Daily Prompt: The Zone – An unwritten Swiss Law

2.6.2013

Tell us about your favourite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?

Spring garden

I am now in “The Zone” sitting on the porch and writing my daily prompt, you can see the view from the table on the porch. It is the view over my garden to the rough pasture beyond where the wild yellow flowers are. We have an unwritten law where I live. Yes, there are many unwritten laws in Switzerland, so many that I will not bore you with the list.

However, this particular unwritten law is that this rough pasture must grow until mid July. No lawn mower, no scythe, not even the grim reaper is allowed to put a foot in this area. It is reserved for the birds and the bees, the snails and the mice. Even the spiders have this paradise to themselves. The flowers grow unheeded, they flower and make their seeds and if they do the job properly the seeds fall onto the fertile ground by mid July.

The zone remains untouched until the gardening team arrive with their instruments and cut the plants to lawn level. This is an ideal circle of nature, left to its own device. Unfortunately this year the human factor made a mistake. We have a new neighbour who moved in at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately no-one told him of this holy territory where no agricultural instruments are allowed to invade. until mid July. Already in March he cut his own lawn as it had begun to grow. We were all cutting our own private grass areas, this was no problem. It was then that we noticed that his lawn mower moved over the borders of his private zone and he removed the beginnings of what was to become a future rough pasture. The growing dandelions, clover and other unknown plants were nipped not in the bud, but in the first leaves that were showing.

We noticed this zone invasion too late, and as human nature is, no-one said anything. The neighbour was happy with his nice neat lawn, which was no longer in his zone and no-one wanted to hurt his feelings. This crime all happened in his own part of the zone. Our zone remain untouched and the plants grew and thrived and we were happy until…. One day the neighbour mowed his lawn again. Not being content with breaking his own part of the unwritten law, his lawn mower decided to remove that part belonging to our zone, because no-one told him it was not permitted.

At the time I was arising from my midday golden oldie sleep and heard the very near sounds of a lawn mower on its destructive path. Our new neighbour was happily removing the remainder of this natural rough pasture. The birds and the bees were looking on with disappointment in their wings and the slugs and insects scattered in retreat before their little feet or slimy body parts became a victim of the cutters on the lawn mower.

Mrs. Angloswiss to the rescue. I cannot keep my big mouth shut and approached the happy neighbour who was carried away by turning a meadow into a desert. I was naturally nice and told him that it was actually not allowed to cut this part of our territory. It was a forbidden zone until mid July, but I also understood that probably no-one informed him of this unwritten law. He told me he did not know this and was very sorry, but no-one told him. The deed is now done and we now have a long bare patch next to our garden. Luckily he did not progress over the borderline between our zone and the zone belonging to the building opposite where our cat-hating neighbour lives. She does not like our felines as they sometimes mistake her flowerbed construction, which resembles a snake pit, for a feline recycling area. She also does not like naked cats. One of our neighbours has a sphinx cat which has no fur, and she hunted the poor defenceless feline away muttering something about naked cats being not wanted in her zone.

Now peace reigns in the area. The neighbour promised that next year he would not touch the plants growing in the zone, although I very much doubt if anything will grow next year as the possibility of fresh seeds growing has now been removed.

And so we return to our normal conditions with the motto that ignorance is bliss if no-one told you.

Daily Prompt: The Zone – An unwritten Swiss Law

Daily Prompt: Worldly Encounters – The Return of Bog and the family

16.5.2014
The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?

Stork in flight

“What was that noise outside in the garden. Sounded like something fell.”

“Hello Mrs. Human, remember me, I am Bog from planet Flum. I paid you a visit just over a year ago, so I decided to bring the family, they so want to meet you. Here is Flog, Flig, Flug and Flag, my four little Flumes and may I introduce the wife, Jubbly.”

I rubbed my eyes to see if this was true and saw them, each child resembling a copy of the father, with their three eyes. The wife, being feminine, had two mouths.”

