Daily Prompt: The Mirror Crack’d – Wordy returns

You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors. How does your life — from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself — change?

Mirror, Castle Waldegg, Feldbrunnen

“He’s here again.”

“Who?” Mr. Swiss answered the door. It was Sunday, I had a feeling who it was. He always rings twice and arrives on a Sunday. I think Saturday is WordPress t-shirt washing day. I opened the door.

“Hello Wordy, come in and have a coffee. What are you going to do today?”

“Thanks Mrs. Angloswiss, two sugars and no milk, please.”

“Just a minute Wordy, where are you going with that ladder?”

“Orders Mrs. Angloswiss for the daily prompt. I have to remove your mirrors. How many do you have?”

“I have one in the entrance hall and in the bathroom and shower. Wait a minute Wordy. What did you say? Where are you going with that mirror. Put it down at once.”

“Today’s daily prompt Mrs. Angloswiss. You have a world without mirrors and how do you live.”

I like to comb my hair in the bathroom, I check to see if my clothes are fitting when I leave the apartment. At my age you never know if you are wearing your blouse inside out. These things can happen. So I need my mirrors.”

Mr. Swiss arrived on the scene.

“What’s that guy with the WordPress t-shirt doing in the bathroom. He is removing the mirrored doors from the cupboard and making a mess all over the bathroom floor. How am I supposed to shave and trim my beard if I don’t have a mirror.”

Suddenly there were shouts and almost screams coming from the bathroom. I had a look.”

“Mr. Swiss what are you doing. Put that guy in the t-shirt down, he is already going red in the face. You are strangling Wordy.”

“I don’t care, I would like to see Wordy shave without a mirror.”

Wordy was now leaning on the wall taking deep breathes and loosening the neck of his t-shirt.

“Mr. Swiss I put a new clean t-shirt on today and now I have blood stains on it and a tear. I will lose my job if I go back like this and I don’t have to shave. We WordPress elves don’t have whiskers.”

“And if you take my mirror away you will lose more, so take your hands off my mirror.”

“But…..”

I decided to intervene before someone was killed and it would not be Mr. Swiss.

“Wordy go home. We want to keep our mirrors.”

“Waaa, nobody loves me.”

“Don’t cry Wordy, of course we love you, you are only doing your job, but sometimes we WordPress bloggers do not like people interfering with our private lives. Now drink your coffee and here is a piece of chocolate cake to go with it and make sure you do not get chocolate stains on your nice clean white t-shirt.”

“Oh, thank you Mrs. Angloswiss” he said as he licked the chocolate filling off his fingers and brushed the crumbs of his t-shirt. There must have been some sort of mix-up. The WordPress chief guy said you don’t need mirrors. He often saw you fly out of the window on full moon nights and said vampires don’t have reflections.”

“Oh, did he. Well tell that WordPress chief guy that I do have a reflection usually. It only happens on full moon nights, and I might pay the WordPress chief guy a visit on one of those nights to see what he has to offer. I prefer group A, but O will do as well.”

“Shall I tell him that Mrs. Angloswiss.”

“No don’t bother, I like to surprise people.”

So Wordy attached the mirror doors to the cabinet in the bathroom and tidied everything up. He put his ladder under his arm and left. We waved to him from the window. He waved back and said “Bye Mrs. Angloswiss, see you again on another prompt.”

I did not give an answer. I just checked to see how I looked in the mirror.

Daily Prompt: The Mirror Crack’d – Wordy returns

Daily Prompt: Pains and Gains – I have plenty of pains, where are the gains?

Do you agree with Jane Fonda’s favorite exercise motto,“no pain, no gain?” Is it impossible to attain greatness without considerable hardship?

Meadow flowers

It is late summer and you decide to weed the garden. Pull out the unwanted and keep the nice ones. I am sure Jane Fonda recognises the problem. To achieve a good result you have to bend and use energy. Unfortunately I never attended an aerobic exercise to show me how to do this properly. My experience in physical exercise is limited to a weekly Tai Chi course, which I am at the moment not able to attend due to severe hip pain: to continue. I begin to weed the garden knowing that this will be a rewarding job. I will gain a weed free garden. Unfortunately the dreaded stinging nettles had decided to move in and hide themselves between the unwanted weeds.

