There are tulips and tulips. One of these decided to dance out of order with striped leaves.
There are tulips and tulips. One of these decided to dance out of order with striped leaves.
Two pigeons side by side
Siding up on a crane
Side of a dog
Something I wrote 10 years ago
“Are you ready soldiers, then after me. I want organised lines and no side tracking. Did you hear No. 200? The last time we had to send out a search party and this time we have a definite target before our eyes and noses.”
“Sorry No. 1, but I did get a bit carried away last time.”
“Getting carried away is no excuse No. 200. You are in charge of a whole regiment and if you get carried away, there is no way of knowing what would happen to the rest of your regiment. Just to clarify things, this is a very important job we are on. I am not No. 1 for any reason and our leader has appointed me to carry the responsibility of the survival of our people. We have babies to be fed and we will ensure that their needs will be met, so this way men.”
No. 1 walked carefully but determined, followed by his troop of brave followers. There were many obstacles to be conquered, the first being a high rise in the ground, but regardless of the rough road, he and his men carried on regardless.
“If we march on in this way, there should be no problem. We are now inside the victim’s dwellings where the food supplies are. I can smell our target already.”
“Yes No. 200.”
“I can smell many targets. Behind this door there is a mixture of smells to satisfy our people. Shall I take my troop in that direction whilst you head for the main attraction.”
“No. 200 are you having hearing problems. What did I say?”
“That we should follow your troop.?”
“Yes, No. 200. Although we are many, it would be of no advantage to attack on many fronts. Now follow me, we have a lot of climbing to do.”
As No. 1 said, there was a very steep slope ahead, at least ninety degrees measured from the base level. Luckily our brave soldiers had each four legs and no climbing problems. Vertigo was an illness not known to this species.
“No. 200 come here please.”
There was no answer.
“No. 200, where you. I cannot pick up your signals.”
“Permission to speak sir”
“Who are you?”
“No. 525 sir. No. 200 was in front with his company and he suddenly disappeared in a slit in the wall. His company followed him.”
“Of course his company followed, they know nothing else except to follow their leader, but I am disappointed. I was counting on No. 200 and his faithful workers, and now they have disappeared. No. 525 is your troop present?”
“Yes sir, being lead by No. 500. Regiments 600, 700 and 800 are also ready for attack.”
“Good, at least there are a few hundred others I can rely on. Ok men our end station is now in view, I can already smell the rewards of our looting expedition. Think of our babies and the future of our tribe. I cannot wait to reap the benefits. Here we are men. Just look at it, it resembles a sea of gold, glistening and shining on its glossy surface. So to the attack.”
And our brave soldiers climbed onto the target of their attack, combining their collective thoughts and actions to ensure a victory. In the meanwhile, No. 200 and his troop had discovered an alternative source of food; also very appealing to their taste buds. No. 200 was sure that No. 1 would promote him when they returned to their nest.
Suddenly there was a high pitched scream and there were floodlights switched on engulfing the kitchen in light.
“What’s the matter Gertrud, what are you screaming for?” asked Gertrud’s husband, Frank.
“Come and look in the kitchen. We have been invaded.” And Gertrud was still speaking in a rather loud excited voice.
Frank ran to the kitchen as fast as his legs would carry him expecting to find Gertrud confronted perhaps by a field mouse. He knew her reaction with mice. However, there were no mice to be seen.
“Look Frank, just look”
and Frank looked and what did he see. Well there was the lemon tart that Gertrud had made that afternoon, ready for a nice sweet dessert the next day. Unfortunately the tart was not so lemonly yellow as it was quite well covered by an army of ants.
