Daily Prompt: Winning Streak – How’s your SSD

What’s the longest stretch you’ve ever pulled off of posting daily to your blog? What did you learn about blogging through that achievement, and what made you break the streak?

Perhaps I should add, this is not yet the truth, but could become one, one day. Otherwise I blog regularly every day for the past 2 years here.

Entrance to remand prison, Solothurn

The streak was almost broken when I saved my daily prompt blog under “problems” instead of under daily prompt. I then realised that I was losing it slowly. After daily blogging for at least two years, with the exception of a touch of forgetfulness and a visit to my homeland, it was decided that I no longer had everything under control and as with most of us golden oldies, there comes a time when you are put to pasture.

After a long search for a suitable end station, I took things in my own hands. I did not want to spend the remainders of my earthly days knitting socks or piecing together patchwork quilts. I realised you could not do this on a computer and had to apply manual work. Sitting in a specially constructed chair (with straps to stop me falling out?) was also not my thing and having a weekly sing song with other golden oldies or talking about the old days in physical life was not for me. I am virtual to the core, a palndrome. I then discovered that there was a place for me. I scoured the advertisements of my Cyber Magazine for Golden Oldies and found the senior residence to suit my tastes known as The Cyber Senior Residence.

Since living here, I could continue my daily blogs with no problem. They first of all put me in department A for apple users, but soon found that my vast knowledge covered all types of html and whatever and so I am now in department XYZ for those that can do it all. After spending my first month here, I was voted as Chief Cyber, meaning that I was put in charge of the others ensuring that peace reigned. It was not an easy job. I remember Mabel, our oldest, now approaching 90 years of age, had a nervous spasm when she discovered she could no longer send an e-mail to her daughter living in Iceland. No matter how she tried, the mails returned with an exclamation mark. She tried it via Internet and it worked, but no self-respecting computer user, no matter how old, wants to stoop to such a level. Of course, I organised it for her and she is forever thankful.

“Mrs. Anglo Swiss, I have a problem. I cannot pingback.”

A common occurrence amongst those still writing their WordPress daily prompts. After hours of composing their entry, they want to say “Look, I am still alive and breathing. Here is my prompt”, only to find after 20 years of experiments with the new and wonderful grid system, it still does not work. I explain that the grid no longer exists, its boundaries and edges rusted away to be replaced by, yes, the old system. Endeavours were made to find something new, but in the meanwhile the experts had also retired and were no longer available.

I did find one expert living here in our residence. Unfortunately he screams when he sees a WordPress site on Internet with its trademark. “No, I cannot do it, take it away, it will kill me”, so he is now in the department for cyber allergy, yes it can happen to the best of us. Most of all I enjoy applying the knowledge I learnt on the path to cyber fame. You are not alone in this world of prompts, so respect the others and their ideas. Since I founded the WP group “With Grey Hairs you can still do it”, many of my colleagues here have found a new inspiration in their life.

Montgomery wrote a lovely blog about how to succeed when you forget how to post a link. He told us that it was not important, just do a copy paste. It does not look as good as a html code, but does the trick. Geraldine tells us all about her garden of geraniums, although has problems with the earth falling in between the spaces of the keyboard. Last week she found a clover leaf growing between the “f” and the “g”. We celebrated Cyril’s 70th birthday last week and each one of us sent greetings over Golden Oldie Facebook. He was so pleased and thanked us all with a photo of himself surrounded by his computers. Unfortunately there was only room on the photo for 20 of them, but we knew that he had 50. Cyril even knows what DOS was, how many of us know that today.

There was excitement last week when we had a new resident, Mr. William B. Gates. He naturally has his own room. They had a problem fitting the bed into the room, as the computer took up most of the space. Now and again you hear a scream from his room, poor man. That is when he realises that Windows sales statistics have fallen behind those of Apple. He was warned not to introduce Windows twenty and a half, but he would not listen. The screen was so full of pictures and cyber signs, that there was no room left to post a command and no-one found the control key. I heard he had a brain repair job. He had some new software fitted. They did not tell him it was Unix.

Now I must come to a close, it is time for food. It is Sunday, a special treat. We have three blue pills and two pink pills instead of the usual tablets marked with “SSD”.

Daily Prompt: Winning Streak – How’s your SSD

Daily Prompt: Under the Snow – Mrs. Angloswiss of the Antarctic

You were caught in an avalanche. To be rescued, you need to make it through the night. What thought(s) would give you the strength to go through such a scary, dangerous situation?

Snow on parking lot, Migros, Langendorf

There are times when I have a sneaking suspicion that these prompts will be the death of me. Such was the situation yesterday evening, when I decided to help myself to an ice lolly from my deep freezer. Admittedly the freezer was long overdue to be thawed out and I did have to struggle with the drawer to pull it out and choose my flavour of the day. The freezing coils were covered in a layer of ice, but I did not expect this result. Who can I blame? With my full strength I pulled out the drawer and then I heard a rumbling sound in the distance. It became louder and I was hit with a force that knocked me onto my back. I landed on something hard and very, very cold.

