Rob's Handy Hints #1

This is the first in a series of ideas I have had as a result of being taken completely out of my comfort zone residentially and culturally. And with that experience comes the added challenge of accepting that my very beautiful and very generous wife, Jodie, is now the primary financial support system for our twenty-first century relationship. 
This first handy hint doesn’t carry any of that ‘awesome’ or ‘wow, Rob is a genius’ price tag but it does have a creative spin to it and can be financed comfortably from my negotiated weekly allowance with out the need to modify my coffee and patisserie compensation indulgences. And before you start thinking that ‘He has only been there two months and he already has a pastry addiction!’, well you are quite wrong.  I don’t eat near as many pastries as any of the other patrons down at Boccards, nor do I eat pastries between pastries. So there, that’s got that sorted.
In Switzerland, today is Friday. One of the important jobs on my new Job Description Document (Jo did it up on a really fancy page document for me.) is to clean our apartment on Friday’s before Jo gets home from work. I might add that my Job Description Document is not a Performance Management Tool tied into KBI’s (Key Business Indicators for you guys who don’t have your wives on them yet. Sorry for you ladies also who might still be training husbands.), but Jo said that depending on the performance of the overnight A$ exchange rate, her off-shore investments and the return on her tax-based Tier Three superannuation allocation, she may have to bring some performance management focus into the arrangement at a future date. The arrangement is fairly informal. To formalise a JDD with monetary connotations in Switzerland would involve shelling out at least five separate fees that would need to be paid in five different canton/ commune (government) offices, not to mention the bus and train fares or parking costs if you opted out for private transport.
Any way here is what I came up with as a ‘handy hint’ today. Instead of just picking up all my clothes off the floor and sorting them into clean, dirty and it’s just plain hard to tell piles, putting my shoes away where they belong, cleaning the WC, shower, bathroom and topping that lot off with a super high performance vacuuming job, I have decided to each week to value add to my jobs what I call ‘Rob’s Signature Touch.’ Now you can call me metaphysical but I think in the past I may have been a little on the ‘What’s all the fuss about this sensitive new age guy stuff?’ Basically I thought that blokes who went the extra mile then turned it into a marathon were setting the benchmark way too high for themselves and every other Adam who needed to partake in relationship comfort on this planet. In short,I thought ‘snags’ were sucking up. But hey, if you want something you just gotta ask for it right? Not do a trade off where she (or he depending on your status) may not want to play and you’ve already put in the hard yards. Do you see where I’m coming from now?
Okay. So I’ve met all the standards and requirement of my JBB for today. The clothes are in the front load washer and I’m just about to sit down with a bottle of Rivella Red (It’s the national soft drink of Switzerland, made from cheese.) and play my guitar, when I have a BINGO!!! moment. The BINGO!!! moment says why not go and cut some red and white roses from that beautiful garden you have been maintaining at Le Verger, select some suitable and relevant support foliage and place them in an appropriate vase on Jodie’s bedside table. To complement this spectacular image that will greet Jodie when she comes home from a ‘TGIF’ day at school, I decide to write an original quotation with an eighty year old pen and ink set I picked up at the Annecey Markets in France, on some hand made paper (that some-one else made). To this I add an individually packaged and very delicate and elegant chocolate fruit tart (not too small that it couldn’t be shared) that I purchased from the very expensive patisserie in Rolle, a bottle of Swiss Mountain water and a tiny, stuffed toy. The stuffed toy in this case was a black panther with intelligent, eager eyes that a friend had given to Jodie last week, but it really did add to the overall presentation of my selfless idea. Not to forget any detail, I went all out with a bottle of massage oil on the basis Jo might like a tender foot massage while I was listening patiently to her sharing her day with me. Everything in place on the table, switch on the lamp and as they say in France, ‘voila!’.
And for those monsieurs and madamoiselles out there who are termed ‘visual learners’, I have attached a photo of the finished presentation, taken with a 28mm macro lens on an Canon EOS Rebel Ti 400D digital camera. Keep the emails coming over. I look forward to what the inbox might contain each morning, especially now that you guys have got a woman actually controlling the whole country over there. It will be a while before the Swiss learn anything from Julia Gilliard. They’ve only just given women the right to vote here.
As I said it’s not much, but with your own blog site to come up with new and stimulating ideas for every week, sometimes it doesn’t take much. 
Sante... Rob.


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