Happy New Year 2012 – Year-in-Review Letter to family & friends

Nevis W.I., December 14th, 2011

Dear Friends,

In 2011 we stayed in Nevis till late March  when we flew over to St Martin and spent 3 wonderful days at the Radisson Beach Resort at Anse Marcel in the North of the Island  before flying home to Geneva. That was a very relaxed way of taking the evening AF flight, without the hassle of changing planes at the busy Princess Juliana Airport.

While in Nevis, Uschi’s mother Hilde passed away quite suddenly on Feb.20th. She was 96 ½ and still living by herself until 2 weeks before. There was no way that we could get a flight home via St Marten  or via Miami or New York in time to see her before her cremation which according to German law has to take place within 72 hours of death! Therefore, we decided to have her real funeral, and then have a proper church service with the burial of her urn on April 6th when everybody could attend.

In early May, Willi went to Japan despite the 3/11 9.0 earthquake followed  by a devastating tsunami which led to the terrible Fukushima catastrophe. Many people had pleaded with him not to go, but after spending 28 happy years in that wonderful country, Willi felt he owed it to his many Japanese friends and colleagues to show them respect in their most difficult time. And I felt their gratitude and happiness for my visit this time, especially as most foreign personnel had left Japan for home, or at least had transferred their work place to the Osaka area right after the earthquake. The Japanese felt very upset.

Meanwhile Uschi went to clean out her mother’s apartment  in Kempten and was lucky to sell it as well.

Summer was a marvelous time at Lake Geneva, good for swimming, taking walks or naps on the terrace after a fine lunch with visitors.

In early September we left for Thailand and Chiang Mai, to get accustomed to the Western Australian time. Fortunately, we were there before the disastrous Thai flooding that happened in that country in October.

We had planned another trip to the Australian Outback in Western Australia for 2 years. The timing was done so as to coincide with the end of the rains in the desert areas, and for the flowers to be out and in full bloom. This time from Perth up  to Dongara – Kalbarri – Monkey Mia – Coral Bay –Exmouth – Tom Price (starting place for the Karijini National Park but also one of the important Iron Mining townships from where trains run to Port Headland) and returning to Perth via Newman – Cue.

This itinerary reads like a little outing but with all the side trips to see all the sights and Aboriginal cave paintings, lakes, gorges, pink lakes where natural beta carotene is being harvested, cliffs, sand dunes, dozens of flowering spring flowers, fighting red male kangaroos, etc., the trip came to a staggering 4’800 kms! We had the same comfortable Range Rover with air suspenion that we had previously used in 2007 for the trip from Perth to the South as far as Albany, expertly driven by our trusted owner-guide Arthur (‘Turi’ for his friends) Junker of Sandgroper Tours who effortlessly found even the most remote and nowhere marked   places and sights.

With the attached photos taken by Uschi, you will find a legend that explains some of the pictures and sights.

Later we took a Qantas (queer and nervous take another service!) flight to Sydney where we stayed with our friends the “Flinchens”.

We then took a SQ A-380 day flight to Singapore, a wonderful experience in both service, quietness and space. The continuation to Tokyo was another highlight because. upon landing from Australia, all in transit, they led us to their Lounge and in there to a Private dining room where we were served an exquisite à la carte pre-flight dinner. Then it was 11 pm and  time to board. No sooner were we in the air, than our beds were made up and we were asleep (we took a pill with the meal) – this till Tokyo, nearly 7 hours later.

In Japan, we stayed only in Tokyo where we met with a number of friends for lunch and dinner thus catching up with friends  as we regularly do. No sumo in October… Also, we did not go to Fukushima as I did in May.

On the way home, we overnighted in Los Angeles  where we had dinner with Pat Wanner. On to Seattle, we had a great surprise: TSA in their ‘friendliness’ had broken the locks on our Samsonite suitcase and we had to go buy new ones – of course we had nothing inadmissible in them, they are just nosy and when they want to look and a bag is locked, they break the lock. So sorry…. That’s why we avoid the US as much as we can.

We had a wonderful dinner at the Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. The owner spent some time with us chatting because his elder brother who actually had invited us and for whom we had made the trip to Seattle, could not make it that evening. Thank you Tony, sorry to have missed you and Pam.

In San Francisco, we bought some clothes for me. Also revisited some old places like the Golden Gate bridge, Sausalito, the Wharf.  Had some Italian food with Otti and Sayoko Meier. On the way home by Swiss, we were the only 2 passengers and got great service from the crew but were not really hungry, but it being a night flight, we had a great sleep on soft beds.