Yes, it was ice. I then heard a tumbling sound and was quickly encased in a layer of something like snow, but not very soft and giving. More gelled and hard. My deep freezer had taken revenge, it had produced an avalanche in my kitchen. So there I was clutching onto a ice lolly, chocolate covered, and embedded in an icy grave.

I could see the headlines in the local newspaper. “Frozen body of Mrs. Angloswiss discovered beneath a mountain of ice and snow in her kitchen.” Beware housewives when you think your deep freezers are safe and an ice scraper will do the job. Do not be fooled, your freezer is planning on revenge for every frozen embedded cooling coil that can no longer do the job. You think you are safe. In Mrs. Angloswiss kitchen lays the real abominable snow person, the Yeti of Switzerland.

Apart from these visions of negative fame, I knew I would not starve to death, I had an ice lolly, chocolate covered. There was a small problem. My arm and hand were encased in a solid mass of immovable snow and ice. I felt like the donkey with a carrot hovering in front of its nose, but at least that was warm. I had a brainwave. Breathe, breath is warmer and will melt its way through the internal lining of my deep freezer. Unfortunately this was not logical. My breath froze to match the surrounding atmosphere. This was not what I envisaged as my last resting place. I decided to scratch my way through the layers of snow. I had only one hand to try this action. The other was carrying a chocolate ice lolly which stuck to my frozen hand. Visions of La Boheme came to my mind and the aria “Your Tiny Hand is Frozen”, but Mimi’s hands were frozen because they had no central heating in her rooms in the Bohemian part of Paris and she had a man, Rodolfo, who helped to thaw her out with his care and love.

My care and love was probably now going to bed, after switching off the TV and thinking I had already retired to the comfort of the bedroom. Remind me to have a few words with Mr. Swiss if I am ever rescued from this icy grave. I did not despair and called “Mr. Swiss”, there was no answer. I was rewarded with a mouth full of ice, containing a few frozen peas. Thank goodness I did not regularly inspect my freezer, I had food. The remains of a packet of peas. I noticed the peas began to melt in my mouth.I was still alive with a warmer body temperature than my freezer. Then I remembered there was a frozen bread somewhere in the freezer. Could it be that this was also somewhere in my surroundings. No, that was too much to hope for and I remembered it was laying on the kitchen table, slowly thawing out for tomorrow’s breakfast

Ah, breakfast, the thought of my bowl of cereal softening in it surroundings of milk garnished with cranberries and a welcoming cup of hot tea and my computer to the right of the bowl. My computer! how can I write my daily prompt, when I am just a frozen body buried under an avalanche from my deep freezer. How can I survive, no-one misses me. Even my felines are now sleeping their feline sleep counting mice as they disappear into their mouseholes.

Did I really neglect my freezer to the extent that it could bury me in ice and snow? Was this possible? Something is afoot. Murdered by a freezer, which manipulated the masses of snow to bury me. All I wanted was to savour an ice cream. I remember I was looking forward to seeing the repeat of the film made in 1948, Scott of the Antartic, starring John Mills. I only wanted to watch the film, not re-enact it. This is reality TV pure. I will count sheep, no, polar bears. One, two, three …….. I drifted into a sleep, no a frozen coma, and then I heard it. Scratching sounds. I could feel a vibration in my snow heap, help was near. Was it one of my felines carrying a barrel of rum around its neck? Did Mr. Swiss miss me, when he could hear no sounds of the vacuum cleaner this morning?

And suddenly there was light. Just a pin point, but it was expanding. And at last I could breathe without having icicles forming on my nose. I saw my rescuer.

“Wordy, what in the …. are you doing here. (cough, cough, splutter, splutter and I coughed up two peas, no longer frozen).

“Mrs. Angloswiss, it is our daily prompt. You are caught in an avalanche and had to survive the night to tell us all about it. Congratulations, you did it.”

Unfortunately Wordy did not have the opportunity to make further explanations. He was choking on the remains of a frozen chocolate covered lolly which was somehow lodged in his throat. After he recovered I set him to work to de-freeze my freezer.

Daily Prompt: Under the Snow – Mrs. Angloswiss of the Antartic

Daily Prompt: Leftovers Sandwich – Too many interruptions spoil the blog

Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use. Let your leftovers shine!

Sphinx cat arriving

It came creeping around the corner, the pointed ears standing erect on its hairless head.

No, the telephone is ringing.

“Hello, Villa Angloswiss.”

“Hello Mrs. Angloswiss. This is the Acme Stay Warm company.  Winter is slowly arriving and we are just checking to see that you are warm enough.”

“What! Yes thank you, no problem.”

“You can never be too careful Mrs. Angloswiss. We have developed a new oven to spread the warmth in your apartment. It is gas free and will radiate its warming energy in every corner of your living space. Our representative will be in your neighbourhood this afternoon and we thought …..”

“Forget it. My heating system if perfect and I need no other. Your agent can visit another victim. Goodbye.”

