Flower of the Day: 26.05.2016 Poppies

Poppies 26.05 (1)

Today it was a wonderful warm sunny day so we made a visit to the show gardens at the local gardening center. The shop was closed, otherwise I would probably have spent a fortune of something for the garden, but the grounds were open. At the moment it seems to be between seasons, but there were poppies flowering on most of the flower beds.

Flower of the Day: 26.05.2016 Poppies

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Open Topic

St. Urbangasse, Solothurn

A corner of the old town of Solothurn, Switzerland

Swiss Alps seen from Feldbrunnen

The alps are everywhere in Switzerland – view of Bernese Overland from my area

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (24)

Some sort of old technical electrical equipment – taken at an exhibition I visited

banana

A banana – every ape has one somewhere

Black and White Photo Challenge: Open Topic

Discover Challenge: Constant Learning

From trying out an instrument to mastering a new language, share a story about a time you set out to learn something new.

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (6)

Since mum pushed me out into the world I have been learning. My first attempts were successful, although it seemed to accompany me when I arrived. I was a bottle child, but no-one had to show me how, I was so clever I did it all by myself. I emptied my bottle of milk regularly. Having discovered that you are own from the beginning, I made my way. I do not even remember my first independent steps, but it could not have been something abnormal or unique, everyone did it and I do not remember any applause. I even began to use my voice, trying out all the chords and increasing the volume. I realised when the loud speaker was tuned into maximum sound, I got what I wanted. There were times when this mum person decided that I would not get what I want. She then pointed me into the right direction, also by increasing her volume. Yes, in our family everything was on a learning curve with noise.

I was sent to a place called school. This was apparently the place where you learnt. There were many of us in a class. They said we were the baby boom because all the men had returned from the war and were again together with their wives, and they were also learning how to produce children. We were equipped with pencils and paper, later with pens, and we learnt how to write. I noticed that some could do this quicker and more efficient than others. I then discovered that learning was not the same for everyone.

This school thing was ok, although we had to learn things I did not want to learn. I found jumping over wooden blocks and running was not something I had to learn and this physical exercise was not my thing. I soon went to a different school and the learning continued. It was now different, we even had to take things home to learn, it was called homework. The physical part of learning was still there and I still did not like it.

One day school was finished, at last learning was over. It was then I realised that if you wanted to keep up with things, realise what was happening in your life you still had to learn, but now you were on your own. There were no mums and dads, no teachers, it was all do-it-yourself. Above all there was no more physical exercises, this was the good part.

I also discovered that when you went to this place called work, it was not enough to learn the job, you also had to learn how to get on with other people and other people could often be complicated and not as friendly as everyone was at school. It was obvious that you still had to learn things on the way. Even our politicians and bosses made mistakes. They had probably not been listening at school, or thought they knew it better.

Today I am a golden oldie, no longer working, and now I can learn because I want to and not because I have to. Since no longer working I have improved my knowledge of Russian, know how to build a web site on a computer and write blogs on my Windows computer as well as my Apple computer. I have also learnt how to take photos and upload them on my computer. To adjust the photos on photo programmes on the computer, and even write my shopping lists on my mobile telephone. This is more fun that having to learn things at school and work, now I am allowed to learn things and above all do not have to climb a rope or jump over big wooden boxes.

There is one small problem. When I was learning and hated all this physical exercise, I had a choice. Today I can no longer do any physical exercise. If my walking stick falls on the floor, someone else has to pick it up. I have had to learn that there are certain tablets and medicines you have to regularly take to keep your body able to do the basic stuff.  My mum always said the school days are the best days of your life. I would disagree, today I am thinking about it.

Discover Challenge: Constant Learning

Daily Prompt: Countless, again and again

Spaghetti

How often have I cooked spaghetti for Thurday lunch? More often than I care to remember and why Thursday? Another very good question. The countless dishes of spaghetti I have cooked and eaten are so numerous. Of course spaghetti is not just spaghetti. It depends on how it is served. It seems that the Angloswiss family like it with minced beef, sugo style. No, it is not bolognese. If it was bolognese I would have cooked it with grated carrot, celariac and finely chopped leeks. The basis would, of course, be onion and garlic, as always, fried to welcome the remaining ingredients in the pan. Do not forget the tin of tomatoes. Why the tin of tomatoes. It is obvious, mama italia invented the tinned tomatoes, the pomodori, the essence of all italian dishes, always included of course.

To eliminate the reptition of these countless spaghetti Thursdays, now and again I change the menu and instead of meat (vegans and vegetarians do not celelbrate too soon) I will include tuna fish from a tin. We have countless religious holidays in Switzerland and as a housewife you must be able to adapt your shopping lists according to the days when the shops and supermarkets are closed and there is no possibility to buy your minced meat fresh. A tin or two of tuna fish in the cupboard is always a good substitute. I know I can also prepared it with just the tomato sauce, but I am a carnivore and I admit it.

“Cook spaghetti tomorrow, it is Thursday and we always have spaghetti on Thursday.”

“But the shops are closed, I could make it with tuna fish.”

“Ok, for a change, but I prefer meat.”

“I know you do, but I though I could break the monotony of the countless times I have served it sugo style. I could, of course, do a bolognese.”