The latter part of October and all of November were so lovely and sunny that we were able to eat outside on the terrace every day! I had not rained in Switzerland since early October and it started to rain a little just 3 days before we left for Miami…

We arrived in Nevis on Dec.9th; after 3 days in Miami for shopping for meats and cheese, so we will not die of hunger during the Festivities and in the New Year… Of course, we also needed some hardware goods and other materials for the house which for the silly new rule introduced by quasi bankrupt American Airlines of “NO BOXES” as accompanied baggage during December, we had to leave back in Miami.

The 3 grandchildren with their parents will unfortunately not be able to join us again this holiday season but we hope to have them with us in 2013.

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 Dragon 2012! The webpage will be updated before Christmas to include the Dragon for 2012.

 

                                                                                                                                    Willi & Uschi

 

We have safely returned to the Islands last Friday afternoon from Miami via St. Kitts, then by
power boat from Reggae Beach to Oualie Beach where our Suzuki Vitara was waiting for us.

 

 

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2011 Year of the Rabbit

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. Persons born in the year of the Rabbit (usagi) are the most fortunate. They are smooth talkers, talented, ambitious, virtuous and reserved. They have exceedingly fine taste and are regarded with admiration and trust.
During the last century, years of the Rat were in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999. 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 merely 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 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, the year of the Rabbit starts on February 3, 2011 and lasts till January 23, 2012.

As the 4th animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Rabbit indicates the hours between 5 am and 7 am.

Best wishes to all for a splendid Year of the Rabbit, 2011!

The netsuke chosen to represent 2011 are two magnificently carved lunar rabbits one in boxwood the other in ivory, seated with all four legs gathered together under it, both with enormous long ears, the wood rabbit's eyes inlaid in reddish horn, the ivory ones in 2 tones of coral, early 19th century, signed Toyomasa (Tamba-school).

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The entire Bosshard clan wishes you a wonderful 2010/11 Holiday Season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or even a vacation with friends and family, leading into a beautiful spring and great summer season, too.

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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!

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Happy New Year – 2010 Letter to family & friends – 31.12.2010

Dear Friends,

In 2010 we stayed in Nevis until March 23 when we flew over to St. Martin and spent 3 wonderful days at the Radisson Beach Resort at Anse Marcel in the North of the island before flying home to Switzerland. That was a very relaxed way of taking the AF flight to Paris and hence to Geneva, without the hassle of changing planes at the busy Princess Juliana Airport.

Most of May, Willi spent his usual time in Japan visiting his old chums and friends (staff) from Nestle at the annual Old Boys meeting in Tokyo. Of course, Sumo was high on the agenda, too. Of course, there was ample time to look into the Kobe beef case… Uschi meanwhile went to visit the grand kids near Winterthur on the way to her now nearly 96 year old mother in Kempten/Allgaeu.

During summer, we stayed close to Switzerland with short trips by car only to Germany, Austria, Italy and France. We did go to celebrate Hilde’s 96th birthday with her younger sister Baerbel. She is not doing too well but has all the help and support at home as she refuses to go to a nearby home.

Then we visited with our longtime friends at Lago Maggiore and later proceeded into the mountains behind Cannes to visit other friends, but staying at a really charming, well-appointed and run B&B in their neighborhood. There, we also met up with the architect friend who built our annex in Nevis. We returned via several virtually traffic-free Alpine passes back to Switzerland, meeting another lady friend in Aosta for dinner at a cozy retreat with an excellent kitchen and wine cellar.

September was a marvelous time at lake Geneva, good for swimming, taking walks or naps on the terrace after a fine lunch with visitors or in one of the excellent restaurants nearby.

In October, we left for Japan, where we started one of our already customary trips with another couple we got to know 45 years ago in Japan, Adi and Suzy Schulthess. We arrived 2 days earlier in Tokyo to arrange certain open matters and met them 2 days later down at the Osaka Hilton, from where we made a side trip to Naruto on the island of Shikoku but then stayed mainly in a great Kyoto ryokan from where we went to see some previously visited, but mostly never before admired, temples and shrines with a driver-guide whose knowledge was outstanding.

After Kyoto, we left for Tokyo for an one night stopover to leave the baggage we did not need for the 2 week trip of the North East of Japan where we wished to see the countryside but especially the changing colours of the maple leaves.

