Useful Swiss Consumer Programme – From Scams to Dried mushrooms, Toothbrushes and Tea.

If you are interested in consumer issues and want to know more about the products you buy here in French speaking Switzerland, it’s worth taking a look at the weekly television programme called ABE (A Bon Entendeur) presented by Manuelle Pernod and broadcast on Tuesday evenings on RTS1 at 20:10

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A regular look at the products we buy

This consumer progamme takes a regular look at many of the products we all buy in the main Swiss supermarkets and shops. It compares brands, analyses the content of many food products and draws conclusions for the consumer. Even if you only understand a basic amount of French, these programmes are well produced, can be easily understood and the conclusions are illustrated in graph form or with clear photos. 

Housing, Transport, Insurance etc

The programme also looks at other consumer issues such as housing, transport, insurance etc.  The website of the programme has useful links to consumer associations and  links to consumer rights groups.

The products featured over the last few weeks have been on a variety of items such as electric toothbrushes (their conclusion – buying the most expensive product in the shop isn’t necessarily the best!)  Scroll to around 4 minutes on the programme here to see the result on this particular test.

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Pesticides in Mushrooms and Herbal Teas

Another programme broadcast on February 18th featured the packets of dried mushrooms that can be found for sale in recognised retail outlets. It explained which packets of mushrooms contain pesticides and other chemicals, and which brand of mushrooms was rated the best all round. 

For lovers of herbal tea  another programme revealed the content of some well recognised tea brand names, the results can be seen on this clip here 

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Scam targeting local businesses

This week’s programme revealed a scam that involved small businesses being approached (one of them in Versoix) to take out and pay up front for advertising in a magazine that simply didn’t exist.

The programme has been on air for many years and there’s lots of archive material to be found on their site.  There is even an ABE app!

 

 

Balcony or Big Plot of Land? Gardening Tips and Advice for the Geneva/ Vaud area.

Whether you have a small balcony at 400 metres in Nyon, or a big plot of land at 1,000 metres high up in St Cergue, if you are in need of some excellent gardening advice for this part of the world, then look no further than the Swiss Gardening School. The school’s tag line is “Lessons in English for amateur gardeners by professionals” and classes are run throughout the year on a variety of subjects by gardeners Hester Macdonald and Tara Lissner. The school’s next course will be held in Nyon on the 1st April from 09:00-13:00 an will be “Design – On a Budget - Creating a beautiful outdoor space without spending a fortune”.

Chateau de Prangins 051 Below are a selection of photos taken by Living in Nyon at one of the school’s gardening course back in September 2013. Despite the editor of this site having decidedly non-green fingers, she learnt the best way to pot plants into containers, how to plant bulbs the correct way up, what to look for when buying compost, how to design and plan around colour schemes, and she also got some good recommendations on local nurseries, garden centres and online gardening sites.

Nearly six months later, the box of  bulbs that the editor planted is still going strong and in bloom!   As class sizes are small there are plenty of opportunities to ask the gardening experts one-on-one advice on anything and everything to do with gardening based on personal requirements.   Classes are fun and informative  – See here for full details of upcoming courses  held in both Nyon and Founex.

Chateau de Prangins 068 Photo above – sensible, practical advice given to students Chateau de Prangins 080 Photo above -which way up do I plant these? Chateau de Prangins 088 Chateau de Prangins 086 Photo above – recommended reading material. Plant Pots made out of coffee tins!  Photos below – Living in Nyon box of bulbs and flowers planted September 2013 (top left of photo) and the same box March 2014. Chateau de Prangins 096     Geneva English School 032

Sirens to sound today – “Happy” Pharrell Williams videos in Lausanne and Geneva

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Photo above – Council workers pruning trees down by Nyon lake side

Siren testing today

Don’t panic if you hear sirens sounding today 5th February between 13:30 and 14:00 in the Nyon area, this is the annual siren testing which takes place  on the first Wednesday of February.  See more info here on the reason for the testing.

“Happy” videos featuring local scenes

If the grey cold weather is getting you down, these two videos may cheer you up, they are both set against the Pharrell Williams  “Happy Song”. The first, “We are from Lausanne” is set in the city itself, you can see some familiar sights on here, the  railway station, the SBB trains, the CGN ferry, the  lake, the old town and more.  This video has already had a quarter of a million hits!  The second video set in Geneva has had a smaller audience of 14,000 viewers but readers who live in or work in Geneva may be interested to see some familiar sights on here too.

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Arts festival starts in Nyon. Apartment to rent in Geneva

Far°  – the final festival of the big four festivals in Nyon, starts today the 7th August and continues until the 17th August. (The other three festivals are Visions du Réel, Caribana and Paléo)

Far°  is the acronym for “festival des arts vivants”, (festival of the living arts) and there is a lot on the programme over the next 10 days for lovers of performance art. Living in Nyon spoke to Véronique Ferrero Delacoste, the festival art and executive director, who explained that this year the festival will focus particularly on audience participation and performances that will take place outside the theatre space itself. She also highlighted three events that do not require a knowledge of French to understand them.

