2017 Year of the Rooster

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!

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

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!

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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

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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

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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

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2016 Year of the Monkey

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!

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.

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!

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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

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2015 Year of the Goat

2 Goats

Beautifully carved mother goat with the kid protectively kneeling under his mother’s belly, both showing a finely carved shaggy fur, elephant ivory, eyes inlaid in horn, unsigned, late 18th century (from the Dr. Joseph Kurstin Collection)

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. The goat (hitsuji) symbolizes elegance, artistic demeanor and good-natured personality. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Goat are regarded as inclined to worry too much, often they are peace-lovers preferring to avoid disagreements. Others may put upon people bearing the Sheep or Goat sign, but they are stronger than they seem. Family is very important.

During the last century till now, years of the Goat Years were in 1919, 1939, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 and 2003, and again in 2027. 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 2015 the year of the Goat starts on February 19, 2015 and lasts till February 8, 2016.

As the 6th animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Goat indicates the hours between 1 & 3 pm. In our Western Horoscope, the Goat corresponds to the Lion.

Best wishes to all for a splendid Year of the Goat, 2015!

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Happy New Year 2015 – Year-in-Review 2014: Letter to family & friends

Nevis W.I., December 12th, 2014

Dear Friends,

We again started the New Year of 2014 in our house in Nevis and as usual, we old folk stayed in 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. We even got bumped into First as they sent a 3 class plane. We for once did not complain…

In May, Willi made his usual pilgrimage to Japan to his friends and Sumo whilst Uschi drove to Kempten via the home of grand kids in Dättlikon, near Zurich, to see her relatives and friends.

It was like a homecoming of sorts although it was by Swiss International and alas not by the former so much admired Swissair with whom I landed 50 years earlier also in Haneda airport, and which at that time looked more like a shack… The past 30 years, we had to use Narita for international travel but nowadays many top airlines have returned to Haneda, just 30 minutes away from downtown Tokyo.
On a weekend, I took the Shinkansen to Kobe where Andy Müller had invited me to a Swiss BBQ on the mountain, like we had arranged so many on Mt. Futatabi in the 70’s. Their’s was a magnificent affair under a proper set up made by the authorities with good quality installed banks and fix grill equipment and most importantly, excellent grilling supplies like sausages, meat loaf, breads, salads, just absolutely professional. Unfortunately I had a little accident in going there, trying to protect some Dezaley wine on the escalator at the Crowne Plaza Hotel but all turned out well in the end though it looked terrible.

On Monday after the BBQ, I was most grateful to be allowed to visit Akihiko Otsuka who has been hospitalized in Osaka for quite a long time already; it was very important for me to make that visit. We met in the late 80’s through a business relationship which over the years developed into a friendship. When in Tokyo late in October, I tried hard to visit him again but was unfortunately not able to do so and when in LA in late November, I received the sad information that he had passed away on the 28th, I could realize why I could not visit. May “the owner”, as he was referred to, rest in peace – I will miss him.

In Tokyo, right after my arrival in May, I had lunch with my old friend Osamu Okura who had asked for an early get together as he had to undergo an eye operation the next day. I was very relieved to have his 2nd call two days before my return flight, asking me to see him once again the next day because on my day of departure, he would have to return to have the right eye done as well, the left having been successful. Later he emailed me to say that he was seeing again (actually, he had stopped using the computer ca 6 months before) and was very happy. So we were all extremely shocked when his nephew Hideki Nagano informed us on July 24, Sam’s very 84th birthday that he had quietly passed away at his desk…

Sam’s company, Nichibo Shoji, was a good client of Nestlé – especially Sam himself was the very first Nespresso distributor in late 1985 letting do us a soft start to deliver machines and capsules to the Tokyo foreign community for the Christmas season. But Nichibo is also the sole Agent for Patek Philippe so they had many mourners attending his funeral and I was asked not to come as they could not give the proper attention to me. Therefore, Uschi and I made a visit late October to attend a sort of memorial visit to Sam’s beautiful century old gravesite in the wonderful Sosanji temple in Shinjuku Ward, with his nephew and his mother. Sam, rest in peace together with Hiroko – we are missing you dearly.

