Good Morning

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Same time, same place, same old sun, but at least there is one light point to the day, although some areas here are having problems with water. We have had no rain for some time and some of the fruit trees are not doing so well.

I had my fruit trees pruned a little yesterday as I at last organised the gardener to arrive for some yard work, I was a few weeks late this year, but at last my garden has been tidied up and the growing bird seed plants sprouting between the tiles on the porch have been removed.

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Bird seed contains all sorts of plants, including Hemp, or cannabis as some call it. I rescued a couple of those little plants and put them in my raised bed. OK, I am not an addict and the seeds included for the birds have no great TDS values if any, so you can definitely not get high on it: at least my birds are still flying in straight lines and balancing with no difficulties on the edge of the water bowl. Just one of those little experiments I like to try now and again.

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Otherwise everything sees to be developing quite well, and I saw that my bleeding heart plant has also returned and is already flowering. I am quite proud of that one as I did not plant it myself. Some years ago a neighbour had one in the garden and a year later I discovered a small plant in my garden which probably arrived by wind and seed. This was about 10 years ago and I now have a stately example. They are now flowering, but in a month will be gone until next year.

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The are now fresh, but will soon open completely.

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Otherwise my rosemary continues to flower. This seems to be a special version with more compact flowers and a very intensive colour. I am really reluctant to cut the twigs to spice my food, but also have a normal rosemary for that purpose.

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Bird feeding time is now really at an end. I have fed them enough through the Winter and it is now Spring and time for them to do their own thing. Even the crows are no longer having their walnut and peanut treats. I still have the bird feeder at the edge of the garden  and the coconut shell with fat food still has a remainder. The tits are still paying short visits now and again.

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but that is now also coming to an end.

Otherwise life continues as usual and the coronavirus is still here, although not as expected it seems. Switzerland have many empty hospital beds waiting for the new patients which, thank goodness, have not yet arrived, although we are told they will come. Of course we have our new cases daily, also with fatalities. We just have to wait and see, no-one knows the end of this threat.

Today I am again off in the wide world, breaking my isolation for a food safari. I am a little wary this time. In two days it will be Easter holidays, and this shopping time of the year is not easy in normal times. I will be going in the afternoon. The advantage is that there will be less people, as they all rush in the morning to get it done. We golden oldies have learned to be patient throughout life. The only disadvantage might be that we will be greeted with half empty shelves, but I hope not. I have been buying continuously in advance and now just need the fresh veg and a few household items. I realised yesterday evening that I have now used my last washing powder. Thank goodness for my digital list on the phone. I will probably also go on a short store visit tomorrow for things that I might have forgotten, but otherwise intend not to put a foot in a store again until next week on Tuesday afternoon. That is golden oldie planning and logistic.

And now I wish you all the best of the day and hope that you stress levels are nice and even. See you around some time later.

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Good Morning

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Well I got here at last although I had a journey around my garden first of all trying to find something for a photo or two. This isolation thing certainly interferes with your routine. Normally I would have a few new photos in the camera and now I am just taking photos with my mobile from home. At least improvements have been made on the mobile cameras, although I read that there should now be the introduction of a new and even better iPhone. Even that has been delayed due to coronus etc., but I can put up with that and am not ready to buy yet another new phone. I now have two as the one I mislaid appeared again, but as it is in perfect condition, I am keeping that for No. 2 son when we meet up again, coronus permitting.

Things are gradually getting into a routine, although an unwelcome routine. I read yesterday in Swiss news that store invasions are expected on Saturday due to the Easter holiday. I will not be invading and have just one more shopping safari to do and then I have everything. Mr. Swiss said something about Easter eggs, but that is the least important on my list. When the Easter holiday is at last over, all the remainders will be marked down at half price so I can wait. Easter is the worst time of the year for shopping, it always has been.

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At least my tulips have begun to flower in the garden. They are the Darwin sort, which have really wonderful flowers on high stems.

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I also have them in yellow. I planted them many years ago and they return bigger and better every year.

