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.