Flower of the Day: 01.05.2017 Bougainvillea


Not a flower that I thought I would find for this title I even had to check the spelling to make sure I got it right. I see the Bougainvillea plants from others, but Switzerland is not Bougainvillea country. In summer you sometimes see a pot of Bougainvillea outside, but usually only those people that have a green house to be able to keep them during the Swiss Winter. They would die quite quickly in our outdoor Winter temperatures. I saw this one in the local store.

Flower of the Day: 01.05.2017 Bougainvillea

Share Your World – May 1, 2017

Would you rather live where it is always hot or always cold?

I am quite happy living where I now live. A bit of everything. Even London did not bother me so much, although I could have done with a little more sun. Living in the concrete was not actually ideal. Switzerland has a bit of everything, rain, snow, sun:  no problem.

What is your favorite month of the year?

I do not have a favourite month, but season. I can live with them all, but Autumn does it nicely for me. No more sun stress from Summer and garden organisation in Spring. I can sit back and relax and wait for the Winter to arrive, which is also quite welcome. I am getting lazy in my older days and just like to watch it all happening.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

I always wanted long hair, which I had for many years. It was because mum never wanted me to have long hair, and I was always disagreeing with mum. However, as I progressed in age, I had it cut short, as short as possible and I love it. Just a shower in the morning and let it dry. I have fine hair and a good cut makes it look better. It also suits grey I find. And the bathroom does not get blocked so much by the long hairs that used to cause problems.

What is the easiest way for your to learn something new?  By reading, by seeing and doing, in a classroom?

I am a great follower of learning by doing. You can lecture me and be perfect in explaining stuff, but actually doing it personally does it for me. And at my age I know it all so who wants to learn.

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Renovation 28.04 (23)

I am glad that this example of urban architecture has now been completed (our appartment:  ground floor on the right). The scaffolding is finished, the workers had to meet their deadline last Saturday and worked until 7.00 p.m. but they did it. Today is 1st May, a holiday, and tomorrow the next step takes place, which will be the removal of our metal blinds until Autumn. However we have new special curtains so there will be no problem. I am perhaps a little bit grateful that the scaffolding does help to reduce the strength of the sun on our windows.

This week I have to make an appointment with the dentist – no big deal, just a check up. Otherwise life goes on, and who knows what little surprises are hovering around the corner.

Share Your World – May 1, 2017

Daily Prompt: Everyone is an apprentice

Patrick at work

We all have to learn, the only abilities you have when you are born is eating and sleeping, called instincts. The rest you have to learn. We all go to school and one day school tells you to go and find your place in the world. Some go to university to study further and others learn it all by doing, an apprenticeship.

I grew up in a british world where and apprenticeship was only really available for manual workers, be it electricitan or plumber and this was basically a mans’ world. I remember ny mum telling me her younger brother was apprenticed as a window dresser. He finished his apprenticeship, which you had to pay for at that time, and the second world war broke out. He had to join the army and fight and no-one was interested in creating window shows in shops when there would probably be war destruction.

If you were a female of the species and did not quaify or decide to train in a female job, such as nurse, you learned by doing. I was lucky enough to qualify for an english grammar school with a commercial department, so my last year was spent in learning shorthand, typing, accounts and everything connected wtih office work. I was one of the lucky ones. Others were just thrown to the mercy of the work system, perhaps as a shop assistant or in a factory on the conveyer belt: not really learning anything more, but one day having a family to learn by doing.

The photos is of my No. 1 son at his job on an automatic lathe (with the company’s cockatoo in the background), as well as Mr. Swiss who also happened to get into the picture. No. 1 son is autistic, but in Switzerland there is also a programme for handicapped to learn a trade and he learned to become a mechanic, with special final qualification examination, which he passed. I discovered the almost perfect system in Switzerland. If you qualify by passing your matura examination at high school, your place in univesity is definite, which was the case of No. 2 son. There is no question of not being enough room at the university (with the exception of the medical profession), you passed and are qualified.

