There I am at the end of the table sitting behind a card that says Secretary, but what was I doing there? I was working for a Swiss company dealing mainly with English related business being the only person in the company with english mother tongue. It was a company manufacturing hand tools for all over the world. These were discussed at a conference during the years and the conference was again approaching, This time Switzerland was holding the chair and organising everything. It was the CEE Conference in Oslo, Norway 1968 to discuss safey rules and regulations.
I was asked if I would take the minutes of the meeting. These were the days before dictaphone and such electronic devices, everything was written down manually and my stenography had to be good enough. The conference was held in mainly the english language with 5% French, but I even managed to write the french parts. I was the chosen one, and was asked. Of course you do not say no to a flight to Norway and a hotel for a week with everything included, as well as a few sight seeing trips around Oslo.
So there I was sitting at the end of the desk with all these technical experts. This being more than 50 years ago I am probably the only living person to remember it all today. I think I had more stress writing it all down after returning to Switzerland. I never found out what happened to my notes, but they must have been accepted. I had a look in Internet and discovered that the abbreviation CEE still exists, but have the feeling it has nothing to do with my conference.
It was the time when Mr. Swiss and I were gradually getting to know each other. A year later the conference was being held in London. They asked me again, but I then had a baby bump so that was the end of my career as a conference secretary.
This is just one of the few hundred lamps that decorate the streets of our town, but my interest is more in the lamps that decorate my apartment, one in particular. Regularly in the evening at 9.00 p.m. the lamp in our living room begins to flicker on and off. Sometimes it continues for a full five minutes, other times just for 2-3 minutes. I often wonder if we have a house ghost that wants to make his presence know. It is not to be ignored with the on and off of the light source at quite a quick tempo. What is the explanation? Ghosts aside, (although our appartments are built on the place where the gallows once stood some 100 years ago and skeletons have been found when building the appartments), I suspect that there might be some sort of switching over at the local electricity works. I mentioned to Mr. Swiss that I would call them and ask. He found that was overdoing it with a telephone call. And so in the meanwhile our light continues to flicker at the same time in the evening. I would add it is only one lamp that performs in this way.
Or perhaps it is one of the local storks performing his balancing actions on the local street lighting.
Apples, apples everywhere What am I going to do Eat them for breakfest, fry them for dinner Perhaps cook them in a stew Make a pie every day Or bake a tart I have so many, no room in the kitchen I will pile them in a cart Let us not forget, only once a year So let us not be so glum Spring has gone, summer is going Now is time for Autumn
Mr. Swiss on the left and my dad on the right. They had given up and decided to take a rest on a bench in the garden of the the Natural History Museum in South Kensington in London after the visit to the museum. The photo was taken many years ago.
Well now it is over, the storm I mean. As I went to the store there was a wonderful view of the Jura mountains from the path and nice gentle clouds – a blue sky. I arrived at the store and something happened whilst I was doing my shopping. As I left the store it was like entering a different world. The good weather seemed to be over and did I hear a clap of thunder in the not too far distance? Of course. As I saddled my scooter for the home run I even felt a few drops of rain – would I reach home before the deluge? I gave it all I could, although more than 11 kilometres an hour is not possible.
The rain behaved itself and when I finally got home it released its power from the clouds, but my scooter and I were then safe.
I had one of those lucky escapes – and now?
That’s life I suppose. I am now safe at home, but it is not finished yet. Some sunny moments, some thunder and some rain.
I am Ahmed Abdi, a Wordpress blogger and storyteller who searches for stories that inspire people. I love writing because it’s a reflection of how I perceive the world around me. Lost in a world of endless chaos in my childhood, Unforgettable moments of tragedy and triumphs taught me the art of storytelling where I found myself through letter writing and then turned into stories but then sadly had lost everything I wrote for years. In 2018, I decided to create a Wordpress blog site that would allow me to store and retrieve every piece. Stories from my community, city and people are what make my writing so interesting and inspiring! I’m a tea lover so a cup of tea sometimes makes my blog.
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