Daily Prompt: The Village Newspaper

Village Newspaper

What a coincidence: today the village newspaper of Feldbrunnen-St. Niklaus where I live arrived in our letter box. It is the event of the month for us with it 15 pages of international village news telling us all the exciting events that happened in the past month. It appears regularly once a month and costs nothing, although as this is No. 5 in June, they seemed to have missed a month somewhere but yes, calendars operate a little slower in our village. The photo on the front page shows the path down from the local castle. If you walk further on you cross the main road cutting through our village and arrive to where we live, not so far, but everything is near in our village.

So what does it contain? The first article tells us all about the beer brewing clubs in the village. There are 3 brewers, not bad for a village only having 923 human beings living there at the last count with just as many chickens and cows counted together. Our bewers are quite busy with a stock of 280 liters of beer and they proudly announce that at the latest theater presentation in Feldbrunnen there was no beer left when  the audience emptied the reserves after the performance.

Yes we have a theater group composed of members of the village population. The last performance was in the village hall on 31.03.2017 and 01.04.2017 and all places were occupied. I did not go, although it would have been an opportunity to take some photos. The name of the piece performed was “Aunt Jutta from Kalkutta” and they proudly tell us that they have now managed to bring some young blood into the group. It was a success with lots of laughter and a satisfied audience. I would have been pleased to join, but they did not ask me.

On page 4 one of the villagers gives us her recipe for Strawberries with strawberry sauce using 3 baskets of strawberries, a banana, lemon juice, sugar, cream and 2 spoonfulls of Cointreau. Our local housewives are always busy with new ideas. We were also celebrating 24 years of the “Chic Bar”. It seems that this organisation is approaching its end as no new members could be found to contnue this organisation. They were probably too busy brewing beer.

There is a report about the second class of the local schol where they were informed that South America was running out of wood and the space for the local animals was getting smaller. The kiddies were told how important recycling discarded items was and so they all went on an excursion to the village of Lohn where the recycling center is. They saw how a car was squashed in a machine and they could even throw cardboard onto a conveyer belt. Eventually there was a competition to see who could throw the most plastic into a crate.  What a fun excursion that must have been.

There is a report about a new company in our village, called “The World of Flags” which moved into our old post office, which no longer exists. Switzerland are closing post offices everywhere. Eventually we will probably have to travel to Zürich to send a parcel or pick one up. Anyhow this flag world has one purpose, to manufacture flags. The test says “a flag is an emotional object. It is more than a piece of material. Although it is exposed to sun, wind and weather. The symbols on a flag are timeless and send out a message. etc. etc. The company seems to be surviving, and having more success than the post office did.

On the last page of this epic work we see who is no longer with us in village life, and a list of the new arrivals. There are a few other aricles covering the work of the culture and performance commission of the village as well as how our village is sharing the costs of looking after refugees from other countries.

So I am sure you are now convinced what an exciting life I lead in our little village, and we even have a our newspaper. I was a little disappointed that our local building site, where I live, was not mentioned, but perhaps they are saving that one for next month.

Feldbrunnen 17.06 (18)

Daily Prompt: The Village Newspaper

Daily Prompt: Cringing Time

earwigs

“Yuck”

“What’s the problem?”

“There’s an earwig crawling around the sink in the kitchen.”

“Don’t worry, he or she won’t eat you.”

“Of course not. I am serious. I tried to kill it but it is too fast.”

“Why kill it. The poor thing is confused and just wants to hide.”

“Then it should hide where it belongs.”

“Give me a piece of paper.”

“What for?”

“So that I can transport it back to the garden where it belongs.”

“It does not belong anywhere except for the earwig happy hunting grounds. Look it is now doing a round trip of the sink. If you put it in the garden it will begin to devour the leaves on my plants.”

“I am sure it will not eat all of them. So where is it? Got it.”

“Where are you going with that earwig on that piece of paper?”

“I was putting it where it belongs, and now it has fallen off the paper thanks to you waving your arms around in panic.”

“I am not in panic I do not like earwigs in the kitchen.”

“That is why I am putting it outside.”

“But not like that.”

“Like what. I do not have an earwig cage so have to now transport it on my hand as I dropped the paper to transport it.”

“That is disgusting.”

“Don’t worry I will wash my hands afterwards. So there we go, now he is happy to be back in his normal habitat.”

