Daily Prompt: Truth Serum – the truth always hurts

You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?

Balloon over Estate, Feldbrunnen

Today our daily prompt is hovering, just like this balloon over our village. There is none and now there is a knock at the door.

“Hello Mrs. Angloswiss”

“Why hello Wordy. How nice to see one of my friends (I only have one) from WordPress. What can I do for you.”

“I have a vial of truth serum. Choose carefully who you want to give it to and when they give their permission you can ask them some questions.”

“That is wonderful Wordy, if it was another day I would naturally choose the prime minister and ask him a few down to earth questions, but we now have a changed situation, so I will have to give you the truth serum and ask you a few questions about why we have no daily prompt today.”

“That’s not my department Mrs. Angloswiss.”

“Wordy, I don’t care, now drink that stuff and I will ask a few questions.”

“Sorry, no permission granted. There are secrets and facts that you would prefer not to know.”

“Are you threatening me Wordy, I warn you.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss put me down and stop shaking me. The truth will not fall out of me. I am sworn to secrecy.”

“Wordy there will be no chocolate cake until I know the truth. Time after time we daily prompt disciples meet with disappointment when we see a big “0 Responses”. We are locked out of the prompt, we are looking in through a window. It is a Stepehen King story that is happening in reality. Now drink the serum.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss what are you doing. Gulp, gulp, gulp.”

“After holding Wordy’s nose and pouring the liquid down his throat I can now discover the truth behind this Daily Prompt mystey. Wordy can you hear me. I will ask you some questions.”

“I can hear you Mrs. Angloswiss.”

“Who is jepardizing our daily prompt.”

“It is a secret group, they are planning to overthrow the WordPress world. They have captured our leader. They are not in agreement with our wonderful wise words of daily prompt. They want to revolutionise our wonderful grid system, bring back the pingbacks and find that our newly designed “Boop, Boop, Beep” signal is insufficient. Our leader is now being tortured by reading all the daily prompts for the last two years. He is in despair, screaming “no more, I cannot stand it”.

“This sound serious Wordy, you mean there are actually rebels that want to revert to the old system. I wonder why?”

“There is always resistance to the new. Look what happened to Windows 8. No-one bought it, they had to change it and I heard today that Windows 9 will be bringing some of the old ideas back.”

“True Wordy, but that is no excuse. I have another question. What are WordPress planning for the future.”

“Not even I know that Mrs. Angloswiss. One of our leaders has a dream and he imparts the dream to his followers.”

“What if the dream is not good, a nightmare.”

“Makes no difference Mrs. Angloswiss, even nightmares have to be applied.”

“It looks like there have been quite a few lately. And what about my WordPress t-shirt?”

“No, Mrs. Angloswiss, do not force me. I must tell the truth, and the truth can hurt. Yuck, eeee”

“Wordy talk to me, you have barfed all over my floor.”

“At last, oh that serum is disgusting, but it is now out of my system at last.”

“What about my t-shirt Wordy.”

“Sorry Mrs. Angloswiss, one vial of truth serum now finished. Can I go? And don’t mind about serving chocolate cake, my digestive system is upside down at the moment.”

Wordy left and I am none the wiser. The daily prompt is still not working. I will upload it when it is all systems go, but at the moment the systems have disappeared.

Daily Prompt: Truth Serum – the truth always hurts

Beep, Beep, Boop – no prompt

Hello daily prompt friends, your colleague reporting from the mountains of Switzerland, where the cows and eagles say goodnight to each other. Yes, they have done it again. Someone forgot to switch the lights on and we have no daily prompt. Need I say more, just check my remark on the forum

The Truth Serum of the Daily Prompt – there is no truth, there is no daily prompt

Daily Prompt: The Great Divide – let’s upload a book

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

My Bookshop Lüthy

Reading for fun? Yes, I suppose I do, but it is an ernest task reading a book, although reading books is almost a thing of the past. The photo is of our local bookshop in the Swiss town of Solothurn. For the English section in a German speaking environment, it is quite large. They cater for a bit of everything, although if there is a certain special book you need, then you order it. Delivery in a few days usually, and the order can be placed online with no postal charges – a very good service and one I often used.

Today this is for me a thing of the past. Upload the book you want from Amazon to your Kindle (usually) if the price is right. It takes a few seconds with their so-called Whispernet. If the app is on your iPad, all the better and you have your own little library in your hands.

