A Photo of the Week Challenge: Fruits of your Labour


Our Fiorina apple tree in the garden that I planted from a sapling 18 years ago and it is still there. The first apples arrived after three years and since then we have had apples every Autumn. This year is a special year: days of hot weather, some rain and in Spring a tree full of flowers that transformed into apples and now we have enough apples for stewing, tarts, or whatever. We had so many that now again I hear a bumping noise in the garden and realise that yet another apple decided to fall from the tree.

Gala Apples

And then I have my second apple tree. These are gala apples, the ones that usually arrive in the shops from South Africa. When I was a working woman I always had a apple for my morning break. I also had a potted plant on my desk and added a couple of apple pips from my apple. After a while they began to grow. That got bigger and so I took them home and planted them in the garden. Five years later I had a fully grown apple tree, but no apples. I never expected an apple on my gala tree, as it was from a pip, and I thought you had to graft your branches on another tree to get fruit. This was not the case, and 4 years ago my gala apple tree bore its first fruit. OK, the worms got them, and the apples died before you could call them a real apple. In the meanwhile they have practiced and now I am getting a regular harvest of gala apples every year and they are edible, nice and sweet and juicy.

I do not stew them to keep. I might pop some in the microwave with sugar if I have too many.

My gardener told me that the Fiorina are an apple for storage and the Gala for eating as they arrive. I do not even eat apples so much.

A Photo of the Week Challenge: Fruits of your Labour

FOWC with Fandango: Schedule

Solothurn Main Station

Trains need schedules but I do not, at least I thought so. I became a golden oldie some years ago, my company no longer needed me. Confronted with eternal holidays someone stole my schedule. I could go to bed when I wanted to go to bed and sleep until the endless hours of the day, not even a birdsong would tell me that it was time to get up, so at least I thought.  The first few mornings were something completely different, but there was a missing link. Why get up when you have nowhere to go, when no-one is waiting for you, but just a moment, I have to go shopping.

Mr. Swiss had been waiting for this day for at least 5 years to make joint shopping expeditions, being already an official golden oldie, I was just an apprentice and so we did our supermarket tour together. After a while we were on first name terms with the sales assistants . Oh what bliss to be free and filling the days with doing what you wanted to do and not what you had to do.

I got bored. I was still searching for my lost schedule. I decided I could not waste my life with blogging and reading, there must be a meaning to it all. I rediscovered housework and also rediscovered it for Mr. Swiss, although I do not think he had missed his schedule, he never really had one at home. As time passed I realised that all this jolly talk about being retired and doing what you wanted to do and not what you had to was all a myth. No-one told me that your body no longer wants to join in with retirement. It does not retire, just discovers a few unknown problems.

Our schedule became doctor appointments, dentist appointments. Mine even included a few hospital visits for a broken arm and leg and examinations to discover what my problem with balance was (MS). Mr. Swiss has back problems because his discs were no longer where they should be. What is the point of having a schedule when it decides  not to retire?

No, let’s look on the bright side of being scheduleless. You get paid for it, it is called pension. Your new schedule is calculating how much you are getting and whether it is enough to live a life of having no schedules. You just have to ensure that health insurance is covered. And the life insurance? No, leave that to the others, that will be their problem one day.

At least life is not boring without a schedule because you never know what is coming next.

St. Kathrinen Cemetery 21.05 (5)

FOWC with Fandango: Schedule

Friday RDP: Coffee

French waiter at coffee bar

12 years ago and I was 59 years of age on a week’s stay in London to visit my father. I was on my own, and stayed with my schoolfriend and so now and again we went for a day somewhere. We were in Lakeside, one of those modern shopping malls on the fring of London incorporating more shops that you could actually handle. Both of us were book addicts: the Kindle was still in its diapers I believe and so we headed for the bookshop, probably Waterstones. It coincided with a coffee break and the café incorporated café looked good with its warm inviting wood surroundings.