I had quite a nice surprise yesterday. Since reorganising my housewife life in view of the new invading microbes, I have been stocking up on some food items: things you can keep like rice and pasta, or frozen goods for my new freezer chest. Of course that costs more, but buying food is not waste. My bank account might be empty at the end, but my digestive system will not be. However yesterday I had an online payment to make and again looked at my current account in the post office which is the one I use for daily needs. I had not been there for at least a month and expected an all time low. However, it seems that everything was in normal proportions, and more than I expected. This does not mean that I am now a tycoon, but my new organisation is paying off. All my life I never bothered with organising stocks of food, and just bought what I needed.

I have now learned it otherwise. It is mainly due to the greed of the human race, that I realised the last to arrive are the last to be served in the store. It is not only the toilet roll famine, but food in general and I now keep an eye on the special offers and what I should have a stock of. I am planning a self made pizza on Saturday evening and have already bought the rolled out ready made pastry as I am sure if I wait until the end of the week there will be none left. I am beginning to study the sales of the supermarket provisions: something I have absolutely never bothered with. Although our country does have enough provisions to last and that is not a problem, it can become a problem when the panic buying housewives arrive early in the morning and take everything, leaving nothing for us afternoon shoppers.

It is amazing the thought process I am going through since the invasion of the hairy peas. It seems that the curve is now flattening to a degree in Switzerland that calls are being made to our government to relax the lockdown. However, they are being careful, and rightfully so, and say it is too early, another peak could arrive. On the other hand the economy is suffering and the sooner the better for business to revive.

I am glad I am not a politician in these hard times. Somehow I am getting a feeling that the European governments are in a little one sided competition to see who deals with the mess better and quicker than the others.

And now to depart to another economic problem, clearing up at home. I wish you all a good day in isolation and don’t forget to wave to the neighbours now and again over the balcony or garden wall. Have a good one, I am waving from my computer.

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I found some grape hyacinths growing at the edge of my garden. No idea where they came from, perhaps something the gardener cleared out of my garden when I had the raised beds installed.

Good Morning

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Time for a sunrise photo and a little finger exercise on the computer. Actually I have less to do now in the early morning as bird feeding is slowing down. They are still chirping and now and again attacking the platform on the bird house, but do not look very hungry or very much thinner. They are now probably busy finding worms and other protein food for the babies which will probably soon be taking flying lessons from their parents.

It seems that the Swiss are behaving in these troubled times, and not flocking out in groups in the good Spring weather we are having. Just small groups at a distance to each other, although our police were also out enjoying the Spring weather, but for other reasons. The Swiss are very serious about staying at home and rightly so. Police are patrolling constantly and if they find groups of people going against the coronavirus rules they get a nice juicy fine of one hundred Swiss francs. I even saw that if people are having a private grill party in their garden and the police hear and see it, fines will be distributed. Yesterday the police in Luzern found children with their parents having a nice relaxed grill party in their garden, but it became quite an expensive party with the fines they got. I am certainly not in favour of a police state, but in war times different laws exist, and whether we like it or not, we are battling against an unseen but not less dangerous enemy.

I must also give a big praise for the Swiss form of government. Of course we have our idiots like any other country, it is human nature, but we have a system based on political equality. It might be in parliament that this or the other party has more members, but the Swiss government is basically 7 ministers with a party organised formula. 2 of each political party and 1 of the smaller party and the ministers are divided amongst them. Whether socialist or conservative or liberal all have their say and that is Swiss democracy and at the moment it is working in this time of problems. Perhaps it is because we are a small country with a small population that it is working so well but I am satisfied.

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My Caucasian forget-me-not are flowering not heeding the surrounding problems. They are perennial and arrive every year. They are quite good at spreading their seeds, and try to take over, but are a wonderful splash of blue in Spring.

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I also have blanda anemone appearing everywhere. It began with a couple of plants, and now they are arriving in a few places. I never planted them, they just appeared from nowhere and I only realised last year what they were.

