As year 2017 is dying out, so does the echinacea – a photo from my garden in September.
As year 2017 is dying out, so does the echinacea – a photo from my garden in September.
Taken five minutes ago at 7.00 in the evening. You can even see the neighbours Chistmas Tree opposite with the lights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even the simple flowers have their beauty. I almost said dandelion, but I think it is something else.
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.
It’s a cold damp morning. Yesterday evening it began to snow and this morning it had already started to thaw. The mysterious pawprints have appeared again in my garden, but this time on the back porch. According to research made in Internet from the last appearance, it is probably a stray dog, although dogs do not go on a walkabout in gardens at midnight. Cats might, but they are not usually lovers of snow. Yesterday evening late I heard a few curious thumps outside, but assumed it might be falling snow from a top balcony. I now suspect that a fox might be prowling around now and again looking for something to eat. We have wild deer in the forest across the road, but you do not often see them and they are too far away.
Perhaps I have triffids in the garden going for a hop now and again, the although the garden is quite bare at the moment.
Yesterday was an alp-view day and I took this photo from the top floor of the parking lot showing the peaks of the Bernese Overland. The three high peaks on the left are Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
We managed to get our New Year’s holiday shopping done yesterday when I realised that we forgot the bread for the evening. No. 1 son was going into town in the afternoon, so he was told to bring home bread. An hour later he called us on his mobile phone for an update, telling us that our usual preferred store had no bread, everything sold out. He then moved on to another store and eventually found fresh bread. Mr. Swiss will be going for a few bits and pieces this morning and I am continually adding stuff to the new list before I forget it.
I was going to go on a practice run with my new wheelchair yesterday afternoon, but I was not feeling up to it, so decided instead to practice a few manoevres in the appartment. I felt like I was having driving lessons again. It is really not so easy steering a wheelchair, especially if you have a problem with right and left. Of course I know which side is which, but operating a wheelchair joystick can get confusing, especially in the backwards gear. Mr. Swiss was helping with instructions (in the german language) which confused me all the more. Eventually I managed to park the chair after having a few meetings with a chair and settee on the way. These are things that you take for granted when you see someone in a wheelchair, but everything has to be learnt. Steering a car was never easy for me. The instructor said the same rules and regulations for a pedestrian are to be applied to a wheelchair driver. I think when I hit the open spaces it should be easier with more room to turn. Mr. Swiss also tried it out as he said it cannot be so difficult. He changed his mind afterwards.
Today is a day of rest, and I will not really be going anywhere or doing things spectacular. There is a little bit of ironing to do, duvet covers, but to the tune of my iPad radio I will manage that as well.
And now to move on when the light turns green. The Jura moutains had quite interesting cloud formations yesterday. Have a good day and make the most of it, it will soon be 2018. Everyone seems to be posting reviews of 2017, I cannot even remember what I did yesterday.
Something completely different: a rowan tree, the one that has the pretty clusters of berries in Autumn. We have a few in our estate, much to the delight of the birds.
“Are you sure that’s the one Fred.?”
“The photo was in the newspaper, a rare flower, there are only four in the whole world. It’s valued at around one thousand dollars. Just imagine if we let it grow it will make seeds. There is a profit to be made on this one.”
“Don’t like the look of those tentacles. I would rather steal some diamonds or rob a bank, at least I know what I am getting. Looks a bit dodgy to me. Did you notice when you began to speak it turned in our direction.”
“They are not tentacles, just petals. Plants turn towards the sun, not humans, and now it’s night.”
“And it smells a bit funny, like sewage.”
“It’s probably one of those plants that attract flies with their smell.”
“I don’t like the idea.”
“Don’t be silly it’s only a flower, but an expensive flower. We will be rich. So dig it out and put it in this pot. No-one will miss it.”
“No, I’m not touching it.”
“Do I have to do everyhing myself?”
“OK, but I don’t like the way it’s looking at me. Ow.”
“Now what’s the matter?”
“It bit me.”
“Joe, plants do not bite, they might sting but they do not bite.”
“This one does, look you can see the teeth at the end of those tentacle petal things.”
“Where? It does look a bit funny. Look a bit closer, does it really have teeth. Joe not that close. Where are you going? Now that’s funny he disappeared and that flower is twice as big as it was. ”
It was then that the plant made a sort of belching noise. Fred decided that stealing rare plants from the exhibition at night was not a good idea and when he noticed that the plant did have teeth in the petals he fled with the plant following him. The next morning the gardiner discovered that the flower had died, but in its place there were two large seeds. If you listened you could hear them calling to each other.
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