Daily Prompt: I Walk the Line – yes every day

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

And it’s another daily prompt day today, so let’s see what we have to say. The only code I have to live by is the one that the tax authorities need when I pay my debts to my country. Principles and sets of values are not something I dream about applying in my life, but wait a minute, these are old cooked up prompts, so what did I say the last time? I should know, it was not even a year ago when this one cropped up. No, I was wordless. Did I refuse, did I have nothing to say (which is a rarity with me) or was I locked up somewhere in a padded cell trying to get out. Neither, nor, I was in England with my dad on a visit. He had just moved into a new extra care apartment and Mr. Swiss was doing it all on his own at home. So now I have the opportunity to catch up on this old prompt. I have now dusted off the cobwebs and polished the edges, but no, it still does not inspire me. To be quite honest none of these second-time-round hand-me-down prompts inspire me, but I will carry on regardless and hope that one day it will all be different, that we will get new prompt, never before seen, filling me with inspiration and new hopes for my Pulitzer/Nobel prize instead of the garbage can of the year. So let us begin with something completely different.

I am still walking, protecting my moveable parts from an attack of eternal rust and it can only get better. Two days ago Mr. Swiss let me out of my own, so armed with my camera, my trusty walking shoes I departed. I had to take my iPhone with me in case anything happened. Now what could possibly happen? My feet never leave my ankles and I have everything under control. I had to think this walk over. Should I go right, left, up or down? I decided a straight path towards the castle, but noticing it was all uphill, I changed my mind and turned left for a visit to the stables.

“Neigh” the horses said as a greeting. I neighed back and they snorted.

“What about a photo” said Guiness, the shire horse.

“No deal” I answered, “I have so many photos of you, it wouldn’t be fair to the others. And so he poked his tongue out in annoyance.

Cart horse Feldbrunnen

“What about me, you never took a photo of me.”

I turned in the direction of the new neighs and saw a horse I had never seen before.

“Ok, stay still and smile” and here is the result.

Black and white horse, Feldbrunnen

“You are really something special with your pretty pattern on your back.”

“Thankyou Mrs. Angloswiss.”

“Stop showing off” said Guiness the shire horse “I am bigger than you and have more charm.”

I decided to leave before a horse fight began. I the chose the route through the top part of the village, past the castle and on the downhill stretch to home, where Mr. Swiss welcomed me with relief that I survived.This was my last walk for two days as the weather has changed. It is colder, raining and I noticed a new layer of snow on the top of the local Jura mountains.

Today I decided it was time to let my orchids out. It is warm enough for them on the porch and they are now settled in a sheltered corner. I told them if they behave and make some flowers, they can stay there throughout the summer, otherwise it will be the happy orchid hunting grounds. They told me they would do their best, so I gave them their weekly dose of water and left them to it.

Mr. Swiss has now given up with our robot mower. He had a look at the instruction manual which has about 80 pages and as many instructions and he actually got it moving. He programmed it to start at 3.30 p.m. for thirty minutes mowing. It was a success, but our robot lawn mower, known as Mowey, was having so much fun that he didn’t want to stop. Mr. Swiss had to make him stop, otherwise he would still be mowing now. The next attempt was ok, but Mowey started to mow thirty minutes earlier than he should. We have now made contact with the human than installed Mowey and he will pay us a visit for a reprogramming session. Needless to say a few profanities were uttered in connection with the antics of Mowey.

I will see you again tomorrow, when we will probably have a repeated prompt from last week – yes they are running out of ideas.

Daily Prompt: I Walk the Line – yes every day

The Blacklight Candelabra: Dibby Dabby

Choose an obscure name and apply it to something more prominent in today’s political culture.  That “something” should be significant enough to end up in a history book one day.  There should be no obvious connection between the origin and the new context you choose.

The horses head

Dibby Dabby is today’s political culture, there is no other alternative. It is international. I can begin in Switzerland. We have a direct democracy, so direct that it overtakes the politicians and as soon as the people make a decision, they realise it is out of date and was voted upon a week ago. They are already looking forward to the next topic to decide upon. Patience must be applied, but do not worry, the next referendum is just around the corner. Collect enough signatures if you do not agree with what your government is planning and we all receive documents through the post, edited in three languages. No-one bothers to arrive personally at the election locality and why should you? Just sign on the dotted line and put it in the letter box, now what could be more Dibby Dabby than that.