“This time we are a couple of weeks later as I thought those dandelion balls would be finished with their fluffy stuff. I remember suffering from running eyes for a month after my last visit, and Flum months are longer than Earth months. I didn’t think I would be lucky enough to be able to visit again, but it seems Earth loves repeats.”

“Oh yes, they happen all the time in my part of the world, it is almost an addiction for some. By the way is that your space ship circling above us. It very much resembles a bird that we know as stork.”

“Yes, it will stay until we leave. Storks love bringing things, it is in their training.”

“I actually thought they were an earth bird.”

“No, not really, but when our ancestors made the first visits some of them bred on Earth and remained. They had to lose the habit of bringing stuff, otherwise Earth would have suffered from over population. All those earth babies dropping from the sky wrapped in sheets!”

“Oh I see, yes it used to be like that, but now we do it all ourselves.”

“So do we Mrs. Human” and Jubbly spoke with a dreamy look in her three eyes, although having two mouths there was a curious echo to her voice.

“You have four lovely children.”

“They take after their father, although I could do with some vocal support now and again. Flog stop playing with that pointed thing, you might injure youself.”

Flog had discovered my cutlery and was chopping his fingers off with a knife. It was no big problem, they just grew again and the cut off pieces just seemed to disappear in the earth in the garden.”

“Doesn’t that hurt him?”

“No, it happens all the time on Flum, especially when he has a fight with a Grongle tube.”

“A Grongle tube?”

“Yes, they are everywhere on Flum and of course, they have to eat something to survive. It is a recycling course of nature we have. Flog put those chopped off fingers in you pocket and children help Flog to dig them up. We don’t want them being left on Earth. A Grongle might develop and Grongles are not Earth creatures. We have to keep everything in its place on another world.”

I was glad that Mrs. Jubbly Bog was so environment conscious. It was then that she took a strange looking green tube from a fold in her hand. After chewing on it for a few minutes she seemed to have swallowed it.”

“Don’t worry Mrs. Human, we brought our own food with us. It was a Plongle, forming our main diet on Flum. They are very handy, full of the vitamins a Flumeranian needs to tie him over for a few moons and we produce them ourselves..”

And then I noticed that the complete family were chewing on these things. I decided to change the subject.

“How are you and your family progressing with the suggestions I made to Bog about Earth books and television programmes.”

“They were quite good, although a little complicated. The children have now discovered an earth TV person called Miley Cyrus and they find her physical exercises exactly what a growing Flumeranian child needs. See how well they can do it.”

There was then a demonstration of four Flum children all twerking together with Bog clapping his hand to keep the beat and his wife, Jubbly whistling through her two mouths a strange tune.

“What do you think Mrs. Human? Our kids and Mrs. Jubbly are the hit of planet Flum and their tune is now No. 1 in the Flum hit parade. Do you think we could take this Miley Cyrus human back with us, she would be a sensation on Flum.”

“Although there are many humans that would like to see her depart from our planet, I do not think she would be very happy on Flum. Her diet would be a little different to eating tubes. She is more into human food, like meat and salad.”

“Oh, we heard that the Earthlings eat organic matter. That would not be so good we are not so keen on the cannibalistic way of life on Flum.”

“But you eat that tube stuff, don’t they live.”

“No of course not, they are only there to be eaten, that is their purpose in their un-lives.”

There was a rap at the door. When I opened it there was a very impatient stork standing there.

“Time to go Flum family. If you breathe more of this Earth air you might turn into an Earthling.”

“Thankyou for having us Mrs. Human, we will visit again next year if they allow us another reapeat.”

“It was nice to see you all, so same time next year, I am sure you will all be repeated again.”

Daily Prompt: Worldly Encounters – The Return of Bog and the Family

Daily Prompt: Linger – Lingering is a hobby of mine

17.03.2014

Tell us about times in which you linger — when you don’t want an event, or a day to end. What is it you love about these times? Why do you wish you could linger forever?

