Good Morning

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And a wonderful morning today, although it is now almost lunchtime here. The cleaning lady is here and I have been busy joining her in a few tasks like freshening up windows and generally making order in the apartment. The sun rose a long while ago and my buddleia bush is really looking good out in the garden.

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I took a shopping trip into town yesterday. It is really good to get out into the fresh air and see a little action. I am glad to say that my wheelchair is functioning normally after my power failure on Sunday  It’s good to see some action in town.

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I just had to take a photo of our cathedral (again) yesterday. The clouds were really giving the view a good angle. As I was wheeling to the catherdral I cast a glance down the alley next to it.

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It leads to our pedestrian bridge over the river. Cars are not allowed on the bridge, but once every Summer a tourist takes a wrong turn and drives onto the bridge. It even gets into the local newspaper and is quite fun for us locals to see. Luckily I am allowed to wheel over it. The building on the right is our best hotel, the Crown hotel and on the left you can see the beginnings of the steps leading up to the cathedral.

Mr. Swiss is now getting the hang of his scooter. He decided he needed sun glasses for summer, and this morning he was quite brave and told me he was going into town to the opticians to organise a pair. He got home about half an hour ago and I was quite proud of him. It does need confidence to drive around with these vehicles in town. I remember when I first had my wheelchair, I had to get used to the various journeys with it. After two and half years I know where the good driving surfaces are and when it is best to cross the road. He told me he even parked in town next to the opticians. Tomorrow he has his next journey to the dentist.

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And look who arrived in our garden yesterday afternoon. Actually Roschti, the neighbours cat, often spends an hour relaxing here. I noticed when he comes he always approaches me and rubs his body on my legs as he walks past. I do not really think he misses my Tabby, they were never the best of colleague, but probably Tabby’s food bowl. I still have a bowl of fresh water outside for any animals that might pass by. I am sure the hedgehogs appreciate it at night.

And now I am off. Dinner is cooking and No. 1 son will soon be home for lunch. Have a good day everyone, keep safe.

Good Morning

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It got to a good start this morning, but I just had a check on the sky and noticed that a few grey clouds are appearing. It is quite warm outside and so I am hoping the clouds will go away. I am lucky to have a covered porch when outside.

I had a bit of a drama yesterday, actually it was a big drama, but my own fault really. I  decided to go for a wheelie around the cemetery to the castle and back. It was the third time without recharging my wheelchair, but I was sure I had enough power. Now and again I was getting a red light, but that was when ascending a steeper slope. Afterwards it was reacting normally when on the flat. However on the last stretch along the local railway on the path it was blinking red all the time. I got to the end of the path, was turning into my estate and then it happened. I got a warning blast from my horn and everything went dark, no more power.

I was just beginning to think what to do and an angel appeared. Not with wings, but a very helpful lady who asked if I had a problem. I told her of my predicament and her husband arrived, they were both on bikes. Husband was a saint and he got my wheelchair movable to push with working on the levers and yes, he pushed me home to my apartment through the door and even parked my chair inside. His wife then arrived and it seems they live just across the way to our apartment. What a lovely couple they were. Without them I do not know what I would have done. I would probably have called Mr. Swiss and he would have hobbled along the path with his walker and dealt with the problem as well as possible. As it was Sunday afternoon, it would have been difficult to call for help from my wheelchair organisation.

I then uploaded my wheelchair through the night and in the morning it was green light again. However when I switched on the lights kept blinking. Had I damaged the batteries? After a close inspection I saw that on one side the brakes were still in the “push” position. I changed it and now everything is good: a fully uploaded wheelchair and ready to go. This will be a lesson, but I will call the place that helps me with wheelchair problems just for information. On the one hand you should let the battery run down, but on the other, not until the power disappears. I have had the chair since almost three years, but am still learning its ways.

