Good Morning

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No, this is not a photo of this morning’s clouds. This morning it is grey, but no clouds, just dismal. This is from yesterday afternoon where a storm was on its way, although the afternoon stayed dry. During the afternoon I got a report on my phone that the storm had now reached Bern with large hailstones and torrential rainfalls, although they always tend to overdo it a little. However, Bern is just over 40 kilometers from where we live, and so anything could be.

It arrived in the evening in our area: first with high winds and so I was out in the garden supporting my tall plants (especially the hollyhocks) with metal tomato poles. Something I had intended to do for some time. I also put the chairs on the porch out of harms way and a few potted plants and I was ready.  We got no hailstones, a few claps of thunder and lightening, but no big deal. However the winds were very strong, but my garden survived very well. Probably the soaking of the rain did it good.

Luckily I managed to get away in the afternoon for a wheelie into town. I was on a photo quest for a few of those shops that were closing due to almost no profits with online shopping.

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This used to be a thriving toy shop and I remember my visits around Christmas for the kids toys when they were younger. The shop had been in the hands of a family for years. It was then taken over by another shopholder family, still selling toys, but also prams and other baby requirements. At the time of carnival they also sold the costumes and always had a figure dressed in a carnival costume outside. This has now been closed down and I have no idea what will happen.

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The shop encased in a wooden cover was one of the town’s oldest chemists shops and drug store (by coincidence with our family name, but no relation). It was a household name here. This closed about a year ago as the owners of the building doubled the rents and is now being redesigned for something new.

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And this was a thriving clothes deparment store, belonging to a chain throughout Switzerland. The owner closed them all and this branch was taken over by an Italian clothing store chain. Only for a few months as they realised that there were no profits to be made. It is now empty and closed since almost a year and will also be something else eventually.

It is sad to see stores belonging to families in the third generation already, being closed. I said to Mr. Swiss yesterday that in 10 years we will no longer recognise our market town of Solothurn (if we are still here with my than 83 years and Mr.Swiss 90 years).

And so I wheeled on in my chair and discovered yet a new street musician. I wheeled past him when he was getting prepared for his entertainment fixing the bells on his ankles.

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He then produced his instrument, I think it is a sort of shalmei, and began to play stamping his feet with the bells in the rhythm. He gathered a few spectators and even collected money in his hat on the side. The music was OK, but a bit nerve killing with time.

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I decided to wheel on home along the river bank after taking a shot of the river in town with our landhouse on the right and including our restaurant mile in the background in front of our Wengi bridge.

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I wheeled on home alonge the path next to the river bank which was now looking quite lush with the rain we have had lately. I had a meal to cook for the evening (chilli) and my photos to upload, as well as writing a couple of blogs. Mr. Swiss was off to bed around ten and it was me and my computer uploading and describing photos and emptying the dishwasher, as well as hanging up the washing. Anyhow it all keeps me out of mishief.

I have had my breakfast, written my piece of the morning and also baked up a platted bread, so what could possibly go wrong. I now want to bake a nectarine tart and deal with the usual household chores. A woman’s work is never done, but you never get bored.

My botanist colleague, Tony in sunny California,  told me that this plant is also known as a gaura lindheimer of which I have group growing in the garden. They are mainly pinkish red, but this morning I discovered I have a white one. I leave you with its photo and wish everyone a very good day.

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Good Morning

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Seems to me to be an uncertain weather show from the clouds and I was expecting a nice sunny week-end. The last reports I read were that today we will be getting heavy storms over Switzerland and strong winds. At the moment everything is under control, and I did a days work before breakfast: changing the garbage bag in the kitchen, emptying the cat’s recycling tray and even evicting a slug from my raised beds.

I was expecting an invasion of slugs after the wet weather we have been having but my new plants in the garden are not slug friendly and they have to climb up to reach the selection in my raised beds. After finding the first pioneer of the year I made a closer inspection of the livestock in my beds, but found no others. Mine is now enjoying the meal supplied by our wild meadow opposite.

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I also found some woodlice sheltering under the leaves of the plants. I have only managed to get one photo up to now, as soon as you lift the leaves they scuttle away-

Yesterday was week-end shopping and quite a casual session in the afternoon, but I forgot Monday lunch. It is still new for me to go shopping in the afternoon and I am still getting used to buying on Friday for Monday.  I really did not want to go shopping over the week-end, although if we are getting such bad weather today I might risk it. I checked on the reserves and discovered enough potatoes, some diced bacon and eggs, so I could manage at a pinch on Monday with Swiss Rösti, Bernese style with bacon cubes, and a fried egg on top. I also think I have a few remainders of frozen veg as well as some tomatoes, so we will not starve on Monday if I am house confined today.