We left by Tohoku Shinkansen to Hachinohe where we had to change into a normal Limited Express train (the Bullet line to Aomori, our destination at the top of Honshu, will only open in mid December this year). There, a new driver, Mohri-san, who had already driven us in 1993, 2001 and 2007, was waiting for us in a Nissan El Grand and took us to the Aomori Hotel (the first of only two western places where we would spend overnight during the next 2 weeks). After the 4+ hour train ride, we decided to eat in and chose a sashimi followed by a sukiyaki – it was excellent with hot sake!

Then we started our 2250 km drive down to Tokyo, criss-crossing the north eastern part of Japan for the sights in terms of natural beauty, castles, mountains, seashores, the largest continuous  beech forest on Earth, hot springs, samurai residences, lakes, etc. etc. Naturally, there are many fine Japanese guest houses called ryokan, some of very high standard, some less. We made it a rule to eat a generous western breakfast at 8, departure was at 9 and we tried to be at the next ryokan by 4 pm, certainly no later than 5 at in those latitudes, as it’s dark by then. For lunch we often had just an apple, or a bowl of noodle soup.

A very traditional multi-course Japanese dinner was served at 6:30 or 7 pm, and it took 2 hours to eat comfortably. Mostly, it was served in one of our rooms (see some of the photos), It always started with raw fish (sashimi) and we got most elaborate menu descriptions in Japanese, but the English translation was missing except for once or twice. But it was always very good and exquisitely presented. The quantity was always such that we could never eat the rice, which for the Japanese is like bread for us.

The Schulthess left for home from Tokyo after 3 days with us in the capital of Japan. We stayed another 3 days, then proceeded to Chiang Mai for a little rest at the Chedi.. After that, we flew to Hong Kong to renew our friendship with several former Swiss friends made in Japan over 40 years ago, and to meet our good friend and foremost Iwami collector Bob Huthart with Jo Ann who takes such wonderful care of him. We returned back via Munich to Geneva on November 15th.
We arrived in Nevis on Dec.5th; 3 days later than planned owing to the closure of Geneva Airport for nearly 2 days due to heavy snow. The grandchildren with their parents will unfortunately not be able to join us this time.

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 Rabbit 2011!

Willi and Uschi

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2010 Year of the Tiger

A darkish wood netsuke of a male tiger sitting on one haunch with its head turned looking back. The body covered with stripes and the tail snakes back up behind. The eyes are inlaid in translucent pale horn with inlaid black pupils, the canines are of inlaid ivory. Signed Toyomasa, very early 19th Century.

The Chinese calendar -which existed there already since around 2000 BC- was adopted by Japan from around the 6th century AD, together with Buddhism. As it is based on the Lunar movements, the year of the Tiger starts on February 14, 2010 and ends on February 2, 2011.

The Zodiac has an influence on the character of mankind. Each of the 12 ‘animals’ has specific characteristics. Persons born in the year of the Tiger (tora) are said to be sensitive, stubborn, short-tempered, courageous, selfish and slightly mean. Yet Tigers are deep thinkers and are capable of great sympathy for those they are close to and love. Some Tigers were/are: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth II, Karl Marx, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Marylin Monroe, just to name a few.

During the last century, years of the Tiger were in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986 and 1998. 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 merely 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 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.

As the third animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Tiger indicates the hours between 3 am and 5 am.

Best wishes to all for a splendid Year of the Tiger, 2010!

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The entire Bosshard clan wishes you a wonderful 2009/10 Holiday Season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or even a vacation with friends and family, leading into a beautiful spring and great summer season, too.

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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!

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Happy New Year – 2009 Letter to family & friends – 31.12.2009

This year, we only stayed a short while in Nevis and then left to visit former residents of that island in their splendid new digs in Western Florida. From there we flew south to Argentina to renew several contacts with friends we had not seen in half a dozen years. We were especially intrigued to see the now finished Casa del Japón, a beautiful 18th century Minka [farmhouse with thatched roof] painstakingly taken apart in the middle of Japan, piece by piece, then shipped to Buenos Aires and erected again by several Japanese craftsmen over several months, and now a fine museum of Japanese artifacts. After two weeks there, they could no longer stand the diet of beef and more beef, so the Japanese architect (also a friend of ours), had to send for his wife to come and prepare Japanese-style food every day for the carpenters!