I continued, ignoring the stinging pain in my fingers knowing that without this I would not gain a weed free garden. I progressed through the garden and then I saw a strange shaped leaf, rather large and not something that I had planted. This was destroying my garden landscape. A few quick pulls and they would disappear. Unfortunately this green leaf had a root attached which seemed to be on the way to the middle of the earth. Eventually I had a hand full of green leaves, leaving behind stalks. I also managed to fall in the process, losing my balance. After a quick glance to see if anyone saw me land on my sensitive part, I stood again and noticed that my back did not want to stand with me. I was reminded of this fall for some time, combining a visit to the doctor, collecting tablets for treatment for lumbago. Eventually I could move again, even arise from a seat with no pain, after a few months. Did I complain, did I utter painful sounds? No of course not, I had a good example. Jane Fonda said “no pain, no gain”. Her words were a shining example of how to cope with such problems.

Of course talking of achieving greatness, this is obvious. Day for day, hours for hours, I battle with daily prompts, churning through ideas of how to do it better. Searching for inspiration in great works of literature and scanning through my German-English online dictionary as I am a multitasker. My brain often thinks German, but my actions say “do it in English”. I reread my words of wisdom, checking for mistakes, for “how-to-say-it-better” inspiration. Eventually, the sweat pouring from my brow, I press the magic keyboard configuration meaning “upload” and it is done. My daily prompt is alive. “Oh no” I grunt, there is a full stop missing and I have misspelt a word words. I press the little edit sign and re-write half of what is written, spurred on by the words “no pain, no gain”. I am sure Jane Fonda knows what I mean. She wrote two books and probably experienced much pain when re-reading everything to check that it was a perfect best seller. Do you think she had a ghost writer? No, definitely not, she plodded on with the motto “no pain, no gain”.

How often to I clean windows and my arm begins to hurt, but I carry on regardless knowing that without this burden to bear the windows would remain dirty. My mum called it elbow grease, I just call it elbow pain. It is a matter of interpretation. When I come to think of it, my mum very rarely cleaned windows, we had a window cleaner. The old houses in East London were not built with windows that you could clean. Armed with a ladder, bucket and cloth the window cleaner would climb to the windows on the first floor and do the necessary. I do not think he had a lot of pain, it was his daily work, but he had gain when mum paid him for the job.

Now my work is done. Fellow bloggers my efforts might pain you to read, but afterwards you have gained something, although I am not quite sure what. However, I am sure we will all be back tomorrow to continue our sufferings. Who knows, we might even gain a Pulitzer/Nobel prize for our efforts, or even the famous WordPress t-shirt, all is possible. Jane Fonda earned millions with her ideas and I am sure one day we will reap the benefits of our labour. And do not forget, WordPress does not sleep. Not only do we have a new grid system but also a new uploader. Luckily we are given the choice to still use the old uploader, should we not come to grips with the new one. I came to grips with the new one, decided I did not like it, so now switch to the older version. I really tried, but noticed I was experiencing too much pain to gain something from it, so gave up.

Daily Prompt: Pains and Gains – I have plenty of pains, where are the gains?

Daily Prompt: New Dawn – there are dawns?

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

Sunrise over Feldbrunnen

He who searches, finds and I actually found a photo of a sunrise. It was taken from my garden. It must have been early winter, as the sun rises too early for me for a summer dawn. If I do arise at the crack of dawn it is usually a human need that spurs me on to the bathroom. Generally I return to the comfort of my bed afterwards and do not peep through the closed blinds to see if the sun has risen. Who cares? Only the birds and they have it in their little throaty system. They are sometimes a nuisance, waking me with their continuous whistling and peep, peep, peep, but luckily this only happens in high summer. As soon as daylight decreases, they give up and sleep a little longer in the morning.

