Flower of the Day: 23.08.2016 Celosia Caracas

Celosia caracas

Another one of those strange flowers I found in the local supermarket. They have them now and again, but had to search for the name. What they have to do with Caracas I do not know, perhaps they grow wild in Venezuela, no idea. I have never had one at home and do not know how well they grow. but they are interesting.

Flower of the Day: 23.08.2016 Celosia Caracas

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Feathers

spotted woodpecker 10

I do not know where he came from, but a lesser spotted woodpecker once visited our garden and the sparrow looked on.

Rooster in Feldbrunnen

Chicken Feathers from the local chicken farm

Blue fronted Amazon parrot

A blue fronted Amazon parrot who used to live at my vets, but is now in retirement in a senior home, and is probably a lot older than most of the seniors.

Waltham Abbey 15.07 (17)

Mum and dad swan and the kids at Waltham Abbey in England. The kids seem to be growing fast.

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Feathers

Daily Prompt: There is always something to learn

Camera

I learned it all. In the school I learned for the examinations, I passed them and then I learned for my occupation: nothing special, how to type and write shorthand. Then I learnnt what it meant to be a housewife, cook, larundrywoman and childrens carer. On the side learnt how to become a logistic expert, a perfect example of multi tasking when I took on a job as export clerk and managed the family as a sideline. This is not problem, just a matter of organisation. Now my learning days are over, finished, there is nothing more to learn, but wait. No, I soon discovered that being unemployed, a golden oldie being paid by the state was boring. They were paying you for exisitng, for surviving the whole process.

Now I am retired, and can do what I want to do and not what I have to do. So I am supposed to fill my days with what??? Visiting the doctor, discussig the latest illness or complaint, analysing an ache or a pain. I could join the local senior citizens groups where we probably also discuss our common problems. Not me.

At the age of 48 I realised a sort of past dream of mine and enrolled for a Russian language course. I stayed for 12 years. It was a good group, and we battled through the problems of understanding and writing the language together. This now lays behind me, but I never regretted one moment. I do not actually understand every word that Vladimir Putin says in his speeches, but I am not sure if I want to. I can more or less get through with a simple basic conversation and I also partake in an online learning curve for Russian, which suits me. Again there is not have to, but if you want to, although they do remind me now and again to fulfil a few tests, but it is voluntary.

It is also voluntary that I have rediscovered photography. Digital photography always fascinated me from the day when Mr. Swiss gave me his Digi camera because he bought a new one. He only used his camera now and again, and I used it almost every day. I was shooting photos everywhere. This was no problem, and coupled with my continuous learning curve on the computer, (Microsoft and in the meanwhile also Apple) I could upload my photos straight away.

I began to prepare for my future when I was still at work, although it was a background thing. I did a course to learn how to make a web site because I wanted to know how it worked. I learned how to use the Dreamweaver programme and managed to set up a site for my finishing exam. Afterwards I continued and did a site for the local first aid group. I was still not retired and did it all as a side line.

Now back to photography, because this is something you can always occupy yourself with.I enrolled for a course, but still did not have my 100% DSLR camera, just a so-called bridge. After the course I decided to take the plunge and bought myself a Nikon D7000 camera with two lens. I was still a beginner, and although I knew about the intricacies of the camera, working with shutter speeds and light, I did not really go into it in detail. I got a little lazy and mainly applied the automatic picture solutions. Just set the dial for whatever it is  and press the button. The camera does the rest.

However, I began to see what the others did, the various WordPress photo challenge sites arousing my interest. I like to write, something else I discovered I can more or less do – not perfectly, but we all develop our own style. I liked to incorporate some of my photos.

I discovered Macro photography, but did not have a macro lens. I had known some photographers through my days with Multiply. Multiply was an excellent blogging site and I got to know a lot of interesting people who wrote and took photos. Multiply unfortuantely collapsed due to the greed of its owner who went into marketing and shifted the company to his home country of Indonesia. We were many bloggers and photographers left to find our own way. I eventually found my place in WordPress, many eventually formed some groups in Facebook and some went to Blogger. We still have contact with each other, and if I have a photo problem I can always use the facebook messegner and ask.

I examined macro lenses, and asked my photographer friend of many years, what he thought. He said he would definitely go for my choice, although he did not have Nikon, and after a month of thinking about it, I ordered it and received it within a couple of days. He did tell me that this lens was more geared to manual  operations, so what did Mrs. Angloswiss do? She began to take photos with the lens she had, only in manual style and I discovered, at the age of almost 70, that I could do it.

This has now opened the door for me and I want to know more, so I have got myself a book about all the details, another book arriving in November when it is published and I am happy. I enjoy every twist and turn on the way. Not all my photos are perfect, far from it, but some are not too bad.

What can I say more, never give up. Tomorrow I might break a leg, perhaps even worse, but I did it all and never looked back. My specialist doc called me today to make an appointment. It seems that things are moving and my treatment for MS has now  been given the OK by the insurance. I will learn how to give myself an injection, another learning curve – no problem.

