2018 – Year of the Dog

The netsuke chosen to represent 2006 is a seated dog (Spaniel), 4 cm high, exquisitely patinated ivory, early nineteenth century, signed Okatomo (Kyoto-school).

The Chinese calendar -which existed there already since around 2000 BC- was adopted by Japan from around the 6th century AD, together with Buddhism.

The Zodiac has an influence on the character of mankind. Each of the 12 ‘animals’ has specific characteristics. Dogs are proud yet good natured. They can listen, are loyal, sincere and watchful. Thus persons born under the zodiac sign of the dog stand for friendship, faithfulness and devotion. They are said to be sincere, friendly, discreet and trustworthy, however they can also be very conservative, often also eccentric, obstinate and egoistical.

During the last century, years of the dog were in 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982 and 1994, thn 2006 andd 2018. In each 60 year cycle, the 12 zodiac animals are repeated 5 times, representing 5 elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

Of course it is not that simple; 60 is only the most common denominator of 10 x 12, the ten being the 5 elements but in order to make it ten, the Japanese have adopted a big (elder) brother and younger brother of each of the five stated elements. In all eastern languages, big brother and younger brother is one noun each, and not formed by a noun (brother) plus an adjective (younger o rbig [elder]) like in western languages. Actually, the year of the fire dog starts on Febr. 15, 2018 and lasts till Febr. 5, 2019

As the 11th animal in the Eastern zodiac, the dog indicates the hours between 7 pm and 9 pm.

Best wishes to all for a great Year of the Dog!


Both Uschi and Willi wish you a wonderful winter season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or a vacation with friends and/or family. If anyone is close to Nevis, let us know – we can come to St. Kitts to meet your ship and accompany you to see the sights there with you in our car, or if you have time, come spend time with us in our home in Nevis.


By the way, if you would like to read the contents of all the pages in smaller or bigger characters, it is very simple: go to View, Text size and choose your preferred size. That is all it takes – do try it!

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

Year-in-Review 2017: – Happy New Year 2018 – Letter to family & friends

Nevis, 26th December 2017

Dear friends,

2017 started with Uschi getting the last chemotherapy infusion in Vevey on Tuesday, January 3rd. After some further tests, we got the green light to travel to Nevis and we managed to get flights in late January 2017 to St. Kitts via London Gatwick which was an easy way to travel.

Due to the late departure, we stayed just two months in our home there with lots of swimming for Uschi which was very useful for it did not stress her knee. After our return, she entered the Vevey hospital for her right knee operation which was done successfully; to this day it’s giving her no trouble at all.

On April 4th, Uschi finally got her right knee replaced at the same Vevey Providence hospital – all went very well and after a 10-day rehab stay at the Valmont Clinic in Glion she was virtually as new. At the time of writing, she is doing extremely well wih her new knee, also with swimming a lot in the pool and climbing stairs.

In May, as usual, I went on my yearly Japan trip to attend the sumo tournament and meet with my former key staff in a nice restaurant owned by the CEO of a former top client.

At the end of July, we made river cruise on the Rhine and the Mosel, from Amsterdam to Trier. There we rented a SUV with which we drove to Strasburg where we met with the former Ambassador In charge of St. Kitts & Nevis, Mrs. Line Leon-Pernet who represents Switzerland now in that City. From there, to Stuttgart, where we visited with other ex-Nevis residents, Winifred and Sonja Knepper. The Accor Hotel mear their house can be highly recommended. Then on to Deggingen to visit friends or quasi family of Uschi’s, the Ganslosers. The wellness and spa hotel nearby was excellent, too as the steps to the 2nd floor bedroom of our friends house were too steep for our old bones. Last, we hit Uschi’s home town of Kempten where we stayed several days in the Hotel Waldhorn.

On the way home from Kempten to La Tour-de-Peilz, we took the scenic route via the other large Swiss (and German/Austrian) water body, Lake Constance and from there up the Rhine valley to Sargans. Over the Oberalp Pass, and over the Furka Pass to Gletsch and from there via the Grimsel Pass down to and along the twin lakes of Brienz and Thun to the Swiss Capital City of Bern to visit the Haellers in the picturesque suburb of village of Spiegel.

