Good Morning

A bit of a nip in the air today, but up to now no rain, although I think there might be a couple of drops later. As I am not going anywhere or have any plans, so no problem. The view is nice and clear towards the south. Mr. Swiss had his vaccination yesterday. Switzerland has now received material, enough to cover the golden oldies like myself. I will be having my jab on Monday afternoon and then we both wait for the second jab at the end of March. By coincidence we will be having it on the same day, although different times. You have to go when they call you up and cannot play with the time. I met one of my golden oldie neighbours yesterday and he said he will be going for his first jab next Friday, so things are moving along at last. We have the Pfizer vaccine which I believe originates in the States, although we are getting it via Germany. Mr. Swiss was feeling quite tired after a couple of hours and so he was off to an early night. He slept well and everything is now back to normal. He managed to get to the vaccine place and back with no difficulty with his scooter. However, he had forgotten to take his stick with him, which he needs for support when walking around. This was no problem, and the guy at the center fetched a wheelchair for him. He said he felt like a VIP as he was pushed around at leisure and brought to his scooter outside, in the wheelchair. Everyone was very helpful

This morning was a cat visiting day for their usual tasty bits. Roschti sits patiently outside waiting for his treats.

However this cat is getting more adventurous every day and enters the appartment in the morning. This morning she decided to explore the kitchen and jumped up on the surface where I have my meat slowly thawing out from the freezer. I ventured to give her an ear cribble and stroke over her head and she was quite happy, waiting for more. She took a stroll around and eventually took up her position outside for a few treats. I had 3 cats for 18 years and the last one left last year for her 10th life, so I love to see my visitors, although they actually own a couple of my neighbours.

Here is a photo of one of the storks that arrived last week from wherrver they go to in Winter I think ours are not so adventurous and are usually in Spain or North Africa, She might even be already sitting on an egg waiting for the first new arrival, We have a couple of these towers in the neighbourhood and I think they were originally for something electric, but no longer used, so the storks have taken them over. This one is just outside one of the high schools. It is apparently annoying when they make a nest on chimey stacks as removing the tons of material can be a problem in Winter.

The surrounding fields are quite bare at the moment, but it will not be long before the farmers begin to plant the crops and some life returns to the area. The trees are still quite bare, but there will probably be an explosion of new green leaves soon.

And I am now off to some housewife chores, just a little bit of tidying up. I was eating peanuts again in the living room yesterday evening whilst reading and they do tend to spread and multiply on the floor although my trusty Dyson vacuum cleaner will quickly remove them. Have a good day, may the sun shine somewhere, otherwise just be patient. Eventually it will appear. Even snow has its pretty moments.

I pass this house every time I wheel off along the road. It has such interesting trees in the garden.

Good Morning

This morning looks exactly like yesterday morning, so another pleasant day in my neck of the woods. I am really stressed for time this morning. The cleaning lady was here, I cleaned all my widows as I noticed during the Winter months a yellow layer had collected on them whieh was not so noticeable, espeially the kitchen from cooking and otherwise. They are now spotlessly clean at last. I just do not like dirty windows. Afterwarrds my online shopping arrived. This time it was a young lady chauffeur for a change and she told me she only started this week. She was very nice and did her job well.

I fully loaded the battery of my wheelchair during the night, so yesterday I was up and away to the local farm. It has been a long while and I was wondering if I would find any animals.

Of course I did and it seems the goose population as increased considerably. They had made themselves comfortable and greeted me with a chorus of goose noises. I discovered they are very loud creatures but some of them still managed to sleep.

I suppose if you have enough feathers to bury your head into, you do not hear the noise so much, although this one was still keeping an eye on things.

It was wonderful to get out into the fresh air again, although is some parts it did not smell so fresh. I do not know what type of muck the farmer was spreading, but it had quite a strong smell.

The alps were not showing themselves this time, so I just got the view of our village and in the background the hills of Kanton Bern.

