Daily Prompt: Be back in a blink

Wheelchair wheel

They were my departing words as I left for a wheelie in my chair this afternoon, and I really did mean them, honestly, but things never turn out as they should. I had been trapped at home for a week due to storms and a dentist visit. This morning was cold, but sunny and bright and time to go out this afternoon.

Unfortunately the sun disappeared in the meanwhile, but I was determined to go places and see things, with my camera. I had an idea where to go. It was a little further as usual, but I needed new food for the camera lens and so I departed and met a colleague on the way. She is also not so agile, walking on crutches, but we had a lot to catch up with which was not done in a blink. We parted ways and I moved on, up and down the kerbs and across the roads. And then it happened, it began to rain. I was too far away from home to return and so I wheeled on with my quest in mind. After a while the rain turned into a dusting of snow. It was time to raise the hood of my jacket, but I had my target before me.

There were a couple of good statues in the grounds of the local high school which I was determined to capture on the camera. After five minutes the snow and rain stopped and I continued.

It was then I decided that it was time to return home. I decided to cut through the cemetery.

St. Katherin Cemetry 13.01.2018

This was a mistake as in the meanwhile the terrain had become wet. The cemetery is not nicely paved, only in parts: generally it is stones and earth which tends to stick to the wheels of my trusty steed. I then approached the home run and arrived home safe and sound, a little cold, after almost 2 hours.

I now have a room where my wheelchair is parked and we are waiting for the wheels to dry out to be able to sweep the gravel, dirt and mud together. Sometimes good ideas are not so good.

Daily Prompt: Be back in a blink

Daily Prompt: Shock of the Day

Today it arrived by post. The parcel had crossed the big pond from the United States of America to Switzerland and arrived safely. It was carefully packed in a polstered bag to prevent any injury and I was delighted to receive it. My American cousin, who has the same birth names as I have, sent it. We met somewhere one day on a social sight, and birds of a name feather flock together.

She was doing a stock check of her Pussy hats, in memory of some wonderful marches and noticed she had some to spare. I mentioned that Trump will be visiting Switzerland and it would be ideal, although I will not be demonstrating, just watching the developments. There will be demonstrations in Davos when he attends the WEF Conference (World Economic forum) and perhaps there will be many Pussy hat clad women there. I know that I now have my Pussy hat. She spontaneiously said she would pop a hat in the post and today it arrived.

At the moment we are all homebound due to the three storms that arrived over the last week. It began with Eleanor, was followed by Evi and now we have Frederika. They are all ladies, perhaps they also have knitted hats like this one. This newest storm has topped them all and Germany have closed down their railway system. Roads are blocked in Switzerland and there is a cold wind blowing.

However, I can now spite the winds, because I am protected. I have my Pussy hat. It is even a secret weapon against being invaded by unwanted political visitors. Hold on, here is the shock.

Kitty Cat hat

I tried to do a selfie, but could not capture the ears properly. Mr. Swiss obliged and now I have the perfect photo. Donald Trump are you watching, then beware. I am armed.

Daily Prompt: Shock of the Day

Daily Prompt: Agile

Cutting the pampas

There was a time when I could move more or less, ten years ago to be exact, but agility was never my trade mark. Here I am in action cutting down the pampas grass. Note the shoes, ideal for the job.

I remember my school days when PT (physical training) and gymnastics was on the agenda.  I hated it, really, the worst day in the week. We even had to dress for the torture. Plimsolls (sort of cloth schoes, very flat with rubber sole) and you ran around in your nickers and vest. That was when you were at an age when everything was flat as a pancake in any case, so it made no difference. It was all in the name of being healthy. There were those girls in the class (it was an all girl school) that could jump over everything, do handstands and win races.

I was the third tallest in the class and had never stood on my hands, they were too far away from my body.. It is a fact that tall people can jump higher and run faster, but there are always exceptions to the rule and that was me. If I ran my long legs were in the way. Jumping was OK, I even managed the highest jump, the only problem being that often I would fall over the rope and collapsed onto the floor on the other side. In the high school we had more advanced material and were now bare footed (we were miniature Amazons) and even had shorts to wear and a t-shirt, but clothes do not make an athlete.

We had this big wooden thing to jump over with two grips one for each hand, known as a horse. It was big, and I was high. The idea was to run, jump, grip the handles and propel yourself, raising your feet to descend on them on the other side. This was one of those moments when I would be very nervous but our gymnastic teacher, who seemed to have bones made of rubber, was convinced that we could all do it and all of us could except for me, but I put a brave face on it, ran and jumped and …. I did it. I was so happy. My feet were intact on the other side. It was soon time for the second round, but this was pushing my luck. I ran, jumped and my feet somehow had contact with the jumping surface hurtling me down to the other side. When the teacher noticed that I could still move my limbs, she decided it was just bad luck. It was the beginning and end of my olympic hopes.