I noticed my file of sunrise photos in Flickr is sparse, just a few. I love those prompts where somewhere it says “tell us about etc. etc.” I feel as if I am at a confessional admitting my wrong deeds. Sunrise exists, but I very seldom see it. Even when I was a working lady and rose in the morning at six I did not have time to look out of the window and admire nature’s gift of a rising sun. Generally I had a misty veil covering my eyes from sleep or I was too busy groping my way to the kitchen for a few bites of food. Afterwards I entered the shower, checked that son No. 1 was ready to depart and we were off in the car to work. Even on the road I had no time to adore the illuminations of day break. I dropped my son off and then I arrived at work. I was too busy concentrating on the traffic to look out of the car window.

Sometimes I arrived at work and a friend would say “did you see that sunrise?” knowing that I always had a camera with me. “You should take a photo”. Spurred on by her enthusiasm I searched for a window at workd showing the sun which was now covered by grey clouds, thus I have no photos of dawn from my working days or perhaps 7 o’clock in the morning was too late.

Sometimes my cat might wake me at an unearthly time with a few harmonious meows which I interpret as being “let me out” and for the sake of peace and quiet I make my way to the kitchen to open the window. Unfortunately this does not always coincide with their wish. Tabby has the habit of deciding to eat a plate of vitamin concentrated pellets before leaving. Unfortunately Tabby does not like being rushed when eating – don’t we all? She would make her way through the pellets, chewing each one carefully and thoroughly whilst I was waiting for her to decide to leave the safety of home.  Cats unfortunately are not influenced by wonderful sunrises and just go when they feel like it. It is often an hour before dawn when Tabby decided to go for her nocturnal walk.

We have a cat flap, but it is only open from the outside. If I fixed it to be open from the inside I have a blind cat that would decide to make the great escape sometime in the night. This has happened once or twice, through a false manipulation by human hand and it is not funny to stumble in the dark outside searching for a wandering cat. He was always found. Luckily he is a blue tabby. Ok, he is not blue, but that is how he is described. In any case when he is clean he is whitish which made his discovery easier.. Of course he was glad to be found, although it needed quite some persuasion to bring him home.

I never did voluntary sunrises, they just sort of happened. In my younger days in London I would often stumble home when the sun was rising, but I did not either appreciate or notice it. This was generally due to an encounter of the other kind, or perhaps a meeting with friends. I had a friend at my workplace in Switzerland, she lived on a farm. I said how nice with all those animals. She said it was just her way of life and the cockerel often crowed in greeting when she arrived home in the early morning hours.

So there we have it. New dawns are not my thing. I am more for dusk when my corner teeth grow longer, nice and white and pointed, and I take a flight to the local blood bank.

Daily Prompt: New Dawn – there are dawns?

Daily Prompt: Head Turners – Sex in the garden

We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?

“Yeah baby, do it again, that’s great.” “I’ll do it to you as well, stay as you are.”

I had just had breakfast in the morning, was still in my night attire – no sexy nightdress, just plain cotton in yellow and decided on a quick inspection of the garden before I began my daily chores, like playing with the vacuum cleaner and running down the computer. It was then that I heard the above conversation. This was interesting. Is someone doing something usually done discretely: no, it could not be but the aahs and ooohs were definitely coming from a corner of the garden.

I decided to investigate. I changed into my super pink plastic garden clogs to avoid spreading muck in the apartment as it had rained quite heavily during the night. It was then that I saw them. I felt so guilty watching two of a kind doing what two of a kind usually do, but stop! Slugs are not two of a kind, they are hermaphrodite, they have both the female and male equipment. At first I thought the female part was laying eggs. I decided to see what Internet had to say so I did a quick surfing exercise and saw a photo almost the same as mine.

Two slugs mating

I thought “how sweet, mother slug has just given birth and daddy slug is hugging her proud of the achievement”. This was completely wrong. In the meanwhile I heard again “You are great, and what a sexy snail you are.” The answer was “oh, this is wonderful, I could stay like this all day.”