October was full of sunshine and balmy weather in our beautiful Leman region, letting the grapes ripen to a full maturity. This year we could really speak of a Golden October with people still swimming in the Lake (of Geneva) till virtually the end of the month. We were favoured to eat daily outside on our large terrace overlooking the Lake Geneva.

This year, we returned to normalcy, leaving Switzerland in mid-November first to Chiang Mai for Uschi to have some needed dental work done by our Thai dentist for over 20 years now.. Then on to Japan to visit with fiends such as Martin Fluck, Pierre Weber, Taro Mori and his mother Yoshiko, Nagai-san of Fuji Denki, and Peter & Emi Kalischer. We also made a day trip to Nagoya to see Mrs. Sugiyama whose husband and longtime friend had passed away in mid-year.

On Dec. 4th, we continued to Los Angeles where we rented a Toyota Highlander SUV and traveled to Borrego Springs for an overnight stay, on to Yuma AZ, and Palm Desert. With many people having moved on or passed away, we only stayed a few days in Yuma at the casita of Charlie & Lynn Simants, and later in the villa of James and Julia Smith in Palm Desert. In Yuma we rode the superb, spacious and fully equipped motor home, it has even a fire place, satellite dish and a fridge like we have at home making ice cubes, a washer/drier. And expandable to +/- 4 m!

After that, it was on to Miami for a few purchases for our home in Nevis. On day 1, Martha Murphy drove from her home in Longboat Key F for a visit staying at the same hotel as ours. We also met Colette Liffman for dinner at her Club before she left for Basel for the Holiday Season. On Sunday we went to see our old netsuke friend Joe Kurstin and wife Elena in their spectacular Brickell Condo on the 36th floor. I am happy that we found Joe looking fine and that his memory is a good as it has ever been. Today, on the last day here, we also met Peter and Nora Hueppi for our customary Italian Lunch at Abbracci.

Tomorrow, we will be leaving for a 3-hour flight over to St. Kitts well before Christmas. For the Festive Season, we will have also hopefully received the one suitcase that we have packed before our departure from Switzerland to the Far East and which has been shipped by friends by DHL in mid-December with some Xmas goodies.

In closing, Uschi joins me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a most wonderful, happy, successful and healthy New Year of the Dog 2018!

Willi and Uschi

The VoiP number +41 44 586 5060 is located in Zurich, Switzerland and reaches us anywhere in the world over the Internet; if no answer, please just leave a message on the answerphone with your number and we will call you back within 24 hours.

The Nevis numbers: Land line +1 869 469 8818 with answer machine; Cell Willi +1 869 660 2000, Uschi + 1 869 665 8322 – these numbers are only valid when we are on island! Use WhatsApp!

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

Hurricane MARIA – September 2017

The entire green top of the trellis lies bent 45° forward into the pool, leaving the backside bare, In the front, the pathway to the stairway

Luckily, Nevis was not at all affected from hurricane IRMA 2 weeks ago. Neighboring island like Barbuda, Antigua, St. Martin and St. Barth were heavily damaged though.

Hurricane MARIA came in on a slightly different path, hit Dominica in a very bad way and then came directly to Nevis, hitting on Tuesday around 2 pm with heavy winds and torrential rains.

We lost some trees and frangipani, as well as the trellis on the east side of the pool deck which gave those lounging under it a fine natural green shade and those above in the house a weekly change of new flowering of a clematis-like beautiful local plant.

Due to the continuous very heavy showers, it seems that the cistern started to fill up quickly and even overflowed into the bedrooms, the living room, and kitchen too. Obviously, the existing overflow pipe was insufficient to take care of the vast quantities of downpour. The hatches which would become the final exit for water to escape from the cistern were wrongly placed in the bedrooms instead of outside the house when it was built in the 1980’s …

David Johnson, our caretaker living in the house could obtain a pump and after 5 hours working it, he got all the water out of all rooms at which time the heavy rains started once again….

If I have further important information, I will make updates as and when it becomes available.

