough, my grandma found out that she was pregnant…..and that in south Italy and not married! We cannot imagine the drama that surrounded her. She was now the family’s disgrace and as soon as her belly started to grow, she wasn’t allowed outside the house anymore.

When they had visitors, they hid her in the closet…She must have suffered a lot. Not only was she worried sick about her beloved James, but also had to deal with her unforgiving family.

And all that in the madness of the gruesome war, albeit near its end!

Then came the probably worst day in Anna’s life: A letter came and informed her, that James had died on a mission in Malta! She must have been devastated….

I’m not sure, if the army informed her, or if James’ family sent her the letter and let her know about the tragedy. What I know is that his family – who lived in Liverpool – offered her to adopt her child, if she couldn’t keep it. He would be loved and well taken care of!

Well, apparently, this wasn’t an option for Anna, and when her son – my dad – was born, she kept it. I have no idea, how she got her way with the family and all that. But somehow she “won” and kept her baby. Well, let me tell you, she was a strong-minded woman!

Her son was baptized of the name Mario and lived in Italy until he was about twelve years old. As far as I know he had a happy childhood and was very spoiled – he meant everything to Anna.

But that was about to change, when she moved to Switzerland, in order to find work. Probably the perspectives were much better than in Italy. Here she met Giorgio from northern Italy, and soon they got married. For Anna it was not only love, but a perfect solution. Only little Mario was really jealous of his stepfather, suddenly he had to share his mum with someone.

So they moved to Zurich in a big apartment and soon had two daughters together – Mario’s stepsisters.

They had a good life, were hard working, the kids grew up, went to school, started to work…the usual.

When Mario was around twenty, he met my mum and they fell in love. Soon she was pregnant and they got married. One year later my brother was born, but unfortunately, the marriage didn’t work out and when I was two, they divorced. I reckon, they were simply too young.

As I mentioned earlier, my brother and I always kept the contact to our grandparents and our two aunties.

Unfortunately, Mario wasn’t so keen on his two kids from his past and after two attempts from my side to keep in touch, I had to understand, that the interest was from my side only. So more than 20 years ago, it was the last time I’ve heard from him.

Anyway, my Nonna told me the whole story, about James, how she coped with her life in Italy, her joy about Mario and the move to Switzerland. Unfortunately, she could never show me any documents, photos or letters from her fascinating life. When I asked her about it, she told me that years ago, Mario wanted to do some family research, so she gave everything she had to him. As far I know, he found out where his father’s family in England lives. But he never dared to contact them.

My grandma died in December 2017, over 90 years old – about twenty years after my Nonno had passed away. And suddenly I realized that my father was the last person, who knew about our history and that he still had the documents his mother gave to him. Well, I certainly hope so…..

So this week I worked up the courage and sent a letter to Mario (he lives in Zurich since many years, with his new family).

My letter to him contains no accusation whatsoever and I explained that he wouldn’t have to worry about having to meet me, or something like that.

But I explained my thoughts, about our family and our extraordinary story. And in case it was true what Nonna had told me, about giving all the paperwork to him, I kindly asked him to send copies of the documents, letters and photos etc. to me. One day it would definitely be too late and I would miss an important part about my past! I don’t even know how the English family name is spelled correctly, I only know how to pronounce it (roughly).…

Well, meanwhile Mario must have received my letter….I truly hope he read it and is considering my request! Let’s see….waiting isn’t my strengths and this is a bit nerve wrecking, to be honest….!

My skiing holiday in Austria .

This holiday was unplanned.

When Lasse, a childhood friend called and told me, that he and his son William had rented a house for a week near Zell am See, Austria and asked if I wanted to join. Space was no problem at all. WHY NOT. I did not have to think it over for long.

I had been away on work for a while in USA so no one at work protested. Diana new that I love skiing and that it was 4 years since last time we had our skiing week. So for her was it OK too.

Anyway it was quite some drive there, as I am used to ski in Switzerland where I have maximum 2 hours of drive it was quite boring to drive for 6 hours. Specially when you’re alone in the car.

But I had a clear blue sky during the hole trip which made it OK to drive and when arriving it was super great to meet Lasse and Wille at the house.

They told me that they had arrived just some minutes before me so when I arrived we emptied our cars and went to the closest shop to by some necessary food.

Then back and enjoyed our evening and discussing where to go tomorrow. Lasse had been there before skiing in Kaprun and suggested that we start in those slopes.

The next morning we aimed for Kaprun and after a while we found it and bought lift card and headed up in the gondol-lift.

