A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Archive for January, 2007

How to save money

“Take care of the pence and the pounds will look after themselves”

William Lowndes 1652-1724

On the corner of Rennweg and Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich stands the noble Flagship store of Swiss shoes -Bally.

They are beautifull shoes,beautifully handcrafted at a beautifull price.

I am not a regular customer, but I have bought shoes there, always making the excuse that it is so difficult to find fashionable and comfortable pairs in size 41 ,and definately cheaper than Manilo’s.

A few seasons ago I managed to persuade my Husband to cross the noble threshhold.Which he wouldn’t have done had he not needed a pair of sandals in the middle of February.

A very friendly probably multilingual assistant bade us take a seat and within minutes brought us various boxes of sandals

to try. She was so quick that he didn’t have time to untie his laces before she was crouching down in front of him to help.

And then. Oh the shame of it all! Two blacked socked feet ,and two large holes in the the toes.

But today I read with some amusement,that the head of the world bank, Paul Wolfowitz on a visit to Turkey was taken to a Moschee where before entering men must remove their shoes.

And what did the removal of the shoes of one of the most powerfull men in the world reveal- two black socks with holes in the toes.

Somehow makes you feel our money is beeing well looked after.


Federer does it again

Sometimes I do feel proud to own a nice little red passport with a white cross on it.But there have been times though when I have tried to hide it. I do hold a British passport too, and I remember beeing asked by a rather astonished secretary at the British Consulate when enquiring about a long overdue renewal, how I could have spent such a long time travelling around with the other one. As though it was really not done in the best circles. But I hadn’t always been proud of the blue and gold one-as it was in those days either.

But today I can say I am proud to have a countryman to whom it seems the whole world ,especially the sporting world respects and admires,not only because of his tennis genius,but because he has remained so unpretentious and so sincere that not even the press write a bad word about him.

He does so much for the image of Switzerland and the Swiss in the world that I don’t know how the country can thank him enough.

Congratulations Roger on winning the Australian Open.We all hope Roland Garros will be on your side.

There could be just a very small flaw in Roger Federer, which only people well informed about Switzerland will understand, and that is , it states in my little red passport that I am a citizen of Zürich and he is from Basle. But then his Mother is from South Africa so I suppose it’s not quite the same.

Stomach operations for fat children.

Wanted to scream yesterday as I read that British Doctors on the Board of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence advise partial removal of the stomach on very overweight children.

The Institute has now published guidelines to help with the problem of obesity in the land.

No other country in Europe has such a massiv number of overweight inhabitants. In the last twentyfive years the number has apparently tripled. They are costing the land roughly guessed 4,4 Milliarden Euro in health and and economic measures, and now it’s time for everyone to try and bend down to pull their socks up.

Here I did start to scream.

Can someone please tell me, in the case of overweight children why their parents don’t feel responsible for the weight of their children. Or don’t they even feel responsible for themselves?

Can someone please tell me why firms are churning out more and more highly caloried sweet products with little nutritional value, aimed mostly at the taste buds of the younger generation and are allowed to get away with it.

Can someone please tell me why people who care for children have forgotten the word NO

Yep, you’re all right,I’m older generation,am 1m 78cm tall and weigh 59kilo. I love,Crunchie bars,Peppermint creams, Apple pie,and Magnums. But my parents could say no, and I can still say enough is enough.

Solitude is a solitaire

“I want to be alone”

Greta Garbo 1905-1990 Grand Hotel. Film
Do other people have this problem,wanting to be alone. Is it a modern day thing,by modern I mean after Garbo?In the Bible, God says in the book of Genesis; “It’s not good that man should be alone”

It is good for me,I like my own company and I’m not lonely and I’m certainly not idle and I do have friends but I do sometimes want to be alone with my thoughts,my plans and my dreams. Recently it’s becoming rather difficult and the only place I can really be alone is the bathroom, but even there a voice calling’ what are you doing’ wants an answer.

The trouble is since the beginning of the year my husband has been retired.

