RDP#15: Cataract

Rain 31.05 (7)

As soon as it rains, there are cataracts of water everywhere. At last a gutter was fixed above our entrance to the apartment block last year when a complete renovation was carried out. Now, instead of getting wet newspapers and letters from our letter box, they remain dry as the water in channeled to the exit. Of course you could get a free shower if you did not notice, but the water runs on the side out of the way.

This reminded me of an occasion in our house in East London where I grew up. It was built in 1884, had no bathroom and the toilet was outside in the garden. I grew up with it and got used to it, although the spiders that lived outside in the toilet, especially in the summer, were a nuisance. The advantage was I never spent too much time in the toilet.

In Winter it could become quite precarious because our water pipes were all fixed outside All the water from our sink and the rainwater collected and poured into these pipes. It worked, although in Winter now and again the water might freeze, as it did one Christmas, actually Boxing Day which meant we had no water in the kitchen.

This particular Christmas, not only were our water pipes frozen, but the sink was blocked and the water could not escape. There was a remedy for frozen pipes as it often happened. We had something called “lagging” which were torn remainders of material that you draped around the pipes and eventually the ice would melt.  Later on Boxing day evening mum went to the kitchen, which was upstairs in our two story slum, to see if the ice had now melted. Of course it had, the lagging did the trick and water was flowing again. Mum had left the water tap open to be able to check. The problem was she forgot that the sink was blocked.

It was then that we realized cataracts do not only occur in nature. Our cataract had filled the sink, overflowed to the ground and was already a mini waterfall as it fell down the staircase. And, of course, it also seeped through the floor. Luckily electricity was not discovered when the houses were built so there was no electric wiring in the floorboards. It was all outside the walls. However, the lower floor was now quite damp. Luckily since grandad passed away, no-one was living downstairs. Of course a certain amount of damage occurred, so mum reported it to our insurance.

Insurance? Yes we had one, but nothing special or comprehensive. The insurance man came and said that walls and floors were not included in the policy. Mum was only paying a few shillings and the only object that could be replaced was an alarm clock, which we did not even realize we had.

I still remember the picture today of mum feet deep in water in the kitchen because the pipes thawed. I must have been about 10 years old at the time. Mum and dad spent all night trying to mop up the water as best as they could. It seems the house dried out eventually and I still lived there until I was 20 years old with mum and dad. Eventually the house was demolished and mum and dad moved to a house in Essex, where they at last had an inside toilet and bathroom.

Living in houses that originated from Victorian London in the East End of London was not fun. I still had the old gas holders on the wall in my bedroom from the original build of the house.

Norah Street
Our street before the houses were demolished.

RDP#15: Cataract

Good Morning

Clouds 14-06 (4)

A photo from my excursion yesterday afternoon. The clouds gather more in the afternoon and give some intersting contrasts over the Jura mountains behind our home. The morning skies are more plain and simple, this morning blue with some wispy clouds. The only noise we hear is the builders opposite on the scaffolding working on the facade of the block. It looks like another sunny day today in Feldbrunnen Switzerland and I will make the most of it. Mr. Swiss tells me that I am getting quite a sun tan. Who would have thought that driving a wheelchair is to be compared with a day on the beach. I am even wearing shorts now on my journeys.

Chhickens 14.06 (8)

It was another trip to the chicken farm to begin with. They are near, just across the road. This chicken could not decide whether to leave her higher perch or not. Even chickens can fly if they want to. They were all clucking away in a large group and now and again the rooster would give out a few announcements to his ladies about staying together and making sure that they were producing enough eggs.

Ducks 14.06 (5)

The ducks were also busy picking in the grass. As I was taking photos a young lady passed by on her bike and mentioned that it was a shame there was a fence around everything which would be in the way when taking photos. I told her it is less a disturbance with the zoom lens, but otherwise there are always traces on the photos. She found I could ask if they would let me in the compounds to take closer photos. The problem is that I rarely see anyone in the compound and if they let me in I am not sure how the ground would be for my wheelchair, although it looks OK. If I can ride the river bank with all its stones and gravel, then it should be possible.

I wheeled on over the castle and returned via the graveyard. I mentioned to Mr. Swiss that although I am a regular visitor at the cemetery I never see any funerals. He said they are usually in the morning, which explains. My trips are afternoon visits when the business has been done and I only see the floral offerings on the fresh graves. I am becomming an expert. Buitterflies are now becoming more common and I saw this one in the cemetery.

Butterfly 14.06 (2)

Nothing special, but I followed it with my camera and waited for it to perch and keeo still for a photo.

Talking of insects and photos, I am now getting quite adapt at taking photos of the various arrivals on the porch at home, especially if there is food around.

Cucumber Beetle

I saw this colourful bug on the table on the porch. It was very small, hence the blur effect due to my enlargement, but I take these photos with my telephone camera, although the iPhone X camera is very good, but that also has its limits. I discovered this is a cucumber beetle and I have no idea how it got to my porch. I have no cucumbers in my garden and neither do the neighbours. They can become quite a pest according to what I read in Internet.

I should now move on. It is week-end shopping day and time to show myself in the supermarket. The list is made and all we now have to do is buy. Afterwards it is the week-end again. Why does it seem that life is full of week-ends when you are a golden oldie, although I am not complaining. I had enough days when I had to get up early in the morning and be in the office daily. Shopping, cooking and cleaning were just things you did at the week-ends, which was not really a week-end, but just two days at home to work in the household.

Sweet Pea 14.06.2018

I will leave you with some sweet pea growing opposite my garden, which probably come from the seeds distributed by the wind from my own plants growing in  my hedge. I love these flowers. Generally that are just a darker mauve, but now and again they have contrasts in colour.