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Photo Update

Here are some pictures from the past month, focusing on our friend Dennis’s visit and the move out of Rue de l’Hôpital 20. There are, of course, also lots of pictures of Sammy:

The Big Announcement

We’re coming back to North America! This is a much-redacted stub of the big, detailed piece I wrote on the subject, which Martha felt was too detailed for right now. Anyway, we’re relocating to Richmond VA for the end of October. Our flights are booked, our stuff is packed, and we’ve steeled ourselves for another 5 months living out of our suitcases. More details should be available some time in the future. See you soon!

Quick post, anticipating a larger post

Life here continues as it has for the past few weeks. We continue to wait for final confirmation of our big news. Although significant bureaucratic hurdles have been cleared, the finish line is still up ahead just out of reach. This ongoing source of tension has been largely allayed by Sammy, who seems to become more clever and more affectionate with each passing day.

July has been so uneventful that we don’t even have pictures; we’ve done nothing interesting enough to bother taking the camera outside. That will soon change, however. We’re spending this weekend in the south of France, so expect a big photo post next week. Also, August promises to be a blur of activity for us, what with guests and moving out of our apartment in 5 weeks. (!!!) More on that next time, hopefully along with the big announcement.

Update, Reading and Photo

Another month, another sparse update along with some new pictures. I wish I had more to relate. The central and preoccupying aspect of life here in Clan Bajengame’s alpine eyrie, to which I’ve alluded previously, is sadly no closer to being ready for public announcement. We’re hoping for more solid news by the end of the week, but we seem to have been saying that to ourselves for several weeks running now.

My reading of late has entailed some popular fiction, including Iain Bank’s most recent Culture novel Surface Detail. I’m now eagerly waiting for delivery of Robert Bartlett and Susan Collins’ new translation of the Nicomachean Ethics, reading Francis Fukuyama’s new book The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution in the mean time. I also recently finished Robert Zaretsky and John T Scott’s fun account of the hostility between David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau The Philosophers’ Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding. This has inspired me to finally get around to visiting all the Rousseau-related sites that are within an easy hour of Neuchâtel. Expect photos from such trips in the coming couple of months.

Speaking of photos, here are several from the past month featuring our friend Adrienne’s recent visit and Sammy’s 2nd birthday:

Photo Update

Here are some new pics from the last few weeks featuring a trip to the local Jardin Botanique, Sammy’s encounter with a huge bouncy cathedral, and a trip to visit with one of Martha’s colleagues and her little boy. The last two photos commemorate the big music festival that happened here over the weekend, personified in the passed-out douchebag in front of our building on Sunday morning.  😉

Spring Photo Update

Here are some photos from the last month, featuring pics from the recent visit by our friends the Pykes:

We will likely have some big news soon, but right now we have to keep things on the DL.

Delayed Photo Update

Here are the photos promised nearly two weeks ago, finally sorted and uploaded:

My excuse is that Sammy and I have both been sick (again) and Martha’s spent most of the last two weeks travelling for work. Not much of an excuse, but I’m sticking to it.

Recent Personal Activity

I’ve been making an effort over the past few months to round out my appreciation of Plato. Here’s what my reading schedule has been like:

22-28 novembre 2010: ‘Gorgias’ and Benardete’s commentary in The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy.
29 nov. – 5 dec. 2010:  ‘Phaedrus’ and Benardete’s commentary.
6-12 decembre 2010:  ‘Symposium’ and Bloom’s and Benardete’s commentaries in Plato’s Symposium.
13-19 decembre 2010:  Nichols’ commentary on ‘Symposium’ and ‘Phaedrus’ in Socrates on Friendship and Community.
20-26 decembre 2010:  ‘Lysis’ and Nichols’ commentary.
27 dec. 2010 – 2 jan. 2011: ‘Protagoras’ and Lampert’s commentary in How Philosophy Became Socratic.
3-9 janvier 2011:   ‘Charmides’ and Lampert’s commentary.
10-16 janvier 2011:   ‘Republic’ books I-II and respective parts of Bloom’s interpretive essay and Benardete’s Socrates’ Second Sailing.
17-23 janvier 2011:   ‘Republic’ books III-IV and respective parts of Bloom and Benardete.
24-30 janvier:    ‘Republic’ books V-VI and respective parts of Bloom and Benardete.
31 jan. – 6 fev. 2011:  ‘Republic’ books VII-VIII and respective parts of Bloom and Benardete.
7-13 fev. 2011:   ‘Republic’ books IX-X and respective parts of Bloom and Benardete.
14-20 fev. 2011:   Strauss’ commentary on ‘Republic’ in The City & Man and Lampert’s in How Philosophy Became Socratic.
21-27 fev. 2011:   ‘Laws’ I-II and respective parts of Pangle’s interpretive essay & Benardete’s Plato’s ‘Laws’: The Discovery of Being.
28 fev. – 6 mars 2011:  ‘Laws’ III-IV and respective parts of Pangle and Benardete.
7-13 mars 2011:   ‘Laws’ V-VI and respective parts of Pangle and Benardete.
14-20 mars 2011:   ‘Laws’ VII and respective parts of Pangle and Benardete.
21-27 mars 2011:   ‘Laws’ VIII-IX and respective parts of Pangle and Benardete.
28 mars – 3 avril 2011:  ‘Laws’ X and respective parts of Pangle and Benardete.

I’ve got another week or two of ‘Laws’ (finishing the dialogue itself along with the secondary reading) and then I think I need a break from Plato for a bit. I’d been planning on continuing onward into some of the other big dialogues (‘Timaeus’, ‘Theaetetus’, ‘Sophist’, ‘Statesman’, ‘Philebus’), but we’ll see how my head is after ‘Laws’. A decompression period with some fiction or current-events reading may be called for.

My extracurricular reading has included Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera’s All the Devils are Here, as well as the usual load of cookbooks and books on toddler-rearing. I’ve also recommenced trying to learn classical Greek, but it’s going very slowly as that all other activities have priority over this one.

That’s all for now. I aim at making a more general update, with new pictures included, on the weekend.

Close Call

RE: aforementioned momentous news –> So, last month, Martha’s employer here in Switzerland announced they were cutting 25% of their research and development staff here in Neuchâtel. Obviously, this has had us very worried. Add to this that, when asked if they would pay to send home non-EU folks like us who would lose their work permits along with their jobs, the answer was a confused “We hadn’t thought of that. We’ll get back to you”. This with the ongoing health problems with Sammy have made things unpleasant around here for the past few weeks. Martha’s been in a near-panic, applying for every job she can find, while I apishly try to provide moral support for stressed wife and ill child.

Yesterday (Thursday), the company made its announcement regarding specific projects/people being eliminated, and with great relief I can report that we’re staying in Neuchâtel for the foreseeable future. Sadly, some of Martha’s teammates who relocated here and/or have new babies of their own were not so lucky. Our joy at not having to pull up stakes and haul Sammy somewhere else is tinged with commiseration with them, as will as condolences for friends who’ve been having far worse months than us. Stay strong, one and all.

Photo Update

More regular updates have been precluded by family sickness and the return of teething trouble with Sammy. Also, there’s momentous news on the horizon that’s been very distracting, but it’s not appropriate to discuss said news until it comes to fruition. Expect another post towards week’s end. In the mean time, here are some photos from the past month or so.