Daily Prompt: First Light

Remember when you Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.? 

Yes well my first thought every morning, not just this morning is “What’s the time?” It seems that golden oldies do not need as much sleep as the rest – so I read once. I am very good at sleeping actually, but not very good at waking up, especially if I awake too early. Thus in the mornings my first thought is usually how much sleep did I get. Today I found I awoke at five in the morning, meaning almost six hours, which is not bad. By the way I did not write my first thought down anywhere, at that time in the morning my co-ordinative movments do no co-ordinate for a writing session. However my brain decided to tick a little further, hoping that I would fall asleep again, and I realised that today was the day for the fresh sheets and duvet covers (which Mr. Swiss usually does with a little help from me). Also it was the day when I clean the kitchen. No big deal as my kitchen is cleaned regularly and the big job is usually done every Thursday morning, meaning that the big job is not so big any more.

There was a little plus today. Mr. Swiss and I were having one of those “let’s live as if you move every week” days, so we were organising. I discovered a chest of drawers in the cellar full of junk, so with some friendly persuasion from me to Mr. Swiss, he actually cleared it all out yesterday and this morning was the morning when we were organising and filling it up again  – fun. So I had more thoughts this morning before arising. Did I fall asleep again? I think so because the next noise I heard was my son going to work, and he leaves at about 6.50 every morning for work.

I turned over and continued my happy thoughts that I do not have to go to work any more and the next time I looked at the clock it was 7.45, I decided five minutes more, why not, and then I arose. Oh how great to be a golden oldie, retired, and do what you want to do, but duty calls. First of all remove sheets, duvet covers and cushion covers from bed, leaving Mr. Swiss a clear path for doing the rest. Eat breakfast, have a look at the computer world, clean the place up, a visit to the bathroom and I was ready to go. I was not really going anywhere. The kitchen was waiting for its weekly clean which I, of course, enjoy tremendously.

Mr. Swiss decided he would start sorting things out to put into our hobby room downstairs.

“What shall I do with all these CD’s?” he called.

My answer “nothing at the moment I am cleaning the kitchen.”

“But I have no room, they are in the way.”

“No deal at the moment I am cleaning the kitchen. Just leave them on the desk.”

It was then that Tabby cat decided to have a look at what Mr. and Mrs. Human were playing at. Mr. Swiss had prepared a trolly to remove items to the basement. Tabby somehow got the idea that the trolly was intended for her.

Tabby going for a ride

She soon decided that the noise and movments from the cleaning operations were not perfect for feline ears, so she decided to have a sleep with her sister who was already in her private nirvana.

Nera and Tabby settling down for a sleep

When my kitchen cleansing operations were finished, I decided I would have a look at the CD situation. Unknown to my other half, I had already planned the new place for the CDs, so they were put away out of sight in a cupboard .

Mr. Swiss eventually disappeared to the hobby room in the basement with a trolly full of various magazines he did not want to throw away, some books which no-one had really read in the last couple of years and other various unwanted items, although you never know. They might come in handy.

Of course I was keeping track of all the movements this morning, after all I had a Daily Prompt to write.

Daily Prompt: First Light

Daily Prompt: Comedy of Errors

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too! (this is a mixture of fact and fiction)

Hobby room under water

It all started when Fred met Joe in the cellar of the appartment block where they lived.

“We are moving Joe” said Fred “with two kids and one on the way the place was getting a bit cramped. That means that our hobby room in the cellar will no longer be needed. Thought you might be interested in buying it, give you a bit more space.”

Joe thought it over and spoke to the wife about it. Sally was enthusiastic. At last some extra space for her sewing machine, the books and her clothes. Then Joe found it would be a good idea. He could practice his saxophone in the that room, it would not disturb anyone and at last he would not have to listen to the complaints from his wife about the noise. The deal was made, Fred moved out and Joe bought the room. It came complete with a fitted carpet. Actually Joe and Sally were not keen on carpets, they preferred a nice clean wooden floor, but decided they could always fit that up at a later date.

