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

Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

A Touch of the Tropics

There is no escape.

Everyone travelling or staying in the tropics gets hit by it sooner or later.

The situation where your poor western stomach says,enough is enough of this eastern food.

You don’t really know whether it was the deep fried cockroaches you had for dinner the night before,or the cheddar cheese sandwich with Branston pickle which is also available here.But whatever it was you had better make sure a bathroom or bowl is in easy reach. Having established that they are near, you can lie back and wish to die.

You don’t of course, but it certainly feels like it,and in fact you will probably hope for  your passing at the acute stage.

Luckily it is usually something that takes at the most 48 hours to get over.Afterwards you will sleep and sleep,then greet the next day, a couple of pounds lighter and with a stomach that is now immune to the ‘joys’,of in my case,Asian cuisine.

A thought that went through my head while I was suffering was,

“now you are alone”

there is no family to accompany you on whatever journey this was going to take you,nobody to hold your hand,or make sure you got some fluids into you.It is all up to you.

But I managed it,and survived.

Although being alone when you are in need of care might be something that stops women doing what I did, this incident showed me we are all strong.It’s just fear that is the inhibitor.

Should I do Bali?

Here comes the difficult part of being alone again.
Diminished funds.
Forty years of not having to consider very much whether I could afford it or not gets to be a habit.
Of course if I had considered it then,I might not have had to consider it so much today, but that is beside the point now.

A friend of mine asked yesterday, if I would like to join her when she went to Bali in January,her husband would be away and she would enjoy the company.

A lovely idea I thought.It would also combine with my having to make a “visa run” (one of the rusty bits where staying in Thailand for more than a few months is concerned)

But now I can’t just say,yes,which I would have done before.
I now have to consider many things,the main one being,can I really afford this,even if I get the cheapest available flight,and basically I am a 5* girl.
Is Bali really worth it.

I suppose I could fast for a few weeks.
Cut out the gin and tonics,which of course I only take for their medicinal benefits in the tropics.
Not send Christmas cards,which I won’t get back anyway out here.
Not start my art classes again,which are an added luxury and I don’t practice enough.
Forget the hair dressers, even though it does only cost 100 Baht.

Yes,I will really have to think about it.

Tea Drinking Hens

Living and working in Switzerland,wasn’t so easy in the beginning.The cultural differences between the swinging city of London in the late sixties, and a farming village in Switzerland,even though only twenty miles from Zürich were enormous.

It was my Mother-in-Law, probably taking pity on me, who told me I wasn’t the only English speaking woman there,and she gave me her address. That was how I first came to meet the. witty Scots girl,with a light Glaswegian accent, and was introduced to the “Hens”.

More than thirty years of water has passed under the village bridge since then.The village is now a small town,my friend hasn’t lost her Scots accent,and I still go every two weeks to a meeting of the “Hens”

Thirty years ago it was where lost souls met.Someplace where homesick, or otherwise, ex pat women of English mother tongue living in and around Zürich could rant on without their husbands hearing about their opinion of life in Switzerland,their Mothers-in-Law,their children and if need be even their husbands.

It was a little piece of our Homeland,served with a strong cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The club meetings saved many a visit to the psychologist,and many a marriage.

We were never more than fifteen,because we took turns in meeting at each others’ houses. More members would not only have posed seating problems at some places,it would also have been too damned noisy. Thus the name.

Three members left and went back to America, Canada,and Australia. One was terminally ill and went home to England. Two rowed with us about something long forgotten and left the pen.

There have been three divorces,and three re marriages.

The rest of us,apart from have been meeting every second Wednesday in the month for over thirty years. We have had three new members.

We have all grown old together.

Conversation has taken a different turn. We don’t rant anymore.

Husbands? We have learned to live with them, and even invite them to a get together twice a year. I can almost say the men are freinds among themselves now too.

Everyone seems to be suffering from some medical disorder which is always a good topic,the children are fully fledged,the in-laws few in number.

In our hearts we might like to go “Home”,but none of us would take the step now. Our countries have changed too.

Last week a hairdresser member brought along a lot wigs for us to try, just to see if we wanted to accept our roots so to speak, or at least see ourselves in another colour.

If laughter is medicine we certainly took an overdose on Wednesday.

