Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter P – Needs to have at least 5 letters and start with P December 5, 2017 Cee Neuner


A protea, my favourite flower. I have probably got the largest collection of various protea flower photos, they are never the same. Since their seeds landed from another world, most probably, they grow in all shapes and sizes. Triffid? Forget it, proteas are the daddy of them all.

Paraglider 23.04 (1)

A paraglider preparing to land.


A Psion Serie 3a: a personal digital assistant. The size was 165 × 85 × 22 mm and you could easily carry them in your bag. Mr. Swiss bought the first edition, and afterwards the improved 3a. They had a watered down version of Word and even Excel and you could use them for perhaps quick notes. I found this one in a cupboard at home. They appeared around 1993 but you rarely see them today. I found it quite useful at the time.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter P – Needs to have at least 5 letters and start with P December 5, 2017 Cee Neuner

Daily Prompt: Going Away

Basel 05.09 (18)Basel Station

Relocating does not only mean moving to a differet place: a new home, new surroundings. There is a lot more to it, especially if you relocate to a different country. When I boarded the train at Victoria Station in London in 1966, it was a exactly 51 years ago to the day, 5th December. How do it know that? By some strange reason I had booked my journey a day before my 20th birthday and arrived at my destination in Switzreland on 6th December.

It was a night train, the longest I had ever travelled by railway A train that arrived at Folkestone with a connection to the channel ferry arriving at Calais. It was all so well organised, because the train in Calais took me further to my destination via France: Basel, Switzereland.

Arriving in Basel, after an uncomfortabe night on the train, was the anticlimax to the journey. There was no-one to meet me at the station in a country that was foreign in all aspects. The station had a few isolated people walking around and Switzerland did not say “Welcome Mrs. Angloswiss”, the opposite was the case. I was standing on an empty windy platform. I must really have been in a hurry to leave England, one of  the mistakes of youth. You cannot wait to go, to go somewhere and start a new life. England was not the solution to your future, you were convinced. But was Switzerland the big opportunity? I had a job, had a work permit in my bag, and only needed to arrive in Zürich where I would be met at the station.

There were no smooth runnings at 5.30 a.m. in Basel for me. I had one small obstacle to cross. The Swiss are not waiting for you, and you must prove that you are in a fit condition to be allowed to stay in Switzerland. I was not fleeing, but of my own free choice. My next appointment was with the Health Police at 8.00 a.m. when the rooms were open and the doctor and medical staff were ready to prove the state of your health. I spent the next hour in the restaurant at the station. I lost count of the coffee I drank and the numerous croissants I ate until I left the station, crossed the road and reported for my examination. There must have been at least 50-100 young people waiting to get their clean bill of Swiss health and we came from everywhere.

No-one was friendly, and no-one really bothered to speak english with you, it was only commands. “Undress”, “stand there” and an x-ray of your chest was made – no TB allowed to be brought to Switzerland.  “Sit down”, “give a finger”, “ouch”, and blood was taken. “OK, you can go”, “But my passport?” “You get that back, report in 2 hours when we have the results”.

I did not bother to ask where to go in the hours until 10.00 am., as it was probably nobody’s business but my own. I visited yet another café and roamed the streets of a Basel unknown to me: streets that had remains of snow looking as grey and worn down as I was.

I reported at 10.00 a.m. to the medical examination center and waited for my result. My passport was returned and I realised it was time to go. There was a dramatic scene with an American girl. They had found something on her lung and she was crying, no entry for TB. However, she was told she could go, but must report to a doctor for a further examination. I left and do not know the outcome.

I returned to the railway station in Basel and caught the next connection to Zürich. I was met at Zürich station and taken to my new home in Zürich. I stayed for two years and moved on to Solothurn for a new job in Switzerland. I met Mr. Swiss, we married, and two kids later and a grandson I am still here after 50 years.

I had relocated my life, my language, my identity and even my nationality. What could possibly go wrong.

Daily Prompt: Going Away

Good Morning

Morning Mist

It is a misty morning this morning and cold. It reminds me of the foggy days in London town when I was a kid, in the fifties, but that was a dangerous fog, caused by the pollution from the factories. Our fog is mist that is influenced by the river near us, but it is a general condition at the moment in Switzerland. If you would be standing on the local moutain and look down, you would see a sea of fog stretching out over the middle land. During the morning it usually rises and disappears and gradually the sun arrives again.

Road to Langendorf in Snow 04.12 (27)

Yesterday it was snowing on our way to the store, but it was not cold enough to lay long on the ground. I just noticed that I shot this photo as we were passing the vet entrance on the left, just a turning off the main road. As long as there are only snow flutters, it is not so bad. It is when it begins to fall thick and fast and we get road problems that it is not so pleasant.

Yesterday I began a new book, one of those Icelandic authors, Ragnar Jonasson, “Snowblind” and he is supposed to be good. I have read Icelandic novels before, but my problem is remembering names like Sidlufjördur, or Saudarkrokur which are towns: not to mention names of people like Hlynur or Ari Thor. This is supposed to be book 1 in the Dark Iceland series, a police novel, so I hope do not get lost on the way in the Icelandic fjords.

Christmas Wreath

Yesterday we bought our Advent wreath with its four candles to  be lit weekly until Christmas Day. The traditional colour of the candles is red, but I prefer white candles. Mr. Swiss disappeared into the cellar for about 10 minutes until he found the special advent wreath tray. He also discovered a musical christmas tree which is still in the cellar. I am not sure if I want my appartment filled up with Christmas ornaments.

Road to Langendorf in Snow 04.12 (16)

I took this photo from the 1st floor (there is only ground level and a floor on top) of the parking lot at the supermarket. You can see the railway line to the town of Solothurn and in the distance the town of Solothurn. On the left there are the spires of the St. Urs cathedral (Urs was our patron saint of the town) and on the right the tower of the Swiss reform church, which is less decorative. A little bit further right in the background you can see the hospital building sticking up in the landscape.

The building site on the right will become a whole new settlement of appartments with an intgrated park. They only began to build a few months ago, and are already on the second floor of the new blocks.

Today is a no shopping day for me. I have a bathroom to clean which is not my favourite job and Mr. Swiss will avoid me whilst I am cleaning on a quest for a few items in the supermarket.

I will leave you with a view of a snowy road on our way home from the shopping safari yesterday. Have fun, keep safe, and if you have snow covered roads be sure to have your winter tyres on the car.

Road to Langendorf in Snow 04.12 (18)