Flower of the Day: May 4th, 2016, Erodium cicutarium

Periwinkle

Yes, well, excuse the latin name of the flower, but it proved to be difficult to give it a name. I think if it appears in your garden, the first impression is that of a pretty weed. They do tend to spread once they arrive, but I discovered it is safe to let them grow and when the plant begins to lose its colour and is no longer something to be proud off, a sharp tug removes it. Do not worry, if you like it as I do, there will be enough seeds secretely deposited to allow it to grow again. Actually it will grow 3-4 times per year until the colder weather arrives. Again no problem, when the winter has gone, you will find it is one of the first to grow again. You will never be rid of it. I even distributed some seeds myself in the garden in places where nothing worth growing grows.

And now for the name. Perhaps you have others, but I found it can be called

Red stem filaree
Red stem stork’s bill
Common stork’s bill and
Pinweed

I do not believe in weeds, I just believe in some plants that can invade and take over. This is easy to keep in place I find, perhaps because we have such cold Winters.

Flower of the Day: May 4th, 2016, Erodium Cicutarium

Discover Challenge: Raison d’être

Why do you create? Publish a post about your artistic raison d’être.

Writing

Have you ever tried to make a selfie whilst you are blogging, well don’t. It does not work. This photo is more luck than judgement, and it is not exactly an action photo – in the background my cat’s stairway to …. the top of the cupboard, but she never uses it.

Now to the subject matter. I write because I fell like it. I do not write because I cannot live without writing, it is a hobby. I could collect stamps, could knit socks and even weave a carpet, but I write. I love my computers and the more I discover on these machines the more fun I have.

One day, many years ago, I asked Mr. Swiss what is a blog? He looked at me, and gave no answer for the simple reason that he had never heard of the word. I asked him again the next day. It was a word I saw on the computer about writing something. He answered eventually, I think it is something you write. He had probably looked it up in the meanwhile. As Mr. Swiss is a music man, he was only interested in ipoddy stuff and blogging was a foreign word to him. I decided I wanted to blog all about stuff that I could blog about. At the beginning there was Yahoo 350 and so I established a site. I had more fun doing all the ornaments on my page than actually writing, but now and again I wrote something. It reminded me of school when the teacher gave us the subject for an essay. I actually disliked writing essays, but I always disliked doing stuff that someone told me to do.

Now I was free to write, but what is the point when no-one reads it and you do not know what to write about. I was an unknown in this branch. It seemed that there were many unknowns on Yahoo and eventually it disappeared and the web was full of bloggers searching for something new. I was also still searching, so I decided to join them and we all met in a place called Multiply. Then I realised what blogging was about. I had contact to others from all over the world. There were writing groups and photography groups, so not wanting to miss something, I joined in. It was at the time when Mr. Swiss gave me his discarded digital camera as he bought a new one. I could then take photos and write all about them.

I still did not think I could survive without writing, it became a way of life and I blogged now and again. It was then that a little organisation had to be organised. You cannot sit at the computer all day, take a break for food and drink and return to the computer. In between you have to do stuff like hoovering, ironing, washing and perhaps even take a breath of fresh air.

One day the owner of Multiply decided to move to Indonesia and enter the world of marketing, with the result that eventually Multiply closed down. I was again  without a purpose in my blogging life, although I had a back-up in blogger and a mini back-up in WordPress, but I still did not think that survival depended on writing. I just did it.

I have now been in WordPress for 8 years, yes I am one of the golden oldie veterans, but I have still not been infected with the blogging virus. Some may think all I do is write blogs here, but I do have another life. It is not my one and all, but it is fun and I enjoy it. Now and again I even go shopping or take a walk and I have even been absent for a week now and again if I take a holiday. My computer does not go on holiday with me, but takes a break from writing. I must admit that I no longer watch TV so much. Just one programme here and there. I also read books, well my Kindle.

I am supposed to write about my artistic raison d’être, but I do not have one. I do not consider myself as an artist, I consider myself as a human being that enjoys sitting at my computer and hammering words out. I am a learning freak. I can do Apple, I can do Mac, I even took a web assistant course to learn how to build my own web site. That is a lot of work and concentration, but I did not regret it. I can format my own stuff to a certain extent. I just like fiddling around on the cyber circuit and writing. OK, to be quite honest I would not disappointed in being awarded a Pulitzer or a Nobel prize for literature, but you cannot have everything. I was once freshly pressed here, but that was some time ago and they no longer freshly press you it seems. I think you now might be discovered. Mr. Swiss discovered me 47 years ago, so that does the job for me.

I create meals for the family, I create my garden and fill it with plants that might or might not flower and I have created an Angloswiss Chronic which I fill with written bits and pieces. Am I a writer? I do not know, I will leave you to decide, the main thing is I enjoy it. It is a hobby and not my reason to live.

Discovery Challenge: Raison d’être

Daily Prompt: Hope

May the force be with you. Just remembered it is Star Wars day today so just quickly updated this memorable blog.

Horse Chestnut 03.05.2016

Hope sounds like it should be a poem, or perhaps one of those short word japanese things – you know a whats it called, yes a haiku. My poems usually develop into legends, and the haiku has to be sort of short and sweet to the point, packed with feeling and emotion. I am more a down to earth, feet on the ground sort of person.

