Flower of the Day: 31.07.2016 Canna

Canna 30.07 (4)

CannaI have had a few canna over the years in different colours.  I settled for two smaller flowering plants a few years ago and they never disappoint me. I have each in its own pot and when it has finished flowering and the leaves begin to turn brown in Autumn I shift them down to a cool place in the cellar and forget about them until the following Spring. As soon as the weather improves, is not so cold, I put them back on the porch and some time in Summer they produce the first flower stalks.

This year they were a little late, and up to now only one of them is flowering. The other has produced many large leaves, so I am hoping that it will also eventually blossom.

Flower of the Day: 31.07.2016 Canna

Daily Prompt: Dramatic events during a golden oldie sleep

fly

It all began with a fly. Not this fly on the photo, this is following me probably out of revenge because I killed one of his tribe, and enjoyed killing it. Flies never forget and follow you to the bitter end it seems.

I had eaten Sunday lunch, drank a cup of tea and was ready for a golden oldie midday sleep to relax and recover from the morning tasks of cooking, a little bit of ironing and other housewife hobbies that follow us. I was ready for bed, to relax and dream for an hour or so.  I made myself comfortable and then I heard it approaching: a soft hum gradually increasing in  sound amounting to a formula 1 racing car as it speeds around the track with its “eeeowwww” – yes, you know what I mean. It was a fly, but not just any fly, it was a determined fly, ready to ruin and destroy my golden oldie sleep.  It was only a fly and would soon fly to another place more interesting such as the garbage can, or even the local cemetary. No, this was a persistant fly, one that was determined not to give up and transform my midday sleep into a dramatic event.

Of course I first of all ignored it, after all it was only a fly, not even as big as a finger nail, perhaps almost as big. I was now slipping into another dimension and the racing car decided to take a turn around my ear. I waved with a hand, the fly seemed to have the impression it was an invitation to settle on my hand. I made some wild movements and he flew on, buzzing happily on his way. After five minutes of this “catch me if you can” game, I decided it was time for action. My sleep was slowly disappearing over the horizon and a battle was beginning. I stumbled to the kitchen and grabbed one of our two fly swatters. I was ready for action. I returned to my bed, was now wearing my glasses to be able to see the intruder, but he was nowhere to be seen.

I removed my glasses and again had another try at a golden oldie sleep, but this time with the fly swatter in my hand. The fly was nowhere to be seen, but then I heard him approaching. Enough was enough and I sat up in bed, and then I saw him. He was sitting on my bedside table, have a wash. This was adding insult to injury. Just as I realised I was ready for the kill, he flew away. I lay down again and he took a buzz aound my head, so aother course of action was called for. Suddenly I saw him sitting on the floor on a paper handkerchief, that had landed there, due to the confusion. I was ready. Did I aim once, no three times. I saw no corpse, but all was silent, he was gone, or dead. At last I could relax and enjoy the last 20 minutes of sleeping time.

Dead FlyWhen I had eventually finished my golden oldie sleep I searched for a dead fly. Was he dead, no he was not. He was crawling although somewhat stunned. He was not walking in a straight line. I now pounced and the last thing he saw in his earthly life was the sole of my house shoe. The trophy can be seen in the photo on the lefthand side.

If this was not enough, just as the volume was terminated by my fly, the weather decided to join in.

Rain

It did not just rain, it was a torrent accompanied by claps of thunder and bolts of lightening. It was a conspiracy, I was convinced. Everything was against me today and all I wanted was an hour and half peace and quiet after lunch for a golden oldie sleep. Of course it is not longer raining, the only noise at the moment is a fly that is observing me and rubbing his back legs together, whilst I am writing. It is indeed a dramatic life that I lead.

Daily Prompt: Dramatic Events during a golden oldie sleep

Good Morning

Sky

You would think with a sky like that this morning, it would rain, but it had not rained all night and this morning everything was dry in the garden and so what did Mr. Swiss do? He made one of those spontaneous daredevil decisions, armed himself with the hose and gave the plants to drink. I was still relaxing in bed thinking about joining the real world, when I heard the platching of water outside the window. It must be something like living next to the Niagara Falls.  I decided to rise and make my way to the kitchen.

In the meanwhle I took a photo of the grey sky and a few other things when, yes, it began to rain. We now have a semi monsoon, but you can never have enough water on the garden. Before the rains came I took a short walk, with my camera of course, through the garden. Took a photo of a spider, again, and then my camera refused to do anything more. Of course, you do have to change the battery, or whatever it is called, when you notice it is on its last legs. Luckily I always have a reserve, you never know. I was finished with my photographs when I noticed a new arrival in the garden. A spider, much bigger than the other one, had suspended itself from the porch roof and spun a web. He had settled in and so another photo was necessary. He had nicely placed himself next to my super hibiscus, so I took a photo of spider with hibiscus.

