I was determined the last Spring to get into town to see the buds on our many magnolia trees before they opened and it was a success.
I was determined the last Spring to get into town to see the buds on our many magnolia trees before they opened and it was a success.
Breakdancing in the streets of Solothurn, Switzerland
A cow being presented at our local cheese days.
Pony rides in town
“Morticia are you ready, Ivan is waiting.”
“Coming mum, how do I look?”
“Wonderful, and such a lovely dress. You really have taste, and your lipstick matches so well.”
“It is called coagulated blood red.”
“Ideal” and Morticia’s mother, Sanguina, had to think back to her first date with Morticia’s creator, it was so romantic. She remembered her first kiss after the ball when Dracky took her in his arms and sank his teeth into her neck. What a wonderful evening that was, and now Morticia was ready, dressed perfectly for the occasion. Ivan was a nice boy, and she was sure he had a good career in front of him. He was already the chief assistant at the local hospital in the blood bank. They said he could tell a blood group by just sniffing at it, although it seems he did not really have many friends. Morticia seemed to be his only girlfriend, but they were soul mates. Went everywhere together and had common hobbies, although sometimes they seemed to get carried away. Their favourite pastime was bat watching in the cemetery. And now it was her prom night.
“Look mum, Ivan brought me some wonderful flowers, my favourite, deadly nightshade.”
“Oh how thoughtful. And now you can go, be sure to be home before the sun rises in the morning. Ivan I am trusting you to take care of my daughter.”
“No problem, countess Dracula, I will bring her home in time. We must both be careful.”
Sanguina noticed he had especially sharp teeth this evening. She remembered how Dracky would spend time getting his teeth to a perfect point before they went out together. Such a lovely boy, he has eternal youth as her daughter Morticia.”
They flew off together, arm in arm. Such a shame that they were ignored by most people, but they were happy together. Sanguina was sure they were made for each other.
It all started as a surprise for Walter. He was now twelve years old and on that day his wish was to be fulfilled. His mother and father accompanied him to the animal home. He wanted a pet, a nice cuddly dog. As they entered the pens where the dogs were kept it seemed as if the dogs had got together to act as loud and loving as they could, barking at the top of their lungs saying please take me.
“OK son” said Walter’s dad “it is your dog, so make your choice” but Walter was overwhelmed with so many homeless dogs. It was then that he spotted a little grey puppy sitting on its own in a corner. The other dogs seemed to avoid it and when it tried to come a bit nearer, it was pushed back with a howling and growling.
“That is my dog” thought Walter “I will make him a good home and he will be my faithful pal. I want that one” he said pointing to the little grey dog in the corner.”
“Are you sure son” asked his parents. “He doesn’t seem to be as active as the other dogs. He certainly is no thoroughbred, but if that’s the one you want son, that’s your dog” and that was how Walter was given Charlie, which was to be the name of the new arrival in the family.
Walter took him in his arms and the little puppy licked Walter’s hand as if to say thank you. The puppy did seem to like the taste of Walter’s fingers and nipped one of them.
“Ow” said Walter, “you must be hungry”.
“What’s up Walter?” asked his mother
“I think my puppy is hungry, he tried to eat one of my fingers” and Walter laughed and so did his mum and dad.
When they arrived home, there was already a little bed and food waiting for the new arrival. Charlie found his way around quickly, but it seemed he really had a tremendous appetite. He finished his bowl of food and was looking at Walter with his big brown eyes as if to say “is that all?” Obviously you cannot leave a little dog without food in a strange place on the first day, so Charlie got second helpings.
Charlie made himself at home and grew and grew and grew. He also loved to go for walks with Walter. The only problem was that he kept straining on the line to go off on his own. Walking through the forest was easier, as Walter could remove the lead. Unfortunately Charlie would gallop away and usually return with a dead animal in his mouth. At the beginning when Charlie was small, it was just the odd mouse, and perhaps a rat. As Charlie was growing Walter had to search for him in the forest. He usually found him where he was tearing at the remains of a squirrel or perhaps a bird, that had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It was then noticed that Charlie was changing, although Walter and his parents thought this normal for a dog. After a year doubts began to grow. The full moon nights were the worst. Charlie would scratch at the door and jump at the window trying to go outside. Just for peace of mind Walter would put him on the lead and go out with him for a few minutes to calm him down. It was once very embarrassing when Mrs. Smith’s cat walked passed. Charlie was off like a streak of lightening and the poor cat eventually managed to save itself from Charlie’s claws and jaws by climbing the nearest tree. Unfortunately it was stranded and the firemen had to be called to retrieve the cat. Mrs. Smith was quite annoyed and told Walter’s parents that she would not pay the bill; after all it was their canine monster that attacked her cat.
“Son, we have to have a talk” said Walter’s father. “Charlie is becoming a problem.”
“Just because he happened to chase Mrs. Smith’s cat, that’s normal for a dog.”
“No, not quite son; he seems to be changing.”
“Dad, he is just a dog, and is getting bigger. He isn’t a puppy any more.”
“That’s what I mean son. He eats as much meat as we do and to be quite honest I don’t like the look in his eyes now and again.”
If Walter was quite honest, he also had his doubts about Charlie. He had not told his father about the incident that occurred a few days ago when he saw Charlie burying something in the garden. He dug it up and found it to be a human finger. Now Walter was shocked, but he just did not want any problems, so kept quiet about it. If Walter had searched further, he might have found the hand that belonged to it. Walter’s father did read in the newspaper about a body that had been found in the nearby forest, belonging to a tramp, its hand missing, but thought no more of it. Looked like animals had got to the tramp, and that was the end of it. Probably the tramp died from an overdose of alcohol and the animals did the rest.
