RDP Friday: Chore

Dyson

There it is waiting silently, daring me, even tempting. Shall I fill it with energy or not? A daily chore to be accomplished. I get a feeling that if I do not attack with its powerful lungs, inhaling dust, something is missing in my life. It is the household dragon that does not spit fire, just coughs up its dusty insides now and again when it is emptied. This monster fills itself daily. I was thinking of ignoring it, just leaving it to sulk in the cupboard. I can live without it, or can I? Life does not seem to work like that.

At the end of the day something is missing in my life. Is it a clean, dust free apartment. Do I begin to have hallucinations of corners with shadows of dust? Are there dark patches glaring at me from nooks and crannies. Perhaps a  spider has at last found its home. No, I cannot do this. I must let it suck and clean.

But wait, the mop is calling “what about me”. Yes what about you? After the dust removal comes the wiping of the floor surfaces, removing the stains, although there are no stains because you wipe daily, but if it is not done, you have a trail of guilt. It cannot be ignored and so the floors are wiped again, as every day. Something is missing in your life when it is not done. And the wet cells in your home. There is a toilet, a bath and shower – are these to be ignored? No, of course not, they are part of the assault, the daily battle to reassure you that it is done.

And do not forget the dishwasher It must have its chance to perform daily, and what it cannot do, you must complete yourself, otherwise there is something missing in your life.  Wet surfaces must be dried, otherwise there will be traces left.

At last finished, but wait. There is a pile of dirty washing calling in a corner. Feed us in the washing machine and afterwards let us be hung up to dry. And then the iron joins in. Do not forget me afterwards.

Extra chores: paying the bills, shopping, cooking, cleaning windows? They are the highlights to break the boredom.

Yes, life would be monotonous without.

Cleaning
RDP Friday: Chore

RDP Friday: Letter

English Letter Box in Oxlow Lane, Dagenham
I found this photo in my archives, taken in the area where my late dad lived. It is a good old British letter box. Note the Letters “G R” symbolising King George VI, father of the current Queen Elisabeth.  Probably cost too much to replace it with a new box: anyhow a typical landmark of the Brits and I am not even sure if they still exist.

Why do we have to have letter boxes? Do people still write letters today. I was writing regularly home to my parents when I moved to Switzerland in the 1960’s and my office job was based on letter writing. It was the business communication method. If you had the written word with a signature, it was genuine.  I earned my money by writing letters, usually dictated by the clerk and written in shorthand. Afterwards typed on the typewriter. This is now a thing of the past, almost and I cannot remember the last time when I actually wrote a letter to anyone.

Digital communication has taken over. E-mail, fax, messenger systems, call it what you want, but a handwritten letter is a thing of the past. I used to collect stamps when I was younger, taken from the old letters. Do we still need stamps? Only today I filled out a form (by computer of course) for my No. 1 son’s holiday reservation. He is autist and goes with a special group every year. I had to print out the form for my and his signature. It seems the digital signature is not yet so widely accepted.

I remember when my mum was still alive and she told me with regret that she had disposed of all the letters she still had that she wrote to my dad during the war when he was serving in various countries. I remember those letters, bundled together in a special case. I never really read them, but she showed me a couple with heavy black blocks over certain passages which had been made unreadable. That was the wartime censoring when my dad might have written where he was exactly and what he was doing. My mum met dad when he was a soldier just once and then they wrote to each other for five years whilst he was serving in the army in the war. Eventually he came home on a Friday and married on the next day to my mum. Just imagine, that was a love story. They had not seen each other for five years and my mum visited dad’s parents on her own whilst he was away, knowing that they might/would marry when he returned.

It was the letters that kept them in contact and she eventually destroyed them with heavy heart, not wanting them to be read when she or dad were no longer. Perhaps it was better that way. I do not think I would have ever read them, far too personal.

The romantic letters between Mr. Swiss and I are typed exchanges of mails, and today we carry our phones with us and can even see the person speaking. Yes I have seen a lot of changes in my years, it is called progress I believe: but a good old fashioned written word?? Ok, my handwriting was never so good.

RDP Friday: Letter

RDP Friday: Hospitality

Basel 05.09 (18)

Basel is a town in Switzerland – no not exactly. It is situated in the three-country-corner, meaning there is a bit in France, another bit in Germany, and the rest in Switzerland. This means that although it has one main railway station, it also has two others, one in France and another in Germany, but no problem. It is all equipped with customs authorities and it is impossible to get lost, as long as you follow the signs.

So what is so special about Basel otherwise. It has a zoo, the largest in Switzerland, and as you enter Basel  from France you pass by the zoo as the first place you see from the train in Switerland. There is also a part called “klein Basel” meaning “little Basel”, if you go over a bridge you arrive there. Yes the River Rhein flows through it. They also have one of the biggest beer breweries in Switzerland, actually in the town of Rheinfelden which is next to Basel.

Feldschlossen Brewery

It is a general known fact in Switzerland that the people that live in Zürich, do not like the people that live in Basel and vice versa. That is what the people say, although it is more one of those joking situations. The people in Zürich speak a different Swiss German dialect to the people in Basel but they still understand each other.