I was actually planning a little on an afternoon visit into town today, but will have to postpone it. I noticed a few of the stores in town are gradually disappearing. Shops that have been in the hands of generations locally. The property is being redesigned and there is too much competition with online buying. The computers are taking over slowly but surely.  I just wanted to grab a few photos before they disappear completely.

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The town of Solothurn is slowly beginning to just be empty streets and when the last shops disappear it will be a ghost town, with only restaurants and food shops: stuff you do not usually buy online, although the local supermarket also makes deliveries.

The world is changing as we know it and we are having to adapt.

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I discovered a new flower in the garden this morning. The gardener lady planted a few patches of these. I am not sure of the name, but found something similar in my plant app known as beeblossom. they have long stalks and are full of buds.

By the way a funny thing was happening with my WordPress Site, not that I minded. Over the last few days my increase in likes and visitors climbed to untold heights, with 500 visitors a day. Not that I mind, I usually get in the range of 2-300 daily. I am not someone who checks very often and I do not go in for record visits. I just have fun blogging, but I was astonished at an almost 100% increase. I had a further look to see where these people were coming from and discovered that the Philippines were supplying me with almost 200 visits a day. Why the Philippines? I have no idea. The States and Europe and a few Asian countries appear, but a group of islands where I know almost no-one seems strange to me. I am sure that the mysteries of Internet are using their influence.  Anyhow today everything back to normal it seems and my Philippine friends have disappeared overnight, not even one as liked anything.

So now to move on with some fun games like cleaning and cooking, make the most of the day everyone, see you later.

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Good Morning

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Yesterday a sunny day and I was certain today would be rain. I was not far from my suspicion. As I stopped hugging the bed I heard the first drops outside the window, but it was a short interval and has now stopped leaving a few promising clouds in the sky that were already disappearing.

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I decided to venture into town yesterday afternoon. It was almost a week since the last journey due to the rain. I noticed when passing one of the bridges, that the water level is higher than usual, but nothig spectacular.

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The swans were out, searching for food. I love those acrobatics they do when their head goes underwater searching for whatever they find. They paddle with their feet to keep the balance.

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The horses were also out in the field and one seemed to be doing some gymnastic exercises on the grass.

I wheeled on into town but there was nothing special happening. I went past our catholic priests training school on the way to town, which is nothing really special. On the other side of the road we have the palace for the Bishop of Basel who resides in our Kanton which is something more special. I also met a guy in vicar clothes on the way. He saw me and asked where the palace was, in english of all languages. I suppose he was visiting the bishop.

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I eventually arrived in town, but nothing very much happening, although there was a street musician with a few various instruments.

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I do not now what this one was, but it sounded OK. I do not think he was making very much turnover. I noticed groups of men walking around the town with their names pinned onto their clothes. There must have been a group visit to Solothurn. I think if it was not for the summer visitors we would be a ghost town in Summer.

Eventually I decided to return home and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon (and early evening) out on the porch with my computer, with a break for tea, our evening food supply. In the evening I do not usually cook, perhaps on Saturday evening. It is the usual cold cuts with a side salad or just a few tomatoes and cucumber.

As I sit here with my breakfast and an open kitchen window I hear the sound of the electric hedge cutter from the neighbour.  We had our hedge cut at the beginning of the week by the gardener, and now the neighbours seem to be following our example one after the other. I also noticed a small excavator parked on our parking lot outside and yesterday on my wheelie saw that part of our path is being renovated. Luckily I have an alternative path, otherwise I would have difficulty with my wheelchair. Funny how these things matter. Before I became dependant on my chair for long distances, I really never thought of the problems that someone could have when handicapped. It gives you a completely different view on the world. I am also thankful for the people that help. Only a couple of days ago I had to get a new supply of Cola, six large 1,5 liter bottles. I can manage to lift it but always ask if there is someone near. The guys in the store are always helpful, but I had to shift the pack from my trolly to the car boot. There was a guy also packing stuff in his car and he put my pack in my car for me when I asked, with a smile and wished a good day. These little things set you up for the day.

And now to go further with the daily tasks. This afternoon I have yet another excursion to the store as it is week-end shopping time and I have not yet made the list. We are still thinking about the menu plan for the week-end, bearing in mind not too much time spent in the kitchen but having a variety. Mr. Swiss tells me that good weather is predicted so no good making stews etc.

Have a good week-end everyone. I will leave you with a so-called knapweed (I think) that I saw on my journey yesterday in a nearby path. Even wild flowers have their charm.

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Good Morning

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We have blue skies again, although I have learned not to trust it. It could easily be that at midday there will be clouds and rain. My little garden seems to be enjoying it and so are the woodlice. They have made themselves at home on my raised beds, although they leave my plants alone. The seem to be enjoying the damp weather we have. Admittedly they are not pretty with their little armoured bodies, but where I used to have a slug infection the woodlice have taken over. Sligs devour everything with their near 200 teeth. I did a quick information check on them in Internet about woodlice and they just like damp places. They are rarely a danger to plants and I can safely leave them to do their own thing, although they resemble an army with their armour on ready to attack. I will try to get a few photos, but it seems they are still sleeping at the moment. Even the bees have not arrived yet. The flowers they like are closed and I only saw one bee hoping to have it all to himself buzzing around.