They had a large wardrobe in the cellar which was not really serving any real purpose. It was in good condition and Sally told Joe, it would be better to put that in the new room. Joe was not happy. It was not a cupboard that you just pushed around, it was a cupboard that would have to be taken apart and rebuilt. However, when Sally had an idea, it had to be carried out. That was the first problem. One Sunday afternoon, when Joe’s eldest son was at home, they both departed to the cellar and began to dismantle the cupboard. It was all solid wood, and not an easy job. Five doors were removed and shifted to the new room. The walls of the cupboard followed and the base and top. Joe breathed a sigh of relief, at least the parts of the cupboard were now in the new room and he was sure it was a good idea. He could put the clothes he did not need in Summer in the cupboard and vice versa in Winter. Ideal: now he would just have to put the cupboard together again. A small delay occurred when Joe was hammering the hinges into the door. He hit his finger instead of the nail. As this was very painful and the finger turned a bluish colour, he was out of action for a week. When the finger more or less returned to its normal size, he continued with the work.

Eventually the walls were standing and it was time to put the final touches. He again had some help from his son and they found that there was a problem. They had forgotton to measure the height of the room, or the cupboard. The cupboard was one centimeter taller than the room, meaning Joe could not fit the roof onto the cupboard. Another delay, as Joe had to find a carpenter that would remove the extra unwanted centimeter from the cupboard. No problem: the carpenter did the necessary work, which took another week and some money, but the job was done. The cupboard was standing perfectly. Sally and Joe were happy, at last enough room for everything.

It was then that the rains came. I mean it always rained from time to time, but the area where they lived had the precipitation record on that certain night. It was one of those evenings when you went to bed, heard the continuous rhythmic splashes of water on the windows, a few thunder claps and in the morning it was still pouring down, not exactly cats and dogs, more like elefants and whales. Joe was retired so he did not have to go anywhere early in the morning. His neighbour was a working man and he was one of the first to leave the building. As the neighbour descended to the underground garage he had to pass through the corridor separating the various basement rooms.

Joe’s doorbell rang, not once, but three times. He dragged himself out of bed, slipped quickly into more respectable clothing than his pyjama and opened the door.

“Morning Joe” it was the neighbour. “Sorry to wake you so early but we have a problem. The cellar is under water.”

“Huh” was all that Joe could say, wondering if his hearing was going wrong.

“You had better come” continued the neighbour “to see if you have any damage in your cellar or hobby room.”

When Joe arrived in the basement, he was not alone, most of the neighbours were already there. Some already with mops and buckets, trying to clear the water away, which was a lost quest. One neighbour said specialists had been informed and they would be coming to pump out the water. Joe saw that his cellar had some water but not so bad, and then he opened the door to his hobby room and waded into the room which was under 3 centemeters of water. He fished out certain objects that were standing in the water. All the furniture in the room had a sort of dark mark at the basis where it was wet. And the cupboard, oh yes, that was wet as well.

The furniture was moved out of the room into the corridor and the fitted carpet was removed by a carpet company. A pump was put into the room, which used special  (expensive) electricity and started a two week pumpting session until everything was dry.

And the cupboard? Joe managed to remove the bottom board of the cupboard and cut on the edges of the carpet beneath. The cupboard had to be moved, however, to give access to allow removal to the skirting board behind the cupboard.

Today Joe is happy. After waiting almost two years and watching, the water problem had been solved by engineers. There was not longer a problem with flooding in the cellar and he even had a nice new wooden floor and the cupboard was back in its original place.

Hobby Room

Daily Prompt: Comedy of Errors

Blogger Creative Challenge 240: Indescribable

Cold Meat Selection

Buzz could not find words for the feast before his eyes (and he had a lot of eyes). It was indescribable. He was hanging on the celing, unnoticed, when the shop closed. During the day he did not venture to leave his hiding place. He knew he would only be met by a swipe of the butchers hand. He had been avoiding the butcher all day. Humans were not so good at catching flies, which was an advantage. Every time Buzz felt a displacement of air, he was away on his two wings. He decided to stay upside down. Looking upwards gave humans a pain in their neck, so he would be safe.