Uschi and I expect to return by December 20th.

Posted in General News, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Year-in-Review 2016: – Happy New Year 2017 – Letter to family & friends

La Tour de Peilz, 18th December 2016

Dear friends,

This is the very first time in 22 years since my retirement in 1994 that I am writing this note from Switzerland and not from the Caribbean, the reason being the colon cancer the doctors discovered last spring when Uschi went for a blood check to undergo a knee operation. The details are in the article below, or on bosshard.net under Family, Not so Great news, and updates. After the 12th chemotherapy session on Jan. 3, 2017 and some other check-ups, we hope that we will get permission to fly to Nevis at the end of January for a 2 months’ rest in our house there so that Uschi may recuperate from the 6-month ordeal.

2016 started out fine enough. In January, we had Hans & Sylvia Friedli for the 7th time visiting us for a fortnight in Nevis before departing on a Caribbean cruise. Then we had lots of parties in February and March with some golf and a run to St. Barth for some freshly flown-in French mussels and purchases of food tîtems. On the way back to Switzerland in late March, we caught up with several friends in Miami.

As usual, I went on my yearly Japan trip in May to see sumo and meet with my former key staff in a nice new restaurant run by a staff member of a former top client. One day I was happy to sponsor Barry and Karen Wilson for an afternoon at the Kokugikan Sumo Arena in a special box with armchair seats for some most exciting bouts, after which they invited me to a superb teppanyaki dinner.

Uschi should have undergone a knee replacement on July 4 and for that, she had to get a new blood test; the yearly one done in October 2015 was too old. It showed she was anemic, and the reason turned out to be a tumor in her colon. This was removed in an operation in Lausanne on June 8th, and her bi-weekly chemotherapy started a month later in the Providence Hospital in Vevey on July 11th.

On July 23rd, I celebrated my 80th birthday (3 days late) with 80 guests: I had chartered the 100+ year old paddle ship m/s VEVEY. Nobody was aware that Uschi had cancer as she felt excellent on the 13th day after her very first chemo session. We had a great time with fine weather despite the poor weather forecast, superb dinner with fine wines in the Salon Belle Époque and a great live orchestra as accompaniment till 1 am.

Because she had felt great during the second week of treatment at the beginning, she could drive to her hometown twice, on one occasion we visited friends in London, and another time we took a one week river cruise on the Rhone which was most enjoyable, but after October, the accumulation of all those chemicals made it difficult for her. The second week also became quite difficult, as the doctors had predicted all along. Now we are staying home and Uschi is resting whenever she feels too tired, but she is mostly in good spirits. Her forward-looking positive attitude is a great asset in all this and certainly greatly assist her chances to come out of all this a winner.

In November I flew for a short trip to Thailand to visit an old friend, Max Kagi, 86, wo is quite sick in his house in Phuket. He has been living there since the return of Hong Kong to China, sailing and playing a lot of golf. For some years, he no longer could walk, and with water in his lungs, he could hardly talk when we saw him 2 years ago, now he no longer recognized me. His Thai “wife” and daughter (not by him) look after him very gently, feed him, change diapers, etc. The sad thing is that his son by his deceased Chinese wife managed to obtain his father’s power of attorney and has now sold all his real estate in Switzerland and transferred the proceeds to his personal account in Hong Kong – he even canceled his father’s health insurance! And until it was changed to his Thai account, the son even used the old man’s state pension (AHV)!!! What a little bastard that Jackie is! Now the former multi-millionaire is living on a mere 2.200 Swiss francs’ state pension … I have a foreboding that I will not see him alive next time I am in Phuket … so I am happy I went this time to bid farewell.

During the last weekend of November, we visited our son’s family in Dättlikon because Keana, 12, our second grand daughter, was again performing in a ballet at the Theater in Winterthur. We try to go there every year, and as in years before, it was a delightful performance under the most excellent direction of Mrs. Claudia Corti – I just found out that she is related to Mario, our brilliant former CFO.

For Christmas, we will visit our son and his family in Dättlikon near Winterthur where the rest of the family is congregating, too. It will be the first time for us as we normally are in Nevis. We are very much looking forward to it.

