Colour Your World: Tropical Rain Forest

Green Shield-Stink Bug

This is really a difficult green to find. This bug was about the nearest I found up to now.

Market Party Solothurn 2007

Yes, almost found it. Photo from our annual market festival, where I was being one of the first aid workers if any accidents happened. This makeshift restaurant was opposite our booth. Our town of Solothurn assumes the name of Honolulu during the carnival season and this lounge was a play on the words.

Colour Your World: Tropical Rain Forest

One Word Photo Challenge: Book


Just a cookery book on the bookshelf, but if you open it, you get a surprise.


It was given to my dad’s sister as a prize at school in 1915, for her success in the cookery class. She was about 15 years younger than my dad. They are the memories you treasure at home.

I just cast a glance into it and found a recipe for Hodge Podge, the main ingredient being a neck of mutton, or shin of beef, cooked with various vegtables and barley, for at least 3 hours. Enjoy your meal I suppose and no, I have never cooked it.

One Word Photo Challenge: Book

Daily Prompt: Suitcase

Today I was on a odyssey with Mr. Swiss: not quite, I did not need the suitcase and it was a car thing. We had made an appointment at the garage to have the Winter tyres removed and the Summer tyres mounted. In the meanwhile we had a coffee in a restaurant whilst waiting and then Mr. Swiss returned to the garage and left me all on my own in one of those Swiss villages which seem to be a garbage place for buldings and houses where you are glad you do not live. Anyhow there was a river running thorugh it, the River Emme, and so I went on a photo safari whilst waiting to be picked up by the chauffer. More tomorrow as I also had a little adventure involving the police and an Indian gentleman.

Now this is about a suitcase of course. I have possessed many suitcases over the years. They used to be an inconvenience and also very precare. Perhaps the handle broke at the wrong time in the wrong place, or a tear occurred somewhere. Today everything is much more sensible. The have handles that you can pull out and  wheels and it is just like visiting the supermarket, but on a larger scale.

I have one suitcase, see photo, which is now parked in the hobby room, together with Mr. Swiss drums and a few hundred books. I generally need it once a year when it goes on a plane to London. Last year it even went to Germany on a train. I notice that most of us are proudly showing photos of our suitcases today.

Have you ever travelled somewhere and your suitcase decided to travel somewhere else? Now that is not very good. I arrived at London city airport and stood in line with the others waiting for my trusty suitcase companion to arrive on the conveyer belt. I have done it many times, and have seen many lonely suitcases just revolving and no-one claiming them. I too have problems recognising my suitcase. As I said I arrived and the suitcase did not arrive. I was a  suitcase neglected person. I reported to the luggage office and they told me that the plane was now empty and there was no more luggage. I asked what do I do? They called Zürich airport, but my suitcase was not there. This lead to the conclusion that my suitcase was on a walkabout somewhere in the world. My friend was waiting outside the arrival place and I was still in the luggage receiving place. She called me on my iPhone (yes those wonderful life saving devices where you do not feel so alone without a suitcase) and I told her I was still sorting things.

They took my particulars, gave me an e-mail address to check: the e-mail of lost luggage it seems, and I left the airport. Thank goodness my friend had a supply of new underwear for me and a spare toothbrush. My mistake was that in my wandering suitcase I had all my medicine – diabetes and cholesterol tablets.

When I arrived at her house I checked the mail address. My suitcase was registered but no news. This adventure lasted two days. On the second day I got a telephone call from London city airport baggage claim, my suitcase was found. The e-mail address also adviseed me that my suitcase was now on its way to me. It seems it was enjoying the sun in Lisbon which is in Potugal. My suitcase made it to Portugal, and if it had stayed on the plane, it might even have arrived in London, but it was enjoying the Portuguese charm I suppose.

In the meanwhile I was still alive, despite a slightly higher sugar concentration in my blood. My body had not yet noticed that the cholesterol was also buiding up. I survived. The next morning a van pulled up at my friend’s house where I was staying. A very nice young man, his famile probably originating from the Caribbean part of the world where the British had a few colonies, pulled my missing suitcase out of the van. I could have put my arms around him and kissed him, but being british, I was composed. I did not go down on my knees to thank him, but I gave him one of my big “glad to see you” smiles. He departed and I began to unpack my suitcase.

At last my own underwear, my comfortable house shoes and my own nightdress, although my friend had a few spare nightdresses and I was wearing one of hers.

The lady at the airport baggage place told me, when I was slightly going into hysterics about the missing suitcase, that putting medicine in a suitcase was not advised. Apparently it was written somewhere on the airline instructions about “how to fly”. I learnt my lesson and since I always have a separate bag with me containing all my medicine, as well as a plastic continer for soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush and any other bathroom supplies. Have now made a note to include house shoes as well.

Oh and to add insult injury, when I returned to Zürich airport my luggage again made the disappearing trick, until one of the airport staff asked me if the lonely suitcase standing in the middle of the arrival hall could be mine. Of course it was. The problem was that a plane arrived from Israel at the exact time as mine from London. Whereas we Swiss had no problem with passport control, it seemed that the Israelis had massive problems and I had to wait at least an hour in the queue until it was dealt with. My suitcase was waiting for me, searching for me, but eventually we were reunited. Do you ever have sort of horror trips when you go anywhere?

