Daily Prompt: Diffusion or Infusion?

Hostas 2017

This afternoon I took a walk around my front garden with my camera and my mobile telephone camera to find an infusion of good ideas to write something. It is not that I have neglected my front garden, but it was a dangerous place to be for a while. There were workmen tossing parts of the facade of our building onto  the ground from higher places and eventually the roof workers arrived. Piles of tiles assembled themselves in the garden, which were removed on the same day. The balconies above are no longer becaue they too will be replaced. Everything is getting a new makeover and during the process becoming life threatening.

After lunch today I sank into my bed for a golden oldie rest and into oblivion. Infusions would no loger help. It would be so ideal to discover the fountain of youth. It does not really have to be youth I suppose, because golden oldies have their own charm. Just a little more fitness, ability to stand up normally from a chair.

Sun lounger

Yesterday was a wonderful evening, but I was too tired to take a walk, so I made myself comfortable in the sun bed on the porch with a book. Now this is not an easy operation, but I succeeded. It is a matter of positioning yourself in the right place at the right time and lowering carefully onto the seat. All the needed articles should be on a nearby surface. Once sitting/laying on the chair it is easy to reach over for your Kindle (I do not to books – too heavy and inconvenient) and perhaps some sort of snack. In my case a packet of potato chips/crisps. What could be better? I spent the best part of an hour relaxing outside in the fresh air and then it was time for East Enders, the only TV programme I really bother to watch. It is pure soap, but it is based in the East End of London, my home town. It was then I encountered a problem.

Making myself comfortable on the sun bed was easy, but gettiing out of it was a little more complicated. I decided to think it over. I reflected on the exercises learned in my physio therapy. I should sit as far as possible on the edge of the chair which facilitatated standing. First of all I had to manoever myself to the edge of the chair. I discovered that the balance of my body versus the chair was not ideal, but with a push I was sitting. Now for the standing part. Any fool can stand up, but this fool found that the floor was too near for such an exercise. I grabbed my cane and gave it a push. The first time this did not work, but five minutes later I was again standing. What happened in beween is not worth talking about. I hobbled into the TV room and managed to sit down again and decided no way would I sit in that evil sunbed again, It had transformed itself in some sort of body diffusing monster.

Infusion, diffusion, any sort of fusion is no longer my sort of thing.

Hostas 2017

Daily Prompt: Diffusion or Infusion?

Daily Prompt: Meet Fuzzy

Fuzzy

Generally I am not known so much for being a doggy person. This does not mean that I do not like dogs. I would love to have a dog. In my younger days in London I begged mum for a dog but no way. I never really found out why, although mum was often scared of the unknown. If she saw a mouse in the house, she would have a fit and usually either dad or I had to chase it away. Whilst the mouse was sharing our living quarters, she would not enter a room on her own, without sending us as the advance guard to make sure the room was mouse free. I could never understand that, but I was always an animal lover.

Our mice were the normal average house mouse, just trying to find scraps of food for their families somewhere in the area. When you live in a place that was often bombed in the war, and you were surrounded with waste land and half derelict housing remains, it was ideal conditions for a mouse village. We even had the ruin of an old factory in the main road, but that was not so much mouse land, more rat infested. James Herbert’s novel The Rats was most likely inspired by this, as his origins were in the same part of London as mine. His relations even had a market stall along Bethnal Green Road. I am diverging, but this was the reason why I grew up as a cat person. Mum decided that a cat was the best solution to combat the visiting mice. I was quite happy, better a cat than nothing, although our cat was not eactly the brave mouser. He liked to play with the mice if he found one.

So now back to Fuzzy. I never did get around to having a dog, but stayed with cats, so I had my enjoyment with other people’s dogs. This morning we met a good friend of ours with her dog Fuzzy as we were leaving the supermarket. She has been widowed for a few years and some time ago adopted a dog. This dog was found neglected on the streets of Croatia, a republic of ex Jugoslavia. There are many organisations in European countries that help with adoption of these stray dogs, and arrange transport to other European countries, either by plane or truck. I know of a few colleagues that have gladly adopted stray dogs from Cyprus giving them a chance for a good life.

