Archive for the ‘family’ Category

The Oakley Residential Hotel

February 21, 2020

Tempus fugit

Back in the 1920’s and 30’s, my grand parents Eddy and Cleopatra (Cleo) Oakley were owning a small boarding house, located in the Spanish city of Campamento, on the border with Gibraltar. They called it The Oakley Residential Hotel.

The house in the 1920’s


The name of the Oakley’s can be seen on the facade on this photo which I discovered in an old family photo album.

My father Emilio mentions this boarding house in his memoirs as follow:

“In Campamento Eddy Oakley managed to hire for little money an old mansion, which he converted into a boarding house and called it “Oakley Residential Hotel”. It included a large drawing room (with fireplace), a big dining room,  a bedroom and kitchen downstairs, 6 bedrooms (of which 5 to let) upstairs. No running water and no bathroom. The water had to be brought from the aguadero (waterman) who passed through Campamento at regular intervals; there were 3 kinds of water: drinking water, water for washing and sea water for the tank on the top of the house for the W.C. 

There were 2 maids, a cook and an errand girl. Eddy Oakley, of a very generous nature, a real gentleman, not a businessman, had difficulty in making this hotel a passing business.  

One thing that payed well was the weekend “high teas” served to the English army and naval officers and well off Gibraltarians because in Campamento there were tennis, golf and horse racing courses and a polo ground with horses for rent.

Eddy Oakley died end 1933.Later, what miracle, Cleopatra managed to make a little profit.

In 1932, to help Eddy, I managed to convince 3 colleagues of Nestlé to spend the 3 summer months at Oakley’s paying the same as we paid in the Continental Hotel in Gibraltar. Campamento beach was very near to Oakley’s” .


My nephew Robin Schäublin recently did some research through Google and managed to localise the house which still exists.


A recent photo found on the Internet. The address is 10CA-34 San Roque Andalusia


Another recent photo from the Internet. Without airco units on the facade. Not sure which one of the Internet photos is the most recent


Family photos from the 20’s and 30’s

Cleopatra (Cleo) and Eddy (my grandparents from my mother's side)

Cleopatra (Cleo) and Eddy (my grandparents from my mother’s side)


The dining room. My mother Phyllis on the left, her sister Vera on the right and mother Cleo at the head of the table


On the terrace in front of the house. Vera on the left, my parent Emilio and Phyllis in the middle (the fence is still the same after some hundred years)


On the cable boat. Cleo (behind) with her 3 children Phyllis, Vera and Franck


Cleo, Phyllis, Eddy and Tatcho (friend of family) on the boat from Gibraltar to Tangier.


Vera (second from left) and Franck (second from right)


L’Hôpital des Enfants Malades à Paris

November 6, 2019

Emotional moment when I by chance passed by this hospital in Paris. This is where in 1962 my elder brother Dennis, who then was studying medicine in Switzerland, was signed up to follow a 6 months training. He sadly was killed in a stupid car crash just before that. He was 24…

Moment émotionnel lorsque je passe par hasard devant cet hôpital à Paris. C’est là qu’en 1962 mon grand frère Dennis, alors étudiant en médecine à Lausanne, allait suivre un stage de 6 mois. Il est malheureusement décédé dans un stupide accident de voiture juste avant. Il avait 24 ans.

Year End in Brisbane – with Sebastian

January 6, 2013


West End Market

IMG_8602Under the gum treeSebastian, Wanda, Paul

154486_10151307929144346_747341504_n[2]relaxing at the market

16696_10151307928934346_1275565110_n[1]Some dodgy business going on at the edge of the market ?


528487_4924604510885_1941403199_n[1]Graffitti art 

IMG_8606Mount Coot-tha – Brisbane in background

Pre-Christmas Drinks at Birkalla Street

 IMG_0633[1] Bacia, Francisco, Wanda, Charliany, Paul             photo Daniel Santos

