I’m alive!

a-rainy-day-in-garden-10.03.2020

For those of you that might have even missed me, I decided to make an effort to let you know that I am still thriving , annoying Mr. Swiss and generally turning in circles. The Corona virus has not yet got me, although Switzerland are still debating what new tactics to used today. They have decided not to close the borders to Italy, so welcome everyone.

In the meanwhile life has not been running as smoothly as it should. On Monday I spent time in the garage dicsussing whether to have a new battery in my car or not. It seems, by various unanimous decisions, that I do not drive enough. After 12 months of my new car I only have 2,200 kilometers and that is not enough. It seems I should set up a record of distance driving visiting Zürich, Bern, Genva and perhaps even Lugano now and again to give my battery a chance to charge. I am still thinking about it. I even bought a new vignette to cover this year on the motorway and the new battery.

And then the next problem was there. I lost my iPhone. It has been missing since I returned home from the garage. After the garage I went to the supermarket and arrived home and am sure my phone was with me. I packed out the shopping together with Mr. Swist down at the computer and discovered there was no trace of my mobile phone. I have not left it in the car and after phoning the supermarket they told me that no-one had found the phone. I know I had it with my when I arrived home, but it has disappeared. As my phone has facial recognition, as well as a code, there is no danger that anyone would look like me and be able to use it.  Actually I am sure it is at home somewhere.

For me this is almost a greek tragedy as I live with it day and night. It tells me the time, has my shopping list, and some other facts and figures important to my existence as a human being. Thank goodness I have my iPad and did an update on my phone only last week. If I dial my Tel No. I only get the recorded socalled “combox”  saying I am not available. This means that I had switched it to flight mode and it is still flying somewhere.

However, I decided to look on the bright side of life and bought a new iPhone today, the newest version, with a super camera, the so-called 11 Pro Max – not cheap but now and again even a golden oldie needs to be cheered up. I have left it at the store and the guy is fixing it all for me. I decided to pay the little extra to save any nervous problems if I did it myself. He can take over the same number that I had and all my various apps.

I have decided to take a rest for the time being from anything connected to computers, iPhones and cars but hope that when I pick up my new phone tomorrow things will be back to normal. I think slowly I am getting too old for this type of excitement.

In the meanwhile I am sure you can now all sleep a restful night again, not having to lay awake and worry about me.

See you around again when life gets back to it normality.

 

Daily Prompt: Age-Old Questions – The Golden Oldie strikes again

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

Sweet Pea

I planted my everlasting sweet pea seeds about twelve years ago. I wanted to add some colour to my privet hedge. I did and they grew every year, but no-one told me they were indestructible. Not that they have taken over, but they do tend to reach out and multiply. I cut them down every year, but they return with a vengeance. OK, I am going off at a tangent, but I did not want to punish you all with yet another photo of a golden oldie that is growing grey gracefully. When I come to think of it twelve years ago I was a youthful 55 years old, still a working woman and could run for the bus if necessary and this plant is everlasting..

I will be 68 years old in December, that is if you live in Switzerland you are already 68 years old, because I am living in my 68th year. This is some sort of Swiss logic, which makes no sense to me. It would mean that when I was born I was already a year old, because I was living in my first year. The Swiss have a different way of working things out, and make you a year older than you actually are, but it is not important. You are as old as you feel. There are days when I feel that I am approaching the end phase, when I do not spring out of bed but first of all sit carefully on the edge and think about it. Shall I stand up and risk it, or shall I remain seated and wait until I have to move because nature is calling? These are the decisions that approach in the last third of your life and let us face it, whether it suits me or not, I have arrived.

All my life I was sort of waiting for something to happen, around the corner. I was a kid at school wanting to be a grown up. Eventually I left school, was grown up, at least old enough to earn my own way, and began to work. I got married (to a Swiss that made me immediately a year older than I was – see explanation in first paragraph), I gave birth to children. I was still a working woman, but without earning money, I was doing it all for the family, like washing, ironing, changing diapers, ironing, cooking etc.: all the things that are part of life. At the same time I was growing older.