Now was closing time and he was on his own. A meat selection fit for a fly. He decided to start with the salami (lots of fat and grease) and make his way to the ham. Oh this was a dreamland.

The next morning he was still sitting on the bacon, but had fallen asleep. He was so full of all the delicacies that fulfilled his dreams, he did not even notice when the butcher arrived and the fly swotter squashed him. Just one fly less in the world, but a happy dead fly that had eaten his last meal.

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Daily Prompt: Happily ever after

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? Rose bouquet First of all Yes, I am living happily ever after, and that is all I have to say. I do not need to make a statement or bring proof of this – another dig into private life I would say.

On the other hand, there is a small town, somewhere beyond the clouds, where everyone was sent to live happily ever after. One fine morning in this town, a beautiful princess decided to take a walk, get out of the palace and away from the boring details of daily life. Her glass slippers had broken, once again and she needed a replacement. She suddenly heard a voice behind her.

“Cinderella, I havn’t seen you for a long while, how are you keeping and your most handsome and wonderful princly husband?”

“Don’t ask, Snow White. princes are all the same. You just cannot trust them. This is the third time I have to replace a glass slipper. He came home again yesterday evening, smelling of stable with lipstick on his collar.”

“You mean…….?” “Yes Snow White, I do. Another night out slumming with the stable lass and spending the night in the hay. I threw the glass slipper at him and it broke on the marble pillar in the stateroom. I am glad to say that a piece of glass hit him on his regal nose, to spoil his immaculate and wonderful face.”

“They are all the same those princes. Mine kissed a frog last week and it turned into a beautiful princess.” answered Snow White. “I wouldn’t mind, but he kissed a cow a few days ago, and that turned into a Queen. Now the palace is full. I think he is addicted to kissing animals. I don’t know where to put all those kissing results. I have thrown him out of the bedroom. Sometimes I wish I had never seen him, I would have had my peace and quiet.”

“And I think this time I will not replace the slipper with a glass one. Plastic will do, at least it will not break and will suit his cheap taste in women. I just blame it on that Godmother. She should have known better, turning a pumpkin into a coach. I just wish the slipper had fitted my step sister’s foot. Then he would have had a problem.”

“What are the step sisters now doing Cindrella?”

“They got the best part of the bargain. They kissed two toads that did not change into a prince.”

“What did they change into?”

“Two millionaires with a weak heart. When they saw the sisters they had a heart attack and both went to the fairyland pastures. Now my sisters have the money and enjoy life to the full. Whatever happened to the seven dwarves?”

“They decided to go into business. Doc is a famous plastic surgeon, Sleepy is a bed tester. Sneezy, Grumpy and Happy have a restaurent. Sneezy peppers the dishers, Happy is in charge of the alcohol and Grumpy tastes the food. Oh and Bashful designs bathing costumes for elves. Dopey won the lotto and invested his money in magic wands. He is earning a fortune. They are all successful only you and I are not so happy.”

“I know what we will do” said Cinderella. “We will leave all this Fairyland rubbish behind us and go to the real world. I am sure Hollywood is waiting for us. Walt Disney made his living out of us.”

“You mean we will film fairy tales?”

“No definitely not. Not when there are humans like George Clooney and Brad Pitt. They are not into glass slippers and dwarves, they would be more our taste.” So the two fugitives from Fairyland left their husbands and entered the real world and are now living happily ever after, somewhere in Hollywood.

Daily Prompt: Happily ever after

Daily Prompt: Cliché

Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

Birdwatching

“No felines, I know what you are thinking, but this is a daily prompt for me, not for you and it says “A bird in the hand” not a paw.”

“Ok Mrs. Human” said Tabby, “agree, but what brilliant idea and memory do you have in this context?”

“Err, well I am thinking about it.”

“Exactly Mrs. Human, Tabby and I do not even have to think about it, the answer is quite clear. Even Fluffy our apprentice knows the answer to that one, agreed Fluffy.”

