In 1471, a chicken in Basel, Switzerland, was judged guilty of laying a brightly colored egg, and it was burned at the stake for witch-craft. So there’s something you doing know before you read this post; let it never be said I’m not educational. I know this because I’ve been researching the country this morning. I can also inform you mowing your front lawn dressed as Elvis is against the law in Switzerland, and Swiss yacht team always perform extremely well in the American Cup, which is cool considering they come from a land locked country. The country speaks four main languages, depending on which border you’re closest to – German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Apparently wherever you reside in Switzerland, you’re never more than ten miles from a lake, but I can’t say that’s a definite. Anyway, I plan to inform my parents of such things shortly, because come December they’re giving up suburban life in South Wales, and immigrating to Switzerland where my Father recently acquired a new job. They’ll be returning for a second time after his interview (which obviously went well), in October to find accommodation, and settle all business arrangements with my Father’s new employers, and then come the final month of the year they’ll be packing up anything small enough to ship, and pretty much abandoning the rest. Hopefully, this will be the new start they’ve dreamed of for a long time – for the unfortunate decade they’ve been in Newport.
My father speaks semi-fluent French, but my mother has been assured most civilians of the country know a good amount of English. When they touch-down in December chances are it’ll be minus thirty-something degrees, and the palm-trees (yes palm trees) will be covered in snow. It’ll be the first Christmas they’ll have spent away from Newport since our holiday trip to Florida in 2004, and it’s never a traditional post-card Christmas in that kind of climate, but my father is not a fan of either cold or snow and I wonder how he’ll cope. In the past five years or so my mother hit “that age” in her life where hot-flushes are a common occurrence, and so is looking forward to a world where the temperature is actually on her side. Maybe that’ll calm her down. Yesterday she had an operation on her feet. She’s doing alright now; a little high on the pain-killers she’s been prescribed, but looking forward to walking with the pain she’d been experiencing in recent years. Luckily, in their new country of residence there are 313 hospitals. There’s bound to be a few podiatrists around with those numbers.
I’m somewhat elated and somewhat saddened my folks are making such a huge leap in such a short time; happy because I love them and have been praying for their salvation, and sad because this puts a distance barrier between us, and I worry that’ll further wedge a space in our already gigantic emotional barrier. I’m worried this is preemptive celebration, and that somehow it’ll fall through again, leaving them in a worse emotional state. I’m proud of my father who achieving a new job, and I’m happy for my mother for escaping back to a rural area after so many unhappy years surrounded by too much industry and too much noise. And for that matter too many people. My hope is that this will be the beginning of a journey for our family, whereby my parents finally receiving what they believe they’d never have again, discovering new places and ideas otherwise lost to them through a time of hard work with little reward.
Switzerland hasn’t been at war since the eighteen-hundreds.