I really do not have the time to discuss my heating problems which are non-existent, just my temper heats up a little bothering with such telephone calls. And now to continue my super prize winning blog. No, not again. Another telephone call.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Angloswiss. You have a problem with your computer.”

“Is that a question or a statement.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss, this is the head office of Microsoft. Please go to your computer and press enter. You will see a small sign saying click me.”

“And then?”

“Please click the sign. We can then enter your computer and cure the software problem you have. This is very important, your system is threatened and may collapse.”

“Where are you calling from? You sound very far away. And no, I will not click on anything. My husband is a software engineer and I will call him to check on your details over my computer.

Hello, hello. It seems they hung up, That always does the trick. And now to continue.”

The strange monster took slow but precise steps towards me. Its eyes glowed with the fire of hell. Its nostrils breathed smoke. I wanted to scream, but any sound I made froze in my throat. The time had arrived, and the threats were being brought to life.

“No, I don’t believe it. There is a knock at the door.”

“Hello Mrs. Angloswiss, how are you?”

“Wordy I havn’t seen you for some time, but I am very busy at the moment. Can you come back later, like tomorrow.”

“Are you busy writing today’s prompt Mrs. Angloswiss?”

“Yes, exactly and I want to continue.”

“Is it the one about the prompt with the unused material?”

“Yes Wordy, but if I stay longer at the door and talk to you it will never be used and remain unfinished.”

“Sorry Mrs. Angloswiss, but I am here on a new mission from headquarters. We want to have more personal contact with our customers. It is all part of our “Helping Hand” promotion campaign. Perhaps I can come in and sit next to you, whilst you are writing your prompt?”

“Wordy, I don’t think that is a good idea.”

“Of course it is Mrs. Angloswiss. We Wordys are always glad to be of assistance, especially when you are writing your words of wisdom.”

“Wordy where are you going. No, not on that chair, that is mine.”

“Sorry Mrs. Angloswiss, then I will draw up another chair next to it. I can look over your shoulder as you are writing your never-to-be-forgotten blog. Mrs. Angloswiss, why have you made that photo black and white. I think the coloured version is much better.”

“Because I want it black and white Wordy, to enhance the atmosphere. It is a story of mystery and horror.”

“But that is a photo of the sphinx cat that lives next door. If it was a dragon, it would be more effective.”

“Wordy I do not have any dragons in the neighbourhood.”

“Oh, I see. Shame, if you did it would be much better. But the monster’s eyes are not glowing, neither do I see smoke.”

“Wordy, I am painting a picture in words for my followers.”

“Oh, I see. Have you got today’s newspaper. I was in such a rush to get here from head office, I had no time to read it. There is an article on the latest developments in robot engineering.”

“No Wordy, I do not have today’s newspaper. Are you a robot Wordy? Ah yes of course you are. In that case if I throw you out of my apartment, you will survive, perhaps you might lose a few screws on the way.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss, you wouldn’t want to hurt Wordy. I am only here to support you in your efforts for our organisation.”

“Wordy go back to head office and do some repair work on the wonderful magic grid. I am sure my colleagues would appreciate that more. Stop crying wordy, your tears will only make your skin rusty. I do not need your help or assistance. I am trying to make my leftovers shine, but the only thing that will shine here is your stainless steel nose when I polish it with my fist. Understood?”

That was quick, he is gone back to Silicon Valley or wherever he lives. I think I will have to finished my unfinished blog on another day with less interruptions.

Daily Prompt: Leftovers Sandwich – Too many interruptions spoil the blog

Daily Post: Never too Late – who said that?

Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated gratitude.

Everlasting Sweet Pea

Let’s have a flower, a sweet pea flower, one of the smallest less significant in my garden, but that can climb. I planted the seeds about ten years ago and they not only took over my hedge, but that of a few neighbours. I wonder if they are thankful? Perhaps not.

I thank myself for cleaning the shower after my golden oldie sleep. I have a routine and it nicely fits in at the beginning of the afternoon. First of all turn the shower on and let the water run down the tiles. Afterwards take a soaked sponge with cleaner and wipe it over the tiles in the shower, ensuring that all the nooks, crannies and corners are cleaned. Then another full rinse from the shower with clear water and now the clever part. A spray of softening agent to remove the scale on some of the tiles and the shower door and wipe it all off with your special window cleaning similar wiper. Next we move to the tiled walls, all wiped over with a special glove with a small drop of environment friendly cleaning liquid. The grand finale is wiping the floor with a mop to remove the residue. After a jolly half an hour (you can sing on the way if you want to), you have a shining spotless shower ready for usage and you can take a seat to write your daily blog.

My next thankyou goes to ……. Mr. Swiss. He put clean sheets and duvet covers on the beds this morning. I assisted by replacing my own duvet and cushion covers with the new clean covers. It was a co-operation, but I must admit he did most of the work.

Now I would like to thank myself, again, for cleaning the kitchen this morning and making it ready for another five star meal, which I cooked. OK, no turkey today, we are Swiss and do not celebrate the turkey murder performed by the pilgrim fathers. We might kill a turkey at Christmas, but no big deal. For lunch I killed some spaghetti and tomatoes, together with minced beef – spaghetti al sugo. Not to forget the bloodthirsty murder of a green salad. Oh yes, there is no stopping me when I begin.