Daily Prompt: There is always something to learn

Good Morning

Hedge

We have a gardener. He is programmed to arrive four times a year and the next visit is planned for end August, mainly to cut the hedges and clear the unwanted remains away. However, we noticed in the last couple of weeks that some of the neighbours had trimmed their hedges already. Our hedges were also looking something like flower power. Various climbing objects had stopped climbing and their flowers had become seed pods, brown and not very good to look at. I said nothing, just thought can we really wait so long.

Yesterday afternoon, it was a pleasant afternoon – not to hot, I saw Mr. Swiss armed with the hedge cutter make his way and began to attack our hedge forming a sharp straight line where it was a helter skelter of ups and downs, he was doing it all by himself. My hedge cutting days are long gone, but he continued bravely overcoming the problems of a golden oldie hedge cutter. I think he only intended to do the hedge seen in the photo, but he got above himself, beame euphorius and did it all. I was glad and so was he, our hedge was now as tidy as the neighbour’s hedges and we now longer had to be the odd ones out. You know how it is in life, you cannot be the people with the unkempt hedge. People will begin to talk, you become an outcast, and worst of all are the sideways glances from the others and the shaking of their heads. You have to belong, be one of the masses, and this means the hedge has to conform with the rest.

Luckily my No. 1 son arrived home from work and could help his father, who was now feeling his back more than usual, to clear away the remants of the hedge cutting exercise. We are now the proud owners of a hedge, that looks like all of the others – see photo.

What was I doing whilst my husband was carving this masterpiece. I was blogging of course, now that is something that none of the other neighbours do. I have only ever seen one neighbour with a computer outside on the porch and he was a male. Of course I do not observe my neighbours and what they do, just keep an eye on them to make sure they are not doing something that we should do – like cutting hedges?

Otherwise the day continued as normal and not once did Mr. Swiss complain that his back was aching, which was an exception. Perhaps hedge cutting is healthy. I took a few photos in the garden, and nearly fell in the act which would have been a disaster, mainly because I was carrying the camera which could have been damaged. We have hospitals to repair our damage to body parts, but cameras have to be sent to their headquarters for repairs and are not usually insured, although my new lens has a 3 year gurantee.

Today is  day of cleaning so I am off, time is going. No shopping to do, Mr. Swiss will go for me. My No 1 son announced yesterday, that today he is on short time. I had not arranged a midday meal with him. No big problem, but I planned mushroom risotto and he does not eat mushrooms, one of the few foods he does not eat (autistic problem). Quick decision, and the mushrooms will now be fried separately to accompany the rice and Mr. Swiss will buy a couple of pieces of chicken parts to cook with the meal, that is the result of us both being experts in logistic.

Have a good day/night everyone, enjoy it, and do not foget cut your hedges if they do not look as good as the neighbours.

 

Flower of the Day: 22.08.2016 Hollyhock

Wasps and Hollyhock 21.08 (4)

Could not resist this action photo of a bee deciding to pollinate my hollyhock. This is the real thing, starring the bee covered with pollen and attempting to make a further attack at the center of the hollyhock. There is no time to waste, perhaps tomorrow the flower has folded up and will refuse entrance. Yes. there is always excitement in my garden in some corner somewhere.

Flower of the Day: 22.08.2016 Hollyhock

Share Your World:2016 Week 34

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Banana skin 19.08 (2)

At the moment the banana, if the fly does not get there first. Sorry about him, but I was just trying out my new macro lens and he arrived at the right moment.  I can be glad to be able to eat anything that does not remind me I have eaten it half an hour afterwards at the moment. I have learnt to avoid certain things that have a negative influence on my digestive organs. All milk products, with the exception of hard cheese, my beloved cranberry juice of which I drank a third of a glass every evening and any sort of salted nuts or similar. I am actually on a discovery journey to find what it is that I should not eat. When I am finished I will be the skeleton sitting in the corner wondering if there is anything I can eat without having a problem. My doc gave me so many mixures of stuff to try and none of it worked. I am now almost 2 weeks free of my body trying to devour me, so I must be on the right way somewhere.  There is no such thing as comfort food, just food what the body accepts and leaves you with no bad memories.

 
Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

Money

This is the only paper money in my possession at the moment and I only have it in my purse to pay any debts I might have. This is a 100 Swiss Franc note and do not ask me about the guy, Alberto Giacometti, on the note, although I think he was some sort of artist. For example if Mr. Swiss tanks up the car, I give him half. If he goes shopping and forgets to take my post office card, I give him cash afterwards. We have our own financial system as most households. Otherwise I do not deal in paper money, I live on plastic. I have a selection of cards, but use mainly the post office card, now and again the bank card, and very seldom the credit card.

I have become a plastic housewife over the years and I am loving it. I do not even pay my debts in money over the counter, that is all done on the computer. I never sort my notes, if I have them, they are usually creased up in a corner of my purse and I have to take them out and examine them to see what they actually are. The Swiss seem to be producing new notes with different designs regularly. When I entered Switzerland they had lovely notes with mountain flowers, a thing of the past.