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Although the sedum is ready and waiting, still a little wet from the night rain, I must say the gardener did a good job. She planted sedum here and there and it makes a wonderful yellow bed. There is also a type with red flowers, but they are not yet open.

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My thymian is showing its flowers, although I am still adding it to various dishes. It is so much easier to keep under observation on the raised bed and to use it.

I am afraid I have nothing new to show at the moment as I have been housebound due to the rain. Today is again day of fresh bed linen but I now have the routine and everything under control.

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I noticed in the store yesterday that the summer fruits are now being sold at normal prices. I already baked an apricot tart last week and now the nectarines are on a special offer. Actually I am not a great fruit eater, but I they are quite good for keeping the sugar household in order in the body I heard. I am diabetic, Type 2 with tablets, so I suppose every little helps. Yesterday they were still hard, fresh from the store, but this morning they are becoming more edible. I really do not want to have to inject insulin. I am not sure if I still have space due to my injections for MS every second day, and that is not a pen.

No shopping today and I am really hoping to get out a little bit this afternoon to see what the world is doing. And now to doing something useful, like having a tidy up in the apartment. I am becoming a super housewife it seems, but I just cannot sit around and do nothing.  When I had to work it was annoying, now that it is a free choice I like doing it. Have a good day and make the most of it, even if it is not so good. Hope to see you around later.

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I leave you with a mystery photo: my indoor plants, now outside on the porch, and a shadow of the photographer.

Good Morning

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And another wonderful rain soaked morning this morning. I heard it begin to shower during the night, as a background noise to my sleep and this morning everything is dripping again. My garden is beginning to look like a rain forest.

Mr. Swiss now likes to hug the bed earlier in the evening and so I have replanned my evenings a little. I now have almost an hour to myself. I tell him to switch the TV off when he disappears and I might read a little. I used to sit in the chair and fiddle with my iPad as a last effort updating my various blogs with likes etc. with Mr. Swiss who was watching the TV. Now I move to my computer. The Mac is a fantastic machine for fast action. I only have to wait seconds until it is ready to use and I can do a quick journey through my various pages. Yesterday, however, just as I was ready to hug the bed it told me there was an update to its programme. I decided to do it, so spent about 10 minutes longer organising.

I noticed WordPress is offering something called a G Suite for $72 annually so I had a look. It seem it is all Google based with mail, storage and a few other peps. I do not think I will bother, although since WordPress teamed up with Google I have now found a very good advantage with Google photos. I can put them direct into my blog. I still have my Flickr photo storage for files and organisation, but Google is good for a quick upload.

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Nothing really new on the photo front in this dismal weather as I am not going places and seeing things at the moment except for the supermarket, so just my front and back  garden in the rain to show.

Yesterday was an exception that went shopping in the afternoon. I rarely go on Tuesday and noticed there were more people, but no too crowded. I saw a few familiar faces. When I got to the till to pay, I discovered the reason for the invasion. They were all golden oldies like myself and it seems Tuesday is the day when they are granted 10% on their purchases. The lady on the till asked me for my card and so I was also included in the 10% honour, although I do not think I will now change my routine. I really only had to buy a few items yesterday as it was compensation for the Monday which was closed.

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Today I am off again this afternoon for the normal Wednesday shopping journey.  I had to order a new supply of my diabetes tablets this morning and they will be ready this afternoon to pick them up. My chemist is also where the store is. I also had to order a new supply of my MS injections this morning. I usually order a 3 month supply. I have a  fridge in the cellar where I can keep them. They are now delivered in cool boxes due to the warmer summer weather and they are big.

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And now I am off to my housewife world accompanied by a vacuum cleaner and mop. Let us make the most of the day and be happy, or at least try. Have a good time everyone.

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Some gazanias fom the local store to brighten up your day.

Good Morning

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I am here, although a little later. My cleaning lady is busy caring for my shower, bathroom and kitchen, but will soon be finished. I am so glad to have her. When she leaves I have a perfect apartment. In the meanwhile I cleaned the windows on one side of the flat, although they were not really dirty, just a freshen-up. We had a lot of rain this week, but now and agains some sun and it did not affect the windows so much. At the moment no rain, but looking very grey. Actually Switzerland is having a rain problem at the moment, because there is too much of it and the rivers in certain parts, mainly the mountain areas and in the South in the Ticino (Italian part), are threatening to burst their banks. We live higher in our estate, so no problem, the Aare flows below.

