Daily Prompt: Fight

Avocado

This is my umpteenth try at growing an Avocado tree, but one day I will succeed I am sure. It was a big seed, so what could possibly go wrong. I threw it in an egg cup full of water, ensuring that the bottom part was always covered in water. I know you can suspend it over the water by sticking toothpicks in the side of the seed, but this was such a mega seed I decided to let it fight its own way through the undergrowth.

Eventually I could see that my avocado was ready for the planting session as a long white fleshy root had appeared and the seed was beginning to split. I had tried this experiment before, but had the great idea of trying it with hydroponics: the system where it just grows in water surrounded by little carbon balls and you feed it with the special liquid. This did not work, so I decided it will now get its own pot of soil. I even had a few words with my gardener (did he have a smile on his face?). He said I could raise it in a pot and if it grows big and strong I cold risk putting it in the garden. He did add that it was not a fruit destined for the Swiss snowy climate, and that in Winter I should surround it with a thermal shroud to make sure its roots did not get frozen. At the moment it is sitting with me outside on the porch.

Yes, today is the first day of the year that the sun has been shining and it is warm. This morning we organised the chairs and table for the porch. This afternoon I will put my giant metal frog in the garden, together with the pixie with the shovel in its hand and the owl. Mr. Swiss finds I overdo it with my garden ornaments, but I find them a nice pretty arrangement.

“What did you say avocado?”

“I am digressing, this blog is about you? But you are not doing very much at the moment, just growing a long stalk with the promise of a few leaves.”

“Just wait, but don’t forget to cut my stalk back when i am 6-7 inches tall. I only need 3 inches and then I will start on my journey by supplying your family with avocado fruits for the next years, although it will probably take 3-4 years until my first fruit grows, but Rome was also not built in a day.”

“Ok avocado, any more tips?”

“No, just look in your computer, there are enough instructions there. Now I have to concentrate on growing.”

In the meanwhile I left my avocado to fight his own fight. Speaking of fighting, every day is a fight really. The first battle is to get out of bed. I have my own system and it usually works. I then attack my living quarters armed with the vacuum cleaner and a mop. If I survive I progress to the bathroom where I take a chance with the shower. Generally I emerge clean and ready to go, although the older I get the less easy it is to climb in and out of the shower.

The battle continues and I decide to embark on a hunting expedition to the supermarket. This morning was Friday, the day when I capture the spoils of food for the week-end. It was quite successful. Mr. Swiss was positioned with the shopping list on his iPhone and I had the same list on my iPhone. I usually send him an SMS before we depart. We circulated amongst the other warriors, collecting the spoils and met somewhere between the frozen goods section and the pasta to compare notes. We both had one item left, to be exact I had one item left, because I pause now and again to eliminate the gained trophies from my list. Mr. Swiss seems to do all that mentally. He still has a full list but strikes mentally the conquered items by telepathy.

With pride he glanced at his watch and discovered it was only 10.45 a.m., meaning we were ahead of schedule. I just had to pick up East Bunny No. 3 to complete my collection and we departed. The supermarket gives you points according to the amount of money you spend and you get a sticky for a card. When the card is complete you can choose an Easter Bunny. I have now completed my collection of 3 Easter Bunnies. I could. our course, continue collecting, so I took another card to fill, just in case.

After arriving home, we nursed our wounds from  the siege and I cooked lunch. I think there is now a truce on the scene as I am sitting outside writing my prompt and there are no battle cries in the air except perhaps for a few moans from my avocado plant as it fights its way into the sun.

Daily Prompt: Fight

Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight

When faced with confrontation, do you head for the hills or walk straight in? Was there ever a time you wished you’d had the opposite reaction?

Train Departure Solothurn Main Station

I was once in this situation. Waiting for the train to take me to Zürich Airport where I was flying to see my father in London. There was a crush at the doors when the train arrived: everyone pushing. I had my wheelie case with me which I had to lift to board the train. Eventually I pushed my way through, sat down and began to organise my handbag with the tickets. Unfortunately, in the pressure,  a thief had stolen my purse. I had no credit cards, no train ticket and no money. The only thing left was the plane ticket but what was the point when you have nothing else, so I called the whole thing off. If I had taken my time would this had happened? Who knows but probably not.

This was a physical confrontation, but a psychological confrontation can be just as bothersome. It depends on how you feel, who the others are, and whether it is worth it I suppose. I tend to “head for the hills”, in the way of not saying very much. Just let the other party talk themselves into a void, keep your mouth shut and let them get on with it. That is the best way I know, but is that the way I do it? Not always.

I notice that as I approach the platinum oldie stage, from the golden oldie stage, I now ask what is the point of arguing. I am not very good at arguing in any case. If I lose my temper I also lose the thread of the argument. It is really some sort of competition we humans have with each other, “I will have the last word” and then we have won. With the years I realise it is just not worth it.

One of my favourite confrontations is in the local supermarket. This might be a Swiss sort of thing, but sometimes I have to be careful not to laugh out loud, but please bear in mind I have to do all this in the local lingo, Swiss German. Of course I speak it more or less fluently but an accent always remains. Here is the situation:

I am buying meat at the butchers and there is another lady standing next to me. Now I have not made a psychological analysis of who was there first, I do not really care. However the lady next to me has done this. Perhaps she is older than me, perhaps she had an argument with the neighbour before she left her house, or perhaps she had killed her husband because she found out he was cheating on her.