Spider and hibicus

Not a prize winning photo, as it was with my iPhone and you cannot choose you focus so well. It was either the spider or the flower, both do not happen. I did ask the spider to move closer, but he ignored me, just hanging around. I changed my position around the table, but to no avail. Some time later I will upload my super DSLR photos and see if they are better.

In the meanwhile we are now all awake and ready to go. Mr. Swiss has decided to make an excursion to his rehearsal room for a drum practice, and will also call in at the drug store for some tablets, which he forgot to get from his doctor. It seems both of us have moments of forgetfulness lately. Are they golden oldie moments? Yes, most probably. I have now got used to writing everything on my phone memory lately. Writing notes on paper does not work, as I cannot read my own handwriting and the phone even reminds you, if you remember to tell it to remind you.

And now to hobble around the appartment to see what should be done. I actually enjoy my daily chores, since returning from my England journey. Something must have been missing when I was away.

Enjoy your Sundays, take it easy, and remember the computer never sleeps, unless you put it into a sleep mode, which I never do. I either switch it completely off or on. Switching off the computer is almost like a holiday. I even put it in another room. It has its place on a shelf, with my other computer(s). So is the life of a cyber golden oldie. And I always have my iPad or iPhone if anything really needs my attention 🙂

Flower of the Day: 30.07.2016 Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea 30.08 (4)

Yes, I did it. It was not the bee that happened to be at the right moment in the right place, nor was it the fact that I just happened to take a photo of one of my sweet peas that tend to climb all over the place in my garden. They have even infiltrated the natural grass part next to my garden. I only planted a handfull of everlasting sweet pea seeds once to add some colour to my privet hedge, and now the privet hedge is slowly disappearing beneath the weight of the climbing majority.

But I am digressing. As you may, or may not know, at the moment I am on a learning curve with my camera. No more instant scene photography, but all my own focussing and depth work, meaning that from 20 photos I take, about half go to the happy photo hunting grounds, if not more. Now and again I manage a unique photo. Just take the sweet pea. They have all reverted to the colour in the photo, although one specimen tends to be more white. I have been taking photos of this plant for at least a week, but I cannot get no satisfaction as Sir Mick Jagger said in the photographic sense of the word of course.

My photos are either a lighter shade of pale, whishy washy or blurred at the edges.  I now have this behind me, more or less. This photo appeared today on my camera, and I did a happy dance. Not only the colour of the sweet pea, but insect action as well.What could be better. I transformed the background to sort of non-existent (known as depth?) and tuned down the brightness. Yes I am getting there so after our Swiss National holiday on Monday, when everything is closed in Switzerland, I will take the plunge and order my macro lens, I think I am now ready for it.

Flower of the Day: 30.07.2016 Sweet Pea

Daily Prompt: Admire or just like.

Pink Buddleia 28.07 (1)

The current object of my admiration is my Pink Delight buddleia species. When we had the front garden refurbished, removing the lawn and replacing it with tiles and gravel, I decided on a centre piece and chose a buddleia, for the simple reason that they are easy to care for. Just cut it back in Autumn or Winter, even in March, it is not fussy, but returns regularly every year bigger and better. This year it has really done itself proud with the mega flowering heads. It has never been photographed so much, but I am never satisfied with the photos. I am now doing the “do-it-yourself” photos, where I adjust the light and depth to my own taste, and no longer leave the camera to make the decisions for me. I did not realise it was so easy, although perhaps a matter of getting used to it. The idea is that I am planning to get myself a macro lens for my camera, and that is tuned into doing it all yourself, no pressing the scene button and letting the camera take over. Mr. Swiss did express his admiration of me being able to do it, but we are a mutual admiration society.

To be quite honest, I have been so pre-occupied over the last year and this year with dealing with problems in connection with my departed father, that I really had no time for turning my attention to such matters. Now it is I, me and myself, with Mr. Swiss and family as well of course, and I am beginning to realise that there are other things in life to deal with. Before I am an advanced golden oldie, I have started developing  my own interests  again.