Flying to Santiago de Chile, we only stayed one night to take an early morning flight to Punta Arenas and to be driven by a 4×4 to the fantastic El Paine National Park. We had been to a similar place on the Argentinean side some 10 years earlier, called Perito Moreno, in the midst of lakes and huge glaciers and calving icebergs. El Paine was but 80 km away, similar but ever so different. 3 fantastic towers of sandstone in the midst of massive snow-covered mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and some glaciers, too. Surrounded by huge ranches, with cowboys and horses, and sheep, we were able to see how these hard working people lived. Even puma were living in the area and survived the harsh winters. There are many hotels available now but the explora is really the one to go for, even at a price, if you want quality, excellent guides, good food and accommodation. Four days is enough but if you are a great explorer and an accomplished walker or rider, then a week’s stay would be better.  For additional information, please go to http://www.torresdelpaine.com/ingles/index.asp, or to http://www.explora.com/en/explora-patagonia/patagonia.

We had to return for another night in Santiago to take the early morning flight to Easter Island. Its size is nearly double that of Nevis but its population is only about 5000 or half of Nevis. Since 1888, it has belonged to Chile, some 3500 km away. Again we stayed at the well situated explora there. It is a long flight into the Never-Never-Land of the endless Pacific and you really only go there to see the moai, those large, stone figures wonderfully carved of local tufa which were carved over a long period from about 400 BC to 1700 AD. There are about 800 moai statues on the island, but only 50 of them were re-erected in 1958 during an expedition by Thor Heyerdahl There are many stories about where the original inhabitants came from, as the island is so far away from any other inhabited place. The reason that the island is so deforested is also not really known but there are a number of theories, the most often cited being that the rivalry between two competing clans to build ever bigger moai used up all the available palms (also for the transport to the beach side). For those interested to read up more, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Island#Mythology.

Traditionally, May is the month I make my trip to Japan to see my friends from our 28 years of living in that wonderful country and also to attend sumo, of course.  Contrary to other years, the 3 last days were absolutely stunning and well worth the price for the seats.

In June, Uschi and I did our equally customary trip to the UK which was a success in every respect – this time round we even met Nevis friends who hail from Boston Me. for the first time in their nice London flat.

August came and with it the 95th birthday of Uschi’s mother Hilde in Kempten, southern Germany. It was a quiet lunch with 8 people, in a nice little Hotel called Waldhorn; even Nic made a surprise show to honor his grandmother. From there we drove to the Lake of the 4 Cantons in the Center of Switzerland to help the daughter of a dear departed friend sort out some of his varied Japanese art collection. The off it went to the Lago Maggiore and later to the Alps high above Aosta in a rustic stone house, a former cow barn.

On October 8th, the two of us flew to Bali for a one week of wellness, and then continued on for three weeks in Chiang Mai in Thailand where we were lucky enough to enjoy good weather conditions despite the fact that it was the rainy season. We met a Swiss mother and daughter team who were constructing a small Resort in Mae Rim, some 30 km outside of Chiang Mai, quite an adventure, I’d say. Before returning home from Bangkok, we met with a number of friends in that wonderful City.

We will be leaving for Nevis on Dec. 8th; Nic, Alexandra and their 3 children Leonie, Keana and Matteo will join us for the entire Holiday Season on Dec. 18th and return home in early January 2010.

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 Tiger 2010!

Willi & Uschi

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2009 Year of the Ox

The ivory netsuke chosen to represent 2009 is a magnificently carved cow, 7.5 cm long, 45 grams, with her calf, the latter licking the mother’s muzzle, the long rope falling over the parent’s back, the ivory exquisitely patinated, both eyes inlaid in some dark material, probably horn signed Tomotada (Kyoto-school), mid 18th century.

The ivory netsuke chosen to represent 2009 is a magnificently carved cow, 7.5 cm long, 45 grams, with her calf, the latter licking the mother’s muzzle, the long rope falling over the parent’s back, the ivory exquisitely patinated, both eyes inlaid in some dark material, probably horn signed Tomotada (Kyoto-school), mid 18th century.Actually, the year of the Ox starts on January 26, 2009 and lasts till February 13, 2010.

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. Persons born in the year of the Ox [cow] (ushi) are said to be born leaders and inspire confidence all around. Oxen tend to be conservative, methodical and good with their hands. They guard against being chauvinistic and always demand their own way. Oxen make successful surgeons, generals and hairdressers. Some oxen were: Napoleon, Walt Disney, Clark Gable, Richard Nixon, Sylvia Porter and Vincent Van Gogh, just to name a few.