I’ll miss them all in Thailand.

A Trolley Full of Calories

Probably it is a trait found more in woman. Inquisitiveness. But then you could say it’s because we are just more interested in certain things.

Standing in line at the Supermarket for instance. I don’t know about you, but I always look at what everybody else has in their trolley,and in the few seconds it takes to look, I build my opinion about them,which I must admit isn’t always noble. Maybe because there are more and more people buying things who are having difficulty fitting in the food lines.

Yesterday the very overweight young woman in front of me put a large packet of Florentines,a delicious,toffee type cookie of fruit and nuts coated with a heavy layer of milk chocolate on one side. (Yes I will post the recipe) Plus a jumbo pack each of M and M’s, and Maltesers, a one kilo bag of refined sugar and a bottle of red wine. (Nothing against a glass of red wine of course)

There are people out there,like my blogging colleague Joe Felso who have started counting calories,and I wonder why more people can’t do it, for we all Know what obesity brings us, and it isn’t as though the food that make us fat is cheap.

Why can’t the food stores scan the calories as well as the price.

In Switzerland all medical care must be paid for. It is very good but very expensive,and health care insurance costs rise each year. We now have thousands of families in the county where I live alone, who can’t afford health insurance or pay for a doctor to treat their sick children, because others can’t discipline their eating habits and are making themselves chronically ill which we all have to pay for.

I think it is time Insurance companies gave some kind of bonus to people that could verify a certain weight loss over a years period,then there might be an incentive to count calories and eat healthier.

The Shape of Things to Come

Allegedly it was a hearing mistake, but it made me wonder,especially as I find myself doing some of the oddest things these days.

An elderly lady while using the Self Check In at Stockholms’ Arlanda Airport, instead of putting her bags on the conveyor belt layed down on it herself and disappeared into the darkness of the luggage hatch.

According to the Airport Authorities the personal on the other side managed to “sort out” the seventy eight year old out without any lasting damage.

Heavy Metal

Nice to be able to enjoy a couple of days of complete freedom.

Hubby went down to the Italian part of Switzerland,and I was going to stay at home,feed the cat ,and do exactly what I liked.

Bliss I thought.

A call of help from a friend changed everything yesterday.

Being a person who finds it difficult to say no, I jumped into the car and drove the few miles over to her place.

I suppose what we had talked about was still in my mind as I got back and I drove automatically and without really looking, into the garage.

Usually my car is able to drive itself home. We have a wonderful relationship, and the flitzy Italian has saved me from quite a few unforeseen situations.

But not yesterday.

Do you know what the worst sound in the world is to a car driver ?

The sound of metal fighting metal.

And that was the sound I heard yesterday as the Italian cut the corner and caught itself up on the framework of the garage door, and stayed there.

Driving forward brought the spine chilling noise to my ears,and reversing wasn’t any better.

No Hubby, neighbours on holiday,what was a woman supposed to do at a moment like this ? I suppose I could have called the fire brigade,they have often been called for less.

But I didn’t. I put my foot slowly on the accelerator and to the sound of music eased the car forward.

Two black doors,now have large white etchings on them,and a bit of the wheel guard seems to be missing.

Hubby doesn’t know yet.

A Scandal at Last

How nice that it doesn’t always just happen to the others.

In this little country where nothing ever happens worth bothering about, we now have a really juicy scandal.

Not that it can match some other countries that I won’t name here, but for us it is a bit of an earthquake. Luckily most people are on holiday,so it might have all calmed down before they return,and if they didn’t find a Swiss newspaper they might not even know about it.

Fact is, the media found a story to liven up the Summer for the people who have stayed at home.

The recently appointed, Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces apparently isn’t so Persil White, as our Defense Minister made it appear as he proposed him to the rest of the Cabinet for the position.

In fact he had a law suite on his hands for so called “Domestic Violence” after his partner wanted to end the affair. He was also accused of stalking,and advertising her with photo, for sex services in several newspapers and Internet sites.

It was settled out of court for a certain sum.

Our Defense Minister hasn’t resigned, but has suspended the Brigadier General until the 20th of August in which time he can try and prove his innocence.

In doubt for the Accused.

Certainly a feast for the “away with the military ” brigade.

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