I have been reading since “The Cat Sat on the Mat” my first school reading book. My cats never sit on mats, but we got rid of the mats as we have tiled flooring. My cats do not even sit on the floor (somehow beneath their dignity), they prefer a comfortable chair, bed or place in the shadows outside. The person who told the first story I read in the Beacon Readers series was not in the picture. However, due to my hunger for words, facts and wanting to know more I progressed to the stories of “Janet and John”. They were part of my life – was this fiction or fact? The author did not seem to find this important to know, but after a while I found that Janet and John led a boring life. They lived in such perfect harmony together, never an argument and according to the pictures in the book their surroundings were something like Nirvana. Always blue skies, a perfect place to play and they never had an argument. I think this was fiction, but at the beginning I was just eager to continue to book three. That had a  cover with chickens. I thought at last I would discover how to roast a chicken after Janet’s father demonstrated the sordid details of killing the chicken.

I am diversing. So were these books the facts of life? No, they were the books that were kept somewhere in another bookcase that I discovered when I realised that there was something called non-fiction.  There was a lot of talk about eggs being fertilised, but the books (in the 1950’s) never told you actually how it was done and mum would put the book away and tell me I was too young for that sort of thing. My thirst for knowledge was stifled in my infant days.

As the years passed I was a regular visitor to the library. The family philosophy seemed to be “why buy books when they are free at the library”. I was fascinated by Sherlock Holmes. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered he was not real. Now and again I would borrow an illustrated encyclopedia from the library. Did dinosaurs really exist? Of course and I knew more about them than our pet cat Whisky. I heard about an author called John Steinbeck in my early teenage years and discovered his books at the library. I read them all. John Steinbeck died in 1968. I remember mentioning it to my mum. “Who’s he?” she said. Wise words which shows that my background was steeped in literature.

The school rescued me to a certain extent, where I learned there were classics, but we had to read those books for an exam, so that destroyed my interest from the beginning.

Today I read almost everything, be it fiction or non-fiction, although more fiction. My last non-fiction was half of a book called “Darm mit Charme” which is a german book, translated into English “Intestine with charm” from a young German lady who studied medicine and tells you the true facts (including the less digestive ones) about the recycling process in the body with all the details. It was a best seller in Germany. I stopped half way but intend to finish the book. That is the advantage of non-fiction, you can stop and do not miss part of the story. Ok, the events in a digestive system are not exactly exciting, but it was described in an interesting way.

Another non-fiction I enjoyed was “The Great Stink” telling of how Sir Joseph Balzagette cleaned up the sewage system of London, a book I gladly recommend. The area where I originated, in the East of London, was a stunning example of a sewer at the time and typhus epidemics often broke out in the 19th century.

Otherwise I read Stephen King sci-fi, I am a great fan of Ken Follet who writes novels with the accompanying historical facts. Mr. Swiss is also an avid reader and we often exchange books, although he downloads English books on his iPad in German, I prefer to read in the original English. It is quite often that we have the same books in two languages. I can read German perfectly well, but I prefer a German author. I like to read original books, although the complete Kurt Wallender books from Henning Mankell I read in German as I cannot speak Swedish and Mr. Swiss already had them in german.

Something tells me to stop, otherwise I will be boring you all about my taste in books, which is probably not yours. Curling up with an iPad in the evening is more fulfilling for me than looking at some TV programme. I have just finished Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” and it is running on the TV at the moment. Even Stephen Spielberg helped out with the film. I decided not to watch it until the book was read. The book is now finished but I have already progressed to a free upload of an English book “The Ghost in my Bedroom” by Heather Jones. Not a long read, but something to carry on with and keep me out of mischief.

Enjoy your next book, have a good read and don’t forget to mark the place in the book where you stopped (if your have a real one with covers and pages).

Daily Prompt: The Great Divide – let’s upload a book

Daily Prompt: Mouths Wide Shut – Huh? My name is Angloswiss and I am an omnivore.

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?

Chicken, rice and lettuce

One of my 5 star menus: saffron rice with chicken breast on a bed of cooked lettuce. Just something I “knock up” for Saturday lunch usually.

Some people live to eat and others eat to live. When I was younger and the extra bulges and kilos did not seem to play a part in my sexy curved figure I would live to eat. I stuffed it all in me: sweet, sour, meaty, veggy, spicy – who cares. If the taste was right I would eat it. As the body lost its curves, everything sinking towards South, I had to have a rethink. Not that I was really bothered, but when I realised that even my feet were expanding, I decided something was wrong somewhere.