In closing, Uschi joins me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a most wonderful, happy, successful and healthy New Year of the Rooster 2017!

Willi and Uschi

*The Zurich number +41 44 586 5060 is in Switzerland and reaches us anywhere in the world over the Internet; if no answer, pl. just leave a message with your number and we will call you back within 24 hours. The Nevis numbers: Land line +1 869 469 8818 with answer machine; Cell Willi +1 869 660 2000, Uschi + 1 869 665 8322 – the cell numbers will answer only if we are in Nevis in 2017 expected from 28.1. to 22.3.2017.

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

2017 Year of the Rooster

The netsuke chosen to represent 2017 is a rooster in stained boxwood, inlaid eyes, early nineteenth century, unsigned, property of Robert S. Huthart, Hong Kong

The Chinese do not place too much importance on the Rooster as they do on a number of the other zodiac animals.

It is nevertheless said that the Rooster can get into a human being in order to impose good or evil things on mankind.

The Rooster is also a symbol that is found in formal gardens; censored fights were held and enjoyed as early as 500 years ago.

As the 10th animal in the Eastern Zodiac, the Rooster indicates the hours between 5 pm and 7 pm. It is the counterpart of the Hare.

Actually, the lunar calendar begins on January 28, 2017 so anybody born till then is rightfully still born in the year of the monkey. For practical reasons, however, most people use the calendar year to decide under which zodiac sign they were born. It ends on February15, 2018. In the past Century, Rooster years were 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005.

Best wishes for a great Year of the Rooster to all readers!


Both Uschi and Willi wish you a wonderful spring and summer season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or a vacation with friends and/or family. For our 2017 Newsletter, it should be ready around mid-December 2017 right here.


By the way, if you would like to read the contents of all the pages in smaller or bigger characters, it is very simple: go to View, Text size and choose your preferred size. That is all it takes – try it!

Posted in General News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2nd Update Uschi

Deutsch
Heute werde ich die 8. Therapie bekommen. Es ist leider nicht mehr so wie es in den Anfängen der Behandlung war, als ich mich nur in der ersten Woche schlecht fühlte mit Erbrechen und ich oft auch starken Durchfall hatte. Dafür fühlte ich mich in der 2. Woche frei von diesen Beschwerden, aber sehr müde war ich eigentlich immer. Darum konnte ich auch problemlos an Willis 80. Geburtsgsparty teilnehmen, einen Besuch in Kempten machen, mit Willi eine Kurzvisite in London einplanen, nochmals nach Kempten und auch noch eine 7-tägige Flussfahrt auf der Rhone/Saone machen – immer in der 2. Woche. Die Akkumulation der Infusionen, von denen doch ein Teil nicht vom System verarbeitet werden konnte und im Körper zurückgeblieben ist, müssten verantwortlich sein, dass ich seit etwa einem Monat auch in der Woche 2 mit mehrmaligem Erbrechen und Durchfall geplagt bin. Leider wird das weitergehen bis zum Ende der Behandlung. Aber andrerseits sollte es auch bedeuten, dass es weniger Möglichkeiten gibt, dass Metastasen überleben werden.
Die Onkologin ist jedoch mit meinem Werten weiterhin sehr zufrieden, und ich bin zuversichtlich, dass ich nach meiner 12. und letzten Session Ende Dezember grünes Lichte bekomme, im Januar nach Nevis reisen zu dürfen.

Uschi
31.10.2016

English
Today I will get the 8th therapy. Unfortunately, it is no longer as it was in the beginning of the treatment, when I only felt bad during the first week with vomiting and strong diarrhea. In the second week, I just felt tired, naturally I was always tired. That is why I could attend Willis 80th birthday party, make a visit to Kempten, plan a short visit to London with Willi, once again to Kempten and make a 7 day river trip on the Rhone / Saone – always during or at the end of the second week. The accumulation of the infusions, some of which could not be processed by the system and which remained behind in my body, should be responsible for the fact that I have also been plagued with many vomiting and diarrhea attacks also in the 2nd week for about a month now. And this I am afraid will continue till the end. But it should also mean that there should be a lesser chance for remaining metastases.
The oncologist is, however, still very satisfied with my values, and I am confident that after my 12th and last session at the end of December I will get the green light to travel to Nevis in January.

