RDP Wednesday: Library

Gerberngasse 21.08 (10)

It’s a book shop in our town, somewhat modern in design and the name “Poetariat” seems to related to poetry, which is probably their main theme in books.

My origins were in a working class family, but mum and dad were both members of the local library and I followed in their footsteps, my first visits being to the children’s section. There were always books at home that someone was reading. The local library  was an older building from the 19th centuary, originally being used as a so-called “mad-house” for the mentally ill. Even the park where it was situated had the local name of “Barmy Park” again relating to the less fortunate that were treated in the asylum.

Eventually it became a place of books and they had everything. Libraries in London all had their own little speciality, and our was a section of French literature, although the cockneys of East London were more accustomed to their english. You were allowed to select up to four books if I remember rightly. If they did not have the book you were searching for they would obtain it from another library.  Our libraries were free of charge, there was nothing to pay, unless you kept the book over the date. You were then fined a very small amount, really more symbolic, as a warning perhaps to return the book on time.

At the age of 20 I transferred to Switzerland and my library days were over, although not quite. After having a family of my own I discovered that our local town also had a library and quite a reasonable choice of english books, although the main selection was for the German readers. I belonged for a while.

Today my library is called Kindle. I can upload any book I wish to read from Amazon, in most languages. Being a Brit and my mother tongue being english I am mainly interested in reading in english. However, with the years I have become bilingual in german (still make mistakes when writing the language) but if the original book was written by a German author, then I prefer to read the book in the original language.

Stauffacher Book shop, English dept., Bern

One of the most interesting bookshops I visited was in Bern. They had an enormous range of books and even a cafeteria to relax with you choice of book. The wall was decorated with photos of Swiss authors.

Portraits of Swiss Writers in Cafeteria, Stauffacher Book shop

RDP Wednesday: Library

RDP Wednesday: Happenstance

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“Now that is a coincidence Fred.”

“I was just thinking the same Joe. After a good Summer outside we have both had the same idea of a comfortable place throughout the Winter. Do you think the human will leave us in peace?”

“Just pretend she isn’t there and she might go away. Most humans are frightened of us anyhow. I think its the number of legs that makes them feel uncertain. Whatever you do Fred stay where you are. Do not under any circumstances hang on a thread, then the humans can get a little iffy. They don’t like us hovering over their heads. By the way nice little web you have there.”

“Thanks Joe, I thought I might try a fancy weave this Winter. I heard the chief was going on an inspection tour to judge the best web.”

“Interesting Fred. What’s the prize?”

“I heard that he has collected a few nice fat flies and they will be distributed.”

“Great. What’s that noise?”

“Duck Joe, I think the human is doing something like a Spring clean, but in Autumn. Keep away  from the nozzle otherwise you will be sucked into the insides of the vacuum cleaner.”

“Vacuum cleaner! My Elsie disappeared into one, but lucky the kids were already able to spin their own webs and move on. You know survival of the species and all that.”

“So let’s go up to the corner above the door. The human won’t find us there, but it looks like we will have to begin spinning our webs again. How did that pattern go again: one line with leg No. 1, two lines with leg no 2, and a spider cross stitch with the other legs.  Hope she doesn’t do too much sucking with that machine this Winter, don’t want to run out of silk.”

RDP Wednesday: Happenstance

RDP Wednesday: Caprice

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I know it is not poetic
Could also be quite kitsch
But it was all that I thought of
Although the taste is rich
Not really my favourite cheese
Am more a fan of chedder
Now that is difficult to rhyme
Makes my face get redder
An amour de fromage
falling in love with cheese
I did not buy the caprice
It always makes me sneeze

RDP Wednesday: Caprice

RDP Wednesday: Scintilla

Robert Bosch Company, Zuchwil

The name Scintilla rang many bells in my head. Of course it is the Italian word for “spark” but for me it has another meaning. It was the place where I saw and met Mr. Swiss 50+ years ago, I was already in Switzerland, in Zürich, and decided to search for another job. I happened to be on the phone to my mum in London, England, and she said she saw a job advertised in the english newspaper for Switzerland in a place called Zuchwil, near the town of Solothurn. I think mum never forgave herself for telling me. It was for a Robert Bosh Company subsidiary, called Scintilla. They always had an english secretary there, and so I called them, paid them a visit and yes, I got the job. That was the main reason why I stayed in Switzerland and moved to Solothurn from Zürich.

