Photo Challenge: New Horizon

Cameras

When you become a golden oldie, new horizons become a thing of the past. You have reached all the new horizons and the only one left is the ultimate, so enjoy it how you can make the most of it. The main problem with oncoming age is a disability to do things you want to and going places and seeing things to do it. I am one of those that no longer can hop around like a spring lamb and make great plans. I am restricted in movement to a certain degree, but can still manage a walk. My cameras are my gateways to freedom. I can take photos of what I see: either my camera is in my bag or hanging on my shoulder.

How do you take a photo when you need a cane to walk with? – easy. Just hang the cane on the opening of your jacket and take the photo and walk on with your cane in the hand as if nothing had happened. Cameras are my horizon, not new, but newly discovered as a compensation. Without my camera life would be boring. An action photo of a bird, a closeup of a flower, and a view across the local river say it all for me. They are my horizons.

Photo Challenge: New Horizon

CHRISTMAS WRITING PROMPT #7: SANTA’S GROTTO

Describe a visit you made to Santa’s Grotto

Christmas Market, Solothurn

This photo was not the actual visit. This was taken at the Claus Market in the Swiss town of Solothurn and I just happened to be there. I was not after blessings from Santa Claus. The guy in brown is “Schmutzli”, he is the one that tells the kids off for their bad deeds during the year, but Santa makes it all better again – one of our Chrismas customs.

My visit happened many years ago and I suppose I was about 5-6 years old. Mum always took me to the stores in the shopping area of London at Christmas, usually Oxford street. It would be decorated with christmas decorations suspended across the road, illuminated in the evening and a real children’s paradise. The large stores had their Christmas grottos and of course I threatened a tantrum if I could not see Santa, so mum did not argue, we entered Santa’s grotto.

All I saw was a nice red faced jolly man dressed in red. Perhaps mum saw him as a threat to my safety, especially as he put me on his knee. I was convinced this was how it should be. I think today Santa would probably be arrested for such things.

I was excited and waited for the critical question from Santa and I was not disappointed.

“What would you like Santa Clause to bring you on Christmas Day.”

Oh I was ready with my answer, had probably worked it all out for a few days and so in my sweet innocent, but honest voice, I told him.

“I would like a baby brother.”

I think Santa was quiet for a few minutes. I was sure he was working it all out for me. It was then that he cast a glace at my mum, It was a long glance as if he was thinking intensively. He gave me his answer.

“I don’t think I can manage it this year, but perhaps next year.”

We left quickly, mum seemed to be in a hurry. Shame really, I would loved to have had a nice long conversation with the nice man in the red coat and the beard about when exactly my new baby brother would arrive.

Oh, I never did get that baby brother, probably the reason why I stopped  believing in Santa Claus, but I believe mum told everyone the story about my wish for Christmas. Parents could be funny sometimes.

CHRISTMAS WRITING PROMPT #7: SANTA’S GROTTO

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 49

English slippers

We do not do Christmas presents, we present ourselves during the year. I am not a Christmas person (bah humbug) and Mr. Swiss is sort of  a Christmas person because he likes to light a candle now and again. Anyhow he has discovered The British Shop, an online site. Although he is Swiss, he is often more British than I am and he orderes  the slippers online that he must have been looking for since becoming a golden oldie. Ok, they are something completely different.

Baby Transport

Someone parked their baby carriage next to the Christmas Tree at the local supermaket.

70th Birthday 09.12 (1)

Yeterday they let me out to celebrate my birthday in a restaurant. Of course I had my camera with me, and so took a photo of the light in the restaurant with an origianal wall pattern behind. The restaurant is known as the Salt House, and a few hundred  years ago was the home of salt in our town of Solothurn in Switzerland.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 49

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Made by Human Beings

Feldbrunnen-Solothurn-Langendorf 30.11 (16)

The exit to the local parking house, made by human beings.

Feldbrunnen to Langenndorf 09.12 (7)

Still in the process of being made by human beings – you can even see one on the scaffolding.

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf via Solothurn 02.11 (19)

These were built about 40 years ago by human beings and since have even got a new coat of paint. They are on the outskirts of the town of Solothurn in Switzerland.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Made by Human Beings

Daily Prompt: It isn’t there

Garden in Snow

I have now been living in this country for 50 years, but this year something is missing. Not that I really miss it, but it has always arrived, like a Damocles sword hovering as a threat. There are no wanted posters nailed to the trees, or on sidewalks, proclaiming that there is a reward for any sightings of it. People have mixed feelings. Some are wishing for a “white Christmas” and others are glad that it is still grass green. Yes, we are in Switzerland and have no snow in the lowlands. There was a layer in the highlands for a while, but even that has disappeared. Who wants or needs the stuff?

I am a snow enemy, or used to be. Today as a golden oldie I go out when I have to, and can make arrangeents to stay at home if necessary. There was a time when I belonged to the work force with Mr. Swiss. Slowly the leaves disappeared from the trees, the temperatures began to fall below 0° and we could smell the snow in the air. At least the professional snow sniffers could. Being an original Brit, I did not have the taste buds for the stuff, but I was now living in a country where snow was a way of life during Winter.

