FOWC with Fandango: Temporary

Bank Station and Mansion House

I had many jobs in London, but once I was once a temp. That was the expression used for someone that worked with no fixed contract. I had learned the profession of shorthand-typist as it was called. I was then still in London, living at home. It was then that the expression “temp” came. It meant that you were employed by an agency that supplied office help when necessary. Perhaps someone was on holiday, it might be that they could not find someone to do the job and that was where I came into the solution.

I had an hours salary and was employed hour by hour. You had no fixed holidays and no sickness pay. You were basically free to come and go how you wanted to but your hourly wage was twice that of the others and that was the advantage of the whole thing. You never knew where you would be working from week to week. You called in at your basic office and they gave you the details of the next job. I worked in an office dealing with social problems for the local government. I was employed by a warehouse for the documentation of exports. One of the best jobs I had was in the City.

On the photo you can see The Mansion House where the Lord Mayor of London lived, the big building with the pillars and on the right the Bank of England. There is a modern building behind it all with a flag flying on the roof and I worked in the office of a chartered accountants for two weeks in that building. It was the temple of the City gents wearing their bowler hats, carrying their briefcases and umbrellas and we office workers had our own office just four of us. Every morning we we had a coffee break in the office served with coffee and biscuits, the best quality. In the afternoon tea was served from a bone china tea pot, again with biscuits. We were treated very well. It was one of the first office skyscrapers to be built in the City of London.

What I loved about the work was the change, being somewhere different from time to time and I learned a lot from the various offices where I was placed. This was in the sixties and I was about 20 years old. Basically I was on the search for a job in another country and decided being temp was the ideal solution as I could go when I found something. It was then that I found my job in Switzerland as a secretary in Zürich and so it was my last method of employment before leaving London. My stay in Switzerland was not temporary and 52 years later I am still here.

FOWC with Fandango: Temporary

RDP Sunday: Sheets

Linen

This is how the corner should look on your mattress when you have put on the fitted sheet. Many years ago you had a sheet at the bottom to cover the mattress and a sheet on top and you could slide in between when you went to bed.

This has now changed. The days of sheets, even blankets and the eiderdown have gone. It has all been simplified by the Scandinavian method. Forget the sheets to be tucked at the corners and the top sheet no longer exists, we now have the duvet: this large soft cover to the bed, which also has its problems when covering with a new clean duvet cover, but to the sheets.

We all have our system for fresh bed linen so I will not go into details about when, the problem is how. Mr. Swiss has now left it all to me as he can no longer manage. I am also at the end of my patience with the bottom expandable jersey sheet, but I have my system. We have the wonderful invention of a fitted bottom sheet. The advantage is you have no unwanted creases and it does not leave the mattress once it is fixed.

I begin at one bottom corner – no problem. It fits nicely as in the photo. Now you stretch the sheet to fit the other corner. The sheets are made to fit nice and tight so pull the bottom sheet until it fits on the opposing corner. This might mean lifting the mattress and using your concentrated weight and strength to complete the job, but at last it happens. Now you stretch your expandable sheet to reach the top corner of the mattress, simultaneously tucking it under the mattress as you go.  At the third attempt you might succeed and now you have the mattress with a stretch sheet fitted on three corners. The fourth corner is the most difficult. And so you make yourself comfortable, perhaps laying on the mattress and gripping the free corner that is not covered and pull until this corner of the mattress up until it can be covered by the left over corner of the fitted sheet. Are you with me? You are exhausted and the corners are not as perfect as they could be, except for the first corner at the bottom of the mattress, where you began. Perhaps it might now help to actually lay on the mattress to flatten it all nicely.

Of course there is a great advantage to the new style of stretch jersey fabric sheets, you do not have to iron them. Just put them in the washing machine, hang them up and let them dry. You can really save time which will be compensated by the time you need to put them on the bed.

Lesson two will be how to cover your king sized duvet with the cover, because that is the next part of the bed covering with fresh linen. This is certainly progress as opposed to the old days when you had to tuck in the top sheet all around the bed, now you have a duvet.