Fuzzy was one of these dogs roaming the streets searching for food  and now enoys a wonderful life with our friend. Unfortuntely he somehow picked up an injured foot on the way and wears his little sock to prevent more wear and tear on the foot. He can walk quite well, and never complains. Our friend takes Fuzzy everywhere. If she is shopping in the supermarket he waits patiently outside where they have a special waiting space for dogs. If she decides on something to drink in the supermarket restaurent, Fuzzy comes too. He sits patiently under the table and enjoys his life to the full. I took the opportunity this morning to take a few photos, not then realising that Fuzzy would be a subject of my blog today.

Fuzzy

Daily Prompt: Meet Fuzzy

Daily Prompt: Survival of the fittest

St- Kathrinen Cemetery 21.05 (1)

We will all get there eventually, just a question when and how.

You think I am being miserable? I did not choose this prompt word, so you have to make the most of it.

Today something is missing in my life. It is a national religious holiday in Switzerland for Ascension Day. The stores as closed and we are surrounded by peace and quiet. Our accomanying building noise is missing, and will be until next Monday, everyone deserves a holiday now and again. I can hear birds singing and a slight breeze is blowing. What shall I do? I should make the most of the time I have left. I remember my dad with his well known words of wisdom. He was in an english care home and I was in Switzerland. When I made my annual visit to London,  talk would arrive on the thme “when my time comes” as dad would say.

They are subjects that we all have to organise at some time in our lives, although it is strange talking to a man in his nineties about it. I tried to avoid the subject, but there were certain things I had to know for “when the time comes” and believe me that is a difficult subject to talk about because no-one really wants to admit that the time will come one day. Eventually it happens to all of us. It is a process that is automatic. And I realised that there is no point in even thinking about it in advance so make the most of the time you have.  I am now a golden oldie, at the seventies mark, and my only problem is my various passwords on the computer.

They are all on a memory stick, and printed out in a special file with personal stuff. I will survive in an online sense of the word I suppose. I still visit sites in Facebook belonging to colleagues that are no longer amongst us. It is becoming a cemetery of the Facebook colleagues.

At the end of the day,  all that is left is an engraved stone with a name and date as a reminder. If you see the photo above, taken at the local cemetery, everything is so monotonous, but it must all fit. I am still planning on a pyramid and  having my www address engraved on the stone, but this is all subject to permission. None of us are going to survive, let’s face it, so make the most of it.

Cat ornament on grave

Daily Prompt: Survival of the fittest

Daily Prompt: Too old to impress

WordPress are not impressing me today. I got an update and it was not saving my draft. I did a quick copy paste into pages, on my Apple Computer, and that was also not working as they have an update I should make. I just gave up and closed down the computer. Now everything is working again, but I am annoyed at having to write from my memory. My memory is not very impressive these days. This morning Mr. Swiss and I met a colleague and afterwards I asked Mr. Swiss his name as I could not remember it. Mr. Swiss looked at me with a blank look and told me he couldn’t remember either. We arrived home and suddently half an hour later, he broke the good news that he remembered his name.

Now I am going in an entirely different direction to my original intentions on this piece of blog, but hearing about my younger days when I was out to impress with the latest high heels and short skirts, colourful war paint around the eyes and other such strange fashion interests no-one today, I no longer impress with my grey hair and walking stick, although I do my best. I got the most colourful cane I could find with jungle design, and it even has my name on it, what could be better? Mr. Swiss and I do not bother to impress each other today, that all happened in the past when we met. After the kids arrived impressions became non existant. I wore the average easy to wash, dry and iron clothing at home due to the stains from feeding the kids. Even going out you wore the practical stuff with sensible shoes. You were mainly hidden behind a pram in any case or had a screaming kid on your hand. That seemed to annoy people more than impress.

I though I would impress when I move to Switzerland, being a Brit and all that. Perhaps it is a normal trait of human nature, but we all seem to think that our nationality is the best. Forget it – the Swiss were absolutely not impressed and I soon noticed that if you wanted to beat them, you have to join them. Perhaps my British accent in Swiss German might impress, I do not think so, I seem to be more looked upon as something peculiar.

Today I was impressed.

Renovation

This morning I was minding my own business preparing breakfast in the kitchen and firing up the computer. Yesterday our builders eventually finished the noisy, ear-drum breaking work and moved onto to the usage of a gas container and welding. Suddenly I hear the noise of a grinding machine in front of my kitchen window, that was most definitely making interesting photos, with sparks and fire. In the last couple of months I have become accustomed to recognising interesting camera shots just by hearing.

