There is a Swiss tradition that when you vacate an apartment you take everything that can be unscrewed or untethered so that the new tenants feel welcomed and heartwarmed by all things Swiss. When we looked at apartments all the light-fittings are either bare bulbs or in extreme cases: bare wires dangling from the ceiling. This is a charming Swiss tradition that makes a family feel as if they are staying in a half-way house after ratting on a crime lord.
If aliens landed I am sure they would assume that our family name is Ikea as it seems to be stamped on just about everything we own; but buying light fittings doesn’t make me want to sing show tunes, so spending as little as we can on them seems only logical.
I was putting up this light fitting and my son was looking up at me doing this.
Darling Son: What are you doing, Daddy?
MrShev: I am putting up a new light.
Darling Son: Well…be careful Daddy!
MrShev: Don’t worry, I will. I turned off the main electricity. [DS looks confused, so I show him the fuse box and explain]
Darling Son: If you touch the wires you’ll go like this [he starts wiggling all his arms and making a buzzing sound]…then you’ll die and turn into a skeleton…where they had the bears, there was an electric fence with a sign on it with a skull and crossbones on it that meant if I touched it I’d die and then turn into a skeleton.
MrShev: I’ll try and be careful.
Darling Son: If you turn into a skeleton, who’ll be my Daddy?
MrShev: I don’t know.
Darling Son: Will Mummy have to find a new one?
MrShev: I suppose so…
Darling Son: Yeeeahy! She could marry Spiderman…or a dragon! That would be brilliant! [charming].
We are still in two minds about what to say to them about death and the afterlife*. MrsShev is of the opinion that kids need a grasp of something – like heaven – or the situation of death may be too crushing for a kid to handle.
Whereas I am more of the opinion that it’s lights-out Las Vegas and that clinging to some quasi magical, fantastical notion of an omnipotent being nudging us around like Cluedo pieces is a crock and if we’re going to start believing in fairy tales then we should go all in and I’d prefer Father Christmas over any God I have learned about – at least you get presents and a guy with a sense of homour.
* This is optional cover and does not effect your statutory rights. However, if you don’t keep up the re-pray-ments then in the event of end of life you may not receive an afterlife. There is no guarantee that we will honour this agreement.