The reactions of Gertrud and Frank were quick. The tart was laying on a surface near to the sink and the water supply was turned on washing half of the army away, including our brave leader No. 1. The remaining ants scuttled in various directions seeking protection from every nook and cranny they could find. In the meanwhile No. 200 was watching from the crack in the door of the food cupboard, glad that he had not followed No. 1. However, he was feeling a bit nervous as Frank and Gertrud had decided to make a thorough job of it and they were now approaching the food cupboard. Unfortunately some members of No. 200’s troop had begun to leave the cupboard though the cracks in the door and this made Frank and Gertrud suspicious. The door was opened and with a damp cloth Gertrud wiped away every moving ant she could see in the cupboard. Those that could, rescued their selves on ground level in the hairline fissures of the entrance to the insides of the washing up machine and other cupboards. Here they were also not safe.
“Men, follow me, we must go” shouted No. 200, although the humans luckily did not hear.
“There is no hope for us” answered No. 220, we are doomed, the humans are on our trail and at this moment Frank removed the covering to the machine and the ants were sucked out with the vacuum cleaner.
Those ants that survived and were not too far away from the entrance managed to return to the nest bringing the bad news that No. 1 and his company, as well as many other regiments, had been completely destroyed. Their queen was not very pleased, but those ants that returned managed to bring some morsels of food to ensure the survival of the babies in the nest.
The ants abandoned by the main troop were still fighting bravely in Gertrud and Frank’s kitchen, but they had little chance of survival. The humans were not so sure that all had been destroyed and made an inspection tour of the kitchen now and again. Eventually it was midnight, and not having seen a living ant for the past thirty minutes Gertrud and Frank went to bed assured that all was well in the kitchen, but not without putting the lemon tart in the fridge first of all.
The next morning Gertrud went immediately to the kitchen when she was awake, followed by Frank. Completely ant free they were not, but the five or ten survivors did not bother them so much. They made a shopping list that morning and on the top of it were ant tins. They found this was the best solution. The ants entered the tins, were afterwards covered with the poisonous substance and brought it back to the nest. So all was well that ends well. At least for the humans, but No. 1 – 800 ants were not so happy.
The day passsed peacefully and there were really no more ants to be seen. During the afternoon there was a knock on the door and when Gertrud opened it she found her next door neighbour standing there looking quite distressed.
“Hello Gertrud, we have a problem, perhaps you could help?”
“Of course” answered Gertud “you look quite worried”.
“Oh, we are, we have an ant invasion. They are everywhere in the kitchen, probably came in from the garden. Do you have perhaps any ant tins?
“Dracky, just look at our table leg. I will have to have it repaired. Every year the same problem. The nearer we get to Halloween, our furniture suffers.”
“But Morticia, every self-respecting vampire must have sharp fingernails for a good scratch at that time of the year. All the boys are busy bringing their fingernails up to scratch (ha, ha, ha – a pun) for the big night.”
“I don’t find it very funny Dracky, our furniture looks terrible. Even the hounds respect our private possessions, and they do not have nails, but talons. They do the necessary outside in the forest. The trees can renew their barks, but not my table legs.”
“What do you expect, that I go out in the forest to do the necessary. Do not forget, we vampires only venture outside our coffins when night falls. I could catch a cold and it could be the death of me in those nocturnal freezing temperatures.”
“Dracky, you are already dead and vampires do not freeze. In future you will not sharpen your nails on our furniture. It is bad enough when you have a daymare in the coffin, there are scratch marks all over the lid.”
“You really are hard and have no sympathy. What would you do Morticia when you dream that you are being prodded with needles and pins: the stake death in miniature?”
“No Dracky you will get no sympathy from me, and you cannot die twice. Now go out with the hounds for a walk to get some fresh air. It won’t even kill you, and you can all sharpen your nails and talons together. And put your boots on, you look ridiculous walking around in your slippers in the form of the head of a poodle.”
“But they are so warm and comfortable.”
“Dracky you do not even know what warmth is.”
Busy is a way of life. We can have as many modern appliances as we want to make the job easier. There is even now a window cleaning machine, but there are always things that need the human touch.
The best solution is always manpower, but not leading a life of luxury, I have to do it all myself. I do have a cleaning lady, as now being a golden oldie I need her for certain jobs that a machine cannot do for me and that I can no longer do. It is a cost point, but at the age of 73 I deserve something for my years of toil.
