Good Morning

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A grey morning and quite cool, but it can only get better. It is not raining and the birds are slowly beginning their dawn chorus. Today is for me the day before the first day of Spring, although there are other strange calculations pertaining to being astronomical etc. On the bedside table I have my iPhone, and two iPads. Each one has an alarm for 7.30 tuned to bird song, and with the genuine bird song outside which begins an hour earlier, I have quite a chorus to wake me.

I decided to organise a new iPad with the top byte amount, 256, as I was getting cramped on my older iPad for space. My older iPad did not have so much, only 64 bytes and it seemed to be giving up the ghost. The cover on my older iPad was also kaput. In the meanwhile I discovered I could buy a cover replacement for iPad No. 1 and now it is performing as good as ever, although Mr. Swiss says definitely not because of a new cover. I do not really care, I now have two functioning iPads and an older iPad, a smaller  version, which seems to lose the thread now and again. I also have my Kindle. I sometimes wonder if I might be overdoing it a little bit, but I am a cyber golden oldie. Of course I do not sit on my computer all day, I have a real life to lead. However, having all this auxilliary stuff is quite handy. I can operate from the bed before rising on my iPads, acknowledging comments on my blogs and discovering what has been happening whilst I was sleeping.

I am now in the real world at the breakfast table on a normal computer. Writing a blog on an iPad is a little too tedious. My fingers need a king sized keyboard for that. In the morning I use the microsoft computer, but in the afternoon prefer the Apple computer. In the evening I usually do photo work and then return to the microsoft. Yes, online life is exciting and interesting.

I finished my my book, The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovich, the latest in the Peter Grant police series, with the usual gang and its touch of the supernatural in the Rivers of London series. I have read all six books and a seventh is on its way, but I am not so sure about the last book. It was OK, but not what I would call nail biting suspense. Being a Londoner I am acquainted with all the places of action, which make it interesting for me. I already have a new uploaded book ready for my next reading  “Extracted” the first book in a trilogy by RR Haywood who is an Amazon author and had written a few zombie horror books, a best seller being “The Undead”. Anyhow something completely different, and I try anything. It was a special offer with cheap price, so nothing to lose.

Today is shopping day, so I will have to arm myself with my list, my camera (for photos on the way to the supermarket) and my purse. I know it will be a pasta day today, as we had potato yesterday, and I do like variation in my diat. I also want to repot my Chrismas cactus (Schlumbergia) as it is looking good but needs more room to develop some flowers, so I will have to buy a new pot.

Time to go, a cyber golden oldie life is a life packed with assignments to complete so I cannot waste time.

Enjoy the beginning to the week, who knows what surprises may be waiting for you.

The chief crow is already enjoying his breakfast.

Crow 18.03 (4)

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Flower of the Day: 17.03.2017 Christrose

Christrose 15.03 (2)

This is my very own Christrose that is now flowering in my garden. I was so pleased and surprised. Last year I noticed I had one. I remember planting one and last year it appeared. This year there was no trace, as they usually begin to flower at the end of December, beginning January. I have many Lent roses, which are the same, but pink (Helleborus). This week I saw that my Christrose had returned and this flower was the first, standing upright waiting for a photo. When I looked closer I saw that the plant is full of buds, so I am anticipating the remainder.

Flower of the Day: 17.03.2017 Christrose

Daily Prompt: Hideout? What’s that?

Computer

First of all you need something to hide from. Mr. Swiss? But after 48 years of marriage there is nothing left to hide.

Computer timeHe has his little corner of the computer world in our home and I have mine. His corner is a corridor away, so what could  possibly go wrong. I leave him to his devices and he lets me get on with mine. There are times when the sun is shining and the birds are singing and I realise there is another world out there, and so I may take a walk. He remains in his hideout, or might read a book. That’s the life of a golden oldie couple. We do not hide, we just do our own thing.

If we really need human contact we can talk to each other. I might not be listening, might not hear him from his hideout and this can also be the other way. We both have those mobile phones, so we could always call each other: although to such dire straits we have not yet progressed.

I never lived in a world of hideouts. I grew up in a house row. The house was built at a time when you could be glad to have a roof over your head, no bathroom and toilet in the garden. Rooms were small, not many, and if you wanted to hide you could not. The walls had ears and there were no secrets, as there were no places to hide the secrets. I had my own bedroom, but as mum would say if she were still with us today, there is not enough room to swing a cat – not that cat swinging was some sort of hobby.