Now I would like to thank me for presenting myself with my new Apple Macbook pro, with which I am writing today’s prompt. Oh, of course, I would like to thank the staff of the Magic Happenings Team at WordPress for bringing us daily our prompts, although sometimes not so daily if there is a spanner in the works, but all the more appreciated when they arrive. Honestly speaking I had some difficulty with today’s prompt. I do not feel like thanking anyone for anything as I am a basically a do-it-yourself person (with a little help from Mr. Swiss). Yes, I am by nature ungrateful, and so why thank anyone.

I was having a conversation with a turkey from a neighbouring farm yesterday and she found that celebrating the massacre of thousands of turkeys in the States was not her idea of offering thanks. She feels safe on her Swiss farm, especially as she is warned by the Swiss society for prevention of cruelty to turkeys, to hide with her family around the end of December just in case she might be needed for a Chrismas dinner. Her chicks are forever thankful for this effort. She found the Swiss are more human by celebrating with their cheese fondue. They pierce the a cube of bread on a fondue fork and insert it in melted hot cheese, but no-one has ever heard the bread scream.

I was going to thank my feline Tabby, but then I realised I had nothing to thank her for. She assured me “no problem, the word thankyou does not exist in meow”. It is superfluous, and self explanatory that her bowl is constantly filled with vitamin pellets and a ration of tuna fish, twice weekly, arrives as an alternative.

To show that I do have a few human traits in my body, I would like to thank all my faithful disciples and followers that endure my daily prompts. The worse thing to happen to an orchestra is when it arrives for the concert and there is no audience. Imagine me writing my fingers to the bone daily with my prize suspicious blogs and there is no-one to read them. Admittedly the blogs  have not yet received their true recognition in the blogging world. The blogs  have not been rewarded with their just prize (are you listening Mr. Pulitzer?). I am sure I will be showered, overwhelmed, by likes today. On the other hand, forget it. I have to plan tomorrows shopping expedition. Yes tomorrow is not black Friday in Switzerland, but I still have to hunt for the week-end rations. Thank you supermarket for supplying my daily provisions.

Thank you car for driving me to the supermarket, thank you senior citizen pension for supplying the money for my purchasing power and thank you ….. oh forget it. I have run out of things to be thankful for.

Daily Post: Never too Late – who said that?

Weekly Challenge: Digging for Roots – if you can find them

Whether your journey of self-discovery is more of a metaphorical one or if you’ve traveled far and wide to find out more about who you are, let that influence you in this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge.

Parker Grave 3

I should dig for my roots, in spite of the fact that the roots might be fraying at the edges, roots of a weedy past growing haywire in the human history of me.

Oh, I have been there and done it. It was all the rage a few years ago to dive into the records of your past, chase through the census documents, beginning at the end of course, meaning I, me and myself. Yes, the publicity machine had found a new source of money. Buy your way through the research of your past.

Of course, I wanted to discover if I really was the fruity result of a past King of England that could not and would not marry his servant girl just because she was stupid enough to be in the family way. I decided this was probably not the case, as my family did not work in palaces, but mainly in factories. So I began my search. It was partially based on the famous words of my Aunt Lil who said we were descended from rich French wine merchants that owned a lot of property and the deed were burnt in a church fire. Aunt Lil always did have a vivid imagination. She even mentioned the that the name was “De Lu Cameru”. Armed with this family rumour of French aristocratic descent I took my first steps on the path.

I ordered my Family History software online, being a CD with a family history programme. Where to start? No problem, just put your name in and then your mum and dad. That is where the journey begins. The next obstacle is conquering further steps.

“Mum, when was grandad born?”

If you were lucky mum remembered that yes, her father was born.

“Did he have any brothers or sisters?”

“I think so” and so the third degree of my parents continued. I eventually discovered that my parents knew next to nothing about my ancestors. Further investment was necessary, and I signed up in a site called ancestry.com. And then, yes, I discovered the missing french aristocratic link. My grandfather maternal side had a mother who was married to his father and her maiden name was Camroux. Not quite “De Lu Cameru” but understandable, my grandfather no really knowing the correct french pronouciation of his mother’s name. His french knowledge was more limited to uttering various profanities.

Further steps in the Camroux line discovered that I was related to every living member of the Camroux clan in England, thanks to the ggg grandfather (or something like that) who decided to travel from his Huguenot exile in Germany to London, marry a Huguenot lady (yes I have a copy of the marriage certificate from the protestant huguenot church in London – in French) and establish my dynasty. Were they rich? Of course most of them were, but there are always exceptions. I was descended from the exceptions. The rich ones all emigrated to Canada. The rich wine merchant existed, but not for wine. He had a few ships and invested in other such lucrative business, but contact was never made. I do not think he even knew our part of his family existed. Yes, he was a snob.

