Photo Challenge: Collage

Solothurn Vorstadt 11.07 (4)

The world is one big collage: a mixture of races, religions and languages. Twins might look alike, triplets etc. etc. but even they have a certain chracteristic that separates them from their brothers and sisters.  It would be boring if we all looked the same, wore the same clothes and even spoke the same language and so we piece things together in different ways.

I was walking through our local town of Solothurn (in Switzerland) yesterday and this shop window caught my eye. It is a shop specialising in doggy goods mainly: even dogs are a collage of breeds, each having its own characteristic and they have mixed marriages although the alsation and the poodle would probably not be a good match in size.

And so I saw this wonderful doggy model, an assembly of mosaic stones, a collage in itself.

Photo Challenge: Collage

Daily Prompt: Bury your Nose in What?

Kindle

This is my Kindle. It is light weight, I can hold it in one hand, the texts have a background light, so what could be better. I like to read, I do not smell my Kindle because I only want to read one of the 140  books I have uploaded onto my Kindle and not inhale aromas. I do not want to feel my Kindle like some sort of living thing. All I want to do is open it and read. I do not even have to turn pages to find where I finished reading the last time I had it in my hand, which is usually not longer then a day. I do not have to turn down corners on my Kindle to discover where I stopped reading and definitely do not have a book mark protruding from the pages. Of couse I mark the page where I stopped reading with an electronic sign, no problem and if I have not read my book further in my Kindle due to some sort of interruption, I easily find the page again where I stopped reading. So why make a state’s affair about reading on a Kindle.

Book

This is a book: actually two books, the two volumes of The Outline of History by H.G.Wells which I inherited from my grandfather. We were not a rich family and the book appeared originally in 1919 in the shape of 24 fortnightly instalments, to be followed up by two complete volumes in 1920. It made quite an impact on the history world when it originally appeared and although I never actually saw grandad reading a book, he had the habit of collecting them. I have even been known to hold this weighty object in my hand giving me muscle pains and reading it. Of course I  could have taken the example of a normal book, a series,

Book

This is “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follet, part three of a trilogy dealing with modern day history from the 20th century. It is mixed with a story, so not on the lines of H.G.Wells epic work, but it is a book. I read all parts of the trilogy, part 1 and 2 were uploaded to my comfortable Kindle within a few seconds. I wanted to read the third part and my No. 2 son gave it to me as a Christmas present. I was thrilled and read it immediately. Yes it was a heavy load to hold and I had to switch the light on in the evening to actually be able to see the words. Otherwise my Kindle supplies its own light.

I am a reader, I admit, and bury my nose in books daily.

I have now got to the point where I no longer buy books, no longer have room for them on my 6 bookshelves in the cellar or the big bookshelf in the living room. My Kindle rests on a shelf inconspicuously. You would not even know it was there unless you needed it.

To summarise, I am absolutely fed up with people almost having pity on me because I no longer feel or hold a book with is 3-500 pages of words. I no longer sniff at a book to fill my nose with the aromas of old and ancient, and who knows where those books have been hiding over the years or who has been touching them with unwashed hands. I am bored with being reduced to an ignorant person who does not appreciate the assembly of paper, carboard and perhaps even gilded letters, showing “book”. I am happy with my lightweight, odourless, clean Kindle where I can upload books at a reasonable price within seconds. Spare me your wisdom about the living book and I am sure some of them are alive, according to where they have been kept. I grew up with books, had no choice, they smelt I can tell you.

I now have my little Kindle tucked away on the bedside table or perhaps in a small space. It goes with me wherever I go and when the book is finished, thanks to 3g or Wireless I can upload a new book, even in the depths of Antartica. Keep your praise for a real book to yourself and may you enjoy every page turn, I just touch my page on the Kindle and it flips to the next one and above all I can still bury my nose in it and it does not smell.

Daily Prompt: Bury Your Nose in What?