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I have not been out very much, due to the weather. Yesterday it was the visit of No. 2 son and family. Actually it was a sort of last minute thing as at first they were coming in the afternoon, but decided to arrive in the morning. I had not really catered for the feeding of the five thousand, just the three of us, but we women are very versatile. With a few more sausages and raiding the cupboard I managed to feed everyone. I had made a Swiss apricot tart before they arrived which went down well with everyone. Apricots grow in Switzerland, but it is just a little early at the moment for the Swiss varieties, but they were very good with just the right sweet touch.

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I have a bit of a different routine this week, due to the Whit Monday holiday, but again everything under control. Dinner is cooking for today and this afternoon I will make a quick tour de shops for a few things for tomorrow lunch. I discovered I have quite a reserve of food which is good. Last Thursday I did go a little over the top with the shopping expense, but it carried me through to today. Thursday is usually spaghetti and I really need just a fresh salad to go with it as I decided on Spaghetti alla tonno (with tuna fish which I already have – the tinned variety). I also have a stock of cervelat (Swiss sausage to be eat cold or fried) and I will fry them tomorrow together with a Swiss Berner Rösti (Sliced potatoes fried with diced bacon) – see photo of one of my earlier creations.

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Yes life is getting back to normal. The next holiday will be corpus christi, but that is a Thursday, and on Thursdays I never have anything planned, except perhaps for a wheelie in my chair, weather permitting.

And now the kitchen is calling. I have some pasta to cook and fennel, The meat is on its way. Yes the life of a housewife is full of movement, but it keeps me young. Mr. Swiss prepared the fennel for me, together we are strong

Have a good day, may the weather be with you.

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Good Morning

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Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time and this happened to me this morning. I was outside, mainly to replenish my cat’s water bowl with something fresh and naturally also with my phone camera. Mr. Swiss and I have both got accustomed to carrying our mobiles wherever we go, we are both golden oldies and you never know when you need to phone urgently.

So there I was, in night dress outside pointing to the sky with my phone camera for the first photo of the day and marvelling the cloud formation and then the birds decided to do a formation flight. I am sure they knew it would appear on the computer for everyone’s appreciation. I assume they were crows as they are the only big birds I see so early in the morning. OK, a little cheat, I did enlarge the photo a little.

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Yesterday I was on my way again. The weather was perfect: blue skies, sun and a nice cool breeze. I decided to take a different route. First of all I wheeled through our town, which takes 5 minutes at the most, being a smaller market town and left through the Biel gate, so called because it is the starting point for the main road to Biel (or Bienne as the French speaking call it). On the other side in the town there are various shops and restaurants. Here you can see the back entrances. I then wheeled onto what I call the religious section.

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I had not been there for some time, it is the Loreto area. On the way there were signs pointing to the Loreto Flea market. I was tempted, but after following a few signs I had not found it, so stuck to my route. This is the Loreto chapel. It is surrounded by fields, and last year they had planted sunflowers for their oil.

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This year they had decided on wheat, which is not as spectacular, but also has its charm.

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I moved on and arrived at the Kloster Names Jesu, which is on the signpost outside. I think there are a few nuns and monks in this building, in separate sections of course, although I am not an expert. I was now bound homewards and quite enjoying the trip, something a little different.

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I afterwards passed the local high school that has this interesting model in the grounds. I am not sure what the artist had in mind, but it makes a good photo subject. Going onwards I arrived at the local castle meaning that I would now only have to cross the main road and I was home. I usually avoid the crossing on this part of the road and prefer to wheel down further. They renewed this part of the road through our village a couple of years ago, but forgot that sometimes there are wheelchair drivers that like to cross the road, like the chicken, to get to the other side. And so the kerbs can get very bumpy. More embarrassing, but kind, for me is that when a car driver sees a golden oldie in a wheelchair they stop to let you over, whilst you are still thinking about it. Not wanting to disappoint, you no longer have a choice and have an audience of car drivers on both sides of the road waiting for you to bump across the road.

I eventually reached home safe and sound, of course, and still had some spare time to sit outside on the porch (with computer of course) and deal with a few computerised bits and pieces.  It was then time to prepare the evening meal (a selfmade pizza quattro stagioni). Afterwards No. 2 son left us as the new film about Elton John (Rocketman) was showing at the local cinema, and him being a fan did not want to miss it. I think he possesses all of Elton John’s records. Another romantic evening with me and Mr. Swiss you might think, but Mr. Swiss had an early night and I was busy organising my photos for an upload. I also had a wash going in the laundry room in the basement to hang up when finished, and a dishwasher to empty. What an exciting evening it was.

And now to tackle my Sunday with a few household instruments to help me on my way.

Make the most of your Sundays, take it easy, I will be back but leave you with a view of the Jura mountains from across the fields surrounding the Loreto chapel from yesterday’s wheelie.

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