Through the inspiration of having a Huguenot past, I joined a course for improving my French. I was sure that it was in my genes and I would be the best in the class. This was not the case, so I left the course after a year and decided that roots were not enough if these long lost relations had no interest in meeting me.

One problem with old census details was the the people sent from door to door to register the names of the people living in the houses, were somewhat analphabetic. They could barely write (this was in the 19th century). I discovered that the search for my grandfathers sisters and brothers was increasingly difficult. Granddad’s name was “Lay”, but the census containing Lay variations of Day and Say did not help and I travelled many entwining paths until I discovered his 7-8 sisters and brothers.

The paternal side of my family were not very much better. Gran had 11 surviving brothers. She originated in the country and they were mostly farm hands. My dad knew a few, but he put them into sections of “uncle X liked his drink” or “uncle Y loved a bet on the horses” showing that their qualities were not exactly on the positive side of life.

Eventually I gave up the circus of finding who I think I might be. It costs money, and I asked if it was worth it. I did find 6th cousin Marge in Canada and we now and again had a chat via Skype over the computer. Her mother was one of the Camroux clan.

So do you really want to know who you are? I found approximately 900 long lost relations in my search for fame and fortune. I was spending money for membership of the various ancestry groups. Now and again I might be contacted by someone that finds a thread on my cyber path, but do we really want to know where we come from? If I trace back far enough I am sure that I will find a lonely Neanderthal dragging a female Neanderthal by her hair into his rocky cave and deciding yes, this is it and there we have the real and true roots of my family. Or perhaps it was a wayward space ship that landed and I am one of the direct descendants of someone from Planet X243 on the right side of the milky way.

The only thing I dig today is my garden to find a few slugs and worms.

Weekly Challenge: Digging for Roots – if you can find them

Daily Prompt: Shaken and Stirred – the day of the Turkeys

What’s the most elaborate, complicated meal you’ve ever cooked? Was it a triumph for the ages, or a colossal fiasco? Give us the behind-the-scenes story (pictures are welcome, of course).

Liver and broccoli


Who needs elaborate and complicated: plain and simple does it as well. What better delight to the eyes that a slice of fresh liver, better two slices, ready for preparation. These specimens were bought fresh at the butchers. Liver should always be bought fresh, showing its true colour. In the olden days in Transylvania, it was the meal of the year. Yes, the vampires were gathered in the banqueting hall and liver was served. I am not sure if it was cooked or not, I will leave that to your imagination.

Of course liver is not for everyone, I am sure. Some are vegetarians, but are you really sure that a carrot or a leek does not scream when chopped into pieces? Is red the natural colour of a tomato or – who knows. Personally I like a piece of fresh liver, fried preferably with bacon to give it some umph. Umph is that special power push that food should give you, that special “wow” feeling. I would add that no animals were hurt in the making of this blog, that all happened somewhere else.

My dad had a good theory to help those of us that feel guilty when eating beef. He found there are so many cows walking around, they must be here for something. I find the logic is a little off key there, but he would not listen, and enjoyed his steak and chips regardless. There are many people walking around, almost an overpopulation in some places. I decided not to discuss the matter with dad, and let him enjoy his steak.

Tomorrow is thanksgiving day in the States. The day when turkey is eaten. Let us spare a thought for the turkeys arriving at the laid tables, to be eaten in celebration in thanks for the Pilgrim fathers who celebrated thanksgiving in 1621, at least that is what Wikipedia says. Did anyone ask the turkeys? Were they thanked for their contribution to this national holiday? Then don’t blame me for eating liver. If I had shown a photo of a nicely dressed turkey ready to be placed in the oven and roasted, this would be appreciated. In my home country, England, a turkey is roasted at Christmas to celebrate the festival. The turkey murders are all done in the name of celebration and family togetherness.

On the other hand when the pilgrim fathers arrived on the shores of their new country, they had to fight for their existence. They built houses, farmed the land and fought against ….. yes, the turkeys. It was not easy for the pilgrim fathers. Everywhere they trod the ground was soft from the recycling system of the turkey. Just imagine arriving in a new country and your welcoming party is a few thousand turkeys armed with their beaks and claws. They were everywhere and there was no escape from the constant gobbling noise. Something had to be done. The pilgrim father’s existence was threatened, their families had nowhere to rest. A rocking chair was constructed from the wood of the forests.The hardworking settlers could at last relax in a comfortable place, but no, three or four turkeys had already taken possession of the chair.

The pilgrim fathers built a church to celebrate and give thanks for their achievement in arriving in the new land. What happened? Yes, the pews were occupied with turkeys and the mother turkeys were laying their eggs everywhere. Something had to be done and so it was. The Pilgrim Fathers were peaceful people, but their nerves were in tatters. Turkeys everywhere they turned, so in the sense of my dad’s logic, “let us face it there are enough turkeys gobbling around”,a national day was reserved for a turkey dinner. In the disguise of being thankful, the threatening population of the turkeys was reduced by a celebration meal. So in this sense, Americans everywhere celebrating your annual festival tomorrow, do not despair. There is a reason for everything and would you like the President of The United State of America to be a Turkey? I rest my case.

