Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – November 30, 2016

Feldbrunnen-Solothurn-Langendorf 30.11 (14)

The complicated ways of a parking house, with a lift running through it

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf 28.11 (5)

The circus was leaving town

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf 28.11 (7)

And we actually speak German here, but perhaps the person who wrote this wanted to be sure that everyone found the right path.

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – November 30, 2016

Daily Prompt: Not Fade Away

Shower

My sight is OK, not that everything is becoming blurred, just the brain now and again, but I happened to be clearning the shower and had a brainwave – yes I still have one somewhere in my head. A view through the plastic shower door would be good photo subject for fading. Perhaps Mick Jagger of the Stones was having a shower when the idea came to him to sing the song “Not fade Away” although that seemed to be more about the singer of the song persuading his girlfriend that their love will not fade away. I decided to go on a search for the video and realised I am older than I thought I was. It was Buddy Holly who did the first version of the song. I actually do not like plastering my blogs with videos, but in this case presenting Buddy Holly for those golden oldies that remember him. He was one of the pop musicians of my younger years and he was good: he died in a plane crash at the age of 23, far too early.

Now and again I do have fading golden oldie moments, but they ensure that life does not get so boring. Currently we have Winter temperatures, and my feline found that the water in her bowl outside was solid, meaning that some where along the way it dropped below freezing point. We then discovered that our bedroom window was open all morning: it was not freezing point, but something like 14°C which is cold enough. In my golden oldie days I do not feel the cold so much, so no big problem. A discussion ensued who left the window open. I rarely touch windows as something always seems to go wrong. Either they fall out of the frame or a blind handle breaks off and so I was convinced it was not me. Mr. Swiss was also convinced he did not leave the window open. In the morning when I arise, being the last one out of the bedroom, I automatically take the risk of opening the window to refresh the air and we came to the conclusion that we did not shut it afterwards before leaving the appartment. This morning was a stress mornng  as I had to go to the doctors. I suppose these things happen when you grow older and things that you should remember tend to fade away.

And now my enthusiasm is fading to write about faded things as I am not going to submerge myself in the memories of the days gone by which are no longer as fresh as they used to be and are fading slowly but surely.

Daily Prompt: Not Fade Away

Good Morning

Christmas 2016 (2)

Better late than never. Yes, I survived the night but had to rise half an hour earlier, get myself dressed and showered and ready for the doc at 8.30 in the morning. It was a vampire day today, yes vampire doctors see their victims in daylight, and two tubes of blood are now on their way to the chief vampires at the laboratories. My next appointment, for a vampire session, will be in 6 months everything being  OK.

The advantage of the rude awakening this morning was that Mr. Swiss and I travelled on to the supermarket, earlier than usual, and as dawn was only thinking about breaking when we arrived, the Christmas decorations were still illuminated, so I naturally took a photo. The name of the supermarket is “Ladedorf” meaning  “shop village”.

I noticed that the Christmas trees have also already arrived at the supermarket and are lined up outside for customers. My own Chrismas tree is about 10-15 centimeters high, has a few electric lights and no room for gifts to be distributed around it. We do not do presents in any case, and if we did you would not longer see the tree. Of course I had to take a photo of the selection at the supermarket.

Christmas 2016 (1)

This is only part of the tree show. They come in all shapes and sizes and even colours. The darker the green the more expensive. Must be  different species.

Otherwise everything went smoothly and we were back home by 10.00 a.m. I did my usual clean-up and even uploaded a few Christmassy photos (see above). As most of my faithful disciples live over the pond on the other side of the world, they have probably not even noticed that I am not here. Mr.Swiss actually found that so much cleaning is not necessary, as everything is permanently clean. I explained that it is no trouble and it is permanently clean because I do it regularly and not with shock treatment once a month.

Of course before going on my trip to the doc and supermarket I filled up the birdhouse with food. When we returned it was almost empty again, but we have now rationed them to a once a day fill. Another point of discussion between Mr. Swiss and I. We have the best fed birds in the neighbourhood. They are beginning to get a little top heavy on the perches I noticed.

And now to move one, there is a meal to cook and a husband to spoil with my culinary efforts.

Will be back this afternoon with more news from the Swiss outpost.

Unwanted telephone calls

Telephone wires in Grenfell Avenue

I just had to write this one while it is still fresh in my mind. Mr. Swiss is still laughing at my strange sense of humour.

