In a field on the outskirts of our town, where the sunflowers grow in Summer, there is an air measuring station. One day it appeared with strange antennas and poles and it is there to test the quality of the air in our area of Solthurn. The photo is mine, because it seems to be the only one available. I found none in Internet and I avoid Internet photos when I can. The Swiss love doing things like that, this is not on its own, but in various other Kantons.
I think back of my days of growing up in London, and I mean London industry where you were surrouned by the smell of wet concrete, food factories and the River Thames. This was in the fifties mainly. In the sixties they discovered clean air, although the cars were still crowding the roads and the drivers would leave the motor running whilst they made a quick stop to pop into a store for something. They held the Olympic games in London a couple of years ago, in the area around Stratford. I remember going shopping to Stratford in the fifties. We caught the bus and before reaching Stratford we crossed a bridge. The Yardleys perfume factory was just after the bridge and you knew you were there as everything smelt of lavender. Clean air was not a big topic at the time.
Now being married to a Swiss and living in Switzerland I have discovered that air is a major subject. Mr. Swiss is very keen on his fresh air. I just like to open the windows and let it blow through, but for a Swiss this is a draught, the cause of many physical ailments: a stiff neck, backache, etc. etc. In Summer it is a major topic because I like to let the air in. For the Swiss it is the time to close the blinds, keep the windows shut and maintain a cool temperature indoors. Ok, it can get quite hot sometimes, but you can always sit in the shade I thought, silly me. We had an air conditioner. A machine that ciculates the air in the appartment, using electricity of course. I still found that opening windows was more economical.
And then came the day when this monster arrived in our home. Somehow he who will not be mentioned, decided we should have the perfect air conditioner. I no longer discuss such matters as I am a Brit and do not understand the intricacies of good air. To give it credit it was not really noisy, just big. It seems (and I think this was a surprise for he who bought it) that the revamped air had to find a place to escape (an open window). I will cut a complicated episode short in our lives and after two weeks of usage (perhaps once or twice) it was sold and we got a very good price for it. Since this episode I sit outside for my fresh air. It is the easiest and most peaceful solution. Back to the London days when we just opened the widow to let the fresh air in.