Oh, and my liver was perfect. Just a few minutes fried in butter with bacon, delicious.

Daily Post: Shaken and Stirred – the day of the Turkeys

Daily Prompt: Calling Uncle Bob – and Uncle Jim, Uncle Harry and Uncle Arthur

Have you ever faced a difficult situation when you had to choose between sorting it out yourself, or asking someone else for an easy fix? What did you choose — and would you make the same choice today?

Armoury, Solothurn

Just a couple of bombs I borrowed from the Swiss Army, used probably in World War 1 and now kept in the Arsenal museum in our local town of Solothurn. You never know, they might come in handy in a difficult situation. Unfortunately I do not have an Uncle Bob. I had an Uncle Jim, he was the only uncle that went to work in a white shirt and tie. Now and again he even worked in the Bank of England, he was a bookbinder, but not just a bookbinder. He was entrusted with the noble books of the London establishment. I had an Uncle Harry and an Uncle Arthur. They did not wear a white shirt or a tie. They wore docker’s boots, the ones with the steel caps at the front. Yes, they were dockers, working in the Port of London and unloading shipments of oranges, bananas and guano from the cargo ships. You know what guano is? That is the result of thousands of birds using the rock surfaces in certain places as a toilet. It is very useful as fertiliser when collected, it can be many feet deep. The problem is that when the dockers unload it from the ships all day a certain aroma attaches to their clothes and docker’s boots. No problem, when they are home. They can wash. Unfortunately the docks were not equipped with showers, One of my uncles always got a seat on the train because no-one wanted to sit next to him. The other uncle road a bicycle so he had no problem. I am digressing.

Back to the bombs and their use. First of all I would like to show a link to a little topic I started yesterday in the WordPress forum. No big deal, not really important, just one of my misery gut days where I feel like complaining. Unfortunately the person dealing with my complaint somehow lost the thread, I corrected her – politely of course, and the problem has still not been solved, but who cares. It now belongs to the past, it is extinct, disappeared in the ashes of the graveyard of forgotten and neglected prompts. We have all survived and return today fresh and ready to go. Who needs an Uncle Bob, Jim, Harry or Arthur. We have our people working hard in the Daily Prompt WordPress offices that look to our needs. Oh, here is the link you are all waiting for. My little complaint – need I say more?

So I had a difficult situation. I wrote a prompt and had nowhere to go with it. The prompt was showing “0 Responses” and 24 hours later it is still showing “0 Responses”. I was lost, even my faithful Wordy did not answer the phone, I think there was a recording saying “this number does not exist”. Poor little Wordy, he is extinct, thrown into the recycling plant of lost Wordies.

I asked someone for an easy fix, and am still waiting for an answer. Would I make the same choice today? I do not think so, as I discovered it would have been easier to get a fix in the darker parts of the town where they make a living out of supplying fixes, although that has its price and I only drink tea or take tablets for my diabetes, my cholesterol and my giddy spells.

I now have to make my own decision, fellow daily prompters. I really do not want to acquire the reputation of a trouble maker, nor do I wish to spread rumours about the incompetence of certain people. I was a working lady most of my life and know that we can all make mistakes. The clever part of making mistakes is correcting them as quickly as possible or, when that does not work, talk your way out of it and invent something, even an explanation would suffice. There is the possibility of hoping everyone will forget the mistake. The problem with social blogging sites where many thousands hang onto their keyboards with quivering fingers is that the mistake does not go unnoticed and a reputation may be at stake. However on the other hand, there are always newcomers eager to get to a good start and do not know what happened in the past.

Let us not let our blogging heads hang, it can only get better. It may seem to most of us that regularly the subjects of the prompts repeat themselves. For us regulars this is so, but for the newcomers everything is new, invigorating, exciting and impressive. Who am I to spoil it? However, I am thinking things over, what shall I do in the future. Shall I desert my faithful disciples or shall I continue regardless? Perhaps I have a mean streak, a death wish, but at the moment I will remain until someone finds a better idea.

Daily Prompt: Calling Uncle Bob and Uncle Jim, Uncle Harry and Uncle Arthur

Daily Prompt: Envelope Pushers – and prompt pushers

When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?


Are these the empty bottles and glass containers left behind by the Magic Happenings Team in our WordPress Daily Prompt Central? Are these the remains of a wild night somewhere in Silicon Valley celebrating the Promptless Days? Do not despair Prompters, we will hang on to the bitter and bloody end.

I know it is disappointing when we arise in the morning, or in my case arise from a golden oldie sleep after lunch, and discover there is no prompt. Just a headline saying “0 responses” followed by a line “Want to participate? Publish a new post on your blog interpreting the theme. Include the pingback to this week’s challenge and we’ll list your post below.” Unfortunately the theme is a well known theme that we have participated in many times and there will be no ping backing when we have nothing to pingback about. We are constantly pushing our boundaries in the Daily Prompt. We have pushed them so far, that the boundaries no longer exist.

