Saturday, February 4, 2012


We're in the middle of a major cold snap here, the likes of which haven't been seen in decades.  Even Rome has snow - something that hasn't been seen for 27 years!  There's snow on the ground from a few days ago, but it's gotten colder since then - the temperature right now (9 PM) is at -11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit).  Damn cold!

I had planned to do a train trip somewhere this weekend—Nyon or Lausanne—but with the weather like this it makes no sense.  So we're staying pretty close to home.  But we're not just staying in and hibernating, we're getting out and about, just planning our trips very carefully to avoid waiting too long for buses and trams, and avoid walking too far outside.

We went to the local ludotheque (toy library/community play space) this morning, just a few blocks away.  It has limited open hours, but is very nice place to go with kids to hang out, get out of the house, and you can even rent toys.  Eric has gone there with the kids a lot, but it was the first time for me.

Saturday afternoon we went to the mall Balexert which has a huge Migros.  Migros is a grocery chain here that comes in three sizes - small neighborhood store, larger store, and megastore.  The megastores seem to be the closest you can come to a Target here.  We needed to buy a present for a birthday party that Peter has been invited to, his first here.

We have no control over the heat at our apartment, except to turn it off, but the management has turned it on full-blast.  It used to be that you could put your hand on the radiator and warm your hands nicely.  Now the radiators are burning hot and you can't touch them for more than a second or so.  It's still colder inside, and condensation is forming on our single pane windows - condensation that freezes.  We put the outside blinds down to hopefully keep a little more of the heat inside.  And I'm using an extra blanket at night.  But I feel fortunate that we're quite warm and cozy - I was just reading an article on what it's like in Afghan refugee camps.  That would be misery.

Sunday morning we took a trip to the jetty next to baby beach (baby plage) which is very close to our apartment.  We bundled up with everything warm that we own and headed out there.  Overall we stayed fairly warm, but I got cold in weird places - shoulders, elbows - I guess where my parka wasn't well insulated.  With the high winds and super cold temperatures, everything on the windward side was covered with a thick coating of ice - sometimes up to a foot thick!

I'm glad we weren't out here when this ice was forming!

The kids enjoyed throwing chunks of ice onto the parts of the lake that were frozen 

A rescue effort for a swan

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