Parents began organising sledges for the kids, adults were planning their winter holidays somewhere in the alps where they lived on skis for a couple of weeks. Even the kids had something called “Winter Sports Holiday”. We decided to avoid such dangerous and very expensive holidays. I was accident prone and it was forbidden that I would gain the knowledge of skiing down the slopes as I would be sure to break a leg. The only snow I saw was the snow that happened to arrive in my garden.

I remember the years gone by. There was never very much snow until Christmas. Even the Swiss news on the TV showed grass covered alpine villages and held interviews with various official members of the local government complaining that the tourists were disappointed  going on country walks and having to leave their skis in their expensively rented Swiss Chalets.

Me, I did not mind. I was a working woman, and had to drive to my workplace. Driving through snow and ice to work was not my thing. Crawling along the road, bumper to bumper, snow flakes falling, adding 30 minutes to the normal 10 minute drive. And so I was happy to be snowless. However, there is always a negative side to everything. Between 24th December and 2nd January we had our annual Christmas holidays, which remain snowless.

Every year, as if a mystical weather prophet had decided he was bored and wanted to add some excitement to his frozen life, it would begin to snow on the evening of 2nd Janruary. Not a flock of snow had we seen all the past weeks, but on 2nd January it fell. Not just small picturesque flocks, but thick chunks and fast, covering the ground with at leat 6 cemetres. The next morning, if you did not have a garage, you spent the first 30 minutes clearing the snow and ice from the car. If you had a garage, you could forget the car, and clear the path to the garage. The Swiss authorities are quite good at organisation, but after spending a Christmas holiday of being merry, they are also not very happy about getting up early in the morning to clear the roads. An so it came to pass that every year the snow arrived at the wrong time on the wrong day.

Mr. Swiss and I are now golden oldies, and it is no longer a great problem. We do not have to go anywhere and do anything and so who cares if it snows or not. This year we have had only one day of snow up to now, some time in November. Peraps it might snow at the end of the year, but who cares. I have now begun to miss it. Not that I want to wade knee deep in the stuff, but I am sure I could take some interesting photos. Who cares about driving to work, that is for the others.

Daily Prompt: It isn’t there

Good Morning

Birthday bouqet

The morning after: yes, family Swiss were making the town unsafe yesterday evening, as far as it is possible for two golden oldies. We went to town, literally, for a small birthday celebration in a local restaurant. I was surprised how the town look so good illuminated with the Christmas lights, some trees and some decorations. This must have been my first evening town visit since at least a year, if not two.  I had my camera with me, but walking in the dark and taking photos is not my thing. I might fall.

I forgot that Thursday evening is also the evening when the shops stay open until 9.00 p.m., so-called evening shoppping, so when we arrived at the parking house it was full and we had no choice but to wait for a few cars to leave, but the wait was not long. We arrived at the restaurant and enjoyed a good meal and I received another wonderful birthday bouquet – see photo.

Now it is the morning after, and life is back to normal as far as normal can apply to my life. No more birthday celebrations this year, we just have the Chistmas to overcome, which should be no great problem. Most people do it in this part of the world, so why not.

Order the meat you want, to be sure there will be now disappointments on Christmas holidays, and plan to avoid a last minute rush: just hope that the supermarket does not run out of brussel sprouts at the last minute. I like some brussel sprouts with my Christmas meat, but so does everyone else. I can get the Christmas ham about a week before, because that arrives in handy sealed plastic bags, and the “eat before” date is about a month, so that will not be a problem. I just have to ask why I actually have to do all this planning. Christmas is supposed to be a time of reflection, good will to all men etc.and peace,  but it says nothing about logistics for the Christmas food or cooking it.

There was a remark passed yesterday, that having a birthday in December is not so good, as we have to organise it all in the middle of Winter in the cold weather. It would have been much better if I had been born in Summer. Somehow I do not think mum thought about that. When your future husband is away for 5 years fighting a war and returns, along with thousands of other soldiers, planning for future birthdays is not something you actually think about.

Today is week-end shopping day again. I seem to be counting my days by week-end shopping days, time is going so fast. I do not really feel like eating at the moment, after yesterday’s 3-4 course meal. I even indulged in a dessert, the main theme being chcolate. I think it was the first time I ate ice cream since the beginning of the year. I was avoiding milk products because I was convinced I had a lactose allergy. I have now discovered my problems were all due to my cholesterol tablets, which I no longer take. You do not need laboratories and chemical tests, you can work it out on your own.

And now to begin my adventurous day, full of surprises in the supermarket and adventures with my camera on the way.  I also have a little catching up to do on my blog challenge sites, although I managed most of it yesterday. Yes the life of a blogging golden oldie is full of stress, but also excitement. You never know what you get until you switch on the computer.

Wishing everyone a fun packed day.