Let us hop over to France, just across the Swiss border, they even let me in with my Swiss train pass once because I did not have my passport with me, pure Dibby Dabby? Of course we do not want to insult the French government, they have their problems to deal with. I heard this week that the present boss, Mr. Hollande also has elections on his french hors d’oevres plate, Unfortunately the National Front are gathering in popularity – oh horror, but do not despair, Nikolas Sarkozy is not far behind. He has bought a new pair of shoes, with even higher heels than the last set he bought when he was Prime Minister, and has decided to join the Dibby Dabby club again. Yes, he is the one that can stand on higher ground who wins the race overlooking all, it seemed last week-end. Dibby Dabby is here again.

And have you seen the latest fashion in colourful jackets, exclusively worn by Angie Merkel, German boss, now if that is not Dibby Dabby I do not know what is. I heard that they are produced in a special factory, somewhere in the back street of a Chinese town, known as – yes Dib Dab (the Chinese had problems in pronouncing the “y” at the end).

I heard that in Russia they have a new magician, he is a sensation. He said “Dibby Dabby” clapped his hands and bang – Vladimir Putin disappeared for a week. They seek him here, they seek him there and rumour has it that Dibby Dabby Putin is the name of the new offspring born somewhere in an expensive clinic in Switzerland, although no-one really knows and who am I to say. It is all Dibby Dabby basically.

The are degrees of comparison in this Dibby Dabby scale, yes – Mega Dibby Dabby exists, although up to now it has only been found in North Korea. Do I have to say more? Eat enough Emmental cheese (back to Swiss Dibby Dabby), perhaps with a few health problems due to overweight, on the way, and just play Dibby Dabby with the unnecessary and unwanted relatives.

Note I have not mentioned the english colony across the Pond known as USA. Dibby Dabby has not yet reached this shore, they have enough problems. It was reported that Dibby Dabby was seen somewhere in Cuba, but since Cuba is no longer on the hit list, they have suppressed the Dibby Dabby which was last seen boarding an American submarine on its way to …… No I will not tell you, but beware. Dibby Dabby can be everywhere. Have you looked under the bed lately?

The Blacklight Candelabra: Dibby Dabby

Daily Prompt: But no Cigar – and definitely not for the WordPress daily prompt people.

Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

Bee in wild flowers

“Are you following me?”

“Sort of. If you remain still and don’t buzz around all the time, I could take a very good photo.”

“I am not a model for your camera, I am working on these flowers.”

“I noticed, but you don’t seem to be having any success. You buzz around from flower to flower.”

“I am a bee, it is my job. I might not earn a cigar for my work, but I am collecting enough pollen to feed a whole colony, including me.”

“I see, I thought you was collecting the pollen to fertilise the flowers, so that they would make more.”

“You think. That is only a side line, I am not Pestalozzi, I am doing this for the family.”

“If you keep still, I can take a photo.”

“I do not have time for photo tourists, I have better things to do with my time. You cannot eat photos.”

“But I can show everyone else how great you look when you are doing your job. Do you think I could have a pose from below.”

“For what reason?”

“To show everyone more of your wonderful legs with their nectar pouches.”

“But I am busy.”

“I know you are a busy bee, but you are a very good looking bee.”

“And who compensates for the pollen I miss whilst I am posing for a human photo?”

“But you can carry on afterwards.”

“I do not do afterwards, now go away and don’t bother me. I have finished with this group of flowers and have to move onto the next group. I still have space in my storage room for some more pollen.”

“You have a storage room?”

“On my legs. Look.”

Bee in wild flowers

“Got you.”

“You took a photo of my pouches.”

“Yes and very nice pouches they are. Do you still have room for more?”

“I think I will be buzzing home now to empty them, but I will be back.”

“Then I will wait for a few more shots.”

“Forget it. This patch is finished, I will move on to another place.”

“Hi Fred.”

“Hi Joe.”

“Anything left for me here. What’s that human doing with that camera?”

“She is taking photos.”

“Great, shall I smile?”

“No, you have no time You must be new on the job. We bees do not hover around or smile for a camera, we have work to do. Think of all those hungry mouths waiting for their food. Queenie will not be happy.”

“Oh, Queenie is never satisfied. She always wants more. She has done her job and now we have to feed them.”

“What about me?”

“Human go away, you have taken enough photos for today and are disturbing the process. You know what, go to the local shop and buy a jar of honey and take a photo of it, the finished product.”