The photo is a three times a week job, when I do the shopping for the family. These were the goods I got yesterday plus two crates of drink, each with 6 1-1/2 liter bottles, which Mr. Swiss looked after for me. I always plan “me” time at least once a day, but sometimes the “me” time suffers from acting as chauffeur for Mr. Swiss or my own doctor visits. What can you say “that’s life”. And to be quite honest, life would probably be a little boring without the busy times.
A misty one today, but can only get better. Temperatures are going down and Autumn is now upon us, although the trees don’t seem to have noticed it so much. Of course there are falling leaves, but nothing dramatic up to now and I am sure that the sun will also make an appearance. No sign of the promised hurricane in our part of Europe. Except for a few islands on the edge of the Atlantic and the english coast where they had a some floods, everything seems to be going its normal way.
Our porch is getting an Autumn look with the apple harvest on the table. Not very many this year but I noticed this morning there are still four apples hanging on the tree which Mr. Swiss is now retrieving. He has just informed me that there are more than four, about nine. He even commissioned me to organise a pastry on yesterday’s shopping trip so that he can make an apple tart. I usually keep them on the porch as they stay fresher. Last year I had them outside until February. Near the house walls there is no problem of them freezing.
The garden is certainly looking a little different now.
Yesterday I was on a shopping trip. My No. 1 son told me we have only 1 bottle of Pepsi so I put a pack of six on my list. He added that mineral water was also only 1 bottle in reserve so that went on the list as well. I do not usually get both together because of the weight of lifting them into the car boot, but had no great choice. This time I left them in the car when I parked at home. I usually put it on the garage floor, but the last time someone got thirsty and decided to steal three of my bottles, and left one half empty on my neighbours car place and this in a closed garage except for when someone leaves the garage. However, Mr. Swiss went to the garage and brought them up to the appartment. We have a trolley in the garage for such heavy loads.
Today is a day at home basically. I do not intend to go anywhere, it is getting colder. This morning my time will be occupied, on top of the general household chores, with putting new laundry on the beds. I have already re-covered the two duvets and pillows with a little help from Mr. Swiss. Practice makes perfect. It used to be a Mr. Swiss job, but he is no longer as mobile as he was and so now it is my turn. At the beginning I really needed more than an hour, but now practice makes perfect and I have developed a system cutting it down to half an hour. What I very much dislike are the paper handkerchiefs that wander to the floor beneath the bed frames, but due to my newly developed system it no longer happens so much because I remove them daily. Some are not even used, just a habit to put one or two (even more) under the pillow in case. Little things that we probably all do, but eventually becomes a major obstacle when you are the person that has to clear them away.
I am really becoming a TV addict. Now that Mr. Swiss disappears to the bedroom 1-2 hours before I do, I am stuck with the TV (and also a good book of course). Yesterday they were showing the commonwealth athletics from a place called Doha, somewhere in the Emirates. It seems it is not such an attraction for the Doha people and the stadium is half empty, which is really a shame.
Afterwards a programme known as “The Apprentice” was shown. I believe the American version was even organised with Mr. Trump. Anyhow you get a group of managers and chiefs in small companies who have the promise of a future job in big business if they win the various trials and problems given in the competition. It has been running for a few years, but the first time I ever watched. It was interesting and astonishing how the contestants amongst theirselves could be brutal with their attitudes towards the others, each one doing their best to show what wonderful ruthless managers they could become if given the chance. It even included an excursion to Cape Town with a task to form a company. I am always a little sceptical with such programmes and wonder how much was really naturally done, and how much was planned. Anyhow it was entertainment before I retired to bed around 11.00 p.m.
And I am now off to finished the task of coating the beds with fresh linen. I hope your daily tasks run smoothly and at the end of the day you will have the feeling of success (sounds good, but I do not always have that feeling).
See you around and as I look out of the window the first rays of sun as showing outside. It can only get better.
Je gratte, donc je suis
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