Photo Challenge: Out of This World

Road to Niederbipp

Many of my photos are out of this world. I am always on a search for something completely different. This time I was travelling, I was in my world of fantasy. There was a crane, I love cranes. But there were wires hanging over the crane, and then I saw the backdrop:  ghosts of mountains shrouded in a yellow haze left by the sun as it was departing for another sunrise somewhere. Was I still in my real world, or was I transcending to the next dimension?  I am still here to tell the story and that is the important thing.

Photo Challenge: Out of This World

Daily Prompt: Dim

Rochester Cathedral at night


“What’s the problem?”

“I dropped my head and cannot find it.”

“Oh come on, you usually carry it under your arm.”

“Of course I do, but someone left the axe in in the way and I stumbled over it.”

“I think I have found it.”

“My head or the axe?”

“Your head of course. It rolled under the table. Light a candle and you will see it.”

“How am I supposed to see it if I havn’t got any eyes. They are in my head that just rolled under the table and all I can see are cobwebs and a mouse that just came to have a sniff. Go away and leave my head alone.”

“Ok, here it is. Now tuck it nicely under your arm, but wipe the blood stains off first of all. They will stain your doublet.”

“Thanks, that’s better. Light a candle so that I can see where I am going.”

“But if you light a candle it might attract the others and they will start doing ghost hunts again. The last time they did that they exorcised Sir William and he is still recovering. He was in a bad state afterwards doing all sorts of strange things with his teeth, and forgot where he left his skeleton.”

“Yes I remember. Some tourist kids started to kick my head around to score goals between the posts of the bed. No respect for the dead these days.”

“I think it would be better if we had an early night.”

“But we don’t do early nights, because we sleep during the day.”

+Ok, let’s go down to the crypt. There might be a party down there. Ghouls and goblins and all that.”

“Good idea, oh I dropped my head again and its rolling down the stairs.”

“Not again. You will be the death of me.”

“Not possible, you died a few hundred years ago.”

“And that was your fault. You wanted to have a duel with me because I had an affair with your wife.”

“I had my reputation to protect.”

“But so did I, I was known as the Casanova of the castle. And anyhow she was really not worth it.”

“You mean I could have forgotten the whole thing. That would have made everything better. I would not have to walk around for the rest of my undead life with my head under my arm.”

“And what about me with my eternal bullet wound in a very delicate place.”

“That was you fault. You were supposed to stand and look at me when you ponted your gun and not turn and run. The bullet was aimed for your chest, not at your rear part.”

“Ok forget it. Down to the crypt now and the last one out of the torture chamber switches out the light.”

“Of course.”

Daily Prompt: Dim

Good Morning

Let’s begin the day with something completely different. I live in Switzerland and have been here for 50 years. Of course when you move to another country, you realise it is not only the language that is different, but the people also have their little differences. They might look like you on the surface but you soon realise that beneath the surface they are different: or are you different.  Never sit down in a restaurant, or on a train, without asking if the seat is already occupied. Even if you see no other customers waiting, ask. It is the way it is done in Switzerland.

I remember my first days in Switzerland when I had to register my residency in Zürich. I reported to the official office and was greeted with a friendly “Gruetzi” from the lady in charge. I answered with a “Gruetzi” as this was basically the only word in Swiss German I knew at the time. This was a mistake because it was assumed that I was proficient in this dialect which just a few thousand people spoke in the Kanton of Zürich and surrounding areas. I was then asked questions which I did not understand, all in Zürich dialect, and given instructions. “Do you speak English” was my question, but I got no answer. Yes you are now in another country with other customs. Of course they spoke more english than I spoke Swiss German, but that seemed to be a state secret. With hand and feet I managed to state my wish for an official registration. Afterwards I moved onto the British Embassy where they at last spoke English. I was registered as a legal alien in Switzerland and was now ready to feel at home. Or was I?

Of course life is lonely in a new country when have no friends or family. You explore the surroundings alone. You might even have the wrong idea that you are interesting to others because you speak a different language, and perhaps even because you are British. Being british is nothing special, because you do not fit, do not share the same ideas on life.

Yesterday I stumbled on a video from a Swiss TV show. It is even in English, perhaps to show that the Swiss do want to be helpful basically. I was amused, and yes there are a few truths there oder?

