Flower of the Day: 03.11.2017 African Violet

African Violet

I think these were the original indoor plant you could buy, although the first colours were a sort of wishy washy violet. Of course the aspidestra was the plant to have in London, the origianal from the days of Queen Victoria, but the african violet, Saintpaulia, were very popular. Now they arrive in all sorts of colours and shapes.

Flower of the Day: 03.11.2017 African Violet

Daily Prompt: There are always neighbours

Street Party WWII

These were what you called neighbours. The photo is from the street party in 1945 in celebration of VE Day in Norah Street, Bethnal Green, London. The country had been fighting a war for 5 years and many nights were spent in a hut in the back garden to escape the falling bombs, not knowing whether your house would still exist on the following morning. Somehow this little street managed to survive with the neighbours. Some sons never returned from the war after being sent to foreign contries to fight. Our neighbours opposite, Mr. and Mrs. Green had a son, Tommy Green. My mum would tell me about him. He never came home after the war. He was just a photo on their mantelpiece.

But this photo is of the neighbours, celebrating that the war was finished. My mum is on the right dressed in her party dress of the day, with a fancy hat. They all had fancy hats, they were celebrating a time of peace at last. On the left is Emmy Stanford, next to her her sister Lizzie and on the left to my mum Ivy Stanford. The three sisters and their mother lived next door to our house. I grew up with them, but only knew them as middle aged ladies as I was born in 1946 when the men returned home from Europe.

These girls grew up together and went through thick thin. Their meeting place was usually the church. Religious? in a way, it was all part of the education and the church was the only place where you would have meetings, dances being arranged and a sort of prewar youth club. Of course as they grew older, they would meet in the pub and have a drink together. I grew up in this street, knew all of my neighbours, but rarely entered their houses. We did not do the “living with the neighbours” thing, we had respect for their private sphere. We would talk over the “garden wall”, but did not sit in each others houses. Of course I had a few school friends living in the street, but we mainly played outside with a ball, skipping rope or otherwise running around. As we grew older and the serious school life began we would meet more in the houses, but they were places to be respected.

When the street was demolished some time in the seventies, the families that had known each other as children were now split up, but moved to places in the same area. I remember Ivy Stanford and Lizzie coming to my mum’s funeral. They were then elderly ladies, but the connection had remained. They knew where mum lived and she probably knew where they lived.

We were one of the families in the street that had a TV and I remember when it was the English soccer cup final he would invite Ernie, the guy next door, to see it on our TV. Ernie did not have a TV and was very happy to share the football afternoon with dad.

Further down the road

Today we live in an estate in Switzerland, mostly privately owned appartments, some are rented, but it is OK. We say hello to our neighbour, we ask how they are.  Some are golden oldies like ourselves and we enquire about their health, they enquire about ours. There are a few families with children, married couples, neighbours. There is always a private sphere to be observed. We have just got a renovation of our building behind us, as as my mum said “in war times you grow closer together” and so was the case of our renovation. We all had a common denominator, the build. We perhaps spent more time talking, meeting on the path and exchanging our experiences. The build is now more or less finished, there is less conversation amongst us, and we now go on our way greeting each other and just being neighbours.

Have things changed so much since 1945 and 2017 with the neighbours? Not really, we respect each other’s privacy and lend a helping hand if necessary. It is the world that has changed around us.

Daily Prompt: There are always neighbours

Good Morning


Nothing like a good sunrise to begin the day. This time I took the photo from the eastern side of the garden, where the sun rises. Does not look much different from the other side, but perhaps a little more intensive. I am glad to have a sunrise.

So what will we do today?

Migros Xmas Langendorf

Yes, another journey to the suprmarket for the week-end shopping. It seems only yesterday that it was last week-end. That was when Mr. Swiss did the shopping all on his own because I was still recovering from my fall in the garden. He did it very well and we lacked for nothing over the week-end. Gives me an idea to send him on his own today, but I also want to go places and see things.

As you can see on the photo, the Christmas tent has already appeared outside the supermarket. Actually the photo is from last year, but if I took the photo today it would look exactly the same. Why do people make such a stress with Christmas gifts? I am probably the big exception as I do not celebrate Christmas, just join in for the others. We abolished Chrismas presents a couple of years ago. I do not give and do not expect to be given. It is not a bad idea. If I want something I buy it myself, and so does Mr. Swiss and what can 2 golden oldies really need. We have everything. New limbs, muscles and bones are not yet available.

I have bought myself a wheelchair and got the confirmation yesterday that delivery will be 2-3 weeks which is not great problem. I am not in need of it immediatly and am still thinking about where to park it. It is an outdoor wheelchair and not for moving around in my four walls. I can still manage on my own, now and again with a stick Anyhow that was has been ticked off the list. I have been thinking about it for some time, but have decided to treat myself to the new iPhone X when it appears. Again no rush, my iPhone 6 is still working. I just like to have a little luxury now and again. And  I prefer to wait until next year, when the first customers have used their new iPhone X and discovered a few problems which might occur. Experience tells me to be patient and let the others try it first.

So that is my Christmas dealt with. Of course baby Alexander, my new granson, is not included in the Christmas Present abolishment. He is a new arrival, although probably too young for his first iPad.

There are people in Facebook that are already discussing their Christmas shopping lists and what they are buying and for whom. Many proudly announce that they have already completed their list. List? Christmas use to be such a family thing, and now it is a Facebook thing. I had to laugh at the various family groups all smiling around the Christmas tree last year in Facebook. I do not even know these people and they do not know me, but I have a group photo of their Christmas. I think I will start a photo album of various family Christmas photos this year, just for the fun of it. Lots of strange people I do not know, celebrating Christmas.

Front Garden

I took a photo of my front garden this morning for a change and must say I am quite happy about it. I am no longer as active as I was, so I engage the help of No. 1 son to clear a few things away. My yellow dying hosta leaves have now been disposed of and otherwise he regularly collects the fallen Autum leaves. Today I wil ask him to remove the two pots of Calla to the cellar where they will spend the Winter. He does the job in 5 minutes where I need at least half an hour if at all and never complains.

The gardener is supposed to come to repair the destruction occurred from the builders, but it seems he has disappeared. At the moment the weather is OK, but next week the cold spell begins – not my problem. The painter has also disappeared after a few preliminary cleaning sessions on the wall he is supposed to paint. The last news was that his boss must approve the colour mixture before it is applied. Today is Friday, so I am not expecting too much. Many workers have a Friday allergy.

Enjoy your Fridays wherever you are. We have two full days with nothing to do but wait until next week, so make the most of it.