One day I decided this was not enough, I was working for the “pleasure” of working, so I decided to work and earn money. I farmed the kids out to a day nursery and joined the working woman’s club. The kids grew up, became independent, no more day nursery, but I was still working. This was the second phase of my life, but I was looking forward to the third phase when I was retired, receive money from the state and my company without having to work for it. Mr. Swiss being a few years older than me arrived there a few years earlier than I did. He became a houseman and I did the last few years. Eventually we were both there. We had arrived at the last third and phase of our life: end station

At first you have fun; you do not have to rise in the morning to the tune of an alarm clock, alarm clocks are a thing of the past. To be quite honest today I do not even know how they work, but I have an iPhone that does it all for me when necessary.

You can retire in the evening when you want to. At last the days arrive when you can watch the late night film without falling asleep before the end. Yesterday we watched a film called “Transformers” about extra-terrestrial machines that adapted and changed in all sorts computer graphic. We changed channels after a human which was a machine tried to strange her boyfriend with her 2 meter steel tongue which suddenly appeared. Were we too old to understand or was it just a boring film. We changed channels to find the remake of King Kong, the film about the giant ape on an island that fell in love with a beautiful blond. Unfortunately the remake was so remade that there were cannibals, dinosaurs and t-rex type of animals and this went on for three hours. I gave up after the first ninety minutes. Mr. Swiss lasted longer, but only the first two hours. Were we too old or do we no longer understand modern film techniques?

Life is fun then one day you are working in the garden, pulling out some sort of weed (that you cannot smoke) and you notice your body no longer wants to return to an upright position. Just a little twinge you think, but the twinge might continue for a few days until a visit to the doctor is necessary for pain killing medicine.

Up to now you were helping your other half because he could no longer lift heavy objects, now both of you think about who helps who. Sightseeing trips to the local cemetery visiting ancestors, that you actually knew in life, become trips where you wonder where your little corner will be one day. Ok, let us not be morbid, there are other places to visit. Just around the corner to where I live there is a senior home for those that no longer can cope with an independent life. Now that might come in handy one day and the village also organises gymnastics for the older generation.

You are no longer Mrs. …., but OLD Mrs. ….. according to your acquaintences. Your colleagues seem to be disappearing from time to time, never to return. This is stage three of life, so make the most of it while you can. At the moment Darby and Joan (English expression for older couple like Mr. Swiss and I) are sitting outside on the porch enjoying a pleasant day. There were slimy patches of dead melted slugs in the garden, due to my efforts with salt which I cleared away this morning. Another job I should have left. It took my back half an hour to recover, but now we have a restful moment. Mr. Swiss is reading (on his iPad/Kindle of course) and I am writing my prize winning blog entry of the day on the computer.

Yes, we might be old, but we are online, we are cyber golden oldies and we move with the times. I was thinking about having a tattoo done last year, but after a discussion I was discouraged from the idea by a certain person. Mr. Swiss has become quite modern with his Bruce Willis hairstyle, although I think Bruce Willis chooses to have it like that and Mr. Swiss no longer has such a choice. I now have meche highlights in my hair, although like Mr. Swiss I did not choose them, they just arrived. I used to wear dresses, even skirts, but now I am very modern and stick to trousers, shorter or longer according to the season. Thank goodness for blue jeans, they are so ageless and come in all sizes.

All being well, I will return tomorrow with another episode in the life of a digital, cybernated online golden oldie if I do not have an attack of rheumatism in my keyboard fingers.

Daily Prompt: Age-Old Questions – The Golden Oldie Strikes Again

Daily Prompt: Your Life, The Book

From a famous writer or celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us WORDS.

