RDP Saturday: Verdant


Growing up in a town, London for example, verdancy did not even exist in my vocabulary. The only green things I would see might be bank notes, although my mum and dad did not have them long enough to realise the colour. Of course we had parks, where there were trees and even flowers like dandelions and buttercups and grass in between. I remember our teacher at school in the nature lesson, telling us to collect leaves from the trees so that we could identify them. We had to walk for half an hour, even take a bus to find a tree, but this was East London, home of the docks and factories. The trees were mainly so-called plane trees, which were quite toxic from the surrounding fumes of the traffic and smog.

Most of the verdant sites I saw as a kid were the remainders of the bombed houses and their gardens after the war. I was a kid of the fifties and London was still rebuilding, or at least thinking about it. The best playgrounds were those left by the air raids on London. They were pure adventures and the gardens ran wild around the piles of bricks or wall remainders, ivy and various creeping plants winding their paths into the crevices and spaces. Wild life was mainly rats living in the deserted cellars. Dangerous? No, not really. When your parents had been sleeping for five years in shelters in the garden for protection, they did not consider your playground as being dangerous. We were free from the threat of war, bombs and destruction: a cut on the knee was cured with a plaster on it. Scratches were signs of bravery. And bruises? They were the result of a stone fight with another bunch of kids and you were unlucky if a stone left a patch of destruction. It was even a token of bravery.

Castle Waldegg 25.05 (11)

My kids grew up in places like this in Switzerland, verdancy being everywhere. They loved their visits to see grandad and gran in London. They were the adventure holidays, in the smell of car exhausts and wet concrete on a rainy day: weaving through the streets and travelling on the subway. My grandchildren will be growing up in verdancy, in a country with no wars and no destruction. I hope they will appreciate it.


RDP Saturday: Verdant

Good Morning


The sun says good morning and the clouds are gradually receding, although I like my clouds in the morning. It makes a wonderful picture to greet the day. There is a cool breeze, but that is fine with me. It feels so fresh and helps to remove the cobwebs in front of my eyes.


I took my usual morning walk around the garden and saw that my bleeding heart plant, even after six weeks, still has some flower stalks. It is one of the first to flower and remains for a while. Afterwards the seed pods arrive, their job is done and they disappear for another year, so is nature. Even a tiny bug did a little photo bombing.


And what about this one. Yet another arrival, the yellow loosestrife, another annual visitor since 20 years. I am becoming quite a plant expert, learning their names, although  nobody is perfect, and even my plant app makes mistakes, or gives me about 100 alternatives for one photo and I choose the wrong one.

I had a marathon shopping expedition yesterday with five bags full. Even the assistant on the cash till left her place to help me pack it into the bags. I was really having problems and was glad. I was glad to reach the car in one piece and eventually sit and drive and have it all behind me. Shopping for four and a half days can be very strenuous, but I did it. Monday is the worse day for closed shops as you must concentrate on the menu planning and get stuff that more or less stays fresh. Of course I can freeze, which I do for the bread, but I am not keen on freezing meat. Vegetables can be bought frozen, which I do now and again.

Mr. Swiss made the suggestion of cooking Kalbhaxen (large sliced pieces of calf leg) for a change for Sunday lunch. I have not done that for some time, mainly because I do not see it being sold. However, the butcher only has frozen pieces which is fine by me as these I could just pop into the freezer when I reached home. I make a casserole of the meat together with finely cut veg and let it cook for a couple of hours. I even get the marrow bone with it, which we all like.

The question is now shall I go for an outing or not this afternoon. I have decided no more stress, I always try to deal with everything, and sometimes it is better not to. If the weather stays relatively cool, I might go places, but no longer if we have a heat wave. It all becomes too much for me. In our new golden oldie way of life, Mr. Swiss now retires earlier in the evening, which is OK with me, although I do miss our little moments together late evening. However, even this  brings its changes. I do not bother so much with TV in the evening, prefer to read a book and now I have discovered that I can also do a little computer without bothering anyone.

Things were piling up on my desk to deal with and there were a few important mails to organise. Some time ago I bought a new car. I am very happy with my Skoda, could not be better, but all I want to do it drive it. When I bought it Skoda contacted me by a phone survey asking if I was satisfied with the service and the car etc. etc. and so I answered it by SMS phone message. A few weeks later I get a survey formula from an institute from Skoda, three pages of information requests and my opinion. I ignored this one, and two weeks later they sent it again. It all comes from the survey company. I just do not have the time for such things. If I had a problem with the car I would have reported it. I decided to file it in the garbage can yesterday.

I bought new eye glasses a month ago and same thing. First of all the SMS, but that was from the optician shop where I bought them. I answered and two days ago I get a form to complete about my opinion of the company and various details. This was a quick one, so I completed it yesterday and will put it in the post today. They also have this on online. Customer satisfaction is a good thing and these companies can be praised for their after sales service, but sometimes it gets a little too much.


And now to move on with the physical part of my housewife daily training programme. All my stuff in he garden seems to be producing mega large leaves. I wonder if my hollyhock flowers will be as large when they arrive.

I must go, have a good start to the week-end, I will see you all later on the flip side.


Part of the old walls surrounding the local town of Solothurn, probably for defending. Today they are more there to attract the tourists.