Annual Carnival Festival Fair Market Day

First things first: we have a home! We got the apartment in downtown Lucerne and will be moving mid November, hopefully aligned with the arrival of our sea freight. It’s a relief because although house hunting is, to quote my bestie, ‘the ultimate form of shopping’, it’s also a royal pain in the butt. Although Adelaide was present for the viewing of our new apartment, she actually slept the whole way through it, which I am taking as a good omen given the depths to which we stooped this weekend.

As I’ve mentioned previously (both here and to anyone and everyone I meet, in a manner both tedious and dull) our girl ain’t a good sleeper. Although she’s recovered from her jetlag, we’ve really struggled the last month with getting her to bed. I’m talking hours of screaming every night and there seems to be nothing we can do to settle her (more food / less food; cuddles / giving her space; earlier / later naps; dad settling / mum settling; bribes / threats extending all the way to her teen years…but nada). Our current apartment, being temporary, doesn’t have proper blinds. We’ve got these weird yellow shutters and seethrough curtains – the light lingers until quite late in the night. While lovely for us, it’s not so great for a non-sleepy lass. We spent a ridiculous amount of time this weekend tin foiling her windows to keep out the light, something I have openly mocked other people for doing in the past. Chide all you will – she fell asleep in five minutes flat last night (I am not expecting the same miracle tonight – rather I reckon she’s onto us and is trying to lull us into a false sense of hope)*. Desperation is ugly, people.

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Other than apparently setting up a drug lab in our house, we mostly hung out in Rotkreuz this weekend. Our wee town had a fair happening; at least, I assume it was a fair. I’d heard something about a Christmas Market, but when I asked a stall holder if that’s what it was she looked at me as if I had three heads (none of which could converse in German). She said it was a carnival for kids, and gestured towards the dodgem carts. I asked another stall holder and he said it was an annual event, a festival. Still wanting some sort of definitive description, I asked a third person and although no clearer, I liked her answer the best: ‘We’re open until 2am because we’re the bar’.

We made our way across to the right side of the tracks to check it out.

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All the while, the bloody bells tolling.

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The mainy was blocked off and had a range of stalls – food, games, drinks, rides and standard international junk (and carnies, reassuringly the same the world over).

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Tim was accosted to play the game below – pay a franc, get to remove a screw with the drill. The screws were randomly attached to strings which in turn held bags of candies. Tim won two and subsequently my heart.

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One of the consequences of having nicknamed our girl Adelaideybird means that any and all ladybirds we come across are pretty much guaranteed to be purchased. This creepy balloon is currently staring at me ominously across the living room.

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Naturally, the stand where we spent the most time was the one spruiking wine and smallgoods. These guys hail from about two hours away, near Geneva. Wine tasting at fairs is not dissimilar to purchasing clothes on holidays. It seems excellent at the time and your decisions completely rational – you kind of get caught up in the thrill of the moment. However, when back at home in the cold hard light of non-holidays, the shine tends to leave your purchases. The wine we tasted here seemed amazing and we bought several bottles; let’s hope it holds up better than the Man Skirt Tim (and to be fair, all the other guys on our holiday) purchased some years ago in Sri Lanka.

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We also went in for our first taste of raclette. It was served in a large Oktoberfest-ish tent (there were half a dozen or so of these with different foods throughout the fair). It was probably the Swiss equivalent of a Bunnings sausage sizzle in terms of quality (or maybe, if we’re being generous, market gozleme). But, like the snag on white with onions and sauce, it was delicious. A mate of ours (a food critic and also all-round trustworthy person) advised that raclette should always be eaten with a Riesling, to stop the cheese congealing once it hits your belly. My arteries may have congealed a little, but on account of her sound advice my stomach certainly did not.

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Also, yes our girl matches the tablecloth.

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The other lovely thing about Small Town Fair was that we ran into 100% of the people that we know who live in Rotkreuz. Bearing in mind that the sum total of said people is five, three of whom are children of the other two, it’s not a difficult statistic to achieve but nice nonetheless. I’m not counting Late Afternoon Dog Walking Lady with whom I’ve had three bumbled conversations where I’ve patted her pup and she’s patted our lass, although chances are reasonable she was in the crowd somewhere too.

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Tim has his first trip away for work this week – to Germany – and my folks are arriving for babysitting a holiday. We also get our wheels so I’ll need to overcome my fear of driving on the wrong side of the road as I doubt our car will be as forgiving as the nice bumpy dodgems. Luckily there is Fair Wine to see me through. (I just realised that it might sound like I intend to drink and drive. No siree, unless we’re talking the dodgems in which case game on.)

*I was completely correct in this assumption. Night two in the meth lab and she’s back to screaming the neighbourhood down.

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