“Oh, great, I am sure you will get a medal as the rescuer of the earwig race.”

“What are you doing with that flower pot.”

“I read that if I fill it with straw and hang it upside down on a tree branch it attracts earwigs.”

“I thought you didn’t like them.”

“I don’t. You can remove the pot daily and set fire to the straw in the pots.”

“I didn’t know I was married to a serial killer.”

“I am not a serial killer, just keeping the balance of nature in my garden. I do not operate a transport system for earwigs on paper, or pick them up and stroke them saying “there, there little earwig, now you are safe. Back to your normal home where the girlfriend is waiting for you to ensure that life will go on as normal. You can now both care for your offspring together”.”

“You don’t have to overdo it, but it is more humane than inviting them to set up house in a flower pot and afterwards letting them die in an incendry.”

“That is my method. And now to the next rescue mission.”

“What rescue mission.”

“There is a stink bug crawling on the chair.”

“Arrgh, I don’t touch stink bugs.”

“Why not it is only a poor defenceless little insect needing to be saved from a fate worse than death.”

“But they stink.”

“Not my problem, get rid of it.”

Green Shield-Stink Bug

Daily Prompt: Cringing Time

Daily Prompt: It is not an illusion

Chinese Bellflower with thumb

“Look, I could hardly believe it, but my Chinese bellflowers survived the building work and are flowering again.”

“Very nice, but what’s that pink blob on the lefthand corner?”

“Oh, I didn’t see that. The sun was shining on the mobile phone camera lens and I coldn’t see the reflection very well, I think it might be my thumb.”

“Your thumb? It’s very big, looks more like a complete finger.”

“No it is only my thumb, a trick of the lens. I will have to take another photo. It doesn’t look very good.”

“I would definitely take another photo, you can only see half the flower. Where are you going with that watering can.”

“I have my special plants in the garden, all in pots, and I give them fertiliser once a week.

“They don’t look and different than the other plants. What is so special about them?”

“I have had them for many years now in their pots. I even have two avocados that are growing.”

“When can we pick the fruit?”

“Funny man, probably never, I just wanted to try to see if it would work. You never know, one day I might have a harvest.”

“In Switzerland in the snow and ice? You seem to have better results with growing thumbs on the photos.”

“Very funny. Photos like that have won prizes.”

“Yes I must admit, it is a perfect reproduction of a thumb. Perhaps it might make it on the front page of the doctor’s journal in an article “How to ensure that the thumb survives when taking a photo.

And be careful with that watering can. that you might spill some of the magical fertilised water.”

“Why?”

“If you spill some on your thumb, you thumb will grow twice its size and the next time you will only have a photo of the thumb. You can now spare the effort. It looks like it will rain, the sun has disappeared. No, something is covering the sunlinght. What is that growing in the garden and casting a shadow everywhere.”

“I think it might be my avocado tree. The guy I bought the fetiliser from said it was a special mixture for avocados, but I should not overdo it.”

“Ouch, something hit me.”

“Funny he is now unconscious, I don’t think he is breathing.  Must have been that avocado that just fell on his head from the tree in the garden. That must be some fertisiliser. Serves me right buying stuff on the market from people dressed in black robes with their faces hidden in a hood. And he was such a great guy. He even had a proper scythe to cut the stalks of the flowers he was selling. He said he never had customers returning to complain.”

Daily Prompt: It is not an illusion

Daily Prompt: Comitted to an air conditioner

Air conditioner

I am not a fan of air-conditioning. I am perhaps old fasioned, but grew up in a world where you took breaths of air outside and just had to put up with what happened inside. In the East End of London in our house built in 1884, you had no big choice. It was a hot summer, so throw open the windows and hope that somewhere there was a slight breeze. If there was no breeze, then you had bad luck.

And so it came to pass that I moved to Switzerland, got married, had a family and am now a golden oldie with my golden oldie Mr. Swiss and we have a record summer heat. The hottest this century in June according to the statistics. With my background of east end psychology I just have to put up with it. However, Mr. Swiss is Swiss and somehow there is a different level of reasoning. They do something about it, the do not put up with things. He noticed in Internet that you can now have your own air conditioning machine for the home.

I worked in an office for 30 years with air conditioning and was not exactly full of enthusiasm, being glad to leave the office and take lungfuls of normal outside air. Mr. Swiss on the contrary, would close the blinds at home and the windows to keep the heat out and close the doors to keep temepratures down. He is Swiss and I am a Brit – perhaps a conflict of opinions.

