This time some red cyclamen
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.
Je gratte, donc je suis
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