What is your favourite Christmas Memory?

Kranz 3

I now feel like I would be the ghost of the Christmas past. I have exprienced many a good Christmas. At the age of 70 you could almost lose count.

I remember the Chrismas days in England, when I would wake in the morning to find a pillow case (a stocking would have been too small) and it would be full of wrapped gifts from mum and dad. That was the beginning of the celebrations. Mum would cook turkey in the morning. She was a firm believer in cooking meat long enough, meaning that the oven would be occupied with the bird for at least 2-3 hours. There would be sage and onion stuffing (brand Paxo, but is was OK), baked potatoes and brussel sprouts (which I did not like as a kid) and after dinner during the afternoon we would make our way to the relations. We would all meet at my mum’s sister’s house as she had most bedrooms. Bedroom? yes, I will be coming to that.

Trains and busses stopped at 4.00 we had a half hour walk from the station to the house. When we arrived we were ready, as anything could happen. There was high tea prepared by the women of the family. We kids would sit in front of the TV, me and my cousins, and after tea the festivities began. We “picked the tree” meaning that there was a Chrismas tree surrounded by presents for us kids and everyone got what they wanted. By some magical method the aunts and uncles had bought us the right thing, although I do remember one Christmas when the message got muddled, and my cousin was given 4 boxes of Mr. Potato Man or Mr. Potato Head as it is now called I believe. Do not forget this was in the fifties.

During the evening aunts and uncles absorbed more alcohol, we kids had our own party in another room, but we joined the others later. It was then that everyone had their party act. Uncle Harry and Uncle Arthur singing their impersonation of Flanagan and Allen with “Underneath the Arches”

and Aunt Lil doing quite a good imitation of Sophie Tucker singing My yiddische momma.

Everyone joined in with “Knees Up Muvver Brown”. Do not forget we were all London cockneys and had our own way of celebrating. Perhaps you must remember that these aunts and uncles grew up in the 1920’s and earlier.

My dad was the last to pass away last year, so that is what I meant by being the ghost of the Chrismas Past. It is me and my cousins that can remember these Christmas celebrations. And the bed situation? No-one had a car and the Christmas celebrations continued until the early morning hours, so it was an emergency situation. The men mainly slept on the floor or the armchairs in the living room and we kids moved in with our aunts in the beds and our aunts were not exaclt light weight or slim.

Oh and I am forgetting grandad, who was then approaching 80 years old. He had the place of honour in the corner and enjoyed being there. He was enshrouded in a cloud of cigarette smoke, he always rolled his own and now and again had to visit the toilet. Everyone made a corridor and he was accompanied by two uncles until he reached that certain place. When he was finished, he made the return journey, again being supported by two uncles. At least that is how I have it in my memory.

They were my first Christmas celebrations and probably those that remain embedded in my memory today.

They just do not do it now like they used to.

What is your favourite Chrismas Memory?

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 50

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf 16.12.2016

Happy Christmas say the town police with their Christmas Tree at the police station.


We now have a post office in the parking lots of the local supermarket. Just weigh your parcel, buy the stamps from the machine  and put it in the postbox, all in the middle.

Feldbrunnen to Langenndorf 09.12 (16)

What shrouded objects are waiting at the exit road to the parking lots. Why are they hiding beneath their grey plastic coats. Will they ambush you as you are leaving? No, they were intended for payment as you were leaving, but then there was a change of plan and a ticket machine was built. They are now redundant, but who knows if they will one day arise and fight for they rights.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 50

Photo Challenge: Anticipation

Dad's 100th Birthday

If you are a Brit and you let the Queen know when you will be celebrating your 100th birthday, then you will anticipate receiving a birthday card from Her Majesty. My family are Brits and it was my dad’s 100th birthday on 24th Sepember 2015. The Queen marked it in her diary, or her was informed by her advisors and my dad received his birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on his birthday. Dad was more interested in who won the english football cup final, than how the of the royal family were facing their daily problems.

However, when he received his birthday card from the Queen on his birthday it was put in a place of honour amongst the other cards. He was sitting in his made to measure comfortable chair, giving an interview to the local newspaper, being one of the oldest citizens in the area, and enjoying the day. It was then I noticed dad picking up the card often and studying the contents constantly. I am sure the Queen does not know who my dad is, and my dad has never met the queen, but on that day the anticipation of receiving a birthday card from the Queen of England was fulfilled. The card was a constant source of interest.

In the following year in June, dad passed away, but not without receiving a birthday card from the Queen. Where is the card now? In my possession with all the other cards he received on that day.

Photo Challenge: Anticipation

Daily Prompt: A maddening thing happened today

Parking Langendorf

Let’s set the scene. Mrs. Angloswiss and Mr. Swiss saddled up their car to go shopping on Friday morning. They were not late, because golden oldies are never late. They have no important appointments, nothing that has to be urgently dealt with, but they still have to eat, thus food must be bought. When they eventually arrived in the supermarket hall of shopping they saw it was already 10.45 a.m. which was half an hour later than usual, but what difference does half an hour mean? Today they were unprepared, had no idea what to cook and when, but in the wise words of Mr. Swiss “we will find something”.