I discovered photography a couple of years ago when I got my DSLR Nikon camera and am now rediscovering it again. I am not the female Ansel Adams, just a lady with a camera taking photos of things she likes. Writing is also something I enjoy. You can write anywhere and everywhere which is a good aspect, but are you a writer to be admired? No, they are the others I meet on my way through my writing world, who I respect for their perseverance and their style. The more you read, the more you learn. I was never an admired writer, especially at school, but I was never encouraged to write. The others got the top marks for their works, all I got was corrections. I know my english was never perfect, I know I make mistakes, even now spelling mistakes due to being away from english surroundings so long. I just like to enjoy writing as I enjoy photography. Of course the main basis for my writing is the computer. My hands no longer write as they used to, a little bit of rheumatism, a little bit of co-ordination, but with the computer everything is possible. Another golden oldie interest that has developed over the years.

Admiration – no. I do not admire and do not expect to be admired. I just like to get along with people, have an interesting discussion and treasure their friendship. Of course I admire George Clooney and Brad Pitt. I even have a soft spot for Boris Johnson (who????). But that is a different world of admiration, they have that certain something which only I recognise. How can you admired a politician, a conservative, with a shock of  blond hair(natural in his case) and strange ideas about building an airport runway on the Thames estuary (which has not been agreed upon), or giving everyone a bicycle in London.

Today they had the annual bicycle get together in London and from what I heard on the London news station, it managed to close down all roads and bus routes in central London and even a little bit on the periphery. I now have the LBC radio app on my iPad and iPhone (Leading Britains Conversation) and often listen to what is going on in London. You can phone in, so one day you might hear Mrs. Angloswiss and her strange ideas.

And that is the news from Switzerland for today, until tomorrow, same time and same place (I hope – you never know).

Daily Prompt: Admire or just like

Good Morning

computer

This is my computer saying good morning to me this morning. I switched it on, did the usual manipulations, and a quick tour of saying hello to everyone and acknowledging comments. A morning routine, no problems, I knew what to do, where to go and computer obeyed. I have now seen an unknown threat on the horizon. Windows has told us that the freebie with Windows 10 is now finished, the deadline has been reached, and from today it is no longer free to upload.  Ok, we knew it would happen, and there are still many clinging onto their Windows 7 and hoping this day would never arrive. I would also have been one of these, had I not decided to buy a new computer in the meanwhle with Windows 10 already installed. I even grew to like it, learnt how computer life can be OK when using Mickey Mouse photos to go places and not a list. Humans must adaptaccording to the law of Bill Gates.  There was a time when we crawled, then we stood up and eventually began to walk in an upright position. So it is with computer life I suppose, but the changes occur often before the computer is ready for them.

The next great Windows adventure is already programmed. In August, which is actually only two days away, we are getting a new, spectacular, improved version of our well known Windows 10 system, that we have grown to like (love?) and are now accumstomed to. This is not enough, naturally, the world must go on with all its improvements and setbacks. Whilst in a certain country preparations are being made to vote for a new president (no comments, but please let it be a lady) Windows have told us that life must go on and we will be getting a completly new revision of our old acquanted system. It will be known as Redstone, probably more like a brick crashing through your screens, and has so many megabytes to be uploaded, you can only hope that your computer will survive.

Of course it will, we all know how reliable and good the Windows updates are, nothing can stop them, just full of improvements to bring more complications to the life of a golden oldie. If my “good morning” and other entries disappear during August, do not ask me why, but ask the Redstone team. Sometimes life goes just a little too quickly for a grey haired lady. But we will survive, in spite of the megabyte attack. We all know that Windows are always improving their system. Even Apple do it, El Rancho had a quiet update about a week ago, but no problem. After half an hour it was there complete with all the novelties, and you did not even notice that things were different. That is what I appreciate with Apple, there is no shock, no need to utter profanities or feel like an idiot. Apple understands you and acknowledges your state of mind.

Otherwise physical life goes on as usual. The sun is shining, Mr. Swiss is preparing for an excursion to the local supermarket. We forgot that Monday will be 1st August. No big deal? Of course it is, it is the Swiss national day and all the shops are closed. Bonfires will be lit at the top of most mountains to confuse pilots flying over our country. Fireworks will be exploding in every town and village, alerting all radar anti war systems, and marches will be held everywhere, where people are carrying lanterns to light their way – mainly children. Political speeches will be held by certain prominent politicians, local and national, to tell everyone to keep up the good Swiss life and not to be deterred by things happening over our borders. Of course being a population of only 8 million, we are not a danger, just an island in the middle of Europe with probably more cows than humans.

Will we be celebrating? We celebrate every day. Mr. Swiss did ask what he should bring for the evening meal on that memorable day. I/We decided no big deal, just the usual and if nothing else comes to mind, we can always make a patriotic cervelat salad, using the Swiss national sausage.

Have fun everyone, I am off to do other more important things like preserving my own little island of Swiss housekeeping. I will be back, make the most of it, who knows what August will hold for us, perhaps a complete breakdown of the computer system as we know it.