A garden rose
A garden rose
Starring the rose
Am not sure which way these were going, but all to the music of Zorba the Greek
This way leads to a restaurant
The snowy way
Now and again we have a siren test to see if they are still working, as they did yesterday. They seem to be getting more and more artistic.
A local goat
And this guy is blowing his own horn.
I saw my first automatic crane when I was about 11 years old. They were rebuilding London after 6 years of war from 1939-1945 where everything was bombed flat, especially in the area where I grew up, Bethnal Green, East London, near the dock area. If they did not hit the docks then they just dropped the bombs where they hoped there might be docks.
And so eventually in the fifties the big build began in London. Up to that time families had been living partly in what we called “prefabs” an abbreviation meaning pre fabricated houses, because there was no time to build new blocks of flats or houses. Families left with only ruins needed a roof over their heads. Our house, built in 1884, was still standing together with the street. The prefabs were square buildings with the necessary, no cellar or basement of course but they were all built in places where there had a little garden surrounding them. Indeed when the day came for their removal, many families were not happy. They now had a their own house,
And so eventually the bombed sites, which were my playgrounds as a kid, were removed. The half standing houses, which we would explore, with their remaining gardens. Flowers began to grow wild and it was strange to have a rose bush growing on your playground. The ruins were flattened and the cranes moved in. It was a first for me, mum and dad and fascinating. They would swing around with their arms, this was progress, although there was one small problem.
We then had a television, black and white, but we would watch every evening. It was the years of TV discovery. There were live football matches for the men, and the childrens hour which I watched every evening. According to how the crane workers left the crane when they had finished work, it could be that we would have an evening of disturbance on the TV. Not exactly white noise, but a black band across the screen. I never worked how the arms position of the crane, whether it was North to South, East to West, or anything in between, but our TV picture became a Picasso, accompanied by noise. If there was a wind blowing, there would be variations when the arms of the crane vibrated.
Today, approximately 60 years later, this would never be the case. Indeed the cranes very rarely have someone in the cabin. They are all steered by remote control from the ground, but the first steps of an automatic crane were first steps.
There are some childhood memories I will never foget.
Iron and Carbon together contribute to stainless steel
Mix a little Molybdenum, Nickel, Manganese and Niobium at will
Do not forget the Nitrogen and Silicon, and also add some Copper
Now you are on the way to manufacturing a wopper
Look at the beauties, some are shining like gold
It depends on the titanium nitride that makes it really bold
Why is that one mauve, it looks so very nice
It has some aluminium with it, so now we have some spice
And now we have our end mills, for cutting in all directions
With a hum and a scrape the metal is flying, there are so many selections
And when the job is done, we have parts for all your use
Aeroplanes, other machines, anything you might produce
And so the sparks are flying, and steel is being ground
Production of the end result? In a bin there is a mound
You ask how I know this, it was my work for many a year
In the office I organised transport of the tools that did appear
I witnessed the creation of the tools that were being made
And now you see a selection above in the photo they are displayed
But do not forget the unwanted, the strands of curly steel
They were afterwards recycled and rejoined together at will
There were very high temperatures as the mills were on a spin
Cooled by oil and water, they were also very thin
This morning is a frozen morning. My cat’s water was frozen solid outside in its bowl, so my first task of the day was to remove the ice block and fill it again. After opening the curtains and various other chores I eventually get around to making something to eat.
Today I decided to treat myself to a honey breakfast. Naturally honey is sold everywhere, but we have quite a few beekeepers in our area and the agricultural school is also near where they also produce their own honey. Our gardener gives us a Christmas present annually, being faithful customers and this year it was a jar of honey. It even had the name of the beekeeper on it and where he is – in a nearby village. I do not know how it is in your countries, but honey can be quite an expensive commodity here, especially if it is local production. I had a nice fresh Tessin bread (the special bread typical of the Italian part of Switzerland baked fresh in our supermarket) and the breakfast was perfect.
There is perhaps one negative aspect of the whole delight. I am diabetic and have been for the past 30 years that I know of. Luckily up to now, I have not had to inject, but take tablets. I probably would not have space for injections, as I have to inject every second day with my MS medicine. They say as you get older that it would/might progress, but I have been lucky so far. My averages stay stable until the evening when I take a double strong tablet to keep it under control. My No. 2 so inherited it from me, diabetes type 2 and he had to inject at the beginning until he got it under control. Now he is also on tablets. Honey is naturally pure sugar more or less with bee production, and not ideal if you are supposed to avoid sugar. I can only say I enjoyed my breakfast and I am still alive. Now I know why Eve had a piece of apple. It might have had consequences, but it was fun at the time.
At the moment Mr. Swiss and I are in the middle of a great task: putting fresh sheets and duvet covers on the beds (two beds pushed together Swiss style), which is strenuous for golden oldies. Most is now done: duvet and cushions covered, under the beds hoovered and mattresses turned. Now we are on the crucial part of covering the mattress with the fitted sheet. I told Mr. Swiss wait for No. 1 son to come home from work, he does it in a matter of seconds, whilst we need minutes and many, but he insisted he can do it so I left him to it after fitting them on the end of the mattress. I sometimes wish we were , 20-30 years younger, like it used to be. And now it is done. Mr. Swiss just called for a final check and the bed covering is completed. What a fight that was. Now to the rest of the household.
Yesterday we another shopping trip with all the trimmings. I had to replenish the bird food with a 5 kilo bag, but lucky a young supermarket assistant lifted the bag from the bottom shelf and placed it in my trolley for me. There was also a 6 bottle pack of Pepsi Cola, but I had to do that on my own as there was no-one around to help. I might be weak in the legs due to my MS, but I am developing muscles on my arms like a weight lifter.
Needless to say I was exhausted yesterday and my afternoon sleep lasted until 4.30 p.m. – a record. Afterwards my hairdresser called past. She is my neighbour and also good colleague. I told her she can have the rest of Tabby’s pellets as she is now on a complete kidney friendly diet with special food. There was a brochure in the kidney food packet from the vet about kidney problems with older cats. Apparently about half of the felines have them as soon as they reach the older years and it is advisable to have them checked. We were lucky as our vet did it automatically and discovered the problem. There are various symptoms, the main being they drink a lot and also they do not eat as much as they did leading to weight loss. These are the two that Tabby had, but there are more and we were lucky that Tabby does not seem to be too much advanced. The kidney food encourages them to eat more and has no phosphor which is difficult for cats to cope with if they have kidney problems. At the moment all seems to be going well with Tabby, but she is now only allowed the right food an no more tit bits on the side, although she seems to be happy with her new diet.
And now back to the normal day’s work. Look after yourselves, keep well and be kind to your computers. They deserve it now and again. Mine was grateful that I cleaned the screen yesterday, now it can see again and so can I.
I leave you with a pineapple plant growing in the supermarket in the gardening department. Something completely different. I have tried to do it myself, but it never worked as it should.
Je gratte, donc je suis
My "bump" was in 2016, aged 48, when I suffered a stroke. This blog charts my recovery. (Header clipart licensed by pngguru.com.)
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