Year-in-Review 2019: – Happy New Year 2020 – Letter to family & friends

Dear friends,

As in most of the past 25 years, we started off the year 2019 in our home in Nevis where we had arrived on December 20 from Miami, after traveling via the Far East to the West Coast.

This time we had no guests visiting but we went for another one-week Windstar Cruise in late February on their 5-master flagship sailing from Philipsburg, St. Marteen to the Virgin Islands, to Barbuda (Antigua), to St. Barth and back to Philipsburg.

Uschi continued physiotherapy on her foot that was operated on in Vevey in July 2018, but it continued to hurt, so the doctor agreed to take the plates and screws out in April instead of July as had been initially planned. It is still not good as I write this…

In May, during Willi’s record 25th visit to Japan for sumo and seeing his former friends and colleagues after his retirement in 1994, Uschi had a visit from her cousin Rosi Hagenmaier in La Tour. The two ladies had a great time together in nice spring weather, with narcissus still plentiful and in full flower above Montreux.

After my return from Japan, I had arranged a visit to get an infiltration into my spine as the pain in my lower back had started to get worse from over a year earlier. I experienced this earlier in Australia where the same treatment was very successful; unfortunately, this time it did not bring any relief.

In June, we also flew to Reykjavik in Iceland for a short but interesting visit, using the end of a RTW ticket. As we both were not good walkers (Uschi-foot; Willi-back), we had arranged for a fantastic full-day helicopter tour, but this had to be canceled due to bad weather… The sea-bus tour we took instead was no comparison, though, of course very much less expensive.

In July, I sold my 25-year-old BMW740i. It was in excellent condition with merely 75,000 km on the odometer. I hardly used it as parking space in our area was difficult (too narrow, one could not open the door to get out!) The dealer offered 3,500 francs but Nic got me to auction it off where we got 10,550… Half of the extra profit to the man with the idea.

Then Uschi lost a bridge! The young dentist doctors here did not know what to do as the chief was on vacation. So, I called the one who had done it in Chiangmai. He said, come next Monday, and I’ll fix it for free, it’s still under guarantee. Remember, when I did it, I could not make an implant because she was under chemotherapy so I said the bridge might become loose and fall out? And we could fix it in 2-2 ½ years?

So, we went there, and the dentist first added bone powder to her jawbone before drilling for 2 implants and further arranged for a new bridge to be set after 2 months.

Unfortunately, after we got back, Uschi developed a problem as the bone material was rejected unexpectedly. He advised us to see the younger dentist which we did. The dentist, in a 3-hour operation cleaned the former bone out, stopped the infection and added new (Swiss) cow bone, which her body accepted. All is fine now, the 2 implants were saved, but she must wait 6 months for them to be set and the bridge to be added. So, we will fly to Nevis first in mid-December, via Miami, where we will visit with friends, and then go Chiang Mai at the end of March 2020. What a tooth problem!!!

In July/August, there was the superlative 5-week Fête des Vignerons in Vevey, a major event celebrated every 20-25 years. A huge arena with 20’000 comfortable seats was built with the largest LED stage in the world allowing for the most wonderful night shows by the 5500 enthusiastic local performers for the visitors from all over Switzerland and abroad. We had our cousin Silvia visiting for a few days and enjoyed the show in fine weather one fine night.

At the beginning of October, Uschi and I made a 1-week trip to Germany, or we could say the somewhat less handicapped visiting those more handicapped friends and family. First, we visited the Ganslosers in Deggingen, 2 days later, we drove over to Kempten im Allgäu (Uschi’s hometown) where we visited her only surviving aunt Bärbel, 90, since last year in a beautifully situated home. On the way back to our hotel, we called Peter, another cousin of Uschi’s. He was not well, but agreed to see us for a cup of coffee and we managed to arrive at his home just as a tremendous downpour fell over the area.

The next day, a short drive to Füssen, site of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle of King Ludwig II, but that was not our reason for going there. Uschi’s cousin Rosi was in a well-known rehab clinic nearby where she is training to walk again. It was a long and wonderful visit with Rosi who was tired but in fine spirits.

That week of visiting friends and family not in top form of health ended in some wonderful ways. I had called an old friend from Kobe days trying to invite him and his wife to dinner at my hotel in Zurich. He had already planned a Chamois dinner, and would we not wish to join them? Of course, we were delighted! Game is a favorite of ours, and it’s in season. For Saturday, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs had their luncheon at the Fujiya, the Japanese Restaurant of Hotel Ascot where we stay in Zurich, and my friend Adi Schulthess invited me as a guest. We had a great time with top Japanese food and the best of service by their chefs.

We had some great lunches and dinners during the month of November with with a number of good friends from the Rhone plains through Glion – Vevey – Blonay area to Lausanne city where we were, among such prestigious places as La Table d’Edgar at the Lausanne Palace and the Hôtel de Ville in Crissier. It seems we did not even gain any weight at all….

On December 3rd, we arrived in Miami for 2 nights, then we drove via the Alligator Alley up to Sarasota to Longboat Key to join Martha Murphy in her swell home and spend a wonderful time with her and grandson Hudson who was recuperating from a tough bronchitis. After long chats of old times in Nevis and great times together with Joe in Japan and Switzerland, and many a fine meal, we will head back for Miami via the East Coast, from where we will fly to our winter home in Nevis on December 18th.

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 2020! Yes, it’s my Year, I will have completed 7 zodiac cycles next July…

W I L L I & U S C H I

The VoiP number +41 44 586 5060 is 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, Cell Uschi + 1 869 665 8322 – these numbers are only valid when we are on the island of Nevis! Use WhatsApp/FaceTime!

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