So I left Fred and Joe to their work, although Fred had a heavy load to carry on the way back to his home. Joe had now taken over and was pollinating the remainder. Oh to be a bee, although there are really no rewards, except for a few photos in my camera.

Daily Prompt: But no Cigar – and definitely not for the WordPress daily prompt people

Daily Prompt: Third from the top – sorry no deal, boring and uninteresting.

Head to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own.

One tree, the mulberry located right in front of the house, was one that I knew was pretty old. “ That was my third sentence. We don’t have mulberry trees in my area and if I had one I probably wouldn’t recognise it. I live in Switzerland where the fir trees grow, not in the States where mulberries probably grow in every garden, forest and town. I have never even eaten a mulberry and do not know how they taste. However, for my daily blog I will show you four trees I met on a walk.

Trees on a hill in Feldbrunnen

This was an idea from Mr. Swiss. After a walk in a different direction behind the local castle he said “Look, how interesting it is the way those trees are growing on the top of the hill”. Yes Mr. Swiss really does have an artistic streak. I needed no further prompt and had my camera poised for a prize winning shot and here they are. As they were still leafless, their outlines were a good contrast on the horizon. Had they been full of leaves, they probably would have gone unnoticed.

We were now in the barren plains surrounding the castle, but it was the castle’s turn yesterday. Now down to the facts of walking. My first victim for a camera shot was the farmer who decided at the right moment to take his tractor for a walk across the field.

Tractor, Feldbrunnen

“Where are you?” was the desperate call of a Mr. Swiss that was almost at the top of the hill.

“Taking a photo” was my answer and so he walked on and I did my best to catch up. Oh, the problems of an amateur photographer. In the meanwhile he disappeared around the corner, but I continued. I had almost reached the castle and saw a barren field, waiting to receive the new plants. The crows were already examining the structure and searching for rewards, but they flew away when I arrived.

The field is ready, Feldbrunnen

The mountain outline in the background is again the Jura mountains. I had still not found Mr. Swiss, although I was not really looking for him. I had other things to do with my camera. At the next bend in the path I saw him. Unfortunately he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I took my photo regardless. He is again the figure in the distance.

Alley, Castle Waldegg

About half way we took a sharp bend to the left where a bench was awaiting us at the bottom. And so I could add another four kilometres to my daily walking distance. We were now on the long road home. We passed a few other happy wanderers on our way, mainly golden oldies like ourselves that had noting better to do than take a walk. There is a unwritten custom in Switzerland that you greet people you meet when on a walk in the wilds, whether you know them or not. You just give a nod and mutter “Gruetzi” or “Gruessech” as we say in our dialect, which is the Swiss greeting and walk on. Of course, there are rules to be obeyed. If the person you see is more golden oldie than you are, then they will not greet you, it is your duty to greet first, otherwise you will be judged as being ignorant and rude.

My mother-in-law was very serious about this law. “I saw Mrs. …. but I didn’t greet her, it was her business to greet me first, typical” etc. etc. Yes, you could be driven out of the village for such crimes. Me, I just say hello first to be sure, although I notice as the years go by, people tend to greet me first. Perhaps it is the colour of my hair, or is it the way I walk? No, I am now a grey eminence in the village and probably referred to as the “old Mrs. Angloswiss”.

Today the weather is not so promising for a walk. There is rain in the air and the sun has disappeared, so we have a day of rest. Time to plan tomorrow’s journey into the unknown.

Daily Prompt: Third from the top – sorry no deal, boring and uninteresting

Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads – Three ways to see a castle

Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

No, not really. I am too busy with new things at the moment, so if you will have to be satisfied with the one I wrote two years ago. In the meanwhile her is a three threaded visit to the local castle Waldegg.

Castle Waldegg, Feldbrunnen

The walk all began with a long ascending path.

“No problem” were the wise words of Mr. Swiss. He had done it before lots of times and so it probably was no problem for him. This was my first venture to the castle after a Winter of content sitting at home in the afternoon, letting him loose alone on his migratory wanderings to unknown places, and writing a daily prompt. Times change, it is now warmer weather and time to get my limbs moving again. We had been building up the walking experience, at least I had, by straight flat paths along the river, to the cemetery and visiting the horses at the nearby stables. Now we were on the advanced stage of the hiking mode, we were visiting the castle.

