So what's new? Well the kids picked up the keys to their new apartment on Saturday and Jen called to ask if I could take a couple of empty trunks over to them so they can start packing. They have already taken two trunks so I threw another three in my car and headed out to their new place. Now I know pretty much where St. Jeoire is but if I hadn't put my GPS on I would definitely have taken the "scenic" (i.e. "wrong") route over a mountain pass! In fact I didn't have to go over the mountain pass at all so it turned out to be a very pleasant 30 minute/27 km trip. I threw some snacks, trash bags, a bucket, scraper and sponge in too, plus a spare T-shirt because I knew they were talking about stripping the wallpaper off the two bedrooms so I thought I may as well go over and give them a hand. Jen's friend, Julian, was also there, so Jordan set to and removed the radiators and between the four of us we got two bedrooms completely stripped in three hours!! Pretty good going I thought.
|A bunch of "strippers"!|
In other news, last Thursday France celebrated Assumption which is, generally, a public holiday, although not everywhere closes. Thursday is market day in my local town so as I wasn't sure if the market would be on I decided to give it a miss and go to the Friday market in Bonneville for a change. As I was buying my fruit and veg the lady seller complimented me on my pretty woven basket (actually, I get quite a few compliments on it - as I have made a point of telling the lady who sells them at my regular Saturday market). Anyway, this lady also complimented me on bringing my own mesh bags and said she wished everyone would do the same as providing the plastic bags was a big expense for them. She explained that the small, flimsy bags that you might put your tomatoes in cost 4 cents each and the bigger, more solid bags that you might use for potatoes, or heavier items, cost 14 cents a piece!! Crikey, I have to admit I had never given it much thought, except to say that I love using my basket and have had the mesh bags for about 15 years now. Such a small effort yet such big savings all round!
On a totally different subject, I saw in the news that the small town of Porthcawl in Wales was planning to install "anti-sex" toilets in the town centre! Basically, they are the kind of toilets that get hosed down after every use but these toilets were designed to monitor if there is more than one set of feet in there, if the weight exceeds the expected weight of a single adult and if that person "took too long" in there!!! It was not only designed to discourage sexual encounters but also to prevent people gathering there to take drugs or rough sleepers. Well apparently it caused much consternation because, as one guy pointed out, "I weigh easily as much as two slim teenagers, what about a mother taking a young child to the toilet, or an older, disabled adult or an elderly person who needed help?" Anyway, I think Porthcawl have had to have a re-think - but it makes you wonder how much ££££ and thought went into this project to begin with! They have these kinds of toilets in town and at the market too and I really don't like them. I'm always worried that something will go wrong and I will end up getting my veggie basket and myself "hosed down" through accidentally getting locked in or staying in there too long!
Oh, and do you remember an old post of mine about my first love, Nacer, who I met when I was attending Montpellier University when I was 19? Well Naç sent me a message last week asking for advice. His son is going to be attending Geneva University to study pharmacy and Naç had "left it a bit late (!!!)" to start looking for accommodation for him, so he was asking for my help. Now there's no way I will be taking in lodgers because firstly I'm not interested and in any case I live too far out (hence the reason I retired early - the God-awful commute), but I was able to give him the names of good neighbourhoods for his son to live in which wouldn't require a lengthy commute and I started looking on FB marketplace for reasonable accommodation in suitable areas. He had thought a place called Ferney-Voltaire (in neighbouring France) might be ok as it is only about 5-6 km from the uni, but I told him to forget it because even on public transport it would take 60-90 minutes one way (on a good day - and there aren't too many of them, traffic-wise, in Geneva lately)! So he was going to come over with his son to see what they could find through the university housing facility (he was on a waiting list) and I said maybe we could meet up if and when he gets his son sorted out. Small world isn't it!
Anyway, as I said at the beginning of my post, things are pretty quiet here at the moment, so I've been taking advantage of that to spend about an hour a day in my garden and the same again taking my kitchen to pieces, emptying all the cupboards and scrubbing the place from top to bottom, as I want to paint it. It isn't finished yet but lordy can you see the difference between the places I have scrubbed and those that I haven't, although having had my hands dunked in bleach for the last week there's no way I would ever make a "hand model"! I remember doing this in my tv room when I moved a picture and thought I would just wipe down the white wood behind it - I ended up scrubbing the whole place from top to bottom as it was stained a horrible gharish yellow from my ex's cigarette smoke, which wasn't so obvious until I started cleaning one little spot! Yuck! I guess the trick is not to start right! That being said, I've still had a few hours a day to either potter around cooking and/or reading and am ploughing through books at the rate of knots at the moment! I just finished Minette Walters' "The Breaker" in two days and am now on a Ruth Rendall book. It's bliss getting my reading "groove" back, especially since I have so many books waiting to be read! That might go by the way for a little while, though, as Max (Jordan's friend/former boss) is coming by tomorrow with a view to installing my new heating system. I know he has ordered the new heating unit and he said it will take about a week to get it all hooked up to the radiators, but it needs to be done and it will be good to get that out the way before it gets cold.
And finally, I haven't been too interested in booking an autumn holiday this year as I've had too much going on, but just yesterday I started to get "itchy feet" about booking something for next spring - my annual "explore" holiday, if you like, just like my Sri Lanka trip in March. So far I've looked at Mexico and Thailand but it's not limited to those two places - although they are both high up on my list. Time to put my thinking cap on that one I guess!