IMG_0632[1]the French lesson team


BBQ at Jacek’s

IMG_8608Marek, Gaby, Renata, Sebastian, Jacek and Wanda

IMG_8609the story of a beloved pair of trousers

IMG_8610serious discussions going on

Mount Tamborine

IMG_8616lunch at the Polish House


shot_1356845854308Paul and Wanda          photo Gaby Wheeler

397714_10151313186549346_1106453142_n[1]short walk in the rainforest

550905_10151313186504346_1414155131_n[1] - Copiemother and son


New Year’s Eve

IMG00087-20121231-2020 - CopieGaby and Wanda ready to dive into the new year

IMG00089-20130101-0129Happy New Year – Wanda and Margozata

Christmas on Moreton Island

January 2, 2013


Five days on Moreton Island, just of Brisbane (one hour and half with the ferry), together with Sebastian and our friends Gaby and Chris

Cinq jours sur l’île de Moreton, au large de Brisbane (une heure et demie en bac), en compagnie de Sebastien et de nos amies Gaby et Chris

sand manthe sand man / le bonhomme de sable

224895_10151314460374346_2084795307_n[1]releasing air off the tires / dégonflage des pneus


strandedstranded truck/ camion ensablé

03IMG_8533rescued / sauvé

Christmas Eve / Veille de Noël

04IMG_8536 - CopieGaby, Wanda, Sebastian, Chris and the Christmas tree

05IMG_8538 - Copiel’arbre de Noël au premier plan                 574939_10151314460319346_243166989_n[1] to the beach

???????????????????????????????On the beach, viewing the sunset /sur la plage, au coucher de soleil





13IMG_8557 - Copie (2)




xxxxxx15IMG_8563 - Copie

Christmas Day/Le jour de Noël  

16IMG_0589 - CopieYellow Patch, close to North Point

17IMG_0592 - CopieGlasshouse Mountains on the horizon

18IMG_0598Sebastian and Bruce, our old (and brave) Landrover

19IMG_8568 - Copiepicnic on the east coast, very hot

20IMG_8569 - Copiepique-nique improvisé, il fait bon chaud



528561_10151310804899346_1797739168_n[1]Reading on the terrass of our bungalow

Another Sunset

???????????????????????????????Un autre coucher de soleil

22IMG_8577mother and son / mère et fils



25IMG_8585 - Copie (2)Wanda, Gaby and Sebastian

Wanda’s I-phone photo file

249843_10151302676144346_1802027299_n[2]sunset on beach

528495_10151300305754346_441464538_n[2]Paul testing his new snorkling outfit at the Chrismas table

550509_10151300807784346_187834652_n[1]on the beach

603200_10151304465744346_1356027355_n[2]Storm on the way back home, from the ferry

Sebastians Files – The Bunker on the Beach








November 23, 2012



Week end in Melbourne, visiting family and friends

Week end à Melbourne, visite de cousins et amis

Wanda with Yola, Chen and their granddaughter Anabelle 

Our friends Yola and Chen put us up for a couple of nights. This was very helpful since all the hotels were fully booked since many weeks. The famous Melbourne Cup was taking place the same week end.

Nos amis Yola et Chen nous ont hébergés chez eux, dans les faubourgs de Melbourne. C’était bienvenu, vu que tous les hotels de la ville étaient complets depuis plusieurs semaines déjà. La fameuse Melbourne Cup (course internationale de chevaux) avait lieu ce même week end

 Downtown Melbourne / Centre ville

Central Station / Gare Centrale


Chinatown – cheep barber shop / coiffeur pas cher

Chinatown, with Yola and Chen 

Victoria Market

Lygon Street


Hats in the city

After the Races

Hats heading home after the race, some of them slightly tipsy (maybe)

Durant la Melbourne Cup, les dames portent leur plus beau chapeau et les hommes leur meilleur complet veston

Grégory Porter in Concert

At Toff in Town

Great singer, great concert, great public

Wanda relaxing in Yolas house and protecting herself of the ¨cold¨

Frederic Valton and family

Shelly, Frederic and little daughter Chloë, almost 2 year old

Paul and Chloë

Chloë and Shelly


Frederic, Wanda, Paul

Shelly and Frederic

Albert Park (Fred’s neighbourhood)


October 31, 2012


Week end in Sydney to visit cousins and friends. Also played tourists, took a classic tour through the harbor and visited the aquarium (water underworld).

Un saut à Sydney pour voir cousins et amis. Avons  également joué aux touristes en visitant le port et le fameux aquarium.