There was a preliminary discussion “Are you ready for this one. It is a long way and do you really want to take the path on the right afterwards. It has a steep descent.”

I mean we were not conquering Mount Everest, just visiting the local castle. A little background: some guy built this around the middle of the 18th century as the Summer palace for the French Ambassador who was always in the State of Solothurn. Today he no longer lives here, but in Bern, with all the other diplomats, and so the castle is used for weddings, exhibitions, food and all the trimmings, and of course for the tourists and people that need to take a walk. And so we began the climb to the castle.

Castle Waldegg, Feldbrunnen

And we arrived, although not together, Mr. Swiss got there first. On the way I was taking a few photographs. There was a tractor, some crows and of course fields to be shown another time. It is surrounded by farming land. As you can see it is a pretty castle, perched on the hill. I always though those castles were built on hills to see the attacking armies, but we had no attacking armies in Solothurn, just tourists. It is not far from where we live. We cross the main road and are already on the upward path. Although the road/path is empty certain inhabitants of our village, including us, have a special label on our front car window to show that we are amongst the chosen few that are allowed to drive their car up the path. I would also mention there are three very handy benches on the left in front of the castle for those people, like me, that need to rest after the long walk upwards. However on this particular walk we were attacking the path at the right of the castle with a steep descent. We carried on regardless.

Behind castle Waldegg

We conquered the path with the steep descent, although Mr. Swiss found a useful tree stump to sit on just before the steep descent. As I had now become a fully professional hiker, I did not need this tree stump. I already had my eye on a bench at the bottom of the steep descent, so I carried on walking, taking photos on the way. I could now see the castle from the other side. In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss had caught up with my swift steps and was also sitting on the bench next to me.

We walked on to take a closer photo of the other side of the castle. As you can see on this photo, there is a grass mound on the right side. No-one really knows what this is, but it has always been there in the village. Is it perhaps a burial ground for the extinct Helvetians who were the founders of the Swiss nation? Perhaps it is the secret vaults of the Swiss National Bank where they keep the gold reserves? It might be the entrance to a tunnel leading to the lower part of the village. Rumour has it that the leaders of the village at the time decided to build this mound, cover it with grass and leave it for a few years. One day no-one would not know why the mound was there or what the purpose was, and perhaps someone would write a blog about it.

And just to round up this three photo blog, here is a fourth photo of me on the bench at the bottom of the descent. Note I am wearing a different t-shirt, not that you get the impression that I possess only one t-shirt. At the moment I am in the process of ordering a new t-shirt with my www site address on it. There are untold possibilities of attracting more viewers for my Angloswiss web site with such a t-shirt. Perhaps a scout from the Pulitzer or Nobel prize groups will see my t-shirt, read my site and I will at last receive my well deserved prize. Now where did I put the tape measure?

Me, resting during a walk

Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads – Three ways to see a castle

Daily Prompt: Ghostwriter (the second time round) and other bits and pieces

If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?

I chose my ghostwriter, or she chose me, two years ago, my feline Nera. Since she has gone to the eternal corn chambers and I will be 69 years old end of this year, so ghostwriters are no longer my thing. It is a shame that Lewis Carroll is no longer with us, he would have painted a wonderful Jabberwocky picture of my life in the way with borogroves, bandersnatch, all put together with a vorpal sword, but unfortunately it is no longer possible, so I will now dwell in the world of the slithy toves and write on regardless.

River Aar

Let us begin with another one of my prize suspicious photos I took on a walk along the river banks of the Aar. I believe there is a swan somewhere on the river, but she preferred to remain incognito, I believe she had a date somewhere with another swan, after all it is Spring and the promise of cygnets is in the air..

We are still walking, Mr. Swiss and I, and today our afternoon journey continued up and down over fields and threading our way through trees which had been planted in the wrong places some one hundred years ago. We avoided cemeteries today and decided to stay in the land of the living. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report with illustrations if we survive.

This morning I again ventured on a shopping trip to the supermarket. Mr. Swiss had business to complete at the post office, so I began the shopping alone. Eventually he arrived at the shop some time later, rather annoyed. He only had a registered parcel to send, but it seemed there was a meeting of golden oldies at the post office that had problems, and they were all there before Mr. Swiss. He was not the first in the queue. There was one lady that was paying her monthly bills. Unfortunately this lady did not have a computer where she could do it from her home office online. She had written all the details in her official post office book and it seems her monthly bills amounted to five thousand swiss francs. This would not have been a problem but she was slightly annoyed.