And now I must go, dinner is cooking, I am a little late and have a few things to deal with. Even Mr. Swiss had to step in and help in the kitchen this morning. I had a few things to vacuum for the freezer and go down in the cellar. Have a good day everyone. Am not sure if I will be back, I should go into town this afternoon as I have a few things to get, and want to make the most of the good weather. Have a good day.

Good Morning

It was a misty morning, but then I saw the magpie singing his little/big heart out at the top of the tree and decided the sun was most probably on its way.

And a few minutes later it had fought its way through the clouds. Here I am now with my breakfast, the computer and some lovely classical music in the background. What more could one wish for. Even Mr. Swiss has already stopped hugging the bed. Spring really must be arriving slowly but surely. I have no great plans today, although pehaps I might venture into the wide world, although I should charge up the battery on my wheelchair. It must be at least 2-3 months since I last used it. I was using my scooter more, although not so often. I discovered that Winter is no season for going anywhere. When I gave up my car I thought I could nmanage through the Winter months to the store which is only one bus stop away, However the theory did not work and I gradually got into the routine of online food delivery. Although the snow is a disturbance, I did not realise how cold it can get. Anyhow I have survived and now to get ready for the outside life again.

I will also have to adapt my bread baking life. I usuall make the pastry in the morning and let it rise, to bake it mid afterrnoon which does nicely for the evening meal. However, when I want to resume my outdoor life again when the weather improves, I will not have the time. I have now discovered that you can make the pastry in the evening and put it in the fridge all night, which it will rise slowly and should be ready in the morning when I stop hugging the bed to bake, meaning that I will have frresh bread already in the morning. At least that is the theory that many web sites on the computer are telling me, and now I have to put it into practice.

This is my yesterday’s half white bread I baked to eat with our chilli. There was enough for my breakfast this morning. Does anyone have experience with bread pastry raising overnight in the fridge. I think it will work and it would really save me a lot of time.

My robin is still around, but likes to keep the distance. I notice that the birds are slowly adapting to the better weather and probably when Spring arrives they will no longer be visiting so much.

The blue tit still arrives to have a peck at the seed supply embedded in the coconut shell.

I had another TV evening yesterday beginning with a quiz programme on the BBC TV. Mr. Swiss got interested, but I found it rather stupid and wonder how it could really be classed as entertainment. I quite like the quizes when the questions are interesting and interlligence, but yesterday it was a matter of a framework full of coloured balls that would eventually fall when I silly question was answered and land in a place where you either win thousands (the green balls) or lose thousands (the red balls) and the people were clapping and cheering or moaning – if it was genuine and not play back. Eventually Mr. Swiss disappeared to the bed and I was left with the TV for myself. I was left with an Italian detective series with inspector Montalbano taking place in a fictitious town in Sicily. It was completely in Italian (with a little bit of Sicilian) with english subtitles. I found it really good, especially as it was a chance to freshen up my Italian (with a glance at the subtitles in between). Such is the life of an Angloswiss in isolation watching British TV in Switzerland.

And that was my daily excitement yesterday. I now have today’s chores to deal with, lunch to cook (no big deal – a veal stew) and perhaps a cake baking session this afternoon. So enjoy your Sunday with all the trimmings and may the Covid stay away.

Good Morning

I was outside looking for a few photo chances, but there was nothing new and then I saw this little finch (at least I think it is a finch) sitting on a tree opposite, so here he is. At the moment it is still very cold but I suddenly saw some isolated snow flakes which are slowly increasing, so perhaps it will become a snowy day.

This little sparrow even crept up to the window to see what I was doing in the kitchen.

This little guy also arrived at the window. I opened it to give him a few tit bits and that was an invitation to enter so here he is sitting inside waiting for some attention.

The robin also put in an appearance, but did not stay long. It was just making an examination of the food situation.

And this blackbird arrived yesterday. At the moment I seem to be getting quite a selection of bird wildlife. It is so cold and they are sure of some food.

I will be spending another day at home today. Sometimes I like to go into town on Saturday afternoon, but it is just too cold at the moment. I will be busy composing my shopping list for the next online delivery on Tuesday. My computer expert arrived yesterday and took my computer with him. I hardly recognised him as he was masked. He said he has to be careful as his job is mainly in visiting others with their computer problems.

