RDP Sunday: Chest


One of the things I discovered about the Swiss way of life, after getting married, was that they are fully equipped. I do not think we had anything worth keeping safe in England and keeping documents did not come into the question. Dad kept his money in his trouser pocket and mum had a purse.

And so I moved in with Mr. Swiss. It was a trial situation and there was no rush. We were getting used to each other, although a month later we got married and at the end of the year I was mother to three children (I inherited two kids from his first marriage).

And so the big metal box also came with Mr. Swiss. This box is fire proof, lightening proof, and most probably act of god proof. I was fascinated. It was kept in the bottom of a cupboard, and contained the details of Mr. Swiss life and slowly also mine. If you get married in Switzerland you get a family book. Husband and wife are entered into it and there is room for 14 kids, although we only managed two. He had a second family book from the first marriage, also with two kids. These were also in the box.

The funny thing is that I never bothered with this box. I left it to Mr. Swiss. Today I had to open the box to let the moths out. The Brits are re-organising their accounts for the pension scheme. They have discovered the magical IBAN number. I received a form to complete, but they wanted so much information that I had to go on a search for details.  They have been paying my British pension money into my post office account (a paltry amount monthly because I only worked for two years in England) and now they write for IBAN, BIC, Swift and Bank Account Numbers so now I have to give them details for payment into my bank account.

On top of all this they want my National British Insurance No. Huh, did I have one, and if so it was 52 years ago. So into the box I went. Mr. Swiss had to hold it open as if the lid had closed on my fingers, I would probably have lost a couple. All I found was a British medical card issued in 1946 when I was born. It even had the doc’s name on it from Bethnal Green and I remembered him. Of course he is now long gone.

So today the box played a role again in my life. It has now been put to rest again in the cupboard: after all we now have computers. What did surprise me was that Mr. Swiss had carefully put all my GCE certificates (english school system high school) in the box. I had not seen them for at least 50 years and did not realise we still had them. Today no-one is interested how many GCE’s I got (it was 7). My best results were Biology, French, Maths and Science, yes I should have been a scientist. The worst was english, I had to take that one twice, but passed eventually. History and Geography were also not bad – oh the memories stored in that iron box.

To continue. I wrote a slightly sarcastic sharp letter to accompany the form for the Brits, although I did thank them for paying my pension (paltry) regularly up to now. Did not want to spoil my chances for an increase.

RDP Sunday: Chest

6 thoughts on “RDP Sunday: Chest

  1. I used to keep paper copies of everything but now you tend to do it on the computer which is fine as long as you can remember what you called the document when you saved it. Now you open the documents on your computer and there is reams of rubbish you have not deleted. I still have a metal file box which I keep some things in and as there are only eleven file I can always find things the old fashioned way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have really had to re-organised a lot in the past year. I used to leave it to Mr. Swiss, but age is catching up on him and I have now taken a lot over. He will be 80 this year. I am a youngster still with my 72 years. I am now the only car driver in the family and my new job is income tax. In Switzerland you have to fill out the forms every year and supply the documents. It is very complicated and like most people I have a tax guy does does it for us, but I have to collect the documents and make copies for us. Otherwise I have no problem with the computer. I have it all organised. Even I am getting older but what else does a golden oldie have to do. It is becoming my new hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GREAT post. Loved reading about your past.
    How funny and fascinating that you were super n French but ‚nul‘ in English…. But look at you now; you have your blog – Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My French was OK for a Brit I suppose. Today I am bilingual in Swiss German and english. I did German at school but only two years. I never thought it would become my second language.


  3. I used to have a small version of that box. I got it when I was a kid and I kept my various “treasures” in it. No idea what happened to it, either.

    Now, my whole house is my chest. there’s so much paperwork, we use more than one room to store it. Everytime I throw away old paperwork, I immediately discover I need it, so now I never throw anything legal away. Because if I do, I will definitely NEED it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are also careful about what we throw away, but we both have our own system. We have a cellar full of documents we never look at, but I am sure if we throw something away it will be exactly that document that we need.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s