I linger daily on the daily prompts, but I long for the event to end so that I can do something completely different and new. In the meanwhile……

Iris

I lingered in my front garden last week and discovered that my iris was again showing its flowers. I was delighted with this opportunity to linger with the camera. It was 17 years ago when we moved to our ground floor apartment, complete with two gardens which were covered in grass. I think it was grass, although it was not a happy grass, especially when the clover slowly thought about taking over and so in my pre golden oldie action years, when I could still move my limbs, I decided to turn this garden into an example of the Royal Chelsea Horticultural Show. One of my first purchases were a few tubers of Iris. As time passed, the iris were moved a few times and eventually decided to settle in the middle of a border and so they grew, and grew and grew. As you can see my original four flowers have multiplied, become fruitful and expanded. I love plants that appear regularly. They give less work and are more considerate on the ageing joints and above all they linger.

I have now lingered enough on my iris plant, so will move on to another aspect of my lingering. I like to linger in bed, especially after lunch. After a cup of tea and some Swiss chocolate I make my way to the bedroom and the linger sojourn continues for a couple of hours. Unfortunately this blissful lingering session was disturbed today as it is Thursday and I clean the shower on Thursday. After lingering in the shower – no enough lingering, that was work making my tiles shine again by removing the traces of limescale – I am now writing another prize winning suspicious prompt.

I am convinced this prompt was designed for golden oldies who linger everywhere. Go to the supermarket. You cannot move quickly to hunt down the various food items, there are always groups of golden oldies talking about their complaints and the price of food and causing an obstruction on the lingering shopping paths. Yes, lingering seems to have become their hobby.

Of course I wish I could linger forever, especially when I take a walk with my camera. Cameras are built for lingering, you cannot pull them away from the subject they have trapped in their lens.

“Mrs. Angloswiss wait a minute, I want to take a nice closeup of that spider. Perhaps you could sink onto your knees so that I can capture all the details.”

“No camera, if I sink I will have problems putting myself again in an upright position again. You will have to be content with a aerial view.”

“But all our photos are aerial views. If you would only kneel and hold me tight and steady, we would at last win the Pulitzer prize together. You just have to twiddle the lens to get a nice sharp close picture.”

“No, definitely not. I am not going to accept our deserved prize from a gurney, which will be the result if I bend to eye level view.”

These cameras really think they know it all.

And no, I do not have a death wish to linger forever. That time will come one day and then I will not have a choice, will I? I will not be able to make a decision about an event or day ending, it will be the eternal lingering days. You might see me appearing on your computer screen, a little faint, almost transparent, but i will be there. I will linger in your bytes, on your prompts, perhaps even in your files. An invisible hand will guide yours over the keyboard. That might be a time when I wish I could linger forever. I could even curl up on the top of the terminal and watch your movements. These prompts do get silly now and again. I think I will now linger with my iPad and read a book.

Daily Prompt: Linger – Lingering is a hobby of mine

Daily Prompt: Placebo Effect – He is back again

3.11.2013

If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why?

Roses on the table in the front garden

I saw these roses in the local supermarket for mother’s day. They were quite expensive in their pot so I decided a little patience would be rewarded and it came to pass that when I visited the supermarket on the Monday after mothering Sunday they had been reduced to half price. Clever me, realising that some mothers did not receive roses and so I bought them. Admittedly some of the flowers are pass their prime, but there are buds hovering beneath the flowers waiting for their chance in life. Fed with love and care and enough water, they will rise again.

“Good idea Mrs. Angloswiss, but if everyone thought like that then I would be out of work.”

“Did someone say something? I hear a voice that sends shivers along my rheumatic pains.”

“Yes, I did. Who do you think you are playing with fate. Since mankind exists it has been my job to deal with death, and now you want a remedy against it. Just imagine the overcrowding, for something I am here.”

“Ah, look who has turned up. The guy with the agricultural tool in his hand and leave my roses alone. Got some fields to reap?”

“You bet I have, but not flowers, it is the purpose of my existence.”

“You exist, nice for you. Do you think that fair, you existing and causing others not to exist?”

“It’s my job. I have been doing it since the world began. Imagine if I didn’t bother. Your world would have overpopulation, the place would be crowded, there would not be enough food for everyone.”

