Well the world's slowest renovation project is still ongoing and I'm starting to get really fed up of it, to be honest. I had thought that at least the big bathroom would have been finished last week but unfortunately the plumber couldn't install the shower door pane as he needs the tiler to come back in and build him "an exact vertical" on which to attach it (I'd guess none of my walls are particularly straight). Unfortunately (for me) the tiler had to dash home to Kosovo for a few days so that's where I'm stuck at - so close and yet so far! On a positive note, I now trust both these men enough that if I have to dash out I know I can leave them in the house alone. I was telling the tiler that I'd just gotten back from the charity shop and he asked me if I always took stuff there, rather than dumping it. When I said of course, we were poor when I was growing up, he smiled and said "good, because that's the way we live in my country"! I guess if people want to try to sell stuff that's fine too, but the thought of putting perfectly good items in the trash horrifies me!
In the family next door to ours in England there were 10 children, and not long after I'd come to Geneva one of their older daughters came out to Geneva to work as an au pair for two physicists working at CERN (the European Nuclear Research Centre - think Hadron Collider). When I met up with her one time she was telling me that when the children grew out of their clothes they just dumped them in the trash (!!!!) so she spent half her time climbing in the trash to get them back out again and take them home for her brothers and sisters! She also said that they would buy a whole, large salmon, take what they wanted from it - and then dump the rest! While they obviously made good money, I will never understand that mentality, and nor do I want to!
Anyway, I know my tiler would like to buy a house and he was asking me about next door's place and another neighbour's place - the Jehovah's Witness couple who are having to move out because of old age/frailty. He'd done some work for next door and liked the house and they keep their garden nice too, but the other neighbour (who introduced me to the tiler) had also told him about the problems with the basement flooding, so I don't think he would want to take that on. One thing I also mentioned to him though is that living in Annecy, his three kids would probably hate it out here - too rural and you can't just pop into town and go shopping when you feel like it. Absolutely beautiful of course (but then so is Annecy) but no public transport and I felt that his teenage daughters, at least, would hate it. We were lucky because André was just two when we moved here and Jordan was born here, so they never knew anything else, but tweens would probably hate it. I would be happy to have him move in next door as he seems very nice, but (a) I honestly don't see next door ever selling and (b) you have to take into account all the inconveniences too. I think I gave him food for thought, at least!
On another note, I follow a FB group who post on burglaries/break-ins in the local area, and I don't know if they are actually increasing or if I'm just more aware of it, but in any case I called back a company who had come round in the summer and within 24 hours I had a complete security system installed and with a monthly payment will have a 24 hour emergency contact too. They installed five sensors downstairs (doors and windows), an internal camera, two external cameras (front and back) and even a "smoke" alarm - you know, a bit like the artifical fog you get at a pop concert. It's very easy to use (once I got the hang of it) and so far I've only set it off briefly twice. I also gave my neighbour a disc that will cancel the alarm if it goes off when I'm not here, and will give the kids one each when I see them. So job done then!
In other news, there seems to be an awful lot of product recall going on in France right now due to the "detection of pesticides". Hmmmm!!! Several such products that also hit the news, although only in a "small" way, were various bottled waters produced by Nestlé. It seems that they have been treating their bottled waters in the same way as regular tap water is treated, and while this doesn't necessarily make the water "bad" (for want of a better word), having the label spring water means it shouldn't be treated at all! Thankfully when this was discovered Nestlé's reps dashed off to Paris and managed to get a derogation before too much harm was done. Oddly enough the executive working at Rothschild Bank who was put in charge of the sale of Pfizer's infant nutrition division to Nestlé was none other than ...
|... so I'm sure they had good contacts!
The other day I was in town and spotted the most beautiful baeckeoffe dish (earthenware dish), and despite my decluttering efforts I knew I just had to have it (I know, I know)! I promptly bought it home and cooked a large chicken with tons of garlic and potatoes. Of course I couldn't eat it all so stripped the chicken and threw the gravy, garlic and potatoes into a soup I made yesterday. While it was lovely, somehow I think if I'd realized I'd used that much garlic I would have eaten it on Friday night - that way I probably wouldn't have had to pay for a business class seat to Thailand on Saturday as I'm sure no-one would have wanted to sit next to me!
|My baeckeoffe dish! I love it!
And finally, I brought my suitcase upstairs to start packing and pulled out a nice shoulder bag that I only use when travelling. While I was rummaging around in the pockets I found a lottery ticket I bought for 24 December and when I checked it I had won €50!!!! I have no idea why I dropped it in that bag and as it was almost expired I went into town today and cashed it! All good stuff then, as I'm off to Thailand on Saturday and it would have expired by the time I get back. I doubt I'll be able to keep in contact much on my phone, so if not, take care and "speak" when I get back!