Stauffacher Book shop, English dept., Bern

First of all the price has to be right. Naturally Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, or Charles Dickens would be my choice. Bram would definitely catch the dark side of my life, and Charles Dickens would give me a happy end. Unfortunately these two are no longer amongst us, just their books, so they will not fall into the narrow choice I must make amongst all the great writers who will be fighting for the rights to publish my life story.

It will have to be someone successful, well known and able to sell what he writes. Mr. Swiss you say? No, he knows me too well, at least he thinks he does. He might divulge a few home truths about my life that should be kept under cover.

I did hear that some sort of American organisation: National Security Organisation, is quite good at gathering details about various people and various organisations. You do not even have to supply them with details; the details are supplied generously by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Skype. There are certain pseudonyms I use on my way through Internet, and if you enter one of these into your Internet system, you get the story of my life, so why bother about choosing a biographer. You can just take your pick from the Bill Gates machine. Who knows what Bill Gates knows about you.

If I chose a celebrity, it would definitely be Garfield. My three felines just love him, and he would certainly put in a few good meows and pawprints for me in the feline world.

A lady called E.L. James did contact me about writing my biography, and we even had a conference to discuss details. 50 Shades of Boredom, she wanted to call the book, when she saw my grey hair. I told her I was not interested in divulging my closest secrets (too many famous heads might fall), and she even thought I would pay her to write my interesting life story.

I have many contacts to examine. Neil Gaiman, J.R. Rowling and Henning Mankell have already turned it down (no interest apparently). Walt Disney is no longer amongst us, and neither is Alfred Hitchcock – my life would have made such an interesting film.

What did I hear? Helen Fielding, the author of Bridget Jones diary is on the phone. She wants to do an Anglo Swiss Diary with all the details. I think I will accept that one, I am sure she will invent something worth reading and I will at last become famous. Of course I will have to discuss the royalties to charge on the rights of my WorldPress blogs.

Daily Prompt: Your Life, The Book

Daily Prompt: This is your Life

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. 

Alms Houses Rochester

Nick Niemand was a law abiding citizen. Never wanted to cause trouble and lived his life quietly and calmly. He was not a sportsman, just enjoyed watching football on the television and now and again might place a bet on a horse, but within range of his income. On Friday evening he would go to the local pub and meet up with a few friends. He had not yet met the right woman, but was in no hurry. His work at the local museum looking after the archives fulfilled him completely. It was interesting and he would often read books over the ancient civilisations if there was a special exhibition where he worked.

There was perhaps just one pasttime that he really enjoyed. Nick had a computer and had discovered blogging. What is blogging? It basically depends on how you approach a blog. Some like to show everyone what they have, who they are and generally spread their own opinions. Some may just enjoy writing and hope one day to be discovered as the writer of the year. Others may like to show their photographs. There are various reasons for blogging. Nick just liked to write down his thoughts, his daily events. He just liked to organise his life on his blogging platform.

One day there was a loud knock on Nick’s front door. Not just a tap, but a determined rap. As Nick was not really expecting a visitor, he rarely had visitors, he wondered who it could be. The postman had already delivered a few bills and he only came in the morning. It was now afternoon, but Nick opened the door. There was a tall man standing there holding a book in his arm. Nick was quite taken aback by his appearance. He was wearing a long black Winter coat with the collar turned up, and a black hat with a large brim. The face of the visitor was somewhat hidden in the shadow of the hat and collar, but Nick was drawn to the eyes of the visitor, like two black pin pricks surrounded by a very white and pasty complexion.

“Mr. Niemand personally?” said the stranger

“Yes” said Nick “can I help you?”

“No, but I am sure I can help you. You are the Nick Niemand who writes daily Blogs on our web platform, WordPress?”

“Yes that is correct. You work for WordPress?”

“You could say that, yes. I am one of the owners.”

Nick Niemand was impressed. An owner of WordPress was standing at his doorstep and talking about his blog.

“Mr. Niemand I believe you partake regularly in our Daily Prompt. From our observations it seems you have a very high participation and a high rate of Likes on your contributions. I am here for a reason. You have now been nominated as Blogger of the Year.”