I remember as a kid that I hid from men with moustasches. That was one of those silly kid things and I do not why, because I am married to a three day beard or whatever. If mum had a visit from a man with a moustache (I remember Uncle Frank had one) I would dive under the next bed and not come out until he was gone. Actually Uncle Frank was a nice guy, but he had a moustache. And believe me those beds in the old days were not the best places to hide, they were the birthplace of dust bunnies, beause mum probably did not want to kill them.

Memory Sticks

Today’s hideouts look more like this. We call them “memory sticks” because they are the secret memories of our computers. Computers are a dangerous species. Even if they die a painful death, their secrets can still be discovered on the hard disk if you have the knowhow and instruments to  unlock them. There are cyberspies everywhere. some even have a name like “Facebook” or “Google”, but perhaps you have secrets that you want everyone to know. I am running a risk at blogging, because it does not really belong to me, but the thousands (millions?) of people that follow them and read them daily.

And then there is the progressive state where the financial  business is done on the computer. If you want online banking, the risk is there, like it or not. On my Windows computer I have something called an “incognito window” where all the traces of my secret cyber paths are not registered, preventing people discovering where I go to operated my money transfers and washing,  at least I hope so. We can only take so many precautions, but the traces do not appear in the browser.

There are also the secret files where you store your passwords. We should of course have our passwords stored in our brain. I have about 20-30 sites with passwords, and passwords should be changed regularly. Being a 70 year old golden oldie, I often cannot remember the names of colleagues, or their telephone numbers (all on the iPhone) so how am I supposed to remember the passwords. Where there is a will there is a way, and for this we have the memory stick miracle. Just a little stick, but fill it up with your passwords. They are there forever if you do not inadvertently delete them. However, I do not have the time to plug in the memory stick every time I need to know a password, so I have a list in a secret file, hidden in a secret place that only I know (and Mr. Swiss in case I forget where I put it).  This is the genial solution, the modern extension of the hideout called “memory stick”. As you can see I have many, so now the problem is which memory stick stores the memories. This is extra confusion. If someone discovers my cyber hideout, he will have to find the right memory stick. Who knows, perhaps they explode when the thief wants to apply them – oh yes, we golden oldies have our devious methods.

Daily Prompt: Hideout? What’s that?

Good Morning

Feldbrunnen to Solothurn 17.02 (19)

I see this tree when we drive home from a shopping trip. It is next to an office building and has probably been there for many years, more years than I have been here. I think I am becoming one of those tree related people that feel a relationship to trees. I must remember to hug a few today, just to show them that I am here. They love having their photos taken. They really come in all shapes and sizes, although there is a human touch when we saw off the branches and they begin to compensate with their strange formations.

And now back to daily life, although it is Sunday, meaning that I can begin to cook lunch (red cabbage with bacon and a saucisson, potatoes) and it will cook all morning slowly so no stress. I have a few cameras lined up in case a magpie, crow or sparrow will appear for the bird show in the garden. This morning they all seem to be sleeping, must have had a rough night with Saturday evening celebrations at the gatherings. The bread is outside and still waiting to be picked up.

Misty Morning

It is a misty morning and quite cold at the moment, which I hope means that during the day the sun will arrive as I plan another one of my marathon walks (with a cane for support) along the river this afternoon.

In the meanwhile the first crow has arrived and is calling his mates to tell them the “grub is up, come and get it”, and now there are two crows eating their breakfast with a mixture of tits and magpies sitting in the trees and observing the situation. Oh, what an exciting life I lead.

Magpie 18.02 (3)

The neighbours cat just walked across in front of my window. I thought I could get a quick photo, but there is a new cat in town, a young one, who has no idea of respect for the older generation of cats, and was chasing the older cat, so they have now both disappeared. My Tabby is sleeping through the whole performance on top of the cupboard.

I am now off to chop red cabbage and an apple as I like to cook an apple with the cabbage, gives it a good side taste. About half an hour before it has finished cooking I  add some apple vineagar, which also enhances the taste – I find. I love slow cooking methods as it gives me time to deal with other things, like taking my Dyson for its daily walk around the appartment and playing with my iron. I noticed there is a sort of pile of stuff to be ironed, so life will not be boring this morning.

There will even be a further instalment of my Sunday TV soap, Lindenstrasse, on the TV today – a German version of an english programme “Coronation Street”. One of the small pleasures of a golden oldie life. In between there will be photos to upload and blogs to write and I often find that my Sunday life is something like a full time job.

And now to go for the next exciting instalment of “Life with Mrs. Angloswiss”.