“Sorry mate, but we do have overpopulation and some people in some countries do not have enough food. You know, like famine where the crops don’t grow and people die of hunger. I don’t even think you can invent a medicine to cure that.”

“I still have my work to do. That is not my job, that is the famine department.”

“And you think that qualifies you to walk around in that long black cloak with a hood making your face fall into shadows. Grow up mate, do something about the state of the world instead of looking like something from a horror film.”

“I am the Grim Reaper, it is my purpose in life/death and I really don’t think you want to see my face.”

“You have a face?”

“Not quite, let’s say I have the bare bones of a face, ho, ho, ho.”

“Stop making silly jokes. What about pestilence? Is he around as well.?”

“No he is taking a break, he has run out of good ideas. The humans are getting on with it quite well on their own. Nature gave up a long while ago in keeping a balance. Of course my colleague War is quite overworked at the moment and that is where I come into the solution.”

“How comes?”

“I tidy up the mess he makes. And now I have to go, we have a meeting tonight.”

“You have a meeting? To find a solution to the human problems?”

“Not exactly, even we have to take it easy now and again and we just leave things to the hands of the human race. They do not really need us, they can mess it all up on their own. We are meeting for a game of poker. The winner takes all.”

I decided this conversation was becoming a little eerie and returned to my roses which needed some water. Unfortunately there are some things in this world that not even water, or a placebo can help.

Daily Prompt: Placebo Effect – He is back again

Daily Prompt: State of your year – Golden Oldies Die Hard

29.07.2013

Bench in the field

I am alive. In spite of unexpected aches and pains and twinges I have overcome it all up to now. Benches have become an important asset when taking a long walk in the country. My walks have now become few and far between, mainly due to Mr. Swiss that is now in recovery at home, but he will soon be back on the trail and we will pull our aching limbs together and speed through the countryside again. We are very lucky to have this bench, although it seems to be neglected by many. It is situated on the last home stretch (or at the beginning) of the path to the castle. It seems that it has been ignored as it is only the golden oldies that need a bench after a five minute walk for a pause, but we are the survivors.

Actually I feel quite sorry for this bench, left in the middle of a field and being surrounded by dandelions and tall grass, but it serves its purpose.

I did not really know where I was going with this prompt, but I suppose I could make it a posting to the honour of resting places. My map of the local area is not marked with streets, roads or bus stops, but with benches. Places where you can rest your weary legs and think about things. What do these benches do in Winter when it is cold and snowing? Are they covered in ice exposed to temperatures cold enough to freeze off a ducks posterior. No, the Swiss are careful with their benches. They are an important part of golden oldie life. Imagine if there were no benches to welcome the surviving members of the golden oldie club in Spring. There would be an uprising. Hordes of golden oldies would march to the local town hall waving their walking supports, those lucky to have a mobile means of transport would tune up the motors of their wheelchairs and steer on the motorway in a protest movement at speeds to honour being a member of the golden oldie Hell’s Angels.

Of course our local government takes into consideration the raging percent of the population and under this threat of a senior citizen uprising, they remove the benches during the Winter months, as it is recognised that the population of grey haired (perhaps even hairless) members do not take walks that require a bench in the Winter. They are then looking after their stamp collections, writing their memoirs, or filling out their tax forms. Sometimes they even spend time on their computers composing blogs telling everyone all about it. About what? Yes that is the problem, new ideas are disappearing and the golden oldie population becomes frustrated.

Thank goodness for the Spring when the warmer weather arrives. When we can all put away our lineaments, ointments and pain killing tablets for rheumatic joints. We polish our Nikes and walking boots and see that we are again ready to rediscover the wonders of nature. If you were lucky and managed to get out of the house in a pause between frost and snowfalls, you might have been able to take advantage of the January sales when walking boots for golden oldies were at half price. Imagine the glances of jealousy when your 70 year old neighbour notices that your 80 year old feet now wear the most modern air filled trainer shoe soles.