And there he was, the worker with the machine, doing things to the side of my window. I had no time to lose as I did not know how long this job would be, but after taking the first couple of photos with my mobile phone I realised I would have time for a few professional shots with my DSLR camera. Breakfast was forgotten and also the computer. I was back in action impressing everyone with my photo talents. I began to shoot, until the worker (he knew me) said I should perhaps stand a little further back as he did not want any damage to be caused to my camera by flying sparks. It was then that I realised they were shooting all over the place. After some time he moved on to the next windows and I ate my breakfast and wrote my Good Morning Blog.

Life is full of impressions at the moment.

Daily Prompt: Too Old to Impress

Daily Prompt: Catapulted with a Flame Thrower

Blow Torch

Now I have seen it all. My midday sleep has been constantly under siege from the noise of a pneumatic chisel. Today the chisel has been put to rest. Its work is done and so I was at last relaxing enjoying the peace and quiet and studying my iPad. Suddenly there was a roar in front of my bedroom window. I was no longer sleeping, but recovering from my sleep.

I catapulted myself out of the bed. Not really, as catapulting is no longer possible, but with a direct swing I landed on both feet, stood in a upright position and opened the curtains to see a young man similing at me. This was an improvement, I very rarely see young men smiling at me, they usually either shake their heads in disbelief or are entertained.

And so I progressed to see what the noise was. There was an open flame in front of the window. They were now burning the place down instead of repairing I thought, but no. the man with the lamp applied pressure on the flame and with a roar he went into action. I now had dragons in front of my window.

Sealing blow Torch

Here is an action photo of the covers to the basis of my wall being sealed to the wall by heat. I really thought dragons were extinct, but it seems even these have their use on a building site.

I decided to go outside and get the action direct, and not from the window. However, I then met the young man who also had a blowtorch and was applying fire and flames to the entrance. I decided not to go further before a wall of flames appeared. He then asked me if I was a photographer. I was honoured, to think that someone sees in me a professional photographer. I explained that I was now too old to work anywhere, and definitely not as a photographer, it was just a hobby. I also assured him that I was not taking photos of him, but of the action. I think he was disappointed.

I returned and discovered that my cat, Tabby, wanted to get a closer look at the action. She was disappointed when I did not open the window to let her out. I had to explain that she might return with singed fur. I think she understood as the heat could now be felt through the open window.

And that is the daily excitement. Return tomorrow when they might be applying liquid hydrogen mixed with oxygen to ensure that everything goes off with a bang.

Blow Torch

Daily Prompt: Catapulted with a Flame Thrower

Daily Prompt: Adrift – Without Control

Renovation

Today I had my usual after lunch sleep. I sleep after lunch because being a golden oldie my daily rhythm needs this lunchtime sleep. I do my best to avoid falling asleep in the armchair in the evening and find this a very good method to avoid such events. I generally sleep OK during the night, but after the morning chores, perhaps shopping and definitely cooking lunch, I like to relax.

Mr. Swiss is a great help after dinner, clearing everything away and then we relax for half an hour with a coffee or tea, according to our taste. I check through my iPad to see if anything spectacular is happening in my world and then we both disappear to our own preferred places of rest. I choose my bed where I can cover up and sink into oblivion. I need my after lunch sleep and so does Mr. Swiss.

And so life goes on until the builders arrived to do good things to our building. Although there were no real threats of our building falling apart or submerging into a sink hole. We were happy. I would look after my gardens and we would sit outside for meals in Summer, weather permitting. My cat would curl up beneath a tree or lay in a shady place and do what all cats do, mainly sleep. This is now a thing of the past. We are now fighting to survive the summer that never was.

Today I was almost there, eyes shut, brain turned off and sinking slowly into the world of sleep. It was then that they decided it was time to perform the last rites on the corridor next to our appartment on the ground floor (see photo). I had been following the work process over the past weeks. First of all the top layer of the wall is removed with aid of a cutting tool. Of couse it is noisy, but a quick job. the next part you hardly hear when they remove the polysterol foam layers from the old insulation. These layers were fixed with cement, and the cement has to be removed. There is no way to do this manually, with a light tap of a chisel as was the case in the old days. No, today it is done at high speed with a pneumatic chisel, breaking all records of decibel noise. They began to remove this layer from the corridor next to my bedroom (right hand side of the photo behind the brick wall) which almost pushed me out of bed. It was unbearable. Adrift was not the word for it: more attempted murder.