Do not be disappointed fellow prompters, we are strong together. We can fight against this promptless day in our own way. You can write a “Ready Steady Go” theme about anything. We love those prompts with no title. That is when we can tell everyone about our new hobby, collecting beer bottle labels, or perhaps “how to make a fish tank*. There are so many possibilities. I just cleaned a few windows. I could tell you all how I did it, removing the grime and polishing the window frames. Yes they are now sparkly clean and the envy of the neighbourhood.

Outside it is a fresh crisp Autumn Day. Instead of sitting at the computer wondering how to include that link, or add that photo, we can take a walk. Those of you that call Autumn “Fall” know why, so go collect a few hundred leaves. See how many different colours you find and then, the most interesting part, name them. Tell us all about the tree they fell from. Not so interesting?

Spare a thought for our prompters in Australia, down under. Those in the States receive the prompt at the beginning of the day when we are refreshed and ready to go.Those in Europe can begin prompting (if the prompt arrives) at the beginning of the afternoon, but those in Australia: they are at the end of the line, and only receive their prompt in the evening. This means, if by exception (which can also become a rule) the prompt is delayed, they they can be lucky to receive it on the same day as us, otherwise they must set their alarm clocks to ring during the night, and make sure they do not miss it.

If this sorry state of affairs continues, we must form an action committee. Organise marches, all wearing our WordPress t-shirts showing the words “Save the Daily Prompt” and carrying banners with such phrases as “We want justice, give us our Daily Prompt” or “Equal rights for Australian, European and American Daily Prompters”. Those of you in the neighbourhood of the Daily Prompt Central could perhaps form a Sit-Down demonstration at the entrance to stop members of the Magic Happenings team leaving the offices until they have brought an original, new, exciting Daily Prompt. The Prompt to end all Prompts, the one we have been waiting for since we began climbing this endless slope to Blog and Prompt recognition.

How many of us are waiting for a thankyou letter, a certificate, even a WordPress t-shirt, in recognition of the battle we fight daily to bring something original, new and spectacular? Yes brothers and sisters, we must organise ourselves. We must fight this “0 Response”. Together we are strong, we can do it and writing a prompt may be a small step, but a big step for Bloggers everywhere,.

I will now come to a close. I thank you for reading my blog, all contributions can be sent to my bank account in Switzerland in support. I would be glad to join you in your efforts in the States. Please do not forget when you organise my plane ticket, that I prefer travelling first class and only stay in 5-star hotels.

Long Live Daily Prompters wherever you are

Daily Prompt: Envelope Pushers – and prompt pushers

Daily Prompt: Spinning Yarns – the essence is in the goodnight story

What makes a good storyteller, in your opinion? Are your favorite storytellers people you know or writers you admire?

Rochester Cathedral Graves

“Hello children, I am your baby sitter this evening whilst your mummy and daddy are at a halloween party, so I thought you would like to hear a goodnight story before going to sleep.

“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin. First of all we will draw the curtains and light a candle for some real atmosphere. Just telling you a story would be boring wouldn’t it children? Yes, or course, we want to create some genuine effects to get into the mood. Johnny, stop twitching on your seat. Oh you have to go to the toilet. Then go, we can wait can’t we children? Oh, I see your brother has to go with you, you are frightened of the dark. Fred take your brother to the toilet, now.

So now we are complete and I can begin. Imagine a village where there is an old church. Old churches are nice buildings, full of nooks and crannies and a few ravens to caw the night away. Jenny stop biting your finger nails, that is not a good habit. So, yes, this old church had a cemetery. Now we all know that old churches have cemeteries. If they are really old, they have very old gravestones and this special church had gravestones, but they were all lined up in a nice row leaning on a low wall. The names on the stones were hard to read because of their age. It was a full moon but there were some patchy clouds, so only a few gravestones were illuminated by the light of the moon.

Johnny stop gripping your brothers arm, you are hurting him, Just relax and enjoy the story. You are ungrateful children, all that fidgeting on your cushions. Where was I? Oh yes, suddenly a man appeared in the graveyard from nowhere. At a closer look you could see a pile of earth next to one of the graves, as if someone and climbed out of the grave. The man stood silently . His breath blew white clouds in the air, due to his body temperature, which was lower than freezing point. Yes Jennifer you are right, body temperature is what the doctor measures when you are ill with flu. Very clever and I am glad to see you are following my good night story.

This man did not have flu, he was dead. He had been dead for many years. If you took a closer look you could see that his fingers had no flesh, just the raw bones and he had a length of rope around his neck. Johnny stop crying, you are making your brother’s pyjamas wet. The man called

“Morticia”, there was no answer.

He called again “Morticia where are you?”

“I am here Nick” and a lady rose from a neighbouring grave dressed in a long white shroud.

Actually it would have been white originally, but the years had took their burden on her shroud, and it was now quite grey, with some suspicious patches, which could have been dry blood, who knows.

“Oh Nick, you have returned. I missed you all these years.”

“Yes Morticia, I was doomed to become undead until I found you again.”