What a day with blue sky and +5°C, the sun did not soften the snow to much either so we had a great skiing. After a while Lasse told us that we where in another lift system that he wanted.

Not at that high altitude (only 1600 meter). But as the slopes was good and we enjoyed we decided to go for the correct system the day after.

In the evening when we made ourselves a nice diner and around 21:00 we where all ten and out so we headed for the bed.

Next day we had an early rise and was at the correct place to ski at 8:30 in the morning.

It was quite some difference to ski up on over 3000 meter. The snow was a lot different, much softer and still a hard nice slope below it.

A wonderful day we had and again with a blue sky but today the temperature was +14°C down in the valley. So at lunch sitting in the sun and enjoy was fantastic.

The week went on like this and we had blue sky and +12 to 16°C during the day with cold morning with about -2°C. So for use was it skiing until 12:00 then lunch and after that we took it easier and enjoyed the weather at a sunny restaurant or apero ski bar.

I took a few pics during the stay but it is hard to catch the beauty nature and views on a camera.

Anyway I hope you can imaging it with these pictures.

My 10 Years …….

………of Misery Anniversary !

Well, as you all know my mum and dad have forced me to write a post this weekend.

After being threatened with deprive of food (especially goodies), drink (especially oat milk), and sleep (by being locked out), there was nothing else for me but to obey – poooooorest meeeee !

Gosh, where to start then? Ten years ago I was kidnapped from my original home and…. (ops, just caught a stern glance from mum…)

OK, OK here it comes: Ten years ago – in March 2009 – me and my brother Thor were actually rescued from a faraway place called Thun, in the canton of Berne. We both were 1.5 years of age and it wasn’t a horrible home actually, but the people there didn’t want us anymore and sought a new home for us.

Yes, I had a brother whose name was Simba (mine was Minou), here are a few pics of us.

 

Our mum and dad changed our names to Odin and Thor, which were Nordic Gods! That was kind of cool and we got used to them in an instant.

We also adapted quickly to our new home, which is a big house with garden. Of course we had our very own doors and could choose, being outside or inside. OK, not the first month, though. My mum wanted us to stay inside, so we would learn where our home is…as if we wouldn’t have known it *phh*

However, we were more than glad (and our mum and dad too, believe me!), when we finally were allowed to go outside and discover our new kingdom! That was really exciting and we soon got to know our furry neighbors…. It didn’t take long until they stopped intruding our garden. *hehe*

We truly had a lot of fun together, Thor and me, and on sunny days we sometimes even went for a walk with our mum and dad.

That was apparently kind of special, since only dogs go for walks with their humans, so they say. But hey, who is the clever species? We cats choose, if we can be bothered going for walks.

Well, usually, after a while we didn’t want to walk anymore, and mum and dad had to carry us home…That caused a few smirks, mostly from other people we met…. It must have looked hilarious!

Another fun thing was when we chased each other around the garden and up the trees! Haha, you should have seen our humans…. especially mum always looked a bit uneasy, when Thor and I were stuck highest up in our maple tree! And boy, it was even more fun when it was stormy outside!

Some days we went mice hunting and tried to beat each other about who would catch more or the biggest mouse! Mum and dad weren’t very amused when we took our prey home…..they still aren’t…

I didn’t like the winter or rain, though. Thor didn’t mind, he did his rounds albeit it was snowing or pouring down. (I bet he hated it too, but had to show off!). But I was the one laughing at the end, when he got rubbed off, after he came inside, soaked….haha, sorry bro!

When mum and dad went away sometimes, we always had Cony, our catsitter, who lives just across the road. She and her three kids made sure we wouldn’t miss our humans too much and she spoiled us rotten!

Yeah, we really had a great time together, even when we were fighting sometimes. Never serious, though, but it happened every now and then. That’s common, isn’t it?

Then, in July 2015 Thor had a terrible car accident and left us all devastated and heartbroken…..although it’s been four years soon, it still seems unreal sometimes that he isn’t with us anymore – we miss him daily!

I’m glad and proud though, that I had such a cool brother. He showed and taught me lot and I still remember him very clearly.

He will always have his special place in our hearts. His urn with a photo is sitting on the sideboard, beside Gulliver’s ashes. He was the cat who lived his last 2.5 years with mum and dad, a couple of years before us.

Gone but never forgotten, as one might say….

Nevertheless, live must go on and so did mine too. My humans are much more worried about me after what happened, and I have the feeling, they would rather keep me inside permanently…Well, no way! Who would keep the other cats away from my garden, if not me?

