Share Your World: 2016 Week 35

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

My life as it now is, and the person I share it with

Foto am 26.08.16 um 15.09

If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?

No painting pictures, as I cannot paint. I leave writing to those that can do it and find a publisher, I would be too lazy.

Peterhof Palace Leningrad

This is a photo of the Peterhof Palace in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg again) taken when I visited at the age of 17 in 1963, hence black and white. It is not so much about visiting new places and seeing new things, but taking photos of the things I wished I had taken when I was there. I would like to visit St. Peterburg again. When I was there I visited the Ermitage museum which was on the bank of the River Neva. The works of art were fantastic, but who needs to take photos of art when they are to be found on the computer.

No, it was something else I only discovered a few years ago. In the basement of this wonderful museum there is a cat refuge. They had many mice in this palace and I believe it originates in the early days when the cats were the best method to rid the palace of the mice. Today there are many cats living in the basement, all cared for by the people working in the museum. They contribute a small amount of their wages to their upkeep and I am sure those workers do not earn a fortune. The cats are visited regularly by a vet and anyone wanting to adopt a cat can ask at the museum and they can have one of the many kittens.

I saw a TV film about it. It is fantastic to see feeding time. The cats are given a large bowl of food outside in the grounds and there must be at least 10 cats all eating from the same bowl. They rarely actually get into the museum, they have no need, they are happy in the basement being cared for. It sometimes happens if a cat strays into the heating tubes that enter the museum and often one cat will be sitting at the entrance. I would love to take my camera and take photos of these cats and also the ladies looking after them.

 

Should children be seen and not heard?

The right answer would probably be “what a stupid question”. On the other hand, after having 4 children at one stage of my life (2 mine, 2 step) I would say yes, it would be a good idea, especially if you had a stressful day, everyone wanting something from you at the same time, washing, cooking, ironing and all the rest. At last you sit down in a chair, open a book or switch the TV on to relax and then “MUM………….?”. The seeing bit is OK, but the hearing bit can be a little too much. I am now a golden oldie, so such situations are now few and far between. Just don’t give the kids miniature shopping trolleys in the supermarket, because it is not the hearing but the seeing and getting out of their way that can cause problems. 🙂

 

List at least five of your favorite first names.

Jason, Jennifer, Vladimir, Morticia, Lucretia

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I survived last week

This week am also looking forward to surviving.

Share Your World: 2016 Week 36

Daily Prompt: Who wants to be an expert

Ant on Hollyhock 28l08 (3)

Who wants to be an expert? The problem is that when you become an expert, everyone expects that eveything you do will be perfect. You have a reputation to live up to, can allow no mistakes, otherwise you become a laughing stock, a show-off, a typical example of being a fake. That is one of the reasons that I never attempt to be an expert. Just take this photo. I got a macro lens for my camera a couple of weeks ago and are now taking photos of miniature objects, insects and flowers. They are all in the close-up view, no more fuzzy bits on the edges, the real naked truth.

That is why I chose this photo of Mr. Ant exploring my Hollyhock. It is not perfect, not a candidate for National Geographic or a something that David Attenborough would put in his favourit album of natural insects of the world. It is just an ant trying to avoid my camera lens. If it had been a Dinoponera from the forests of South America, measuring 3-4 cm in body length, we would have seen him smiling as I took the photo and probably waving one of his legs, knowing that a famous photographer would be subjecting the photo for a Pulitzer Prize. However, this was a normal Swiss garden ant, nothing special, just taking a walk on a hollyhock and doing whatever ants do on hollyhocks.

Just imagine the energy and strength I needed to hold the camera still for this expert individual photo. It was not easy, especially as this particular ant was more interested in looking at the view from beneath the petals. I had to wait, almost hold my breath, not to disturb the ant until he surfaced, but I succeeded. A perfect photo of an ant in action, or pehaps not so perfect? That is why I am showing it here, because no-one has to be perfect or an expert. If you take constant photos of perfection showing your expertise in the work, then people will become envious of your work and also not recognise the genius of the finished products. They will be ready with their criticims “what a stupid photo of an ant, you cannot even see his eyes, nose, ears or mouth” or “looks like a model to me, all a fake” and worst of all “it was a dead ant she put on the flower just to make it look like a genuine photo”. One of the reasons this photo is not my usual expert photographic work. People are quick to criticise, expecially when they realise it is a genius at work.

