A field of Anthuriums, although it was a group in the local store.
A field of Anthuriums, although it was a group in the local store.
I am a bit low on hydrants here. I think most of them have been preserved for old times sake as they all seem to be from the beginning of the last centuary. This one I found in one of the streets of our town of Solothurn.
This one is in our village, a more modern version, but they do not have so much character as the old ones.
Something like this at the edge of a field in our village.
Donna always was a strange dog. I, think that was why we chose her at the kennels. I really wanted a poodle, Dave my husband said “No, Pam, does not come into the question. I am not going to be seen walking a poodle”. As soon as I saw her behind the metal bars in her little prison my heart just melted, and to be quite honest, so did Dave’s. She was a medium sized poodle, not one of those enormous hunting dogs and also not a so-called toy. I did not want a toy, just a normal doggy poodle. Of course she had to be white; at least that was my idea of a one hundred percent, sheepy lookalike poodle. Dave found with white the dirt shows up, but I said all the more reason to make sure she stays clean. She: of course, I wanted a lady poodle. We took her home and she really seemed to love us both. Wagging her tail in the morning when she saw us after her doggy sleep, and barking with happiness when she saw the dog lead which of course meant walkies.
She had her own little corner at home, complete with doggy dish and bed. We had a garden for her to take her canine walkabouts and everything was perfect. Well almost perfect. She just did not seem to eat so well. We tried everything. Chew Chew Vitamin Food, shaped in the form of bones and on the television advertised to be the favourite bites for a dog. It just so happened that Donna just sniffed at them and even did her doggy business on them, to show her disapproval. We tried tins of meat, but she just ran her nose over it and then, knocked the dish on one side with her carefully manicured paw.
Eventually we had to stoop to the basics and we gave her a dish with the same food as we were eating. Even then it seemed that potatoes and vegetables were not really her thing. We started getting worried, as she really seemed to be waning like the moon does when it gets thinner. We took her to the vet and he gave her vitamin injections to keep her healthy, but shook his head and said if things carry on this way, then there would be nothing he could do.
Then one day I decided to cook spaghetti for lunch with meat balls and again tried to coax Donna to eat something. The poor little doggy was now in a lethargic state. Not even a bone would cheer her up. That also seemed strange, other dogs buried them, but Donna buried nothing.
Suddenly she was full of life, barking and clambering up to the table.
“Donna, down girl” I called, but to no avail, nothing seemed to stop her.
“Aha” I thought “it must be the meatballs, there we have it, something that Donna will eat.”
I arranged some meatballs in her dish, but some spaghetti strands got mixed with them. What did Donna do? She picked out the meatballs with her jaws and dropped them on the floor. My happiness dwindled to disappointment. I thought I had at last found the solution and there was only disappointment. My eyes slowly filled with tears.
“Pam, look” said Dave “Donna is eating”.
“She is doing what? There is nothing in that plate to eat for a dog.”
“No, look, she is eating the spaghetti.”
I took another look at Donna and she was standing next to her bowl with two strands of spaghetti hanging out of her mouth. Was this the answer to our prayers? I decided to go all the way and filled her dish with spaghetti. Although it was covered in tomato sauce, Donna did not mind. She almost ate everything, although it must have been a bit too much as she had left a small remainder on the plate. I was just going to clear the plate away and she barked at me and pawed my hands as if to say no.
“Donna what are you doing?” Donna took the remaining spaghetti in her mouth and ran into the garden and started digging furiously. She made a hole in the earth and dropped the spaghetti into it, covering it up afterwards with her doggy movements and then walked away.
“I think we have found the solution” said Dave “from now on her diet will be spaghetti”.
Dave was right. Donna loved it, spaghetti al Napoli, spaghetti Bolognese, carbonara, al pesto, you name it, she ate it. It got a bit embarrassing when Dave and I went out for a meal and took Donna. In summer we often visited Mario’s Spaghetteria as we could eat outside in the garden and could take Donna with us. Mario was a friendly person, but looked a bit strangely the first time we visited the restaurant with Donna.
“Buon giorno” was the greeting, him being Italian. I will bring a dish of water for the nice doggy, he looks thirsty.
“Yes please” Mario, we answered, and three spaghetti Bolognese please, but just two with a side salad.”
“Three, but you are only two” he asked with a shadow of doubt in his eyes.
Mario brought the three dishes and put them on the table. Donna hopped onto an empty chair at the table and started eating her dish of spaghetti. Luckily there was an extra serviette on a neighbouring table which we could wrap around her neck to stop her fur becoming soiled from the sauce. As we were sitting outside in the restaurant garden, she could bury the remainder that she did not eat under a tree. It was then that we noticed another dog eyeing Donna from the kitchen of the restaurant. More a mixture of every canine that walked on four legs, than a pure bred, but he ran over to where Donna was and started digging up what she had buried and eating it.
“Bad dog” called Mario “Sorry” he added “but my dog, Alfredo, just cannot see food going to waste. He prefers ravioli, but is also very partial to spaghetti”. It was then that Donna and Alfredo disappeared behind the tree. I thought probably Alfredo was showing Donna where he buries his left over ravioli.
A few weeks later we again visited the vet to see how Donna was getting on with her new food. We did not actually tell the vet that she was now a carbohydrate dog, we just said she was now eating well.
“Yes” he said “she is now looking much better, although I noticed she is becoming a little overweight.”
“You mean she is eating too much”
“Oh, no, nothing to worry about, I expect her puppies will be born in a few weeks. Just come along again at the next appointment and we will see how she is getting on.”
We were surprised and seven weeks later Donna was the proud mother of six puppies, four looked just like their mother but the other two had a striking resemblance to Mario’s dog. We were now regular customers at Mario’s restaurant and he said he would take over two of the puppies. He always wanted a white poodle.
So now we are quite good customers at the Italian food stores in town. We have to make sure that our supply of spaghetti and also now ravioli, is maintained. We kept the four remaining puppies. It is difficult to find someone to adopt puppies that only live on spaghetti (and ravioli).
The name Scintilla rang many bells in my head. Of course it is the Italian word for “spark” but for me it has another meaning. It was the place where I saw and met Mr. Swiss 50+ years ago, I was already in Switzerland, in Zürich, and decided to search for another job. I happened to be on the phone to my mum in London, England, and she said she saw a job advertised in the english newspaper for Switzerland in a place called Zuchwil, near the town of Solothurn. I think mum never forgave herself for telling me. It was for a Robert Bosh Company subsidiary, called Scintilla. They always had an english secretary there, and so I called them, paid them a visit and yes, I got the job. That was the main reason why I stayed in Switzerland and moved to Solothurn from Zürich.
I worked for the Scintilla for a few years, met Mr. Swiss, we got married and I left my job because I had a baby bump. It is now many years later, but the Scintilla still exists. They made a range of vacuum cleaners for a Swiss store but their main product was drills and jigsaws. They introduced a range of saws that would fit different types of drill products. It was my job to handle the english correspondence for the whole company. They were the days where stenography was still needed. As a sideline I proof read the english translations of the operation manuals.
However the company Scintilla had existed for many years, since 1917. It was when Charles Lindbergh did his famous flight across the Atlantic that their fame was established. Lindbergh needed a magneto for is aircraft, The spirit of St. Louis, but was having problems as they were exploding. It was then that the company Scintilla in the little village of Zuchwil produced the Vertex Magnetos which were found to be the ideal solution. And so the Scintilla became famous for it magnetos, thanks to Charles Lindbergh, and you can still see an example of that magneto if you visit the company.
The building is still there but has now mainly been rented out to other companies, although a small part is still Scintilla.
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