Yes, people (and don’t tell your kids if they are under age), slugs do it just the same as we all do, but there is a small difference. What you see in this photo are two snails entwined making babies. The white jelly-similar protruberences are the snail’s dangly bits. It seems the male part of the operation is for all to see and they do it both at the same time. The fertilisation of the eggs is all done behind the scenes. Basically these two slugs are enlarging the slug population. In two weeks there will be probably about 20×2 eggs deposited in my garden to prolong the eating spree of my plants.

In the meanwhile my slug friendly plants have disappeared in the slug digestive system. There is nothing left for the snails in my garden so now they just go for a walkabout and if they meet, you can see the result. After this orgy they separated and went their own way. One slug remained and the other decided to take it easy after the exertions.

I feel a bit guilty. I was eavesdropping on a private conversation between two snails and they were having fun in the middle of a patch of snail pellets, so probably there will be no screaming, munching slug babies as a result. Not only was I a peeping tom, but also a murderer

Actually there was quite a noise in the garden yesterday evening. Due to the rainy season there were many slugs, but mostly discussing where they could get a good meal. One got quite high, he found room on the top of an ant bait container and he was hugging with all his slimy energy. I do not know whether the ant poison has a negative effect on slugs, but the opening in the plastic was not big enough for a slug to squeeze into. Perhaps he/she was just getting high. Many went for a slug flight to a patch of weeds outside my garden. My aim is becoming quite good when I throw them.

They did not let me out today so I do not have any other interesting conversations to tell, and if I did they would be in Swiss German.

Daily Prompt: Head Turners – Sex in the Garden

When a Tabby cat meets a Sphinx

Tabby and the sphinx

“Tabby, stop howling and hissing, it is a cat the same as you are.”

“Mrs. Human, that is not a cat. I am experiencing close encounters of the third kind. That is not feline. It is something extra-terrestrial. Mrs. Human we are being invaded.”

“Tabby, first of all it is a sphinx cat and it is born that way.”

“No self-respecting feline is born that way. It is a curse placed by one of those cats they used to burn at the stake. It is bewitched, and is a threat to our existence. Terminate, terminate.”

“Tabby you are not a dalek and it will not be terminated. It lives in the apartment opposite and now and again takes a walk, the same as you: you know the feline instinct about marking territory and the Sphinx is new in the neighbourhood and is just finding its way around.”

“I don’t believe it Mrs. Humane. Has your brain already been infiltrated by this strange creature. Has it already brainwashed you into believing it is one of us? Never, that is not normal. It has folds in its skin and big naked pointed ears and it smells.”

“All cats smell Tabby, and each has its own scent. The sphinx race just happens to have no fur to absorb the scent, that is why they are bathed once a week, too keep them smell free.”

“Is that one of those strange human jokes that we felines do not get the hang of? Cats do not take baths, we have a good lick, although to be quite honest if I had a fur shortage I would also not be keen on licking what was undernearth.”

“Tabby you know that not every cat looks like another. They have different colours, different length of fur …..”

“..and different smells. Most of the smells are just, well, feline. But this naked example is not feline, it is different, it is not one of us. It must be separated, terminated.”

“Tabby do not be such a racist.”

“Me, racist, never. The proof is that I allow humans to live with me. If I was racist, I would not allow you to feed me and empty my litter box. Yuck, just imagine emptying a litter box for a naked cat. I bet his recycling process is different to mine.”

“Hold on, Tabby. Be kind to those that are different. I am sure the little sphinx feline just wants to be your friend. It is so lonely not knowing any other cats.”

“No, no way. I also do not know any other cats except for Fluffy and Fluffy is not my friend. I just put up with him as he happens to eat from the same dish as me and use the same litter tray. Otherwise we do not walk paw in paw and look at the moon in the evening together. Imagine touching a naked cat, no Mrs. Human. Just ensure that he stays on his side of the fence and I will have a quiet growl from my side of the fence.”

There you have it, sometimes I think felines are not so different from humans. I will keep you posted if the situation changes. Perhaps one day they will walk together and eat from the same dish, but perhaps not.

“Forget it” and Tabby has the last word.

DSC_3170

Daily Prompt: August Blues – just an extension of July really.

As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?