You know we all get them, those telephone calls from a call center. I mean you really have to have pity on the guys and gals that do this for a living. They probably cannot find anything better, and their wage depends on how much they sell. It is ruthless and probably they are spurred on by a boss that makes hit lists of the best, the not so good and the failures – what a life. They also speak with some sort of foreign accent. The speak german, I understand it, but I can even speak it better than they can.

Anyhow in Switzerland it is the thing to call a random number and tell the victim  who takes the call (me for example), that I must be aware that the sickness insurance is again subject ot a price increase. Of course it is, we know it is, every year we pay more for the same service, because everyone gets ill at some time and costs are exploding in medicine and care, this is nothing new.

So today, Mrs. Angloswiss gets another one of these calls. The last call was a couple of days ago. Mr. Swiss once told me that no-one is really interested in selling me a new insurance, because I am too old. I have now found enjoyment on these calls, I now have the ultimate answer.

So my mobile rings. First of all there is a few seconds of silence. It is then you know it is one of those calls. There is always silence at the beginning. Perhaps they are nervous, or perhaps their headphones have a fault. Then the call begins with a good evening or whatever.

“You realise that the sickness insurances are increasing in price.”

I am alert, but stifle my laugh.

“We have a solution to the price increase.”

It is then I can say my words “you do realise I am 70 years old and at my age I really do not think I need a new insurance, or that you really want to sell me one.”

“In that case have a nice day.” and the conversation ends – I can hear the disappointment in his voice.

That’s the way to do it. Mr. Swiss was listening and found that I have a sort of sadistic enjoyment in talking to these people. Mr. Swiss just hangs the telephone up. I find it does not cost anything to be sociable, and after all now that guy at the call centre has something to tell his colleagues and perhaps not to call my number in future.  Although a shame really, I am really now getting an appetite for these calls and it breaks up the boredom in life. You really just have to look on the funny side of life – all part of the wonderful english black humour.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Musical Chairs

Tabby

We have no “children” at home, just a feline that likes to play piano now and again.

Lionel playing the piano

Amazing what you find if your search. This is our ex neighbours little boy who liked to play on my Yamaha electric piano when he visited.Band

This was a few years ago. Mr. Swiss and I visited a concert of our local high school big band and I took a few photos. Afterwards I played with this one in photoshop and this was the result. I used some music notes for the background and put them on my piano. These young musicians have now moved on and are no longer at school: probably playing their instruments now for their own enjoyment. Who knows, perhaps a couple have become professional musicians.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Musical Chairs

One Word Photo Challenge: Distortion

A police check in Dagenham Heathway

If I was a professional photographer working for the local newspaper in Dagenham, London, this would have been a super photo for the local newspaper. It would show a group of english policemen standing on the roadside interviewing people in connection with something criminal, or perhaps they were just acting suspiciously.

I had to be careful with my camera, to make sure I was not seen and I had to sort of hide it and do the photo at the speed of light, which was not quick enough it seems. I did not want to be arrested for taking photos of the sitution. The flashes of distorted light are from the passing traffic. I only had my point and shoot camera with me.

One Word Photo Challenge: Distortion

Daily Prompt: Angloswiss Culture

Swiss Court near Leicester Square, London

I was not actually going to do this one today, because somehow the title did not appeal to me. I do not have a problem with various cultures, religions or races. My dad, the expert, was a believer in the Darwin theory most probably and  said we are all related to each other. Perhaps he was taking the Darwin ideas a little too far, and I know for a fact that he never read “The Origin of the Species”, neither did I, but dad was convinced that we all came from the apes, and one ape looks like another, although even apes have tribes and various differences. I am sure that a chimpanzee does not have the same cultural background as an orang utan, not to mention a baboon, but dad was convinced.

Somewhere along the way we parted and settled in other countries, developed our own beliefs and suited our way of life to our surroundings. We developed our own cultures. Whilst we are celebrating Christmas with lights and decorations, in India they are celebrating Diwali, also with lights and decorations, so really we are not so different.

The Americans embark on a turkey massacre at the end of November for thanksgiving and in England they also spare no mercy to the turkey, but generally at Christmas. Are we really so different?

Emigrating to Switzerland was a risk in itself. I was leaving the shores of England where fish and chips was considered a delicacy. The Swiss also eat fish, but prefer it with normal potatoes – already a threat to my cultural food heritage. If you move to another country, it is not just a matter of learning the language, but absorbing the way of life. I quickly discovered that what was normal in London, was abnormal in Zürich. People shake hands in Zürich when meeting colleagues, english people avoid touching each other and just mumble hello.

