Flower of the Day: 19.06.2017 Geranium

Geranium

I suppose most of us have a geranium somewhere at the moment, although I do not. I used to have them in pots or in boxes but somehow the novelty wore off. I remember my mum was once ill and could not go to the local flower market, so dad said he would go for her and what did she want. When she told him some geraniums, he had a problem. Dad had no idea what a geranium looked like, so she had to give him a detailed description of the plant. It seemed to have worked because he brought home geraniums: just a story I remember from the past.

Flower of the Day: 19.06.2017 Geranium

Share Your World – June 19, 2017

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?

Nothing really I must admit. I have my own obsessions and even Mr. Swiss doesn’t get the hand of them, although I do. I just live and let live and if someone want to remove every blade of grass growing in the wrong place in the garden, it is their problem, not mine. It can even get amusing seeing the so-called problems that others have.

What quirky things do people do where you are from?

 My Village, but not where I  come from – perhaps quirky to have official information at the entrance to the village.Feldbrunnen 17.06 (18)

Oh dear, yes the Swiss way of life. Although I do not see it so much as when I arrived in Switzerland, it always fascinated me to see how the Swiss housewife would strip the bed completely in the morning and hang the sheets and duvet covers over the widow sill to air them out for a few hours, only to remake the bed completely later. As said, I no longer see it so much. I think the younger members of the nation do not have so much time. Perhaps it is not quirky, but just a way of life.

I am from London, the East End, the part where the air has a permanent smell of brick dust, at least it did when I lived there. We all had our little houses built in 1884, with no running hot water and the toilet in the garden, but nevertheless we all had a door step and that was the pride and joy of all working class inhabitants of the area. My mum would scrub it, on hands and knees, once a week, although it never really looked different. We had a neighbour with a red painted stone step, which she would scrub on hands and knees every day.  Note the usage of the word “scrub” because clean would not be sufficient. She also had a brass door knob which was polished daily to the extent that around the knob was  a bright stain of polish.

What are some things you wish you could unlearn? 

I am still endeavouring to learn things that I never learned. Unlearning is not really part of my way of life.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life?

No-one, because life is a continuing process. Memories belong to life and no-one lives forever. With the modern world of online communication, we have so many possibilities to even find people that we though we had lost forever.

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

I have been knowingly suffering from MS since more than a year, although it probably arrived 30-40 years ago, but not diagnosed as such. MS is something I have learned to live with, having a snazzy walking stick is just one part of it. However, I have now discovered a web site Living Like You from Novartis, a Swiss based company for healthcase based on MS. It is not medical help as we all have our specialists and doctors, but a site with contributions from people like myself. A collection of blogs if you like, under various subjects, but what a great relief to see the reactions of others, and mostly positive. You are landed with the illness, you didn’t ask for it, but now get on with it is the basic message. I am really glad I discovered this site.

In the life of a golden oldie, looking forward really means to survive with no problems, so lets look forward to the week after next. I will tell you all about next Monday.

Share Your World – June 19, 2017

Daily Prompt: There is no more relief

Renovation

When I thought that we had the worst behind us, that the oppression from the building team was finished, a new disaster appears. We suffered with record decibel sounds from the pnematic chisels, my windows were getting a daily clean and my garden was covered in plastic. I lost one bed of flowers, there were a few remaining stalks fighting for survival and today we got this.

Relief, even Mafeking was relieved by the British in the Boer War in 1900. It took 7 months, but there was success. We have now been under siege since April  and it was originally predicted that all would be finished in September, afterwards October and yes the latest is Novmber – just like Mafeking. But we are talking about a building troop and not soldiers.

Today it all returned and my garden was again covered in blocks of cladding material, rubble and dirt. Underneath it all was a protective layer of plastic, although armed with my walking cane I ventured into the garden and hovering above was one of the leaders of the builders who greeted me nicely, thinking I wanted to share the joys of the cladding of the walls.  Using my walking cane I slid the pastic covering to one side. “It is not so bad” said the worker and I reminded him he was not a plant that needed sunlight and fresh air, as I continued to shift various blocks of cladding material to one side which were bred to crush anything in their way. The builder said no more – was he renedered speechless by a rebellious golden oldie that was defending the right of life for her plants.

I returned to my room and took a few photos of the threatening death and destruction.

Renovation

I decided there was no point in crying about spilt plants and tried to fathom what this piece of stray plastic covered with teh grime and reminder of the building work was doing in front of my window.  It was then a human appeared in front of my window, dressed in the uniform of a different builder. Instead of the whiteness of the average team, he was clad in blue. Today we are all cladding it seems. He asked politely if I could shut my window due to various pieces of falling debris that could, might, would arrive in my room. Did he not realise he was talking to a writer, to someone who was recording her life in daily episodes and waiting for the day when she would eventually be recognised for her talent. Of coure not, in short he was saying “shut the window”. He then departed further up the scaffolding and I could not resist a photo.