Hibiscus

When the hibiscus flower then I realise that Autumn is around the corner, but has not yet turned the corner. We are still eating our meals outside on the porch and we still have slugs visiting us in the garden, also eating outside where the surroundings are green and growing. I noticed last week, getting all sloppy and romantic, that the swallows were gathering for the big flight to Africa. They were holding their suitcases in their little claws as they flew over, probably packed with worms to eat on the journey, and waved with their wings.

Enough of the whimsical writing, let’s be realists, although Mr. Swiss is a little too realistic for me. As soon as the last week of July arrives he starts talking about the days becoming shorter, no longer as warm as it was, and yes, he saw a brown leaf on a tree so Autumn must be on its way.  He always was the permanent optimist. I am not ready for this yet. As long as I can sit outside in short sleeves (wouldn’t it be nice to have a WordPress t-shirt), sometimes in my shorts and there are flowers in my garden, with an August date in the calendar, I do not do Autumn.

As a kid it is too far and too way back to remember; my memories are more after my three week annual holiday when I was working, and I realised that it was again over for a year. Walks in the Bernese Overland, eating meals in restaurants  and sleeping in a chalet had departed, to be replaced by the usual daily drag at home and rising in the morning at six to get the kids ready for school or for work, and getting myself on the way to my job. Oh, happy days and I am glad they are gone.

Now it is just me, Mr. Swiss and the cats. My oldest son is at home. He is autistic, goes to work, but takes it all in his programmed brain. As long as everything moves to autistic plan, he is happy. Today even a change in his rhythm is not such a disturbance. He does not mind a programme change like going to a music concert or a day off on holiday to visit another town such as Zürich or Bern. We all have our routines.

School begin used to be in Spring in the Kanton where I live in Switzerland, but one day a councillor had a dream, and it was all changed to Autumn begin (or did we vote about it – cannot remember). The kids had an extra-long school year to catch up, but that was some years ago. I really only notice that school days are here when we drive past the local high school on the way home from shopping and see the rows of cars lined up outside the school where the parents pick their offspring up. There are also busses ready for the students and there are the students which make their way by biking, being a deadly obstacle to the cars on the road. Otherwise I would not even know that school existed. We had clear roads during the school holidays, but now no longer, so I suppose it is again school time.

Being a golden oldie, these things are not really considered as being important. I do not go to school; do not work so life goes on. I would have my weekly Tai Chi course, but at the moment I am out of action, my hip deciding that I should wait until I see a doctor and can stand on my left leg with no pain.

Mr. Swiss mowed the lawn this afternoon, so it cannot be anything like autumn and who cares. I have reached an age where it does not matter so much. I used to brown my body in the sun and it would now be time to forget such experiments. First of all because there is no longer so much sun, my body is no longer sun styled and I prefer to relax with a book.

So come on Winter, let it snow, let it grow colder. I will be wrapped up in my golden oldie chair, writing daily prompts and watch the leafless trees in the garden with the icicles hanging on the branches. Autumn? Yes Ok it does have its charm, leaves laying on the garden that I have to sweep away, putting my t-shirts and shorts away to be replaced by long trousers and blouses do they still fit? And I have to bring my seventeen pots of orchids into the living room. I hope I have the room, otherwise they will begin to shiver in their pots outside. Of course we have the autumn colours, so I will probably attempt a few of my prize suspicious photos.

My cat just saw a naked Sphinx cat walk throught the garden that belongs to a neighbour, so I have to leave. I might have to play referee for my cat in a fight against the unknown and of course take a few photos of the Sphinx cat.

Daily Prompt: August Blues – just an extension of July really

Daily Prompt: Why, Thank you? – I don’t really do compliments

What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

At the Airport having a drink

I have been scanning some old photos into my computer taking by a real live camera with film. This comes from a series taken on a trip to London in 1984. You see, George Orwell was wrong. There was no big brother watching us, just mum aged 38, keeping a watchful eye over No. 1 son aged 14 and No.2 son aged 10. Probably a good moment as they were behaving and smiling, although with a chocolate bar and a drink of coke I suppose they were happy. I am sure the photo was taken in the cafeteria of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington in London where we had a rest after viewing dinosaur skeletons and large sized wales. Happy memories of days gone bye.