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Before this problem I did manage a nice wheelie in the area and visited the local farm with its animals. However, it was a warm afternoon and they were all having a sleep in the sun. The ducks were lying low and the goose seemed to be keeping an eye on things.

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There was not really a lot of action although a group of crows decided to have a meeting in the middle of the road. I wanted to get closer for a better photo, but it is the road up to the castle and now and again cars pass by. Naturally the birds fly away so this was all I managed to capture.

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I noticed the crops are now beginning to grow and the maize field will soon be quite high. I remember the first time I saw these tall plants. It was on a holiday trip by coach through Italy and I wondered what these plants were. Growing up in London, in England for that matter, maize is not a plant you would see. Probably the climate is not so good.

Today I am off to the shops again. After a double check on my wheelchair it looks good for a journey into town, two journeys actually, but then it will be uploaded. I am not risking the problem again of having no power.

Have a good start to the week, may it be a good one. Here is a view from the castle across the land towards Bern. Sorry no snow covered alps, but the warm weather is not allowing any splendid view so far at the moment.

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Good Morning

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What a wonderful morning! and with an exclamation mark: blue sky, a fluffy cloud wafting past and the buddleia is now in full bloom ion my garden. Everything seems to be happening so fast this summer. I have not seen such colour in my garden from the flowers for a long time. Last year it was too hot and most flowers got burnt in the bud. This year we have pure sunshine and a regular rain which keeps it all nice and fresh and clean.

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Even the bees are making the most of plant life and are filling their pollen sacks on their legs. This one decided to enjoy what my hosta flower had to offer.

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I sauntered through town yesterday  afternoon. Had a few items to get and also had a look around to see what was on offer for my camera. This time I also took my DSLR camera with the zoom lens as I did not have a lot to buy, just one bag full, and I gave it to the collectors to bring home for me. I had room in my bag for the Nikon camera. I wanted to see if I could get a better photo of our visiting storks that live on the chimney of our concert hall during the summer, and they were there. This time it seems that mum and dad were enjoying the view. Perhaps No. 1 baby was deeper in the nest, or was trying out its wings in the area.This chimney is just on the edge of town, so they have a perfect view of everything.

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I also had a look at our new development in the passage under the road on my way to town to see how the new store was getting on. It is not really a store, but one of the items included in the town’s 200 sponsored items by our art society. It is all in white.

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I particularly like the seal baby hanging from the shelf.

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The small alleys in town were looking as charming as always. There are always people taking a stroll to enjoy the town. The main traffic we have apart from pedestrians, are bikes and perhaps a car now and again, but they are few and far between.

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This is the street opposite the supermarket, and even here it is left to itself. I remember many years ago when it was a through road, although narrow, with traffic and I used to park my car there when shopping early morning before making my way to the office,  but this is now only a memory. They removed the road and transformed it into a pedestrian zone, Now there are only a few parking spaces. I find it an improvement and we really do not have problems with the traffic smells.

Perhaps a taxi  bringing people to their hotel, or business people visiting their shops circulate in the core of the town..  Even the outside roads where the stores are have very little traffic. We Solothurn people seem to be left to our own devices.

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It is now Sunday morning and I should now move on. Yes, the sunflower field is still there and every day when I pass by I just have to take a photo. Yesterday the clouds hovering above the Jura mountains made a nice cover to it all.

Have a good Sunday, may the sun shine on you and relax. I know I will. Even lunch is easy cooking today: steak and french fries/chips and a veg – what could be better?

Good Morning

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I know it is not photo of the year, but it is not every day that when I approach the ouside world to see what it looks like after hugging the bed I see a hot air balloon floating around in the sky. We do have them now and again, especially in Summer, but not an every day appearance. I shot a photo with the only thing I had in my hand which was my iPhone, but even the almost newest model with super camera lens could not zoom in enough, Afterwards I got my DSLR camera and managed to shoot a couple of photos before it disappeared on its journey, but you will have to wait for them. I will have to upload them later when I have more time. Now I only have time for breakfast and a morning blog, out on the porch on a sunny morning.

