RDP #48: Extempore


Once upon a time I was young and lovely, well young, and already had my grey hair, so I must had been climbing slowly towards 60. I was still a working woman and as a Brit English was always a useful language. I was working as an export clerk in a Swiss machine tool company, dealing directly with companies all over the world. I could speak a few languages: Italian, French, German, Russian  (just the basics but could get through if necessary) and of could my second daily language of Swiss German dialect. One day we had a visit from English business men. I knew them quite well, and as it was that time of the year when we had our Christmas celebrations in the company, their visit coincided with the company party.

First of all our big boss held a talk about company progress full of facts and figures and afterwards we were fed and generally had a good time. However, with two english people as guests who had no idea of a foreign language, it was decided that they should have a simultaneous translator and as I was the only Brit that could speak both German and English the choice fell on my boss, who passed it onto me (who could also speak perfect english, but had other thing to do).

It was all organised with headphones that I could do the necessary and so I was ready to go. The room gradually filled up and the director took his position on the stage. The two Brits, the guests, arrived at their table. and I gave a test through the microphone “Can you hear me?”  They both moved there heads is a “no” gesture, and then began to laugh – English black humour, only the Brits understand it.

I asked my boss in advance in the office, if I could have some notes from the director to prepare myself. He said he would have a look and came back to say there were no notes and it seems no-one had an idea what he was going to say. “Great” I thought and so he began to speak and I did my simultaneous translation.

Of course I was always a few words behind what he said as I did not what he was going to say. It was all statistics and how good we were and that the future is bright.  After an hour of having a dual lingual brain the director was finished. I always imagined a job with the United Nations as simultaneous translator would be great, I had now changed my mind. I really had no training for this and had no idea where it was going.

There was one bright moment in the evening. We make suggestions during the year in our company, ideas that we might have to improve working life. I was always suggesting something. When they organised the ground next to our company building – it was a new building they could make a park with flowers, trees and perhaps even a pond. That was turned down, so my next bright idea was to make allotments for the workers of the company to plant their own vegetable in their own place – also a no go. And so all these suggestions from everyone, the good and the bad, were all put into a bag and three prizes were offered to those chosen. Yes, I did it, I got the first prize, 1,000 Swiss Francs. I was sure it was the one for the park and the pond with the ducks.


RDP #48: Extempore

RDP #47: Clouds


Where was I yesterday, I mean I love clouds, I collect them, I take their photos and am a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society with badge and number and daily cloud photos and I was definitely not going to miss out on this RDP subject, but I got a new cloud in my collection, one I did not want. I even took its photo as I could hardly believe it.

It happened when I returned from my morning shopping trip and my iPhone and iPad both told me “we have an update”. I did my iPad and that was OK and suddenly I lost the connection on my iPhone and it refused to start again. I was convinced that Apple’s new update was the guilty party, you cannot trust these things. I then checked on the iPad and discovered that WordPress was telling me that Safari could not connect to my iPad. Facebook had a picture and with time the picture changed to the one shade of grey telling me “forget it – no internet connection”. Someone told us our provider company had a problem, but not for two hours? Long story cut short, we contacted them and it sems that an invoice had not been paid.

Big shock we always pay our invoices, computer invoices are holy, special, blessed, and held in reverence, our life depends on it: OK, perhaps I am exaggerating but if you do not pay they cut off your connection  without a threatening word. It was now late enough for their offices to close and we only had a connection to their special emergency number. Pay the invoice? No chance, internet was non-existent on our computers and the only possibility was a journey this morning, when the offices opened, and pay by cash. Luckily they are in the local town, but I still did not have a connection this morning, until the bill was paid. Mr. Swiss dealt with the necessary and around 9.30 we were online again. How it happened and why I do not know, but I do know that it will never ever happen again. And that was yesterday’s cloud.

How did I spend the afternoon without a computer, the evening? I finished reading my Stephen King book “The Outsider” and even began a second book. Thank goodness my Kindle has 4H or whatever that I can upload books if I am going places. I could not even upload a photo and my e-mails were in silencium, as well as the facebook messenger. I was cut off from the world. There are clouds and clouds and the ones below are my favourites. I see them on my wheelies in my chair.

Clouds 04.07 (10)

Yesterday that were looking a little black and threatening.  Just to reassure you I did not break a leg again as a cause of my absence and we are all more or less in one piece, but I will avoid the black clouds of computer doom in the future.

Clouds over Jura 15.04 (5)

RDP #47: Clouds