Uschi
31.10.2016

Posted in Family | Leave a comment

1st Update Uschi

Deutsch

Die erste Chemotherapie fand wie geplant am 11. Juli nachmittags statt, 4 Stunden Infusion. Die Banane entpuppte sich eher wie eine Handgranate, welche eine kleine Pumpe enthielt plus den für mich kreierte Spezialmix, die sie während 2 Tagen in mich hineinpumpte. Während dieser Zeit war es mir oft schlecht und hatte ich oft auch starken Durchfall, auch war ich noch während Tagen sehr müde. Aber ich hatte immer guten Appetit und eine positive Einstellung. In der zweiten Woche ging es mir entschieden besser, so dass ich auch an Willis 80. Geburtstag Party auf der Vevey teilnehmen und diesen mit den 78 Teilnehmern bis 1 Uhr morgens voll geniessen konnte.

Inzwischen habe ich einen Drittel der Therapien hinter mir, und die Onkologin ist sehr zufrieden mit mir. Wenn alles gut geht, werde ich die letzte am 26. Dezember haben und dann hoffe ich, endlich etwas mit dem Knie planen zu können, vielleicht März. Vorher können wir dann doch noch kurz nach Nevis fliegen???

Vor einer Woche hat mir der Arzt sogar erlaubt, in der zweiten Woche einen Kurzbesuch in Deutschland zu machen. Willi hat mich bis zu Nic und den Enkeln begleitet und auch dort wieder abgeholt, doch die Strecke von Dättlikon nach Kempten und zurück habe ich bestens selber gemeistert. Und in der nächsten Woche werden wir 4 Tage nach London fliegen, um alte Bekannte zu besuchen, die wie seit Jahren nicht mehr gesehen haben und deren Partner inzwischen leider verschieden sind.

Uschi
September 10, 2016

English

The first chemotherapy was as planned on 11 July in the afternoon – 4 hours’ infusion. The “banana” I mentioned last time looked actually more like a hand grenade, which contained a small pump plus the special mix created for me that it was pumping into me for 2 days. During this time, I often felt like vomiting and I often also had strong diarrhea, and I was very tired even for days. But I always had a good appetite and a also positive attitude. In the second week I was feeling decidedly better, so I could fully enjoy Willis’s 80th birthday party July 23 on the m/s Vevey with 78 participants till 1am.

Meanwhile, I have a third of therapies behind me, and the oncologist is very pleased with me. If all goes well, I’ll have the last session on 26 December and then I hope to finally be able to plan something with my right knee, perhaps in March. Before we can then still briefly go to Nevis ???

A week ago, my doctor has even allowed to make a short visit to Germany in the second week when I always feel better. Willi has accompanied me up to Nic with the grand kids and collected again from there, but the route from Dättlikon to Kempten and back I mastered well by myself. And next week we will fly out for 4 days to London, to visit old friends whom we have not seen in years and their partners have in the meantime sadly departed.

Uschi
September 10, 2016

Posted in Family | 1 Comment

Keine tollen Nachrichten… Not so great news….

Deutsch

Wie Ihr vielleicht wisst, hätte Uschi Ende Juni eine Knieprothese eingesetzt bekommen sollen. Dazu musste sie vorher eine ärztliche Kontrolle machen lassen, wo eine Anämie festgestellt wurde. Bei weiteren Tests wurde ein Geschwür im Dickdarm entdeckt, das am 8. Juni in einem Privatspital in Lausanne operiert wurde. Die letzte Kontrolle vom Herbst 2014 war unauffällig.

Nach der Entfernung dieses Geschwürs haben wir nun am 28. Juni die Onkologin in Vevey getroffen. Die Onkologin hat mich heute auch noch abgetastet und abgehört und fand mich in sehr gutem “Zustand”. Uschi fasst die heutige Besprechung wie folgt zusammen.