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Another wonderful splash of colour.

Today is again a trip into the unknown to the store. I am hoping that people are remaining sensible and not raiding the shelves. This week will be particularly a delicate piece of shopping work as the stores will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, leaving a very long weekend, some forced isolation. Careful planning and logistic must be applied, but I have already made my detailed list: frozen fish and ham form part of it, as that is something I can already buy.

I also contacted my gardener this morning and they are coming tomorrow afternoon. My trees really need a trim and there are too many unwanted plants growing here and there at the moment. I am glad they are working as usual. The lady gardener was on the phone, who is a very nice person and she said that keeping distance from each other in a garden is not so difficult and they are working as usual.

I am now off to the normal morning work and hoping for smooth runnings today as we probably all are, My daffodils are still flowering making an effort to show that Easter is approaching soon.

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Good Morning

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Looks like the beginning of a sunny week-end. Does this mean that people will again be flocking outside, leaving their places of isolation, to enjoy it all. It has a price to pay if you do, but many never learn.  I do not even risk a wheelie in my area, although it is open countryside and you very rarely meet human beings even on a non-coronusvirus day. What are those days. They are so far away. Only yesterday I was in the store and we were all taking care not to get too near to each other. There was a young lady approaching me with her trolley and I also had a trolley. I decided to wait on one side until she passed. She laughed and thanked me and afterwards said “I will be glad when we can walk normally again” which just about summed the feelings up that we all have.

Will we learn something from this when it is over, and one day it will be over, but not in the near future. I do not think we will really. We might no longer empty the shelves of toilet paper or tinned food because pandemic is often confused with famine. Why on earth are people now buying flour in all varieties and sorts? That is something I do not understand. Everyone is buying Spelt flour, something I would never dream of using. A very wholewheat sort. Are we all becoming health specialists? And the run on tinned tomatoes continues. For a while they had the normal sizes again in the store, but these have now again disappeared. However they have been replaced with the largest tins which is far too much for a serving of a spaghetti meal. I must admit, shamefully, that I stocked up on a few normal-sized tins when they were again available, although my 5 tins of panic will soon be used.

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Nature is clapping its hands in gratitude for the recovery time it now has. Air quality has improved, there is less noise and movement in the earth surface and even the oceans can relax with less cruise ships and cargo ships. As soon as things are back to the pre virus days I am sure this will all be forgotten and we will be back to the old routine of our plastic throwaways in the oceans and blocked roads and motorways. Perhaps it is because I am a golden oldie, been there and seen it all, that I am not missing the daily stress so much. I realised I do not even buy clothes. I have my style and only dress when I go shopping for appearances. Otherwise I laze around in isolation at home in my comfortable loose fitting trousers (with an elastic waist) and loose fitting top. Cosmetics became non existent for me many years ago. Perhaps it is me and my strange ideas of a good life but it never interested me. However, I am sure there are those that cannot wait to spend again on these items. The only thing I am missing at the moment is a decent hand sanitizer, not to think of a mask, which have become non-existent.

It is times like these when you realise how important it is to have food on the table. I now realise what my mum felt when one of her principles was exactly that. She was not a good cook, thinking that essentials were potatoes, cabbage and meat, but after going through 5 years of war and rationing, you learn to recognise life’s real necessities. The only reason I leave my isolation is to replenish food for the family. And now for something completely different.

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I was sitting at the kitchen table (my favourite place for blogging) and looking out of the window watching the birds flying back and forth for food. I then saw one of the local cats taking a walk on the edge of the garden where the hawthorn tree is flowering. At the moment it is a congregational place for all sorts of smaller birds, mainly sparrows. Now no self respecting feline could walk past such a food supply. This cat decided to go for it and made a jump into the hawthorn tree. I took many photos but this was the best I could manage. It seems that the birds were quicker and after about a quarter of an hour the cat decided to give up and leave. It is reassuring to see how nature continues regardless of what we humans are doing.

