The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Monday, 6 December 2021

A good move!

I wish I'd thought to take a picture from my balcony first thing this morning, as the sun was shining, it had snowed heavily overnight and the farmer had his sheep in the field behind my house and it was all so pretty, with the sheep looking like miniature snowmen - albeit horizontal snowmen!

And no surprise here, but I've spent the last however many days at home until today as while I was over covid (three negative tests, including the last one today) I was still really, really tired - which seems to be one of the most common side-effects! Then on Friday morning I woke up with a pain in my ear and a blocked nose and somehow managed to have contracted sinusitis! Damn, I haven't had so much as a cold in years and this year I'm definitely making up for it! I expect it's got a lot to do with being run down actually as I had no energy and decided to spend however long I needed just sitting on the sofa reading. I also had no appetite (still don't really) and on a positive note I am down 10 lbs this morning from when I tested positive for covid! I was still drinking gallons, mind, but I just couldn't be bothered to eat (another common side effect apparently). Anyway, in view of the sinusitis I thought I'd better get back to the saline solution and the ginger and honey tea so I'm kinda hoping it'll be gone in a day or two! I knew I'd seen somewhere that someone mentioned dabbing the inside of ear with a drop of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it and I'm hoping that will have helped also (or maybe I'll just go totally deaf - who knows)! When I spoke to Jen on zoom she told me that she'd seen a home-made remedy of someone cooking an onion (in a microwave), wrapping it in a cloth and placing it on the ear and while I'm sure it works (I believe onions and garlic, in particular, have wonderful healing properties), I could just imagine the neighbour letting herself into my home and finding me passed out on the sofa with an onion in my ear!

Ms Moon mentioned today that she'd had the sweetest dream last night and all I can say is lucky her, as I had yet another nightmare about my ex-husband. It's always him (not that I get nightmares very often) and I think I read somewhere that they can occur when the body is overheated or run down. Could be true because when I get them it's usually early morning, which is when I tend to feel too hot. Anyway, last night "he" had yet again come into my house while I was out and rearranged my entire kitchen - moved the oven, switched everything around in the cupboards and so on. And then "a friend of his" came over and I couldn't get either of them to leave. They don't last long but I think it tends to prove that my ex can still bother me (even if only subconsciously) if I have to think about him for any reason! He did, indeed, have a Drunken Asshole Friend/drinking buddy (DAF) who was a complete waste of space, always wanting to go out drinking in Geneva and perpetually broke - but then DAF was a single guy who rented a room in Geneva (when he managed to pay the rent) and had the rest of his salary to go out boozing with my husband. While none of this excuses my husband's behaviour, this particular DAF definitely intruded into my family life and was the biggest pain in the butt!

I remember his employer was contacted by a court in Germany for non-payment of debts over there and I ended up spending my entire weekend drafting letters to his creditors offering for him to pay lesser amounts if they would accept it. With two young kids and a full-time job, I mean, it's not like I had anything better to do, right? Came to find out many months later that he never even bothered to mail the letters! Then one weekend he was yet again sleeping off a hangover at our house when my husband came to me and asked if I would drive into town and buy DAF a carton of cigarettes - it had to be me as DAF had no money and ex-asshat had no driving licence! What a pair of winners those two were - a real pair of Chuckle Brothers. So folks, I guess if you ever want dating/lifestyle advice you know who not to come to!

In other news the Munchkin has finally figured out how to crawl forwards and since Jen has put me to shame and actually got her Christmas tree up I guess she's gonna have to watch out now! I stopped in at the pharmacy to get some more saline solution today so then decided to head off on my first outing in goodness knows how long. I knew a walk would be the best thing to get rid of the cobwebs and gunk in my head and it certainly helped! I walked around the lake at Thyez, which was only a 30 minute walk and just five minutes from Jordan and Jen's place, but I thought better of stopping in as I didn't want to pass my sinusitis (or anything else) on to them after they've had a rough few weeks! I guess I'll have to wait a few more days to see the Munchkin and his forward-motion crawling achievements!