Es wird also eine Chemotherapie von 6 Monaten geben, alle 14 Tage eine “Sitzung”, die ganze Prozedur geht ungefähr so:

Man wird mir ambulant einen “Port” einsetzen, das ist ein kleines Teil unter der Haut, damit man die Infusion dort problemlos anschliessen kann, wesentlich praktischer, als ein Katheter.
Wenn ich einmal “angezapft” bin, dauert die Infusion etwa 4 Std. im Spital. Anschliessend bekomme ich eine “Banane” für 48 Std angehängt, also eine Art Etui mit einer Pumpe, das mit dem Port verbunden ist; danach ist Pause bis zum nächsten Termin in 2 Wochen.

Am 7. Juli hatte ich einen Informationsnachmittag und da hat es noch viel mehr Aufklärung, Hinweise und vor allem auch Lesemaerial gegeben. Durch die Chemotherapie werde ich keine Haare verlieren, und falls es mir einmal leicht unwohl werden sollte, gibt es ein gutes Mittel dagegen, ebenso gegen Durchfall oder Verstopfung. Sollte ich Fieber bekommen, muss ich gleich die Ärztin (Onkologin) aufsuchen, aber das alles muss nicht passieren, das ist sehr individuell und selten. Es wird schon hinhauen.

Dr. Roulet wird mir den Port am 11. Juli vormittags um 7:30 im Spital von Montreux einsetzen, und dann bekomme ich die erste Infusion vermutlich schon ab 11 Uhr in der Clinique La Providence in Vevey, nur etwa 5 Minuten von zuhause entfert.

Im Moment ist das der Stand der Dinge, ich bin auf nach der langen Aufklärung bei den Schwestern in der Klinik immer noch sehr positiv. Morgen früh rücke ich ein.

Uschi
28. Juni 2016, Rev. vom 10. Juli 2016

English

As you perhaps knew, Uschi should have received a knee prothesis around the end of June. For this she had to undergo some medical tests where it was found that she was anemic and further tests revealed that she had a tumor in her colon. The last such test in fall of 2014 was without pathological findings. On June 8, the tumor was successfully removed from her colon in a private hospital in Lausanne.

After that operation, we had met the oncologist on June 28 in Vevey. The oncologist yesterday has palpated and auscultated me and found me in very good condition. Uschi summarizes this conference as herafter.

There will be a chemo therapy of 6 months, a sitting every 2 weeks, and the procedure will be as follows:
In the hospital, they will implant a little “port”, a small gadget under the skin, so that they will be able to connect the infusion tubes without problem; this is safer and more practicable than a catheter. Once “tapped in”, the infusion will take some 4 hours during which I will be in the hospital. Following that, I will get a “banana” which ia actually a pump to carry for 48 hours. This is a small etui, connected with the “port”. After that comes an intermission till the next date in 2 weeks.

On July 7 I had another half day session with the nurses and got lots of additional information, hints and lots of reading material. I will not lose my hair through the chemo therapy; in case I should feel unwell, there are products for it, equally against diarrhea and constipation.
Should I have get fever, I would have to see the doctor immediately but this should not happen as it is very individual and rare. Let there be light!

Dr. Roulet will set the “port” early in the morning of July 11, and I shall have the first infusion the same day starting around 11 am in La Povidence Hospital in Vevey, 5 minutes from our home.

This is the state of affairs as of today. I am still very confident. Start is tomorrow morning.

Uschi
June 28, 2016, Revision 10.7.2016

Posted in Family | 53 Comments

2016 Year of the Monkey

The netsuke chosen to represent 2016 is a Monkey, squatting, pointing at something on his left hand holding down a tortoise. Ivory with well defined hair-work, eyes inlaid in dark horn, early nineteenth century, signed Okatori.

The monkey was first worshiped in return for some supposed services rendered to the individual who went to India, by special command of an Emperor of the Tang dynasty, to obtain the Sacred Books of the Buddhist religion. This Emperor deified the monkey, or at least he conferred the august title of “the Great Sage equal to Heaven” upon that quadruped.

