Flower of the Day: 31.03.2017 Osteospermum


I usually plant them in the garden, but this year I will have to make do with seeing them in the store. They never survive  in our cold winter climate to re-appear the following year and this year I have to hold back on the garden as our bulding is being renovated and workmen will probably be trampling all over the garden.

Flower of the Day: 31.03.2017 Osteospermum

Daily Prompt: Passports, one is not enough.

Passports 31.03.2017

Identity CardPassport – of course, I collect them and every Brit has to have one if they put a foot out of Britain. As I have said before, why have a simple solution when you can do it complicated. Britain has been talking about a simple identity card as a solution and most other European countries do not even think about it, they just do it. The little plastic identity card on the left gets me all over Europe. If I want to travel further, then I have to use my passport, but which one? I often wonder why the photos make you look like a criminal.

RegistrationThat is a very good question. When I entered Switzerland in 1966 I did it all on my British Passport, because that was the only one I had. I would go annually to the British Embassy in Zürich to register. There was no law to register, but if Switzerland were involved in a major international crisis, the Brits would know I was there and get me out. Switzerland being a neutral country, this would hardly  be the case, but you never know. On the right is the back page of my original British passport with the registration stamps. The bottom stamp is very special. On 6th December, 1966 I entered Switzerland on my work permit to stay. I had to break the journey in Basel on the border to report to the health authorities for a medical examination. I had to have an x-ray of the chest and a blood test.  After a wait of two hours I had to report back for the results. If they were OK, they let me in. There were a few dramas at the border exminations where the results were not as they should have been, but I could travel further from Basel to Zürich.

The blue british passport on the left in the photo is obsolete. It is an original 100% british passport. The Brits joined the EU and we were issued with the british version of the European Union passports – at the bottom on the right. And now after the Brexit episode they will most like have yet another new version of the british passport. My british passport is no longer valid since last year, and I do not intend to renew it.

In the meanwhile I met Mr. Swiss and on the day of my civil marriage I did not only get a husband, but Swiss nationality. This was way back in 1968 and a few years later a new law was passed in Switzerland that just marrying a Swiss was not enough. I do not know the exact details, but I believe you can apply for Swiss citizenship a few years later. There were too many of us only marrying a Swiss to get the passport. Me? No never, the Swiss passport was not a pretty as the British passport, but it did simplify matters living in Switzerland. I no longer needed a work permit, I was Swiss.

I have now divulged enough secrets of my private life, with the documents concerned. Of course no-one discovered that I was actually an undercover agent for the British secret service, but you do not have to know everything. I had to be careful not to get my documents mixed up, as they all had a different name according to the mission I was working on. I told Mr. Swiss I was visiting my realtives in Britain on my various journeys:  little did he know about my secret second life.

Daily Prompt: Passports, one is not enough

Good Morning

Temporary back garden

We had to have a change on our back porch. From Monday there will be no back porch, because of the building work. We have been ordered to clear the “sitting places “front and back”. Yesterday two men arrived and shifted our large table into our hobby room in the cellar which has enough room, so we replaced it temporarily for a few days with our smaller table from the other garden. We also had to clear the stuff away from the other side, but that is no big problem as we do not use it so much. There are now just a few bits and pieces to move.

I noticed that my tulips are now beginning to flower, along with the other spring flowers. My bleeding heart plant is full of buds. It would be so wonderful when we would not have to live with the uncertainty of what might be broken when the hedges are removed and the scaffolding erected.

Mrs. Swiss is not well at the moment, so is really not fit for such a stress and when he is out of action, is my action more, although he finds he can still go on safari to the supermarket, but I will be driving both ways. I could do it on my own, but would have to add a further hour until I would be finished as I am no longer able to move very quickly, and there would be the bags of groceries to move. Although No. 1 son would be around for any help needed. I was glad for him yesterday, and I managed to shift some heavy stuff with his help. We have a saying back to my english days, it never rains, but it pours and that is the feeling I have at the moment.

We have a so-called Shadbush in the meadow in front of our garden. It is one of those bushes that are not very spectacular, but grow here and there. Ours is now quite tall, which we are glad of, as it helps to keep a bit of a private sphere between our place and the next. It is a bit annoying in Autumn with its blue berries which are very good at leaving blue stains everywhere. I notice that it is now producing the first leaves of the year, so decided to take a photo. Sometimes you have things in front of you, but never notice the little details.

Grape Pear 30.03 (2)

I noticed there are even buds here and there, so there will be flowers. I am keeping my eye on it with the camera. Always glad for something new.

And now for the week-end shopping trip. I have made a detailed list as neither of us are in super shape at the moment to remember everything. I will be glad to be back home today and be able to take it easy.