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I was again on my way in town yesterday, but I had the week-end shopping to deal with. Before I entered town I passed by our old fortifications which are no longer for protection, but more a tourist attraction and a place for various town exhibitions or events. The old moat is still there, but no longer filled with water, although I am not sure if it ever was filled with water. I asked Mr. Swiss, but he does not know either. This year we are celebrating 2,000 years of Solothurn, our town, and there are many events taking place for the celebration.  One is called Zart which is various art happenings, with all sorts of strange objects in town.

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I took a photo of this strange object a couple of days ago, might have already shown it here, and had no idea what it was supposed to be. It seems this is one of the creations from the artists, although I am still not sure what it is. Anyhow it was good for a photo. At least we do not have to be careful about getting too close to each other, and it is an event that will not be locked down due to our corona threat.

Many other events have been cancelled. We have our Autumn fair in September, since many years featuring the local tradesmen and stores, but this will not be in 2020, too risky with the pandemic. I also noticed that our annual cheese days, generally in August, will not be as usual. Generally they transform one of our squares into a bovine show with many good looking cows from the local farmers, but this year it will be without cows and just market stands with various cheese and other dairy products.

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This photo is from last year. There is also a vote for the best cow, although I think it depends more on milk production than good looks. Our cows are all good looking, even without their horns. I will miss my visit to the cheese days this year.

Today I will again be off to town this afternoon, but really only for the sake of going somewhere, although I have a couple of items I want to get. I am making a chilli con carne this evening and like to mix some peppers with it, but only have the coloured ones, and forgot to get a green one. They also have a special offer with fresh meat over the counter at the moment, so I will see if they have something worth freezing for a later date. Saturday is always interesting as we might have a few musicians in town coupled with a little action. It looks like it will be a nice sunny day today, not too hot, and I want to make the most of it.

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On the way home I passed our St. Urs fountain, the town’s patron saint, along the main street. And now I should move on to deal with other Saturday chores. I just remembered I should begin to cook my meat for lunch. It is boiled beef and needs a couple of hours to simmer until lunch.

Have a great week-end, keep away form virus suspicious places and keep washing your hands. See you later.

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Good Morning

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A cloudy morning today, but at least it did not rain during the night and it is also not raining now. I think the day will develop into a sunny one. It is a relaxed Friday today with the normal morning chores. This week my son’s bed is on the rota for refreshing with clean sheets, so I can leave him to it. I am in a tidying mood at the moment, although not too extreme. My porch now looks better after I cleared away the various objects laying under the table. I have even organised my watering cans, meaning filling them with water with the various sorts of fertiliser I have: one for cactus, one for my potted calla and one for the rest. Plants also need food now and again.  I now have the garden cupboard to finish. I began a week ago and did half of it. Now I have to tidy the other half to make it uncomfortable for a new mouse home during the colder days. I had two living there last Winter, and did they make a mess.

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Yesterday I did an hour’s tour of our part of the village. I did not want to go far, and had no shopping to do in town. At the end of the path we have a meadow reserved for a few cows. I was not sure if they had returned this year, but they were there. They used to be the only cows in the village with real horns, but it seems that this year the farmer had decided they should remain hornless.

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It’s a shame really, a cow is not so interesting without its horns. The reason is apparently they can be dangerous and harm each other. I find it ridiculous. Human finger nails can also be dangerous if the grow too long and sharp, but we do not remove them at birth, so why remove the horns on the calves before they even start to grow. We once had a national vote in Switzerland, a referendum, that the cows should be allowed to keep their horns. I voted yes, but unfortunately the majority did not, so we still have many hornless cows.

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Trees are flowering everywhere at the moment and I noticed this strange tree yesterday. I naturally did a search for the name and it is apparently a bottlebrush buckeye, another tree not really common to our country.

