Fun Photo Challenge: Fire Trucks, Fire Houses, Fire Hydrant

Fire in the old town of Solothurn

This was a live photo by me. I was on my way home from a dentist visit and found the main street was blocked off. An attic was on fire in one of our old buildings in the main street and I was there with my camera to take photos. The date on the photo is 2011, so it was 6 years ago.

Feldbrunnen to Langendorf 09.11 (2)

We drive past our local fire station when we visit the supermarket, and if you are lucky one of the engines will be parked outside the station. There are fulltime firemen in the big towns in Switzerland, but otherwise it is mainly volunteers that do the work.

Firefighter Exercise Feldbrunnen-Riedholz

In my younger and more active days I belonged to the village first aid group and once a year we would do an exercise with the village firemen. We then got a closer look at the fire trucks.

Feldbrunnen village 10 (2)

And as an extra, this old fire hydrant stands at the edge of a field in our village. I don’t know whether it is still working, but who knows.

Fun Photo Challenge: Fire Trucks, Fire Houses, Fire Hydrant

Daily Prompt: Let’s do it again

Road to Langendorf 24.07 (3)

We approached the supermarket and there was something comletely different outside. Thre was a little hut with fireworks and swiss flags. Everything was decorated Swiss style. There were even plastic holders with candles with a Swiss Cross. Of course it will soon be 1st August, the Swiss equivalent to 4th July and 14th June, the Swiss National Day.

There are only a few days to go and our cat will hide all night beneath the bed from the bangs and light effects of celerating Switzerland. The hills (mountains) will be alive with the crackle of bonfires. If you happen to take a flight on 1st August and pass over Switzerland, do not worry. We are not under attack, and defending ourselves with explosions. Most mountains have their own little fire to show that we are celebrating. No-one really knows why it happens on 1st August.

Many years ago Switzerland was a collection of little villages in between the mountains, because it was the best place to build, everything else was on a slope and you at least found some flat places where you could complete your chalets without falling down the slopes. The mountains were left to the cows, they could climb better and found more grass at the top.

The villages grew and people wanted to see what it was like on the other side of the mountains. One evening three guys from different villages met in the valley called Swiss, and lit a fire because there was still some wood laying round from building wooden chalets. The crossbows were put on one side, as the men were hungry and no-one really felt like playing the national game of shooting an apple off each other’s head.

Each guy had a Swiss sausage with him. They found some sticks of wood, and so the sausages were pierced and roasted over the fire. Yes our swiss ancestors were genial. Suddenly there was an explosion and a crate if beer appeared. The three guys all spoke with a different accent as they were from different villages, but decided it was time to get together and speak the same language, something like Swiss German. They decided it had been “hell” living their lonely lives in the mountains. There was no “vet” to tend to the cows and the third guy said “ja” and so the country of Helvetia was formed.

When they got home their wives were annoyed at the noise they were making, yodelling and waking the villagers, but when they heard that they were now all living in Helvetia it got very complicated. Hedda found it a stupid name for a country, Vreni was not even sure how to pronounce it and Heidi said they should go and count the cows which would be more sensible that inventing countries. The cows had all scattered over the meadows, frightened of the explosion made by the appearance of the crate of beer from nowhere. It was then Fritzli came home from the village school and said someone had stolen a crate of beer from the local tavern and that it was a real Swizzle, “Er?” said Hedda and Vreni and Heidi both pulled on their platted hair and asked where the crate of beer landed. Fritz said it sounded very much like in Switzerland and so the name was born.

Helvetia still exists but only on the postage stamps and money to keep it all nice and neutral. In the meanwhile Tabby my cat stays under the bed all night whilst the Swiss celebrate by roasting sausages over the fire and empty crates of beer accompanied by the sound of exploding fireworks. Or perhaps it happened differently. No-one really remembers as it all happened more than 500 years ago, it is just tradition.

Daily Prompt: Let’s do it again

Good Morning

Clouds 24.07 (8)

The photo shows how my left ear felt when the wax plug in my ear was washed out with the mega syringe  the doctor was using. The blue sky shows how my hearing began to function, not completely, but it was arriving.

This morning it was another early morning. After a shower I had my bottle of wax softening ear drops ready, 5 drops into each ear and afterwards let them do their work. I was laying on the bed and my cat, Tabby, decided to lay with me as moral support. After 10 minutes the job was done and Mr. Swiss and I made our way to the doc. I heard now even less due to the cotton wool stuffed into each ear to stop the drops escaping. The doc was ready with her utensils and after emptying what seems like a liter of water into my ears under pressure, I heard again. I was released from my world of silence, I could even hear my own voice, and that was only one ear. Afterwards we moved to the right ear and the same procedure was repeated. I could now hear stereo.

I had survived, my ears were functioning again, but I had to sit for a while, as my system of balance also had to recover. I wanted to tell Mr. Swiss all about it afterwards, but he said he heard it all. He was sitting outside the surgery and it seems my voice was quite loud and carried through the walls. I was rejoicing. We learn from our mistakes. The first mistake is never ever use one of those cotton buds to clean your ears. I should have known better, but it was really not something I often do. Instead of removing the wax it pushed it nicely further inwards, resting eventually next to the ear drum. And to improve it all, I did it with the other ear as well. All I wanted to do was cure an itch in the ear. I had seen some really negative shots in Facebook of creatures that decide to make a home in an ear and my imagination ran away with me. That was the second mistake and I have now blocked these films in Facebook.

I can even now hear the workman marching on the scaffolding in front of the window and their machines creating wonders with our building.  Mr. Swiss is listening to music in another room and I hear my keyboard taps on the computer. It is something we all take for granted, and I now realise how it must be if you are deaf.

Yesterday the most popular Swiss pop musician passed away, Polo Hofer. He is known outside of Switzerland, perhaps in a few neighbouring countries, but his compositions were great. He was not an international success. He was from Interlaken, a Bernese, and had no star allure. He was a natural. He has been ill for some time. His last words to everyone were “Goodbye everyone, it was nice.” I will also miss him, visited two concerts, and he was one of the best. I know you not understand the words, but one of his most successful songs was “Alpenrose” (alpine rose) so for Polo