Fandango February Expressions #3

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

M - First Apple computer - wood

This one probably broke often, but they fixed it and today we have a Macbook, an iPad, or whatever. Steve Jobs the inventor is no longer with us unfortunately. He probably often fixed it to give us what we have today: a reliable computer, but what more do we want? I have a Macbook and it is still being permanently updated. The last update confused my WordPress files and so I fixed it and replaced Safari with Google Chrome and now it works perfectly. The last “fix” just did not work for everyone.

Nera at her computer

And how many of us have a Windows computer? Even our cat, Nera, would dabble with it now and again, although I am not really sure if she achieved anything. I have about 4 of these in the cellar and at least 3 in the apartment, each one being better than the last, but are they really? Of course, the newer models are faster, we can even join everyone on a cloud, although I avoid the cloud when I can. Certain programmes, such as e-mail, would not work without the cloud.

How many more improvements do they want to make? How much faster should it go, and are we capable of keeping up with the new developments? I am now 73 years old, Mr. Swiss 80, we both have a computer. We control our bank accounts with them, we establish our tax forms with them. Every year there is a new update on the programme you have. Windows 10 is now with us, whatever happened to the other 9, no sorry 8. No. 9 does not exist, they left that one out, they did not have time to develop No. 9.

You know what? None of the computers I have in the cellar are broke, or on my bookshelves gathering dust and no longer being used, but we are fools for repairing stuff that does not need a repair. We want them to be better faster and have new tricks that probably no-one over the age of 70 will actually understand.

But don’t forget, is it isn’t broke, fix it all the same. It means people will buy new computers with the newest and best features.

Fandango February Expressions #3

FOWC with Fandango: Century

Dad's 100th Birthday

Now who is this? It is my dad celebrating his 100th birthday in the year 2015. In one hundred years a lot can happen. He was born in the middle of the first world war and only saw his father in 1918 when he returned from the war. He rang the doorbell and there was my grandfather in uniform. His wife hugged him and they were together again. My dad was hanging onto his mother’s apron and asked “Who’s that man mum” and she told him “it is your father”.

And now in a new century my dad was one hundred years old. Of course I made the trip from Switzerland to London to be there with him.

Dad's 100th Birthday

He also got his congratulatory telegramme from the Queen which he again and again took in his hands as if the message might change, but it stayed the same and dad was happy. He was never a monarchist really, but he was British and proud of it. Just a working class cockney from the East End of London.

He is no longer with us and passed away a year later attaining the age of 100 years and 7 months. Everyone said the same, he was a gentleman. Although I only saw him once a year for the last 50 years of his life, living in Zürich, we would talk on the phone and somehow there is now something missing in my life. Dad kept repeating again and again when I visited on his 100th birthday “100 years old, I never though it would happen to me”, but it did dad.

FOWC with Fandango: Century

RDP Monday: Aromatic

Maggi and Aromat

If you happen to decide one day in your life to emigrate to Switzerland, and even marry a Swiss, then be prepared. You are not only marrying your husband alone, but the Aromat and Maggie comes with it.

I soon discovered that no Swiss can live without these condiments in the first few weeks of sharing my household experiences with Mr. Swiss. If you have a new partner it is always somewhat experimental at the beginning discovering what he likes to eat, although he was quite happy to have a home cooked meal set in front of him.

It was the simple things, like a fried egg. Admittedly I am not someone that uses the salt pot as a weapon for smothering the natural taste of the food, but the Aromat and Maggi pots soon became part of the table decoration: not only for the eggs, but the pasta as well.

Aromat is a yellow powder, and has its own taste. No  Swiss uses just salt, that is far too ordinary. They smother everything in Aromat. If you go on holiday the Aromat is also packed in the case. Perhaps the country you are visiting does not have Aromat. When we visited my mum and dad in London, the Aromat was also put on the table. Although I discovered that some British stores did have Aromat, it was better to be on the safe side and not have someone suffering with with drawal symptoms. I am not sure what the secret ingredients are, the recipe is probably written on parchment and buried in a safe somewhere in the vaults of Knorr. Other companies also create their Aromat lookalikes, but it does not capture the true flavours (according to Mr. Swiss).

Maggi sauce is a compliment to the food. a brown liquid and I believe it could also be called organic, as its origins are from a plant, which is called lovage in English. And so you have your fried egg, smothered in Aromat swimming in a brown Maggi liquid.

Today I used the last packet of Aromat and filled the pot. Naturally I put it on the shopping list.

RDP Monday: Aromatic

Good Morning

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I think we have had constant rain since two days and my bones are rusty enough. At least we now have clouds instead of the plain grey sky. The weather forecast prophesied very strong winds from Tuesday, but they have already arrived, although not yet the 100 kilometres an hour, thank goodness. I have so wanted to get out with my camera but no chance in this weather, so I only have the usual crowd of birds fluttering around outside.

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I spotted this little chap sitting in a tree opposite and at first thought it to e a robin, but he seemed to have too much of a red breast, so it might be some sort of chaffinch. He had separated himself from the rest of the mixed flock, which robins usually tend to do.

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Otherwise it was just the usual crows in the morning to snap a few walnuts. The magpies had already made off with the peanuts. They do it so quickly I do not even have time for a photo.

It was a  Sunday at home. If it wasn’t for my computer I think I would sink into boredom. Of course I have a book to read, but I like to reserve that for the evening, which I did yesterday. There was nothing interesting on the TV. Mr. Swiss settled with a German Tatort (Crime Scene) police series. I used to watch them as well, as some of the subject matter was quite good. However, after 50 years of this weekly series, it can be a boring repetition. 50 ways of killing someone you could call it. I have a few chores to deal with in the evening, like running the washing machine and dish washer. Eventually I had sorted everything, did my 2-day rota injection for my MS and settled in front of the British TV channel to watch the BAFTA awards (a British version of the Oscars). I realised that I am getting completely out of touch with the current film actors and even with the new films. I almost recognised no-one by name. Of course there were some of the older actors that still perform, but how they have changed. I only recognised half of them. Their faces had changed in shape, thinner or fatter, and of course the hair was a few shades greyer. How they have changed with the years, but so have I of course. Even the stars are subject to becoming golden oldies.

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I had a pleasant surprise when I looked out of the window yesterday and saw a flash of yellow. On a closer look and with the zoom lens I realised that one of the first harbingers of Spring had arrived opposite my front garden. The hazel tree had produced its catkins, despite the miserable weather we have been having. At least a bright sign on the horizon.

This afternoon I will be going on an excursion to the store to replenish food supplies. We are now quite low on the interesting sides of food, such as peanuts, walnuts and salted biscuits. They are the objects that I always have ready on the near surfaces: an emergency help yourself when feeling peckish and it seems that everyone was peckish over the weekend. I am now off to visit the shower and afterwards the apartment with my vacuum cleaner. Have a good beginning to the week, may it be filled with signs of Spring being around the corner, although ours is more filled with signs of a deluge.

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