RDP Thursday: Thaw

Owl in the garden

Beware when the snow begins to thaw
There are things buried better not seen
Gradually they appear again
Forgotten in a long cold dark Winter ice cover
They take a deep breathe and are ready
To attack, or perhaps they just watch
Have no fear, they are frozen in movement
Suddenly the thaw progresses
Life returns to the dead cold layers
Green shoots of vegetation reanimate
Defying their frozen condition
Life returns
The monster in the garden is now free and watches
Regretting the life it never had

Walk Through Feldbrunnen

RDP Thursday: Thaw

RDP Thursday: Temperature

Clouds 05.03 (3)

“Close the window.”

“Which one?”

“You mean you opened more than one.”

“I just wanted some fresh air.”

“That is not air, that is a constant draught. The kitchen window is open.”

“Of course, I like the air to circulate in the kitchen. What are you doing?”

“Closing the back window. I am freezing and it is only 2°C outside.”

“But we are inside and it is warm enough.”

“It is cold inside.”

“I don’t feel cold at all but really comfortable.”

And so we have this conversation daily in the morning. I am usually the first to rise in the morning and begin with my window opening festival in the back rooms followed by the front rooms. The problem is I do not really feel the cold and base all temperature experiences on my own body temperature. Unfortunately I seem to have a built in body central heating which those that will not be mentioned do not have and so the constant opening and closing of windows begins. I live in short sleeved t-shirts all year and bare feet in my house shoes. The other one is always wearing socks (at least in Winter) and long sleeves.

You would think that summer would be ideal for both of us, but no. I can sit outside in the shade and feel comfortable. It seems that the Swiss solution to the summer heat is to close all the blinds and windows to keep it cool enough indoors. My fresh air is then in danger so I live outside.

And so now and again we meet on neutral territory during the day where a window is closed and there are no draughts which I qualify as fresh air.

As someone once said “You can be like a thermometer, just reflecting the world around you. Or you can be a thermostat, one of those people who sets the temperature” and I am the thermostat it seems.

RDP Thursday: Temperature

RDP Thursday: Diametric

Swans 23.09 (3)

“Are we diametric?”

“No idea, I don’t see any straight lines.”

“You just have to use your imagination. Your neck is a bit longer than mine and you put on some weight this summer eating all that stuff that the humans give you. If you hadn’t overindulged with the food we would be the perfect straight line. And who laid the eggs?”

“Just a minute, I was the one that had to go for swims with the cygnets afterwards. Always at the back of the row making sure none of them fell out of place and stayed in a straight line.”

“And I had to make sure that they followed me. According to statistics we will stay together for a few hundred cygnets, so we might as well get used to it. And keep floating, stay in line, be diametric.”

RDP Thursday: Diametric

RDP Thursday: Wan

Waning Cloud
Have you seen a cloud waning
It is making its last call
I saw it high above
Stretching on a crawl
Suddenly its mass was lost
Dissolving, spreading fine
I think the cloud was dying
Although it did not whine
It dissolved into the blue
Never again to be seen
Did it really exist, or was it just a dream
Perhaps it floated further
but where it did not say
Clouds are very silent
Travelling on their way

RDP Thursday: Wan

RDP Thursday: Intimate

class-of-56-57-11-years-old Teesdale

The first school was a mix. A class of boys and girls from the age of 5-6 for 2 years. It was my first contact with boys as such, but at that age they just looked a bit different to girls. I do remember the playground break. We would play kiss chase now and again. The girls ran and the boys chased and if they caught you there would be a wet sloppy mark on your face afterwards, nothing too serious, but this was more than sixty years ago. Funny thing is I can remember some names and now and again one or two might appear in Facebook, now elderly gentlemen of course. That was the beginning and end of anything approaching intimacy.

The next school was girls only – see photo. I am in the middle row, eighth from the right and we were all wearing our dresses with socks and shoes. Blue jeans were still a cowboy dress and in the fifties had not yet reached Great Britain. We were not even allowed to wear trousers at school and actually we girls never even thought of it.