We had ropes swinging in the gym at school and the idea was to climb up to the top. I was so envious of all that could do that. Admittedly my feet never left my legs, but they never climbed the rope. Again I just hoped that the teacher was looking the other way.

However, my life as a sportswoman was not entirely a failure. I was in the land hockey team for the school. I had tried netball, but never found the net and as explained, athletics was not my thing, but hockey. It was like football, but with a stick and I loved football (soccer for those across the pond). I was a right back in the team, and although we had to move, we did not have to move gracefully. The only achievement was to score a goal by hitting the little round wooden ball with the stick. I discovered that this was easy peasy. I was supposed to be in the defence, but if you pushed the ball in the right way you could easily score. I developed my own style and it got me into the school team. OK, I only played in one match and cannot remember if we won or not. There were a few injuries, but we all survived.

Today my agility knows no borders. My movements on the computer keyboard are poetery in motion and my touch screen ability is perfect. You should see me in my wheelchair in third gear, I overtake everyone with the speed of lightening.

Daily Prompt: Agile

Daily Prompt: No Loopholes

Clouds Evi

We have yet aother storm, this time she is called Evi. They always have names, most likely because we have so many at the moment. After dinner I decided to take my usual midday golden oldie sleep. Then were were suddenly blue skies. I could even see a cloud peeping at me, lower half, left side. Was he having a smoke or just blowing a new cloud.

What could be better, the storm is preparing to leave. When I awoke  I found this:

Clouds Evi

The man in the clouds has disappeared and so have his blue surroundings. I am left with grey and heavy winds. Shall I continue with my golden oldie sleep? Why not, I have nothing, absolutely nothing to say about loopholes. There are none in this storm.  It seems the storm is here to stay for a day so no excursions into the unknown at the moment.

Politicians are good at finding loopholes, they invented them with their lawyers That is all I have to say on the subject.

Daily Prompt: No Loopholes

Daily Prompt: Studying how to study

School prize

Since half an hour I have been studyjng what to write about studying. I seem to have spent most of my life studying and am still studying. I studied mum and dad because there was no-one else around to study and discovered that they never really studied anything. And so I embarked on a life of studying at school. At the end of my studying school life I had to take examinations to prove that I had been studying. I have a strange confession to make. I had studied it all, and took my exams and passed except for one: that was my english exam. Of course I could speak english, but it seems by powers of dissecting sentences into subjects and predicates and various other strange descriptions was not existent for me. I managed the rest of the exams, with a brilliant note in biology. I was not planning to become a doctor or scientist, it did not even interest me.

It seems my failure to pass the english examination meant I must repeat this test as it was  matter of existence in the big wide world. In  Great Britain the examinations taken on the higher level were sponsored by various universities. My school chose University of London exams. It was decided for my repeat performance I could take the University of Oxford english examination as it was deemed easier than that of the London University. I was now in the secretarial sixth class learning how to type and write shorthand, but as a sideline I had to continue to study for my english examination. I passed this Oxford University examination I think, I cannot even remember.

I must have learned something at school as I even got a school prize in the fourth form for progress. Of course I progressed, that was why I was in school, but I had not yet taken my final exams. They were a year later. I also found that this school prize thing was a “take on”. I seems I had so much money to spend on books donated by the school. I had a choice of books, not exactly my thing, but I eventually chose “The Three Muskatters” by Alexandre Dumas and “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins which exceeded the amount of money that the school was prepare to donate for my achievements. This was no problem, you pay the extra yourself. Something was wrong somewhere, but I suppose you can even buy achievements.

Anyhow mum was happy, dad was happy and me – no-one asked me if I was happy, but I was. I was happy to leave school and stop being forced to study. I now study voluntarily.

Daily Prompt: Studying how to study

Daily Prompt: What entertains

Computer Headquarters

I have become completely cyber. It is my world of entertainment. I am often not sure if I am really here, or whether it is a hologram of myself. If it is not the computer, it is an iPad and relaxing with a book becomes my Kindle. Real books smell and have a funny touch. At the moment I am reading on Mr. Swiss Kindle, because he does not need it and he uploaded a book I wanted to read. Today I needed my Kindle for this photo and discovered that although it has not been in use for a month, it tells me that there is almost no power and I should recharge it.

You cannot ignore your online connections if you want to. They tell you that they need you. They depend on your constant attention, and rebel when they are ignored. Their battery signs show a large empty space with perhaps a thin line showing that you have arrived in the nick of time to make a connection. In the meanwhile my Kindle is now in recharge mode, the day is saved.