Nera the chief feline, always had the last word.

“Of course Nera. Mrs. Human first of all this cliché originated in Egypt many years ago at the time of Bast. Actually I believe she invented it. The original phrase was “A bird in the paw is worth two in the cornfield”. There were not many bushes around in Egypt at that time, but lots of corn.”

“You see, Mrs. Human, even Fluffy knows the answer to that. It is integrated in feline life. Humans stole the idea from us and reversed it to suit themselves, as usual. Do I have to explain further, the case is quite clear.”

I wanted to tell Nera that her words of wisdom were not actually necessary, but she continued all the same.

“Just look out of the window Mrs. Human, what do you see?”

“My garden.”

“No, Mrs. Human, what is in the garden, that is important. A food station for felines, commonly known in the human language as bird house. What do you put in the bird house?”

“Nera that is quite obvious, I put food in the bird house for the birds.”

“To continue, the bird house is for attracting birds, a type of nourishment that is very welcome to the feline taste buds. The problem is that the birds are sitting on the bird house and munching away at the food, so we felines have to make decisions. The bird is not yet in the paw. However, with some patience it might happen that a bird will decide to sit on the ground after feeding, to encourage the digestion. It is then that I, Tabby and Fluffy enter the stage, speaking figuratively. We sit and watch, and slowly put one paw in front of the other, not making a sound, reducing the distance between ourselves and our next meal. We have an unsuspecting bird in front of us and the quieter we are the more the chance.”

“Nera, I did not put the bird house in the garden as an alternative to your vitamine rich pellets that I feed you with.”

“Mrs. Human would you rather eat a plate of dry food than a nice juicy steak.”

“But dry food is not something that humans eat. It would be difficult to swallow.”

“Exactly Mrs. Human, but we feline victims of the human way of life, are expected to relish a dish of chicken flavoured brown pellets and swallow it. Then we drink a bowl of liquid to wash it down. The only remark I hear is “the felines have drunk a lot today”. What do you expect?  We need a highlight to our boring meals now and again. Fresh bird meat is a delicacy. Not only do we have the fun of the hunt, but a reward afterwards if we catch the bird in our paw. Hence “A bird in the paw is worth two in the birdhouse.”
And Tabby and Fluffy both clapped with their paws and loud agreement in Meow was said. I decided there was nothing more intelligent to add to this conversation. Feline remains feline.

Blackbird

Daily Prompt: Cliché

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

002

Being a European I have not got a clue what A buffalo nickel is, but that is probably not so important. I also have no couch cushions with money or on the floor of the car, so I emptied my purse (see photo) and decided to take the large coin in the middle, known as a “fünfliber” in our local Swiss German dialect, meaning it has the value of five swiss francs. This coin is dated 1979 so I had to return to the past. I quite often have to return to the past in these daily prompts, but they say the older you become, the better the memory for long distances. This means that what I did yesterday I have already forgotten, but what I did thirty-five years ago stays fresh in my memory.

My oldest son was nine years old, just the most disturbing, nerve wrecking age to have an autistic child. However, he was having internal schooling in a special school during the week and could sleep there, so only came home at the week-ends. My step son was then seventeen years old and was still in apprenticeship, coming home for lunch every day. His sister was two years younger and also had begun the first year of her apprenticeship, also being at home for lunch. My youngest was four years old and was still at home, so how did I bring all thing down to one common denomenator being a working mother. You just needed more funds when you had a family with four children, and an extra wage was really necessary.

It was all a matter of logistic and planning and with fingers crossed hoping it would all turn out for the best. My husband was then working in another town, so he was away all day until the evening. Mornings were strategic operations, getting the two oldest supplied with breakfast and out of the house. At that time I had my first job, not yet in an office, but as a cook of all things in a place where children were looked after during the day when their parents were working. It was a fortunate job as I could take my 4 year old with me. My husband dropped me off on his way to work with the car and my youngest was then delivered to his group of children. I then started work by making breakfast for forty children approximately, and the twelve adults that belonged to the staff. During the morning I prepared lunch for the same amount of people. Luckily I did not have to do the baby food and bottles as the lady in charge of that group did that.