Renovation

Since his appearance it rained blocks and bits and pieces of cladding material, but now all that remains is the occasional clank of a piece of metal and a few human voices in various languages using variou dialects: at 4.45 p.m., another hour,  they will all go home to their families to report the events of the day. A distraught neighbour appeared to Mr. Swiss, complaining that the dirt and grime had returned again and we really thought that it was finished, and only the clinical working operations would be left until the end of the siege.

I just had a visit from another builder, this time clad in white, to warn me to keep all the windows closed on this side of the building as they are now beginning the big clean up of the scaffolding from top to bottom, everything arriving in front of my appartment on the ground floor of course. No problem, as everything will be left spotless afterwards. I dared to ask the builder about tomorrow and he answered cool and calm, that they will be back. “Until when – August?” I said jokingly. He was not joking when he confirmed my suspicion. He then went into further descriptions of grinding the complete surface of the building etc. etc. I decided not to listen further in case I got nightmares tonight being chased by a builder with a monster machine wanting to pulverise and form me into a block of cladding material.

Renovation 18.06.2017

Is this the scaffolding for the building rebels?

This is your reporter boroadcasting live from the events of the day in the Swiss outside office as she is being bombarded by exploding particles of styropor and stifled by buiding dust.

Daily Prompt: There is no more relief

Good Morning

Renovation

The return of the building warriors: after a  break for the corpus christi holiday in our catholic Kanton followed by the week-end I heard builder voices in front of my bedroom window this morning as I was still hugging my bed and checking on my iPad the daily events. The new view in front of the window is a pile of cladding material and an extension of the plastic sheets protecting my garden.

The builder voices I hear were speaking German, not the homely dialect we speak in Switzerland, but the good television german that they speak in Germany. I eventually struggled out of the bed, made my way to the kitchen and stood on the porch enjoying the morning  sunlight when I was greeted in Italian by the builders working on the cladding of our building. The work here is international and I am learning new words.

For me the builders were working on the new insulation of our building, but due to the tragic accident in London, where  a fire destroyed a complete high rise building with still many inhabitants unaccounted for, the word cladding entered my vocabulary. Living for the past 50 years in Switzerland, new english words do not enter my vocabulary so much. It seems this fire was caused by the usage of cladding which was not fire proof when the building was renovated a couple of years ago. The building became a torch as the fire crept up the building because of the insufficiet fire proof cladding.

Now our building is being clad – it is just a tragic coicidence. Kilos of material are being attached to the complete walls. It is thicker than our original cladding, so this means the overall size of our building will be increased. In the meanwhile we have an international team working on it and hearing Swiss German dialect, I realised that the remains of the international team have just walked past my building. I remember when my No. 2 son was doing his annual 3 week service for the Swiss army. He was one of those that could speak french as well as his native Swiss German. He was in a mixed recruit school with soldiers from the french speaking part of Switzerland as well as the german speaking part. His direct officer could not speak french, so No. 2 son had to  simultaneously translate the daily instructions to the group in the morning briefing.

And to the background noise of hammering and the local crows I will move on.

Crows 18.06.2017

Yesterday I decided to take a walk in the early evening to visit the chickens across the main road, with my zoom lens. I do not often take this lens as although it is good at zooming it is not so suitable for a normal distance photo. My first obstacle on the way was to cross the main road. It now had a new layer and was looking very nice. However the crossing had been blocked as it was not yet opened for feet or even tyres, and all the traffice was been diverted, by a lady securitas woman, to the other side of the village. In between traffic I asked the lady about crossing the road. She said it was now OK for me as the new tarmac layer was dry and I could cross. She pointed to the railway lines indicating I could walk over them.  I said that was a no go with my walking stick but using the normal crossing was OK. It worked, but I had to intertwine myself between wooden dividers and step over large stones to get to the normal crossing. There were no photographers there thank goodness, but I was the first person to be allowed to cross the road to get to the other side.

I eventually arrived at the chicken run and discovered they were all on the other side of the meadow. No problem with my camera, but they had not yet mowed down the meadow and I was getting more focus of tall green meadow plants and grasses than actual chickes. However I managed one or two photos.

Chickens 18.06 (2)

The hens were having a conference.

I decided there was nothing really available for a photo and so after a rest on a bench I decided to make my way home again. The securitas lady was still directing the traffic as I crossed the road.

Feldbrunnen road repair 18.06.2017

A builder has just arrived on my front porch to remove some parts of our facade with his drill. There is never a dull moment when your complete building is being renewed. And now I have other things to do, like cleaning and afterwards a shopping trip to the local supermarket. The sun is shining and the drills are humming and I should move on.

Enjoy the week, who knows what surprises we may have in the next 7 days. Even the moon is still shining over the scaffolding horizon at 9.00 a.m. – in the light of the sun.

Moon in the morning sun