My hibiscus bush which no longer exists in my garden.
My hibiscus bush which no longer exists in my garden.
Even pigeons have their moments
As well as cows
Whilst the colleagues play boccia (Italian bowls) together.
In the earlier days when you could trust almost everyone, you just locked your bicycle with a key to make sure it would not be taken. Today you have to be careful. We have many people that rely on their bike perhaps as a courier to bring the ordered pizza, or as a quicker way to get through the traffic.
I noticed that today you must chain your bike to something fixed and firm, like this young main did. And I hope he does not lose the key to the chain, otherwise he will have a problem.
“Are we diametric?”
“No idea, I don’t see any straight lines.”
“You just have to use your imagination. Your neck is a bit longer than mine and you put on some weight this summer eating all that stuff that the humans give you. If you hadn’t overindulged with the food we would be the perfect straight line. And who laid the eggs?”
“Just a minute, I was the one that had to go for swims with the cygnets afterwards. Always at the back of the row making sure none of them fell out of place and stayed in a straight line.”
“And I had to make sure that they followed me. According to statistics we will stay together for a few hundred cygnets, so we might as well get used to it. And keep floating, stay in line, be diametric.”
This scene is freshly shot from my front garden this morning with my mobile phone camera. The sun is shining and it could be a summer’s day, although 3°C temperatures are not exactly warm. We still have February and there is even talk of snow next week, but let’s make the most of what we have at the moment.
What you see is the Jura mountain chain in the background. That is nothing special here, because I live at the foot of the Jura where the flat lands begin down to Bern and afterwards the big mountains in the Bernese Overland.
I am really frustrated at the moment with my photos. I no longer have an opportunity to shoot whilst Mr. Swiss is driving as I am driving. I am also a little homebound at the moment due to my sneezy weezy stuffed head cold which is perhaps thinking now about leaving, but keeping me from going places and seeing things. Yesterday would have been a fantastic day for photos of the Bernese Overland from the castle on the hill. I saw them spread out before me when I was driving home from the store yesterday: the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau all bathed in sunlight and as clear as if they were at the edge of my garden. The views of the Alps from my area can be good, but yesterday was perfect. The snow and the sharp edges of the mountains were reflected in the sun and it was just plain beautiful, the chance of a lifetime’s photography. Even from the supermarket I saw them all spread in their beauty, but a telephone camera does not do them credit and since shopping myself with the car, I no longer take my big camera with me, because I do not have a good chance to use it.
We have had good visibility all week and I am so frustrated being at home. However, if things go well today and I feel better I will saddle my wheelchair this afternoon and take a wheelie. It is now the beginning of carnival in our area. I heard the canon shot this morning at 5.00 am to signal the start with our so-called “chesslete” when people go into town dressed in their white nightshirts and hat making noise with any instrument you find. Afterwards they go to the restaurants and eat a “flour soup” accompanied with warm cheese tarts. It is all tradition. Not really my tradition because I did not grow up with it, but Mr. Swiss remembers the days of his youth when he would join in the festivities. Some take the week off from work for the carnival as the nights turn into days and others brave through it, falling asleep at work. I remember when I was a working woman and a few were falling asleep at their desk, or were still dressed in the clothing they wore during the night at the various events. Many had a distinct alcoholic cloud surrounding them, but no offence intended – that is carnival, or Fasnacht as we call it here.
You would be astonished to see what goes on in our town at this time of the year, especially in the evening. We get a calendar with the various events. This afternoon there will probably be groups of children, and even some adults, dressed in their disguises in the town and I am hoping to be able to get a few shots.
Otherwise daily life goes on. Yesterday was a bit of stress in the afternoon shopping. It was not so bad, but Mr. Swiss came with me as he had a few man things to buy that woman are not so good at. He needed a substitute lamp for one of our kitchen devices which was only available in the basement of the store and I absolutely needed a soap dish for a our new shower attachment. Nothing is ever perfect, and although we have a good metal holder for the soap, there are spaces between the steel wires where the soap falls through. Mr. Swiss had also again dropped his mobile phone and the top glass cover was cracked at the edge, which is an easy replacement.