A further problem was that my digestive organs no longer behaved as they should. They even refused certain foods. Drinking my usual cup of coffee after lunch was not advisable. It had a negative effect on my recycling process, so I converted to tea. I, of course, examined all possibilities of changing my diet, but as I was responsible in feeding Mr. Swiss and Son No. 1 (Son No. 2 having moved out) I could not only cook what I liked. There was also a diabetic problem, but even that can be overcome with plain common sense. Other factors were also to be taken into consideration. Am I an omnivore? This question sent me to Google/Wikipedia as I did not know if I was or not, this word not being in my vocabulary. It seems I am. I eat vegetable, I eat meat, I eat almost everything. I have to know what it is, where it came from and how it was cooked; one of the reasons that being invited to a meal in a restaurant is not my sort of thing. You never know what the restaurant people do with it, until it arrives on the table.

I am not fussy about killing a salad or carrot, and eating meat is no problem. I can eat vegetarian, I can enjoy a steak and above all, I can be grateful that these foods are available in my country at a price that one can pay.  I think being fussy about food today is a little out of place. Ask someone in an African country with famine, they would be glad for our leftovers.

If you asked my late mum if I was a picky eater, she would definitely say “yes”, but mum could not cook and had no idea that there were other spices available except for salt and pepper. She was under the impression that cooking meant boiling water with the vegetable until the vitamin content had been completely destroyed, or roasting meat in the oven until it was dry enough to prove that it was cooked. Who am I to criticise, but she made it easy for me to be a picky eater. Her food was tasteless and to compensate the dryness of the meat she served it with a gravy made from a packet. Dad loved it, but I did not.

I have no food quirks really. What comes on the table is eaten and as I cook most of it, it is almost an occupational hazard. I do not like veg that is cooked until it is soft and mashy. I like it to have a bite. I like my steak to be medium, not bloodless, but not vampire style. I will not eat tripe or calamares, but this has nothing to do with the taste, or that it would “turn” my stomach. It has to do with the fact that I never really worked out how to eat it. It reminds me of eating rubber, you chew and chew and chew and still there is no breakthrough. It is transformed in swallow sized pieces, but has not real fulfilling taste.

Today we had mashed potato, veal ragout cooked with carrots, celeriac and leek and garnished with fried musrooms. I used white wine when cooking the ragout. I do not really like mashed potato. It does nothing for me, but Mr. Swiss does (in small doses) and it seems son No. 1 eats everything, except for mushrooms and green veg – he is autistic so has his small disagreements with certain food. One of the reasons why I fried the mushrooms separately, I garnished the meal with them for those that do not have an allergy to mushrooms on the plate. Although I do not like mashed potato, I made it all the same (from real potatoes, mashing it myself) Just because I do not like it, it is not a reason for not cooking something that the others like.

As far as exotic is concerned, if the price is right why not?.I used to serve salmon, but now only buy the tested kind or not at all. I am perhaps picky when I see the modern methods of mass farming. I suppose we are lucky in a way, we have a choice. One day perhaps the world will run out of food even in our areas and what do we do then? Perhaps the title of the promp will be “Mouths Shut” because we will not have very much to fill them with.

I hope you all enjoy you Sunday dinner despite my negative remarks. I just ate a piece of the Apple Tart Mr. Swiss baked yesterday with some whipped cream (the piece before last – I reserved the last piece for Mr. Swiss). I don’t feel guilty about it, my apple tree is full of apples.

Daily Prompt: Mouths Wide Shut – Huh? My name is Angloswiss and I am an omnivore

Daily Prompt: No Excess – Food for thought

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber

Do you agree with this statement on excess? (Thanks for sharing the quote)

Apple Harvest 2014

Yes. Now that was a short prompt today, but…..

“Slug why are you shaking your head?” I think it is the head, the part with the two sticks called eyes.

“Is that all you have to say? Of course too much of everything, especially slug food, is not as bad as too little. Look at that apple tree, full of apples. I guarantee me and my tribe could eat them all and come back for more.”

“No, slug. You can have the ones that fall from the tree. They are not fit for human consumption, but the rest. They are mine. Mr. Swiss is at this moment making one of his famous apple flans.”

“Ok. I don’t get the thing about human consumption. If you were a lonely slug, dependent on what lies around on the ground, human consumption would not matter. You would be hungry and eat it all.”

“Yes, slug, I suppose you are right. If famine breaks out we would not be so spoiled or fussy.”

Sometimes slugs are not so stupid as we think. If they find something to their taste they will eat until it has gone, although I am not so keen on that part of the philosophy. They might not have a brain but their whole body is geared to survival. Their reasoning does not agree with the negative side of too much, although they do not eat everything.