I was again watching the cooking programme from France yesterday, the last one in the series. Now I have to apply my new found knowledge on cooking for the family. It seems to me that the French love to smother their food in plenty of garlic, pepper from the mill and of course a touch of this and that. I am also a lover of garlic, but usually crush it with my garlic press. It seems the professional cooks do it with a forceful punch from the hand. I am not sure if I can do that so well.

After my many bread baking sessions I have noticed that I should really get around to cleaning my oven. You have to bake the bread at such a high temperature that it does seem to leave its marks on the oven.

And now time to go as I like to get an earlier start on Saturday. Have a good day everyone, and enjoy the week-end. See you later.

Good Morning

Really nothing special compared to yesterday’s wonderful sunrise. The clouds have returned although luckily the rain has not returned although I do not plan on any expeditions into the unknown today. My week-end groceries will be delivered this morning. I have already received the confirmation of what is arriving and it is complete, so what could be better. When I think of the days when I had to go myself in the afternoon choosing and picking and spending time. Having to do your shopping with a walker is not very efficient and takes time. Now it is brought to my door and sometimes into the appartment entrance and it is all with no extra costs involved. Into the bargain I am also avoiding contact with too many people which is important in our pandemic ridden days.

Switzerland really seems to be a small forgotten corner in this Covid infected world.Our vaccination material is in short supply but it has been confirmed that in summer everyone will get their jabs, so let us wait and see.

I passed my time yesterday with baking yet another bread. This time with semi white flour which is Mr. Swiss favourite, although I prefer brown flour. Now there is a bread baking pause until next Monday as we do not need so much bread through the week-end and I always order a ready prepared Platt bread that I can finish baking myself. It only needs 10 minutes in the oven. I am quite proud of the progress I have made with my bread baking. It really does not need a lot of time to make the pastry in my super kitchen mixer and the rest is just waiting until it has risen. The appartment even smells like a bakers in the morning.

The sparrows are still appearing at the laid table outside, but there are not so many at the moment. They probably feel that Spring is now just around the corner. Our weather is no longer as cold as it was. My birds do seem to have got a little rounder and fatter during the Winter.

It is mainly the sparrows that arrive, but now and again a blue tit will appear, keeping the distance from the others. The tits mainly only eat from the bird house.

I was updating my Apple computer this morning with a new programme. Luckily I have two computers so have been working on my windows machine. They are both in good working order so there is no problem, but in the meanwhile my Mac is finished with the new version. Our computer guy says he does not often have people that work on both types of computer. I have got used to both of them and have no problem with either.

And now it is time to move on, a little bit of cleaning, a little bit of cooking and a lot of ironing from yesterdays bed linen wash, but what else can I do all day. Have a good day everybody.

I thought I would bring a little music into the day after watching a film on the BBC TV centered in a senior home for retired opera singers and musicians. The quartett from Rigoletto featured as one of the main arias which refreshed my memory of my teenage years of listening to operas and also visiting an opera in my London years, mainly Sadlers Wells theatre. So here it is, my apologies to the non opera fans.

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.

Good Morning

There is not a lot to say about this morning’s weather except that it is snowing and really snowing. Not just that it has been and gone, but it is still here. I waded out in it to feed the birds and although they remained silent I am sure they were pleased as they afterwards made the most of the feast. I suppose it is a typical Swiss Winter this year, but we have not had such a typical one since a few years. Again I am glad that I am at home sitting in my nice comfortable kitchen with my breakfast.

I am so glad that I do not have to go out in this weather on a hunt for food. My weekly rations will be delivered today some time in the afternoon. It seems the afternoon is a better choice for Monday as the deliveries to the supermarket have been completed and I have a better chance of getting everything I ordered. At the moment, due to my careful logistical planning, I am very well equipped with everything: meat and veg and all the necessary accompaniments. I have enough freshly frozen bread, although today I will probably bake a loaf to have with the evening meal.

