One Word Photo Challenge: Manatee

Visiting the Natural History Museum in South Kensington

Sorry no manatee, the only thing near to it are the otters living in a colony somewhere in our local river. This was the best I could do. On a visit to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington London with my two little boys we met this sea monster: a blue whale model with its skeleton behind it. This photo was taken in 1984 on a visit to my family in London. The little boy on the right became a father this year, and the big boy on the left is now over 47 years old. On the left their grandfather looks on, my dad who passed away two years ago at the age of 100.

Time goes quickly, too quickly. I heard that the skeleton of the blue whale has now been made a central piece in the new organisation of the museum.

One Word Photo Challenge: Manatee

Daily Prompt: Yes, you can do it

Estate 16.09.2017

Today was really a Spring day even if it is the last in the year. Temperatures were up to 12° C and it was warm, although the chill is still hovering in the background. I was finally ready to go with my Wheelchair. Up to now I had been trying all the bells and whistles in the appartment. The appartment being small, I had to be careful with the steering not to collide with a chair, a desk or a cupboard. Practice makes perfect and I now felt fairly confident. However, apart from a 15 minute practice when the guy arrived to show me how to do it, I have not actually been let loose in the wide outdoors.

Today was the day it seems, although I really had to take my courage in my hands. It was a day when I was sure everyone was taking a walk, but I was lucky it seems as no-one was taking a walk on our estate. Mr. Swiss escorted me out of the block, as the doors would have been difficult to open from a wheelchair, although I could have done it myself by getting out of the wheelchair whilst opening the doors and closing them afterwards. And so I was on my way. Mr. Swiss walked with me towards the end of our path and was already making suggestions about my return journey, but I wanted more.

I waved goodbye and set off armed with my camera and a zoom lens as it was a good day for alp sighting. I went uphill and downhill, crossed rough terrain and even avoided a car. Our village has roads and sidewalks, but they are not always defineable. Eventaully I took the last lap and curved into the path shown on the photo. Now I had a choice. Shall I take the downhill run on the righthand side, or turn left and take the long way back. I decided on the long way back as downhill was not really my thing and I have not yet got the knack of the gears, although I only have three.

It can only get better, but I arrived home safely. I had to call Mr. Swiss on my new super iPhone X to open the main door. I could have done it on my own, but it is always easier when you have a trainer.

I rolled into the appartment full of confidence and spent the next half an hour parking my new iron horse. I mentioned to Mr. Swiss my next obstacle to overcome is crossing the road and up to the castle. He said I am not ready for crossing main roads and should be patient. In the meanwhile I am still in training. These are cool runnings, but without the snow.

Daily Prompt: Yes, you can do it

Good Morning

Sunrise

Looks like there is action in the sky this morning. The rain has now cleared the grey skies away, the snow has completely melted as if it was never here and temperatures are up to around 10°C. Even the remaing sludge has now cleared. Looks like Spring is just around the corner, but I do not trust the whole thing. Reflecting on past years when I was part of the work force. I really enjoyed the end year break of Christmas and New Year because I was free for a couple of weeks. Admittedly as  housewife and mother you were always in captivity, but I had extra me time. Now I have permanent me time, so why complain. In those days we had many snow free end of the years and on the day we returned to work, usually 3rd January, the snow would return with a vengence, usually during the night. You would awake to the sound of snow ploughs and know that the drive to work would be stop and go through the snow covered roads.

Today who cares. I even take photos of the snow, find it a good subject. I had a further look at the other side of the estate and discovered a very interesting cloud (being a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society). It was a band hovering over the Jura Mountain chain.

Sunrise

This morning was the morning to open a new fresh jar of jam, raspberry. Actually I had an almost full jar of strawberry jam until Mr. Swiss dropped it on the kitchen floor the day before yesterday. Unfortunately our kitchen floor is solid stone tiles and there was no soft landing. In a joint effort, accompanied by profanities (it helps), we removed the jam from the floor and gathered the glass splinters. Luckily it was jam and the glass pieces did not spread as they were stuck to the jam. I was left without jam, as our reserves had also been eaten and yesterday would have been a jamless day. However I discovered the cramberry compote in the fridge so that helped me to survive yesterday morning. I now have a raspberry jam bought yesterday. Jam accidents are unpleasant.

Breakfast

It now seems to be the time where I should perhaps write a revue of what I did during the past year, but I will not do this. Being a golden oldie I do not want to dwell on what I did, but prefer to concentrate on what I want to do.

Yesterday I at last had success with my electric wheelchair. I am learning the works and manage to do a three point turn in the appartment without damaging any furniture and parked it perfectly when I was finished. I even moved through the doorway, which is very narrow. I think I have now persuaded Mr. Swiss to let me out for a trial run, perhaps with the camera.

4 Leaf Clover

And now to move on. I have a lunch to cook a few bits and pieces to keep me busy, like entertaining the appartment with my vacuum cleaner.

I take this opportunity to wish all my faithful disciples a very good next year. Tomorrow same time, same place, but in another year, although I will be hovering around today.

Daily Prompt: Almost dry

Letter Box Cover

A wonder of modern building, at last our letters, newspapers and various unwantd advertising material will/should remain dry. When we bought the appartment and moved in, our mailbox was exposed to the elements. The postman only rings twice, and then only when he needs a signature or money, otherwise the post is stuffed into our mailbox at the entance to the appartment block. Each appartment has its own box. We soon noticed that without further protection we were getting newspapers with blurred print and wet envelopes.

As we are a democracy in our living zone, there was a meeting and Mr. Know-it-all-better had discovered the solution. We will now have a super enclosed entrance which would cost – quite a lot of money. It was put to the vote and we declined, not only we declined but one more than the half of us declined, meaning “no”. Mr. Know-it-All-Better found the crafty solution. “If we only had to pay half and the administration company would pay the rest”. This was agreed unanimously and so it came to pass that a protective glass roof was assembled. Unfortunately they forgot to insert a gutter as a rain catcher, and so it was a lot of money for all about nothing.

The post remained wet, perhaps not as wet as it used to be, just at the edges as there was now a glass roof covering it all, which also had to be kept clean now and again and should have made made just a few centimeters wider . When autumn arrived it was covered with leaves and other refuse that was a symptom of high winds.

This year we were 8 months under siege from builders that were renovating everything that could be renovated – almost. They forgot me, although according to Mr. Swiss we are both now past renovatition.

One of the last duties to be performed with this mammoth renewal was to replace this wannabe letter box protection as it had been removed during the 8 months of attack. And so it came to pass that one of the last duties performed was the cover. Again a glass roof, and it all looked very similar until I noticed that a metal gutter had been added at the edge, and it seems to work. I just took a photo and you can see a drip at the edge of the gutter. Actually it is now constantly dripping as we have rain after the snow. Is this the solution? We are almost there, although I am suspicious. Mr. Know-It-All-Better lives in the next appartment block with an indentical entrace to ours with the letter boxes. However, he decided, with agreement of his block neighbours, that this glass covered wonder will not be replaced.

I now hope sincerely that it will rain on his parade/letter box and his newspapers will disintegrate by every page turn. May mushrooms grow on the surface.

Daily Prompt: Almost dry