Daily Prompt: Constantly Translating

language books

Name the language, and I have probably tried it. It just happens with me. I grew up speaking cockney. It was supposed to be english, but not really. Double negatives in the sentence “I ain’t (have not) got nuffing (nothing)”, and dropping your “h” which instead of a “hatche” became an “actch” made it all the more confusing for those that actually learned and spoke the Queen’s english. It was a wonder that Mr. Swiss and I actually understood each other, as he was also speaking a minoritiy language – Swiss German, although I am now fast forwarding, but I suppose actions speak louder than words – am now fast forwarding.

With time I added a knowledge of French, German and Italian – I always did like learning foreign languages. I crossed the english channel and for some unknown reason arrived in the german speaking part of Switzerland, where they actually could understand and speak proper German, but preferred to apply their own dialect – Swiss german – for daily conversation. How to speak Swiss German does not really exist because their various Kantons in Switzerland where it is spoken have their own way of saying things. This adds more confusion, but if you are a native you known immediately where your speaking companion originates. He is from Zürich, because he talks faster, must be from Bern with his slow articulation, now that person is from Aargau, somewhere between Zürich and Solothurn, roughly speaking of course. And complete not understanding if he comes from Kanton Vallis – at least for me. I am just a protective package of the whole thing.

Of course German speeaking Swiss speak real German,  otherwise no-one would actually understand them: for the same reason I can speak real englsh, as you cannot expect all english speakers to understand cockney. There are even some cockneys that do not understand cockney, it being a language of the minority. Probably if you come from Bethnal Green (pronouced Befnal Green) you might accentuate your words differently to someone from Bermondsey, although Bermondsey people (like Tommy Steel) are not real cockneys because they come from the other side of the water (River Thames) and were definitely not born within the sound of Bow Bells, which is a qualification for being a real cockney. I was also not born within the sound of Bow Bells, but that was a war problem. Mum was shifted out of London to a place called Hitchin for my birth because the maternity hospitals in East London were full of expecting mothers due to the return of the soldiers from the war.

And so cockney Mrs. Angloswiss, meets Swiss speaking Solothurn dialect Mr. Swiss – how did we get to know each other. Was it sign language, did we communicate by showing each other words in books – no, of course not. He made an effort to speak english (only at the beginning) and I made an effort to speak proper english, somehow we met in the middle.

This all happned 48 years ago. Today we converse in Swiss German dialect, my kids speak Swiss German with me, but we can all do it in english if we have to, but it seems no-one really wants  to. Even my autistic son can speak english, but I am in the Swiss German department of his autistic brain, so we leave that as it is.

Oh in the meanwhile I decided to learn Russian because I always wanted to and after 12 years I can read and write russian. I can even speak it, but due to lack of practice my vocabulary remains limited. I even did a year of learning arabic, but did not persevere. My brain was gradually becoming something resembling mashed potato.

It seems I even speak Swiss german in my sleep now and again. Today I am Polyglot I suppose. Do I get the languages mixed up? Yes, now and again, but there is always sign language when the going gets hard. In Facebook I notice that many Swiss write in the swiss german dialect to confuse matters for others, although the written language does not really exist as such. Aber au Ig ha chei Probläm mit däm, ig verstah alles, just write what you hear – gel.

Zürich Airport Take-off 11.07 (4)

Daily Prompt: Constantly Translating

Good Morning

Heart Potato

Ok, today is Valentine’s day, so thought I should so something to show I do have a heart. Not every day you find a heart shaped potato – this was a few years ago. And that’s that. Mr. Swiss has a dental visit to make today and I am cleaning the bathroom – what is so special? At the age of 70 you reach the conclusion that it is Valantine’s day every day, and you have flowers at home, so why spend money buying more. If you really want a nice flower arrangement, then wait a couple of days after the great day. Our flower shops are selling all the romantic arrangements at half price. If you really want to give me something, then something for the camera or the computer, but Mr. Swiss also has a few wishes, so everyone buys their own – yes we are the essence of romance.

Morning computer

This is the beginning of my romantic day at home. The computer is ready to go, the breakfast slice of bread and jam is prepared, so what could possiby go wrong. In the meanwhile I have eaten breakfast with a cup of tea and have done the usual computer inspection tour. When my blog is finished I will move onto my various cleaning sessions in the appartment and will finalise the performance with preparing dinner. I hope by then Mr. Swiss has survived his dental visit and everything goes well.

Othewise there will be no candlelight dinners. Weather and time permitting I might take a camera walk this afternoon. I have no special plans otherwise.

I have now finished my books by Ben Aaronivitch, Foxglove Summer, No. 5 in the Peter Grant series, one of the police specialists for supernatural matters. It was quite good, always something completely different – this time with evil unicorns, changelings and a fairy queen that was not really so fairylike.