Talking about food, I listen to quite a lot of radio, watch TV in the evening and notice that most of the adverts for food are now including the best vegan choices. Are we no longer eating meat? Is it now bad to eat meat. Admittedly I also love the chickens and the cows, even pigs, but since mankind began to exist we were carnivores. We ate would we could find, whether animal or vegetable. We had to survive. Today food has become perhaps more luxury, We can choose what we want to eat. and I choose to eat meat. I was watching one of those David Attenborough films yesterday and one of the scenes was showing a colony of birds living from fish in the sea. They were nesting and then the sea eagles arrived looking for food for their chicks and the smaller birds were the ideal victims. It showed how nature works. It is a vicious circle for survival, but they do not decide to pick and choose, they eat what they find and the balance of nature is maintained, something that we humans seem to have forgotten, I respect anyone that deicides to live vegan, but it does not impress me. I am now in a position where we would have nothing to eat if I was living without assistance from my online food deliveries. I could not go out with my scooter or wheelchair in the ice and snow and cold. I count myself lucky to be able to order my food to no extra cost, but I am certainly not being fussy about it. I am glad for anything that arrives on my table. I am sure many would not agree, but I am now too old and fixed in my ways to change my way of life.

Yesterday I noticed a bigger bird was hanging around. At first I saw him in a tree and then he joined the sparrows on the ground for a feed, I was not so sure what it was, so took a few photos. I then realised that it was a starling. Now and again, about once a year, they arrive in our area, often in large flocks. I remember one year there were about 20 of them in my garden. Now we have a few, but perhaps they are the reconnaissance for the rest. They are indeed an attrractive bird.

I am now off to do some housework. There is a cool breeze coming through the open window, so about time I warmed up. Have a good day, and may the weather be with you. It is not really with me at the moment, but I am not going anywhere and my lunch is slowly thawing.

In the meanwhile the sun arrived in my front garden.

FOWC with Fandango: Epitome

Every day there are more of them. At first there were only a few, but they are increasing in numbers. They are communicating with each other, planning to take over. We humans are isolated, staying indoors, frightened of the unseen threat from outside and the birds are taking advantage of it. They are arriving in flocks, descending together: just sitting there and watching. They even chirp together and suddenly there is silence. You could hear a seed drop. It is as if a command has been issued. Even the silence is deafening. And now the crows are approaching.

FOWC with Fandango: Epitome

Good Morning

Nothing new this morning, except that I was almost convinced it was Monday. With relief I soon discovered that it was actually Sunday, whereas it makes no big difference. The end year holidays are over and we can perhaps return to living a normal life again, although for us golden oldies one day follows the other, so you have to make something of it yourself.

I do not have to go anywhere or deal with anything. My shopping is ordered for Monday morning, although I was a little bothered. I have coupons in value of 70 Swiss francs to deduct from my payment and could not find them on my app. I have been searching for a few days and this morning I found them. The app version of my store had moved them to another place. Breathing a sign of relief I also discovered the coupons for extra points on various articles. What an exciting life I lead, but it has become a hobby.

I had my usual feline visitor yesterday waiting for the cat goodies and naturally he got them. How can you resist. Roschti is now 18 years old and I have watched him grow up in our area. His original cat person moved away and took him with her. However, she had only moved to the near by town and he was escaping regularly to his old haunts. Eventually another neighbour of mine decided to adopt him and he has been here since. He used to be quite a wild one, but is now much tamer with age and even makes friendly signs when he sees me like contact as he walks past.

He is not the only feline in the neighbourhood as this one is also appearing now and again.She is not so much into feline tit bits, but prefers to perch on the edge of my garden to keep an eye on the bird movements. She owns another neighbour along the path and can be quite inquisitive. Roschti will never enter my home, but this one often takes a walk around to satisfy her curiosity.

The snow has now almost disappeared again, but I am expecting more next week. However our temperatures only freeze during the night at the moment and during the day it is not so bad.

