Flower of the Day: 08.12.2016 Azalea

Azalea

Flowers are really getting scarce at this time of the year, but azalea seem to be one of the season’s favourites. There is a wild kind, known as the Alpine Rose, which actually grow wild on the alpine slopes of the Swiss mountains. I have seen them and are something special, but you have to climb to the higher places to see them, and I can no longer do that.

Flower of the Day: 08.12.2016 Azalea

CHRISTMAS WRITING PROMPT #6: WHERE WOULD YOU SPEND CHRISTMAS?

If you could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, where would it be, with whom and why?

Christmas in October Migros

Ok, basically I do not need to celebrate Christmas. It is not “bah, humbug”, but I do not need all this commercialism called Christmas. I do not need a forced celebration for something I completely do not believe in. I am not a spoilsport. I cook a good meal, there might even be a Christmas candle in the home, although I leave that side of things to Mr. Swiss. I do not need this “happy Christmas” stuff, I am probably too logical. So what does Mrs. Christmas Grinch do.

She stays at home in the cold Winter icy Swiss weather and takes photos of Christmas lights and subjects, I love photography and if I find something new, I take a photograph. It is cosy at home, I do not need to organise journeys to far flung places and spending Christmas in some othe country where they do not even know what it is about. It is not my idea of fun. Although I often wonder how a couple of friends and relations do it down under: eating a turkey whilst the sun is beating down – sounds strange.

I quite like listening to some Christmas music however. No. 2 son sang in the local cathedral boys choir and it was then I got to know Bachs Christmas Oratorium: indeed I practiced often with him at home until he got the alt voice part right. I would accopany him on the piano. We often play the complete Oratorium on record during the Christmas time. I just love music, good music.

So there we have it, Mrs non-christmas spends the holiday at home, with Mr. Swiss, son No. 1 (perhaps son No. 2 looks in) and of course Tabby, my feline, although she too does not really get the idea of Christmas. I suppose if we had a king sized Christmas tree she would have fun  conquering the branches, but our Chrismas tree is still in the cellar, 20-30 centimeters high and first of all I will have to dust off the plastic needles.

All my miserable thoughts on Chrismas now lead to the conclusion of why. There is no why, I just do it because everyone else does and will not be sad when it is over.

CHRISTMAS WRITING PROMPT #6: WHERE WOULD YOU SPEND CHRISTMAS?

Daily Prompt: The Queen’s Treasure

Tower of London from a taxi

On one of my trips to London, with the family, in 1984 we decided to take the kids to the Tower of London. Son No. 1 was then 15 years old and son No. 2 was 11. My father also  accompanied Mr. Swiss and I with the kids.  I grew up  bordering the docklands area of the Tower of London, and often visited when I was a kid with mum on holidays if we had nothing better to do, so it was nothing ne to me or spectacular.

The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, kept her crown jewels in the Tower. She probably did not have room at home. Having  few crowns, scepters an orbs would have occupied too much space in the living room(s) and bedroom, not to mention the bathroom, and so she stored it all in the Tower of London. To be quie exact, in the Wakefield Tower. There were many towers but the Wakefield Tower was the tower she used for her Crown Jewels. She did not often use them, Wearing the crown whilst doing the houswork was annoying as it kept falling off her head whilst using the vacuum cleaner

Of coure my kids were excited to see the Crown Jewels: extra price for  admission of course – someone has to pay for their upkeep, polishig diamonds can be expensive task and there are enough.The Crown Jewels  now had a new thief proof chamber of their own built according to the latest securitiy standards and after an hours waiting time to enter, at the end of a queue consisting of mostly tourists, they let us in. There was only admission for a certain amount of peope at a time. Towers were not built to accomodate thousands, it was not a football stadium.

We entered and there they were in the middle of the tower. Of couse they were nicely placed in an illuminated show case surround by a wooden barrier for safety reasons. My kids were in awe, The only jewellery they had seen up to then were my earrings, bought in a store, and mostly made of cooured glass, but real diamonds? Naturally the Queen’s diamonds were king sized, probably one of the reasons why she did not wear them very often. They would have been a sure reason for a permanent headache.

