Feline RDP Wednesday: Feline Language

Tabby

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.

Feline RDP Wednesday: Feline Language

RDP Wednesday: Language

language books

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).

View of the Bernese Alps from Feldbrunnen

RDP Wednesday: Language

Good Morning

Crocus 26.02 (3)

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.

Crows 26.02.2019

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.

Horse 23.02 (1)

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.

Jura 23.02 (1)

FOWC with Fandango: Uniform

Grandad and me in brownie uniform
Me in my very first uniform at the age of about 7 with grandad in the back yard of our old house in the cockney East End of London. Yes, I was a so-called brownie, the junior group of the girl guides. I never got to the guides, I decided I did not need another unform. White socks were all the rage at the time.

The next uniform was school. At the age of 11 I took my 11+ exam and qualified for grammar school. That was the higher shool of learning and we all had to wear a uniform, so mum and dad had to dip into their pockets and find the money to pay for it. I was now dressed in a green gym slip covering a beige square necked blouse. After the first two years we juniors progressed to a green skirt, not very flattering to the figure, with a beige blouse and yes a green and red diagonal striped tie. I remember the lessons dad gave me on how to make a tie knot. this uniform remained for the next four years. In winter we had a green gabardine coat with red and green striped knitted scarf and in Summer it was a green or red chequered dress  with a blazer with the school badge. As we girls got older we pepped it up with perhaps raising the hem of the dress to a shorter length according to the fashion. You could try everything but we still looked like kids from an institution. One plus was that we did get a good education and many went on to university. I decided to play it the safe way, did not really know what to study and went into office work with all the trimmings.

My next uniform was the daily office gear. This was now the sixties, the days of Mary Quant and Beatles and Twiggy. The skirts were tight, short and the heels on the shoes like stilts. we wedged our figures into everything, as long as the uniform fitted.

Over the years uniforms came and went, all in the name of fashion, but we were still wearing our uniforms. You did not want to stick out in the crowd, although needed something different to the others. Due to being different, we eventually all dressed the same. If the fashion was wide trousers, you wore them wide like everyone else. Perhaps it was tight, so that was what you wore.

Today in the 20th century we are all dress in our blue jeans, a t-shirt or pullover. We used to laugh at the Chinese when Mao was their leader, all dressed the same. Today they are dressed individually, no trace of chairman Mao. And us? Where are my trousers and top, the ones that everyone is wearing. Of course, we do not want to be dressed in uniform.

Bild 008

Me, second from the left – no we did not wear uniforms when we went on an excursion from work, we liked to dress individually – the blue jeans were a mere coincidence.

FOWC with Fandango: Uniform

RDP Tuesday: Fault

River Aare 23.02 (4)

As you get older you tend to forget
I am greeted by people by name and I sweat
The face is familiar, but from where are they known
Was it when I was working or perhaps another zone
I talk to Mr. Swiss and he fills in the gaps
But then I have to help him to find computer snaps
We both have our faults, that we have to complete
That is the fun in our lives, because in the middle we meet
So if I think A, he is thinking B
I have moved onto C and he is now by D
We both have a stick to enable us to walk
He loses his constantly so I become his hawk
I find his stick everywhere, but where have I left my Phone
We all have our faults, I really must not moan
But life as golden oldies also has its perks
We grew old together so living together still works
Like stones on the river bed, we are fixed and firm
Even in our ongoing years, we are a team that does not squirm

RDP Tuesday: Fault