From Switzerland, back on the island. My journey went well, no hiccups. Traveling with Emirates has always been a pleasure. In Zurich, I picked up my rental car, and was set and off to the races.
When I arrived by the end of October, people were still sitting outside in the street cafés, it was a balmy 15 to close to 20 degrees during the warmer periods of the days. Then, after a few days, winter actually hit, cold and with some light snowfall. The weather stayed like this most of the time while I was there, even though there were days with sunny spells, as the picture shows. Autumn and even winter can be beautiful in the mountains, especially when the rising sun meets – and chases – the early morning fogs.
I had quite a list of things that I wanted to get done. I had my ailing MacBook Pro repaired. I didn’t have to pay the full price of the repair, the people in the Apple Shops have some leeway there. I ended up shelling out about 200 CHF. The reason for the recurring battery bloat is still unclear. Right now, I am still using the now repaired MacBook, and I am still unclear what my best solution would be going forward. The new Mac minis look promising, but their graphics processing capabilities are limited, and if I add an external GPU, and also spec the mini to the processing power I need for my photography work, I come dangerously close to the price range of an iMac. But without the screen. Maybe I cross my fingers for now, and wait and see what the Mac Pro brings to the table next year, for which Apple also promised a stand-alone high-res monitor.
I had my contact lenses checked and one of them replaced due to its age. I have some weird eye deformity, called Keratoconus. The fundamental causes of this illness are still not known. I guess I have had it since birth, and it manifested itself clearly when I was a teen. I have been using contact lenses since then, which is the only treatment available, short of surgery for cornea transplantation or other drastic measures of this sort. The contacts need to be of the rigid type, and finding a workable compromise between acceptable eye-sight and comfort of wearing them for a full day is more art than technique, due to the deformity of the cornea. So I do not want to trust any other optician or ophthalmologist with my eyes. During the decades I had only two opticians, who specialise in contact lenses and special cases like mine, taking care of my needs, and know what they’re doing. No experiments here.
Meeting family and friends is always an important part of my overseas visits. It’s nice to catch up in person, after weeks and months of electronic communication. Just spending time, from idly shooting the breeze to deeper and more serious discussions and exchanges. I loved this.
And then there was my school reunion. I really enjoyed it, meeting everyone after so many years. Some have changed quite a lot, appearance-wise, some not so much. I would have thought that I am in the latter category, but was nevertheless asked “and who are you again?”, if only a few times. Oh well. We just had lunch, and then long hours of talking, exchanging, reminiscing, laughing, in ever-changing small groups. This was our way also back then, a friendly bunch of late-stage hippies, at least in mind, and at times also clothing. OK, my memory might be a bit fuzzy, or rosy, or both, but I remember lots of “parties” back in the school-days just consisting of shared drink and food, sitting around a table, or on the floor (or on the ground when outside in summer), and talking and discussing, and playing music. Always music, either recorded or making it ourselves. Anyway, our reunion kind of reminded me of these days, even though no-one was sitting on the floor this time. And we had table-cloths.
On my return home, within a few days I caught a massive cold. It’s only today that I feel somewhat capable and competent to write this up (and it might not be overly coherent anyway) – I cannot remember to have been flat and down this way, and for so long. Anyway, slowly getting back to normal. Hanging around feeling feverish and beholding the world with glassy eyes also gave me time and opportunity to reflect on things. More about this later.
(Also, whiling my down-time, I started to read Steven King’s The Stand, based on a recommendation. In case you know that book, you’ll realise that my feverish state of mind was quite a backdrop for that reading…)