A room with a view / chambre avec vue

vue de notre chambre d’hotel / view from our hotel room

building designed by Renzo Piano

Harbour / Le port

Angel Place


Upside Down Jellyfish

Jelly fish / méduses

dugong (seacow)

sharks / requins


Anna, Paul, Elaine

Wanda, Elaine, Anna

Préalpes Vaudoises et Alpes Valaisannes – Petite réunion de famille

September 28, 2012


Entre la Crettaz et Les Marécottes

montée vers la Crettaz, depuis Le Trétien

La Crettaz

une de mes promenades favorites

Le Rhône

Les Avants – la famille

Ensar, Amar, Raymond, Marie-France, Wanda, Xhevahirë, Eric, Sabine

Amar, Raymond

Xhevahirë, Ensar

le traditionnel filet de perche

Amar, Ensar, Raymond, Sabine

toute l’équipe

Champex d’Alesse (1123 m)

vue sur le Val du Trient avec Salvan et Les Granges

St Maurice, Plaine du Rhône, lac Léman et Mont Pélerin à l’horizon

Vevey au pied du Mt Pélerin à l’horizon

La Pisse Vache

Le Trétien – Wanda’s Birthday

September 24, 2012

L’Anniversaire de Wanda

Réunion avec des amis, des connaissances et la famille au Trétien, notre petit village dans les alpes valaisannes

Big gathering with friends, acquaintances and family in Le Trétien, our little village in the Swiss Alps

14-16/08 /2012

The Days Before – Les jours précédents 

Arrival in Geneva, Central Station – Arrivée à Genève, Gare Cornavin

Ferran, Johanna, Wanda

Martigny  – Sebastian, Karolina, Ferran

Martigny, Place Centrale

Relaxing at Place Centrale 


August 17, 2012

Johanna, Wanda, Karolina

breakfast on sunny terrace

Kinga’s tailor-made T-shirts

Kitchen party – Karolina, Kinga, Milka, Anemique


Ferran et Christian


Party Day

Arrival of The Queen – Johanna, Queen Wanda, Karolina, Yves, Ferran

Romain, Raymond, Sébastien, Yves, Jean’François, Giovanni, Serge, Paul, Hanny, Ferran

Les chapeaux australiens sont arrivés

Polish-Pyrenées connection – Martha, Kinga, Karolina, Annie, Johanna, Milka

Mado, Martha, Kinga, Wanda, Karolina, Annie, Milka, Johanna, Danièle, Anemique 

Christian, Raymond, Marie-France, Paul et Wanda

Christian, Raymond, Marie-France et Paul

Wanda, Ferran, Mado, Wanda

Mado: tu fumes beaucoup….

Serge (elektra), Phedora, Wanda, Paul

Danièle, Pierre-André, Serge

Milka, Kinga

Jean-Marc et Pierre-André

Ferran, Jean-Marc, Pierre-André 

Jean-François, Yves, Damien


Pierre-André et Danièle

Alchimistes préparant les cocktails

les cocktails sont en route

La râclette (photos de Mado)

Serge et Annie

Serge, Phédora, Christine

Hanny et Jean-François

Phedora et Christine

Fred et Yanneth

Marie-France et Raymond 



Romain et Ferran

Wanda and Sebastian

Christine et Paul

Damien et ses neveux

Master Chef Christian

La Fête

Martha and Wanda

à la tienne

two dangerous witches

“Maître Râclette” en pleine action

Le second “Maître Râclette” en action

Romain et Karolyna

Kinga and Peter

Sex a peal (Fanda and Kaolina trying to sing)



19/08 /2012

The morning after the day before /le lendemain du jour d’avant

piscine des Marécottes



Partie de pétanque

Dushko, très intéressé par les amuse-bouches

A remain of the party hangover? – un restant de gueule de bois?

palabres intenses, la passion de la pétanque…

Christian, Mado et Typhanie soirée émotion chez Damien, découverte de veilles lettres


Le Trétien – Wanda’s File

From Perth to Cranbrook and back (West Australia)

July 16, 2012


Five day trip to West Australia  to visit my cousins Richy and Christian and their family. A long journey: 4 hours flight from Brisbane to Perth (some 4000km) and another 4 hours drive from Perth down to Cranbrook (300km in the deep South West Australia) where Christian lives.  Time zone difference between Brisbane and Perth: 2 hours