Not that I cannot be without a computer, of course not. Just because I sleep with my iPad and iPhone next to my bed it only means that it is a good place to have them. During the dark hours of the night the iPhone is my illumination to that place which most of us visit.  When I wake in the morning and am still hugging the bed, I check of the nocturnal movements of my online colleagues. They live in other countries where they have day when I have night. Having dealt with the necessary from my bed hugging situation, I move to the kitchen. My computer is already waiting as Mr. Swiss as already shifted it to the breakfast table, my Microsoft computer.  I use my Apple computer for the afternoon shift. Of couse I am not a computer addict. Now and again I visit real life for entertainment.

If I am bored I can always assemble one of those jigsaw puzzles I like to do, online of course. I remember the days when I had real jigsaw puzzles. They could be most annoying as there was always that missing piece you never found to complete the jigsaw puzzle. Online puzzles never have this problem, all the pieces are there.

Some time during the late afternoon the computer world retires, although not the computer. Now and again I leave my home and put the computer on its shelf. That is when I go on a safari with my camara. Of course when I return the computer is again fired up so that I can upload my photos.

Of course I can live without my computer, but can it live without me? In the evening it is Kindle time. I used to be entertained by my TV, but now I prefer to read a book, online of course. Less problem with turning pages and bending the corners to remember which page you were on. The Kindle does it all for me.

Yes folks, that’s entertainment.

Kindle
Daily Prompt: What entertains

Daily Prompt: Evoking Memories of the past

Norah Street Park between Pollards Row and Squirries Street in Bethnal Green

This is, or was, Norah Street. It’s name is forever  deleted from the street atlas of London, it no longer exists. I grew up in Norah Street, born in 1946 and lived in our little house until I left for Switzerland 20 years later. There were two squares of Norah Street, and this wonderful peaceful looking lawn was where my square would be. My square was the lower square with approximately 30 houses, each one attached to the next. They were built in 1884, according to the writing on the wall, and were demolished some time in the 1970’s. I left Bethnal Green, London in 1966, where this lawn replaces my memories.

Nothing more is left to evoke memories. It is  no longer my square with the lampost in the middle where we kids would hang a rope and swing on it. The uneven paving stones, each one with its own colour, cracks and markings no longer exist, just the memories. Each houshold had its own door step. Door steps were an important part of East End slum life. It was the step that mum kept clean and scrubbed at least once a week. Some even painted them a special colour, usually red. Ours was worn in the middle from the feet of the many that walked into the house for almost 100 years. My grandfather and grandmother moved into No. 45 when they married and remained until they carried grandad out in a wooden box, I was then about 14 years old and he was something over 80. In their three rooms on the ground floor they raised 4 children, my mum, my two aunts and uncle. Eventually the top floor was vacant and mum and dad rented it when they married.

Eventually mum and dad got the good news that they could leave this reminder of the olden days with no running hot water and no bathroom and move to one of the new settlements built on the Eastern edge of London. Our relations had been moved some time ago to the same area. Dad had been working in a place called Dagenham for many years, in the Ford motor works, and of course the choice fell on Dagenham. I was no longer at home, had already decided to explore the world and was settling down in Switzerland.

Of course the old house was full of old memories. My little bedroom which had only space for a bed and a few cheap cupboards that were issued to the people after the war, was all I left behind. My cupboard was full of my old school books, books I had written in the six years I attended grammar school in London. They were the basis of my education. When mum and dad moved, they left in the house what they no longer needed. No longer needed were the memories from my childhood life. We never had money to spend on luxuries and my childhood possessions were a reflection of this. Nothing was built to last. I was in Switzerland, and that was my decision and somewhere on the garbage heap of time my school books were disintegrating. Perhaps a demolition worker read a few pages of what I left, but I do not think that the Pythagoras theorem would have been interesting, or the would have read my notes on various works of literature such as Shakespeare or Jane Austin. They were gone forever. I asked mum on a visit to London, before I met Mr. Swiss, whether I could take my old school books back with me to Switzerland. She looked quite shocked and eventually admitted they no longer exist. They left them in Norah Street when they moved on.

What could I say? It was my decision to move away from Bethnal Green, and quite honestly I would have gone anywhere at the time. My family is no more, and you cannot take anything with you when you go, but I would have liked to have kept my schoolbooks. This newspaper cutting that mum sent me is all I now have to evoke the memories of how it was. This was not my square but the top square, but they both looked the same.

The End of Norah Street

Daily Prompt: Evoking Memories of the past