Our Time in Switzerland

So many hours were spent, either on phone calls with Jason and Michelle, or with Josephine each week. We visit her spending several hours twice a week and Trudy spoke to her every day. But sadly, quite often she was very confused. Yet, on other occasions she was bright and even able to talk to me in English.

It is arduous work for us in Switzerland, having no help - we clean our house ourselves as any kind of labour here in Switzerland is expensive and our garden is a constant problem. Life for us, is much easier in Spain, as we have a cleaner every week, the maintained gardens are lovely, and we can afford to go to a restaurant each week, with so many available nearby.

Our Garden

We had decided to reduce some of the lawn mowing, by making certain sections of our lawn to grow wildflowers, as we had not been able to control the amounts of weeds in our lawns, also we changed our front garden lawn into a flower and bush bed.

Our new gardener Christine was fully in favour of this, and we left feeling pleased that she would enjoy growing her own plants and keep our garden under control.

However, when we arrived back from Spain, we had such a shock when we checked our garden, as it was in such a mess! It turned out that Christine had spent a lot of time in our garden, whilst we were in Spain, but her idea of maintaining our garden was quite different to ours.

Christine's ideas

We found out later that she is very fond of weeds and also of insects, mice, and hedgehogs that she wanted to encourage. So, she had made little piles of sticks, in various places around our garden, hoping hedgehogs would use them. She also added a large piece of a tree trunk, by our hedge, in which she had drilled a number of small holes. She explained that by encouraging all these creatures we would reduce the slug and snail problem.

She had organised very tall sticks for the bind weeds to grow up, as she thought that these would stop the bind weed from attacking our rhododendrons. But that didn't work. Christine is very friendly, but sadly not very well mentally and unable to work. But she had been told gardening would be good for her and would help her, so, that was why she reacted quickly when she saw our advert.

After we explained what we really needed from her, she decided it was too much for her and she would like to give up. Once again, we advertised but without any success, we think it was the wrong time of year. But Christine kept coming and said she would help till we find someone else, probably not till the end of winter.

Unpleasant Times

Sadly, Trudy had to have a minor operation, and all went well. But the day before, Trudy had a fall, and managed to hurt her feet, knees, and one arm that had a very nasty bruise that lasted a long time. Soon after this we were heading back to Spain, I know it is hard to leave Josephine, but we needed a break and a rest, and it is not like we are going too far away. We had a number of things to do in Spain that could not be left much longer.

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