Good Morning

Solothurn Vorstadt 11.07 (13)

What’s this? Yesterday we were in town and I was busy snapping away all over the place. In the car we happened to pass by this building on the way home and I just had to take a photo. Look at the balcony and the windows next to it. Many years ago, almost 40 to be exact, family Angloswiss lived in that appartment. It was a solution to our living problems at the time. The appartment was in town, only a few minutes away from the central station. It was an old building, built in the thirties and the appartments were naturally old style: large rooms, perhaps an old fashioned kitchen, but we also had a cellar and an attic room. It was not very expensive, but did not have such modern structure. Cooking was done by gas, we had a dishwasher and there was a laundry room in the cellar with a large washing machine. In rented appartments in Switzerland it is custom not to have your own washing machine. It is supplied by the company that manages the building, and you have a time table to see who and when can use the machine – no problem.

So we moved in with our 4 kids. The building was well soundproofed, being old state production, and the kids could be as loud as they wanted to. We were first floor with only a business below, so no-one to complain about the kids running around and making noise. The infrastructure was not perfect, but we were happy to have found such a place to live.

I still think of those times when we pass the building today. Since we moved out 20 years ago, the building has been renovated. A new kitchen at modern standards was organised and the enormously large hall, which was a really unique, has been made smaller to accomodate a new bathroom and separate shower. When the building was being renewed I took the opportunity to walk in. The builders were astonished, but I explained we lived there many years and they let me look around. Today such an appartment would be luxury, in the middle of town and with 5 rooms. It now looks quite shiny and respectable, but to our time the stonework was not so attractive, not being painted.

I am a little disappointed with Amazon at the moment. I have no problem with my Kindle and can upload my books according to my wishes, it runs smoothly. I am not one of those people that must smell a book and touch it, I just want to be able to read it.

However, Amazon have other items as well. There is something I want to order and I get the message “not possible to Swiss customers”. Yesterday No. 2 son paid us a visit. He is a media lawyer for the Swiss government, so I asked him why. He is naturally only an expert for TV programmes and the attachments, and said it has to do with copyright. If I want to order something that is not literature or TV he is not sure, but said it probably incurs some sort of fixed fee that has to be charged and Amazon do not include this in their service. Amazon delivers to all European countries, but not Switzerland for such items. Switzerland is not in Europe: only geographically but not tradewise (so England with your Brexit forget Amazon perhaps). Another problem is that Amazon Swizerland does not exist. I have to upload my Kindle books via Amazon Germany. It is one of those legal mysteries. My colleagues in the States can order easier than I can. I can order with a delivery address in England, which I have done in the past, and my friend can send it to me in Switzerland – life can get so complicated sometimes.

Today they are letting me out again to the supermarket. This week is not a normal week and on Monday and Tuesday we had other stuff to deal with, but today I can return to a normal day’s routine. Mr. Swiss and I also had golden oldie problems of forgetting various important items, like where you parked the car in the parking house, and dealing with matters when you forgot to take an important document with you.

Yesterday Mr. Swiss wanted to help cooking and I told him he could peel the potatoes, but there were no potatoes to peel. I was convinced I had planned the Swiss dish of Röschti, but I had actually bought the mini new potatoes which did not need peeling just slicing. I was also sure we were having cauliflower with the meal, but there was no cauliflower in the fridge  because it only existed in my dreams. There are some things you cannot enter in your smartphone.

We have now composed a joint cloud list on the smartphone and I have started a new subject “Things you should never forget”, but I might forget what I actually wanted to write: so is the life of a golden oldie. You might be young and active and shaking your head at these remarks, but do not forget, you too will one day be older, perhaps wiser, but you will still forget. According to science, brain cells do not renew themselves – when they are gone they are gone.

And on this happy note I will leave you – now what was it I wanted to do? Enjoy the day and do not forget to make notes, but do not forget where you put the notepad.

Pine Tree Cones 09.p07 (2)