Good Morning/Guten Morgen

Frost in Feldbrunnen 22.01 (1)

We are living in frosty times at the moment, speaking locally of course. Yesterday I took a glance out of the window and saw that the forest at the end of my settlement had put on its deep winter coat. Either you think, “blimey it’s cold out there” or you think, that would make a great photo – perhaps something for a Pulitzer prize. I dived into my cameras, decided on a neat 200 lens as the 300 would not have captured such details, and this is the result. I also took a few photos with my mobile phone camera. I just took another look out of the window and the frost is still there. Mr. Swiss said this morning we have -7°C and it will probably not go over freezing point, 0°C, today. It does not really bother me. I do not feel cold indoors and not even when I go anywhere.

I finished my book, The Essex Sepent, yesterday evening. It was something completely different. An online colleague wrote a very good critic of the book on her site, which I chanced upon. However it was written in German, which is not a problem for me. I was drawn to the book because of the title. Essex is a county/state bordering on the East of London and I have many attachments to Essex. My parents move out to Essex when their house was demolished in Bethnal Green in the slum clearance programme and many of my uncles and aunts were already living there.

However the part of Essex where they lived became part of Greater London, and the Essex referred to in the book was more into the coastal regions. I was thinking on terms of science fiction with this book, but it was more into human directions. It took place in Victorian times, no problem, I love Victorian times. It was more a story  revolving around families, social situations of the time, a village and various aspects of Victorian life. Even Bethnal Green was involved, the part of London where I grew up, as one of the characters lived there and his social background became part of the events. Generally for me it was something completely different. I found it a good book, but not more, perhaps not my sort of thing.

I have now discovered a police series by Helen Durrant, involving two police officers, man and woman. All her books in this series begin with the word “Dead”, I have the first book in the series “Dead Wrong” so it sounds nicely morbid and promising.

I still have a remainder of the dreaded, a head cold which tends to travel to the throat now and again causing an annoying cough in the middle of the night. I could say it has improved, if it were not for the annoying cough. Today they are letting me out again, so I will probably wear my woolly hat. I do not like wearing hats, it is not me, and it irritates my head when wearing it. On the other hand Mr.Swiss finds at my age, it is no longer so important. I am still working out what he actually meant. Anyhow he accompanied me on my hat wearing excursion so it cannot be so bad. He always wears his english “Andy Capp” when we go out in Winter, the head gear of every working class englishman, although he is probably one of the only Swiss wearing one. He was talking about getting a cap with ear flaps. Yes, we are all getting older.

And now to move on, there are places to go and things to do. “Yes vacuuum cleaner I am coming, just be patient.”. These household gadgets seem to develop a life of their own.

Keep safe everyone, see you around.

Colour Your World: Tumbleweed

Avocado

This is a tumbleweed in the true sense of the word. This is my beloved Avocado. I have nurtured this since it was a pit, a small brown stone suspended over water to encourage its roots to grow. It was February, and the roots appeared some time in March. Some time later the first green shoot appeared and I knew it was now time to give this wonder of nature a place of its own. I planted it in a pot and Spring arrived. The days were warmer, the sun appeared regularly it was time to place my avocado  outside.

Oh, what joy and happiness, my own avocado bush was growing. I could not wait until the day that my first harvest would appear. And then Autumn arrived, but the avocado had not given up. It was when I noticed temperatures were descending to dangerous, threatening levels that I had to take my avocado into the living room for protection.

It was still and contended in its pot, although I did have concerned thoughts how it would survive throughout the winter to maintain its growth. Every day I have been spraying my avocado with water to keep it happy. I even noticed new leaves arriving, oh joy. Today I was sad, desparing. The leaves of my avocado were drooping, hanging, almost lifeless. I decided on a drastic measure and filled the pot with water. It happened this morning. Now we have evening and lo and behold there is life again in the leaves: not perfect, but they are again lifting themselves, perhaps not all is lost.

As a reserve, I have a new avocado pit suspended over water and kept in darkness. Never rely on a single avocado.

Avocado

And as far as colour is concerned, there is a tumbleweed colour somewhere in this historical document, I am sure.

Colour Your World: Tumbleweed

Daily Prompt: Success, yes it was a success

View of the Bernese Alps from Feldbrunnen

What can I say about success. Telling everyone that today I feel successful in my chosen life in Switzerland. I did not know what awaited me when I found a job in Switzerland. I did not particularly pick Switzerland as the dream land of my future. I wanted to leave my Lonon life behind me and try something new. It could have been a catastrophe. I was leaving security for something I did not know.