Fred stop shaking, you are causing Johnny to scream. You are frightening your brother. Yes, I can assure you this is just a story and will have a happy end. Undead means he was no longer dead, so you do not have anything to be worried about. If he was still dead, he would be a ghost seeking revenge, so calm down. Jennifer stop covering your eyes with your hands, there is nothing to see.

Ok, where were we, oh yes. Nick found his Morticia.

“Nick did they hang you for my murder?”

“That is a stupid question Morticia, but you always annoyed me with your stupid questions, that was why I strangled you. Yes of course they hung me, but now we are together again. After my many years of penance, I am free. We can be together again.”


“Morticia you have a problem?”

“Yes, you see I waited so long for your undead body to become dead that I sort of met a nice corpse, Jeremy, on the grave on the right. He was very kind to me and we spent many happy halloween nights together. We had quite a jolly time over the last hundred years and now we are a pair. Tonight is halloween so we will be going on a haunt together.”

“And me?”

“No, Nick, you had your chance, but you killed me. So Jeremy, are you ready, let us take a walk together and visit all those nice children left alone while their parents are at a halloween party.”

Children stop screaming, Johnny, Fred, Jennifer where are you going? To bed? Ok, I will come and tuck you up, Would you like another story? No? But I have a few more good night stories I brought with me. Children stop hiding beneath the bedclothes. Yes, Ok, I will switch the light on, although I don’t know how you can sleep with the light. I could leave the candle here? Yes I am going now, but I won’t be far.

Some children are so ungrateful. I spend my time telling them a good night story, one of my own, and they disappear. I was so sure the children admired me for my story telling talents. So, now I will go and watch the TV, I believe Halloween 6 is being shown. I never saw that one.

Daily Prompt: Spinning Yarns – the essence is in the goodnight story

Daily Prompt: Grateful and Guilty – Long live the orchids

Whether it’s a trashy TV show, extra-pulpy fiction, or nutrient-free candy, write a thank-you note to your guiltiest guilty pleasure

Orchid collection 1

Ok orchids, now sit still and listen. I know you cannot move on your own and have no ears, but you are my favourite audience.

Do not listen to Mr. Swiss when he goes on about me saying I exaggerate with my collection. Of course I do not, I just take advantage of the special offers our supermarket has. How can I walk past the flower department and not discover the new orchid arrivals? You are often available at half the price and in colours and shapes that are not yet in my collection. To give Mr. Swiss credit, he does appreciate a new fresh orchid on the table to brighten up the gloom of the Winter months, but we seem to have a small problem.

I do not have a problem, and orchids I am sure you also have no problems. The problem might be a Mr. Swiss problem, but we will ignore this for the time being. You grow and make a wonderful show of your flowers which remain for a couple of months. Unfortunately, as with all living creatures (and plants) there comes a time when the beauty dwindles and disappears. In your case it means that your flowers die, but we hope for a regeneration. At least I do, and you orchids know that it is possible: with loving care, a weekly supply of water and above all, monthly fertiliser, you survive. I know you do not flower again so quickly. We all need a time of regeneration, gathering our energy and storing it in our leaves and stalks.

Yes, this is where Mr. Swiss and I may have different opinions. He prefers to see a sea of orchid flowers but I cannot give up on you. I keep you, even though your beauty has been reduced to plain green leaves. These are, of course, not just leaves they have their own special beauty. They are the strength reserves for further flowers. Please forgive me if I cut your stalks after the flower has died, but this all has its purpose. It leaves room for a growth renewal, as some of your know. How often are we tempted to throw a flowerless orchid into the garbage, but I know you are full of suprises.

I can understand when certain people find a collection of green leaves in the living room may not be aesthetic, but as we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I behold fleshy green leaves. I am sure you even quiver in thanks as I walk past. Today is Saturday and as you all know orchids, it is the day when your strength is replenished by a short bath in the kitchen sink. Did I see you all looking in my direction with thankfulness. Perhaps it was my vivid imagination, but perhaps not. I noticed that two of you have promising buds on a stalk. Perhaps only one or two, but it shows you are alive and ready to do it again.

You are my guilty pleasures and each of you deserve a place in the living room, contrary to what others may think. I even have one of you on the kitchen table, the newest arrival. I hope you welcomed this orchid with open stalks, flowers and leaves. November is now coming to a close, but as soon as December arrives I will be looking again for the orchid of the month. You orchids that have no flowers, do your best and produce something next year. Do not let me down and remember, I will protect you and preserve you against those that find I am overdoing it, again.

Go forth and multiply my orchids, even then I have the solution. I hope it causes no pain to your roots when I separate you, but all births are painful and are rewarded with offspring. You little ones in the corner. Remember when you arrived, you were big and strong and then dwindled. I separated you from your mother plant and now you are ready to be mothers yourself.

Those of you that have not reflowered and have leaves turning brown, I am afraid you might be approaching your end station, the garbage can. None of us live forever and we all have to go sometime, but rest assured that I will protect you until the bitter end.

Let us now take a minutes silence in memory of the orchids that did not make it.

Daily Prompt: Grateful and Guilty – Long live the orchids