Eventually the shopping was done and we were on our way home. Problem No. 1 was the school bus, as it was the wrong time and it was waiting outside the high school. It is possible to drive round it, but there is a traffic island in the way and it is very narrow. I managed this obstacle as luckily the bus was still waiting and not ready to drive away. The next obstacle was the special garden garbage collection. The truck, a big one, was waiting in the middle of the road whilst it chewed its greenery and I had to navigate it but my sight was blocked and I could not see if there was oncoming traffic. Eventually a guy climbed out of the truck and directed me to drive, although again there were only a few centimetres to spare when I eventually had again a clear sight of the road. Mr. Swiss congratulates me that I have become a good driver. This is fine, but when you have a stuffed up head from a cold and the sun is blinding you as you drive, it does not help.
We arrived home safely and I was glad to get it behind me. So today no driving, just perhaps in a wheelchair. And you all have a better day than I did yesterday and may it be a good one.
This time some red cyclamen
Growing up in London I was not spoilt for puddles. We had more rainy days than others, and it was not a nice clean puddle like this one from where I live. No, London puddles were dirty, and not to be waded into. Talking of puddles today reminds me that I have not seen one for a least a month. We have had no rain, no snow, and only sunny days.
However the good times had now been had by all. Our carnival season begins at 5.00 a.m tomorrow morning when with drums, trumpets and anything that makes a noise people will be marching into town and around town dressed in a white nightshirt with a red necktie and naturally a white nighcap with a tassel. It is a tradition to wake up the spirits or something like that. It will probably also be waking the weather gods, as we have had snow prophesied for next week and then we will be having enough puddles of snowmelt to contend with.
Walking through puddles is one thing, but if you are dependent on a wheelchair for longer journeys like myself. and you wheel through the puddles you tend to leave a wet trail behind you when entering the apartment.
Meow is an international language. It just needs practice to make it perfect. Today I had a typical example of how humans cannot understand the simplest features of a meow conversation.
It was morning and Mrs. Human was busy with her human tasks. She seems to love to clean things in the mornings and begins with her own washing ceremony. Humans are strange. Instead of having a good lick they have something called a shower and even apply other ingredients on their skin. It really complicates matters. Whilst she is performing this strange task, I have finished my lick.
But the important part is the routine. Eventually she arrives in the kitchen. She empties my bowls of food, and cleans them and refills them. I am now waiting for them to be put in my usual corner for eating purposes. I am now hungry, have not had a fresh morsel for an hour. It is a dangerous situation for a cat. I could die of hunger. What does she do, she sits in a chair and starts playing with her telephone, something about a shopping list. There is no active communication. I decided to give her the silent treatment. I did the meow part early in the morning to make sure she knows I still exist.
She made no attempt to go to the kitchen and place my food within eating distance. But wait, she now noticed me and said in human “hello Tabby”. Did she expect an answer? I began the “look into my eyes” treatment and stared at her. She looked at me and then I opened my mouth but utterred no meows. She looked again and then realised that I was sending out a signal of help. Yes she realised that the food was still on the table. I followed here with my eyes, sending out the influences and then approached her in the kitchen. At last she got the message and put my food on the ground and filled my bowl with fresh water.
I think she also had a guilty conscience forgetting the most important in her household. It was a matter of life or death, so remember felines. make sure your humans understand the meow signals, especially when they are combined with food.
What more can I say, an in which language? The photo shows it all more or less. Some people collect stamps as a hobby, others music and me, I collect languages.
I do have a mother tongue, but sometimes am not quite sure what it is. According to my first original passport it would be english, but cockney, my dialect, does not exactly follow the rules. It had to be polished up at school. And then I moved to Switzerland and discovered the German they spoke was not the German I had learnt at school, another dialect. After 50 years I more or less speak perfect Solothurn German, one of the numerous Swiss dialects. I think every part of Switzerland has its own.
And what about the rest? I always wanted to speak, write and read Russian since my school days, but I had to learn 5 years French at school, also did evening classes for Spanish a year, but have not forgot everything. My other dream language was Italian which I more or less taught myself. I always found that if you did not know the word in Italian, just used the english one and add an “o” or “a” at the end, with the Italian pronunciation and you would be understood. At some time I did eventually get my Russian course, 12 years, and I can still read and write it now. The words are for me entirely different to anything I had in my lantino-anglo language brain, but I discovered that I could even understand the Yugoslavians with their various serbo-croat-Slovenian languages, all with a sort of Russian basis knowledge that I had acquired.
In the meanwhile, with my 72 years I speak a bit of everything, but probably nothing perfect. Even my english suffers. How often do I begin to write my pieces in Internet and suddenly find that the word I want only appears in German in my brain. I have a quick Internet check and it tells me the english word.