Mum was not actually happy about it. She was still living in the same old house in the East end of London that she was born in. She still had the same neighbours, her sister lived opposite with her husband. The brother and other sister lived a train ride away. Everything was perfect. Dad had served his time in the British army in the last war, he had seen something of other countries in the world, although perhaps not by free choice. They were both happy to stay where they were. No revolutionary ideas about moving to Australia and beginning a new life – a possibility for many in england at the time. And then the only daughter began to search for work in other countries – but they did not say very much.

So one fine day I had packed my luggage, organised my documents and travelled to Switzerland. It was the first big adventure for me and I took it as it came. Today, 50 years later, I can speak a language more or less fluently that not many foreigners can. I am talking about Swiss german, not just german: a dialect that is officially not a written laguage, only a spoken one. As an extra on the side I can speak and understand proper German, as all German speaking Swiss. This is out of necessity as not all german speaking people understand Swiss German.

What else happened? Ok after 2 years I change my job in Switzerland, moved from Zürich to Solothurn, met Mr. Swiss and my fate was sealed. We will be celerating 48 years of married life this year. He already had two children from his first marriage when I married him and in the meanwhile I also have had two children. I also had a Swiss passport, and mum and dad realised that a journey into the unknown had now become a permanent thing. I saw them at least once a year. They would arrive in summer for their holidays and I would journey to London with the family now and again.

With the years we grow older, things happen that you do not plan at the beginning of a life’s journey. Mum passed away, dad found a girlfriend and we still maintained our contact, there was no problem. One day dad was on his own, he was now over 80 years of age and I was hundreds of miles away. Somehow I managed, split into two worlds, but life went on. Was I successful? My dad passed away last year, and I am now firmly based in Switzerland and have absolutely no thoughts of returning to England because it is not longer my country. The distance is now not only physcial but psychological. I am now a golden oldie, 70 years old, have my various complaints, and travelling long distances are no longer something I need. I attended my son’s wedding in Germany 2 years ago, and this is no problem. Trains run on railway lines and they do not fly from one airport to another.

Success: what is that. I have all I need: a home, a family, food on the table, good friends and neighbours.

Yesterday was a success for women all over the world, those that marched for their rights. At the age of 70 I have never experienced such a universal solidarity. Yes we can and we did. I am so proud.

Daily Prompt: Success, yes it was a success”

Good Morning

Chicken 21.01 (1)

I thought yesterday’s lunch cooking in the pan would make a change from a daily bird photo, and then I remembered this is also a bird. The remains of a departed chicken cooking with various vegetables. The chicken had no choice in the matter, and as I have not yet discovered the positive side of becoming a vegetarian, or worse still a vegan, I stay with meat. My feline also stays with meat, as her body is not very good at digesting anything else, although she is rather partial to cream and yogurt.

Yesterday evening I was enjoying a piece of Mr. Swiss speciality, a lemon tart, with whipped cream on the top of course. I was beginning to savour every bite and there she was, Tabby my feline, watching every bite I took with pleading sorrowful eyes. I left my comfortable chair for the kitchen and took a small food bowl. I am a fool for pleading feline eyes  (did I see  a tear in the corner?) and so I squeezed some whipped cream into the bowl. I could now eat my lemon tart without having a guilty conscience, knowing that Tabby was now content to have her own portion of cream. Some are probably thinking that cow milk products are not good for felines. You are probably right, but at the time Tabby was not thinking in that direction. However, no problem that she would get a stomache upset. She looked at the cream with doubt in her eyes, took three, or was it four, licks and walked away. There you have gratitude, she had proved her point that she also deserves a share of everything.

Blackbird

In the meanwhile my friend has arrived again in front of the kitchen window door to see if there is anything peckable on the ground. I think it is a she as I do not see the yellow beak of the male blackbird. She is now a regular visitor.

I cannot leave this entry without mentioning what happened wordwide yesterday. I live in a small country and so our efforts are not as big or leaving marks on the world history, but even in Geneva 2,00o people, mainly women, assembled for a march. After everything that was happening worldwide with hundreds of thousands gathering to march for their rights I had to make a search to see what was Switzerland doing and discovered that I could have journeyed to Geneva and taken part. At my age I do no longer take part in such events, it would not benefit my health. I was proud to see that even Switzerland did their part, although I read that the main part of the masses were Americans living in Geneva, but this is not important. Being there is important. It was a day to remember, that something happened worldwide. It proves that there is still hope for mankind. Thank you for doing what you did. There were moments when I was quite moved.

Let us hope that what happened yesterday will not be an isolated event. Let us hope that it will happen regularly to remind those that are the reason for such an overwhelming demonstration to rethink and do the right thing, and not just judge it as a “few” hysterical women, or perhaps those that caused the demonstration just do not care, who knows?

I know I am not very good at standing on my soap box and presenting my case for mankind, but I cannot sit in the corner and just clap my hands – oh if only I was at least 30 years younger, I would probably/defininately have organised my train ticket to Geneva yesterday.