“Forget it, I prefer it with tomato.”

saladDid I remember to buy my origano style spice for the spaghetti? Of course, I always have a jar in the cupboard. And then there is the question of a salad to go with it. At last the normal salad heads are available in the super market. It does not look perfect, but I only need the nice leaves from the center. Above all I did not have to shoot it and kill it and no-one had to assinate it for the supermarket shelves. It grows in earth, a natural process, unless it is one of those special cultures that never seens earth or sunlight and grows in a tent under special lights. This was a natural salad and no green leaves were hurt during taking the photo, although I had to cut away the outside leaves as they were not so appetising. But it was a harmless operation and not once did the salad complain, scream or collapse. I revived it in running clean water and seperated the bad from the good. How often have I done this on countless occasions, but practice makes perfect.

In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss had gone hunting for bread as supplies were low due to the fact that we forget today was a holiday. He returned with a fresh bread, bought in a neighbouring village where the shops were open due to the fact that in that section of Switzerland, just over our cantonal border, they were mainly Swiss Reform church and not roman catholic. Yes, we live side by side and help each other if necessary. On the Swiss Reform church holidays our catholic Kanton would also standby to help, the problem being that the reform church holidays coincide with our catholic holidays with the difference that we have more.

saladWhen Mr. Swiss returned the salad was ready, and waiting to be mixed in the bowl with the sauce I had prepared. I had made this sauce countless times, so often that I could do it blindfolded if necessary, although it could become a messy business.  As I was born and brought up as an ignorent english person, thinking that salad sauce came from a bottle marked Heinz 57 Varieties, Mr. Swiss had to show me how to prepare a salad sauce all on my own 48 years ago. He was a good teacher and I even now develop my own varieties of sauce, although he still prefers it prepared with fruit vineagar and sunflower oil, whereas I have gained an appetite for white wine vineager and olive oil: tastes vary and add to variety.

In the meanwhile the spaghetti sauce that I had cooked countless times (did I mention that before) was ready and the spaghetti was cooked to the Italian style al dente – that means if you bite through a spaghetto (singular of spaghetti) with your teeth it will form two pieces with no resistance.

It was a nice friendly warm day and so it was served on the porch, what could be better.

I hope I am not boring you with this report, but these daily prompts are countless, and I have written many in my blogging career.

Daily Prompt: Countless, again and again

Good Morning

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (2)

Yesterday they let me out with Mr. Swiss as partner. A few days ago Mr. Swiss read in the local newspaper that a new museum had opened in the town of Solothurn, just along the road, taking over the deserted area of the storage depot of the Feldschlossen Beer company. It looked like it would be a nice day but when the afternoon turned to dark clouds we decided a museum visit would be ideal.

This was a museum with a difference. Two guys had spent their money and time collecting veteran electronic equipment from the early days: computers, radios, grammophones, television cameras and yes – office equipment. As golden oldies we even had a reduction on the entrance price. The lady at the entrance looked at Mr. Swiss and gave him automatically the reduced price. She looked at me, laughed and said she might have to see my birth registration to be sure. It was a joke, but a flattering joke, especially as I was even walking with a stick.

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (4)So we moved into the exhibition. I do not have the time or place to show everything, so will be adding from time to time. The typewriter above was a memory of my office days and I discovered the english name for it was the Selectric typewriter with the golf ball type head. Probably only the golden oldies, or approaching golden oldie status, remember this machine. It was a revolution in the office. You only had to exchange the golf ball for a different style of print. There was even a gold plated golf ball typing head for the successful secretaries that you could hang on a chain (gold of course) around your neck as a piece of jewellery. Unfortunately I never had one. I wrote on many versions of this typewriter, but I remember my red model very well.  It seemed so old fashioned when I saw it in the museum.

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (3)Of course there were even older models. My time does not go so far as this Underwood model, but my first years working in an office were accompanied by similar manual models. I remember the accidents when the finger slipped in between two keys and you were lucky to be able to rescue your finger nail afterwards, which usually broke in the operation. You could not apply a light touch to the non-electric keyboards, but had to exert even pressure. Of course changing the ribbon was an operation in itself and you were lucky not to have ink stained fingers afterwards. There was no escaping the touch type system, and luckily it stayed with me all the years and is still an advantage on the computer. Sometimes I am too fast for the computer it seems, but my fingers never leave my hands.

World of Information 25.05.2016 Exhibition 10010ENTER0101 (31)Here is another relic of the days gone by, from 1943 according to the description. It seems amazing that what we take for granted today in our writing lives, began with this typewriter. I went to grammar school in England and took the commercial year for my last year. Each of us had a typewriter, various trademarks. I remember my first was an Adler and I loved it. Others had a Remington perhaps, but I do not really remember the Underwood, which was one of the first. In my first job for the P & O shipping company in London, I still did not have an electric typewriter. They were reserved for the director’s secretaries. My first encounter was in Switzerland and I remember the first automatic writing machines with magnet band. It was an Olivetti word processor and you operated it with two different bands. I really enjoyed this new world of technology and I was the only person in my company that used it, together with the chief secretary.

I progressed to the golf ball machine and then the first computer arrived in the company. Computers: the Apple story was at the exhibition with all the models from the first in 1976, made in wood, but more later in another morning blog with photo.

Today is holiday, corpus christi in our Kanton. All the shops are closed, but life goes on in the Angloswiss household. My No. 2 son has decided to leave us for the day and is off to the town of Thun where they are not celebrating this catholic holiday. We have a bread problem, but  we can drive just 5 minutes along the road we are in the Kanton of Bern which also do not have a catholic holiday today, and the bakers and supermarkets will be open and full of exiles from our Kanton where everything is closed.

Oh yes, and hands up those of your that remember the good old office days when you did not have to plug the machine in, or switch it on and make sure you had an ink band somewhere (in red and black of course) for your machine.