Anyhow, when I planted this horse chestnut, I did not really have big hopes, but as the original chestnut came from a tree above the banks of the local river, I thought who knows. I tossed it into the garden with no big ideas. It was Autumn and in Spring I had two leaves, the shape of things to come. I had sycamore trees sprouting everywhere in the garden, so why not a horse chestnut. Mr. Swiss found if it became something it would be too big for our small plot of land, especially as there is a garage beneath it all. I did not give up and replanted it in a small pot. As you can see it soon outgrew this small pot and so I bought the biggest pot I could find. Since at least 15 years it has been battling its way upwards. I gave it a short back and sides every year as it was growing to the extent that it threatened to block out the light from our bedroom window.

We have a few chestnut trees in our area, and in spring they have a wonderful show of flowers in their pinks, reds and whites. My tree refuses. I spoke to the gardner and he found if I cut it back every year, it will see no point in making a flower. He also added that there are some trees that never flower. Never flower? Out of all the hundreds of chestnut trees mine refused to flower. This year I did not give it a radical cut in early spring, I let it grow and spread. As you can see there are still no flowers. When other chestnut trees are now developing their fruits, mine remains bare.

Horse chestnut barren
What is your purpose in life
Grow and you will find

This was a haiku to my chestnut tree, I know not exactly a japanese masterwork, but you never know.

In the meanwhle I was hoping to visit the hairdresser this week, but due to the Ascension day holiday tomorrow, my hairdresser is fully booked. She only works on Wednesday through to Saturday and the only free time she had for me was Saturday morning at lunch time. I decided not to let my family hunger for a hairdresser appointment, and so I will be scalped next week on Wednesday.

Today one of my small hopes was fulfilled. My dad is now in palliative care in a nursing home in London, but he is aware of what it going on. He eats, does not drink enough as most golden oldies (he is now 100 years old) and being so far away in another country, I rely on my wonderful friend to keep me in the picture. Today she called to say he is sitting in a chair in his room next to her, which is the first time since a month at least. I heard him in the background, complaining that he would rather sit in another chair as his shoulder was aching in this chair. That is dad, he is complaining again.  Every little step counts, and I was so happy to hear that he actually got out of his bed. I do not exactly talk to him on my friend’s phone, as dad and mobiles do not work, but he shouts a few words to me and I shout back. I was prepared for anything, but every little step is a gift at the moment.

From small chestnuts you get a big tree, but it will not always bear fruit – there must be a hidden meaning in those words, am still searching for it, but it sounds good.

Daily Prompt: Hope

Good Morning

I always have a jog through the reader before I begin to write my daily epics and what did I see? One of my blogging friends, Mark Aldrich, always tells me something special on his blog Today in History. I make a point of having a look every day. It refreshes my memory about the days gone by, although yesterday it was all about baseball staring Babe Ruth, and being a brit I have less connection with baseball. On the other hand, it was interesting to read.

Anhow Mark tells me that today is Star Wars Day. Now this is something to think about. I must wear my Darth Vader helmut when I go shopping and perhaps I could adapt my vacuum cleaner into a R2D2 to commerate the day, I am sure it would be a hit in the supermarket.

Swiss Reform Church, Solothurn

Church St. Niklaus, FeldbrunnenAnd now for something completely different. Tomorrow in Ascension Day, not that I am a regular church goer, but they are great buildings to photograph. This is our local Swiss Reform Church at the top, not as decorative as the catholic churches, but it has style. Inside it is also quite plain and simple, but so were the reformers. Even Oliver Cromwell did not dress up for the occasion. On the left is our village church of Feldbrunnen which is  Roman Catholic. The Kanton where I live, Solothurn, is also the seat of the Bishop of Basel. His palace is just along the road from me, next to the priest seminary. Solothurn is a Roman Catholic Kanton. One of the advantages is that we get all the catholic holidays. Some of them are also national holidays, so tomorrow Switzerland closes down for the day. The shops are shut, meaning that Mrs. Angloswiss has to go shopping today for two days, although this is no problem. Thursday, as Tuesday are no shopping days on my programme.

Actually Tuesday is the golden oldie day, as we senior citizens all have our special permit for 10% rebate on everything in the supermarket Migros. It is then that the grey haired computer geeks all buy their new computers, iPads and special phones with larger buttons. It is also the day when I avoid shopping, as there are too many golden oldies blocking the entrance to the computer department. Now and again they also buy food.

This morning whilst relaxing in bed, I constructed the shopping list on my iPhone. I also planned my journey on Monday to the hospital in Olten by train. Actually I was thinking it will be a good opportunity to take photos somewhere else. Do not worry, I will probably say Good Morning on Sunday evening. I believe I can programme my blogs here for certain times, although I usually write live. As you read this you can rest assured that it was only finished a few minutes before it arrives on your computer screen.

And just a few words. Now and again a few mistakes slip through my grid when I am writing. There are various reasons

  1. I speak Swiss german most of the time and forget the english words, so do a quick adaption from German into english.
  2. My spelling is not as good as it was.
  3. I type far too fast for my keyboard. It has problems keeping up with me, especially as my fingers never leave my hands whilst I am writing.

And now I will leave you, I hear the call of the vacuum cleaner and various other Star Wars weapons. May the Force/Wordpress be with you, and make sure you park your robots in the correct space.