Monday, 28 May 2007

Lewis' Christening

Was at Lewis' christening yesterday in Blansingen. A wonderful day had by all.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

On a long weekend

What with the Ascension Day holiday last Thursday, plus the extra bonus holiday on Friday, it's been a nice, long weekend. And it's not over yet, as I have Monday off as well to compensate for overtime. Anyway, here are some random photos I took on a bike ride in the evening a couple of days ago.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Thanks Phil Vickery

Alway concerned for my well-being, my mother bought me a cook book last Christmas called "Ready Steady Cook - The Ten-Minute Cookbook". It was a shrewd purchase because she knows that I like cooking for myself at the weekend but that I'm disinclined to devote hours and hours to creating something different every time (and getting off my back-side to search out the basic raw ingredients down at the supermarket). Hence this book!

Thing is, the problem with trying to do Jamie Oliver fancy Dan type recipes that feature ingredients like rocket, parmesan, balsamic vinegar and pine kernels is that the average German supermarket often doesn't have half of what you need. Unfortunately, Edeka and Rewe are not as good as Morrison's or Tesco. Admittedly, the Hieber's chain of local supermarkets down here in Weil, Lörrach and surrounding towns are better, but they're the exception to the rule. Globus in Basel have a brilliant fruit, veg and delicatessen department, but it costs a bomb there - something I was reminded of today when I bought a lemon that cost CHF 2. Okay, it was "organic", but still.

Anyway, a recipe by England rugby player Phil Vickery caught my eye in this book, so I decided to give it a go (see photo below). Edeka didn't stock any chickpeas, Chorizo or coriander, so I bought a tin of white beans (weiße Bohnen) instead, bought the coriander later on in Globus and got a big Mettwurst instead of Chorizo. They didn't have any roasted pepper in a jar either, but I managed quite alright with normal red pepper.

Anyway below is the result. Looks disgusting, eh?! The photo on the left is the book open showing the recipe in question. The photo on the right is my creation (half eaten already by that time). Btw, note the salad "spoons" - I made them in 1987/88 in CDT ("Craft Design and Technology") at school:

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Tenpin bowling in Basle

Went on Saturday night to Basle's tenpin bowling centre on Güterstrasse with colleagues Andrea and Katarina, their respective boyfriends David and Marco, plus Ilena. Had a great time. There was a noisy British hen party there as well (well, I think they all worked for Novartis here in Basle), starring not one, but two, brides to be.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Visit from Aunty Lyn

Just spent a very pleasant weekend playing host to Aunty.

After picking her up from the airport on Friday afternoon, we ventured back to Weil. Friday evening was spent talking, cooking, eating and laughing.

On Saturday, the weather was slightly inclement. However, we went to the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen to see the Edvard Munch exhibition. I'm no art buff, but Munch's works are very intense, oppressive and fascinating.

After a "pit stop" at Pickwick Pub, we went to watch FC Basel v FC Aarau in the Swiss "Super" League. Mladen Petric the Croatian international got Basel going with an impressive volley from 25 yards on 7 minutes after a long hoof by the keeper. Scott Chipperfield came close shortly after, but it wasn't until the 93rd minute that Basel sealed the three points with a penalty from the tall, bald Swede Majstorovic.

When we got back home, we had a quick meal and a bottle of local Spätburgunder, watched United beat city on Match of the Day, and then went to bed.

The next day the sun was shining, though the rain of the previous day had thankfully freshened up the air. After breakfast, we went on a brisk walk to the vineyards and back, followed by another pit stop: this time at the Mooswald for an asparagus soup (Spargelsuppe) and a refreshing beverage. After a sitting down for a while under the awning of my balcony, we returned to the airport where we then said goodbye.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Someone's fleecing me, but I don't know who

To compound a bad evening (yes, Milan were excellent tonight), I checked my mobile phone credits. Being on "pay-as-you-go" (or "Prepaid" auf deutsch), I'd topped up my credits back up to 15 euro just this last weekend. It's the 78th minute and Gilardino is just about to hit the final nail in United's 2006/2007 Champions League coffin when I check my account and find that I only have "5 euro 10 cents" left in credits despite the fact that I haven't used my phone at all since I topped the credits up to 15 euro. This is the final confirmation to me that someone's been nicking my credits, however that's possible.

