Fusty in Switzerland! The country known for being clean, where you could eat your dinner on the street surface? Not quite, but so was the idea given to me before I actually arrived here. Switzerland had no wars to destroy and leave ruins as I saw in London when I grew up, and the buildings were in perfect condition, no smell of damp concreted after the rain. After living 50 years in Switzerland I have seen the changes. I arrived in Zürich to find solid old style buildings and lived in the town for two years. Now when I go back I hardly recognise it. The old buildings have gone and been replaced by modern streamlined glass fronted creations. This of course has the effect that only the better situated can actually afford to live there.
After two years of Zürich I moved to the area around Solothurn. This was country, even the cows looked good, but there was industry and slowly the old factories were abandoned and left to their fate. The photo shows one of these factories and I remember about 20 years ago when it was still productive. Now it has become a victim of fustiness showing the stains of old age.
And not everyone lives in a wonderful Swiss Chalet with its wooden exterior and window boxes full of flowers. This building existed before I arrived in Solothurn. It was built by one of the local Swiss tool manufacturer’s as the answer to affordable living quarters. Perhaps when it was new, it was the answer to the working class dream of comfortable living: opposite the main railway station and a few minutes from the shops. With time the blue paint faded and even the red and white striped sun shades no longer reflected in the sunlight. I would visit my physio therapist many years ago in this building for various aches and pains. Two apartments had been converted into a spacious therapy room. I also noticed that with time you would not often hear our local language spoken in this building.
I would not call it fusty, but just a little different perhaps.