Thursday, 31 March 2011

So... What's New?

No relevence to this blog entry,
I just like this photo of Chris
Now I know what you are going to say, "Oh no here comes another 2/3/4-part blog update on every detail of his life in Switzerland since his last blog entry several months ago... I best put on a pot of coffee...". Well, normally you would be right. I like telling stories and I tend to get carried away with my writing, resulting in blogs of hundreds of lines that would force any readers to set aside an entire evening just to get through a single blog entry.

As of this moment, that will change.

I, Paul Reed-Peck, AKA Ernie McPeck, do hereby solemnly swear to limit the amount of babbling that goes on in my blogs, keeping entries precise and succinct whilst still attempting to describe my Swiss adventures with the same amount of honesty and reality.

...I should add that this pledge is in no way legally binding, just in case I accidentally fall back on my old ways!

So, keeping all that in mind, this blog highlights the main events I have lived through in the last 6 months...


The Daddy-To-Be
We popped over to England to stay with my parents for Christmas, and - similarly to the previous year (see "A Very Reed-Peck Christmas") - there was plenty of flight disruption caused by snow in the build up to our trip.

Fortunately, we made it over without having our flight cancelled this time, although the same cannot be said for Chris' parents whose 3 day pre-Christmas stay in London turned into something of a travel nightmare, which can probably be summed up by their return trip: what was supposed to be a simple, 1.5 hour flight from Gatwick to Geneva became a train from London to Manchester, then a flight from Manchester to Zurich, then a flight from Zurich to Geneva.

Me enjoying the turkey
Meanwhile we had a somewhat calmer Christmas with my family in England than we had the previous year, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. I watched my mum preparing and cooking the giant turkey for our traditional Christmas meal, as I plan to whip up an English Christmas feast in Switzerland this Christmas, partly because my brother-in-law Pascal's eyes light up whenever we spoke about the meal.

I have to say, I wasn't overly keen on watching as my mum removed the neck and the bag of assorted organs from within the turkey, but I guess I'll have to do that this year when I try cooking the meal myself. My aim is to cook the full, British-style Christmas dinner, so roast turkey, potatoes, parsnips, stuffing and brussel sprouts. Wonder how much I will actually remember this year?

We also had a nice curry at the Raj Tandoori in Knebworth with my friends, including my mate Adam, a fellow expat who made the trip over from Heidelberg in Germany. I like to think he came back to England just to see us, but I imagine he probably spent a moment or two with his family as well. Knowing him, he would have flown over just for the curry.


...or Heroine?
Ok, I haven't actually lived through the pregnancy as such, as my wife Christelle is taking care of that. Instead I have had the pleasure of watching with fascination as the baby developed inside Chris' body. I can't describe in words what it felt like the first time I felt the baby kicking, only that it was the first moment where I fully realised that we had created a new life.

The due date is 12th April this year, so he or she can come any time in the next couple of weeks... Yes, it is exciting, and yes, I am stressed. I don't know how we will cope once the baby is unleashed into the outside world, but I'll make sure to blog about it.

Practice with a toy baby
We have managed to get through 8 months of pregnancy without finding out the sex of the baby, mainly because I wanted to keep it as a surprise for the birth. If Chris had her way we would have known the sex a long time ago, but she has been really good and managed to resist asking her gynaecologist whether we should be buying things that are blue or pink.

I have always thought that nowadays there are so few things in life that are true surprises, and it would be a shame to ruin this one. Granted, from a practical point of view it is better to find out as you can buy clothes in the right colour, etc, but we have stuck with our plan of keeping the secret.

The only person who knows the sex of our baby is the gynaecologist - and we plan to keep it that way until the day our son/daughter comes out to greet us.


My knee after the operation
Unfortunately, I don't mean the fun child's game of picking parts out of a pretend patient without setting the buzzer off. Instead, this refers to the fact that I had an operation on my knee to remove a bit of bone that was growing where it shouldn't have been.

It turns out this little bone had been growing out of my femur, just above the knee, for years and years and years, although it had never previously caused me any pain or been a cause for concern.

It only started hurting while I was packing boxes in January for our move, so I think I must have over-exerted my knee muscles and grated them against this little bone, causing inflamation that then squashed nerves and ligaments in the region of my right knee. That's my medical reasoning anyway, given all the hospital training I have received from watching Scrubs.

View from my hospital room
Anyway, at the end of February I had an operation at the CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaure Vaudois) to remove the bone, and subsequently was off work for 2 weeks for a bit of rest and recuperation. Now, roughly 5 weeks after the operation, my knee doesn't hurt at all, although I do have a nice scar to show for my troubles.

It could have been far worse - like an idiot, I Googled "knee pain" and read about problems with the meniscus ligaments, which would have required an operation followed by a 3-6 month recuperation period.

That would have been particularly annoying as I would not have been able to drive my wife to the hospital when she goes into labour, or be much help when the baby finally arrives. So in the end, a 2 week break at home was a pretty good result.


Introducing myself to the neighbours, that is. Having blogged about "Finding Somewhere to Live" almost one year ago, we upped and moved again. Our motivation was baby-related, as we needed extra space to hold the various bits and pieces that are essential for raising a baby, and our old apartment was simply too small.

We had a huge amount of luck in getting the new place (an excellent example of why it is good to know someone who knows someone who can pull some strings), and we couldn't be happier with how it has turned out.

Very full car after a trip to IKEA
In addition to our slice of luck, we also had a lot of help from Chris' family during the move itself, given that I was having knee problems and Chris was not able to lift or move any heavy items because of the pregnancy. Having had the walls repainted by a professional company, and bought and assembled some new (mostly IKEA-sourced) furniture, we both feel comfortable and relaxed in our new home, moreso than in the previous one.

We also - thanks to the artistic vision (and a huge amount of effort) of Chris' sister Caroline - now have a fully decorated and furnished room for the baby, although I will restrain from posting pictures of the room until my parents have visited us in May (another attempt at keeping a secret!).

Well, I think that sums up my life over the last couple of months. It might look like a fairly long blog to the untrained eye, but a quick browse of my older entries will tell you I've kept this one remarkably short.

Well done me, big pat on the back, have a biscuit. Actually, I quite fancy a biscuit now... with a cup of coffee... mmm...

1 comment:

Belly said...

Thinking of you this month, good luck.
Love the babywearing pic! :)