Today I am 68 years old, my hair has turned to grey and my figure has gone South. I get compliments on my age. “You have no creases” (at least not on the visible parts) and “you look so young” which is proof that looks do not always tell the truth. I no longer feel so young, and wonder what mysterious ache will appear next. Since two weeks I have had pain in my left hip, resulting in a visit to the hospital for an x-ray. My doctor departed for a holiday and so the pictures of my left hip bone and attachments are lying somewhere on an abandoned desk until she returns. In the meanwhile I have taken all the Ibuprofene tablets which did not seem to help very much and now just have a packet of pain killers. These knock me out when I take them so I reduce them to a minimum. I have now discovered that I feel fine if I do not have to stand on my left leg. In the last couple of days it seems to have got better and I can now sit on a chair without having to check if my left leg is still there. Sleeping has improved and I decided if I ignore the pain it might go away. My doctor will return from her vacation next week, but probably I will be cured by then Yes, it is a do-it-yourself world.

I am not very good at compliments and am usually at a loss for words if given one. However I very much treasure the compliments I receive on my blogs from my brothers and sisters in arms on the Daily Prompt. We all have to suffer the prompts that are sometimes not very prompting, but we continue and face the obstacles put in our way. This week we had a man in a WordPress t-shirt digging a tunnel and a robot ready to deal with a selected chore. I am still clearing the mess away in the cellar and Wordy the robot is now in the corner of my storage room. He collapsed on the second day and I cannot get the spare parts.

I always deserve compliments; my life is built on fishing for compliments. Unfortunately not all agree with this point of view. I am ignored by the Pulitzer people and the space on my shelf for a Nobel Prize is still empty. I don’t even have a WordPress t-shirt. To be quite honest, I did receive a freshly pressed once from WordPress and honestly I did not have to bribe them. They did it all by themselves.

I am not sure about a backhanded compliment. If someone says you are 100% chaotic, are they praising my special individual thinking process or should I take it as an insult. When I was a working woman my colleagues found I was an organised chaotic. I had a mess on my desk, where everyone else had neat piles, but I always found what I was looking for. My brain was organised to function in this way. If I had had neat piles, I would probably not have known which pile to search in.

Mr. Swiss often compliments me on my cooking skills, although today we had a small problem which almost developed into a crisis situation. I do not like mashed potato so I avoid cooking mashed potato. There is a gooey mess to be cleared away and a sticky special machine to wash up afterwards. However, my Swiss cookery accompanying organisation advertised their new specially constructed potato masher. It was based on the original, but had a few refinements. As I have learned to rely on this organisation and they do have good ideas, I ordered one. It was at a special price but I had to pay extra 7 Swiss francs for the postage. Yesterday it arrived. I was busy constructing yesterday’s lunch and Mr. Swiss unpacked the machine and fitted it together. There was a recipe book delivered with the machine and it looked good, so today’s meal was planned. I bought special mashable potatoes and cooked them. The machine was ready. You balanced it on a saucepan, put the potatoes in it and turned the handle. The mashed goods landed in the saucepan. Unfortunately by the first turn the mechanism made a click and fell apart. Undaunted I fitted it together again and continued. The click repeated itself. Eventually I had a mess of sticky potato on the kitchen surface, some escaped potato from the machine and no mashed potato in the saucepan with a pile of cooked potato waiting to be mashed.

There was an exchange of profanities in the kitchen, the new wonderful potato masher was cursed and I eventually did it all with a fork. At least we could eat it, if you like it cold with lumps. I will not explain what happened to the hamburgers in the meanwhile which were sizzling in a pan.

Needless to say Mr. Swiss wrote a letter (I cannot write German so well – too many mistakes). I signed the letter and this afternoon Mr. Swiss took the new machine on a journey to the nearest post office, where we paid another 7 Swiss francs to send it on it way back to its origins. I still do not like mashed potato.

Daily Prompt: Why, Thank you? – I don’t really do compliments