So last week he discovered the dream of hot weather, the solution to the problem. Yesterdy he calmly announced that our airconditioner would be delivered today with the post and it was a special price I did not really want to know what it cost.  I acknowledged this wise statement and reminded him we go shopping Friday morning. However he said no problem, it would arrive much earlier. This morning the postman only rang once already at 9.00 a.m. and Mr. Swiss disappeared for a quater of an hour. He reappeared to say the air conditioning machine, packed in layers of paper and I assume bubbl wrap, was now in the cellar.  I did not see the packed object, but today everything is packed in bubble wrap. He had to move it on our trolley and would remove the packaging material later.  Later was when I had finished my daily chores and disappeared into the shower. He disappeared again and returned triumphantly with our new air conditioner.

I have a sneaky feeling he was not completely in the picture how to set it up and I did not really want know. I decided air conditioning was his business, he was the expert.

It was still sitting in the living room when we went shopping. Apprently the plastic flexible tube (see photo) had to have an exit to the outside for expelling the hot air. As the only window with an exit would be the one for Tabby’s cat flap, we had to find another solution as this was too small for the mega width of the attached tube. This afternoon he found the answer to his problem and now it is sitting next to an open window in the living room. I do not know if this is the professional solution for an air conditioner, but surprisngly it is working quite well. Needless to say I am still writing my blogs in my little room with the window open and the door closed where I have light and air. Who needs an air conditioner? I do not really trust this 8th world wonder and stated that it will not be left on its own when working.

Daily Prompt: Comitted to an air conditioner

Daily Prompt: Who needs paper

Piece of paper

We had chippies in the East End of London. Fish and chips (french fries for those over the pond) were the predecessor of the hamburger, at least in the British Isles. Perhaps the hamburger had not yet made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and so we Brits had to make do with fish and chips.

I remember our chippie along Bethnal Green Road. It was a treat if you went shopping to have some chips. Fish was only added if the whole thing was taken home afterwards for lunch. Chips were a snack in between. The chippie had large containers of oil being heated. It was threepenneth of chips that you asked for, in the days gone by. I was a kid, so must have been in the fifties when you could still buy stuff using pennies. Pennies have slowly disappeared, and everything has become digital, but I am talking of the good old days when we Brits still had our Pounds, shillings and pence and the threepenny piece would get you a bag of chips. Today you would be glad to have change from £3.

The chips were freshly fried and wrapped in newspaper to stop your hands getting oily . Newspaper? How unhygenic you are thinking. Of course, it was a wonder that we kids, as well as the grown ups, survived this attack of printing ink on our body, but we did. We even had newspaper in the little house outside in the garden when mum forgot to by a new roll of toilet paper but we survived.

The newspaper wrapping for the chips made way for the more suitable white impregnated paper, but the chips still tasted the same. And today even this paper has disappeared and the hygenic styrofoam little boxes have been introduced. The hamburger never really knew anything else, it was spoilt from the beginning.

Today paper has been reduced to an element for sneezes, colds and a quick wipe over if you spill something. You do not even need it for a book, you have a Kindle where the print is on a screen. Imagine Charles Dickens slaving for days over his manuscript all written in pen and ink on paper. He had blue fingers from the ink when he was finished, and propably the wastepaper basket (see you had the word paper again) was full of torn pieces of paper where he could not find the right words.

If only Charles Dickens had a computer, life would have been so much easier. I must admit I had been endeavouring to write my first best seller book for years, but even a computer has not replaced my brain to write it and it would be so easy just to hammer it out on a keyboard.

My cousin worked on one of the national british newspapers, The Daily Mirror, for many years until he lost his job. Why? They no longer needed typesetters, they were made redundant due to the arrival of computerized machines. The newspapers were now set up on a computer. Admittedly they were afterwards printed on paper, but I get my daily local newspaper on my iPad to read, athough someone still puts the real newspaper in my letterbox daily. The poor man has to deliver the newspaper in the letterbox at the crack of dawn, to make sure we receive it in time and we have probably already read it on our computers.