I also discovered that the apprenticeship system in Switzerland is in all jobs, whether shop assistant, manual worker, or even office work. After leaving school you apply for an apprenticeship. I was surprised that office workers, as I was, also had an apprenticeship system. It has various shapes and sizes, but the compay where you are doing the apprenticeship pays you a wage and after the three years you take you final examination.

Mrs. Swiss passed through this system. When I was a working woman I was supervising the apprentice in my department, guiding him or her through the steps and ensuring they were learning what they should learn. I enjoyed that part of my work, not only did the youngsters learn from me, but I also learned from them. I still meet my ex apprentices sometimes by chance in the local town, now with familiies of their own and I am happy to say I was part of their further education.

Cooking pasta



I would add that the job of housewife has no apprenticeship system, that is really learning by doing, but we are multi taskers, ironing, washing, cleaning, cooking. It all has to be organised and planned and so our process of become logistic experts in also completed.

Daily Prompt: Everyone is an apprentice

Good Morning

Lily of the Valley

What are these lily of the valley flowers doing on today’s Good Morning blog. Today is May Day and these flowers are known as May Bells translated literally from the German name. It is a custom to give a sprig to your lady friend or other friends on 1st May. In the office someone would put a stalk in a glass of water on your desk, how romantic. Of course, to commemorate the day I could have posted a picture of Lenin, as 1st May was always a day for Russia to celebrate their socialist doctrine, in later years with street parades showing their newest missiles and rockets. This is now a thing of the past. Putin has now discouraged such ideas, although Kim Jong Un in North Korea has not yet got the message, but he does it when he feels like it.

I prefer the lily of the valley, although they can also be persistant. I never planted them in my garden, but one day one began to grow – an invader. However, I was impressed but one arrives seldom alone. The flowers die but the leaves remain until the colder weather arrives and the next spring they are back, they have multiplied and even begun to infiltrate the neighbours garden. Too much May day spirit also has its limits. The gardener arrived and said with shock in his voice “I would remove them, otherwise they will take over”. I decided to follow his words and dug them up. It was not easy, because what you see above the earth is just a small part of it, the weave an intricate maze of roots below. Ten years later they have almost disappeared, but only almost. I still find 3 or 4 plants appearing in Spring and my neighbour also has a developing plantation in her garden, due to me. The next door flat is now empty, so they can spread and take over in the meanwhile.

Another aspect of these flowers is that they are highly poisonous, especially the little red berries that appear after flowering, so I would say “burn after flowering” to be on the safe side.

In the spirit of May Day, most countries give the working population a holiay. The Brits naturally combine it with a Bank Holiday, to extend the week-end. We thrifty Swiss only get half a day, in the afternoon. As a golden oldie, every day is a holiday so who cares. However, we will be on a shopping safari this morning as usual, hoping that the place will not be crowded with the average housewife population ensuring that they will not starve. I had to explain to my autistic No. 1 son that he has a free afternoon, but I am not sure if he got that one and said he would eat in town for lunch in any case. Differences to the normal situations are difficult to explain to an autist.

At least there will be no building work taking place today. They slaved all day on Saturday to finish the construction of the scaffolding and will now have a well deserved day of rest. Tomorrow the removal of our metal blinds will take place, but luckily we now have our own fitted inside blinds, which we are really pleased with. The aluminium blinds will be replaced when the work on the facade is finished, next October.

River Aar 30.04 (11)

Yesterday was a warm sunny spring day so I decided on an afternoon walk along the river. This was a mistake, not only the heat but the march of the masses annoyed me and when I returned I decided to reduce my walking adventures. It is not fun avoiding children taking their first drive with a bicycle, or pram, as well as the adult keep fit experts. In future I will only go places with my camera when it is a journey to something completely different, or stay at home and blog.

Enjoy your May Day wherever you are, be it on a political gathering (every Swiss town has one, to keep the red flag flying) or just a relaxing day with the masses on a nice walk. It is raining here, with grey skies and cold temperatures to cause me to keep the kitchen window closed and to tell Mr. Swiss to do the same. Must go, and will leave you with a photo from yesterday’s walk.

River Aar 30.04 (14)