Monday, 4 February 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?

Flowers on the Building Site, Feldbrunnen

The changes in my life did not give me a choice to change it slowly, cold turkey style or incrementally (must look that word up - found it: gradually?). Anyhow my changes are my own fault, the writer takes responsibility for all calamaties that may have occurred on the way.

It all starts when you begin to think for yourself, instead of asking for advice.

"Hey look a job in the newspaper for Switzerland. That's it."

So mum got a few more grey hairs, dad just kept quiet about it and I applied. Cut a long complicated story short, a few months after this maternal shock, I was in Switzerland. What happened in the meanwhile is history. Visiting the Swiss Embassy, getting my papers in order, delivery of a work permit and one day I boarded a train at Victoria Station in London on my way. In those days flying was too expensive. You took boat across the english channel, arrived at Calais where the train was waiting. Travelled through the night in a so-called sleeping compartment and arrived some time in the early hours of the morning in Basel, border station to Switzerland.

This was  46 years ago - so the first big change. Planned, but not exactly. I had to wait for documents, get my passport in order and when I arrived register at the British Embassy in Zürich (safety precautions, you never know. If Switzerland and England start a war, then you have to be evacuated).

So next change was when I decided Switzerland had other towns and I moved to Solothurn from Zürich. This was more a careful change. First of all secure a job, which I did. Then organise somewhere to live. My first place was sort of living in with a landlady. I soon realised this was not my thing, and moved on to my own furnished flat. The job was going well, started to get used to things, but believe me it is lonely at first. You know no-one in a new town and Solothurn was a small market town.

So next move: I met Mr. Swiss. That was a quick change. We met in April, got married the following year in February (today is my wedding anniversary) and was mother of three children by the end of the year. Now that was a big big change. No. 3 was my first son and the other two were brought into the partnership by my husband. So at the age of 23 I had a step son 7 years old, a step daughter 6 years old and a baby.

Slowly the photo above is representing my life: a big building site, but in the middle some lovely flowers.

I think my life eventually did get a bit calmer. We  moved often. . At first we lived in a small flat in town, then moved down a floor to a bigger appartment to accomodate the kids. A few years later my second son arrived, so we moved again in the same town. Another bedroom had to be organised. By the time we moved to the next place, we had quite a routine, although by each move we threw something more away. How can you collect so much ballast in life?

Now the years have passed on, the kids are no longer kids and live their own lives. Just my oldest son is still at home, but he is autistic, although quite independent. We bought our own place and now live as if we would move once a week. I know that sounds strange, but it is the best method. No more ballast, if you cannot use it, then throw it.

My changes in life are through, I hope - but you never know.


  1. Most of the major changes in my life have usually been done fairly quickly, in one go, rather than a bit at a time.
    I had to smile at the thought of England and Switzerland being at war. Probably one of the most unlikely ones you could think of :-))

    1. At last I have got this comment thing properly set up. Anyhow about Switzerland and UK having a war - probably only over the escaped money from England in the Swiss banks.

    2. That reply made me giggle. *smile*

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  3. Wonderful changes in a life so lived, dear Pat. Thank you for sharing.

    I of course can identify with the huge move of countries and cultures.

  4. I have always been impulsive, including when I shift. Now of course it has to be a different story.

    I like your photo and when I saw it I thought the flowers had a meaning to being there. A great read too Pat.