All of these things are hypothetical of course and me? I am just standing and waiting my turn under the impression that I was there first; just an automatic human reaction. The butcher looks at me (I may even know him) and he asks

“Whose turn is it?” not wanting to annoy anyone.

I probably am under the mistaken impression that I was there first, so I open my mouth to tell the butcher what I would like.

Suddenly, as if coming from a machine gun, the lady next to me says “I was here first”, emphasises her point with a firm nod of the head and looks at me with a sort of dagger-in-her-eyes stare.

What do I do? Do I speak even louder and say “I was here first, wait your turn”, do I throw my bag at her or do I say nothing. In the meanwhile the butcher is confused. “What shall I do” he is thinking. “Shall I ignore them and let them get on with it or shall I go ahead and serve the lady I was sure was here first” (knowing it was me in any case). Of course he says nothing more and hopes, even prays, that the lady that spoke first will give way to the lady who now has decided to take over and get served first.

In the meanwhile I have to do the right thing, which in my eyes is not right, and tell this arrogant b***h standing next to me “Sorry, that is ok, go ahead”. She then stands even taller than before and places her order with the butcher, a righteous undertone in her voice. The butcher makes a sigh of relief, I keep my mouth shut, but glare at the same time towards the self-righteous lady standing next to me, and let her have her way. The whole process cost me a few minutes of my time, no nerves (I remain cool) and she is now convinced she was right and the butcher is thinking “women!”.

So that is how I do it. There is no point in charging like a bull in a china (butcher’s) shop. Everyone is happy and carries on as if the world is ok. Perhaps the lady who won now goes home and tells her husband how she won the battle of the butchers, if he is still alive. She might still be working out how to convince the police that she did not kill him after all.

Summing all this up, it is something like a parliamentary debate on a smaller scale. A lot of blah, blah, no-one really believes what you say and the survivor is the one that talks the most and loudest. For me it is just no so important to wish I had done it otherwise. I am just quietly amused at the stupidity of some people. After all – I am always right (aren’t I?????)

Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight

Moon Cats

Sitting on the wall looking at the moon, Rusty the cat got nostalgic. He loved the moonlit nights and tonight was a special moon. So big and so fluorescent he had not seen since he was a kitten. He remembered the stories mama cat told him and his brothers and sisters about the moon.

“The moon is important son, the bigger the better. If you meet your partner on a night like this then the resulting kittens are very special.”

“Are we special kittens mum” asked Rusty

“For a mama kitty all kittens are special, but yes Rusty, I met your father on such a night like this so I suppose that makes you all something special.”

Rusty had never forgotten these words, so on nights like this he was always waiting for the female cat of his dreams. He had met many female cats over the years and fathered many kittens, but he was still waiting for the special one. Rusty remembered his father, which was an exception in the cat world, as his father stayed by the mother cat forever. He was a large ginger cat, with the most striking green eyes and Rusty had inherited these characteristics from his father.

Suddenly the silence was broken and a female tabby cat jumped onto the wall where Rusty was sitting.

“Please help me” she said to Rusty “he is after me”.

Rusty looked at the tabby cat and immediately felt sorry for her. She was covered in mud and was shaking.

“What has happened to you?”

“He is following me, the big black tom cat that lives in the sewers. He wants to make kittens with me but I don’t like him. He smells and is very rough. He likes to keep his women and the kittens with him in the sewers. He dragged me down into the sewer and I fell in the water. I only managed to escape because a rat scuttled past and he decided to follow it. Afterwards I had to run for my life and that is why I am so dirty.”

Rusty knew he must do something and decided to help her lick her fur clean. Suddenly he noticed a rather strong smell in the air.

“He is here, I can smell him” said the female cat

“I can smell him as well” and then they saw him. It was a large black long haired cat. His fur was knotted in places and part of one of his ears was missing, ripped off in a cat fight in earlier days.

“There you are my beauty, did you think you could escape from my clutching claws.”

“Leave her alone, go back to where you came from. This is a lady and not one of your sewer cats.” answered Rusty.

“Well it just so happens that a ginger cat does not impress me, especially when he has nothing better to do than to help lick a female cat clean. I like them dirty, makes things much more interesting.

With these last words Rusty pounced on the sewer cat and they were locked in combat.

The female cat wanted to help, but she was too weak from her earlier fight with the sewer cat. She then did something strange. She looked at the moon and stood on her hind legs and started to move her front paws together in a begging position. The moon grew larger, looked almost as if it would explode and then a ray of piercing light came from the moon and struck the two fighting cats. Rusty was blinded for just a moment, but the sewer cat could no longer see anything. Rusty saw his chance and launched an attack on the black cat with all his energy. The black cat cried out

“I am blind and can see no more” and smelt his way back to the sewers, which is not difficult for a cat.

“What happened” said Rusty to the female cat.

“I am a special cat” she answered “I was born on such a moonlit night as this and my mother gave me the name carried by my ancestors, I am called Basta. She told me if I was ever in trouble on such a night I just have to beg for help from the moon and help will come but only for special cats. Our great ancestor Bast still watches over his children, although he left this life many years ago.”

Rusty was very much impressed and after licking his wounds from the fight with the black cat turned to the female cat.

“Basta, I am honoured to meet you. When my mother told me that I was a special cat I did not know what she really meant, but now I do.”

And then Rusty gathered all his feline courage in his paws and knelt down before Basta.

“Basta would you like to have kittens with me.”

So what did Basta give as an answer? If you ever meet ginger tabby cats, then have respect for them. They could be a descendants from two of the special cats.