And, actually, I became a bit older too. I love to sleep a lot nowadays and am always surprised, when my humans come home after work….A whole day gone again…?! *whoops*

But hey, I’m a cat and that’s what we cats do: Sleep (a lot) and getting spoiled (even more)!

In this spirit, I wish you all a purrful life and take care! You never know what’s awaiting you around the corner…   😺

No Post

We are very sorry, there will be no post this weekend….

Odin the pirate checking out the camera  

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!

Looking at a beautiful moon searching ideas beginning of the sunset Wonderful view

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!

Feeling LUSH !

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

Video Presentation of Luna Azzurra & Marina Di Loano

On our last visit in Loano, over Christmas and New Year, I’ve made a movie about the marina and our yacht.

We thought it might be helpful, if one can see how everything looks like when entering the marina. How it works with the card to open the barrier, the short drive to the boats and where you can park to unload your car (in the “tunnel”, beside the recycling station).

Afterwards you’ll leave the marina area the same way as you came in and park your car. You can choose either the big parking ground beside the marina office, or the underground car park – whatever you like (either are possible).

The movie about Luna Azzurra became a bit wobbly, sorry for that. Nevertheless, it might give you an impression how everything looks like when you’re on board.

Another movie shows how close the facilities with showers and toilets are from Luna Azzurra. Plus how they look like – very clean indeed!

We believe presenting Luna Azzurra and her surrounding like this give one a much better idea, than just photos. Don’t you think?

Dad is finally home again!

Furiends…..I hope you are well and are not freezing (like me)! Winter has Switzerland in its grip and the temperatures are around or below Zero!! Freeeeeeeeeeeeezing!!

I try really hard to go outside, but somehow I hardly make it through the cat flap. When outside, I want to go inside as quick as possible, before my whiskers get frozen and break….I just can’t stand the cold!! *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

But I wanted to share my happiness with you: Dad is finally home again! He left us for Texas (a one-horse town called Fort Stockton) on the 8th January and should be home again the week after…well, “should”! The first delay came around 16th January, when he told my mum, he had to visit another customer in Houston and therefore wouldn’t be home as planned. But he aimed for Sunday, 20th January.

That was still (almost) OK, because that was also his birthday (yes, 25+ as usual *smirk*), and we planned to pick him up from the train station around lunch. We still would have time to celebrate!

On Saturday, came the news that he had to stay longer. His replacement came down with the flu and couldn’t come to work. Meant, my dad was the fortunate one, to spend more time in the desert and Fort Stockton, where his hotel was! At least the weather was pleasant, sunny with 17 – 20 deg. C! Boy, did I envy him…

He told us that he saw one of these roadrunner birds and a coyote! The bird would have been my point of interest, though, since they are running instead of flying (even if they are able to fly). God knows, why….they haven’t met me, maybe that’s why!

But I’d rather not have met a coyote, though. They remind me too much of dogs. My dad said he saw many dead ones, lying beside the road….poor things…

Anyhow, Sunday came and went and we weren’t sure now, when my dad finally came home. He would let us know as soon as he knows more, he said. He knew more on Tuesday, and wrote to my mum that he definitely would leave Texas on Wednesday, which means he would come home on Thursday, 24th! Yeah, finally!!

On Wednesday he held contact with us, whenever possible and arrived in Houston — too late, so he missed his connecting flight to Toronto. Bugger! He finally managed to get a new ticket and had to fly to London and from there to Zurich. Well, better late than never, right?!

So on Thursday morning he arrived in London and the plan was that he should leave London around lunch time…. But no, again there was a delay: The flight from London left two hours later than planned… *argghhh* what was next??? Meanwhile, my mum was at work, waiting for updates, about when she could pick him up from the train station and go home. Nerve-wracking…

At 16.45h my mum could finally pick my dad up…muuuuch later than planned! I was impatiently waiting at home! Was grooming my fur like a maniac to look the best of course! And finally he came through the door, lifting me up hugging me….erm…that’s enough dad!

I told him, though, what my mum did to me: Last Wednesday morning she locked me in their bedroom – and left me there the WHOLE DAY!! All I did was sneaking in while she was doing the bed. How the hell should I’ve known that she hasn’t seen me! So she closed the door (from the outside) and left for work… That  wasn’t very nice, was it?! She was lucky I didn’t pee on the floor….or even worse (I thought about it, though…hehe)! My dad felt definitely sorry for me!!

However, both had to work on Friday, so I decided to be useful for once as always, and prepared this post, including some photos my dad took, while he was away! I’m pleased with the result, I must admit – I hope you like it too?!

Well, I wish you all purrfect weekend and stay inside – it’s too bloody cold outside! =^.^=

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