Our statistics for corona virus reached another bump in the levels yesterday and this time the cause was one of the towns in our Kanton. Apparently a group met in a restaurant and one of them had the virus, the result being that the daily statistic for Switzerland increased to more than 100 new infections and there are 300 in isolation being tested.  Sometimes I think if it were not for the stupidity of the people the virus could be kept more in check. A week ago we had an average of 20 new cases daily. and now this.

And now to move on to my vacuum cleaner and mop for some occupational therapy. Keep well and safe everyone. I leave you with a view I saw yesterday on my wheelie through the village over our local countryside.

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Good Morning

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Sitting outside on the porch with the computer and the remains of breakfast is ideal at 9.00 a.m. What a wonderful start to the day, especially as it is looking a promising day. The weather gods did say something about wind and storm late afternoon but who cares. The morning is a good start to today.

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Yesterday I was again in town in the afternoon. The weather was fine, and there are still a few remains of lockdown limiting the amount of people in a store, although I have never been locked out. There is always enough space for me. Perhaps it is more crowded in the morning, but I am an afternoon person. I prefer to stay at home in the morning and deal with homely chores. After a sleep after lunch I am ready to go and full of new golden oldie energy. Mr. Swiss was planning to come with me in his scooter, but he was not feeling so wide awake and decided to stay at home.

The photo is of the town store choice of plants. Not very much really. Inside they have a few more, but also not really a lot to show. I was giving my plants at home some water yesterday. I have four orchids outside during the Summer. They are not in full sun as they would otherwise have burnt leaves. However, I had a pleasant surprise yesterday. I noticed that all four had made new shoots and two even had small buds. It seems the best treatment is once a week water, a little fertiliser and nature is doing the rest. I have another three orchids indoors which seem to be sleeping. I will now remove these to the outside and see what might happen.

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We really do have a wonderful little town and in Summer it shows itself from its best side. It has a few squares with various restaurants and decorations are perfect. This is the so-called cemetery square, although there is no longer a cemetery here. Once they did some renovations and a few bones appeared. Amazing what lies below sometimes.

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After leaving the square I entered one of our many narrow streets, again lined with restaurants and snack bars. There are a few other stores, but they are becoming few and far between. Everyone either goes to the supermarket or orders online- The advantage is that it is a wonderful town for meandering along the alleys and enjoying the sights.

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As I was on my way out of town, I passed by one of the numerous flower stores: just a small one, but there are always interesting plants to be seen. She had now spread the plant show to the window sills and there seem to be plant invaders everywhere.

And now I should invade my apartment with various machines for cleaning purposes, coupled with a mop etc. I am still missing our little Tabby cat. She was part of my morning routine with emptying her recycling tray and putting out fresh food. She was always having a sleep somewhere comfortably on a chair or bed.

Have a good day everyone, may the sun shine on you and keep safe, at a distance. Even our local pigeons do not get too close to each other.

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Good Morning

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Sometimes it is worth being a little later in the morning. the sun has risen, high in the sky, and doing its best for a good start to the day. It is cleaning lady day so I am a little later with this, that and the other, but lunch is cooking, the apartment is smelling of flavours and I am ready to go. I have already polished up my windows. I also had the sad work of brushing a large blanket cover removing the remainders of Tabby’s fur. She went to her 10th life yesterday and we are all missing her. Something is missing at home. It is the first time in eighteen years that I am catless.

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I was on a shopping tour yesterday in town to the supermarket. I used to drive to the next village to the store, which was quite a large shop, but now I travel by wheelchair to town which also has quite a good selection. I just enjoying going places and seeing people. The white boards next to the supermarket are where there used to be the entrance to one of our town hotels. The owners have now closed the hotel, due to retirement and I hear it will be converted to apartments, but am not sure. I find the glass window front of the supermarket shows the opposite buildings quite well.

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Our cathedral was looking quite good as I passed through town, the sun had reflected well on the front.