Mr. Swiss appeared and said that our cat was now hiding beneath the settee and would not come out, no way. He was more than adrift.  He was sure that lives No. 5-9 were now used up (he lost the other 4 some time ago).

To take the photo above I took a walk to see the cause of the trouble. The workmen were overjoyed to see me of course, although I said it was not enjoyable to have such noise when wanting to sleep and my cat has now disappeared under the settee. They reassured me that by lunch time tomorrow all the noisy work would be done. When I appeared the words I heard from the worker “here comes the boss”. Big joke and when I returned to Mr. Swiss he was also laughing. In the meanwhile a pile of roof rubbish had assembled in my garden, crushing the remains of my hollyhocks and forget-me-not, which had already been crushed last week and were making an effort to revive themselves. I now had 3 roof workers in front of my window with a bucket of some sort of black liquid painting parts of my wall. Apparently they were sealing the wall. Mr. Swiss tells me it is bitumen. Whatever it is, it smells quite strong. I am gradually becoming an expert of building techniques.

Tar-Bitumen insulation

I suppose it is all the name of improvement. I wonder if Christopher Wren or James Hoban, annoyed the neighbours as much as I am annoyed by our building processes.

Somewhere in the distance I can still hear drilling – this is reminding me of the Ephraim Kishon “Blaumilch Canal” book. Read it if you have not yet. I used to laugh when I read it, now I am not so sure.

Daily Prompt: Adrift – Without Control

Daily Prompt: Oh to be unmoored

River Aar 31.03.2017

Those were the days when I could please myself, go where I wanted to and do what I wanted to do. Just take a bus or a train, or even sit in the car and make a decision to go places and do things. This was in the far past where I had cast my cares to the winds. The East End of London was not actually the be all and end all of life’s experiences. Once a year you would leave the dirt and smell of bricks (especially after the rain) and go on holiday. You broke out and went to the seaside, a privilege of the working classe to get unmoored once a year on their annual holiday, usually to the seaside.

One day I decided this was not for me and so I searched for work in another country. I did not even care where. It could have been Mongolia, but just somewhere else. Mongolia did not seem to want me but I found Switzerland. I spent two years in Zürich footloose and fancy free. Sometimes the fancies were perhaps a little too free, but I had to go there and do it.

Another shift to Solothurn, meeting Mr. Swiss and annual holidays arrived again. However, the non holidays were in Switzerland, no brick dust, just cows and clean streets with no waste, like we said in the East end you could eat your dinner off the streets: not quite, but it was less unhygenic than eating it on a Bethnal Green street.

And then the kids arrive, one after the other. Just two, I inherited two by marrying Mr. Swiss and there were four, but there was no more being unmoored. I was gradually becoming firmly tethered to a home with all the trimmings. I exchange my world of doing what I wanted to do for the world of doing what you have to do. Now and again I could still break out, but had to organise it and not just decide.

And today, after 48 years of marriage and bringing up the kids. Your would seriously think that I was now compeltely unmoored. At the age of 70 you can now do it. Belive me it is easier said than done. My boat has now found its moorings in the harbour. I do not even want to go anywhere. Even a doctor’s appointment or a dental adventure is a bother. I had to visit London once a year, until dad passed away last year. I did it on my own as I knew my other half was also finding his moorings and did not really want to become unmoored. There was an emphasis on the “had to” when going to London.

I am physically no longer able to get unmoored, a half hour walk does it nicely for me and shopping trips are in the car. My days of wandering are now gone. Am I sorry about that? Not really, although sometimes I wish I could throw my walking stick into the river and walk like everyone else, without discovering that my feet are no longer attached to my legs like they used to be.

Something must be wrong somewhere. How comes the so-called president of the States can do a sword dance with a bunch of Saudis at the age of 70 and I cannot even manage to leave my bed without thinking about how to do it?

Dad and Me, Wish Tower Cafe Eastbourne around 1964

Me, aged 16 with dad, not quite unmoored but thinking about it.

Daily Prompt: Oh to be unmoored