We were alone, there were no other customers and it was the middle of the afternoon and the guy in charge was standing and waiting. My friend had to pay a visit to the ladies and the waiter asked for my order. He spoke with a French accent, so who does not get weak at the knees for a French accent. He came originally from Marseilles and was spending a time in England. My friend arrived back to the café and I was engrossed  in a conversation comparing life in Switzerland with life in France and comparing a lot more. He was not Alain Delon, Jean Paul Belmondo or even my favourite of the day Christoper Lambert, but if you closed your eyes you could let the imagination run wild with the reality. Of course I did not, because I was 59 years old and he was probably old enough to be my son.

We now have 12 years later and I am now 71 years old. I wonder what happened to him. Did he return to Marseille, which was his intention? Is he now married with a family or still enchanting the french mademoiselles with his stories of London? Perhaps he even remembered the english lady who actually lived and worked in Switzerland: probably not, but I still have the photo. I said the coffee bar looked interesting and if it would be OK to take a photo and he obliged.

Today I no longer drink coffee. It must be at least 10 years since I had my last cup of coffee due to digestive problems. I do not really miss it, I have become a tea drinker in the meanwhile. I am sure if I was then drinking tea I had not met my French barrister and as a trophy would have had a photo of an english tea room full of old ladies sipping their milky teas.

Oh, the memories of the years gone past.

Orange coffee

Friday RDP: Coffee

Good Morning

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (5)

And welcome to the Solothurn Cheese Day, yes at last there was some action in our local town and your blogger in Switzerland was there in her wheelchair to take a few photos. This cheese day has been for the past few years, but in my more walking days, I never bothered to have a look. Those were the days when Mr. Swiss and I did things together, but since he has back problems and I have my MS  we do our own thing. I suppose I am the mobile one, and now at every opportunity I am on my way for something new.

I had no idea what this cheese thing was about, but I soon found out.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (1)

The first part was a market where various farming cheese organisations presented their goods. Mostly local, but as far as Kanton Bern. I must say I was a bit apprehensive of moving in crowds with the wheelchair, it was the first time, but everyone was very polite and it was not such a crowd. Of course it is a good opportunity to meet a few friends here and there.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (8)

It was something like an enlarged monthly market, but concentrated on milk products (and beer) and of course there were the usual street opportunities for a drink taking it easy. A colleague I met said that the action was on our local Dornacherplatz (Dornach Square) where they had the cows and they were being distinguished for their various merits: a good udder, good shape, Zitze (I am still working that one out, but something female) and all sorts of personal details of a cow. They had made the area quite easy to manoever, so there I was on my way to the cows.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (23)

This one was already proudly showing his badge of honour which seemed to be first class. OK, I am no expert, but I assume it had everything in the right place. There was even a guy with a microphone telling who had won what, and mentioning the local cowboys that had the cows on their farms. I took so many photos that it is unfortunately not possible to show them all today, but I will be back.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (28)

This guy even posed for me with his pet cow. There was a bit of everything to see.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (40)

And suddenly this groups walked past. Nothing like Swiss alp horns on a country festival. For me as a Brit it was really super and very impressive, but after all I suppose I am still a tourist in this country.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (35)

Of course there were a few music groups scattered around. I eventually made my way home after an afternoon with a difference. This was only for a day and I suppose you cannot keep the cows tethered in the town for longer, the prefer grass to paving stones. In the morning there was a real Alp procession, but I only saw the photo in the newspaper. I will probably be back with some more photos over the week-end. I decided marrying a farmer would not have been such a bad thing after all. Even cows have their charm.

And now I must move on, life goes on as usual, despite cowboys and markets. I have a week-end shopping to complete and this afternoon I have an appointment with my hairdresser, about time too. I am beginning to look like a Beatle refugee.

See you around so enjoy the day until later. One last photo of the organ grinder at the festival.

Cheese Days Solothurn 06.09 (3)