Good Morning

At last a nice blue sky in the morning and the sun shining its way through the trees. It is really time, all we have had is dull days and rain last week. There is even the sign of a plane winging its way across the sky and even a bird. Life looks more promising now, and we even have rising temperatures.

I was again at home yesteday, but it did not bother me. I have a bit of a spring cleaning mood at the moment and cleaned out a small cupboard in the kitchen. I think we all have them, the cupboards full of junk what we really do not need forming an organised chaos. Actually it was not as bad as I thought, just a matter of system. Mr. Swiss decided to help, in case he found something useful. After a few minutes I told him to go and read a book. His idea was to throw away anything and everything, mine was more organisation. I am now quite pleased with my effort and cannot resist taking a quick look now and again to admire the new order. I even decided to clean out my oven yesterday evening. Baking bread on the high temperatures it needs tends to make it necessary, but now that is also done.

The birds have now gone and they no longer come to my garden. However, I am left with the natural meadow opposite my garden. It is left to grow in spring and not allowed to be mowed down until June. the idea is to let the flowers seed for next year’s meadow. It is eventually cut down and the farmers use it for hay for the animal feed during the Winter. There is such a wonderful mixture of flowers.

There is a wonderful mixture of daisies and flowers in all colours as well as various grasses. Now the sun is shining again and the rain as disappeared we can really appreciate it.

I so not think I will venture to the great outside today. It is so comfortable at home. I decided to plant some basil seeds. I got myself a small pot, but the are not doing to so well, so decided to plant it myself. Basil is a useful herb for various dishes in the kitchen. It goes well with tomatoes and also as a complement to pizza toppings.

As it is Saturday I am also busy with my orchids. I always give them a good soaking with some fertiliser for half an hour. Afterwards I put them outside and it serves them well for a week. They are all in flower as they are my new orchids. I hope to be able to keep them for a few years. I have another four from last year which have produced a couple of new shoots, so I am hoping they will also flower again this year.

And now it is time to concentrate on week-end routines, although I am free to do what I want. I have a few dishes planned. I find cooking sometimes like a music piece with a composition, interlude and grand finale when it arrives on the table. At the moment I am in the planning stage whilst taking a walk with my vacuum cleaner and visiting the shower.

Have a good week-end everyone, may it be a nice sunny one.

Good Morning

Yesterday was really a wet day, rain from morning to evening. Some time during the night it stopped. I had already prepared myself for the dismal day and had no reason to go anywhere. There was also a very strong wind blowing. Today should be better. I even saw some blue sky poking through, although there are still some remainders of rain hanging around. The weather forecast tells us that the week-end will be better and Sunday we will have temperatures of 20° which is almost a heat wave.

I even got a visit from two chickadees. I think they were searching for more shelter from the rain than food. They were perched on my bird house and looked quite wet and bedraggled.

The magpies are also still hovering around, but I only see them if they find something to eat. I was lucky to take this picture as they pounce quite quickly.

I am so pleased now with my fridge and freezer in the kitchen. The guy that made me an offer for a new one called to ask my opinion. I told him that I was would now wait a while as everything is now working OK and his offer did not meant my expectations. It was very expensive and not my choice of product. He said at the moment it was very difficult to find a fridge. He could not give me a good reason, but it could be something to do with the covid pandemic. In any case I have saved myself some money for the time being. I was also having a problem with my Dyson vacuum cleaner as the motor kept cutting off. However, I even managed to cure that myself. It was running on low capacity as I had probably pressed a wrong button. Now it is perfect again, so more money saved. The next problem was a clogged drain in the kitchen sink. I also cured that myself by a strong gush of water from the faucet and now everything seems to be more or less back to normal.

It was time for backing bread yesterday. This is the dough before I put it in the oven for the final baking process. It had already been rising in a warm place and I had worked on it afterwards.

This was the final product after being baked in the oven.

Yesterday was an evening of cooking programmes on the TV. First of all the “hairy bikers” were on the TV. They are two guys that are motor bike riders touring around Europe (the also did Route 66 in the States) visiting various towns and picking up food recipes in various restaurants. Yesterday they were on the Spanish coast. Afterwards Rick Stein, a British star cook and restaurant owner, had an hours programme. He was in France eating in various restaurants and showing how to cook various recipes. It seemed to me he just eat his way through the programme and Mr. Swiss and I got quite hungry just watching. Afterwards there followed another half an hour of a cooking programme “Great Biritish Menu”. I then decided it was time to read. You can have a little too much of cooking sometimes.

