RDP Sunday: Adieu

2016 was the last visit I paid to London. My father had passed away and I knew that after this visit I would no longer ever visit England again. I had to say adieu to many places and friends and relations. I always stayed with my schoolfriend when I was in London. She lived near my father and would often visit him which was something I could only do once a year. She always picked me up from the airport and would bring me to the airport when I would be taking my home flight. I remember saying to her on the occasion that it would probably be the last time I would be in England, although she would always be welcome to visit me in Switzerland. We are both getting older, and I am no longer as mobile as I was, so we said goodbye, but not adieu. You never know what surprises the future might hold.

RDP Sunday: Adieu

Good Morning

Looks like a dismal morning. It rained again through the night and will probably continue during the day. Not so much happening yesterday, a generally dull day. I was at home all day. The only excitement are the birds gathering outside.

Even they are not doing anything special, It all revolved on food for them. I was listening to the news and decided how lucky some countries are. We might not be getting our vaccines fast enough, but there is enough food to eat in the stores, the supply chain is functioning and we can stay in isolation at home and do not have to worry about starvation. One of our main problems is getting the Covid jab, perhaps it is rolling out too slowly for our tastes. There have even been some bad words spoken between Europe and Britain about the development. I think it has to do with being EU or not. Perhaps we forget there are some countries in the world, that have no chance of a vaccination: supplies are scarce or do not exist and hospital care is almost non-existent, only available for the better situated that can afford it.

Our birds do not have to worry so much about where the next seed is coming from and mine seem to be putting on weight.

I will probably be baking a cake this afternoon to break up the monotony. I have some oranges which are not getting younger so I should use them for something: probably an orange cake. Otherwise food supplies are organised for the next week so I can take it easy.

I was watching the British TV yesterday afternoon. they were highlighting a British conedy series “Dad’s Army”. It is built around the war efforts the Brits were making in the so-called home guard. The men too old or not fit enough to be soldiers in the second world war. They were organised to defend England in the case of an invasion, but with a light hearted approach. The interesting thing was that the actors playing the roles of the men were quite well known for me. It was first shown on the BBC in the seventies when I was settling in in Switzerland with family and my main TV programmes were Swiss, German or Austrian at the time. I am now catching up and must say it is quite a good series and good to see those actors. The sad thing is that there is actually now only one that lives, the youngest in the group. I remember we did have a home guard in England. My mother was organised to do so called “fire watching” in her factory, where she worked as a Hoffmann presser on the machines that prepared the garments made in the tailoring trade with the large steam presses. She would have to stay in the factory all night, with just a night watchman, and if there was an air raid she would have to report it to the local authorities if it began to burn. Her bad luck was that she was in the factory of one of the worst nights of attacks and the bombs were falling everywhere. She got back home in the morning and her mother (my grandmother) decided enough was enough. The next time she kept my mother at home when she had duty with the result that the police called. My grandmother told them they could strike her daughter from the list. She is still shaking from the effects and her brother was already a German prisoner of war since a year. The police apologised and struck my mum from the list. My grandfather was then at home, but he was not in the home guard. He was working in the one of the factories making bombs for the army at the Arsenal. Yes times were different in the last war.

And now I should go, it is Sunday and there is a dinner to be prepared and a few other tasks to deal with. I wish you all a relaxed Sunday and hope all goes well on your side of the world. Take care and all that jazz. You know by now how to do it.

FOWC with Fandango: Deteriorate

When a factory deteriorates, there are certain areas that adopt a certain charm. This used to be an empty place where I can imagine that the workers would collect outside during their coffee breaks and perhaps have a cigarette to relax. The would have a conversation talking about their evenings spent with their families, their hobbies, and their general daily life when not working in the factory. Now it is left to its own devices. Nature is taking possession, with various wayward seeds growing to flowering plants, some calling them weeds. Since I took the photo about five years ago, the wild growing plants are no longer. The factory no longer exists. It has been demolished. It is now a car park, although with time a new building will arise – perhaps again in 50 years to be demolished for something new. Life changes so quickly.

FOWC with Fandango: Deteriorate

RDP Saturday: What the eyes don’t see

It was a stormy night. Constant sounds of thunder and the lightening lit up the sky as if it was sudden daylight in between. John did not sleep so well. The noise was disturbing. Did he hear a shrieking noise in between, screams, or was it laughter. The next morning he dragged himself out of his bed and had a meeting of the third kind. They had moved it, taken over the garden. They seemed to be having a conversation with each other in a language he did not understand. Was this a bad dream? It was when he discovered that they were eating the vegetables in the garden he began to get worried. On the other hand they seemed to have an appetite for snails and John had been trying to destroy them for years. At last he could grow some herbs with nice fresh green leaves, he thought. But they also had an appetite for flavours, especially parsley and thyme. It was when the cat disappeared that John got suspicious

RDP Saturday: What the eyes don’t see

Good Morning

The snow has now gone, but I am not so sure about the rain. I think that will return today and stay, but I have no plans on going anywhere. The horizon looked quite promising, but no good getting any high hopes.