The last straw was when Charlie’s teeth fell out. Walter was certainly worried, but the new teeth soon grew; much longer, more pointed than those previous. It was then that Walter’s parents said enough was enough. Charlie must go, he looked like something from a freak show. Walter was sad, he didn’t want to lose his companion. Eventually the arrangement was made that Charlie could stay, but he must now live outside in the garden in a special dog kennel. The funny thing was that it did not seem to bother Charlie at all. He was quite happy living outside.
In the meanwhile a few cats had disappeared from the neighbourhood and Mr. Smith was missing. These things always seemed to happen on moonlit nights. If someone had been watching, they would have noticed that Charlie was not stupid. He was actually very clever. You just had to hypnotise your human to do it. Of course Walter did not realise this, nor did he remember sleep walking to the garden in the morning when Charlie returned and replacing the lock.
Eventually things came to an end when Charlie made his metamorphosis. Again there was a full moon and Charlie had developed such strength that he stood on his hind legs and howled to be heard by all. Someone in the neighbourhood called the police, but there was no Charlie any more in his dog kennel. The kennel had been reduced to a pile of wood, mixed with the bones of Mr. Smith and a few missing cats; the identity of the bones was later discovered upon their examination.
Charlie was gone. Now and again someone disappeared from the neighbourhood, their remains usually being found in the forest. Charlie’s lair had not yet been discovered, he had found a nice little cave in a rock formation. Every walk he took with Walter in the forest without his lead, he managed to construct a little bit more in his cave.
So if you decide to buy your son or daughter a dog, then have a good look first. If the other dogs in the pound seem to avoid the dog you want, then you must also avoid it. There could be a reason.
Featuring the pigeon population of Solothurn in Switzerland.
Pigeons seems to be everywhere in the world, so I dedicate this little article to them. Every time I wheel into town in my chair they gather on the wall bordering the River Aare. In Spring it is particularly interesting, as it is the time when boy is looking for girl. The males puff up their colourful chests and strut around amongst the ladies making a throaty sound, as if to say “I am willing”.
This one seems to have found a partner, completed his duty and was getting ready to leave. I wonder if he stays around to meet his kids or leaves the mate to it?
it is a bit of a noisy morning. Just now I heard an ambulance passing through sounding its horn. We are on the main route from and to the hospital and it seems to me that every morning when I am at the breakfast table I hear one. Also today is collection day for papers and cardboard. It used to be done by school kids on the back of the lorry loading it up but now there is an official lorry to collect it all.
Mr. Swiss used to organise it all with son No. 1 but it is now too much for him alone so I have stepped in. No. 1 son is very good as Mr. Swiss trained him well. As soon as we have a good pile of newspapers he bundles them together with string and puts the pack in the cellar. I had a quick check yesterday to see what we have, and indeed four neat piles of bound newspapers ready to be collected. The cardboard is a little more complicated, but this also worked well. Whenever you buy something new and big, it often has more packing that the actual item, thanks to online shopping. I usually take a bigger box and break down the other boxes and put them in the big box. Also this was under control yesterday and Son No. 1 put it all outside for the collection. I heard the lorry about 5 minutes ago, so it has all now been collected. It is not only our waste, but the complete estate of course. Yes, we Swiss are organised. We got the leaflet a couple of days ago to tell us it will be happening today with the usual warning that no empty washing powder boxes will be collected as these tend to make impurities in the recycling system of the cardboard. Oh we have a wonderful organisation.
I also spent about an hour in the cellar generally tidying up. It seems to have become the custom to throw packing material in the corner in the cellar, The worst is the plastic filled with air bubbles that our suppliers tend to use, especially with the cat food that I order. I have to make holes in it to flatten and then I packed it all together in a large official plastic bag – yes even Swiss bags have to be offiical with the right markings. Even our rubbish and waste looks neat and tidy.
I put the bag on my wheeler, as it was easier to shift down to the bottom of the path where we have our containers for collecting rubbish bags. Oh for the benefit of a wheeler. The general garbage is then collected once a week on Friday morning. We had a few complaints lately that the bags were spilling their contents, but afterwards discovered our crow colony was to blame as they would pounce on the garbage and go to work with their beaks to see what offerings it had for their next meal.
In any case I now breathe a sigh of relief that we have a tidy cellar and the paper and cardboard products have gone. Even Mr. Swiss congratulated me on the tidy cellar we now have.
And now back to normality if that is possible. The sun has appeared again, no rain, and everything is looking good outside. It is gradually getting a little cooler in the morning but but during the day it warms up. I am particularly proud of my rosemary. It is a special one and grows very compact, like a little bonsai. It also has quite an intensive taste.
I did my normal Wednesday afternoon shopping trip yesterday but miscalculated my bread supply. I had enough left for my breakfast slices, but have a frozen loaf for the evening food, although I might keep it frozen and give No. 1 son the order to bring a fresh loaf when he goes into town this afternoon,
Today will be smooth runnings I hope including a trip into town this afternoon if I feel fit enough.
I am now off to my daily clean up and shower, Look after yourselves, may it be a good one and with a greeting from one of my orchids I hope to brighten up the day.
Je gratte, donc je suis
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