Nick was quite taken aback, but he was no stupid.

“I think you are talking to the wrong man. I have often been nominated by various bloggers for various awards on your site, but I have to renominate ten other bloggers and write a few facts about myself and post the special icon on my site. Then the ten bloggers also have to nominate. It is a snowball scheme. We are all nominating. Eventually there are thousands of us nominating and no-one gets the award. I have never taken part in this meaningless competition.”

“That is part of our public relations Mr. Niemand. I am here with our unique annual reward and prize. You have won a book. Not just a book, but in this book you can read what has happened in your life up to now and what will happen. The complete truth is in this book.”

“You are making a joke Mr…….. I do not believe you have mentioned your name.”

“Judge is my name, Mr. William Judge.”

“What is the trick Mr. Judge.”

“There will be more to come Mr. Niemand. There is no trick, but you have to read the book from cover to cover to obtain full value from the prize.”

Nick Niemand thought it over and decided “Yes”. He had never won anything, even his horses lost in the races. Now he had won a book, and a very stately large book it was. Bound in black leather with large red letters proclaiming “Nick Niemand, the Story of your Life”

“I must now go Mr. Niemand. I have a Daily Prompt to organise for tomorrow. Here is your book, may you find all you expect in the book, but do not forget you must read it from cover to cover. Only then will you discover the real truth about your Life and what it holds for you.”

It was then that Mr. Judge handed the book to Nick and disappeared. Not really disappeared, but it was a very misty Autumn day and a cloud of mist seemed to suddenly engulf Mr. Judge.

That evening Nick started reading the book, thinking not all at once, but when he had time. Mr. Judge could not know how he was reading the book, he had gone.

It soon happened that Nick got very much engulfed in the book. It was about his life and then came a chapter “The Future”. Time was passing. He had been reading for many hours, the clock struck twelve, midnight and Nick closed the book. He had finished reading. He made his way to his bedroom. He approached his cupboard and took out a leather case at the bottom of the cupboard, opened it and took its contents in his hand. It was a revolver fully loaded.

He released the catch, placed the gun to the side of his head and pulled the trigger.

Daily Prompt: This is your life

Thoughts

Life is not fair
It depresses, it takes me down
Working life is no longer there
I battle through now but no end to the prison
The bars are made of guilt
A feeling of having to and not really wanting to
It’s time to revert on a life, imprisoned originally by having to.
Waking up in the morning and having to go to work
Going through motions of completing the job
and over the years, hoping, wishing for a day
that it all ends, a day of freedom, a day of reaching an age
Where your country says, stay at home
The end of life’s paths
The end of visons of what you can do when you are free
Are you free?
Of course you are, say your friends, your relations, your family
So it begins
Waking up in the morning and not having to go or do anything
But just a minute, you have to make breakfast
You have to clean up the kitchen afterwards
You have to go shopping to get the food for breakfast,
for dinner, for tea
And then you have to clean up the place
And while you are cleaning you notice that others have freedom
Where is the pass to freedom you had been waiting for?
It’s there, oh yes, I know, but I cannot touch it or take it
Although I should
Like the man that went to buy a packet of cigarettes and decided to book a flight to New York
I do not smoke, have seen New York, and others might suffer from my selfishness
So life goes on in the waiting room to the next department

The Photo

The Photo

“Do you think this is the right place John?“ Jean asked her boyfriend.

“According to the advertisement this must be the building.  On the road plan of the city it is just next to the river; looks like an old warehouse.”

“Old is the word for it, so let’s go in and see what happens next. It says third floor so let’s take the lift” and Jean and John pressed the button and the lift came.

It was an old wooden construction, nothing modern, and looked as if it was more used to transporting machinery or bales of cotton than people. They opened the wooden frame to the lift when they arrived and entered an enormous area which first of all seemed empty. It was then they heard footsteps approaching.

“Good morning, you must be the models I advertised for.”