After lunch everyone went for a break somewhere or the other, and I stayed working through and having the job of keeping an eye on the babies and the smaller children. They were supposed to be sleeping, but babies are recycling machines when they are small, so I changed about twelve diapers per lunchtime. Eventually everyone came back from their break, and I prepared the food for the afternoon break. In between I was cleaning the kitchen and sorting food for the next day. I also had to keep an eye on supplies, to make sure there was enough food to go round every day. The advantage of working through the lunch break was that I was finished for the day at 3.30 in the afternoon, although it was still a long enough day when I started at 7.00 a.m. I usually walked home with my four year old through town and got the daily shopping.

I did have an hour or so to sit down and relax at home eventually, but around 6.00 in the evening the next shift started when the two oldest and my husband came home. The two oldest had fixed their own food at home at lunch time and so it was cooking again for the evening meals. It was really just a matter of routine I suppose. I would add that I got a great deal of support from my husband. He helped where and when he could at home. Ironing shirts, or filling the washing maschine was not too much for him to do. Cooking was not his thing, but helping to clean bathrooms and kitchens was normal.

I had this job for two years, until I eventually found my ideal office job where I could use my english knowledge, but looking back on the tough years, I just took it as it came. How did I do it? I do not know. I just did not have the time to think about it.

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel

Daily Prompt: B+

Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album.

Ironing

New albums from the household are not always so new, but sometimes spiced with a little change in the tone, perhaps louder, perhaps not so loud. From the Angloswiss albums we can always expect something different and this time we were not disappointed.

The first tracks on the album are nothing really new, but the sequence is a little different. Angloswiss tuned up as usual to the rhythm of Cereal and milk accompanied by a switch on of the computer. There was a sweep through the tunes and notes at the customery tempo, although now and again the beat became somewhat hotter, especially to the tune of Facebook. Angloswiss was working with four tabs and accompanied by the Outlook programme showing various e-mails. Somewhat monotonous, but there was a new note from one of her online colleagues, showing a little brightness in the tune.

The next track was taking place in the bathroom, so the tone was somewhat milder, accompanied by the flow of the water from the shower and the mechanism of the electric toothbrush. There was a refreshing start to the next track, although not with dynamic, more a routine sound and some sighs.It seemed the physical functions of the music became more exhausted as the tune continued. It would have been better perhaps, to have omitted this track or perhaps placed in the middle of the album, where it could have been less noticed. Window cleaning is never advisable to start the programme. However, it was well organised, a super cleaning system and regular operations in this context made the work less exhausting. Monotonous, but well carried out. There seemed to have been a relaxed sigh pass through the track when this sample of difficult music came to an end.

And now to a relaxing smoothness caused by the iron and the washing. This tended to be a routine rhythm, but well accomplished and relaxed. Perhaps somewhat repetitive, but the shirts from the male members of the family ensured a contrasting upbeat to the boring phases passing through the bed linen. There was a grand finale when the ironing board was again folded away into its place ready for further music perhaps during the next day.

A wonderful contrast occurred in the kitchen afterwards, a music accompanied by rice, pork chops and a delicious dressing of mustard sauce. Of course a vegetive sound was caused by chicory, fried in butter.

There was now a slow movement in the afternoon music from the Tai Chi practice and the creation of a blog, regular and with feeling. Some small evening entertainment occurred, but just an interval where a washing programme was started in the machine.

The second half of the record began similar to the first part with a refreshing breakfast, accompanied by tea and the computer, but as it was now Sunday, a certain quietness and relaxed tone could be noted. Leisure seemed to be the theme for this part of the music, no rush, no stress, just comfortable. Even the lunch break with its accompanied dish was something to be cooked with time and leisure. Boiled beef garnished with a mixture of Winter vegetables and accompanied by potato was a long track, but rewarding. The meat was put to cook already early in the morning hours, and the musical ambiance was filled with aromas from the kitchen.