What to read now? It is interesting, but we also have Swiss writers, one of which is Friedrich Glauser, who actually passed away in 1938. Her wrote a series of books with the central police inspector figure Suder from Bern and I am now reading “Matto regiert” in German, although I believe there is also an english translation. He is more an insider writer for german speaking countries and his Wachtmeister Studer books have been filmed. I have never read one of his books, and I must say I am enjoying it. The story is based in a metal asylum where a patient breaks out and the director of th asylum disappears. I must say Glauser writes very clearly and I have no problem following the story. Glauser himself spent many years in and out of mental asylums, he was a morphine addict, but I must say a very good writer.

I understand the german in the book very well, he writes clearly and it is good reading. Now and again he mixes some Swiss German into his words and I wonder how the German speaking manage with our dialect. I have no problem, but speak it myself daily.

If you ever find a book by Glauser in english I would recommend it. Although written in the 1930’s that do not have an old fashioned way with them. Naturally the way an asylum was run in the thirties is completely different to the modern methods of today, but it gives a good insight into their way of thinking (just this book – there are others on other themes, which I wil probably also read with time). I have become a Friedrich Glauser fan in the meanbwhile.

And now I must go, there is another life out there besides computers and blogs, so they tell me. I suppose I should make an effort to discover it.

See you later. 🙂

 

Daily Prompt: I suppose I should get serious

Diabetes

Today I did it, I drove home from the supermarket. OK, no big deal for most of us, we are driving all the time. Mr. Swiss worked it out that it is almost 2 years that I sat behind the wheel of a car. I was convinced it was only 18 months, but why quibble about such small details.

I am now a real golden oldie, aged 70, and in Switzerland they have to have proof that you are still capable of driving. Last year a lot happened. My father passed away at the age of 100  7 months in england, I was in Switzerland, and at the same time I was having examinations, as my body no longer did what it was supposed to do. Actually this state of affairs had developed slowly for about 30-40 years and after various examinations the diagnosis of MS was definite. I decided what I had had so long unknown was something I had lived with and got used to. OK, it got serious, I now have my own personal neurologist (although I suppose I share him with a few others), but I am now an expert at injecting and walking with a cane.

On top of this discovery I have diabetes 2, the one you get because you have perhaps overdone it with the sweet stuff, not the one you are born with. Ok, no big deal, just cut down on the cholesterol, take the tablets and everything more or less stays under control. However the Swiss state wants to be sure. Although my MS allows me to drive a car, because it it an automatic and I do not need the left foot (which is a problem with me), the diabetes is not so easy to avoid and I get a paper from the doctor.

The Swiss State now informs me that when I drive I must have something containing cholesterol in the car, like sweet stuff, orange juice or glucose tablets,in case I have an attack of hypoglycaemia whilst driving. This could lead to complications. I think in the 30 years of knowing I am a diabetic, I have perhaps once had this. I also have to carry a blood sugar measuring device and my diabetic pass. I have the measuring device and all the attachments as can be seen above, but I have never had a pass. I do have a little book to fill in the results of my tests, which I am also to carry with me. The problem perhaps  being that I do not test so much. The plastic stripes are expensive and if I test three times a day, three times a week or once a year it is no big deal. When I visit the doc for the long term sugar test, it is the important thing. 

So basically I now have to measure the glucose in my blood before I go for a drive and write it in my book. I do not register anything in my book. I am a cyber golden oldie and have it all in my iPhone. This morning was my first drive in the car and I really wanted to follow the law according to 70 year old drivers with diabetes and measure my blood sugar before leaving the house. The first problem arrived. I had not used this apparatus for so long that the two batteries were dead, so hoping not to cause an accident, I drove home from the supermarket without measuring. I arrived safely home and Mr. Swiss found I did a good job. We bought two new batteries for my sugar measuring device and measured my blood sugar when arriving home. I only had 4,5 which would actually qualify for hypoglycaemia, but I felt fine so what is the problem. I could even enjoy a piece of chocolate and not feel guilty about it.

I did forget to put the car into drive  when we left the parking lot at the supermarket and was wondering why it did not move, but after so long you tend to foget these little things.

I was sure Mr. Swiss had organised in advance that there was almost no traffic on the road, it was really a fun drive. I even managed to park the car more or less well in the garage, what could possibly go wrong. I am now ready for it all. My next visit to town will probably be the hairdresser and I will do it in the car all on my own.

Sometimes you can really get serious for no reason.

Daily Prompt: I suppose I should get serious