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)

10 thoughts on “Good Morning

  1. I judge myself as forgetful sometimes, but I just had a memory test which I passed with flying colours – which shows to me I have a worse opinion of my memory than is based on facts.
    Yes, we all DO forget things. But then again, is our memory really meant to keep THAT much different kinds of information ready to use? Back in the olden days for example one would know less people, one would repeat meals more often, one would go less places and one would read less – because we would not have the time to read that much, with all the chores to do and the time being consumed by those.
    We live in more modern times, ask more of ourselves and more of each other. Back in the olden days a 75 year old would probably have lived with a son’s or daughter’s family and probably not have had her spouse anymore. She would have minded the grandchildren – which would have been around – and darned socks, knitted scarves and all the while told stories of the olden days …
    Today a grandmother is using skype to stay in contact, a grand-aunt is living on her own and using the computer, trying to not fall behind too far, a grand-dad is still going strong and doing sports he might never have thought of as a child. Our lives are more hectical, the demands on us are manyfold and if you then forget something like a cauliflower and what kind of potatoes you bought – that is just usual wear and tear.

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    • I tend to rely on Mr. Swiss and get a little lazy in remembering things, but forget that he is also now a golden oldie , more oldie than me. We will both have to make an effort to remember. I apply my technical appliances to help my memory. I now use the timer on my mobile phone to remind me of various duties. It is when something crops up which is an exception that we have to be careful and I am no longer physically fit and can get mixed up if shopping when there is a change in the routine.

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  2. Same here, every time we visit our friends in UK, we pass by our house and often we get asked in by the ‘new’ owners and have tea with them – it has become something like a house-owning-friendship, loose but nice….
    Also, I get sent photos of our Swiss house and place by friends travelling through that (my paradise) village because they know that we loved that place…. Same with the ‘new’ owners of that house – every time we are both present (them and us), we get together and have a few hours spent on discussions, our and their moments in this surrounding etc. It’s – in my opinion – the very best way to know that your home has gone to good hands 🙂
    Our 1920 house here in France is such that everybody who comes wants to live here but when we tried to sell it (for another job abroad) they all wanted the house but didn’t/couldn’t get the money…. so it came to nothing and we stayed here…..
    When I arrived at the last photo I had a sad smile; the one thing I miss most, here in France and in England, are the fir trees. I know this is not a fir TANNENBAUM but I miss them very much. Strangely, we lived in a house called The Firs but what we had in the garden wasn’t a majestic fir but something else with needles (can’t think of its name now)…. In Switzerland we were a few minutes from wonderful forests, here we are not too far either but the woods have no fir trees.
    Well that’s it – other stuff to do. A great post, thank you Pat.

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    • I have not left many houses behind me. I moved away from London before the house I grew up in was demolished due to slum clearance. I lived in a room in a large Zürich house and had family connections for 2 years before moving to Solothurn, where I shifted around before getting married to Mr. Swiss. We now have our own appartment, the kids have moved on, although my autistic son still lives with us. It was the appartment in the photo which holds most memories because my kids grew up there.

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  3. Those old, big apartments were great. Maybe not so sleek and modern, but spacious, something that newer apartment never seem to be. the last time we had “spacious” was in our 3-story townhouse in Boston. We had a kitchen at least three times bigger than what we have now and I had designed it because it was not built when we bought the place. I loved that kitchen. AND we had a ziillion closets. I told the builders if there’s room, it’s a closet. It’s the only time in my life i’ve actually had enough space for everything.

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    • That is so true. Our kitchen was enormous. My mum would have said “you can swing a cat in it” figuratively speaking of course. We could eat in the kitchen, all six of us and still have room for more. Only the cupboards were not as modern as I would have liked, but we managed. The were big but very old. I remember each room had a second connecting door to the next room. Unfortunately the windows were enormous and as we were on the corner of two roads, window cleaning became a regular duty.

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  4. We have the same problem with Amazon here. There is an Amazon Australia which sells books which I sometimes download but other items it is hit and miss if it can be supplied. With my doll collecting hobby I have been able to buy some dolls from Amazon USA but sometimes see the dreaded words “Does not ship to Geeveston” on some wanted item. However, the shipping is often expensive so I don’t shed too many tears over it.

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    • It is not such a problem with the village I live in but the country. I have to use Amazon Germany because Amazon Switzerland doesn’t exist. Uploading books on my Kindle is no problem, but getting stuff delivered from other companies through Amazon is just not possible. Has something to do with international rules and regulations.

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