A background accompanying silence appeared after lunch, the musician relaxing from the exhaustions of the morning masterpiece. Three felines decided to accompany the music from time to time, but their voices were in clang with the surroundings and they often fell into a somewhat more pianissimo style when they were sleeping.

To sum it all up, nothing spectacular, but a regular rhythm accompanied by some never to be forgotton highlights. The Sunday reading session was most relaxing. I would recommend this album to all frustrated, houseworking ladies.

Daily Prompt: B+

Spring is on the way

Starlings

This week I looked out of the window just before lunch and this was what I saw. Large birds all settled on the lawn opposite, pecking away on the ground. I called my bird expert, Mr. Swiss, and he confirmed that they are all Starlings, probably back from migration. However, I delved into this further and found that Starlings do not actually migrate, although they shift their territory quite often. In any case a whole tribe arrived in our little village.  Anyhow I made myself busy with the camera and here are a couple of photos I shot.

Starlings

Starlings

Starlings

Daily Prompt: Seconds

Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious detail. 

Eating Lamb and Couscous in a Bedouin tent

Satisfying meals are many and I really do not need a luxury restaurant or something special. Food is always satisfying if you are hungry, and there is no special dish to qualify. Our food in the Western world is always in plenty and if you cannot be bothered to cook it then there are enough fast food restaurants to sustain your hunger.  I have been cooking for the family for the past forty-six years. I am not a fussy eater, I will try everything. What comes on the table I eat. I am not vegetarian, nor vegan, have no dislikes in connection with religion. There are enough that starve in this world and would be glad of every left-over we throw away, or crumbs that fall on the floor, so food is something you eat to live and not the opposite.

However, there are always meals that stay in your mind as being good, tasty, a cut above the rest. I grew up with english home cooking. My mum could not cook, she cooked like her mother did, which explains all. Her motto was as long as a meal comes on the table, everything is well. Sometimes less would have been more, but I survived. I have no problem with food from other countries. I ate Asian food for two years, living with a Pakistani family. I generally eat European food, being in Switzerland and surrounded by Germany, France and Italy. I also like food from Eastern European countries. I am not fussy.

The interesting part is shown by the photo. I had the chance to spend a few days in Marrakesh, Morocco, through the company where my husband worked. This was a few years ago, but I enjoyed the visit very much. I had never set foot on the African continent, and Morocco was a country full of colours, sounds and sights I had never experienced, not to mention the aromas of the food. They had their own specialities and we were lucky enough on our stay to be able to experience the best of the best.

I am sure what we were served was not the every day food of the locals, but we were visitors and were treated and spoilt by the wonderful people of this country. One evening we were invited to the local casino, a meal accompanied with music. A Moroccan speciality was served, something called Bastilla, which is pigeon pie. One of the people in our group refused it as she said she does not eat the little birds. I found pigeon is not little so why not. To be honest it would not be something I would actually serve at home. The dish reminded me of some sort of grave. There was a lid of pastry and when I lifted it, below was a collection of small bones belonging to the unfortuante bird. The meat was ok, but did not actually stay in my memory as being unforgettable. If I remember rightly the pastry was on the sweeter side and had a sprinkling of icing sugar over it.

One evening we were invited to a bedouin tent. There were a few tents erected for the benefit of the tourists, such as we were. We sat at a round table. The main course arrived at the table in the middle, it was a sheep. Not leg, or breast but a complete half a sheep had been roasted for our benefit. It was served with couscous and the whole main dish was placed in the middle of the table. Knives and forks were supplied, but we all decided when in Morocco do as the Moroccans do, so we dived in with hands and fingers (only the right hand of course, nations that eat with their fingers never use the left hand, that is reserved for something else). I very much like lamb and as this sheep seem to be quite small I decided it was lamb and not mutton. I remember it being very tender and tasty and I enjoyed it very much. Wine was served with the meal, the Moroccans have quite good wine it seems, although I did not try it as I do not drink alcohol. I am also sure that the Moroccan people generally also do not drink wine, but it is exported and a source of finance.