Standing before them was a man. Jean had the feeling that Methuselah had decided to come back to life. He had long flowing grey hair and a face that had wrinkles which had been ploughed in over the years. It seemed that the only thing that brought him to modern times were his nicotine stained fingers holding a cigarette and his jeans and t-shirt.

“I suppose you are wondering what this is all about. Just follow me and you will see what I want from you both. Young man, would you please come over here and remove your clothes.”

“Sorry, but I am not into that sort of thing” answered John with a shocked look on his face.

“I don’t know what you mean by “sort of thing” young man, I am an artist and will be creating a work of art, so please removed your clothing completely and put these trousers on.”

“Is that all I am wearing, but it’s cold in here and who are you anyhow?”

“I told you I am the artist, and the quicker you get into action, the warmer you will become. Please don’t bother me with such trivial matters. Now you will please kneel down on the floor and curl up. No not like that, watch me.”

And the artist got down onto the floor and made the pose he wanted.

“Come on John, do what he wants. It won’t be the first time I have seen you without clothes, and the trousers are not so bad. After all we are getting paid for the job aren’t we?” and with the last words she glared at the artist.

“Yes, yes you will get paid, but only according to the results.”

“Results” said John and Jean in unison, but their remark was ignored.

“So young lady will you come over here and stand behind the screen. No, no, no, not just stand there but do something. Put your hand onto the screen. Although, no, that is not the result I really wanted. Just a minute. Young man”

John stood up. “What do you want me to do now? I was getting all cramped up with that pose on the floor.”

“Do I have to say it again? We are creating a work of art. Now come nearer to the screen and kneel down once again. Young lady put your hand on the screen. No that is not the effect I want. Just a minute” and the artist fetched a lamp which he put behind Jean and switched on casting a shadow of her hand through the screen and reflecting on John’s body.

“That’s it, that is the solution.” The artist now stood behind his camera which was poised on a tripod and took photos. He took many photographs that day.

“So I am now finished” he said as he once again lit up a cigarette. “You may go.”

“Is that all” said John “What about the money?”

“Money, money! You youngsters are just after the money today, no idea of artistic values. What did we arrange. Ten pounds each I believe.”

“That’s ok with us” answered John. John got redressed and left the warehouse with Jean on his arm.

*****
“Mummy, why are we here looking at all these photos?”

“They are not just photographs” answered Jean “but works of art”.

“What’s a work of art” the little girl asked.

“Well, it’s like this” and John took over the conversation.
“When mummy and daddy didn’t have so much money, we let a man take some photos of us for money.”

“What happened to the photos” daddy

“Well if you look over there on the wall you will see the photo I mean.”

And there was a photo of a man crouched on the floor with a woman trying to reach him in the background. It was the main attraction of the exhibition. The artist had died, and when his brother was looking through his belongings he found all the photos. The artist himself was never discovered during his lifetime, but as it sometimes happens, people only become famous and celebrated when they pass on.

The Saxman

Saxman-and-the-snob[1]

It wasn’t always like this, my life
Again, to be young and feel good
I would be playing in the halls
I was one of the best that could
play my sax, I was a natural cinch
I had gigs in all the best places
I was requested by all, I had money and wealth
In my music I pulled all the aces
The ladies came and I had them all
They loved the man with the sax
I chose my gal, I loved her the most
With her I could relax
But I wanted more, wanted to be better
Not satisfied with what I had
So it was a joint here and some cokes there
And things started going bad
I then got thirsty and needed a drink
I was really on the ground
My woman she left me, I had no money
I led the life of a hound
I was sure I was playing even better than ever
I heard voices telling me so
But this was all in the mind it seems
and soon I had to go
So here I stand on the street alone
my sax hanging over my arm
You want me to play? I don’t think I can
You know lady I ain’t no more calm
My hands just don’t do it any more
but without the sax I’m alone
No, please madam, just don’t pity me
It’s my fault, better I should have known