During the last century, years of the Ox were in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985 and 1997. 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 merely 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 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.

As the second animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Ox indicates the hours between 1 am and 3 am.

Best wishes to all for a splendid Year of the Ox, 2009!


The entire Bosshard clan wishes you a wonderful 2008/09 Holiday Season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or even a vacation with friends and family, leading into a beautiful spring and great summer season, too.


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!

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Happy New Year – 2008 Letter to family & friends

As in most recent years, we began the New Year in Nevis with great fireworks from the Four Seasons resort lighting the sky. But this year it was different, as Alexandra, Nic and the 3 grandchildren had been with us from well before Christmas. They left us for home on January 5 but they did not get far; Air France refused to board the family of 5 because they arrived 5 minutes late at their check-in at St. Martin, despite the fact that, without informing anyone, the airline had brought forward the departure time by 15 minutes. The family enjoyed a costly but wonderful extra 6 days at the local Mercure Hotel nearby, because AF had no seats for the whole family of 5 during that time as they were so overbooked at the start of the New Year.

In 2008, we stayed in Nevis nearly till the end of March before we returned to the shores of Lac Leman.

Yours truly spent his usual 3 weeks in Tokyo in May for Sumo and visits to friends, and in June, the two of us made our regular annual pilgrimage to the UK.

Summer was spent mostly in Switzerland, and a short trip to Germany, Northern Italy and the Laghi region of Southern Switzerland.

As with many men my age, I got a pace maker implanted to help me with the arrhythmia, but otherwise my heart is doing fine; it’s just the electric wiring is not doing the job as it should – no wonder, after 70 odd years working perfectly well.

Sadly, we were informed that Hurricane Omar hit the Caribbean in mid October. It devastated parts of Nevis, though we had no damage at our house. The Four Seasons Resort had another direct hit and we understand it will undergo extensive reconstruction and not be open for business during the Festive Season, hopefully opening again Easter.

On October 21st, we left for our trip to the Far East; to be more precise, to the North of Thailand, where first of all Uschi had her teeth fixed. Then, we did what we had wanted to do for years: we rented a Nissan X-Trail 4×4 and drove it 600 km through 4000 curves via the picturesque small city of Pai to Maehongson at the Burmese border, along peaceful mountainsides where hardy farmers grew corn and wheat – we did not see any poppies. There are many interesting minority tribes in that area.

Executive Chef Stefan Frenzel of the Amari Rincome Hotel in Chiang Mai went out of his way to spoil us rotten with his superb N.Z. lamb, rock lobster, prime sirloin served in our suite for us and U.K. friends.

We stayed 2 short days in Bangkok to meet up with Marc Dumur, Claude Marsens, Pierre-Andre Pelletier and others before flying on to Perth, WA. There we met Hans and Trudy Schmocker for a short sightseeing tour of the city; they were also on a month’s trip through Australia. Then, we started on our 11 day outback tour of the south of the West Australian bush land in a Land Rover Discovery III, with air-cushioned suspension, driven by the owner of Sandgroper Tours, Arthur (Turi) Junker (see www.sandgropertours.com). The entire tour came to 4000 km and much of it was on well-kept gravel roads. The weather was generally sunny yet cool, and we found a myriad of wonderful wild flowers in full bloom because it had rained a short while before our visit.

In Margaret River we naturally visited some of their world-class wineries, including Vasse Felix, from which I have some bottles in mycellar (bought from Barossa). We also rode over some fairly high sand dunes, with little air in our tyre tubes, and Turi had to re-pressurizethem afterwards. This was rather fun, and a bit terrifying when one does not see anything any else but the hood, and the drop is 45 degrees!We overnighted in small hotels or B&B’s in towns and townships en route and also had breakfast there. Dinner was in restaurants;however, for lunch we had our personal refrigerator on board with our own food cooked by Turi’s wife Silvia and brought from theirhome outside Perth. In Albany, WA, we had one of our best steaks ever; a really tasty and tender New York cut prime sirloin, and cooked to perfection, too!

After Perth, we flew over to Sydney, where we stayed with our good friends John and Nora Flint in their home overlooking theriver in Greenwich, NSW. We met up with a number of friends like Robert and Josi Rutishauser (several times), Kengo and Mary Harada, Steven and Chris Gorman, Derek and Angela Groom, Rudi and Mikari Zingg, Anne and Karis Garrett, Pierre and Gina Stacher, et al.

