FOWC with Fandango: Instrumental


We always had a piano in our family. I was born into a family with a piano in the living room. We were working class, were not wealthy, but there was always a piano. Of course the piano we had was one of the old sort, upright and the metal strings were of the old type. I just do not know the technical names for the sort of piano it was. The main thing was that every time we had a family party, in the good old cockney fashion, either mum or aunt Lil would play and we would all sing along.

Did I say play? They had their own system. My mum and her sister could pick out the tune with the right hand and the left hand just moved up and down hammering one key at a time in the rhythm. No-one really noticed that it was all out of tune, because the beer had been flowing and everyone was dancing. As  a kid I was impressed that we had such piano talents in the family.

The piano was already 20 years old when I was born. And then I had my piano lessons at school. I had a piano teacher who taught me the basics and although I was not perfect, I got the hang of it. I think it was then that I realised that mum and aunt Lil with their rhythms was not exactly the real thing. I played on this now 50 year old piano until I left London for Switzerland. Now and again if I was sitting in the living room in London, there was suddenly a loud bang from the piano. No problem it was not haunted: each key had three metal strings attached in the inside of the piano and as they were growing older, now and again one of the strings would break. It was easy to notice which key that had a broken string as the sound was no longer as it should be. Piano tuner: no never, this old piano had never seen a piano tuner in its life. I grew up with intonations.

We always had a piano, and my last piano is the one in the picture: a Yamaha, electric. At least it has no strings that can break. I no longer play so much, I just lost interest. I learned all the classic pieces but always wanted to be a jazz pianist. Today I prefer to play the computer.

FOWC with Fandango: Instrumental

RDP Saturday: River

River Thames at Rainham, London

In my life there was always a river running through it somewhere. If you grow up in London, as I did, the River Thames is not so far. This photo shows the Thames in the lower reaches at Rainham on its way to the sea. My part of London was near the London docks. I had two uncles that were both dockers all their working lives. The London docks began just below Tower Bridge. The ships would come and go with their cargoes. When a docker finished his daily work he would travel home with the smell on his clothes from the goods he had been uploading from the ships. Showers at the docks for the men? No, these were the days after the war, 1950’s and 60’s and so the men travelled home from the work. Uploading fruit and other food was not so bad, but uploading fertiliser, known as guano to the dockers, meant that my uncle would have a thorough wash when he arrived home as it stunk for use of a better word. After all guano is the excrement of birds used for fertiliser and not just a few pieces, but tons of it.

At school we were taught all the uses of a river, mainly the Thames. We even had a beach when I was a kid, at the tower of London. I remember having a day there with my mum. We would swim in the Thames and it is a wonder that we survived with all the impurities the river had, but they were the good old days, before health and safety was the daily word.

River Aar 12.04 (2)

And now I move on to Switzerland, the River Aare. It flows through our local town of Solothurn. It is the longest river enclosed in Switzerland and eventually arrives at the River Rhine from its source in the Aare glacier of the Bernese alps flowing also through the capital town of Bern on its way. Something different from the London Thames, although the Thames also has its agricultural areas. The Aare flows just along the path to where I live and I often wheel along the banks in my chair into town. Just today I met two men who greeted me and I saw that they had oxygen tanks that they were putting into their car. They were also dressed for the role so I asked if they are going to dive in the river. They told me they had already been in the river. They were probably members of our diving club.

Of course even the Aare has its industrial part. It flows through Basel, a Swiss town and where most of the chemical companies are situated, Novartis, Roche and BASF to name a couple. This is the reason why now and again the clear bluish water of the Aare might become green in that part of Switzerland and not advisable for swimming.

In Switzerland you are never far from a river. My son lives near Schaffhausen, place of the famous Rhein Falls.

Rheinfall 06.08 (6)

I took the photo when we were visiting my son and wife. We made an excursion to the falls and you can see there is a bit more than just a river running through it. You can also see industrial buildings high above the river. Where there is water there is industry.

Of course we harness our water in Switzerland for hydro electric power, as in most countries.

If a river runs through it, it can be fun.

RDP Saturday: River

Good Morning

Morning Light on snow

Why I always get blue photos of the snow in the early morning I do not know, Must be something to do with the reflections in the early morning light. It is really not so blue, but quite white. It did not snow again, but made a weak effort, just a little sprinkle probably in the early morning hours. Temperature was 0°C this morning, but getting warmer which I am not sorry about. I just hope that the weather stays more or less dry today so I can again venture into the wilds with my wheelchair for some new photos.  Winter is not such a productive time for photos due to the weather.

All I can supply at the moment are the daily morning visits of the crows that come to peck at the bread remains of the day before.

Yesterday was not so eventful but the morning shopping was OK, as I had already bought everything for the week-end the day before. Just a few bits and pieces that I forgot, and even Mr. Swiss came with me as he had a small detail to change on his phone. To be quite honest, I quite like an excursion to the store now and again, gets me out to see places with my new car.


Speaking of new car, I was pleased to receive a card of appreciation from the sales guy at the garage yesterday. I remember him taking the photo, I just thought it was custom, but was surprised and happy to get the card with the photo. He also sent his best wishes etc. We have been customers of this garage for many years. I must say I am really satisfied with my purchase and everything on the car suits me, it is ideal. I feel quite the professional now having organised the purchase of a new car.

And now to move on. It might be just Saturday but a woman’s work is never done. Mr. Swiss asks why I clean the same thing every day but why is it so strange to convince someone that if your do it regularly for half an hour a day, I do not have to sacrifice a complete day once a week, and in any case I have a good feeling when I am finished (if I survive and do not fall during the work, or any other interruptions).

All going well they will let me out this afternoon again, otherwise I will curl up with a computer, and perhaps later a book. Enjoy the day, have fun and remember there is always a silver lining somewhere. Just hope that the sun shines.

Sunset 04.01 (5)