FOWC with Fandango: War

Solothurn 08.07 (18)

When the subject of war comes up and you live in Switzerland, you have to search for something worth showing as a symbol. The Swiss do not fight, they are neutral, but they are prepared. This war memorial in our local town always seemed to be a bit strange to me. A guy with no clothes holding a sword with a helmet. I suppose it symbolises something, but I am not quite sure what. OK, as a brit I suppose I have a bit of a different opinion with a father serving in the World War 2 and a grandfather in World War 1. My dad summed it up. No-one asked us to go, we just went. I know he was glad to come home again. We had no heroes in our family.

Fritz, Rudolf, Hans, Oscar Gerber 1

I always liked this photo showing Mr. Swiss great uncles and grandfather ready to fight the enemy in the first world war. It was all very new to the Swiss but armed with their swords they were ready to defend their country. During the second world war again they were defending the borders, but it was then rifles. I think the swords were then in the museum.

Every able bodied Swiss is a soldier today. They are called up at the age of 18, go to recruit school for a few months and then serve annually for 3 weeks a year (perhaps more if you are an officer). Eventually you have done your duty and are discharged. I remember son No 2 when he was in the army doing his time.

And here are my family.

soldiers
Top left son No. 2 when he was a recruit, top right mum and dad on their wedding day (it was 1945 and dad had only just arrived home, hence he only had a uniform to wear) and bottom right dad again when he was in the army. Last but not least my grandfather bottom left. He was in the medical core.

FOWC with Fandango: War

RDP Wednesday: Island

Islands seem to be my fate. The first 20 years of my life were spent living on an island, called Great Britain, although we Brits were not really aware of the fact as such. Of course there was water everywhere, and we were something special (according to the opinion of the genuine Brits). One day I left this island and decided to discover another country. I was not really bothered which country, just something completely different and so I found work in Switzerland. Switzerland is not an island is it? It is surrounded by other countries, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein (now that is an island if ever there was one), not forgetting Italy and France. We Swiss are in the middle. Not only that but we are not even European, although all the countries surrounding us are. We are something special, we are Swiss: have our own money (no € here) and our passport is Switzerland, Suisse, Svizzera (to compensate we have 3 basic languages and a fourth Romansch). We have never had a Brexit (or Swexit) problem because we voted against joining the EU.

But where I live in Solothurn we have our own island.

Island River Aare

The river Aare flows through our Kanton (State) and along the river, after leaving our town of Solothurn, there is an island. I took the photo from the top of our house mountain, the Weissenstein, but you can see the island in the middle of the river and yes, I have been on this island.

It is quite interesting as only one family lives there and that is the farmer who grows crops and has cows, just like any other farm, the only difference being that his livestock have to be transported by boat to reach the local market or to arrive on the island. He also has another lucrative source of money. On week-ends in summer you can spend a day on the island. Food is provided from the bar-b-que and you can go for a swim in the river or just take a walk around the island.

We once spent a Saturday there. We had to drive to the boat station on the river and the farmer would come and pick you up and pull you to the other side. The boat was fixed on some sort of chain system. In the meanwhile this has been replaced as it was deemed unsafe by the authorities. After spending a pleasant day on the island with good food and drink we departed in the evening, again on the boat. The farmer has a wife and children and when they go to school, or shopping in the nearby town, they first of all had to take the boat. It is only a five minute journey, but something interesting.

RDP Wednesday: Island

Good Morning

img_2298

Actually that bright spot behind the trees near the middle is the sun which decided to flood my bedroom with light when I opened the blinds. I quickly closed them again and he who will not be mentioned decided to return to hugging the bed after a coffee. I braved the new day and did the usual chores like clearing away the linen from the wash stand and generally making light in the apartment. I also opened a few windows to let some fresh air in.

img_2308

I just love seeing the view from the kitchen window in the morning as I am sitting at the breakfast table with my computer. It is really an inspiration and invitation for daily action. Daily action today means yet another shopping trip to the store., which reminds me to add a couple of items on my shopping list.

This evening it will be yet another romantic candlelight supper with Mr. Swiss and I, although without the candles as it now stays light until about 8-9 pm. No. 1 son will be picked up by car with a couple of others to see Roger Hodgson, the ex lead singer of Supertramp that are no longer. I quite liked Supertramp myself in their day. We will be alone this evening, although at the ages of 80 and 73, we like to take it easy.

img_2295

Yesterday afternoon was exhausting enough as Mr. Swiss had to see the eye specialist. It was not so far away, just in town on the other side of the railway station, but I had to squeeze my little car into a space in the parking lot, and I do not like parking at the best of times, especially when there is no choice and only one space available. I told Mr. Swiss to go ahead to the doc and I would put the money in the machine for the parking space. Somehow he got lost and I had to search for him, but after being together for 50 years, you have a built-in tracking device for your partner.

At least I had time to take a photo of our railway station from the window of the waiting room. The eye examination confirmed that Mr. Swiss has advancing glaucomas and they will both be operated in July, two operations in two weeks. It is now a fairly routine op, takes about half an hour, and can be done with local anaesthetic. We are both glad that it can be done locally and that he will not have to go to another hospital further away.

img_2301

After my daily garden inspection this morning I discovered yet another new arrival and this one I am certain that the gardener did not plant. According to check (and I really did not recognise this one), it could be the product of a rape seed. They resemble a yellow cloud when the grow in a field, and are for oil production. This seed might have found its way in my garden: perhaps it is not rape, but looks very much like it.

And now time to go, although no stress today. I had enough yesterday. It is still quite cool outside and the sun has now disappeared, although the weather experts tell us that summer is arriving with temperatures up to 30°C at the week-end, but I will believe that when it happens.

Make the most of the day perhaps it is a perfect day, just a good day, or not so good. See you later. Have a sniff at my photo with the blue flowering thyme on the right (the other plant is my sedum).

img_2305