The irony of my cousin losing his job at the newspaper in the seventies was the next job that was found for him. He worked for the last remaining years until he retired in the British Museum Library in London and that is really something special because no-one is allowed in the library unless they have a special permit. He said it was a great job. He had access to all the historial original books of Great Britain and if he was on the night shift he had the library all to himself.

British Museum

A shot of the British Museum on a trip to London about 25 years ago. The young man on the right of the photo is my No. 1 son who was then much younger with his modern long hairstyle. This was the day I last saw my cousin. We asked in the museum reception and cousin Roy afterwards turned up, happy to see his cousin again that wandered off to Switzerland and also Mr. Swiss of course.

Daily Prompt: Who needs paper

Daily Prompt: Loops are not just loops

Renovation 07.06 (6)

It was hanging in front of the porch on the scaffolding. The name scaffolding brought pictures of hanged men, the noose tightening around their throats when the trap door opened. Luckily there was no trap door, but the metal bar  below the noose seemed to be an invitation to jump. Did someone want to send a warning or was it just a coincidence

The loop was carefully placed and hanging – that word again. There were loud voices speaking many tongues, there were laughs in between. Was somebody watching? Pulling the loop did not help it was fixed, immovable. Something above was holding it tight. It was only yesterday that she walked under a ladder and a black cat crossed her path. It was also full moon and Friday the 13th. She was sure her time had come, this lookalike noose dangling in front of her had sealed her fate.

Suddenly it moved from side to side. Was it sending some sort of invitation. “Come closer, try me” and once again she heard the voices. “Not yet”, “wait a minute, I have to get ready”, “A little more to the right” in her language sprinkled with accents from other countries. She wanted to grab it and pull it away. It was at that moment that it began to move upwards.

That is one of the problems when you live on a building site, the workers from their various countries of origin often have problems in understanding each other.

And so the loop ascended and the sound of drills commenced again. They needed a new cable as the old one was not long enough.

Daily Prompt: Loops are not just loops

Daily Prompt: Don’t touch my things

Lock

“Where’s my keys?”

“No idea.”

“But I opened the door with them when we came home.”

“I don’t know where you put your keys. Have a look in your handbag.”

“I always leave them in the door when I come home. I don’t put them in my handbag.”

“Well have a good look, you are always mislaying something. Perhaps they are in the bathroom.”

“I am not in the habit of putting my keys in the bathroom.”

“But you went to the bathroom when we came home, and probably put them on the side of the sink. Humans are creatures of strange habits sometimes.”

“I am not in the habit of putting my keys on the sink in the bathroom, I always put them in the door when I come home. And before you ask, I had a look in the bathroom just to keep you happy, and they are not there.”

“Then try the bed.”

“I do not put my keys on the bed.”

“But you did last week when you came home from a walk.”

“That was last week and I immediately put them in the front door afterwards. They were only a few minutes on the bed while I was changing my shoes.”

“And you went to the bathroom afterwards”

“Are you now following me around?”

“Just trying to help. I don’t know why I bother. No thanks or appreciation. They are your keys, not mine.”

“And you always find your keys of course.”

“No need to get iffy with me. You mislaid your keys, it is not my fault.”

“Ok Mr. Clever, so where are your keys?”

Where they always are of course. In my jacket pocket.”

“Which jacket pocket. You have at least three jackets hanging on coat hangers.”

“Obviouly in the pocket of the jacket I was wearing last.”

“You mean the leather jacket.”

“Of course.”

“OK, show me.”

“Am I now under interrogation just because you forgot where you put your key?”

“I did not forget where I put my key. I always put in the door when I come home and now it is not there.”

“My door key is in the pocket of my leather jacket, here. Oh, it was, did you remove it?”

“Sorry,  I do not put my hands in your jacket pockets, that would be meddling.”

“Take that silly smile off your face. I remember it was raining and was wearing my raincoat. Look here the are – or that is where they should be.”

“Well, two choices out of three and now there in only one jacket left, the light sommer jacket.”

“Of course, it was a warm day and I chose that jacket. Look, there are my keys.”

“Not quite, they are my keys.”

“You see, you put them in my jacket.”

“No way, I never put my hand in your jacket pocket, too much respect for the contents. At least I now have my keys, which you put mistkenly in your own jacket pocket, but where are your keys?”

“Just a minute, I have found them.”

“Strange, two sets of keys in the same jacket pocket: your set and my set. Humans are creatures of habit I suppose.”

Daily Prompt: Don’t touch my things