Photo Challenge: Wish

Jesuit Church, Solothurn

Being an atheist, my only interest in visitng churches is for a good photo, or perhaps it might be a family wedding or funeral, so I am not into the details of what is actually going on. However, our area is a catholic area, and they love to light a candle, usually in front of an altar or painting, as in this case. The candles are probably expressing wishes of some kind, and why not?

Photo Challenge: Wish

One Word Photo Challenge: Fabricated


A walk through the annual market festival in the town of Solothurn, Switzerland and fabricated goods are on sale everywhere. T-shirts is all sizes and designs are available. We also have a monthly market where you can buy everything from a hat to shoes with clothes in between.

One Word Photo Challenge: Fabricated

Writing Prompt#37: Favourite Cereal


I saw this prompt yesterday, but had nothing as an inspiration to write. Today I was in the local supermarket and armed with my mobile phone took a few photos. Of course I got some strange sideways glances from other shoppers, but they probably thought I was some sort of crazy golden oldie with a touch of Alzheimer. Mr. Swiss distanced himself from me, but he was on the quest for Pepsi Cola which happened to be in the next shelf.

CerealWriting about your favourite cereal could become a very lengthy blog. There are so many different kinds. When I was a kid back in London in the fifties, the only choice was cornflakes, or shredded wheat, although mum would help to brighten up the cornflakes with some slices of banana.

I was never a great milk drinker, did not like the stuff, but mum found it would be good for me and pouring it over the cornflakes would be a confirmation that I was eating healthy food.

I quite like shredded what, after all it was the favourite of the Tottenham Hotspur football player, Danny Blanchflower. He was constantly showing how good it was on the TV commercial, and if it was good enough for a professional footballer, it would be good enough for me. I did not really like it so much, as a full sized shredded wheat was big. However later in life the bite sized wheaties arrived, and you could fill up your bowl according to how much you wanted to eat.

CerealLater in life I moved to Switzerland and as you can see in the first photo, Switzerland was not in the breakfast cereal isolation and they could compete with the rest. However, prices were twice as expensive as in England. Of course we had Birchermusli, the Swiss healthy version of the breakfast cereal. Dr. Bircher, the Swiss cereal guru, discovered and developed a mixture of various fruits and oats, guranteed to transform you into a picture of health.

Unfortunately slowly but surely I developed a lactose allergy and my breakfast cereal days came to an end. I am now confined to bread, butter and jam, although I quite enjoy it. We can even buy marmalade in Switzerland according to the original recipe, made from bitter oranges, so what could possibly be better. I do not miss my cereal, I just have a higher sugar content in my blood in the morning after breakfast – yes, I am also diabetic. Oats and wheat grow in the fields surrounding my home, so the cereal touch is not completely lost.

My favourite breakfast – if I had the time, fried egg on fried bread, a few sausages, baked tomatoes, garnished with mushrooms and perhaps some baked beans. I always loved the english idea of a cooked breakfast.

Wheat field in Feldbrunnen

Writing Prompt#37: Favourite Cereal

Daily Prompt: Of course I am nervous

Ducks 07.03 (9)

Nervous? Of course I am nervous. Life has become one big nervous battle since my MS progresses, slowly thanks to the medication, but surely.

Taling a photo like this is no longer the simple operation it used to be, but no, no-one is taking away my hobbies, and things I can still enjoy. To take a photo like this I must have a zoom lens attached to the camera, making it a little longer and heavier, but I can still do it. I can easily carry the camera around my shoulder. It is all a matter of how I suppose. I used to take the camera in my hand, point, adjust and shoot. Those days are now gone, but I can still do it. I cannot carry a bag, or rucksack, it would be too uncomfortable, so I have to devise a different way of doing things. I have my mobile phone in my pocket do not need anything more for a walk in the surroundings.

Luckily the places where I take most of my photographs are near. If I go further, then with the car, so I can leave various necessary bags in the car contining a purse, driving licence, and whatever. You will see me walking with a cane in the right hand, a nice colourful cane. If you have to have one, then make it a good one, something completely different.

And I arrive at my destination. Now the problems begin to unfold. How to hold a camera and a walking stick? That depends on the lay of the land. The ducks are in a good place, but I have to stand far away enough otherwise the 300 lens will not focus. As luck would have it there is a hedge opposite the duck enclosure, so I can hang the cane on the hedge, lean on the hedge, take the camera in my hand ,relax and shoot. Yes it is all a matter of organisation.

The problem begins when I reach the enclosure where the horses are. I would now be better with a shorter lens as the zoom is too much of a close up and I do not want to carry a second lens, but where there is a will (and a strong will) there is a way. The hedge is no longer there, been replaced by an open field, so I cannot lean on anything. This can be a nervous moment, but I have it all worked out. In winter I have a jacket with a zip opener. Hang the can over the top of the zip, where you hope it stays. Take the camers in both free hands and take your photo.