And so we now have the month of May where our annual training programme is well on its way. January the joints began to thaw out, in February it was even possible to take a few hesitant steps into the garden to feed the birds. March was full of winds, so we could watch from behind he window how the leaves were piling up. We could not risk a walk as there was the danger of being blown over and perhaps losing our hairpiece. April is known for its showers, and a warning is issued that damp weather causes the joints to rust and become stiff. That is when we begin our indoor sports, walking with the hoover and exercising  the window cleaning arms. When May arrives we are ready. The benches are in position and the paths are cleared.

“Morning Mrs. Smith, nice day for a fresh walk. How are you?”

“Oh, not too bad, although I feel it in my back more than last year. Thank goodness the local council have returned the benches and look, they have given them a fresh makeover. How nice and clean.”

And so Mrs. Smith takes a rest on her favourite bench, just a few steps from her front door and reflects on how the year is shaping up so far. Don’t we all?

Daily Prompt: State of Your Year – Golden Oldies Die Hard

Daily Prompt: To Sleep, perhance to dream – with 0 responses?

Sleep is one-third of our lives: write a post about it. Do you love naps? Have trouble falling alseep? Wish you could remember your dreams? Remember something especially vivid? Snuggle under a blanket, or throw the windows wide open? Meditate on sleep.

Sunrise over Feldbrunnen

It is not vey often you get a sun rise from me, if at all, because that this the time when I perchance to dream. Someone somewhere wants to know a lot of secret things about my sleeping life. I also want to know a lot of things about things like was there a second daylight saving time in the States. Did I miss something? My daily prompt arrived today an hour earlier with the good old “0 Responses” title”, not that I am someone to complain. I searched through Google with the words “Daylight Saving Time in America” but found only two dates March 8 and November 1. As we now have 18th March, I realised this was not the case. We all have our problems from time to time.

I had a problem today actually, and it was all to do with sleep. Yesterday evening i ate something that did not encourage my normal sleep pattern. It disagreed with my recycling system to the extent that I collapsed into bed after taking some sort of tablet remedy. I drifted into the land of dreams to awake around two in the morning and I was convinced that a stone was lodged in my internal organ. My potato chip orgy had returned with a vengence.

Of course I love naps, they are the fulfilment of my staying awake time, especially after lunch, but this was two hours after midnight. I did not have trouble falling asleep. I had slept but the demon indigestion returned. There were no dreams, but I was longing for an indigestion tablet to disperse the feeling having a balloon being blown up in my body. “Just ignore it, it might go away” was my thought. I suppose it did go away in the early morning hours, when the sunrise resembled my one in a million photos.

I could have snuggled under a blanket, but in Summer I do not have a blanket. Throwing the windows wide open was not a choice. I was not alone with my elusive sleep and did not want to cause trouble, so I turned again. I was convinced that a sleep laying on the right side would be the solution. The balloon just shifted its place to the left, and so I moved to the left as gravity was pulling in this direction. The same result occurred when I moved to the left, the balloon pulled me towards the right. I realised that where I twisted and turned I would still be reminded of an innocent packet of potato chips. At some time I fell asleep and the balloon deflated itself.

It was time for meditation, slipping into the plans for the next day. There was a quest for food in the local super market to be dealt with and a few cleaning operations at home. I dragged myself out of bed, still feeling swindled of a night’s sleep and stumbled through the apartment trailing a vacuum cleaner behind me.

Of course I arrived at the supermarket, still cursing the potato chips. I eventually arrived home, cooked lunch and made the statement that after lunch there would be no tea or chocolate for me, just a teeth cleaning session and a golden olden after lunch sleep. I was kaput, on my knees and it is a mystery now how I drove the car home without falling asleep at the steering wheel.

I find no trace of this daily prompt in my archives, so it must be a first time one or a fluke. I searched the reader, but it seems there were dormant entries from the last time. I am now finished with today’s prompt. Time to sleep over what I have written without a packet a potato chips.

Daily Prompt: To Sleep, perhchance to dream – with O Responses?

Daily Prompt: It’s not my party – Warning it leaves a bitter taste

27.04.2014

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!

