First Fig


Some weeks remind me of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s evocative poem, First Fig:

My candle burns at both ends;
   It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
   It gives a lovely light!

This is, of course, one of those weeks.

On Monday, Andrew made an Ikea run, and we spent the evening assembling furniture and bookcases. When we moved to Switzerland, we fully expected our time here to be temporary, and planned accordingly. We put three bedrooms worth of furniture and stuff into storage (we did donate and get rid of a couple tons — literal tons — of stuff first) and furnished our tiny apartment with temporary goods, staying as minimal as possible. Of course then we had a baby, moved to a larger apartment, and extended our stay. We still have to figure out what to do with everything in storage, but in the meantime, we decided we really do need a dining table, and we’ve accumulated enough books here that we needed additional shelving. I’m starting to feel like a grown up again. It’s wonderful.

My birthday was on Tuesday, and after spending so much time downsizing, we’ve basically decided that we don’t really want more stuff for birthdays and holidays. Sure, we’ll get each other little things to open at Christmas for fun, but for the most part, we focus on experiences. Last year, I told Andrew that I wanted to see something sublime for my birthday, and I found a little place called Lauenensee that we went to visit.


This year, he found a place called Creux du Van in an area we haven’t really explored yet.


Photo Jul 14, 5 49 33 PM

Photo Jul 14, 5 41 22 PM

Birthday sublime? Check.

Absinthe was first created in this area, so after a hike along the edge of the canyon, we went to a farm and had a meal of fondue, jambon, gratin, salad, and absinthe. It was lovely.

And then last night we went to see Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil together in concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival! This was our second Jazz Fest concert in a week — last week we saw Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo. We used to go to shows often in Boston, but we haven’t had much opportunity here, especially post-baby, but when tickets went on sale, I decided we had to do it. We can’t live half an hour from the Festival and miss it every year. Seeing Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil together was also a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m so glad we got to go. The entire show was in Portuguese, which was hilarious — no pretense that the audience wasn’t entirely comprised of Brazilians and Portuguese — and it made me miss my time in Brazil.


Today? Catch up. Also, exhaustion. This week was super physical — dancing at 3-hr shows, hiking, furniture assembly — and I’m way beyond the usual tired and bruising of toddler wrangling (things they don’t tell you about parenthood — you will be covered in bruises either from your child or from attempting to be your child’s sense of self-preservation). And of course after weeks of sleeping through the night, M decided to wake up at 4 am and spend 4-5 am yelling, “No! No!” at the darkness because he wanted to play and Why, of why was it dark when it was CLEARLY playtime?

Fingers crossed for a long nap this afternoon because I could also use one!

© 2016 Anindita Basu Sempere. 
All Rights Reserved