Horses 07.03 (4)

I am still not far enough away for an ideal photo, but am too nervous to stand in the middle of a field: just one false step and I may fall, wich is the biggest problem for me. I cannot get up on my own, and I am alone. Another precaution I take is always to have my mobile phone with me. In the worst possible scene, I can call for help. Mr. Swiss is a five minute walk away and if I have an emergency, I can always call a taxi – or an ambulance.

I do not demand of Mr. Swiss that he accompanies me every time I leave the house. I can walk, I can manage, and I can do it on my own. His last question when I leave is “make sure you have your telephone”. I do not expect him to accompany me on a photo walk. He likes to walk, but must constantly wait for me – not only because of the photos, but I am now a slow walker. And so I continue. I hear the church clock strike and realise I have now been on my way for at least 15 minutes. I decide it is time to return, and on the way may take a few more photos. I walk for about half an hour, but am away for an hour.

Church Feldbrunnen 16.02.2'18

I feel good when I return home, I have been somewhere, enjoyed my hobby and have a feeling of achievement. I am not a worrier, can relax and enjoy, but there is always a possibility that I might put a foot wrong and fall. It has happened, and I am sure it will happen again, but I refuse to give up, and  stay at home.

I can just as well have an accident at home as away. Every step I take is now an achievement for me  I notice the progression of the illness, although I have a good medicine to keep it under control. There is no pain, just a tiredness of the limbs, and sometimes a spasticity in the legs. Nervous, not really. I am not doing a bungy jump or a swim across he english channel, just taking a walk in the country with a camera – and a cane.

Daily Prompt: Of course I am nervous

Good Morning

Jura 07.03 (1)

The Swiss weather forecasters said it would snow, but in the lowlands it was just plain cold with rain. I went for a walk yesterday and armed with the zoom lens took a photo of the first chain of the Jura mountains, and yes, there was snow, a lot f snow, but it is higher. Even the sun came out now and again.

At least the mountains are still there. We had an earthquake in Switzerland on Monday evening just after 9.00 p.m. I am sure your news bulletins on the TV and radio as well as the newspapers were full of this sensation. You did not know? OK, I suppose judging the size of Switzerland compared to other countries, it could disappear into a hole in the ground and no-one would notice. Of course, those with their numbered bank accounts would, but they are only the few rich and famous, not even I have a numbered account and I live in the country. To reassure you all I am safe in my part of Switzerland. According to the earthquake measuring system it was a small one, 4,6 on the scale, so nothing devestating. It happed on the Klausen Pass. somewhere in the alps, but no big deal, perhaps a few plates and cups fell from the shelves of the hotel and some mountain animals were a bit shaken up.

We did not feel it where I live, although I read a few remarks in Facebook from some people in the area that noticed a few window frames were shaking. The authorities say it was not a seirous quake and there might be a few aftershocks, but we will survive. Not that Switzerland is famous for earthquake sensations. There was a big one in Basel some time in the 12th centuary but as no-one today is alive to tell the true story we do not know details, but it was not fake news. I remember about 25 years ago one morning when I awoke to discover our appartment block was creaking at the joints and my bed was shaking. Mr. Swiss also awoke and told me to stop pushing his bed. I told him that we were probably feeling a small earthquake and we were. Again we survived, but a few nervous people ran out on the street dressed in their night clothes for safety. I just went back to sleep.

The last time the earth moved here was about 5-10 years ago. I did not really feel it move, but there was a strange rumble culminating in a bang – no, a big bang. The neighbours dog began to howl and I went down to the cellar as our gas installations were there – we have floor heating driven by gas. Everything was as normal, so you switch on the radio – yes we are very practical. There was an earth tremor in the Jura with the epicentre being in Lommiswill, about a 5-10 minute car drive away. Again, it did not get into the New York Times.  Dinosaur footprints were once fond  in that part of the Jura. You can still see them, although I do not know if I would recognise one if I saw one. Dinosaurs did not die from an earthquake, I think it was some sort of global thing.

Anyhow we survived again and life goes on as usual. If one day there is no Good Morning news here, it might be due an earthquake, but more likely that I prefer to hug my bed.

As you can see, nothing really exciting happens here, so if you get an earthquake it is big news.

As I said, I went for a walk yesterday afternoon. I was glad to get out of the house for a change and go places to see things. I only got to the local stables and took a few photos of various ducks, geese and horses, no big deal. I also noticed that they are building some sort of small shelter next to the pond, probably for the ducks. Perhaps they might begin to build a nest, which would be great: photos of ducklings perhaps.

Today is shopping day, so they are letting me out to make the surroundings unsure. Mr. Swiss said he has started a shopping list, so sharing a shopping list cloud on my phone, I just had a look. Yes all life’s necessities are on the list, including Pepsi Cola and a cucumber. We prefer Pepsi to Coca Cola, an acquired taste.

We have also decided to let the bird food go to an end and let the birds clear the remainders. They can now find their own food and the gardener will be arriving at the end of the month and will remove the bird house for us. And it seems another Winter is again approaching its end. It was a good Winter, no stress and for the first time in my golden oldie life I quite enjoyed it.

Time to go and do things that all housewives should do after breakfast.

I will be back, if we do not have an earthquake in between.

Chickens 07.03 (1)