Before arriving in Tokyo in late October, we were in Thailand, first in Chiang Mai where we visited Hans Bauman, formerly Kobe’s QC manager. He is now on the upswing but had been quite sick, having stayed nearly 3 months in hospital for prostate cancer treatment. Due to the strong medicine, he has lost a lot of calcium and now walks bent and with a limp – he is doing everything he can to improve as fast as possible. He even bought Nordic walking sticks, of course he eats right and takes a lot of calcium. He has a strong will and therefore is very likely to succeed.

We then flew over to Phuket where we stayed with Fabrizio Colombo whose house at the end of Patong Beach was destroyed by the tsunami in 2008 but he rebuilt it successfully. He had made contact with Max Kägi who I could no longer contact as he was in hospital with water in the lungs and also mouth so even in front of him it is very difficult to understand him. Fortunately he has a very kind middle age Thai lady mothering him and taking excellent care of him, meaning even feeding etc.

From Tokyo, we proceeded to Tahiti to make the tour of the major islands of Moorea, Raiatea, Taha’a, Bora Bora and Huahine on the 4 mast Wind Spirit. It was as we wished and got, a totally different experience than last year’s Marquesas trip on the Aranui3.
In Papeete, we were again staying at the Manava Tahiti Beach Resort introduced last year already by none other than long time and frequent visitor Andy Muller who this time was even in residence. We had a chat, and he took us downtown in his car for me to get a nano SIM card for my iPhone.

On Friday night, 21.11. Air Tahiti Nui took us to LAX from where we went to Jürg Mattman in Oceanside to pick up a Raclette oven. From Papeete we carried 2kg of Raclette cheese for Charlie and Lynn Simants in Yuma AZ, friends we made on the Wind Spirit, and also for Ed Marteka in Palm Springs who, I just found out, also suffers from prostate cancer and others and was very depressed, so we went there to cheer him up a bit. Of course we saw Pat Wanner for dinner and paid a visit to the LACMA to see our Otoman tiger there. Then on it went to Miami from where we visited Martha Murphy in her beautiful Longboatkey home, as well as Peter & Nora Hüppi, and others. Departure for Nevis is on December 12.

This year again, son Nicolas and his wife Alexandra and the 3 grandkids Leonie, Keana & Matteo will arrive on December 19th and stay for over 2 weeks when they flew over to St. Martin for 2 days on their own in a fine Beach Resort before flying home for business and school. It should become a great holiday for all of us.
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 Goat 2015!

Willi & Uschi

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

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Argentina 2014 – Fireland

This time, our neigbhour in Nevis and good friend Eric Lamb, a man who has been around the world with his heavy bike now stationed somewhere near Andermatt in Switzerland where he has a wonderfully equipped pied-a-terre, has visited that area at the end of the world. He traveled it towards the Chilean side whereas we stayed more to the sea shore facing the Falklands or the Malvinas as these disputed Islands are known locally.

The following link will Show his Report and some Photos he took earlier this year and which were reproduced in The Observer of St. Kitts and Nevis.

http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/2014/07/25/travel.html

Just copy and paste the above URL into your browser and read the interesting story.

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2014 Year of the Horse

DSCN0454

Beautifully carved mare whinnying with young, the filly licking the mother’s neck, in mammoth ivory, eyes inlaid in amber or horn, signed Kangyoku, late 20th century (it is one of a dozen contemporary netsuke in my collection)

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. The horse symbolizes graciousness, dignity, momentum and firmness. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Horse are regarded as witty, elegant, eloquent speakers and charming. Most of them possess a gift for getting their way through to the heart of other people. People bearing the horse sign strive towards seeking freedom and happiness. Horse people are lively, bright and are known for their physical strength and they can express themselves well when communicating with other people.

During the last century till now, years of the Horse Years were in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 and 2002. 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 2014 the year of the Horse starts on January 31, 2014 and lasts till February 18, 2015.

As the 6th animal in the Eastern zodiac, the Horse indicates the hours between 11 am and 1 pm. In our Western Horoscope, the Horse corresponds to the Cancer.

Best wishes to all for a splendid Year of the Horse, 2014!

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