December 22nd will see us arriving on Nevis, from Miami, coming from Sydney, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle where we look forward to meet Verna Lazarnick and her two sons with wives. Of course, we will be visiting many other dear friends in LA and SFO and their respective Greater Regions, too many to list them all individually. One visit I will state, however, namely that to the LACMA, the LA County Museum of Art on Wilshire Boulevard where one of my formerly owned netsuke, the fiercely snarling tiger by Otoman of Kyushu, is exhibited in the Raymond and Frances Bushell Wing of the museum.

Nic, Alexandra and the three grandchildren will unfortunately not be able to join us in Nevis this year, having spent too many wonderful days away from home at the end of last and the beginning of this year. We will surely miss their happiness and laughter!

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 Ox 2009 yes, it will be Nic’s year!

Willi & Uschi

To enlarge, double click on the small picture, to close and return to the previous page, click on the back arrow.

Wave rock near Hyden Buckley’s Break-away
(near Hyden)
Paper bark tree
Cape Naturliste at Bunker
Bay (near Dunsborough)
In the dunes
at beachside near Hopetoun
Tyre tracks by our
Land Rover
Tingle wood Grass tree Karri tree
Banksia bush/flower Christmas tree Chittick (lambertia family)
Rose Banjine yellow flowers fanflowers
red flower geraldton wax pink flowers
Peppermint Eucalyptus bush cape weed Bull Banksia
Picnic lunch Turi pumping up the tyres
after having hit the dunes
The Gap near
Torndirrup Natonal Park
Majestic tingle wood Winery entrance Kangaroo mother with
Joey grazing from pouch
Turi next to a karri tree Rocks near Wave Rock Royal Hakea
Western rosella

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Daettlikon Kid’s Spring Photos

Matteo, about 15 months
the only Bosshard with curly hair
Ms. Leonie, 6 on May 22nd Matteo riding his bike
Leonie in front of trampoline Keana, 3, what may she
be watching so attentively?
Leonie outside & Keana
inside the sandbox

Please click on the frame below and a larger picture will open. When you want to go on to another page, just close the large window by hitting “Back” button and you will return to the main page from where you can select other topics.

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2008 Year of the Rat

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. Persons born in the year of the Rat (nezumi) are charming, honest, ambitious, and have a tremendous capacity for pursuing a course to its end. They will work hard for their goals. They are easily angered but maintain an outward show of control.

During the last century, years of the Rat were in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984 and 1996. 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 merely 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 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, the year of the Rat starts on February 7, 2008 and lasts till January 26, 2009.

As the 1st animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Rat indicates the hours between 11 pm and 1 am.

Best wishes to all for a splendid Year of the Rat, 2008!

The netsuke chosen to represent 2008 is a magnificently
carved female rat, 3.6 cm tall, clutching a large chili pod,
the long tail lying over the right paw, exquisitely patinated ivory eyes inlaid in dark horn, 18th century,
signed Masanao (Kyoto-school).

The entire Bosshard clan wishes you a wonderful 2007/08 Holiday Season with lots of fun, happiness, good health and some great relaxation or even a vacation with friends and family, leading into a beautiful spring and great summer season, too.


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!

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Happy New Year – 2007 Letter to family & friends

Dear friends,

The New Year saw us in Nevis, with great fireworks lighting the sky from the Four Seasons resort. On this occasion, we left early to help Anton Mosimann turn 60 in style at the Dorchester in London and the next day help Bill Brake celebrate his 75th birthday on his country estate in South Kent.

From there, we flew to Switzerland to assist the birth of our third grandchild and heir, Matteo Luca, a stout lad of 52 cm and 4,5 kg, on February 27.

After that, we flew right back to the US, first to Los Angeles where we caught up with a number of friends we had not seen/visited for a while, and later to San Francisco where we did the same. The most spectacular visit was to the Ridge winery in Sonoma County where we saw many of the old wines of 80 years and more still in use…

For the rest of the letter, please click on “read more” below

Pictures covering 2007 will be loaded hopefully before Christmas….

