Anyone that knows me, realises that I like some sparkle in my life. Basically I am not a showy person, I dress normal, nothing with fancy hats or bright colours, just dark trousers and t-shirt. I do not want to be noticed, but melt into the crowd. However, there are always exceptions to the rule and I am one of them now and again if I can get away with it. Just a sneaky thing in between.
At the beginning of the year I was diagnosed with MS. Not really a surprise, but you have to get these things confirmed officially by a specialist to get all the remedies paid for by the insurance. Switzerland is a country of insurances. I am bothered at least twice a week by a phone call asking me about my insurance and whether I know the Swiss sickness insurance costs are increasing. Of course I do, they increase everywhere if you can afford to have one. They continue to enlighten me that if I change my insurance to the one they have, it will be chaper and better. This is when I usually say “no thankyou” (if I want to be sociable). Otherwise I just hang up the phone.
So this big MS circus moved in on my life. A year later I am on injections every second day with interesting marks on my skin to show it and my walks now being reduced to about half an hour. If I find a bench in between, they might increase to an hour. That is when I have to call Mr. Swiss on my phone to tell him I am still amongst the living, but taking a rest in between. I am now the lady that goes for walks with the camera and the cane. Taking photos can be complicated with a cane in one hand and a camera in the other, but I have discovered the trick. Just drop the cane, take the photo, pick up the stick and move one. This is not being ostentatious, but out of necessity.
And now we come to the stick, or cane. We had a stick at home, who does not? You never know if you might need one for reaching on a high shelf, or even walking. I think this cane was bought for my dad in case he would need it when visiting. He was then 80 years old, but found “I am not being seen walking with a cane” so the cane remained in a corner. Now and again I would have one of my famous “accidents” where I would fall over due to making a false movement. Today I see this in a different light. This is a a normal, good quality, Swiss cane, brown and inconspicuous. It could even be made longer or shorter according to your height, and has a hidden spike for walks across ice fields, although I do not know who would walk with a stick across an ice field.
MS is a progressive thing. It begins with a bit of difficulty when walking, develops into aspects belonging to the Monty Pyhon sketch Ministry of Funny Walks and eventually you realise that you need support. My specialist doc emphasised that I should really use a cane, and so the day came when I decided this average brown cane was not good enough for me. If you have to have one, then go the whole hog, and so I made myself comfortable with my iPad and found a site with a choice of walking sticks. This was ideal, order it online, after all I am a cyber golden oldie. Nothing plain and simple for me, I wanted to do it in style and found the ideal cane for my ostentatious taste. I did not want to show off, but just wanted something completely different.
This was it, my search was complete. I even paid a little extra to have my name put on it. You have to be careful today, a cane like this is easily stolen by a jealous golden oldie.
Another example of my ostentatious life would be my special file for bits and pieces. Switzerland is a country of organisation, although today we have the computer. There are certain things you have to keep on paper as someone might invade your computer and discover all the skeletons in you cupboard. After a search I found what I was looking for.
This was ideal. What could be better? When I am looking for a document I find it immediately. This young gentlman is on the cover of my secret file. I believe Mr. Swiss did made a remark about where I found this. It was in the local supermarket, you just have to search long enough. I did not want a plain blue or even red folder without a design. I wanted something special. On the side and back of the folder there is a colourful sign announcing “Flower Power” although this gentleman had no flowers.
I also still have my calendar of the Chippendales which I bought when they appeared in a local town, on a tour. This was so long ago, I can imagine the nice looking young men in the show are now probably grandfathers. I was then a working woman and the girls in the department all found it would be a good idea to organise tickets. I did the organising and within 2 days we had tickets for the visit. I remember my boss saying he had never seen an outing organised so quickly. Of course, we had good seats, in the front rows, although most of the time we were standing and clapping and yes, making a few other loud noises. Today I can look back on such occasions with satisfaction that I had been there and done it.