In the meanwhile No. 2 son paid us a visit yesterday evening. It seems he will be again on his way through Europe to attend an international conference so he made the most of the time before he left, to pay the old folks a visit. My sons are almost 100% Swiss thinking, so they do not have to prove anything to the authorities, just follow the rules. No. 2 son even served in the Swiss Army for a few years as his duty, although he did not see very much action. He was in the heavy artillary and did go for a ride in a tank once. Otherwise he was responsible for the administration behind the action scenes: making sure they had enough food and taking care of the accounts to be paid for the goods they were getting from the local village where they were stationed.

It looks like another cold frozen day in Switzerland and family AngloSwiss carry on undaunted. As mentioned our cleaning lady is no more which I am not sorry about. Of course we would like someone for the heavy stuff, but at the moment it does not look so bad at home. I just have to take care not to drop stuff because my hands no longer seem to be attached to my arms.  As long as I can type on the keyboard, there is no problem.

My doc wants to see me and Mr. Swiss next week for various blood tests. Mine is for my longtime blood sugar examination and to check how I am managing with my injections for MS. I wish there was an injection to cure the daily golden oldie problems, but don’t we all.

Enjoy the day, see you around.


Mundane Monday #149: Words/Characters/Books

anton tschechow

There was a time, about 40 years ago, when I decided to realise a dream and learn Russian. I was married with a family at the time and living in Switzerland, so I was learning Russian in a German speaking class. I enjoyed this very much and learned to read and write in cyrillic. I can still speak Russian today, but am out of practice.

Of course I have many books, but this example is printed in Russian on one side, with the German translation on the opposite page. It is a collection of stories from Anton Tsechow and yes, I read them in Russian.

Mundane Monday #149: Words/Characters/Books

Daily Prompt: Premonition


Mr. Swiss was always saying that I should have a cleaning lady, but I never wanted one. If you do your bits and pieces regularly there is no need to make a full time job of it. That was my idea and it worked. Ok, the Tuesday bathroom hour cleaning session was not the ideal job, but in an hour it was done. Even the shower only took half an hour as I cleaned the toilet and mopped the floor daily. It was not hard work, I had a good system. Whilst I was dealing with this stuff Mr. Swiss would go for a walk with the vacuum cleaner clearing away the dust and daily bits and pieces. I was happy in my little world and at lunch time I had a nice clean and tidy appartment. The floors were tiled and a daily wipe over with hot water and a mop did the job nicely.

Then one day things got out of hand, I broke my leg and was away for a week in hospital. When I returned the place looked OK due to my regular cleaning sessions. I did not even feel overworked about cleaning. It was just part of daily life and what else was I supposed to do? Read a book, play with the computer, knit. No, sometimes a little physical movement is good for you. And so it came to pass that I was no longer able to partake in this cleaning orgy and we should have a cleaning lady. I was not happy about this, but had no choice, although she would only be employed for the kitchen, bathroom and shower.

Last week she arrived for the first 2 hour session. She worked and I did not make a detailed observation of what she did. I decided I should be thankful for small mercies. The second session was today and an hour before she called to say she cold not come today, but she would come tomorrow. Mr. Swiss got her message on his phone and I said, if that is the way the cookie is crumbling after a week, I do not want this cleaning lady. We called her and told her that her services would no longer be required.

In the meanwhile I had begun to clean a few things myself again, especially the shower which is my son’s area. Today we had a general tidying up. All the rooms were hoovered, all the stone floors were mopped and now I feel comfortable again. I told Mr. Swiss if he wants a cleaning lady OK, but I will not do anything more to find one. He can engage a cleaning lady and deal with it. I do not want anything more to do with it.

Of course I am not fit to do everything, but little by little I am finding my feet again. I clean the shower reguarly, mop the floors and today have again began to use my walking stick now and again instead of the walker. I am not 100%, but I can do it. I have a wonderful therapist who is giving me confidence to stand on my own two legs, although one of them is not as it should be. Every day small steps to a recovery. At the moment things look down, but I have a wonderful No 1 son who is helping and Mr. Swiss. I might even start cleaning windows again in a month. Time goes on and eventually you wonder what the problem was.

Daily Prompt: Premonition