From there, a direct flight to Hong Kong, and once again we stayed at the still spectacular Peninsula, where we spent our honeymoon nearly 40 years ago… Then it was off to Guilin and its stunning mountains, this time in the mist. We had been there many moons before, but in the wrong season, when the weather was fine and clear, so just regular mountains. Industrialization had left many scars – the easiest to see was the fact there was no water in the Li River; we had to travel by car for one hour to get to the boats taking us to the tour that 15 years before had started at the entrance of the Hotel…

Shanghai had become the metropolis everyone had described. Skyscrapers everywhere, traffic galore, and pretty bad pollution. We left hoping for some peace and quiet in Thailand, but we got hell there; we never thought it could get so hot in Chiang Mai, well over 40 C. The same in Phuket and again in Bangkok. Global warming must have reached there, too. At these temperatures, even pools and the sea are no longer a relief – I would have preferred to be in Antarctica… Whilst Uschi left for home at the end of April, I headed East to Japan spending time in Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka.

Summer was spent mostly in Switzerland, in Germany and a short trip to Northern Italy.

The major event of 2007 came in October. With another couple, Susy and Adi Schulthess, we made a 2 weeks plus trip to Kyushu and Kyoto in Japan. This is the third such trip to Japan we have undertaken together, with a comfortable van, and always with the same driver, Mohri-san. We started in *censored*uoka, then headed to Nagasaki, Unzen, Amakusa, Kumamoto, Mount Aso, Beppu, Yufuin, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Ibusuki; all this added up to 2150 km in a Nissan El Grand van, one way rental. Then a flight to Osaka Itami airport and the same type of van, with a different but fully English-speaking driver, who took us to Kyoto for a 3-day stay and sight seeing and shopping tour around the Shinmonzen Street and Teramachi area. He was so knowledgeable, we nicknamed him Mr. Google. After that, the Schulthess couple returned home, and we continued to Osaka, Kobe and later to Naruto, on the island of Shikoku, to see the finalization of the Sistine Chapel – a 1:1 copy, in porcelain plates, of Michelangelo’s original in the Vatican, housed in The Otsuka Museum of Art, TOMA, along with some 1000 of the world’s most famous masterpieces. For further details, please go to the website: http://www.otsuka-global.com/sr/museum/index.html (Museum) .

We stayed at their brand new Hotel Ridge, a jewel of a boutique hotel serenely overlooking the Onaruto suspension bridge and the famous whirlpools where the Pacific hits the Inland sea and the southern coast of Awaji island. The bathwater comes from a natural spring, and dinner is served in a renovated Taisho (1920’s) period Hakone guest house that was brought down to Tokushima, lovingly renovated, and expertly rebuilt on the ridge next to the hotel. The food, needless to say, was prepared by a master chef trained for years in Belgium, France and Switzerland, who runs a renowned Naruto restaurant and whose services are called upon whenever needed at the hotel.

On the way to Tokyo, we dropped in at Nagoya where a friend had already been hospitalized for several months with a blood clot which had led to a stroke and then to complications with his leg. We then continued by bullet train to Tokyo, where we met up with a bevy of friends to wind up our visit savoring the favorite dishes in most of our former pet hangouts. The day flight home was extremely long, we thought, but we found all in good order, clean and even the weather was still good.

No sooner back in Switzerland, I took a short trip to Lisbon to visit Julio de Sousa who managed the justly famous Portuguese restaurant at EXPO 70 in Osaka. It was kind of symptomatic that the fine driver who met our flight from Kyushu at Osaka airport drove us to Kyoto chose the back highway. Therefore, we all of a sudden saw the landmark EXPO sun symbol appear in the driving rain, still standing proudly after 37 years… Uschi and I nearly started to cry of emotion – we had been at EXPO 80-90 times as I had close links through the Pepsi Cola Pavilion. The driver is the one we nick-named Mr. Google for his fabled knowledge of Kyoto as well as Japanese and general history.

Not to be outdone, Uschi joined Alexandra for a short trip to London at the end of November for some last minute Christmas shopping, a play at the Cambridge Theater, and a great dinner at Mosimann’s. Nic dutifully babysat the three young kids at their home whilst yours truly was the solitary straw widower in La Tour…

December 10th is departure for us to Nevis, via Paris, Saint Martin. Nic, Alexandra and the three grand children will join us there on December 15th and stay for the entire Holidays – hopefully, Keana at 2 ¾ years will learn to swim as Leonie did 2 years ago at the same age.

Uschi and I will stay on in Nevis till late in March, perhaps taking a trip to the US or to a neighboring island, in order have a change of venue or to meet some friends and buy some foodstuffs.

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 Rat 2008 – yes, it will be my year!

Willi & Uschi

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