At my next school I started at 11 years of age and finished when I was almost 17 years old  and boys? It was more like a nuns convent, still no boys to be seen. We were all dressed in uniform, the only time it showed body details was if you shortened the skirt according to the fashion of the day. Although even then the overall impact was spoilt by flat brown shoes, so nothing to encourage the other sort.  The male part of the school was in another building in another part of London because there was no room in our building to have boys and girls together. The highlight in our school was the German guy that taught German conversation. He was the only member of the male species we ever saw, on a sort of exchange and he was a good looker. I often wondered how it was for him surrounded by so many female teachers with 500 girls. I never got to be in his class, I was not programmed for university and was in the commercial course. Men did not learn typing or stenography.

I remember in the last class we had a social event together with the boys school, but even then I never really got to know any of them. 16 year old girls and boys do not really have the same outlook on life.

Yes, I lived a sheltered childhood, so all the more reason to make up for lost time when I left school and that is all you are getting from my intimate side of life. Valentines Day – no, not for me and today as a golden oldie I only know of its existence due to social media who seem to be wishing everyone a happy one.

RDP Thursday: Intimate

RDP Thursday: Manufacture

Tool School

Iron and Carbon together contribute to stainless steel
Mix a little Molybdenum, Nickel, Manganese and Niobium at will
Do not forget the Nitrogen and Silicon, and also add some Copper
Now you are on the way to manufacturing a wopper
Look at the beauties, some are shining like gold
It depends on the titanium nitride that makes it really bold
Why is that one mauve, it looks so very nice
It has some aluminium with it, so now we have some spice
And now we have our end mills, for cutting in all directions
With a hum and a scrape the metal is flying, there are so many selections
And when the job is done, we have parts for all your use
Aeroplanes, other machines, anything you might produce
And so the sparks are flying, and steel is being ground
Production of the end result? In a bin there is a mound
You ask how I know this, it was my work for many a year
In the office I organised transport of the tools that did appear
I witnessed the creation of the tools that were being made
And now you see a selection above in the photo they are displayed
But do not forget the unwanted, the strands of curly steel
They were afterwards recycled and rejoined together at will
There were very high temperatures as the mills were on a spin
Cooled by oil and water, they were also very thin

Tool School

RDP Thursday: Manufacture

RDP Thursday: Camouflage

Solothurn Carnival 2007

It will soon be that time of the year again when the night turns to day and strange costumed people, or perhaps they are not costumed, will be roaming the streets. In various parts of Europe it happens and goes under the name of carnival. Either you live in an area where your town changes it name to Honolulu, as Solothurn does,  or you do not. Our town becomes something completely different. Luzern also celebrate at the same time as Solothurn and Basel, the biggest carnival in Switzerland, is a few weeks later.

Every town has its own timetable and our town begins at 5.00 a.m. in the morning some time in February. I am not sure how the calendar works, something to do with Ash Wednesday which is usually included, but at the beginning the town is populated by figures dressed in white nightshirts with a night cap and tasse, and everyone is wearing a red scarf around their neck.  Of course you carry something that makes a loud noise: a cow bell, ratchett, drum – the louder the better. Me? No thankyou I prefer to spend the morning in bed and let the others make the noise. In the afternoon there is the childrens parade and many are still roaming the streets dressed in their various costumes.

This goes on for a week, ending with a bonfire in the middle of town where a large dummy is burnt to celebrate the end on Ash Wednesday. In between there are masked balls, two processions and a lot of tired people. Some might take the week off work and others battle on, falling asleep at their desks in the offices, trying to camouflage themselves from the boss.

It is all to do with camouflage and generally if you are in one of the carnival restaurants, the masked will enter, sit at your table and begin a conversation with the words “You don’t know me, do you?”, which is clear as they are in disguise and the the joke and the fun begins, unless you are not a carnival person and it could annoy you (like me, that is why I avoid it when I can).

There are various organisations that spend time and money to make the whole carnival a success. You wear a badge if you attend any official events, as the processions, which are not cheap, but show the theme of the annual event. As said I do not partake, too many crowds, but who knows. I might venture into town on one of the quieter afternoons for some photos, as a I did a few years ago when I took the last photos.

Solothurn Carnival 2007

RDP Thursday: Camouflage