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As I no longer put out so much food for the sparrows they have now moved their hunger search to the bird house which was generally reserved for the smaller colourful tits. Today I used the remains of the seeds for wild birds, The store no longer have any until next Winter and so they will have to fend for theirselves. However, they will survive I am sure. They have all put on weight from my feeding plan and have enough reserves.

It is time for me to move on to more essential daily tasks and I should put the meat on cooking. It is boiled beef with veg today and it will take a couple of hours to simmer. Have fun everyone, remember to stay at home in this wonderful weather, I will, although perhaps a little outside in the garden.

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And here he is again still searching for a bird in the tree.

 

Good Morning

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The sun was well and truly shining when I took the photo this morning. Perhaps I got a little too close with the phone camera, but it was really a strong light. It was quite cold outside, but during the day I am hoping it will warm up. Yesterday was an isolated day. I did not go anywhere and it was just Mr. Swiss and me and the cat. I did have a few words with my neighbour, nicely separated by the hedge in between. She has a little boy who has now begun to discover that legs are for walking. She said she stays mainly at home at the moment, as most of us.

Today I will be on the quest for week-end shopping food, but up to now there are no great crowds. I am already beginning to plan next week as it is the Easter week-end. I am not sure whether our stores will be closed for the normal Easter holidays or not, but they probably will be. I am having to plan food that I can buy in advance and keep, as from Friday until Monday all is closed. Saturday will be a normal shopping day, but what is normal at the moment. I will try to avoid Saturday shopping. Needless to say there will be no Easter Eggs or chocolate bunnies. We have other problems to solve at the moment. I feel that Easter and any other special events no long mean anything.

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At last my tulips are flowering in the garden, the last of the Spring flowers to show their colours. I also have some red tulips but they are still in bud. Otherwise there is not very much action here at the moment. I just got a call from my telephone supplier, the Swisscom, telling me of the advantages of the new and better subscription system they have for calls in other countries. I explained that 10 years ago it would have been interesting, but today I no longer travel anywhere and my connections abroad no longer really exist. Actually when I think of it, no-one really calls me and the only calls I make are usually by the messenger. They cost nothing and I have all the advantages of the usual connections.

And now I am really going places and doing things, like the bathroom and a general walk with the Dyson through the apartment. I also have a pile of bed linen to iron (duvet and pillow covers) which does not take so long and I will do it straight away to get it done and done with. And as another day dawns on the empty streets I hope you are all keeping safe from the dreaded unknown enemy.

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Good Morning

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I seem to be dithering around in the morning and already almost an hour is gone until I am sitting comfortably at the kitchen table with breakfast and computer (in that order of course). Today is fresh linen day on the beds, so I also spent a little time removing the linen. Whilst I am letting the mattress air out I decided to relax and say good morning to everyone (although for those over the pond it is probably late evening). I am very aware of the world clock as I worked for 30 years in export, and if you wanted to contact your customers you had to be aware of office hours. I could contact the down under countries (Australia and New Zealand) early in the morning before they left the office for the pub and the Asians were only available during our morning.

Well, the sun is rising again and so it looks like it will be a good one.

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Yesterday mid afternoon I was again on a shopping excursion. As I noticed that the trolleys were few on the upper part of my parking space, I decided to park at the main entrance where the trolleys are all parked. I entered through the main part of the mall, and saw only emptiness: right and left all was closed. Even the benches for sitting on were covered with black and yellow striped tape to prevent any human contact. The kiosk on the right was still open, although only one person at a time allowed entrance. I even saw a human filling in his lotto cards which are in the red stand at the entrance. I suppose old habits die hard. It can get quite depressing with time. Perhaps it helps me to get out with a purposes now and again.

