FOWC with Fandango: Balance

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This is the national bike race, the Tour de Suisse, when they drove through our village some years ago.

Anyone can ride a bike, that is anyone except for me. I really tried, from the age of standing on my own legs when all the other kids were proud to have their first bike and I was still walking. Mum could not ride a bike, but she never had one and so she probably decided that it would be far too dangerous for me in case I fell and killed myself or broke something.

My own kids had bikes, they had to take the bike test at school where they drove on a certain route locally and there were miniature road signs. A policeman would be watching to see that they did it all correctly. Even my autistic son took the test and passed. He can ride a bike. In the meanwhile i never gave up. Of course, it was all a matter of balance. Peddling was no problem, just push one foot after the other, but you had to stay upright and not wobble to one side. I remember when Mr. Swiss took me with him on the bike to give me a lesson. I was then about 40 years old, but still could not stay upright. I knew someone with a bike shop and he said he would teach me and I said if we were successful I would buy my first bike at his shop. I never bought that bike and I do not think he still has the shop.

If a bike had three wheels there would be no problem, but two wheels? No, never. My wheelchair has four wheels and two auxiliary wheels for helping to go up and down the kerbs on the road, but it also has a motor. I am a perfect wheelchair driver, no problem. And yes I did try with a motor scooter. I was sure that the increased speed would keep me upright, but it became a Mission Impossible (I am sure Tom Cruise was copying me).

Of course I can drive a car it has four wheels. The only problem with my first driving lesson was the steering. The instructor sat next to me and knew I had an idea of putting the gear in and driving by balancing the clutch with the gas pedal. Unfortunately he did not say anything about the steering and on my first journey he took over the steering wheel and I did the rest. I passed my test after about 90 driving lessons, but it was always the steering, so let us not talk about balance.

Oh did I tell you I broke my leg at the  beginning of this year? I told you my legs are not attached to my body and somehow in my construction they forgot to put a right and left indicator in my brain. It is all a matter of balance. At least my neurologist gave his permission to drive a car, but only an automatic. He said as my left leg no longer does what it should it makes not difference. With an automatic I only need my right leg. My only problem is lifing my left leg to get it into the car 🙂

FOWC with Fandango: Balance

Wednesday RDP Prompt: Sobriquet

St. Urs Fountain

I supposed it all finished in this fountain, but it began when my No. 2 son decided to join the students  high school union. He had graduated to the high school and in the Swiss high school there are student groups. They sit together now and again in their student restaurant and discuss student matters. There is also a uniform hat, which they wear when meeting and if a student gets some sort of special office they even have a more special hat. For a while my son was a “fox major” (translation by me from German) which meant that not only did he wear the usual cap with the badge in blue but at meetings he now had a fur hat with a fox tail, something like Davy Crockett. The student group colours were blue and gold. They had a repertoire of student songs which they sang on their evenings together, drinking a few many beers together. Beer was the national student drink.

And so after a while in the group he had qualified to have his official christening with his student name. Student friends never use their birth name, but address each other only by their student name. Before the christening the student has a special duty to perform to qualify properly. My son was dressed in the disco look standing in the market place and dancing to music from a radio with sunglasses. That was quite harmless, others had to climb a statue in town or something similar. So after this inauguration he was ready for the christening service.

This took place on a Saturday evening in town. There was a procession of his student friends, my son walking behind the chief student. He was dressed in a dressing gown over his swimming gear. They arrived at the fountain in town, the one always used for the christening ceremony in the photo. He climbed to the edge of the fountain, the student chief said a few words and when he announced his new name he was pushed into the fountain which was of course filled with water and he got his new name and from that day on he was known as Duke in his student group. They chose an english name as his mum (me) was english.

I remember the evening well, it was even raining which made no great difference, and I think it was some time in late Autumn, or early Winter. He was then about 16 years old and now we have almost 30 years later, but his student friends still call him Duke, only the students. After the high school days were finished he went on to study at the University, but of course he joined the student group in the University as well, and still known as Duke. Although he finished his studies a long while ago, he is still a member of the Swiss students union.

Wednesday RDP Prompt: Sobriquet

Good Morning

Plane 04.09 (1)

I did not go anywhere yesterday or do anything spectacular. First of all the cleaning lady arrived for a couple of hours in the morning and afterwards No. 2 son with wife and baby arrived so my day was full until after lunch when my son left to continue his journey. They had decided to visit Lyon in France and we were the half way house for lunch and a baby interval. In the meanwhile I took a couple of photos of planes yesterday evening going to far away places. It was very good weather yesterday with sun and sensible temperatures and today looks the same. I am glad as I can go on a wheelie this afternoon in my chair, although not far. I have discovered that going to our nearest town of Solothurn, just a kilometre down the road is always good. There is always something different going on there for my camera.

St. Urs Turm 02.08.2018

On my last visit to town I zoomed into the tower on our St. Urs. (patron saint of Solothurn) cathedral and saw a couple of visitors on the outside gallery. I did the climb many years ago when I was still active (or thought I was). First of all there is a long circular staircase which I had to tread sideways with my feet, because is seems to have been made for those that only have up to size 36 in shoe sizes. I have 41. When the  spiral stairs finish the straight stairs arrive which go though the belfry and you have to hope that they do not decide to deafen you by ringing the bells. You arrive at the top and there is an inside office selling postcards and other souvenirs. There is a guy that sits there looking after it all. I thought what a job, climbing those stairs every morning and descending again in the evening. You can see the door to the outside on the photo and also the telescope. I must admit when I arrived at the gallery and stood on the platform I had to remain leaning on the wall. You are well protected by the railings but it is very high up, giving a great photo of the surroundings, but with wobbly legs after the climb you feel insecure.

Solothurn - West

Although you get a great view over the roofs of the old town with the Jura mountains in the background. I did it once, but never again. I would need someone to pull me up and carry me down again.

Gull 02.09 (8)

I noticed whilst in town that there were others climbing, or more flying, to higher places. I showed a closeup of this duck similar bird yesterday, but he afterwards decided to settle on one of the chimneys in the old town.

Spider 04.09 (3)

Whilst my son was here yesterday, he pointed out this little (or was it big) guy in the garden. He had spun a mega web and was waiting for dinner. I do not mind spiders as long as they remain in their spider apartments and do not decide to take a journey to my area. Yesterday I was sitting on the porch and felt an irritation on my neck, I wanted to scratch, felt some soft and knocked it to the ground where it landed on its back and no longer alive. I did not really bother to see what it was. Afterwards Mr. Swiss had a look and found it to be a stink bug, although luckily he died before beginning to smell. Yes Autumn brings many surprises.

And today is again a shopping day, but this time I will go with my partner. The gardener has also informed that he will be cutting my hedges this morning, although he has not yet arrived. Where we live everyone has their hedges cut or has it done for them like we do. It is a real show, One neighbour begins, then the next one follows, not to be left out and we are usually the last, but it does not bother us and we do not have to do it ourself. We just heard a ring at the door, only once, so it cannot be the postman as he always rings twice. Mr. Swiss tells me it is the gardener.

I am just finishing my computer duty and will now begin the cleaning duties. Have a good day and see you later. I met this horse on my last wheelie, they graze on the field just behind the railway tracks.

Horse 02.08 (6)