And I should now be on my way. I have a few things to organise and do not really want to greet the delivery man from my supermarket in my night dress, although I must say it is a respectable night dress. Have a good Friday, enjoy the day and remember, the week-end is just around the corner,,

Good Morning

Another dull and cold morning, no sun up to now although it might break through. Our temperatures are also not so perfect, below 10°C which is not exactly Spring weather. However whilst there is a computer you can always find something to do. At the moment I am having a gradual Spring clean, although nothing too adventurous. It began with defosting my freezer and fridge in the kitchen and deciding to throw away various food remainders in jars and bottles which had not been touched for a few years. I suppose it happens to all of us. You get used to seeing the same things in the fridge, they almost become family friends. One day you realise you do not need them, someone gave them to you or they were a free sample, so out with the old and definitely not in with the new. Life changes over the years and your requirements today have also changed. The next project is to tidy a few drawers in the kitchen. One has a mixture of string, paper rolls, tooth picks and various gadgets such as bottle and wine bottle openers, not to forget the many wooden tooth picks which like to line the bottom of the drawer.

Otherwise I escaped to town yesterday. Although our street cafés are now serving outside this café is still completely closed as it is being renovated. Since the pandemic with the hairy peas floating in the air, many businesses are closed and are taking the opportunity to renew. This particular café was usually a hive of movement during the normal days. Now it is closed although the chairs and tables have again been replaced outside, and due to the improvement of our covid cases, it might be opening soon. The café next to it is still completely closed but work is progressing also there. Our largest supermarket had a hotel next to it, but the hotel owners have now closed it. They were there many years but due to age no longer. That is a large building with many rooms which are now being converted in apartments. It is a bit of an obstruction with the renovation work, but one day that will be finished and things will be back to normal.

Mr. Swiss was low on supplies of his expensive, gold plated cigarettes.They have really become expensive through the years which was the main reason I gave up 25 years ago. He tried now and again, but eventually found that he could not manage without. I suppose at the age of 82 years and still thriving, except for back problems, you no longer bother. And so either myself or my son become cigarette messengers now and again. There is only one store selling them at a reasonable price so I took the opportunity to do some grocery shopping in my supermarket which is in the same place. Once a week I like to take advantage of the special offers and get some meat at the butchers counter instead of the ready packed selection.

I moved on passing part of our old town fortress protection on the way. I must say everything looked so fresh and clean in the sunlight with the clouds as a background. However, I was glad to be back in my scooter on the way home. It was very windy and not so warm. I had dressed warmly with my padded winter jacket and I really needed it. The sun was just an ornamentation.

I will now probably be remaining at home for the next few days, although Sunday is again warm weather so I might venture out on an excursion. Although I live in a wonderful picturesque village out in the country, there is not very much action here. My main work is gathering herbs from my raised bed in the garden for my cooking pastime.

And now to move on with some housewife hobbies like tidying up the apartment. Luckily Mr. Swiss has the chore of making the beds in the morning, so that little pastime is not on my list.

I wish everyone a good restful day. Make the most of the chores and work that confronts you during the day.

I leave you with a view towards south from our estate as I was wheeling home on the last stretch yesterday from town.

Good Morning

A bit of this and that this morning. Difficult to say if the sun might arrive, or it will stay cloudy and perhaps more rain. It was damp outside this morning as it had rained a little during the night. For those that might have noticed there was no good morning yesterday, but various things cropped up. I had a problem with my freezer in the kitchen. It is in my fridge combination and I use it for stuff I need in the kitchen. I have a large chest freezer in the cellar for the big stuff. As I pulled out the top drawer the freezing element lost contact with its holder and I could not fix it again. The freezer was functioning, but it really needed defrosting first of all. It was also cleaning lady day, and I had so much to organise, that my computer had to take the back row. I also got had a delivery from the supermarket to sort etc. etc.I had a defrosting freezer and a couple of meat supplies to vaccum and freeze and everything got a little too much.

However, Lucia the cleaning lady to the rescue. She is so practical, took a look at the freezer and realised the problem immediately. It was almost finished defrosting, she cleared away the ice and water and had a look. Discovered that the holders of the top freezing element had lost contact and fixed it for me with the help of a piece of wood and now it is working perfectly. In between she cleaned my shower and bathroom. This lady is really a pearl and a good support. She has also had an interesting life, from Columbia to Switzerland, and has written a book of her life. It is in German, but there might be an english version. It has not yet been published.