The first, which sounds very intriguing is called “Strasse” (Street)

Book a ticket to this performance and you will find a car waiting for you somewhere. A driver will take you through Nyon and its surroundings in a way that only he knows. En route, anything can happen!  This unusual performance takes place every day from Friday 9th to Saturday 17th at the following times, 20:00, 20:45 21:30 22:15 23:00. The drive takes 30 minutes.  Read more about the artists here  Details of tickets and booking here

Photo below: Strasse – courtesy Far° 

Strasse

The second event on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th August is “This is not a Love Story” by Gunilla Heilborn which tells the story of two reluctant heroes known as Vera and Kowalski.
In this performance they speak and dance together and ask questions continuously: Who has done what? When? Where? And why? Both heroes look somewhat lost and overtaken by the course of events. Even their own fragmented speech seems to escape them. This choreographed road movie, developed over several art residencies from the North Cape to Lisbon, loosely reports the journey.  Details here 
Photo below: “This is not a Love Story” – courtesy Far°
This is not a love story

The third arts performance that the festival director recommends to Living in Nyon readers, will be performed on the 9th August at 19:00, Monday 12th and Thursday 15th August at 19:00 and will take place in the small building called La Léproserie to be found just behind the Musée du Léman.

The museum used to be the old hospital of Nyon and the Léproserie was the annex for patients suffering from leprosy!  This piece will be performed by two dancers  – Bastien Gachet and Gregory Stuaffer from Switzerland.  Details here

Full programme of the entire festival here

Apartment to rent in Geneva

Photo below: Street view of flat/apartment

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For sub-let in Geneva, a furnished three room apartment ideally located (Servette) a few minutes from the UN and train station.

On 3rd floor, composed of a living room with balcony, new fitted kitchen, bathroom, bedroom.

Rent is CHF 2,300  which includes Wi-Fi, all bills and charges.

Availability: September 1  2013 – March 31  2014 (with possibility to extend to July 31)

You will need the following documents: ID, Resident permit for foreigners, Wage certificate, Letter from the Debt Enforcement Office

Contact mobile number  079 527 6151 or e-mail  v.landon@bluewin.ch

Photo below: Lounge

Lounge vincent

 

 

L’Elastique Citrique tours lakeside aboard ancient sailing boat next week- daily shows in ports.

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“Famille de cirque” performing last year at Paléo

A year after performing at Paleo, L’Elastique Citrique, Nyon’s circus school will be going on tour next week down the Vaud lakeside. The circus troupe, made of about 20 artists who train at the circus school several times a week will be on tour for a week, but there’s a twist: they’ll be touring aboard a boat!

La Demoiselle is a replica of an old sailing ship that used to transport rocks from quarries on the lake during the 19th century. There are for ships of her kind sailing on Lake Leman, including the Neptune in Geneva. The boat is run by an association called “La barque des enfants”, and it is used for pedagogical outings and camps on the lake. La Demoiselle was built over 15 years in Montreux and Villeneuve by workers on the dole, and is now used by schools and groups. As the association has quite strong social values, the boat is offered to associations and groups for half the price it actually costs to sail her for a week (which is 10 000 francs!), and they make the missing money by also renting the ship out for private venues and corporate outings.

The ship itself is 30 meters long, weighs 75 tons, and has two large Latin sails. It is fully equipped with a kitchen, toilets and 24 beds.

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Courtesy- Samuel Schlapbach

 

You may have seen the artists from L’Elastique Citrique at Paléo last year, clad in red, or performing in the streets of Nyon for Vision du Réel. This is part of their new project, “Famille de Cirque”, which is a much lighter project than past shows, and involves a lot of improvising and street theatre. For the tour, they have created a 40 minute show which they will play in the ports they land in along the lake. Using very little material (a large red circle, some juggling balls and two unicycles), they will offer a 360° show to the people come to see them. In the spirit of street performances, the show will be free, and the audience will be able show their appreciation of the show by slipping a few notes in the hats passed round at the end of the show. The show, called “La Vie en Rouge” [life in red, a pun on “La vie en Rose”, by Edith Piaf] will be all about relationships and passion. Why red, might you ask? Well, it’s the colour often associated to circus, and to different passionate feelings like love, anger… It is a recurring colour for L’Elastique Citrique.

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Courtesy- Samuel Schlapbach

 

The tour will start on Sunday across the lake in France, in the private settlement of Port Ripaille, on the 14th of July. La Demoiselle will then slowly make her way down to Nyon via La Tour de Peilz, Morges, St-Prex, and Geneva. You can find all the informations about the tour (dates, locations and time of the shows) below. Nyon Région TV, Nyon’s local television chain has done a video on the tour, which you can watch here. (first five minutes)

You can come and see L’Elastique Citrique on the following dates:

15th July  – La Tour-de-Peilz – 20h30 at theBains-des-Dames
16th July – Morges – 20h30 at the Port du Petit-Bois
17th July – St-Prex – 17h et 20h30 at the  Place d’Armes
19th July – Genève – 20h30 near the Jet d’eau opposite the Pierres du Niton
20th July – Nyon – 17h and 20h30 near the crane (east side of Rive)