The monkey is believed to have the overall control of hobgoblins, witches, elves, etc. people often imagine that sickness or want of success in study and trade, is caused by witches and hobgoblins. hence the sick, or the unsuccessful, worship the monkey in order to obtain his kind offices in driving away the evil influences of various imaginary spirits or powers.

The monkey is considered a sensual and very impudent animal. In old long bygone days, monkeys were used in the Imperial stables to watch over the horses which are believed to venerate.

The monkey is probably the most popular animal and has been made the hero of many legends.

It is said that if you are born in the year of the Monkey you are likely to be an erratic genius.

During the last century till now, years of the Monkey Years were in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004, and again in 2028. In 60 year cycles, the 12 zodiac animals are repeated 5 times, representing the 5 elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

Of course it is not that simple; 60 is merely the most common denominator of 10 x 12, the ten representing the 5 elements but in order to make it ten, the Japanese have adopted a big (elder) brother and small (younger) brother of each of the five stated elements. In all eastern languages, big brother and younger brother is one noun each, and not formed by a noun (brother) plus an adjective (younger or bigger [elder]) like in western languages. Actually, in 2016 the year of the Monkey starts on February 8, 2016 and lasts till January 28, 2017.

As the 9th animal in the Eastern zodiac, the monkey indicates the hours between 3 pm and 5 pm.

Best wishes for a great Year of the Monkey!


Both Uschi and Willi wish you a wonderful spring and summer season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or a vacation with friends and/or family.


By the way, if you would like to read the contents of all the pages in smaller or bigger characters, it is very simple: go to View, Text size and choose your preferred size. That is all it takes – try it!

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

Happy New Year 2016 – Year-in-Review 2015: Letter to family & friends

Nevis W.I., December 19th, 2015

Dear Friends,

As usual, we started the New Year of 2015 in our house in Nevis and also as usual, we old folk stayed there till mid-March when we took a speed boat over to Reggae Beach and a taxi to Bradshaw International in St. Kitts. This time, however, we boarded a BA flight to Gatwick from where there was an easy connection to Geneva.

In May, Willi made his annual pilgrimage to Japan to see his friends and Sumo while Uschi drove to Kempten via the home of our son Nic and his wife Alexandra and the 3 grand kids Leonie, Keana and Matteo in Dättlikon, near Zurich, to see her relatives and friends in Germany.

Japan was sort of sad as Willi’s best friend Sam had passed away on the very day of his 84th birthday in 2014; also the traditional Old Boys get together is, sadly, constantly dwindling. Without telling anyone, I went with a friend to the Sosanji temple on a bright day to pay my respects to Sam.

Our customary visit to Chiang Mai started on October 15. Apart from the customary visit to the dentist, we met with Marc & Luxami Dumur, Ping Kaiwala, Pimpan Charoenjit, Hans Baumann. Claude Marsens unfortunately was not available this year in Bangkok.

Again we flew into Haneda, from Bangkok, with a far shorter ride into town than from Narita. After a few days at the Royal Park where we were treated royally as always, our friends Adi & Susi Schulthess flew in from Manila where they had visited their youngest son Eric and his family.

We were scheduled to start on a long planned trip to the Japan Sea to see the local sights, the changing colors of the Japanese maple leaves and of course, to taste the fine cuisine of their famous Inns in the hot spring areas. We had rented a Toyota Alphard, with 4 very comfortable seats, and a driver. We stayed one night each at the following places, except in Osaka (3 nights)

IKAHO, GUNMA PREF. KAICHORO
MATSUMOTO, NAGANO PREF. MYOJINKAN
TAKAYAMA, TOYAMA PREF. WA NO SATO
TOYAMA, TOYAMA PREF. RIVER RETREAT GARAKU
NOTO PENINSULA, ICHIKAWA PREF. LAMP NO YADO
YAMANAKA ONSEN, ICHIKAWA PREF. KAYOTEI
MIKUNI ONSEN, FUKUI PREF. BOYORO
AMANO HASHIDATE, KYOTO PREF. MONJYUSO SHOROTEI
KINOSAKI ONSEN, HYOGO PREF. NISHIMURAYA
OSAKA SWISSOTEL NANKAI

In Tokyo, Hideki Nagano drove us to his mother’s Sadako’s home where she not only prepared a sumptuous kaiseki luncheon but also showed us her many beautiful kimono designs and dyes.