I had one of those annoying computer problems yesterday. I had a few photos to process on my Acer computer and discovered that my mouse reaction was not so good I changed the mouse battery but the problem remained. I had to press twice as much to get my connection. After further investigation I discovered that the computer had no problem and it was really the mouse. There is nothing more annoying when your system does not function. However, I have a few old mice laying around, the problem being that the little connecting bits had disappeared. I found a decent mouse and even the little connecting piece from an old Lenovo computer which we no longer used. I fitted it up on my computer and voila, it worked so my evening was saved. Mr. Swiss and I then decided that it would be a good idea to purchase a new mouse just as a stand by to be sure: another online order with my supplier. I am already waiting for my bread baking tin and vacuum sealer rolls which I ordered.

I found this interesting gadget in my cellar last week. I realised it was something to use in the kitchen. You can mix your cooking ingredients with it without electricity. It is especially useful if you want to make your own mayonnaise because there is a very small hole at the top. Whilst you are beating the eggs you can add the oil slowly into the mixture and your mayonnaise is made. Just make sure that everything is room temperature. I have made mayonnaise myself, but that was some years ago, so it looks like I might do it again. I have a thing about food. I am not such a fan of ready made goods, although of course I buy them. I just prefer to know what I am eating and what it contains. Now, in my later years I have the time to discover the food world again. I have already found a recipe for garlic mayonnaise using fresh eggs and I remember in my earlier days I often made mayonnaise including lemon juice. Anyhow, after years of neglect of this gadget in my cellar, I put it in the dishwasher yesterday and now it is ready to be used.

Yesterday I watched yet again a Jurassic Park film. How many have they made? According to No. 1 son this was the second film. Once again homo sapiens fled from the monsters. Eventually they had to return a dinosaur and its baby to the island. The last scene in the film was a peaceful island with the dinos all left to themselves grazing amongst the plants and eating each other now and again. According to the film it was not the climate that killed them off, it seems they just ate each other and the dino population was thus decimated.

I am now off to complete the remaining chores of the morning, although it will be a leisurely thing, no rush. Have a good Sunday everyone and remember, Mr. Covid does not have a Sunday, he works every day unfortunately.

Good Morning

I was expecting it, but am not very happy about it. During the night I had a quick look outside and noticed it was raining and this morning the rain had changed to snow. However I can already see that it has begun to melt a little and the roads are clear How it will be by this afternoon when I was really planning to go to the store to get a few items I do not know. Basically I have enough to survive the week for lunch but my cold cuts are not so much. That is something I cannot freeze. I will have to wait and see in the afternoon. At 3.30 early in the morning I was awake and finished my online order to be delivered from the supermarket. I had a look yesterday and saw there were free slots from Monday to Wednesday. This morning Monday was already fully booked so I organised my delivery for Wednesday morning before the complete week is occupied. If I am really snowed in all week, No. 1 son an always get a few necessities. I also noticed my Vitamin D drops are slowly going to an end, and that is something I have to get in town. I have decided to avoid town this week, but No. 1 son always enjoys an excuse to go to town, although all the restaurants are now closed. Due to Mr. Covid, only stores with food are open as well as chemists for medicine. The grass is now appearing again outside, meaning that the snow might be gone by this afternoon. All I need is just an hour escape time.

The sparrows were quick out in the garden for breakfast. I notice they are now eating a lot more since the weather has got colder.

I was watching an interesting programme on the TV yesterday. It is called country file, and was actually more flash backs, but one of the sequences showed a professional animal photographer giving a few tips on how to take closeups of animal life with the mobile phone camera. He said to take binoculars, focus on the subject for a closer look and then put the camera to the viewer on the binocular. You have now converted your telephone camera to a zoom camera. I tried it this morning, but it did not work for me. There must be a trick I am missing somewhere. Of course I have my Nikon camera, but when I take photos with the mobile phone I can upload them immediately and do not have to wait.

In the meanwhile I have to go out in the snow and cold to get a nice close up. I am now sitting in the warmer kitchen and noticed that it is snowing again, although more similar to rain which I am hoping for.

I should now be off for the daily trek through the apartment. Look after yourselves, stay safe. See you around.