Oh and then I decided that Arabic would be something interesting and yes, I could write it when I did my year of learning the language. I then discovered that none of the so-called Arabic speaking countries, actually spoke pure Arabic. The Maghreb states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, to name just a few all had their own version of Arabic and rarely understood each others language. Egypt spoke a straightforward Arabic and the Emirates were apparently the best. Needless to say i decided Arabic was a little complicated.
Let’s face it, the only way to learn a language is to use it and communicate with it. I am a typical example of how to communicate in a language by not bothering about the silly details like grammar. Just say what you want to say, use your hands, your feet and you will get there eventually. I must have been doing something right somewhere, as although my kids all grew up in Switzerland, they understand and speak English. One is fluent in French as well.
And Switzerland has four basic languages: French, German, Italian, Romansch. This means that almost all food packets in the supermarket are covered with text in these languages to cover all aspects of the population. Perhaps not Romansch, as there are only a small percent speaking it in the mountains of Graubünden and they also have about 4-5 dialects, so they also have to learn German at school to be understood by the rest of the country.
You know what, I could go on for ages about this language thing. Just do not expect a perfect explanation. I was always someone that liked to talk and why bother about rules and regulations, it only slows you down. I däm Fall wurde ig säge genüg gseit. I bi sicher dir wüsset wie Sprache cha dr Fall kompliziere. U das isch e chli wenig Schyzertutsh (the last few words were in Swiss German, not really a written language, because according to where you live and your origins, you speak a different dialect. Just write it as you hear it, but with a German touch).
Last year towards the end of Autumn I had my garden redone. It was getting too much for me and so the gardener and I worked on it together. I had to say good bye to many trusty bushes and plants, they were all fighting for more room. Of course I was sad to see them go, although the two roses I had were replanted and my herbs found a new place in the raised bed. Now it is getting into Spring, slowly but surely and I have discovered that not all is lost.
Yesterday I saw some reminders of my old garden. Due to the gardening work the crocus I have had been spread a little and I was surprised to see that they were appearing again. I even saw leaves of forgotten tulips that had survived the gardener. Nature always seems to find a way. Now I am waiting to see what other surprises appear. I will be organising the gardener in the next couple of weeks to see to various bits and pieces in the garden and I also have plans for a few seed sowing events in my raised beds. That is something I can do without having to bend and not be able to stand again
The weather is still showing itself from the sunny side at the moment, but I am still a little home bound with my cough and cold. In between Mr. Swiss is worried that I will choke but yesterday we raised the top half of my bed which did help. I could organise my coughing fits better, although I still have a feeling that my body belongs to a taxidermist that stuffs animals for an exhibition, especially my head. Luckily no-one in the family has caught the dreaded from me yet. I seem to be one of the chosen.
Mr. Crow only puts in a few guest appearances in the morning in front of my window now. There is no more bread rests for him. It is time for him to stand on his own crow’s feet and search what nature has for him. The seasons are changing and the crows should fly off some of their winter fat.
I read an interesting story in the BBC news yesterday about a rat. It was a sewer rat and decided to squeeze through the grid of the sewer to see what the outside world was doing and got stuck. It all happened in Germany here. I thought it was taking things a bit far to save one rat from death by suffocation by the firemen because it had been eating too much, but why not. I am sure the rat was thankful.
Yesterday I did not have such a successful morning. One of those plastic bottles of cleaning liquid fell from the top shelf of my cleaning cupboard and broke. I spend half an hour mopping up the soapy bubbly mass from the floor. Thank goodness for stone floors which made the job a little easier. I was half an hour behind on everything but managed to catch up by lunch time. I am just feeling a little impatient at the moment with my blocked head from my cold.
Today it is again time for an afternoon shopping trip. Mr. Swiss wants to come with me as he also wants to deal with a few bits and pieces. It is good for him to get out now and again and I am glad for a little support when shopping.
I really want to get out this week with my camera. Our carnival season is beginning, although I am not really a fan of all the noise, music and people, but can be a good opportunity for some interesting photos, making a change from the usual pictures, although I found the horses were standing in the right place when I wheeled past last week.
I just hope that I am feeling up to it by tomorrow.
And now to move on to the normal daily chores. I hope you are all well and managing. Be glad when you are. I have learned this week how much just a temporary illness can ruin your plans.
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