Gerbera

It’s party time, so let’s get in the mood and upload a few flowers. Oh, you don’t have flowers at a party, more a funeral. Well, who cares, I do not feel like a party in any case. I spent a refreshing golden oldie sleep after dinner and am now relaxed and absorbing the sun on the patio. Someone is ringing the door bell.

“Hello Fred and Joan, I wasn’t expecting you today.”

“We saw that there is a party at your place. Are we the first?”

“The first? Looks like it but ……”

“No problem, what are we celebrating? Oh it doesn’t matter (ha, ha, ha) parties are parties. I wouldn’t close the door, look its George and Brenda. That’s a nice party dress you are wearing Brenda.”

“Just an old thing I threw on. It all took me by surprise. Hi Angloswiss, what a lovely idea, a party out of nowhere. Where’s the food.”

“Food, yes well I can perhaps rustle a few things up. Do you like cheese?”

“You mean those cheese tasters on sticks? Of course, especially if they are mixed with pineapple pieces.”

This was getting rather uncomfortable but luckily I had a tin of pineapple that was selling in a special offer at the supermarket. The date has expired, but I will keep that to myself. I opened the tin and scraped off the strange green layer from the pineapple. I mixed the pineapple with sugar as it smelt a bit funny. The cheese also had blue streaks, but perhaps it was gorgonzola, although I thought it was a nice piece of Cheddar. I suppose it was a year ago.”

There was another ring at the door and in came Wordy William Blog with his wife Pressy. They were all dressed up in the latest t-shirt design with the words on the front “I am a blogger, hug me”. They tumbled through the door and took a seat next to the computer.

“Hi Angloswiss, hows the blogging sensations. As soon as we got the message that today you were throwing a party we knew you would want us here as well.”

“Yes, errr, no problem. Just make yourself at home.”

“No music, its very quiet here for a party. Wordy load up some synthetic stuff on the computer, I am sure it will raise the spirit. Oh, talking of spirits we will help ourselves. Is that a bottle of one of those energy drinks. I am sure that will do.”

“I am afraid I do not have a lot in drinks, have a glass.”

Should I tell them they were left over from great uncle Sebastian’s funeral five years ago. No, let’s not spoilt the surprise party.

“After all today is something special, it’s your birthday.”

“No it isn’t actually, that is in six months time.”

“You must have a reason for celebrating.”

“I suppose I do, although it seems that someone else wanted me to celebrate. But that is not important, nice to see you here.”

“Don’t shut the door Anglo, there are still some people waiting outside. How lovely that you invited us all.”

I didn’t tell them I invited no-one, everyone seemed to be in a such a good mood and who am I to spoil the blog/party.

“Anglo, where’s the loo? It is quite urgent” and Shirley disappeared for the next half hour. My loo seemed to become quite popular as there was quite a queue waiting for entry. Was it the pineapple or was it the energy drink, although the cheese did have a strong smell.”

After an hour of happy go lucky partying things quietened down and no-one seemed to have the energy to be merry, even my snacks were no longer eaten. I was not sorry, I hate parties, especially when they are forced on me.

There was another knock on the door. This time it was a slow solid knock. I opened the door. There was a man standing there dressed in black. His face was covered by the shadows of his hood from the cloak he was wearing and he was holding a sort of long agricultural instrument. I loved his t-shirt. It was the only white thing about him, although the black lettering “Grim party goer” was a good contrast.”

“Were you invited?” I asked.

“No problem, I am usually not invited. I just arrive when I get the feeling in my bones.”

Funny the effect things can have when Nick arrives in a fancy dress. He was always the death and soul of the party. Perhaps it was the white finger bones that did it. My uninvited guests crawled away as fast as they could, still feeling the effects from my party food. I was alone and left to clean up the mess. That’s what happens when those unwanted repeats turn up on your blogging site after a a period of 13 months. They die an unpleasant death. Yes for some it was the last event of a lifetime.

Daily Prompt: It’s not my party – Warning it leaves a bitter taste