 

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

Present from my cats

If you were a mouse in my house in the evening, you would probably not see anything as this would be your likely fate. Our house cat does not like rivals, and if you can eat them, all the more to make sure their existence is terminated. I think I took this photo a few years ago. Otherwise if a mouse would be where I am, she will hear the tapping of the keyboard on the computer and see the lights of the screen. If she decided to roam into the realm of Mr. Swiss, she would be watching the news on the TV, or pehaps a german criminal programme.

 

Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak?

That depends on who is answering the question. Mr. Swiss finds not being able to speak would be a good answer for me, and I find that speaking is one of my favourite pasttimes. On the other hand we both like reading a book. I think this question meets a dead end and would be a source of negative discussions in the family, so let’s leave it out.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I was grateful that I more or less stayed healthy without any negative allergies to food and that my macro lens arrived.
This week has nothing to look forward to and I really do not need any excitement or unknown events happening at the moment. I like it quiet and peaceful. I forgot, I would like to see a group of butterflies sitting on my flowers in the garden, waiting for their photos to be taken with my new macro lens. I would also like a few spiders, bugs and whatever for the same reason. I like variety in my garden. I would also like to see a bat. A friend has one that lives under the overhang of her roof and she can observe him and what he does. Now that would be an interesting subject for my camera.

I do not think I have left anything out, when you are a golden oldie you tend to forget things.

Share Your World: 2016 Week 34

Daily Prompt: Fifty – Twenty Years Ago

I spent my 50th birthday surrounded by memories of Paolo Conte and I even found my memories in a cupboard which I really thought I no longer had. I will be 70 years old next December and we are now talking about 1996, my 50th birthday. They grey streaks were already there in my hair, but I was still a working woman as the Swiss state considered I was still able to fight the good fight daily in the office.

Now to Paolo Conte. He was actually an Italian lawyer, but would compose songs and play the piano. It was probably a side line at the beginning, but he soon made his name, I discovered him and eventually had a Paolo Conte record collection of his songs. I loved listening to this guy. Now and again he would mix a little bit of english into the words, although he spoke pigeon english and I spoke pigeon Italian, so I knew what he was singing about. To give you an idea you can listening to the video, or not – your choice.

One day my friend in the office asked me about Paolo Conte and said she would like to listen to one of his records, whether I could lend her one. Of course and I gave her a selecion which she seemed to be quite happy about.

50th BirthdaySome weeks later I reached my 50th birthday. I was congratulated, given cards and we probably drank something on the occasion and food was supplied. It was office custom, I was working at the time with a great bunch of people and there were no problems. It was a time when the economic situation was OK, there was plenty of work for everyone, and there were no big ideas about streamlining the work, taking away the pleasure and spoiling the fun.

Birthday CardI got a few birthday cards from various companies who were our agents and naturally from my company. I even found the cards at home, lingering in a place waiting to be re-discovered after 20 years.You are only 50 years old once in your lifetime so make the most of it and treasure the memories.

Today I am glad I saved these memories. The cards bore signatures and some of the people I still meet today, although we have all moved on. Some are retired and have become golden oldies like myself. Others are still working but in other places. It was a good time and I often look back with good feelings. Some of those working in other countries for our agents I meet in Facebook.

And now back to Paolo Conte. I was actually surprised that my girlfriend in the office had discovered the advantages of Paolo Conte and pleased. that she wanted to listen to his music. It was then that a strange envelope appeared on my desk, a couple of weeks before my birthday. It  was a very original card with a copy of the record cover I had given to my friend to listen to on the outside and inside there were greetings from my office colleagues with an envelope. Inside the envelope were two tickets for a Paolo Conte concert. He would be playing in Bern, in the concert hall, and the tickets were for me and Mr. Swiss to go and see him. The concert was already on 27th November hence the early delivery of the card.

My boss is originally Italian and I also knew his family quite well. Of course he knew Paolo Conte, especially as his mother was also a keen fan. Must be something with us women and Paolo Conte! He had also organised two tickets for his mother and himself as well. and so on that memorable evening we made our way on the 40 kilometer journey by motorway to Bern. Of course it was one of the early snowfalls of the Winter season and as we drove further the snow fell thicker and thicker until we arrived in Bern and parked our cars in the Station Parkhouse. Driving through bern is not advisable in the evening, especially with snow. We caught a tram and arrived at the concert hall.

It was a fantastic concert. Paolo gave his best, he had a good backing group. My boss and Mr. Swiss enjoyed the music, my boss’s mother and I absorbed the music, it was an evening never to be forgotton. We made our way home. The snow was now coming thicker and the motorway was covered in snow. Mr. Swiss does not like driving in Winter conditions at the best of times, and neither do I. My boss had no big problem with his car, although snow is not exactly his favourite and his mother remarked “that it had to snow when Paolo Conte gave a concert in Switzerland”. It is when it begins to get colder and freezes and putting your foot on the brake no longer works that it can get precarious. I think Mr. Swiss still talks today about the evening we went to Bern to see Paolo Conte – not because of the music, but more the weather.

We survived, and it was really something I have never forgotten. And of course here is the card, together with the used tickets which I also kept in remberence of an unforgettable evening with Paolo Conte.

50th Birthday

I just checked. Paolo Conte is still going strong and is 79 years old.

Daily Prompt: Fifty – Twenty Years Ago