RDP Sunday: Sheets

Good Morning

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And another wonderful summer morning in my little corner of Switzerland where the cows and hedgehogs say goodnight to each other. Actually there are no cows to be seen at the moment as the farmers keep them in the stables during the day because of the heat. They are now doing the night shift out on the pastures under the light of the moon and with cool breezes. Yes, we Swiss are kind to our cows with the exception of removing their horns before they begin to grow – but that is another story.

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Otherwise I saddled my wheelchair yesterday and made my way into town in the afternoon. It was our market festival and I decided to have a look around. As you can see there was not a lot going on. I think due to the heat people decided to visit more in the evening. I was also not so keen on going as usual as it was really a too hot for comfort but I thought I could gather some photo material.

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There were some interesting market stalls, but nothing new. I think the real action takes place in the evening when people meet and sit at the places supplied for food and drink and even music.

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During the day it was more seeking shelter from the sun and having a cool beer or whatever.

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I eventually decided to make my way home along the river bank and see whether my swan pair had now had their cygnets. The last time I was there about a week ago the mother was still sitting on the eggs. This time the next was deserted, not a trace of the swan pair and the five egg contents were also not there. Breeding time was finished for the swans and probably the next time I see them they will be taking a paddle with mum and dad. The next generation of swans on the River Aar has arrived.

My No. 1 son disappeared in the early evening to town to enjoy the fun and Mr. Swiss and I just took it easy at home, although I had the garden to water and a few computerised objects to tend to.

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I noticed that our river has now become populated again. People were floating on all sorts of devices on the river and the banks were full of  groups either grilling their food or just laying in the sun and enjoying the weather. Of course there were many taking a swim in the river, although not my sort of thing, or never was. If you throw a dog in the water it swims and so do I in the same style, although that was the olden days. The water in our river is clean enough, but there are all sorts of objects on the river bed. If you cannot use it, just throw it in the river. The last time they had a clean up they found about 50 bikes amongst other rubbish.

And now to carry on with the Sunday chores. Nothing exhausting, but it has to be done. I am also slowly transferring all my 70,00 photos from Flickr (terrible programme and costs money) to Google which suits me better. I am doing that in the background on my second computer, so no big problem.

Enjoy your Sunday, and see you later.

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FOWC with Fandango: Movement

Marrocan Dancing Girl

She was certainly moving somewhere in Marrakesh in a night club, much better than I ever could.

Most of my long distant movements are now made in a wheelchair, but I can still do it at home with the help of stick, walker on even a piece of furniture in the right place at the right time.

It is sometimes a strange feeling when I am in town or even shopping and I see others, also golden oldies, that can walk normally one step after the other, even run for a bus. I often think it used to be me. In the meanwhile I watch the others dancing. And now to go and give the garden some water, but I can do that holding onto my walker.

FOWC with Fandango: Movement

RDP Saturday: Taxi

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And so I feverishly searched in my archives for the photo of a taxi, but found none, and I have travelled by taxi in Switzerland and GB but never thought of taking a photo of the taxi. I avoid taxis when possible because they are expensive. If there is a train or bus I get there also eventually.

My last taxi journey was a week ago when I had to get to the eye doctor. I was forbidden to use my car because I would have eye drops and they would distort my vision for a few hours. I would have needed an hour to get to the doc by local train. The train would be fast enough, but afterwards I would have to walk from one side of the main station to the other to get to where I had to go, through the foot tunnel. And performing that task with a walker needed time and so I ordered a taxi. He was a friendly taxi driver and got me there in time and was very helpful with my walker. After the visit to the doc I travelled home by local railway and tried the foot tunnel with the walker. I was no longer in a hurry and it worked very well and was a lot cheaper. The worst part was the local train afterwards to get home, which was quite shaky to say the least. The five minute walk from the local station to home was also laborious.

This afternoon I took a wheelie into town with my chair and on the way home what did I see? Yes, a taxi, waiting in the middle of the road. I managed to get a photo, although from a distance as I did not want to annoy the driver. However he had disappeared into one of the appartments to fetch his passenger. As I wheeled past he was helping a handicapped golden oldie (like me but even more golden and oldie) into his taxi.

We have many various taxi companies in our little market town and you have a choice when you need a taxi. You recognise the taxis by the sign they have fixed to the car.

RDP Saturday: Taxi