I gave myself a push in the garden yesterday and cut down my bush in the middle. It is a buddleia and has wonderful flowers in Summer, but it relies on being cut back in spring, so I gave it a try and it worked. I had to be careful not to lose my balance, but I took my walker with me. I have quite a few remaining stalks from Winter to cut back, but will probably recruit the help of No.1 son, although I will be calling my gardener some time later in February. It is now time to think about the garden. It has been a long Winter and there was enough cold and snow to deal with, but now February is here next week, so it should be getting better now.

I remember 4th February in 1969 when Mr. Swiss and I had an appointment at the registry office to get married. I remember there were some snow flurries on that day 52 years ago. Time certainly flies, but we still look the same as we did then, perhaps more grey hair and no longer as mobile as we were.

There are more blackbirds this year than I have ever seen so early. They like to hover in the trees. I think they are quite partial to the berries remaining on my hawthorn tree.

I have organised my shopping for next week to be delivered on Tuesday and forgot to order the cola. I rarely drink it, but Mr. Swiss likes it and so does No. 1 son. We have some in the cellar but I am not sure if it will last for the week. I decided to order it extra with the other stuff on Tuesday but saw they have a special half price offer only lasting until Monday. I had to think quickly, but have now ordered it for an extra delivery on Monday together with the potatoes I also forgot. I know, I really lead an exciting life with all this logistical planning.

I also noticed this morning that the cobwebs have collected in a few corners of the bedroom, so I will be busy with the vacuum clearing them away. I do not know how the spiders do it. I see one or two now and again hovering around, but they are just have a Winter indoors sheltering from the cold outside. I suppose everywhere they walk they leave a thread behind them, which collects with time.

I managed to capture these two sparrows having a flight demonstration. They really do it well. Just one of the exciting moments in my day at home.

In my days of isolation and not going places, I realised yesterday that I only had one interdental brush left from my paket. I like to use them after cleaning my teeth for the in-between places. As I am not going anywhere at the moment and definitely not the dentist, I phone to ask if she could organise them for my son to pick up. The receptionist said no problem, and she would send them to me by post, which is even better, I saved No. 1 son an extra journey and I am now sure of my supply. It seems everyone is re-organising for stay-at-home life.

I am still waiting for my vaccination news, but it seems Switzerland are a bit slow on the roll out. Suddenly we are inundated with numerous various suppliers of vaccinations. It seems all the specialist companies are developing them. The only problem is getting them to the people that need them. There seems to be an international competition about which country is the best in delivering.

As you can see, there is no great news from my part of the world and I will now move in with my daily chores. No great stress this morning, no bread baking or big cooking operations. Stay safe, look after yourselves, and keep away from the others – you never know.

FOWC with Fandango: Drive

Since last year, it was May or June, I no longer have a car. I begun to drive at the age of 38 in Switzerland where I took my test. I was never one of those excited drivers that just had to have a car. I needed it to get to work and shopping. In the first years I even took it on holiday. I had one son in my car and Mr. Swiss the other son in his car when we drove to the Bernese Overland.

I no longer have a car. It is now the time perhaps to confess why I no longer have a car. I drove over a red light and had a crash with the guy coming from the right. There is no excuse, it was my fault. I had a broken tyre and a demolished left front wing. The other guy just had a few scratches and a dent, although to be quite honest I have no idea. I managed to drag the car to an island in the road and sitting half stunned I realised that a police lady was taking photos of the damage, whilst another policemen in another police car was sweeping the glass from the road.

The police were very kind, in face of the circumstances, and first asked if I was OK. I said physically yes, but mentally no. Cut a long story short. My car was towed away by a garage and I was invited into the police van. They drove me to my garage which was quite near and my garage gave me a car to use.So after the accident I was on the road again with no problem.

One thing lead to another. My car was repaired, I had a full coverage insurance, but did I want to drive. Of course there were repercussions from the legal side, I had a fine to pay and my driving licence would have been taken away for three months. However, I got there first. I realised that I no longer had the confidence to drive, I was just plain scared behind the wheel, and I gave back my licence. I am handicapped which does not help and most probably I would have to take my driving test again. I was sure I would not pass. There was also the problem of seeing a specially appointed doctor appointed by the public prosecuter.

And that is why I no longer drive a car, and have absolutely no wish to. The photo is when I took my newly repaired car to the motor vehicle inspection to have it allowed on the road again. It passed and I could have driven with it but no interest in driving again. I am now happy with my scooter and electric wheelchair and online grocery deliveries. At the age of 74 I have no intention of driving ever again.

FOWC with Fandango: Drive