This is one of mine from last Summer
This is one of mine from last Summer
Taking regular bus or train journeys you know what to expect. The villages, the roads, even the houses appear in the same places and it is nothing out of the ordinary.
Flying is something different because the individuality of what you see disappears in the surroundings of mountains, rivers and clouds even – all from a distance. If you take the same flight every year then you begin to recognise places.
I would take off from Zürich and if I could look out of the window towards the South I might get a good glimpse of the Swiss alps covered in snow. Then the plane flies on and wait a minute, on the right are the Jura mountains. Now if I have a good look I will see the Weissenstein, our house mountain. There it is and now a little over the peak towards the flat land I see our local town of Solothurn with little villages (one of which is mine) surrounding it. I am flying alone and Mr. swiss is down below. I wonder if he sees my plane overhead.
Then there is a good half hour of France. I like France, but France is mainly agricultural and the plane wings its way across fields. Sometimes I might see a strange formation on a field, that I recognise from the past years. A collection of stones, or rocks, but I do not kow where I am exactly. Some time during the journey the pilot tells you over his loudspeaker that on the right we can see Paris, although I never really saw it, but we all turned our heads in that direction. The fun begins for me when we approach the French coast because I know there will be 22 miles of English channel and then we arrive on the english coast as in the photo. I am back in England, my country of origin.
Just a few minutes after flying over English territory and the pilot says we have started the descent towards London. If I am lucky he takes the route along the river Thames and I see the familiar places I knew when I lived there. An island along the Thames near the coast, that is Canvey Island. It is small but as a kid it was a day’s excursion to the sea and the beach. We travel up the river and I see the Thames Barrier preventing flooding in London if there would be a high tide. I see Dagenham where the Ford motorworks were, where my dad worked many years, and then we approach the Docklands.
Now I am back in my home country, the place where I grew up and so we land at London City airport. My friend is waiting with the car and picks me up.
The flight is over and I know I am back in England. The colourful strange buildings on the other side of the airport runway belong to the East London University. My schoolfriend worked there for many years.
Others come and go and fly over places, but when you know where you are, it is a taste of home. My journeys to London are no longer since my father passed away at the age of 100 years a couple of years ago, but I knew the route by memory. My home is now Switzerland, but a little nostalgia still remains from my London days.
I never really ever heard a bell chiming when I lived in England. We had churches, but London is big, and so the noise was distributed and not concentrated. I do not even remember hearing a funeral or a wedding chime, but it was long ago.
I now live in Switzrland, since 52 years, and believe me we have chimes.
It seems to be a Swiss custom to ring all the bells that you have at 7.45 p.m. on Saturday evening. This means that you can chime merrily away for a quarter of an hour and stop at 8.00 p.m. The Zürich mountain is the Uetliberg, a nice place for a walk. It is not steep to climb and in my Zürich days I remember reaching the top and seeing the town of Zürich spread below afterwards. I made a big mistake and once did the climb on a Saturday afternoon. Oh yes, I heard them all chiming when I was descending from the top. Not only Zürich but the complete surrounding countryside and Zürich is Swiss reform church, where they like their religion plain and simple, but with bells of course.
Now I am living in a catholic area of Solothurn, where I became a Swiss citizen when I married Mr. Swiss. I forgot about the bells, and for the first few years of married life I had baby cries and children screams as my accompanying noise, however, one Saturday evening the bells caught up with me.
Solothurn has churches with accompanying belfries everywhere. I now live in a village next to Solothurn, but there is no escape. Regularly every Saturday evening at 7.45 the bells begin to ring, ding dong, ding dong for a continuous quarter of an hour. Each bell has its own tune of course, but when they all do it together, there is no longer a tune, just a cacophony of noise. And here we also get the funerals with their slow chimes, usually in the mornings.
I once talks a climb to the top of our local cathedral and look what I saw up there.
And I did not see any bats in the belfry. They moved out a long while ago when the bell moved it.
Even the sheep have a bell around their neck, not to mention the cows, although many farmers now remove the king sized bells from the neck of the cattle. They discovered that not only the human neighbours were annoyed with the noise, but also the cows. The cows were getting nervous – perhaps they were producing whipped cream instead of milk.
It is going to be a quick good morning this morning. I did not get up much later than usual, just a few minutes, but I was the first and the place was still in darkness with closed blinds, a cat that wanted to be let out and some washing to remove and put away.
Outside there was not much happening either. I was looking forward to taking some bird photos as they eat from my feeder, but they are still sitting in the trees and thinking about it. Only the crows and a couple of magpies pounce on the bread I scatter, so all is quiet. Autumn has arrived in my garden and the leaves are falling.
Crows seen to be everywhere at the moment. This is one of the town colony perched on a bridge.
As soon as I got a little closer he noticed me and decided to fly.
And that’s that really. I was at home yesterday so nothing exiting happened like me having an accident. I was feeling so sore and bruised from my flight on Friday that I only did the minimum on Saturday and had a pile of ironing to catch up on Sunday. My men offered to help, but what I do in a hour takes them half a day.
Today I will let myself out again with Mr. Swiss at the wheel in the car. He has a mission to get a bottle of wine in the store as they department is on the ground floor. Not that we are people that have a glass of wine with the meal, but I use it for cooking according to what I cook. At the moment the cupboards and fridge are quite reduced, but this is a good thing. We had far too much stuff that was either never eaten or forgot. Since I wrote my inventory a week ago, I now know what we have. Mr. Swiss found it not necessary at the beginning, but he also now has the list on his phone via cloud. He is not allowed to touch it, but sees what we have and finds it a good idea. I can also plan meals much better.
I am wondering what my next project will be. I must be bored now and again. It is a dim day today, but no rain up to now. I might take a wheelie in my chair this afternoon. Dim days sometimes make interesting photos
And now I must really go, there are things to be done with a vacuum cleaner and mop, shopping and eventually cooking. Have a good day, enjoy and take it easy, no stress. That is what I tell myself daily, but it never seems to work.
A Londoner now enjoying country living.
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