Voyage de 5 jours en Australie de l’Ouest pour rendre visite à mes cousins Richard et Christian qui vivent la-bas avec leur famille. C’est un long voyage: 4 heures d’avion de Brisbane à Perth (environ 4000km) et 4 heures de voiture de Perth à Cranbrook (300km dans le sud-ouest profond de l’Australie) ou habite Christian. Décalage horaire entre Brisbane et Perth : 2 heures


Downtown Perth, CBD

Richard and his son Matthew 


Square corner Francis Street

Corner Francis Street

Restaurant Valentino

Perth, downtown


les jeunes australiens de l’ouest sont perdants, lorsque les mines engagent des travailleurs d’outre-mer”

Protesting against contracting workers directly from abroad for the mining sector (many from the US – former Irak soldiers)

Protestation contre l’embauche de travailleurs d’outre mer pour travailler dans les mines (en majorité des Etats-Unis – entre autres des vétérans de la guerre en Irak)

Albany Highway

On the way to Cranbrook, typical landscape 

Hay for sale, along the road

Tunney, 7km before Christian’s farm – Old Roadhouse (closed)

Foxes, rabbits and cats were brought into the country by the settlers. When wild, they are a pest destroying native animals  

La Bonne Vie

Entrance gate to Christian and Pamela’s property

Christian and Pamela

the two cousins / les deux cousins

The 18 hectars property  is a sanctuary for kangaroos

there currently are some 200 kangaroos running around

the pond with the island, with the farmhouse in the background

the dam/water reservoir – full of shrimps in there

The dam allows collect rainwater. This is important (and necessay) since the ground water is salty and shallow, following widespread deforestation carried out by the early settlers.

Le reservoir permet la collect des eaux de pluie. Ceci est important (et vital) vu que la nappe phréatique est salée et élevée, suite à une déforestation frénétique poursuivie par les premiers pionniers, dans le but de créer des paturages pour l’élevage des moutons.

With Richy’s Driza-Bone coat (riding coat – oil skin) 

the creek

yes, we had some rain that day

access road, the farm is some 1km down the track

destroyed during a heavy storm, a couple of weeks ago – one of the heaviest storms since many years in West Australia

Bimbo the “shy” sheep, difficult to photograph 

There a only 20 sheep remaining on the property (there used to be many more) . Bimbo is a special case. She never goes with the others. She is always alone and follows Christian and Pamela when thy are around. Seems as if she is in love with them. Christian feeds her every morning. She doesn’t know me, so she was always running away from me.

kangaroo skeleton – natural death 

dead trees, on the neighbour’s property

on the terrass, bimbo watching in the back

Tableau d’Abeché (Tchad). Toute une histoire la derrière, trop long à raconter ici…

les écrevisses du réservoir, absolument délicieuses / delicious crayfish, from the dam

Yes, my “little” cousin turned 60. Hard to believe but true. Does not make us feel younger….  / eh oui, mon petit cousin a fêté ses 60 ans. Incroyable mais vrai. Tout cela ne nous rajeunit pas…

romantic  sunset in the backyard


downtown Cranbrook, the main street, post office in the back and hotel (pub) far away, at the end of the street

station, closed since several years. Only goods trains still pass through

war memorial

in the pub,not very buzy (probably too early in the afternoon)

closed, for sale

the little (old) supermarket

the new supermarket

Cranbrook only counts 300 inhabitants. It used to be a blooming city but things have slowed down since the new highway avoiding the city was built. The new supermarket was built recently and seems oversized for such a small population. Both the little (old) supermarket and the pub are scared this will kill them.

Fremantle (Perth)

Eric Street

Fremantle is Perth’s harbour. Only a couple of kilometers from the hart the city

Fremantle est le port de Perth, situé à quelques kilomètres du centre-ville

Fremantle, Polish cathedrale


the beach, Rotney Island on the horizon

Fremantle, the harbour in the background


More Family

Perth – Ximena’s house, adjacent to Richy’s house – friends and neighbours

Angélique (friend of family) and Sienna (Matthew’s daughter)

lovely little Sienna


proud grandparents

Matthew and daughter Sienna

Christmas in Sydney

December 27, 2009


Valton-Schäublin family reunion on Xmas Eve: Anna, Gaby, Paul, Shelley, Frederic, Eileen – photo Wanda Michalak

Wanda trying to join

Same + Wanda

Christmas day, at Bondi beach

A touch of Christmas