Daily Prompt: Suitcase

Discover Challenge: Identity

identity card
This identity card is a curiosity, a rarity. It was issued by the British Government for me and Identity Cards, as far as I know, were perhaps only issued in Great Britain during the war. I discovered this when sorting some stuff and really do not know why I have it. I know I visited the Soviet Union, as Russia was then known, in 1964, but then I was 18 years old and the card states “under sixteen years”. Perhaps mum was worried that someone might steal me and so she organised an identity card. I know I was given a collective identity card for my school trip to Russia. We all had one, but had to return it after the journey. At that time only the chosen few travellers bothered with a passport.

identity cardSo who am I really. I am British, I am Swiss, but I am in the middle somewhere. Is an identity what you have, or what you feel? There are some days where I feel British, especially when I miss my lemon curd, beans on toast, or even Cadbury’s Milk flakes – all english food. On the other hand what is life without Zürich sliced veal in a cream sauce, or potatoes grated and fried on each side to resemble a potato flan, known as Rösti in Switzerland. We all have our own little quirks of identity.

I am a Londoner, and proud of it? Am no longer so sure. I used to be proud of it, but then I only knew Switzerland from photos, yodelling and cows. Of couse, I would not forget to mention the Swiss chocolate, although to be quite honest, I only really like the dark, almost black, chocolate. Swiss chocolate usually gives people a melt-in-your-mouth vision of something that came from the Swiss gods. Actually we do not have gods, just one lady called Helvetia. I don’t really know what she did, but she is engraved on our money. I suppose she is the Swiss Britannia, although I believe that Britannia did win a few battles, leading her men to victory and Helvetia just sort of sat and posed for her engraving. Anyhow it is probably as genuine as the British George killing a dragon.  There were no dragons and George had probably drunk too much ale to know what really happend. He might have rescued a damsel in distress, but I have a feeling the real distress for the damsel  was after he rescued her.

Anyhow, back to my identity. Now we have a 70 year old golden oldie that speaks fluent Swiss German with her husband, neighbours and actually all day long.

“Mr. Swiss, do you notice that I am english?”

“Oh yes (with a laugh), you still say ……. and ……. (telling me the grammatical mistakes that are embellished in my knowledge of the swiss language) but you speak it very well really.”

which is part of a conversation I had with my husband yesterday to establish a basis for this epic blog I am writing.

The only real english people I am able to talk with are those that might call me on the telephone. English is not really english, but what country does not have its quirks of dialect and so I switch from my Swiss German to cockney english when on the phone. Is it really not surprising when now and again I get the languages mixed up and speak Swiss with my english colleagues. It is then that suddenly a deathly silence arrives on the phone and I might realise why.

I am sorry to say I cannot identify my financial state of affairs with the Swiss system. No, I do not have a numbered bank account. Forget it, I do not have enough money to want to stash it away in an anonymous place. That is only for the rich and beautiful and I am neither, although I don’t look too bad for a 70 year old.

Delving into my ancestry I discovered that part of them were Huguenots escaping from the evil French and emigrating to London, many thanks to Mr. Camroux the first to arrive in London, who made the decision. Unfortunately not all of them escaped and were doomed to life on the galleys as prisoners, if they survived.

As I did not find any other foreign signs in the family, I imagine the rest were all sturdy anglosaxons with blond hair and blue eyes fighting against the evil Vikings. I believe the Vikings had red hair, so they probably did not mix with my tribe, but you never know.

I now come to the conclusion, not wanting to write an book on the subject, that I have one leg in England and the other in Switzerland, which is a rather large step to take. I have a Swiss Identity Card and would also have a British Passport, if I had bothered to renew it last year – costs too much money and not worth the trouble.

My children are Swiss as Mr. Swiss, I am the only foreign body in the family.

I identify myself with the Swiss, no, with the British, oh forget it. Born in England, left at the age of 20 and spent the last 50 years in Switzerland – work it out yourself.

Discover Challenge: Identity

Good Morning


Although perhaps not such a good one, it rained yesterday, but only once and did not stop. It continued throughout the night and is still raining, so when I entered the garden this morning in my nightdress (now that’s a picture to see, but no, I am not doing a selfie) I got rather wet. What we do for a fresh photo for a good morning greeting.

These plants are borage, and I believe you can use them to flavour cucumber, but I think you have to be careful. If you pick the leaves at the wrong time, it could be the wrong time for you as well, if you know what I mean. Actually this borage plant is a very brave and courageous plant. I once threw a handfull of seeds in the garden about 4 years ago. Since then they have developed a do-it-yourself growing system and are always there.

This particular plant began to grow last year at the end of October. We had a milder Winter than usual and I just left it, thinking it will never survive the Swiss Winter, but it did. At the end of December it had the first buds and then the snow came. Not very much, but enough to deter any plant from growing. This borage defied nature and said I can do it. In March it recontinued to grow and this week is flowering.

The tulips are also here again, after about 5 years regularly appearing in Spring. I do not even remember planting them, but golden oldies have only long term memory, so that is not a surprise.

In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss, with my help, has stripped the beds and made them with fresh linen. I must admit my help was removing, he did the rest. I have a good day in front of me today as I sort of did all my planned operations when I felt like it this week and am now finished, ahead of my time table. Of course I have a time table, all golden oldies should have a time table. It gives you a purpose in your golden oldie life.  Just the usual tour with the vacuum and mop and then it is all systems go. I have not yet decided what to do with my free time. It is strange when you know you have certain jobs to deal with, you are glad to get them behind you. When you have already got them behind you and they are no longer there, something is missing.

I almost forgot, today is spaghetti day, so I can concentrate my efforts on producing a super 5 star menu of spaghetti bolognese alla mama Angloswiss.

Enjoy the day everyone wherever ever you are, or sleep well if you are in one of those places where night is falling.