In the meanwhile we thought about buying a new fridge and freezer combination for the kitchen. I contacted the guy which has organised a few things for our kitchen (diswasher, oven and microwave). I got an offer yesterday, but was not very happy with it. I am wondering if it is a gold plated version judging by the cost, so have decided to wait a while as long as what I have is functioning OK. I had a look around in internet and found a few less expensive versions so will take my time.

Look who arrived again yesterday. I have to be so quick to get a photo. Here he was preparing to fly off after grabbing the choice of the day. He leaves the walnuts to the crows I think. The have bigger beaks and know how to crack them open.

As I no longer have bird visitors due to no further food supplies, the insects are slowly taking over in my photo choice. the bees are slowly occupying my insect hotel and squeeze their plump little bodies inside. As you can see after they move in they block the entrance and live in self chosen isolation. Apparently they are searching for a comfortable nesting place so perhaps I will be getting baby bees eventually.

I had another visitor and discovered the neighbour’s cat Roschti who had made himself comfortable on one of the outside chairs on the porch for a slelep. He is no problem and now and again I give him a supplement to his diet.

And that was my adventurous day. Mr. Swiss had to pay a visit to the dentist in the afternoon and I stayed at home. If the weather improves today I might venture out later. at the moment it is quite cold. It all depends on the rain staying away.

Have a good day everyone, take care and may the dreaded covid stay away. Glad to say that the cases in our country have decreased somewhat and we are now approaching the amount of 20% of the population that have been vaccinated.

Good Morning

A misty morning, but no surprise after all that rain we had. There is a damp air, although in the meanwhile the sun is poking through. I also found it quite cooled down yesterday and our weather prophets have even said there will be snowfall on the higher slopes of the local mountains this week, but so far it does not look so bad. I am not sure what I am doing this week. I stay at home today and usually go into town on Tuesday afternoon since Winter has left us. I might postpone Tuesday afternoon to another time if the weather is not scooter or wheelchair friendly.

These birds visited over the week-end and this morning there has not been one single flying visitor. There is no food left and so they have moved on and busy on a worm search I suppose.

So what did I do yesterday. Not very much. Just sat around with my computer and camera taking views of the remaining birds from the Window.

As you can see there is a good view of the bird house and my herb bed with a few bits and pieces from the kitchen window. The wheelchair is useful for sitting on and roaming around in the garden for both me and Mr. Swiss, but it is one you have to push around yourself with the wheels, or have someone to push you. We have now ordered new chairs for outside as after 20 years in the cold and damp they have begun to be a little shaky and no longer so stable. In the summer months I am generally more outside than inside.

And that is all I have to say this morning. I am now on my way with some housewife chores and the trimmings. Stay safe and have a good week.

Good Morning

And another damp day dawns, although who cares about the rain. I am not going anywhere and have no special chores to deal with. Actually it would be time again to clean the oven. I am thinking about it, but the actions have not yet arrived.

Bird life continues at the feeding stations, although there is nothing very much left, but they stay adament to the last crumb of nuts. There is quite a crush at the food pods, and there is always one bird waiting for a space. I really do not have anything left for them and they are now on their own. I could order another packet. It only contains three pods, but they devour that within a week. Yesterday I planted some daffodil bulbs in my garden as they were in a bowl that had finished flowering and discovered two nice fleshy worms in the garden bed, so I do not think they will die a hunger death if they bother to dig aroiund.

As I do not go anywhere I will probably not have so many photos to show in future.

I had the usual boring day yesterday: a little TV which had nothing worth watching. They seem to show the same films all the time. I was busy composing a new order for the weekly groceries online. Otherwise a little bit of reading and emptying the washing machine and hanging the wash. In the meanwhile son No. 2 is on the phone so we are busy catching up on the news from Schaffhausen. I am glad to say that all is well. My son has had his Covid jab, and the daughter-in-law gets hers next week.

Keep safe everyone, have a good Sunday.

Good Morning

Nothing special today, just some grey clouds hovering above. Yesterday was a rainy day, but no big problem. It was a light rain and did the garden good, at last giving it a soaking that it needed. Did you know that today is May Day? Of course you do, it is on the calendar. Mr. Swiss told me that the Brits were having a so-called Bank holiday this week-end inclusive Monday. They always call them bank holidays. I think it is from the old days when the banks rarely closed for a holiday and when they did it was a special day.

