Just to let you know.
A. has stopped smoking.
For this stopping occasion, Allard decided to hire the services of a hypnotherapist, as you do in California. The event took place on Saturday. Franc, the hypnotherapist first took A's money and proceded to tell him that he should realize the world is not round, but in fact flat. Or in smoking terms: "smoking is not addictive, it's the sugar they spray on the tobacco, you just need to eat a few grapes to keep your sugarlevel up and break your habit, which I will do with hypnosis, which, by the way, will really only work if you believe it will". A. could do that. Anyway, one and a half hours later, A stepped out of the office a non-smoker, with a card to prove it, his subconcious having been spoken to. Red is now an important colour to Allard. Whenever he sees the colour red, he slips into his happy place and forgets all about ever wanting a cigarette. (Expect maybe on leaving the office of Franc). It has been three days and he is doing well. No side effects (all those sugary grapes, you see). Perhaps just a little more snappy than usual, but not anything an ousider would notice. Whatever it takes, really.
Allard went to 'Back to School" night at Jip's school. The parents were introduced to 'Father' who ranted and raved about "the sinners" who do not attend mass on Sunday. He had spotted them lingering at Starbucks. We must lie low. Jip is actually loving school. Rituals and regiment do him well, it seems. We wouldn't want him to get into Fathers bad books on our part.
On the medical front, I got another wonderful opportunity to perfect my waiting skills. On advice of my doctor -we needed to be sure a nagging pain in my leg was not a bloodclot - I went to the emergency ward -it being Saturday - for an ultra sound. A visit to an emergency ward never takes less than five hours and this was no exception, and all this with NO CELL PHONE RECEPTION. A low point of my medical week. Especially when they tried, with difficulty, to find a spot on my arm to stick yet another needle into. I came in with the broken bones and left with the gangly teenage girls, throwing up in the waiting room after having eaten "a quarter of a cookie" Luckily no blood clot on my part. On Monday, I waited again, this time with my chauffeur, our father, to have blood drawn at the Cancer center. We played "spot the wig" to pass the time. Otherwise, slowly but surely recovering from surgery.
We have a cricket living behind the fridge. The cricket escaped a certain death by jumping out of Lizardy's cage. He sits behind the fridge, celebrating his freedom by chirping as loudly as he possibly can. It keeps us awake at night. This has been going on for three nights now. How long do crickets live?
Finally, for those who requested more of the city of San Francisco, here is a snapshot of our mother overlooking it, on one of the parents' brief sightseeing opportunities.