After Tokyo, we proceeded to Honolulu where we met Martin Wyss and his wife for a very nice Hawaiian meal, had chats with Valerie Reisert and Baby Handl; later flew over to the Big Island where we had a good time with Kimo + Karen Dejon. We were driving around the whole Island but due to the thick clouds could not take the long expected helicopter trip to the Mouna Kea.

From Kona, United brought us to Los Angeles from when we rented a Ford Edge SUV that was our transport for 3 weeks. We met Jurg and Joan Mattmann for lunch in Temecula where we also stayed at the comfortable South Californian Winery with quite nice wines. From there to Borrego Springs and then on to Yuma AZ where we stayed in the casita of Charlie and Lynn Simants. One day, we went over the border to the small town of Algodones in Mexico, 10m. away from Yuma, with all kinds of businesses catering to US clients, all paid in greenbacks. Good and inexpensive food & drinks are available, live music and dancing even at lunch time. Well stocked pharmacies and dentists abounded. Huge parking spaces available on US territory. The border control is quite severe with returnees; all must show photo identity but we were not checked as to the value of goods brought into the US.

We then drove along Salton Lake to Palm Springs where we met Ed Marteka, our old neighbor from Kobe where we repeated our raclette dinner. We had found the cheese in a wonderful store in N. Wilshire Bvd. by online search – you hardly find such a variety anywhere in Europe, also meats, oils, wines, spirits, breads, chocolates, you name it, they have it.

Something we had wished to visit for years but so far never had the time, was Death Valley CA. Though not the summery heat in the 130s F, – it was actually quite cold in the mornings, below 50F/10C. It was a long trip in and out, but once there, we enjoyed the many rock formations, the shadows thrown especially by the afternoon sun, the vastness and the emptiness of the area. The Inn at the Furnace Creek is quite comfortable in the middle of nowhere but when you have an overflowing toilet at 1 am flooding the whole bathroom, due to the carelessness of the room attendant, this spoils your whole stay….

We returned to civilization through another more westerly route taking us through Trona, a huge mineral complex (Borax), then visited the airlines boneyard http://www.airplaneboneyards.com/southern-california-logistics-airport-victorville-boneyard.htm near Victorville where we spent the night in a very comfortable Hilton Garden Inn. The next day on we drove through Yucca and the Joshua tree country of San Bernardino County (14 were shot dead that night!) back to Palm Desert where in the meantime James and Julia Smith of Hilton (Hong Kong) fame had arrived from their native Scotland for their 3 month wintering, golfing, entertaining and what else is on their extensive program.

Back to LA and the LACMA for another encounter of the Otoman tiger, then a 4-hour flight to Chicago where we expected to freeze our butts off because we do not carry any winter clothes with us but it was around 10C. There we met Stacie Hartman, a dear acquaintance of a trip to the Torres del Paine journey many moons ago and the next day took a Pullman Rail Journey to New Orleans. From there, we drove along the Gulf of Mexico with our friend Martha Murphy to her beautiful Longboat Key home, and spent 3 days there with her, then on to Miami where we will meet with Joe + Elena Kurstin, Peter + Nora Hüppi, Colette Liffman and others. Departure for Nevis is on Dec. 22.

This year, son Nicolas and his wife Alexandra and the 3 grandkids Leonie, Keana & Matteo will, most unfortunately, not be able to join us for the Festivities this year.

In closing, Uschi joins me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a most wonderful, happy, successful and healthy New Year of the Monkey 2016!


Willi and Uschi

*The Zurich number +41 44 586 5060 is in Switzerland and reaches us in Nevis over the Internet, if no answer, pl. just leave a message and your number and we will call you back within 24 hours.
The Nevis numbers: Land line +1 869 469 8818; Cell Willi +1 869 660 2000, Uschi + 1 869 665 8322

Posted in General News | Leave a comment