This afternoon I will be in town as well. I have a few odd and ends to get and I am still trying to persuade Mr. Swiss to come as well on his new snazzy scooter, but he is still thinking about it. There is a street café next to the store and he could have a coffee whilst waiting for me, but he really needs to be persuaded.

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I pass by the museum gardens as I go into town, which is also looking quite good. I should really visit the museum one day. My wheelchair would not be able to climb the steps to the entrance, but they also have a lift which is used for the transport of their exhibits and also for visitors with mobile difficulties like myself, so it would be no problem.

I can also hear the sound of an ambulance passing through at the moment and the horn has now stopped somewhere in the village. I hope that there was not an accident anywhere.

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Our new field of sunflowers is looking better every day as more and more are showing their flowers. With a background of the Jura, what could be better.

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I am sitting in my sort of office room with a wonderful view on the front garden and notice that my buddleia bush has now begun to flower.

Have a good day everyone, may the sun be shining on you, although it might be that you have night where you are. Stay well and safe.

Good Morning

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I am later than usual, but perhaps it is better, as it did not stop raining until about an hour ago. Now the clouds are lifting a little and the sun is peeping through now and again. I notice every time I enter WordPress to write something it tells me to use the new WordPress editor. I tried it once enthusiastically, and otherwise more by accident., and I am not impressed.  Perhaps it is a matter of getting into the routine. WordPress wants me to write everything in blocks, and I do not want to write things in blocks. I am always ready for improvement, but this is nothing different to what I already do, just without blocks. I call them paragraphs and they work well. I do not have to put every text or every photo into a block. I just write and it works.

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I went for a wheelie yesterday, just in the local area and visited the cows. There are only a few in a field, the others are not only let out in the evening for the night as even they can get a little uncomfortable in their coats during the day under the sun.

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I also met a couple of chickens. This are the special sort. The normal laying hens are now in another place, not so suitable for a wheelchair approach.

In the meanwhile my vet paid a visit and we said a last goodbye to Tabby our cat. It was sad, but she was an 18 year old lady and had had a good life with us. She is now living her 10th life in the eternal corn chambers, helping to keep the mice away. Both Mr. Swiss and I were with her in her last moments. The apartment now seems a little more empty without her.

And I should really go now. This afternoon I will  be off for a journey into town. We now have a blue sky with a few light clouds, as it looks like the rain has now gone. Have a good start to the week, wear your masks if necessary and stay safe. I leave you with a landscape view over our part of Switzerland from yesterday.

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Good Morning

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Now and again it rains a little, but nothing drastic. It is a little cooler, but the weather report says a little cloudy with sun and eventually 25° C which is not so bad. I am hoping for a less stressful day being Sunday, with just a little cooking and perhaps a wheelie into the open air this afternoon if the rain stays away.

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I went for a wheelie yesterday around the outskirts of town in the area that I call the religious area. It is full of churches and other similar places. There is also some land in between and this year it seems that Maize is the chosen crop.

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As I wheeled past one of the chapels, I saw they had the door open with a view into their yard where there is an entrance to a shop they have. I did not enter and assume they are selling various religious relics and perhaps some medicinal items they they produce theirselves.

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It was Saturday afternoon in town and I wheeled through on the way home, but not a lot of action. The cathedral seemed to be a place of attention and I saw a few visitors arriving there.

A sort of funny thing happened to me over the weekend, not really funny, but perhaps a little coincidence. The British TV have been showing a small film series about life in Monaco: that little country (more a larger town) which is a playground for the rich and famous. Apart from a royal family, they even have a few citizens and not all are immigrants. Naturally the citizens are a privileged people and also not poor. This week I was wheeling out of town where there are a few parking places and a large limousine, very expensive car, had decided to fit into an empty place. I first saw how the driver let out his wife and teenage children who were really dressed perfectly. He then drove past me and I am always careful in a wheelchair, so I stopped to let him go. He saw me, and said in a loud clear impolite voice in French “Attention” which was not really necessary as I had no intention of wheeling further. He parked the car and I wheeled past the front of the car on my way. What did I see? I saw a Monaco number plate, something you rarely would see outside of Monaco. Of course a very low number, as there are not so many people with cars from  Monaco. Was he one of the rich and famous? No idea, but I was still carrying impressions of the TV series I had  been watching.