Of course to complete this typical Moroccan meal, it was accompanied by dancing and singing ladies in the Moroccan way of music. It was an evening not to be forgotten.

Me dancing with Marrocan Ladies in a Bedouin tent

That is me second from left. The journey took place in 1990 so I was somewhat younger and still had a figure (43 years old). I could even sway to the rhythm and dance. I think today I would have stayed in my chair and just enjoyed watching.

Daily Prompt: Seconds

Daily Prompt: Undo

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

Gösgen through the train window

There are many items which I would love to un-invent, but mostly hanging together with my personal likes and dislikes. Guess what? Fifteen years ago I smoked about fifteen cigarettes a day. I was addicted, but one fine day I did “cold turkey” and stopped and have not touched one since. Apart from the fact that it is an expensive past time, it is not healthy either. Gone are the days when I awoke in the morning with an aching throat, with a craving for tobacco. I really did it. Life would have been so much easier if the South Americans did not discover how to light a leaf and draw it into their lungs (I think it was the Aztecs). If Francis Drake, the english seafarer, had not decided to take a consignment of tobacco on his ship back to England Europe would today be nicotine free. I can hear all those smokers saying how narrow minded I am and it is their business if they smoke or not. Of course, they are right, but I am now at the stage where I would like to see it banned. Smoke gets in my eyes, my nose and discolours the windows and furniture. I try to be tolerant, but have now given up. An alternative I do not know and it does not interest me. Try chewing gum or smoking an electic cigarette – one way or the other it is no longer my problem.

Actually I have a list of things which are not really necessary to every day life. I lay in the sun if I want to get a tan, so who invented the sun studios? I can cook, I learned to cook, so why do I have to buy all this precooked rubbish that is being sold. The latest is that all the meat products, frozen or pre-cooked, seem to contain horse. Basically even if they did not, I ask myself what else would they contain? Lasagna and spaghetti bolognese is not rocket science, so make it yourself. Ok, not everyone is a cook, but then avoid it and eat something else. Even a hamburger is just minced meat with spice, flattened and fried. Not that I am against MacDonalds, I appreciate them myself. If you want to complain about the fast food, then reduce it and try making it yourself. It works.

There also seem to be tons of cream on the market for a better skin, reducing wrinkles or whatever. Do we really need it? I am sure it is not worth the money we pay for it, so as far as I am concerned, that could go as well.

My photo above is of our local nuclear power plant in Gösgen. I took it from a moving train, so not so clear. We are lucky in Switzerland to have only five of these and perhaps also lucky that our Government has now decided to phase them out by 2034, the decision caused by the problems Japan had after their last earthquake. Our plants are in quite good condition, although no longer new. One of the oldest is near Bern, Mühleberg, and that will be the first to go by 2019 according to what I have read. I would welcome this idea, but it is not as easy as we think. Of course we are all sitting on a slow time bomb, playing with nuclear energy, but what do we have to replace it. Coal, Oil, sun collectors – all very expensive and we can all be prepared to pay double for our future energy consumption. Not only that, but Switzerland is a small country with a population of seven million inhabitants, thus we only have five of these power plants. We are surrounded by a few other countries, one of which is France.

Vive la France and all the nuclear power plants that are spaced out along the Swiss borders. France have no intention whatsoever to do away with this means of energy. I love the French, love their food, love the language, but I do not love their energy politics. If Switzerland succeed in finding an alternative for their nuclear energy, I do not think that France will even start to search for a solution. They are happy with their nuclear power and if there might be a “small” accident, we will probably never hear about it. We will just measure the increasing radio activity in our atmosphere. If the wind is blowing in the right direction, it might even be that Switzerland will get the main part and the French can carry cooking their wonderful food with no problem and producing their super wine made from grapes growing on radioactive free hillsides because it might just be that the Swiss wine will start glowing, infected with radio activity.

So now I have said my piece. I am sure there are many other useless inventions, but at the moment they just do not come into my mind: any suggestions?

Daily Prompt: Undo