“Why do I have to pay an extra amount on top of my bills?”

“Because you are paying manually.”

“But that is not correct. I have entered all the amounts by hand separately and I have to pay more?”

The lady in the post office was annoyed and the man behind the counter was becoming impatient and Mr. Swiss had to wait until this disagreement had been solved. The lady paying did not get away with it and had to pay the extra and so 5-10 minutes passed. In the meanwhile another customer had a problem with her post office account, although Mr. Swiss did not really listen to the sordid details.

“You mean that I cannot do it that way?”

“No madam, but we can organise it for you.”

“Then I will have to ask my husband, but he is not around during the day because he is working. It has to be done by Saturday. Can I come back then?”

“Of course, but that is the last chance to make the arrangements.”

And the lady left. Whatever it was that had to been done by Saturday Mr. Swiss did not know and he did not care. It was now his turn. He found the person behind the counter not very polite and friendly, but I suppose if you have to handle customers that do not like the post office way of dealing with things, then he would get a little short tempered.I was relieved when Mr. Swiss arrived. It could have been that there was a hold-up at the post office Wells Fargo style.

I will now leave you with some flowers I photographed on the river bank. I do not know what they are, but Wikipedia tells me they are white buttercups. In any case they seem to be the first flowers along the river to show their faces.

White buttercups

Daily Prompt: Ghostwriter (the second time round) and other bits and pieces

Daily Prompt: Hello Goldilocks – Spring is in the air

Write about a time you had a Goldilocks experience, exploring different choices and finally arriving at “just right.”

Fire bugs in the rockery

“Fred move over, we are cramped enough in this plant.”

“Then go to another plant Joe.”

“That’s the problem, there are no other plants. It’s early days yet for a garden full of plants, so we are left with something like this. Lots of leaves, no large flat places and cramped together.”

“I am quite comfortable here.”

“Of course you are, you were one of the first. My mama laid her eggs a few days later, so I am one of the last. The life of a Firebug is really something left to chance. Wait a minute, I think that firebug on the right is moving over.”

“No way, I am just changing my position, more protection between the leaves and less chance of being seen by an invading bird.”

“Ouch!”

“Problems?”

“Of course there are problems, one of you guys put his foot on my body.”

“You know guys, you are doing this all wrong. No planning, you have to space yourselves out.”

“Are you the boss, who are you to tell us where to go.”

“Someone has to bring some organisation into this plant. We are all cramped up together on the same side, pushing and kicking. On the other side of the plant there is space enough for a whole army of firebugs.”

“Then move over there, big mouth, if you know it all better.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Neither do we, it is just a matter of behaving like adult Firebugs.”

“Yes, and you are the great example. You are squashing two of your brother Firebugs, just to get a place in the sun.”

“And? I have as much right to be here as you. Wait a minute I can see something approaching.”

“You are going?”

“I am thinking about it.”

“Good then move. Fred, Joe did you here. Mortimer is leaving us. There will be room.”

“No problem boss, we will be moving territory as well.”

“Where are you all going.”

“Pretty obvious boss. What is the purpose of a firebug life.”

“To get a good place in the sun?”

“You think? No way. We and the boys have decided to do something to ensure that we firebugs stay for the Summer and the next summer as well.”

“Did you see her Fred?”

“Of course Joe, are you joining us?”

“At last enough room to stretch out and fit in between the leaves. Wait a minute is this a mass exodus?”

“Boss you might be the biggest but it seems your instincts are still somewhat reduced.”

“Hello guys, we want to take a walk, care to accompany us?”

“Who is asking?”

“Boss, the females are here. Hello Mavis, Hi Mabel and who are you pretty little thing, do I see a spot of gold amongst the red and black on your tummy?”

“Oh, you make me blush. My name is Goldilocks I am a mutation, an exception. Mum fell in love with an albino and I am the result.”

“Down guys, there are enough ladies to go around and she is mine. I like exotic.”

Two Firebugs

“I am not stupid, I am the boss and there isn’t anything I don’t know about instincts. Come on guys let’s leave this stupid plant, there are other things to do. What do they call it? Maintenance of the species, and after all it is Spring. Ladies wait I am coming.”

Daily Prompt: Hello Goldilocks – Spring is in the Air