I worked for the Scintilla for a few years, met Mr. Swiss, we got married and I left my job because I had a baby bump. It is now many years later, but the Scintilla still exists. They made a range of vacuum cleaners for a Swiss store but their main product was drills and jigsaws. They introduced a range of saws that would fit different types of drill products. It was my job to handle the english correspondence for the whole company. They were the days where stenography was still needed. As a sideline I proof read the english translations of the operation manuals.

However the company Scintilla had existed for many years, since 1917. It was when Charles Lindbergh did his famous flight across the Atlantic that their fame was established. Lindbergh needed a magneto for is aircraft, The spirit of St. Louis, but was having problems as they were exploding. It was then that the company Scintilla in the little village of Zuchwil produced the Vertex Magnetos which were found to be the ideal solution. And so the Scintilla became famous for it magnetos, thanks to Charles Lindbergh,  and you can still see an example of that magneto if you visit the company.

The building is still there but has now mainly been rented out to other companies, although a small part is still Scintilla.

RDP Wednesday: Scintilla

RDP Wednesday: Fortuitous

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A fortuitous event in my life, many years ago, about 20 I suppose as I already had my grey hair in the photo. It was the Christmas celebration in the company that I worked for as an export clerk. During the year we could make suggestions for company improvements. It was so long ago, I cannot really remember how it functioned. I think we wrote our idea down and submitted it in a box. I had many ideas, nothing ventured nothing gained was my motto  and so I would submit my revolutionary ideas.

The only one I can remember was to turn the spare land next to our company into a nature paradise with water features and perhaps even spare parts to be planted by company employees as an allotment area. At the end of the year there would be a first, second and third prize. The suggestions were all in a bag and the winning ideas were presented by selecting the papers from the bag.

The third and second prize was at first chosen and naturally it was all building up to the first prize and yes, it happened to me. I won the amount of one thousand Swiss Francs for one of my suggestions in cash. That was really a Christmas to remember. Which suggestion it was that was chosen from the many I submitted I do not know. I always like to think it was the one with the nature reserve, although it was decided that would not be so possible and the land had been reserved for perhaps a company extension one day.

RDP Wednesday: Fortuitous

RDP Wednesday: Fear

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There he was perched high on a flower branch and looking at me. Was he preparing to attack? This was fear so I decided to retire indoors, with the window open and see how the situation develops. Many years ago I was at the local swimming pool(s) with the kids in summer and yes, I sat on a wasp, or was it a bee? It was wearing a striped pullover and I think it was a bee. It was my first and only sting. It was as if I had sat on a piece of sharp glass. I think the bee died afterwards, it looked as helpless as I did. I was treated at the first aid station and forgot about the whole thing afterwards.

Otherwise no fear here. Since I seriously began to drive a car in January, I can do it all. Eight months back on the road with all the complications. Suddenly the road is being repaired and you have to thread into a one way stream. Parking the car in narrow spaces is still something I like to avoid, but even that works. As a golden oldie fear no longer really exists, they are more daily challenges to be overcome.

RDP Wednesday: Fear

RDP Wednesday: Nostalgia

Me around 6 years old
A bow in my hair
Hand on a dolls house
Neat little socks
Feet so small like a mouse
And look at the dress
Such a pretty puff sleeve
Curls in the hair
Can I really believe
A trip to the photographer
A clean shiny face
Mum scrubbed it so well
Of dirt was no trace
I was not very happy
I wanted to play
The dolls house an ornament
To brighten up the day
Now there is no mum
Dad joined her in the fold
My hair is now grey
I have become quite old
But the memories are there
of that day long ago
When mum dressed me up
And in my hair put a bow

RDP Wednesday: Nostalgia