What I am actually saying is that this golden oldie had no idea and was surprised at the British Bank holiday for no apparent reason. Even in Switzerland we are closed down on the 1st May. I should have been busy buying groceries for the days when the stores are closed, but I was not. It was just a normal day for me until my No. 1 son informed me yesterday that today the shops would be closed. Him being autistic this disturbed his usual Saturday routine of going into town. And I had no idea. My only thought these days is whether to break out of my self imposed isolation or not. I had already got my grocery delivery online and planned week-end food. In my earlier housewife days everything would have been planned for the week-end when the stores were closed. My new way of shut-down golden oldie life has changed all this. I have enough food to exist on at home for a few weeks if necessary and so I had forgotten that we get extra holidays in between.

My birds were too busy feeding to notice that in the human world there was something completely different.

We now have a Saturday where all the stores are closed and I did not even get worried or excited about it. I really am now leading a stressless life compared to the past. Yesterday I finished my book, Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw, where the heroine eventually gets married to her vampire: the world is saved and everyone lives happily ever after. It was all centered around heaven and hell and the problems they had. It was quite an amusing book and the last in a trilogy. In the meanwhile I have discovered that another book series I like to read about The Secret Library written by Genevieve Cogman has a new arrival “The Dark Archive”. I have read them all up to now so have now uploaded this one onto my Kindle. I just love a bit of mystery mixed with fantasy, although I just read a critic of this book that it is not the best up to now.

I did mention yesterday that my orchids had arrived by DHL. They were very well packed and are now sitting outside on the table on the porch. In the background you can see the remainders of last year which look quite promising with a new new sprouts on the stalks. My Summer is now prepared.

I have also decided it is time for a new vacuum cleaner. I am a Dyson fan but the Dyson I have is no longer working so well. They have had a new model for some time. The older models only had power for 20 minutes after charging them, but the new model is OK for an hour and has a few other gimmicks, although honestly speaking who vaccums for an hour? As Mr. Swiss and I always split the costs between us for new household goods, this would be no luxury.

It looks like a stressless quiet day today, although perhaps a little dull and damp for those that were planning on an excursion somewhere on Mayday. Have a good week-end everyone, enjoy the holiday. I will even if I did not realise it would be a holiday.

Good Morning

Another cloudy morning. Rain perhaps, but I do not think so. Yesterday we also got no rain although other parts of Switzerland did. It was still a pleasant day, even with some sun in between and I think today will be the same. I was again at home taking it easy. There are some days when I do not really want to go anywhere. Covid seems to have changed my daily routine and given me food for thought. We were all more or less told to isolate. At the beginning I was still going shopping for the family: online ordering got to be a habit with so many people that you got no delivery slots and had to wait at least two weeks for a delivery. People began to get a little hysterical. Toilet paper shelves were empty in the stores, as well as the freezers with the frozen food. It was one big mass panic. I was watching this as an observer and shocked by the conditions in the stores and the behaviour of the general public. We were being permanently assured that there was enough food and supplies for everyone and this was not necessary. It was also the time when I gave up driving a car and was now travelling by electric wheelchair, later by scooter. This was no great problem as it was summer.

Winter arrived, but in the meanwhile people had adapted to the new state of affairs. There were delivery slots available again and my store organised a new system of grocery delivery for a selected few (and I was one of them). I was invited to participate and I did, one of the best decisions I had made. I could avoid the cold and snowly weather of Winter. This system has now been expanded and I slowly adapted and am now ordering twice a week. I also organised a large freezer chest and began to store groceries. I am lucky enough to have a laundry room in the basement with enough space and a permently cool temperature. For the first time in my life I can now please myself if I go places or not, it is a matter of choice I quite enjoy my new life of isolation and the feeling no longer to be under pressure with my daily chores. I am now a golden oldie and it is time to let the others stress around. It never actually bothered me so much when I was younger, but now it is time to take it easy in the remaining days that I have.

So what do i do all day. I have a wonderful window seat for the outdoor life of the birds and armed with my camera take photos of their antics when collecting the food supplies I leave outside. However the food supplies are now slowly finishing as our stores do not supply bird food during the summer months. Quite rightly actually, nature provides enough for them to eat during the summer, although I will miss them.

This morning I will be getting another delivery of groceries which will complete my needs for the weekend. I am also expecting a DHL delivery of three orchids I have order from a company. They were ordered the day before yesterday and I got notification that they will arrive today. The company where I ordered them have been in existence for many years in Switzerland with plants and have now specialised in orchids, so I am hoping they will be a good quality.

Time to move on. I have a few things to deal with this morning and want to be ready when my grocery delivery arrives. Tomorow is already the beginning to the week-end. Time really flies, another week older. Enjoy the day.

