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Cabin fever?
That's what friends predicted when we moved to Cyprus 2-plus years ago. What neither they nor us could have predicted was a fierce draught which now has the capital of Nicosia (and friends 15 minutes away) on two days of running water per week, with the reservoirs depleted and tankers from Greece shipping in sweet water. "Sit there and get run over" seems the applicable term du jour. This article sheds some light. Barcelona in Spain has similar issues, all the fruit trees in our yard are in really bad shape. That sketch barely scratches the surface of impending desertification.

Those who think global warming is a joke should move to a climate that's traditionally already a lot warmer than where they're from. A few extra degrees will make all the difference. Cyprus now routinely clocks 40+ degrees at high humidity. The last day of rain I can remember goes at least 3 months back. If I recalled more than seven incidents of rain in the last 9 months, I'd have been seeing things. The new airport in Larnaca is expected to double the annual tourist load which the island is forced to welcome since its revenue stream is predominantly service-oriented - hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals. Add entrance into the EU as of January 1, 2008. It takes no crystal ball to predict serious challenges.

So, have Internet biz, will relocate. But where to, Dolly? Water was high on our list as were political and economic stability. And good weather. But not too hot. And a central mainland Europe location for 6moons to create convenient access to trade shows and factory tours. As it turned out, the same reader who was directly involved in getting us to Cyprus (by inviting us to visit him to hear his system when our time in America was coming to an end for all the obvious reasons) had invited us to visit again. Which now meant Switzerland. Because that's where he had settled since. The previous article on Audio Consulting's new Linaeum-inspired Rubanoide speaker told that tale.

New 6M HQ
Curiously, whenever we quietly mentioned "being in the market" for a relocation to the main land to evaluate our options -- it's one big map after all -- nobody ever brought up Le Suisse. Spain and South of France, yes. Greece and Malta. The more adventurous even Scandinavia. Anything in fact except Switzerland. Or Germany for that matter. Truth be told, the former wasn't on our map either even though Northern Germany's lake region very much was. That's where my wife's heart surgery and convalescence took place last year and we both had really loved the area around Plön, Malente and Eutin. Yet new 'right of movement' legislature as a kind of bilateral agreement with the original EU countries has created unexpected opportunities in Switzerland and visiting our friend in November of last year seriously sunk in the hook. The dramatic Alpine lake scenery riddled with vineyards beats Germany's. As does the weather and Southern feel.

In short, it turns out that Switzerland hits all the buttons on our list. As of August 1 then, the new 6moons headquarters will be above Vevey and Montreux overlooking Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). During our recent 'vacation' -- just a ruse for house hunting in the canton of Vaud -- we found a nice long-term rental in a small village and signed on the spot on the dotted line. The new sound room will have more space behind the speakers than my entire sound room is long at present and the space above the listening chair is a 2-story loft with sloped ceiling and sky light. As a remodeled barn, none of the massive walls are parallel which promises excellent sonics. And Franck Tchang of Acoustic System International is already booked to perform his magic again to "move some walls". As cap'n of this ship, that stuff is vitally important after all. Nice views alone won't cut it.

English in the new digs can get you by (and definitely so in cosmopolitan Geneva) and my rusty German will have to come out of retirement to grab opportunities as they present themselves such as with the owner of the local convenience store. Her French descriptions about the cheese on display completely passed me by.
Alas, French in that part of the country definitely is the main language so those long-ago lessons in school have to be revived. French with an American/German accent? I'm sure the locals won't care as long as we make the effort. And our catty-corner neighbors are Yankee expats who were thrilled to welcome us so we'll get to cheat as well.

I'll endeavor to operate the site as usual through this transition and with as few interruptions as possible. Unavoidable of course is the take down of the sound systems which need to get freighted to their new destination. Hence certain preview conclusions will be delayed by 4 - 6 weeks (which accounts for freight and settling into the new space). Site updates should continue without breaks, however. My PC hardware will travel as check-in luggage to remain operational until the last days in Cyprus and go on-line in Le Suisse immediately. In short, should you notice and wonder how come everyone but the boss is putting up new reviews come August for a while, this is why.

One heavily anticipated review is the Red Wine Audio Isabella. I have asked Vinnie to postpone delivery and ship to Switzerland directly in early August. Other affected reviews include the Haigner Rho speaker which is in Cyprus already and will get a solid hearing in this environment before shipping to the new space for the conclusion. Ditto for the drawn-out "battle of the 300Bs" over my Yamamoto A-09S, Woo Audio Model 5 and the Trafomatic Audio Experience Reference monos. The main reviews are all completed but the final tube-rolling adventures (which early evidence suggests will have different valves emerge victorious depending on which amp is run) take more time. The Musical Laboratory goods too have been redirected for a delayed delivery to Switzerland. Ditto for the Peachtree Audio Decco.

So there it is, not quite a return to the Old Country as my family had perhaps hoped. But then, the first visitors have already announced themselves. Nobody really seems to mind to have a visitable 'uncle' move to where French/Italian joie de vivre combine with Teutonic functionality and truly spectacular vista. With special thanks to our (formerly Cyprian) friend and benefactor who seems to be in the habit of introducing us to great places to live which we'd otherwise completely overlook, here's to the next chapter of our ongoing 6moons adventure. Cheers.