I had a wonderful experience yesterday. I met a neighbour who lives in the same block as I but at the other end. We met once before. She is from Asia and we speak english together and she remembered me, even my name, and asked how things were for me and immediately offered her help with shopping. She said if I could not get out to the shops she would be glad to do any shopping I would need. Even bringing crates of bottles would be no problem. She gave me her mobile number and I was quite glad. I can manage quite well on my own, but you never know if I might have a problem. Mr. Swiss cannot go far alone and my handicapped son (autist) also would have problems. To be quite honest I am glad for the opportunity to get to the shops now and again and break out from my isolation. The store is quite big, the amount of people allowed in is controlled and there has never been an entering problem.

I also visited the chemists in the mall yesterday. Everything was cordoned off although I saw a couple of assistants on the other side. I called over if I could enter and she laughed, greeted my by name (who doesn’t know me?) and said to enter. I needed a refill of those little brushes for cleaning between the teeth and a bottle of hand liquid soap refill also caught my eye. I got the original small bottle as a birthday gift from the chemist shop, when I could choose from a few things, and now I have a half litre bottle to fill it up when empty. I hope I am not getting boring with all these silly details, but at the moment they are the big events in my isolated life.

After eventually picking up my groceries it was time to go. I had a word with the customer service lady about the availability of trolleys at my favourite parking  space as I noticed they were no longer depositing so many there. A few days ago I took the last one. She said it should not be the case, and if I would have a problem to report it at the desk. She would organise one for me, as I am a little handicapped with walking, and would now make sure that there would be enough of them ready. I was glad as I was not sure if they were now deliberately no longer bothering due to coronavirus. I just wish it would all come to an end some time. I keep an eye on the local developments. You have a feeling that there are now a few less cases, but only a few, and we are long not out of the woods.

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As I stood at the main entrance I looked towards the entrance path which was also empty. It reminded me of the ghost towns in the wild West after the gold rush was over. It can give you a very strange feeling now and again.

Today is another day of isolation at home. Thank goodness for some bird life now and again to break the monotony. I even saw one of the crow population this morning choosing his walnut of the day. Keep safe and well and may it one day all come to an end.

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Good Morning

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This is really a photo from this morning, although they are all beginning to look alike. There is no rain and no clouds, just a good typical Spring morning with a very big nip in the air. Mr. Swiss tells me 0,3 °C which is just below freezing. He refilled the water bowl outside which was not yet frozen and remarked that as Tabby no longer drinks from it we could stop doing it. I reminded him that the birds are also regular customers. Speaking of birds I only really see sparrows and tits at the moment. I fill up the food in the morning and add a few peanuts and walnuts. I then proceed to the apartment with a few bits and pieces. In the meanwhile the big nuts have mysteriously disappeared, so probably a few crows and magpies have paid a flying visit. They are the only birds with beaks big enough.

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Otherwise life continues with no big dramas. This afternoon I am off to the store again for shopping, although it is so well organised it should not be a problem. However today I am putting my walker in the car. I still park on the parking places reserved for handicapped, and am usually the only car on the six reserved places. It is easier for me as I only have to walk through the sliding doors and I am in the store. However it seems there are less and less trolleys available there, the last time only one, meaning if there are none I will have a problem walking into the store to shop. Perhaps they are reducing them in this place but I need the trolley for the shopping. If they are no longer ready to replace them in that place, it means I will have to go to the lower floor and get one from the entrance myself. In times of war, even against an invisible enemy, you must be prepared. Although the alternative would be to park on the handicapped places on the lower floor where there would be enough trolleys available which might be the better solution.

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If I park on the lower floor, I would also have better opportunities for some photos. I am really running out of ideas, due to my otherwise self isolation. Daily our government gives out a bulletin of the progress of the coronavirus in our country and it seems that there is now a downwards trend of infections. We are long not out of the woods, but you grasp at every straw of hope.

And my orchid in the kitchen, that I bought before the lock down, is still looking good. Some of the older ones have  lost their flowers, no chance of replacements at the moment as all the flower shops are closed. At least I have something to look forward one day when this spook is over.

And now to continue with the daily life of a golden oldie housewife. I have given up wishing you all to have a good day, as we are all in this together, so we all have our battles to fight. My thoughts are with you all, no matter where you are. See you around

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