Good Morning

We are back to the boring cloud cast days. It rained during the night and now the rain is still hanging around waiting to pounce again. It does not bother me so much. It is time that the garden got wet again, although I spray it every morning, but now things are beginning to grow and I am using my herb bed regularly.

Now and again I get a fresh pot of something that I need.I got some parsley in the store as I like to garnish some vegetables with it, especially carrots which give it a more intensive taste and of course boiled potatoes, especially if I serve them with fish. You can also see some sage here and chives and at the corner, still quite small, is a bed of origano, not to mention the thyme on the left front.

At the other end of the bed I have two sorts of rosemary, one variety flowering at the moment. In between I have some basil and savoury which I like to use when the fresh beans are in season. It is quite an adventure for me when I am cooking to see what would be ready to use. It makes it easier for me to cut the herbs as they are all growing in one of my raised beds.

I replenished the bird food with two hanging pods from the store and this is such a hit that they devoured more than the half in one day. Today there is a remainder still hanging and I have now decided enough it enough. At this rate they will cost me a fortune in food and summer is not bird feeding time. I just cannot resist taking photos of their action flights, but enough is enough. It is really time for them to begin to dig for worms and other fleshy insects. The vegetarian days of seeds are now finished.

I decided it was also time to get a few new orchids. They grow exceptionally well in summer outside and I lost a few during the Winter. I noticed a site on Facebook in Switzerland that sell orchids at a reasonable price. They have an offer of three orchids together for a good price and I decided to order yesterday. It is a long established company and there were a few good critics from customers on their web site. The orchids are delivered by DHL so they should arrive in good condition. I had such success last year with my orchids and all of them re-flowered, some for the second time. I still have 3 orchids which are producing new stems. Last year they spent the Winter in my spare room that I use as an office, but next Winter I will keep them in the living room opposite the large window.

Today is again the day of fresh bed linen etc. so I was busy already this morning stripping the beds to let them air out. I have already covered the duvet and cushions with fresh covers and the rest will follow later.

I will now move on to completing the bed revival and other daily chores. There will also be a spaghetti meal to cook for lunch. Keep well everyone, and keep safe. Do not forget, our blogs rely on us to be written.

Good Morning

As I am writing the sun appears. It was a little reluctant this morning and I am not sure if it will stay, so let us hope for the best. I am not planning on any excursions today and will be isolating again. Yesterday I was in town, mainly hunting for a few groceries. Although I have nearly all delivered, I still like to wander around the supermarket. They often have special offers I do not get and I can socialise a little more. Just sitting at home can bear a little on the mind. I had a bit of a pickle with the polenta delivered from the store. They did not have the one I ordered so sent me a substitute.That is no big problem, but my substitute was half the weight and the quality was too fine for my taste. It was also an “Aha” type which is for those with the digestive problems, or those that think they have them. I wrote and complained and was delighted to receive a very nice answer full of apologies and they would make sure in future that the people sorting the substitutes would be more careful. They even said they were deducting the price from my bill and I could keep the substitute. I could give it to someone if I could not use it. I found that very fair. It was a good excursion, meeting a colleague and having a short conversation in the store. Afterwards I met a couple I know on the way home. Since my Winter isolation I had missed having a few social contacts (not too close of course). It was good to talk again. At home Mr. Swiss likes to read and conversation only seems to revolve around food or I have a little conversation with the neighbour’s cat although he is not such a talkative type.

Roschti the neighbour’s cat prefers to observe from a distance.

The birds seem to have been waiting for the food collection to be replenished.

Otherwise there was not very much action yesterday. I decided to pep up the cold meats in the evening with a caprese salad. I think that it what it is called in english: tomatoes, basil and mozarella.

It was quite a plate full but Mr. Swiss and I managed the half and my No. 1 son enjoyed the other half. I had bought two pots of basil from the store and decided it was time that I used it. I quite like basil with Italian dishes and am planning on a margherita pizza: not what I would say a family favourite, but one of my favourites.

They have activated the fountains on one of the squares on the edge of the town. Many years ago, when I arrived here, there was a fountain with a few sculptures. Afterwards they built the car park beneath the square and decided to make a new design and removed the old fountain. I never really liked it, a bit boring and dull. after 40 years it seems that it will be renewed with something else.

And I am now off for the usual chores, a relaxed day today actually. Have a good one, keep your distance, wear your mask and open the windows. You know all about it. Actually the Brits added the bit about letting the fresh air circulate. To my past experience in the denizens of East London, it was not advisable to open windows – too many fumes from the passing traffic. A wonder that the covid hairy pins survived in the exhaust fumes.