Mrs. Angloswiss was a little unsure about this something. On Friday evening she would be alone with No. 1 son as Mr. Swiss would be attending a musical rehearsal reunion with members of his jazz group which meant that Mrs. Angloswiss would have a peaceful evening to herself, the advantage being that everyone looks after themself for food. She had already decided to make the most of the occasion and prepare a sandwich, which she could eat at leisure in her office/computer room with no frim fram on the side. Saturday evening No. 1 son would not be at home for food, he had something more important to attend, like a local concert of hard rock – or something in that line.

Gradually other ideas came and 30 minutes later the shopping trolley was full and the credit cards were emptying. As the happy couple were leaving the supermarket Mrs. Angloswiss had to make a stop. She had filled her card with stamps and could choose her fourth Teddy Bear from the Christmas campaign. Even at the age of 70, you enjoy the simple things in life. Derby and Joan (a brit expression for elderly golden oldie couples) could now leave the temple of buying with a clear conscience. They would not starve over the week-end, they had a fourth teddy bear, and on the way out Mrs. Angloswiss even had time to stop off at the gardening department to buy an amaryllis, and take a few photos of plants for her blogging challenges.

They soon resaddled their car, and Mr. Swiss drove off, Mrs. Angloswiss unpacked her camera to take a few photos on the way. After a few seconds they came to an abrupt stop, because the car in front had also stopped. They soon realised that the complete line of cars wanting to leave the parking lots had stopped, a complete standstill. Mrs. Angloswiss wanted to take a photo, but it was not a good moment. There was not a clear view and the people in the car in front may have got a little annoyed. The photo shows how it should have been, now imagine cars bumper to bumper up to the end of this parking outlet.

The culprit was a truck, a lorry, a gigantic monster of the road with trailer that was endeavouring to enter the goods parking lot at the end of this path. His front part was facing our front parts, because he wanted to back in. First of all he had to drive towards us before reversing. When he reversed, he was blocking our exit, and he had to repeat this exercise for at least 10 minutes and we were still waiting. We had an escape chance, but this was also blocked in the meanwhile by a car that was kissing our bumper almost – there was no escape. Suddenly a rescuer arrived on the scene. He guided the car behind us out of this predicament, leaving the way free for us to turn and escape. Afterwards it was easy peasy, although we were driving in the wrong direction on a one way lane, but who cares, we could escape.

Time was now very tight as we only arrived home at 11.50, which more or less gave me 10 mintues to cook a full lunch for three people.  As said, we golden oldies have no time tables. It makes really no difference if you eat lunch at 12.00, 1.00 or 2.00, the main thing is you eat. Lunch was served at 12.30 – it was fish and chips and I had routine in fish and chips being a Brit. I decided to relinquish my after dinner tea, but still had time for some nice chocolate specialities that Mr. Swiss had purchased for me in a chocolate shop.

Eventually I managed to sink into oblivion for a golden oldie after dinner sleep and was on time.

Daily Prompt: A maddening thing happened today

Good Morning

Sparrows 15.12 (1)

Got them at last. I always have a bowl of water outside ont he porch/deck, for my feline Tabby. She loves drinking outside under the free sky. She dips her paw into the bowl to make sure it remains where it is and drinks and drinks and drinks. At the moment the water from the evening before is frozen in the morning, so we have to make sure to refresh it as the first work of the day.

Last week I looked out of the window and saw that when Tabby is sleeping, which is her favourite pasttime of the day and does most of the time, the sparrows take over. There were many all sitting on the edge of the water bowl having a drink. I took my camera for the Pulitzer prize shot of the year and in a fraction of a second they had flown away. I kept my eye on the situation for a few days. Mr. Swiss saw them and called me to take a photo, but at the sound of a human voice, a manly one, they again took flight. The trick is to have an eye on the water bowl and the camera with the zooming lens ready for action next to where you are sitting.

Yesterday my efforts were rewarded. Of course being a golden oldie with hands that are not as still as they should be, I took a few photos, not all being as good as they should have been. We have monster crows, less monster magpies and very cheeky sparrows. In between blue tits, that hover and wait for a chance to dive and get some food without being distrubed by the sparrows. We also have Mr. and Mrs. Blackbird, but they prefer to peck on the ground. They are also quite brave, and have no respect for the others. One of the crows stands out for his size. I am sure he is the leader of the pack. He is a head and shoulders larger than the rest and if he flies off, he has an enormous wing span.

And now enough, I should really be gone. Today was a bed hugging day and I did not even have time to read the reader on my iPad between the sheets, so I am doing it here on my computer now. We now have an economy version of the reader, so we can all save scrolling and do it in the half of the time.

I am off shopping, but have absolutely no idea what to get for the week-end. This evening Mr. Swiss is off to a band rehearsal, playing in the style of the jazz be-bop greats, leaving me alone at home with my two computers, a cat, and a Kindle. I probably will not even bother to switch on the television. An advantage is perhaps I can eat my evening sandwich with ingredients that no-one else likes.

To the background sound of birdsong and a sighting of three sparrows having a conversation in front of my window I am off. See you around later.