That is why I prefer to remain modest with all my perfect triumphs. How many of my blogs were not awarded their deserved prizes, simply because I turned them down or did not subject them to the judges. I prefer to remain in the background after all fame comes to all that deserve it eventually. I would mention in this context that I am still waiting for my WordPress t-shirt, XXL size please, but proper XXL, I am expanding with every year I blog.

I asked Mr. Swiss if I was an expert in anything as he was ironing a few things I washed yesterday. He confirmed that I have not yet poisoned him with my cooking, so I must be some sort of cooking expert. He also confirmed that I was an expert at writing, but as his mother tongue is german (actually Swiss german) I am not sure if he would be such a good judge of my english qualities.

Everyone has their own talents, Mr. Swiss is the painter in the family, although his works hang only in the Angloswiss gallery at home.

P1030787
In my eyes he is an expert.

Daily Prompt: Who Wants to be an Expert

Good Morning

Am so happy to have survived until today, and say good morning to everyone. Lately this is not something that comes naturally, as there are many obstacles in my way to leading a safe and protected life. My last escapade happened yesterday evening on my return journey from my laundry room.

Cellar

We live on the ground floor and so only have one set of steps down to the cellar rooms. Here on the photo you see the last part of the stairwell and on the immediate right to the stairs a cream colour door, which is actually the lift. I very rarely use the stairs as I am somewhat handicapped with walking normally and am a lift user.

And so I went to the laundry room in the cellar to press the start switch to the washing machine, which I always start at 9.00 p.m. because our electricity is then half price during the night until 6-7 in the morning. The machine was already prepared, containing the washing, it was just a matter of opening the water supply and operating the main switch and starting the wash programme. I would mention on the stairwell we have one of those automatic light switches. When it is pressed everything is illuminated, but only for a certain amount of time.

I left the laundry room and walked to the lift door and pressed the button. I had to wait for the lift to arrive, but eventually I entered and pressed the button for the next floor, my floor, ground floor. This was when the problem began. The lift door closed but the button did not show the friendly red light to say “going up”. There has been a loose contact for some time, but who bothers. I rely on the lift and there are others that belive in saving electricity, all we all pay the same amount in our annual bill. Anyhow there I was standing in a completely immovable lift. I tried all possible ways of pressing the button to get to the ground floor, but had not contact, no red light to show we would be moving. I was in a lift with the door closed, but stationary.

Eventually I gave up, left the lift  and decided to climb the stairs, one by one with the support of my cane. No big problem really, just a little slow. I managed the first two steps, or was it three (this is important to know) and the automatic light on the complete stair well decided it had been showing its light for long enough and turned itself off – modern technics.

Now I was left standing on the second, or was it the third, step on the stairwell surrounded by darkness and I had no means of light with me, not even my mobile phone. Who takes a mobile phone to a laundry room? I called, but no-one heard me. The complete building was cut off from the world, I was isolated, trapped on a stairwell and programmed for a very serious accident if I made a false step and fell to the stone floor. I decided to take my life into my own legs and managed to descend one step – one more and I would be again on the ground – or was it two more. I carefully moved my foot and suddenly met empty air (this story is now familiar). It was then I realised I was standing on the second and not the first step. With my cane I tapped my way in the darkness and felt the way to the light switch. At last I had light again. I decided to take the lift to the first floor, instead of the ground floor, because the switch was not making contact with the ground floor. I decided walking down the stairs would be easier than walking up. Eventually I arrived safely at my door and told Mr. Swiss that tomorrow morning we would call the powers that organise our living quarters and report the lost contact on the lift button for the ground floor.

Mr. Swiss thought it over and decided that when the washing machine had finished its programme, he would go to the cellar and empty the machine himself with my son and test the lift button. Unfortunately there was a good criminal programme on the TV at the time, so I had to wait until it was finished, but he fetched my washing, together with No. 1 son and, yes, discovered there was absolutely nothing wrong with the lift buttton, you just had to press it in the right way, although he did say it was not as good as usual.

The fact that the stairwell nearly killed me was no longer important. What was important is that I should learn how to press the lift button in the correct way – no further comment. Just another life threatening episode in the life of a golden oldie.

Otherwise I am still here and planning my shopping safari to the local supermarket today. We had another heat packed day yesterday, but it is now quite grey outside and it rained. I am glad when it cools down, as I now have problems with heat filled days.

I have now written enough for a morning blog, have rid myself of the small problems of yesterday and now look forward to what the day brings.