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I noticed our farmer had let his horses out onto the pasture as I wheeled past.  They were all grouped together making the most of the meadow.

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And of course I made another stop as I wheeled past the sunflower field. It is growing daily with more additions. Van Gogh would have been pleased to be in our village. He would have had enough material for a painting or two.

Our corona statistics are not so good in Switzerland at the moment, and we seem to be slowly getting the second wave, although not so bad as the first. However, we are now having more daily cases (yesterday over 60) and it does seem that people are becoming careless. Personally I feel that we should have waited a little with relaxing the lockdown, but it now seems to be fashion and I have a feeling that it is gradually becoming a competition between various countries on who does it the quickest. Our Kanton still has no new cases thank goodness, but I am careful. Wearing a mask is not so necessary, but absolutely something you must do when travelling  by public transport.

And now I am off to my daily rhythm. Take care everyone, coronus is still here, even if you cannot see it.

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Good Morning

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It’s a cloudy sky, but I had a longing to get out. It is not really cold so I shifted my breakfast and computer to the porch and am enjoying some fresh air and birdsong at the moment.

Yesterday was again an expedition to the shops. Just as I was preparing to go (by wheelchair) the sky darkened and it really did not look good. The weather forecast did mention rain in the afternoon and I had also read from a colleague a little West of where I live, that a thunder storm had been raging in their area. I had a choice. Stay at home which meant weekend shopping the next day and make do with what I had, or take a chance. Armed with my raincoat I decided to take the chance. I must have set up the speed record in wheelchair driving but got to the store on the other side of town in one piece and dry. The storm was still thinking about it.

I did my shopping, deposited it to be picked up and taken home by our collector’s group and left the store to see a nice bright sky and no trace of rain. I was really glad. I had to go to the store next to my grocery store to pick up cigarettes for he who will not be mentioned and across the road to pick up his medicine in the chemists and I was again on my way home, but this time with a normal tempo. I did not need my raincoat, but had put it flat on the seat of the chair where it did not get in my way. I have again discovered a good system for wheelchair drives. I might even right a book about it “Advice for the wheelchair driver”, or perhaps it has already been done.

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As I drove home through town I noticed we had a bit of Friday afternoon action. There was a lady equipped with her soap bubble apparatus showing her talent. She only had one spectator, a little girl, and of course me that was taking photos. After the lockdown and all the trimmings, our town seems to be slowly waking up again from its sleeping beauty sleep and Summer action returns.

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As I passed one of our drug stores, I looked up at the open window to see if someone was sitting there again and watching.

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The guy that had been sitting there the last time had now been replaced by quite a fashionable lady, but she did not smile when I took her photo.

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When I left town I wheeled past one of our local flower beds with a wonderful display of foxgloves. It is really a good time of the year.

As I am sitting outside I just heard the pitter patter of rain, although I am well sheltered on the porch It was only for a few miniutes. I am hoping that is the daily rain for today as I would like to make an excursion this afternoon.

It is now time that I reduced my writing to exchange it for daily chores and a little logistical organisation. There are other things in life aside from a computer it seems, but what a wonderful invention. Ii wonder if Mrs. Bill Gates gets told by her husband to leave the computer and do something more productive like cleaning the home or cooking lunch.

I wish you all a good start to the week-end. Wash hands, wear masks if the government advise you to and keep a distance. And if the sun is shining you can also enjoy it in your own back yard or balcony. It really does not need a beach and sea and thousands of other people around you.

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The local sunflower field