RDP Monday: Bravery

Bravery? I once asked my dad, bottom right on the photo and on his marriage day with mum top right, if he did not think of being a conscience objector. He said there were a few soldiers that had such ideas, but he was not one of them. It had nothing to do with bravery to be a soldier. He said he got his marching orders and so he joined in with the others. Refusing would have been more complicated he found and many were even imprisoned for their beliefs.

And so dad assembled with the others and was transported to the highlands of Scotland for his first training as a soldier. Even that was going abroad as he had never been to Scotland and he said he  did not understand a word they spoke. Eventually he was sent to Italy and took part in the landings at Salerno, where they arrived on the beaches in an amphibious craft. Then he had his first meeting with the enemy. He said he and the men were marching and they noticed the earth kept spitting at them, in small pieces. They asked the officer what it was and he said it was enemy fire. Dad said he had never seen the men move so fast into the surrounding trees. Bravery? Yes brave to be there, but everything has its limits. He also remembered the descent from Ravello on the Italian coast. There were German snipers on the way, so the men hid behind the donkeys carrying the equipment. Both man and donkeys showed their bravery.

He told me about the day in Italy when it had been raining and the earth caved in because the local farmer had built an underground cellar for his wine bottles. Again the men showed their bravery by helping to empty the cellar. Dad said there was not a sober soldier left in the regiment and they heard the first Italian swear words from the owner of the cellar.

There was the time when the famous opera singer, Beniamino Gigli visited the troops in their canteen to give a concert. Whilst he was singing the Military police made themselves busy to lock all the doors and afterwards did a paper inspection. Dad said that they found a record number of deserters in the audience.

But that was dad, he never told of the bad things, the things that war was made of. Only when I was older did he once tell me of a march where some of the men walked on a mine field. Many were killed when the mines exploded.

By the way the other two soldiers in the picture are my No. 2 son top left. All able bodied Swiss men are soldiers. They have their first training at the recruit school at the age of 18 and afterwards they are called up annually for three weeks a year for service until they had served their days. I think my son was released around the age of 30.

And the last remaining person on the photo, bottom left, is my grandfather Relf, dad’s dad. He was not in a perfect medical condition when he was called up to serve in the first World War, although again no-one was given a choice For this reason he was in the medical corps and his work was collecting the men that were mortally injured on the battlefields in a lorry. One of the shadow sides of war.

Everyone was brave in their own way. Medals? They all got their medals, but not the medals presented by the Queen. When dad was finished he got his service medals to prove that he was there and did it.

Fritz, Rudolf, Hans, Oscar Gerber 1

And let me not forget the Swiss side of the family. Here are Mr. Swiss uncles and grandfather as young men, all ready to embark on defending the Swiss borders in the first world war. Although Switzerland has always be neutral in war time, their men were also enlisted to serve, mainly defending their borders. Some saw action, but that is another story.

RDP Monday: Bravery

RDP Monday: Mend

myjobRepairing light
Something somewhere is always being repaired
Although today you replace it and the effort can be spared
Your sight is no longer good, the optician is very wise
He replaces your sight with a pair of very new eyes
Just a little operation, it does not even hurt
Afterwards an eye test just to keep your sight alert
And then your tooth leaves the gums, it is no longer there
The dentist can replace it, so do not have a care
A new tooth will be made, no need for any worry
Although the fitting process does not happen in a hurry
It will be bored and scraped, might even be some drilling
But when the job is finished there is no need for filling
Although I have a problem, my body is at the wain
It cannot be repaired and I would need a new brain
Problems come with age and my words are quite laconic
There is only one solution, I must become bionic

RDP Monday: Mend

RDP Monday: Scream


“Stop screaming, it’s enough to make my pulp curdle.”

“You no longer have any pulp, remember. They scraped it all away.”

“But now I have a nice smile on my face. You have just a few sharp teeth.”

“What’s that little guy doing up in the corner?”

“No idea, seems he keeps saying “Welcome”.”

“I suppose it is all in the name of halloween, so let’s all scream together.”

RDP Monday: Scream

RDP Monday: Humble

So this morning I was in the supermarket, doing my usual shopping. And then I suddenly saw two legs and feet on the floor as I turned the corner to one of those king-sized refrigerators.


As I moved on further, I saw this prostrate figure on the floor. Humble is one thing, but you can overdo it. Perhaps he was feeling so humbled by seeing the special reduced prices on the goods (Aktion=special offer), who knows.

OK, to put the facts straight, something was being repaired, but I must admit it was a strange apparition.

RDP Monday: Humble

RDP Monday: Elusive


I have two mice, both logitech. A nice red one that belongs to my Macbook, and a black one for my Windows computer. I was organising something with my Windows computer on Saturday and suddenly the mouse disappeared. They do have the habit of sometimes falling behind the shelves when Mr. Swiss usually gets down on his hands and knees to retrieve it, although he is now almost an octogenarian and is no longer as mobile as he was, but this mouse had disappeared. We found a lot of elusive objects behind those shelves, but no mouse.

On Monday I visited the store to buy a new mouse. I discovered that Logitech has not been sleeping and now have various types of mice. Do I want a blue tooth mouse or a normal one, and what does it mean when they have the name silent.

I was confused so asked a guy in the store to enlighten me. It seems the mice with the red sender (the bit you stick in the computer at the side) are the blue teeth version. A silent mouse means it makes no noise when operating. As they all had the description “silent” my choice in that direction was limited. Blue teeth or toothless I had to think about. I took a toothless mouse although Mr. Swiss said afterwards that a blue tooth mouse would have been better.

I now realise that my nice red mouse on the Macbook is a blue tooth mouse, with a red sender, although I really do not notice any difference between both of them.

I now have a new mouse, but the one that went on a walkabout on Saturday has still not appeared.

RDP Monday: Elusive

RDP Monday: Crisp


These are crispy and known as crisps
Thinly sliced potato cut into wisps
Fried deeply in oil and put in a bag
If you eat them fresh they do not sag
They are salted ready to crunch. what more can you say
With a drink of the fizzy stuff they really make your day
Some call them potato chips, but we cockneys found that posh
Crisps are there name, everything else is eyewash

RDP Monday: Crisp