I'd smelt something fishy around three months ago, but wasn't sure whether I was going mad and that texting to the UK from Switzerland with a German mobile phone number was the real reason behind the strange loss of mobile credits. Now I know that this isn't the case, and that I'm going to have to either get a new "pay-as-you-go" deal or sign up for a mobile phone contract. Either way, I'm going to have to do something.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Useful debut

Here's the official report from my first ever match for Basel Cricket Club, a friendly versus the Zurich Sri Lankans (written by Club Secretary Mr Anthony Boschin). I don't know about the bit about me "bowling slow". Didn't think I was that slow. Nor was my bowling that metronome. Ah well. Maybe I'll get a bit quicker once I get my accuracy sorted. Anyway, my final bowling figures were 4 overs, 2 wickets for 15 runs.

Bachgraben, Sunday, April 29th, 2007.

Friendly: Basel C.C. v. Zurich SL C. C (35 overs).

The first game of the season started with a slight hiccup as originally there were 12
players signed up to play but only 10 actually showing up.

Luckily ZSLCC had brought about 15 players so they graciously gave us one of there
players for batting and rotated a fielder when Basel fielded.

With most of the players arriving on time, we set to work setting up the field and within a
short time the grounds were ready for the first official/friendly game of the 2007 season.
Jay won the toss and decided that Basel should have a bat first.

Bhas and John opened that batting and Bhas was the first to fall, bowled for 4, with the
score on 14. John was next out, caught at 2nd slip for 4, with the score on 26 in the 8th
over. Nikhil managed to get 6 runs before he was caught low down with score on 37 in
the 11th over. Anthony and Unmesh managed to stabilize things a little and took the score
to 79 before Anthony was out bowled for 25 (the ball edged the bat, deflected onto the
pad and then onto the stumps) off the last ball before tea in the 18th over. So at tea Basel
was 79/4 after 18 overs.

Jay was next man in after tea and he managed 4 runs before being caught behind off a
ball that pitched on a good length but rose sharply into him and in trying to prevent the
ball from hitting him managed to fend it off with the bat handle, only to see it loop over
his head to the wicket keeper. Basel was now 88/5 after 20 overs. Unmesh, who was holding the innings together, was bowled in the 23rd over with his score on 16 and Basel score on 99.

Sridhar was bowled with his score on 9 with Daniel going shortly after that, bowled for 4.
Vinod didn’t stick around too long and he was bowled for 0. Rizwan, the player from
ZSLL scored 5 before being caught, leaving Simon not out on 4. Basel were all out for 116 in the 29th over.

There wasn’t too much movement in the pitch and the Basel batsmen really need to
concentrate on playing straight. Numerous batsmen were bowled while playing across the

A delicious lunch of chicken curry was enjoyed by all, with one or two players also
washing it down with a cold beer.

Nikhil and Anthony opened the bowling for Basel and after 4 overs apiece had not
managed to get the breakthrough necessary to slow the ZSLCC team down. After 8 overs
ZSLCC had 36 runs on the board. A change of bowling though brought the 1st wicket
with Simon, in his 1st over for Basel, tempting the batsmen with his slow balls just
outside the off stump. These were just too tempting and the batsman totally misjudged his
shot sending the ball high in the air to point, where Vinod took a great catch, also his 1st
for Basel.
Still frustrating the batsmen, Simon got an edge in his 2nd over with Bhas taking the catch
behind the stumps. After 12 overs, ZSLCC were 57/2.
In the 17th over with Daniel bowling, the ball was driven into covers, where Anthony
made a good stop and got the ball back to Bhas, who completed a good run-out, leaving
ZSLCC on 77/3 after 18 overs at the tea break.
In the 1st over after tea, Daniel found the edge of the ZSLL captain’s bat with Bhas taking
a good catch behind the stumps to leave the ZSLCC on 80/4.

Sridhar was next to get a wicket, bowling the batsmen with the score now 91/5.
Unmesh got the final wicket of the day for Basel, with another caught behind with the
score on 110.

The winning runs, a 6, were hit of Anthony’s 5th over with Basel losing the game by 4

Defending such a low total, Basel bowled way too many wides, 22 to be exact. Extras
were the 2nd highest score for ZSLCC.
Pre-season friendlies are there to try and iron these things out, so hopefully the bowling
lines will tighten up as the season continues.
The Basel CC fielding was also not really up to scratch and this will also hopefully
improve in the coming weeks.

Match Report by Anthony Boschin.