Me? I live in Solothurn, so we are not involved in such complicated situations and you cannot travel direct to Basel from Solothurn. You have to change trains in Olten. And we also speak a different Swiss German dialect to the others. It is more like the dialect spoken in Bern, but not quite. Of course if you happen to visit Aarau which is halfway between Solothurn and Zürich, they also speak their own Swiss German dialect and my son lives near Schaffhausen, which is on the German border and yes, they also have their own way of speaking Swiss German.

We all talk to each other and so have no problems, but nothing is hidden. According to the dialect you speak, we know where you have your origins. We all have a Swiss passport. Of course if you happen to arrive in Lausanne or Geneva, they will all be speaking Franch. and Lugano? Yes, they speak Italian.

What a hospitable country it is.

RDP Friday: Hospitality

RDP Friday: Cottage

Cottage, Feldbrunnen, near castle Waldegg

People come and people go, but the cottage remains forever
It stands alone on the corner of a path, braving every weather
There once was a lady who stood at the fence, and spoke to all that passed
She was older and frailer with every passing year, but she was not the last
I often thought when I walked on it would be a nice place to stay
With many windows and friendly shutters, a welcome inviting array
And then one day a space appeared at the side, not so very far
A few weeks later there were new inhabitants, and the space was for their car
Generations come and generations go and the cottage was changing with the times
I even heard the noise of jingling bells, on the door they had fitted wind chimes
The cottage is standing on the path to the castle, it is treasured by all around
Since many a year it has been standing in this spot, a dream that I have found

RDP Friday: Cottage

RDP Friday: Solstice

Sundown 12.12 (2)

A Week ago I was coming home from a wheelie in my chair towards evening and captured the sun as it was going down behind the trees. It was not the solstice, but probably a dress rehearsal.

We have a town, more like a larger village, near us where it is tradition to celebrate the solstice in  Summer. The village is called Oensingen and somehow, way back, they had a connection to the Druids, which is probably why they make such a big thing about the solstice. The big celebration is in summer when they have a firework display. They have a web site, but all in German. I found a translation of part of the site into english and am including the Google English translated link, although this is only pertaining to the Summer.

Oensigen Solstice

I have never been to the celebrations, but it is quite spectacular I heard. They do not celebrate in Winter.

Otherwise I find such events interesting and they are something actual and not based on a story. The solstice happens, the shortest day in the year. Today is very dark and dismal and there was no glorious sunset.

RDP Friday: Solstice

RDP Friday: Overture

Bed Linen

The soloist has entered the stage. Her instruments are an iron and an ironing board. She will be playing the duvet and pillow covers. There is silence, a pregnant expectancy surrounding the stage. The artist fills the iron with water and connects it to the electricity. There is resounding applause for these first actions. The first outbursts of steam appear, yes the ouverture has begun. She places the first movement on the ironing table, a duvet cover, raises her hands containing the baton iron and rolls into the accompaniment. There are puffs of steam escaping and rising to a crescendo. The first movement of the duvet is completed, the next movement, the pillow,  follows and then there is a diminuendo whilst the iron is tuned with some water. And so the performance continues.

Eventually the overture is finished and the accessories are folded away and put into the cupboard. The performance will continue in two weeks when a new musical event appears. The old overture will be replaced by something different. Other colours and design. Watch this space, the ironing concert always has something new to offer.

Ironing

And here is the maestro herself at an earlier rehearsal in Summer.

RDP Friday: Overture

RDP Friday: Build

Baseltor 06.12.2018

I am rebuilding my life again at the age of 72. Life does not always take the turnings you would like, and one day you have to rethink. After 50 years of marriage where our roles were appointed,  Mr. Swiss had his work and so did I. As the main bread earner of the family he would go to work in the morning and come home in the evening. I was based at home and was a multi tasker as most housewives are. The kids went to school, and I also had a job, but was pulling the threads to make sure it functioned and it did.

Now we are older, the kids spread their wings some time ago, and we have a two person household. My autistic son still lives at home, but is at work during the day.

Mr. Swiss is no longer as active, partially in a wheelchair and I have MS, so how does it work? He is also older than I am, but still in good mental health, although we all get older and more forgetful. I am now rebuilding my life and taking over the responsibilities that I used to leave to him and it is not easy. A different way of life, sometimes agreeing to disagree. It needs time and patience.

Shopping expeditions are now done alone so I make the decisions mainly what I need to buy and make sure that I have a list as the brain forgets easily. My list is on my iPhone, joined on a cloud with Mr. Swiss iPhone, so we are both in the picture. Consultations get too complicated and after 50 years we know what we eat. My home life is being rebuilt. I have to plan differently, combining housework with the shopping.I also need a little “me” time for my computer and perhaps a trip into town and like to read a book in the evening.

It is truly amazing how your life changes with the years. Things that used to be dealt with automatically now have to be thought over. Perhaps there are still a few cracks in the walls, but not in the foundations, and they can be repaired. I am gradually getting there.

RDP Friday: Build