Imagine my surprise when on a visit to London to find in a corner of Leicester Square a totem pole dedicated to the Swiss nation with all the kantonal badges. Even my Kanton of Solothurn was on it, the one on the left, third row from the bottom at the end, just a red and white stripe. Only a real genuine Swiss would know this, but how many Swiss make a pilgrimage to Leicester Square if they are in London. Actually there used to be quite an invasion there, because the Swiss Centre was situated here some years ago. A new tall building and on the ground floor were the offices of the Swissair. Of course I visited it in London when it still existed. There was a Swiss restaurant in the basement, but that was the end of the culture. The food was not exactly my idea of typical Swiss and the  service personnel seemed to originate from all over the world, but not exactly Switzerland. For some reason the Swiss sold the building and it is now something else.

Today I am probably more Swiss than english, although even after 50 years of speaking Swiss German daily, my original english accent is still hovering in the background, although many do not recognise it and I have been mistaken for a dutch person now and again. Most likely because no-one can imagine that an Brit could actually learn a different language to english, but you have to melt into the background wherever you are. Even Mr. Swiss has got accumstomed to the cockney culture, as I like to watch East Enders on the TV which is broadcasted on four evenings during the week.

Daily Prompt: Angloswiss Culture

Good Morning

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf 28.11 (8)

Nothing special, just a view of the sky as we were approaching the railway with its electric wiring and the Jura mountains in the background, but yesterday we had blue skies, not a cloud to be seen. If the temperatures were more than 1-2°C it could have been a summer day, but it was cold, and getting colder. This morning we had a light frost layer on the ground and my cat decided to stay on his sleeping cushion. Even the crows and magpies only made a quick stop to get their bread and disappeared to wherever they go to eat it.

Today is a stay at home day in any case. I have a cleaning programme to complete. I also have four big pots of plants to shift to the cellar, but I will have to engage the help of someone that can deal with heavy stuff, Mr. Swiss, or more likely my oldest son. My medicine has just been delivered for my MS injections, this time two months supply because of the Christmas holidays in between. I must say it is very well orgnised. I only have to make a telephone call to my nurse responsible and she organises it all. It is delivered by special delivery by post from 7-9 a.m.  and I say which day I want to receive it.

Last week-end we had a voting week-end in Switzerland: not for a president or anything like that, they get the job on a rota and the government votes around Christmas. We have 7 ministers divided amongst the same parties, 2 from each party and 1 from another party. No big speeches discrediting the others. It is quite a friendly thing. “OK Hans, your turn this year” “No problem Franz, but what about Heidi?” “It was her turn the year before last.” “Do you think I will get enough votes to become President?”  “If it is not you then it will be one of our colleagues.” “Oh good, let’s keep it in the family.”

So you see in a direct democracy everyone is more or less happy. There are always exceptions, but that is politics I suppose. Anyhow our elections last week-end were not really exciting and we voted by post (that is Mr. Swiss organised the papers and I signed mine) last week. There were some Kantons and areas that voted for new members of their local parliament, but we had nothing as exciting as that in our area. We had a referendum to decide upon which was country wide. Signatures were collected and to was put to the vote to end all nuclear power in Switzerland: you know thos plants for producing electricity with radio activity with the big chimeys, that could lead to a national catastrophe if they either exploded or were damaged by an earthquake as in Japan. Switzerland is in earthquake territory, but the big ones only happen about every 1,000 years. We get the small tremors now and again. The last one I remember in our area was about 8 years ago, but no big deal. It was just a bit of shaking and noisy windows in their frames. A few dogs began to bark, but everyone survived.

Anyhow the vote was cast and the country decided to keep our nuclear power as no-one really knew what to do if we no longer had it. It actually was not a case of not enough people not wanting it, but not enough Kantons wanting it. It is not only the amount of people that say yes, but the amount of Kantons that say yes, at least that is how a simple British exile that is now a paper Swiss understands it. Mr. Swiss alway says I should be careful what I say as I do not always get the hang of it, but I think I am now on safe territory.

Anyhow the decision is made, so we can keep our radioactive energy for a few years until the next referendum. I do not know what the big fuss is in some countries. We just collect signatures and vote for it. In a few weeks we will know who next year’s president will be, although the deicision has already been made. He or she just has to get enough Yes votes to confirm his majority. Same film, some actors and probably same way of doing things.

So now to my houswife chores, dealing with the usual state of affairs. Enjoy the day everyone, and be careful that you do not trip over the vacuum cleaner cable, it can happen to us all.