I can now smell the aroma of apples cooking in pastry wafting through the kitchen window.

There are, of course, some places in this world where having too much of everything is unknown, but having too little is a daily occurrence. I do not think people in those countries would consider having too much of everything being negative and if they could see the subject of this prompt, they would not understand how someone could actually write about the problem.

“Yes Mrs. Human, it’s like when we have our deserved tin of tuna fish.”

My Tabby cat has decided to give a few helping words on the prompt.

“You always seem to eat all the tuna fish I serve Tabby.”

“Of course Mrs. Human, but we do not just wolf it down, we have delicate palates and it must be savoured. First of all we lick up the juice, the best part of the meal. It tickles our taste buds. We then have a pause to savour the full value of the developing aroma.”

“Yes, Tabby, I noticed; afterwards you walk away and have a wash and perhaps sleep for a few minutes.”

“We call that digestion Mrs. Human. And we have a lick cleaning our face to prevent other felines in the area noticing that we have been eating tuna fish. We do not want to advertise it. There are always territorial issue to consider.”

“I see, then perhaps just giving you and Fluffy the juice would be enough.”

“No way, Mrs. Human; that is our aperitif. Afterwards we are ready for the meaty part. We chomp and chew and swallow until it is all gone and then we are satisfied. Have another wash lick and disappear into a feline nirvana; A digestive sleep. We are happy and satisfied and need no more. We know our limits, it is part of the hairball theory.”

“The hairball theory?”

“What is too much we just throw up and then we can really relax.”

It seems to me that cats have a way of looking at things. I must now go, I think there is a hairball problem somewhere to clear away.

Daily Prompt: No Excess – Food for Thought

Daily Prompt: Make It Count – dear Bill Gates, not Clinton or the flowerpot man

You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?

Mowy mows a wasp

Dear Bill, or Mr. Gates

I sometimes feel like this Wasp, lost in a field of wires, not green, but computer wires. I hope you don’t mind me calling you Bill, but over the past ten years or more I feel you have become part of my daily life. Since the day my Commodore computer was plugged in and the impulses began to pour through its circuits, I decided yes, this was it. Kuonis Rift, Whizzball, you name it, I played them all. This was the beginning of a new life and then I discovered Microsoft and Windows.

My life was changed, I was online, but somewhere along the line I seemed to lose it. I remember the days when I would go shopping, come home, cook lunch, sit down and knit a pullover or even socks for my growing children. I was proud of every stitch, every completed row and the colour range I could choose. I knitted striped pullovers, pullovers with patterns according to the fashion and my socks were admired by all. When Mr. Swiss would walk across the living room floor in his new knitted socks they were admired. Admittedly only by myself as he would never wear them outdoors. He felt it did not suit his style.

Sorry Bill, I am drifting. What I really wanted to say was that you changed my life when I discovered the possibilities of Windows. I must admit MS-Dos was a little too complicated for my then undeveloped brain, but I joined in with Windows 95 and have been a faithful follower since. Of course Mr. Swiss was ahead, he was using Windows 3.0 Excel in the office when I was still knitting. My first computer was a share job. It was big, not a laptop and the brain was sitting on the floor. We would switch it on and it would make a summing noise, and lights would flicker. I shared it with Mr. Swiss. That is like letting your husband teach you how to drive a car. It does not work, conflict of ideas.

One day I awoke and broke the news. I want my own computer.

“Oh” I think was the answer, but cannot really remember. It was at the time when we were using NCR in the office and I had been infected. I bought a laptop. What shall I do with this laptop? When Windows 98 arrived I decided it was time to take a course. My company agreed and paid for it. I did it all. Word, Excel, Powerpoint and something called Access which has died in the meanwhile.

By this time we had two laptops at home and our original computer was in another room. So life continued and Mr. Swiss and I even corresponded by e-mail sometimes, although he was only in the next room. Bill, I was always a faithful follower of your developments. Many was the time when I despaired and wanted to throw the computer out of the window, kill it with a hammer. It made too many mistakes and misinterpreted my commands. Stop shaking your head Bill, you were letting it all go to your head. A bad workman does not always blame his tools, especially when they do not realise what you want to do with the tools. I even conquered Vista, although I must admit that my Vista is now sitting alone and ignored in another room. I have been happy with my Windows 7, although I was under the impression that it was made for the people, as we were all asked what we would like before it was released Bill. Your mistake was probably that you did not ask me.