Now don’t get me wrong, my huband is a helpfull,amicable,loving person but he is now always there and wanting to do things together.

I know I should be thankfull that I have someone like him around, and I am,but how do I get away from him sometimes without hurting him or making him think I’m having a clandestine relationship with someone.

I am still a working woman so out of the house four days a week in a demanding job working with people,-probably why the desire for solitude occasionally,and I really understand now the difficulty some men have coming home to an over communicative wife after a long hard day at work.

But Spring will undoubtably come and he will have more things to occupy him. But until then.?

Do other woman have my dilemma?

Could be that he has the same problem.

Maybe I should ask him.

The wearing of the Green,or maybe just blue

‘I met with Napper Tandy,and he took me by the hand,

And he said”How’s poor ould Ireland, and how does she stand?”

She’s the most disthressful country that iver yet was seen,

For they’re hangin’ men an’ women for the wearin’ o’ the Green

Anonymous: ‘The Wearin’ o’ the Green (circa 1795 ballad)

The Green has had an influence on my life from my childhood days till now.

I opened my eyes one evening and they were there,the men of Ireland and there they stayed.

In my parents home they gathered, a breath of Cork,Sligo,Donegal and other God forsaken Counties of theEmerald Isle.

Sons of Tara: Con O’Dwyer, Andy Malone ,Murray, O’Shea, John O’Connor and the others that have since faded into the mist.

Friends of my Father a long way from home ,enjoying a beer with an English family who didn’t mind if they wore brown shoes with a blue suit.

After the stories followed the songs,and my mother would look at me and then her watch,and I would try and become invisable, for I loved the songs and definately didn’t want to be sent to bed. They sang the Rebel songs, although I didn’t understand them at the time. Later the bittersweet ones.

He would sing along with them too.and then if the Beer had really influenced him he would give them his favourite, and they would sit and listen to it’s melancholy words, even though they knew it wasn’t really Irish at all. It was like them sad.
”I’ll take you home again Kathleen, across the ocean wild and wide.

To where your heart has ever been,since you were first my loving bride.

The Roses all have left your cheek,I’ve watched them fade away and die.

Your voice is sad when e’re you speak and tears bedim your loving eyes.

Oh I will take you back Kathleen to where your heart will find no pain.

And when the fields are fresh and green I’ll take you to your home again.”

Thomas Westendorf 1875

Sitting through Mahler

We have an old traditional concert hall in Zürich, standing under national trust of course. Since the begin of the present season the hall boasts 1400 new red chairs at a cost of 845 000 Swiss Francs, being paid for by the local tax payers.

Wonderfull. Some people might have found other uses for the said sum of course, but I, as a born Brit have a warm spot for historic buildings.

The problem is, nobody enjoys a concert any more because the chairs are so damned uncomfortable.To quote an 80 year old gentleman who has been attending concerts regularly since his parents took him as a child, the seats are ”absolutely unacceptable” Another said, after one and a half hours of Mahler he has bad backache but can hardly stand up because the upholstery is much too soft. -The arm rests are too hard and too high.- The angle of the seat is out of line. The width too narrow, and the backs give just minimal support.
According to the Firm responsible the Natonal Trust and it’s narrow margins are to blame.

Not to worry, they have started to take them all out again. How much will it cost? At the moment there is according to the press no exact estimate.


Why is it that I am never up behind a slow driver if I’m not in a hurry, but sure as eggs are eggs if I havn’t a minute to spare they will be out there waiting for me to catch up with them.

The elderly men wearing hats and smoking cigars, little ladies in large cars hardly able to see over the dashboard,and of course all the learner drivers in the county. Not that I’ve really got anything against them but why do they have to be in front of me.

What I dont understand about them, and it seems to be like the phenomena of the lost sock in the washing machine,is why they can creep along a main road painfully below the speed limit but the moment they come to a built up area with a 50km restriction they put their foot down on the gas and away they go.

What is equally mysterious is that then there is never a police car in site.

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