Photo Challenge: Heritage

Army Chocolate

Of course I am a Swiss Patriot, but wait a minute, I was born a cockney in London. Should I be showing a photo of Queen Elizabeth – no not really. I am one of those that got away, 20 years England and 50 years Switzerland, so let’s stick with the Swiss. On the other hand I cannot yodel, and have never made a cheese fondue myself, buy it in a packet and warm it up in the fondue pot.

What do I have to show for my Swiss heritage? Well I have a Swiss husband that can trace his roots back to a place known as the Gohlgraben in Emmental in Switzerland. I could never really trace my english roots. Half of them were just there, and the other half were Huguenot refugees chased out of France because of their religion.

However, I have two Swiss sons, with Swiss passports, one of them even served in the Swiss army – yes we have one. Every able bodied Swiss has to do his time and to support them in the hard days of service, they are fed and clothed. Being Swiss one of the parts of their soldier diet is chocolate, not just any chocolate, but Swiss army chocolate. This is so successful, being part of our heritage, that you an even buy it in the supermarket: packed in a ration of 50 grammes and it is marked on the paket (in the three swiss languages of course) Army chocolate. This is the Swiss secret weapon, the reason that our army would be so successful in battle (no it was not Wilhelm Tell that was the national hero, it was Suchard, the Swiss chocolate maker): our Swiss heritage.

Photo Challenge: Heritage

Daily Prompt: Precipice everywhere


No matter where you are in Switzerland, you are bound to find a precipice somewhere. This is a photo taken by me from one of the local mountains, the Balmberg. Luckily you have a zoom lens on the cameras today, otherwise I would not have ventured so far to the edge. I am an apprentice Swiss and did not grow up here, but I was not a bartered bride. I did it all voluntarily.


Now I have my own private precipice due to the building work where I live,  In front of the window to my computer room. The problem with this precipice is that I have to mind the gap and cannot jump over it because my jumping days have long gone.  I am a prisoner in my own home. Of course I can avoid this by leaving by the main door, walking around our block and eventually arriving in my garden.

We have two floors above us and they will be removing the balcony railings. Today they began removing the stone paving on the balconies. It is not my problem, although when it is raining square blocks of stones from above, it is better to stay inside. There are appartments above with small children and i dare not think what could happen in they strayed to the edge of the balcony. It seems their families have now unscrewed the window handles to prevent the balcony windows being opened by the kids. We are all slowly becoming prisoners in our own homes and danger is lurking everywhere.

Not very much to say in this connection. I do not see the meaningful side of the precipice situation at the moment, only the bare facts. I am glad for Mr. Swiss. I had to water the garden and the hose was on the wrong side of the precipice. He climbed down the precipice, climbed up again on the other side and returned the hose to the right place. My garden was somewhat thirsty and was begging for water.

So be careful how you tread, there are precpices everywhere in life and you may stumble and fall. It just seems to me that those that should fall, never do, Even presidents seem to be able to climb up the precipices with no damage.

Daily Prompt: Precipice everywhere

Good Morning


There are no longer gentle awakenings in my home. I have 2 iPads and an iPhone that awake me with birdsong, gently but effective. Now I have a troop of builders who begin work at 7.00 am and waste no time with switching on their various drills: not exactly birdsong, but something similar to a Steven Spielberg movie, with the words “They’re here”. We were warned yesterday on the visit from one of my favourite builders that today they would begin at 10.00 am removing the layers of insulation from our block. We live ground floor and there are two other levels above us. Of course they begin at the top. They could not wait to get started and when I arose my garden already resembled a Cristo scupture, packed in plastic.


And then the blocks came tumbling down onto our beloved lawn and the men were already there to carry them away. Admittedly they were only styropore blocks from the insulation, but it is better to stay indoors today to avoid headlines of “housewife struck by falling styropore blocks”. I have not seen my cat all morning, he seems to have found a quiet place hidden from the builder attacks. It seems they are ahead of schedule which does not bother me, the quicker the better. I used my charm on the builder and he said that when the day’s work was finished they would remove the plastic sheets on my garden and replace them tomorrow morning. At least my garden can again breathe. They actually intended to do our part last week, but changed the plan. They had already covered with the plastic sheeting which I removed a day later as I realised it was not yet necessary. Now it is, and I cannot avoid it.

Removing rubble from roof 16.05 (1)

They also began on our roof yesterday. This does not really affect us so much. The complete rubble and surface of the roof was removed by a pipeline leading to a large truck which sucked it all away. Even the truck bore my married name, but Gerbers are everywhere in Switzerland. They come originally from the Emmental and if you look in the telephone book featuring the village of Langnau, you will find that 99% of the names are Gerber, so no big deal. And so this wonderful example of modern machinery pumped away our covering on the roof to the accompanying noise of a motor. When you hear a motor from morning at 7.30 until evening at 5.30 p.m. it does tend to be an annoyance: it is all in the name of improvement of course.

We managed to escape yesterday afternoon by taking a walk along the river, but even then we were confronted with a problem – see my blog An Afternoon with a Qualm where we had a meeting with a bull.

Otherwise life goes on, with its normal background noises of our merry builders, In half an hour they have their coffee break which means 15-20 minutes of the quiet before the continuing storm. There is one very good aspect of our trials this week. The plan is to be finished by the end of the week, perhaps earlier, and then the days of noise and plastic sheets are finished. The rest is a quiet work of replastering and painting which last until September. I even stopped taking photos because I realised it was all the same stuff. Now there will be different themes, artists and scupturers at work.

And now to move on, today is supermarket day to replenish on our food supplies. We have warm weather, quite sunny, ideal for a walk if you find some shade. I am no longer happy walking in the sun or bathing in it.

See you later if I do not get struck by a piece of tumbling masonary in the meanwhile.

Alps 16.05 (4)
River Aar with a faint glimpse of the Bernese Alps in the background