I am now ready for a new computer, I mean the Angloswiss world cannot stand still it must move on. Gone are the sock knitting days and the game plaiying hours of pleasure. It is now a serious business. I discovered the world of blog and Bill, all this would not have been possible if your had not begun to experiment in your garage with a couple of friends and IBM had ignored your visit, but I am sorry to say I must move on.

Windows 8 arrived. I am convinced with my online gift of computer comprehension, I would have mastered this new technology. After all my first steps in life were with pictures and a bilder book computer with touch screen combined is the ultimate despite the finger marks left by eating apple pie garnished with cream when at the computer. Unfortunately I have met many disappointments from other users who find that windows 8 is not their thing, one being my son who is not a happy bunny.

I had to reach a decision. Shall I start knitting socks again? In the meanwhile my children have grown, are older, and I am no longer able to persuade them to wear knitted socks. They question my ideas. Mr. Swiss is approaching the platinum oldie stage where knitted socks might be his thing, but we have floor heating and in the meanwhile I have forgotten to make the turn for the heel of the sock. We are now impatiently waiting for Windows 9. Will this be the ultimate in online business? Will I be able to operate this system by telepathy?

There are many open questions. I am sorry to disappoint you Bill. You have been my colleague throughout my computer life: always there when I needed you, although I did not always understand your logic. We now have a baby Macpad at home and I like it. No problem, a different logic, but very logical. It talks to my iPad and iPhone somewhere in a cloud. Unless your Windows 9 can convince me otherwise, it might be that our paths part.

Remembering you in my happy online memories
Angloswiss, future Pulitzer prize winner for blog.

Daily Prompt: Make it Count – Dear Bill Gates, not Clinton or the flowerpot man

Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, done – by popular demand it seems

Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

The blackbird and the owl

I am not counting the quarter of an hour I just needed to upload a few photos, because by popular demand some people want us to write about anything and it is not my thing to write about anything. I lead a boring life, nothing really happens, no spotlights from the sky surrounding my aura and harps playing in the background. I hate these do-it-yourself prompts.

The last popular demand theme was saved by two crows that were perching on a roof and watching me with their beady eyes. This time I am sitting on the porch, no crows and a sleeping feline in the garden. This photo was taken in the morning of a female blackbird that does a regular worm search. Yesterday she had one in her beak proudly displaying it in my garden. I naturally dived for my super camera, nearly fell down on the way, and probably made so much noise that she had gone when I was ready. Note the owl looking on. One of my newest additions to the garden scenery from the local supermarket. I am looking forward to Halloween and hoping I can buy a few skeletons and ghosts to spread around the garden.  I was wondering if they would have some coffins. I could fill them with earth and plant something in them like deadly nightshade or stinging nettles. That would create a perfect atmosphere and I am sure my garden would be the envy of the neighbourhood.

After awakening from my golden oldie midday sleep my first action was to grab my iPad, which was lying next to my bed, and see what the wizards of WordPress had for us today. I wondered whether to sleep for a further hour when I saw the subject matter or go into action in the hope that anything might happen worth a Pulitzer Prize. It did. I cleaned the shower and discovered that the water was not running away as freely as it should. There seemed to be a blockage. After a few muttered profanities Mr. Swiss came to assistance and unblocked. In the meanwhile I continued tidying the garden cupboard which he had started and afterwards returned to the shower to finish my original chores. Last year we organised the garden cupboard, but it seems that various objects had found their way into the cupboard which did not belong there, such as five large empty cardboard boxes. Luckily last year’s spiders as moved on to the spider happy hunting grounds, and their remains were just hanging around in last year’s web.

It was then that Mr. Swiss discovered we had almost no bread. As I am not empowered to distribute two slices to feed a whole family, like some other guy once did, Mr. Swiss has now disappeared on a quest in to a local supermarket. Actually I don’t mind, because this time he is going to the special supermarket, the one that has gourmet stuff, although I do not know how a gourmet bread looks.

Still two minutes to go. How I hate these daily prompts. I mean if I wanted to write what I wanted to write, what I feel like writing, I would not do the daily prompt. It is a free blogging country and we can write what we want to in any case. I think the people at WordPress have their annual excursion to Silicon valley. They have all packed their laptops in the rucksack and are writing about anything accompanied by a glass of an energy drink of some kind.

Time is up, Mr. Swiss has returned from the gourmet supermarket so I must see what goodies he has brought us, apart from the gourmet bread.

See you all on the flip side.

Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done – by popular demand it seems