Oh dear, this blog seems to be one big moan, but WordPress is cheaper than your own shrink. I just have to do the writing and photography.

Have a good day everyone, see you around some time later.

Daily Prompt: Not quite a fortune

Englisch coins

Being a Brit I would visit my dad in London once a year when possible. I live in Switzerland. We never had a Swiss-exit because we decided from the beginning that we did not belong in the EU, only geographically. For this reason the Swiss kept their Swiss francs. The Brits were always something completely different and although they agreed to belong to the EU, probably beause of the wine prices being  cheaper,  they kept their English money, as well as their pints (english beer should only be served by the pint apparently).

The result of my many back and forth travels to London was to acquire a fortune in english change. I grew up in Great Britain with a money system that was quite unique. Decimal? Why do it easy.  Tens and hundreds, even thousands, were too complicated for the british. Why should it be so easy. Our original monetary system was composed of pennies, being 12 of them to a shilling, and a pound which was logically 20 shillings. We also had guineas (21 shillings)  but not as a coin, just as a price. These were the basics. Of course, we also had halfpennies and farthings (quarter of a penny), threepenny pieces and sixpence, as well as half a crown which was 2 shilling and sixpence. Imagine growing up in an english education system and learning it all, but I could do it. None of that adding zero to siplify addition and substracion. Why do it the easy way when you can do it more complicated.

I left London in the throws of the introduction of a decimal sysem. Switzerland no problem, they had decimals with their Swiss francs for some time.

After the decimal system had been abolished in England, there we still some of the old coins in circulation, but they had different values. The Brits had to get used to it, but for my once a year visit I had a mixed purse with various generations of english coins, some decimal and some that had become decimal and some no longer existant. If I bought anything in England at the time I did not have a clue what I had in my hand. The shop assistants were very helpful, and I felt like a complete idiot. My country, but no longer my momey.

I kept two purses at home in Switzerland. My daily purse with the Swiss money and a second purse containing english money for my visits to England. My father passed away last year, and I no longer have intentions of visiting London. Mr. Swiss was a business man and travelled to England now and again, the result being he had also accumulated a fortune in english change.

This week we had a sort out and he gave me a bag full of english change. My english purse was now full and so I had to transfer it into a box – see photo above. It is not a fortune. My No. 2 son will be going to Edinburgh this year for a conference, so I will probably see if I can pass some on before he goes.

A Swiss Fortune

Daily Prompt: Not quite a Fortune

Good Morning


Even sunrise over an estate can have its qualities and you can depend that the sun will rise, although not always with a splendid glow. I rose this morning, but not so splendidly and would have preferred to remain hugging the bed.

So what will we do today? Nothing special : a 20 minute job on window cleaning and the usual tour de Dyson in the appartment. The afternoon will be at my leisure, although I have a few things to organise moving stuff around in the garden.

Yesterday I finished my current book and I found it a good book. I was at a loss of what to read, but discovered a best selling Amazon author, although I did not really know what that was. I suppose it was someone that only writes books for Amazon, which would be the logical conclusion. As I find supernatural and sci fi usually does it for me, this might be my sort of thing. The author is RR Haywood and is apparently well known in the realms of Zombie book readers. I discovered this after downloading the book on my Kindle, otherwise I would not have bothered. However, this book was not actually zombie, just a couple of heroes saved from dying in their last heroic moments to save the world. Of course there was a lot more to it, and when I had finished the 400 pages on my Kindle I was a fan. The book is “Extracted” and part  one of a trilogy and I am hooked to find out what will happen in part 2 and 3. The basis is a time machine. The world at the end of the 21st century is lifless, the end of the world, and the theme is to find out when it happened and why and perhaps alter the destiny – through the time machine of course.

Ok, I know it needs an imagination and it is not reality, but I like to escape from the every day reality now and again. Now I am on the search for my next book as although I have part 2 and 3 to read of the last book, I do not like reading the same thing continuously, but prefer to keep something on the sidelines. I am not sure what my next book will be, but I may take a break and do a few online jigsaw puzzles to keep my brain active.

As I have google chrome as a browser I automatically sign into my google page when I fire up the computer in the morning. Google tells me that have developed a new “sign-in* formation. Of course it will be better than the present entrance page they assure me, much quicker and more efficient. At least they have told me about it, and not just “plonk hello, we are new, get used to it” which is the genral idea of our favourite web sites. I know it is coming. I am not an active Google member, my blogs just get cross posted into google. I try to keep my online life in limits, as I would otherwise have no time to lead a real life.

Make the most of my hedges to be seen in the final photo. Next Monday they will be removed until Autumn due to building work, although I am not quite sure why, but the rebuild commando will probably have a good reason. And now to move on to fight through the daily chores and come out successful at the end. Enjoy the day.