Of course I was proud to show my sons the treasures of the Royal family and pointed out the main attration, the Coronation crown incorporating one of the biggest diamonds discovered, the Koh-in-noor. I made a pooint of  putting my finger, just one finger, or perhaps it was two on the glass window, to point out exactly where this crown was positioned.

It wa then that I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. Did I see Mr. Swiss sort of stifling a laugh?

“Madam, if you continue to tap the glass protecting the Crown Jewels, a steel blind will descend inside the glass cabinet. All the lights will be illuminated (naturally only the jewels were highlighted by lighting effects), a siren will begin to sound and all the doors will be automatically locked, until the guard appears. Everyone will be locked in for 24 hours.

These were roughly the words of the guy in charge of organising the viewing of one of England’s treasures. He was not one of the Beefeaters employed at the Tower in their old fashioned uniforms. They were retired soldiers and were only there for the tourists. No, it was a real secruty man probably trained in the usage of firearms and bomb detonations. You do not mess with the crown jewels it seems, and definitely not touch the glass screen protecting them.

Yes, on many occasions the tale was told about the day mummy touched the glass cabinet where the Queen’s treasure was kept. Needless to say not only my dad found it very amusing. Mr. Swiss was still laughing when we left, and my kids were still trying to understand what actually happened. I believe all the other tourists in the Wakefield Tower were amused. The day mummy decided to rob the Queen’s Crown Jewels.

Daily Prompt: The Queen’s Treasure

Good Morning

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf 07.12 (12)

On the way to the supermarket yesterday: yes we have foggy weather at the moment, and it stays during the day. This morning a little better and perhaps it might go away. As long as it does not snow. This evening we will be going out for a birthday meal. The restaurant is perhaps a five minute drive away. The fog will remain, but we are hoping it does not begin to freeze. I should have stayed in London, we never got weather like this.

On the photo you can see a sort of white object. That is a sort of caravan, but constructed to measure the air conditions. It has been there for at least 10 years, keeping an eye on the quality of our air.

Thursday is a good day, no big jobs to do, just take it easy. I should do some organising. At the moment we are collecting things and do not know where to put them. The local supermarket has a special offer for  Teddy Bears. There are three of them, and if you collect enough stickers on a card, you get one free. Not really free I suppose, pro 20 Swiss francs spent in the supermarket you get a bear. I now have two and No. 3 will probably be arriving tomorrow or next Monday, according to my bill for purchases. They are really sweet, but understandably Mr. Swiss does not really want them on a sideboard in the living room. I have now moved them to my office. I also got a wonderful rose from the company I worked for.

Birthday Rose

This is now on my desk as we already have flowers in the living room. I have a Poinsettia, Christmas cactus, an unatrractive hibiscus and Kalanchoe on the kitchen table. Mr. Swiss finds it is a little too much of a good thing, but I like it. One of those domestic political discussions, but eventually all is forgotten, there are more interesting things in life.

Magpies 01.12 (12)

As I sit here writing I am being watched by a magpie sitting in the tree opposite. Now she is on the ground looking for some bread remainders the crows have left. Crows are the masters, they take over, but when they fly off carrying as many bread pieces as possible in their beaks, the magpies take over  for the rest. And if there is a remainder, the blackbird arrives. The sparrows leave them to it, they have their own laid table on the bird house.

I had another bed hugging morning this morning. Seems to me as you get older, laying in bed becomes a new hobby, especially if you have an iPad. I wonder how people managed before the iPad was developed. I suppose they read the newspaper in bed, or they might even have risen earlier. Life is not so bad in this cyber age, and of course there is always Facebook to see what the rest of the world is doing. Perhaps 3 year old Joey was playing outside on a swing and fell off. He might have injured himself, but that is not so important. As long as daddy was there to film it and show everyone for a good laugh. What are we coming to. Not only Joey, but a whole row of such videos can be seen.

And now to change the subject and disappear. I do like to ramble sometimes, especially when  you have a cyber audience.  Have a good day.