And finally, I saw that someone had recommended the Netflix film Red Notice so I decided to give it a shot last night. Frankly starring Dwayne Johnson didn't really do it for me as I figured it would be all "bang, bang, you're dead" and him walking through 1,000 bullets with just a scratch on his cheek (I was right), but after I made it through the first couple of minutes I have to say I enjoyed it. It was, of course, ridiculous and silly but Ryan Reynolds (who I didn't know) and The Rock played the silly dialogue to the hilt and I ended up enjoying it. So I guess you really shouldn't judge a book (or a film) by it's cover, should you!

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Negative!

It's two weeks today since I tested positive for covid so the kids and I did another test yesterday and we've all come back negative so that's good. We were told we only had to self-isolate for 10 days as long as we didn't have a temperature (I never did anyway) but since I had nowhere to be I decided to give it two full weeks and just stay home. That was probably a good idea because I have been pretty tired but feel I might be turning a corner on that too now! Funnily enough, right at the beginning of covid, my trainer at the gym was one of the first people I know to get it (March 2020) and when I saw him last I asked how it had been and he just said exhausted for two weeks. Now he's a youngster and extremely fit - everything I'm not - but I have to agree on the tiredness part. And, I lost my appetite (another common symptom apparently), although I've always drunk gallons so I wasn't too worried about that! One thing I am looking forward to though is going down to the lake at Passy (on my own) for a good walk to get rid of the cobwebs cluttering up my brain for the last couple of weeks!

That being said, we got our first snow dump on Monday - quite a lot of it in fact - so going anywhere didn't have much appeal anyway. And then 24 hours later all the excitement has calmed down and we can enjoy the snow and the bright sunshine once again. While I'm always more careful on the snow, I have to admit I just love this weather and will be glad to get back out and about again. I obviously don't do too well being cooped up!



Thursday, 25 November 2021

Guess what!

Remember my saying a couple of posts ago how I'd spent a few days helping out with Charlie when he was cranky as hell and Jen was exhausted? Well I was cried on, dribbled on, puked on and pooped on but eventually we got there, although not before Jen had taken him to the doctor's who confirmed rhino-pharangitis (or whatever that is in English). Jen kept blasting saline solution up his nose (much to his disgust), thereby managing to prevent him from getting gunk on his chest and in about four days he was over it. Well Sunday night I got a message from Jen to say that they'd just received notification from the crèche saying they would be closed this week as one of the babies in Charlie's group has covid! Needless to say Jordan, Jen and the babe got tested Monday morning and all three of them came up positive! So it was off to the test centre for me and guess what - I showed up positive too (and Jen's mom, as it turns out). So yeah, there you have it, all five of us got covid via Charlie/the crèche, all the while thinking we had just contracted colds! But I'm happy to say, it's been perfectly fine. Seriously, in all our cases, it has been nothing to write home about! While I know that's not the case for many people, we've just sailed through with what I can only describe as a seasonal cold!

I've mentioned before that I don't really mix anyway so I've never been too worried about catching it, but then of course I'd never be in circumstances where I'd be that close to anyone other than the babe! Thankfully, other than going between their house and my house I didn't go anywhere last week so I never unknowingly infected anyone else either. It started with a very low-grade, all-encompassing headache, which I put down to having my bedroom too hot, and then a bunged up nose and that was it for the duration! Oh I had a bit of an ache in the back, which I put down to not going to yoga for three weeks and, in retrospect, I realize I was probably tireder than usual and had lost my appetite, but it was nothing to make me suspect covid! When I told my sister her first reaction was "well if you'd got the jab you probably wouldn't have caught it" (nope, I don't believe even a jabbed individual would be safe getting vomited on by an infected person), and then she tried "well it wouldn't have been so bad" (what, less bad than a bunged up nose?), so in the end I told her to let it be. She made her choice, I made mine and I'm good with it - but that still doesn't explain how my triple-jabbed neighbours have all come down with covid either does it (nothing to do with me, thankfully). So there you have it, hopefully one and done as far as we are concerned! It also means we will all now get the ubiquitous pass sanitaire, which is only available to people who have been triple-jabbed or who have recovered from covid! It won't make an awful lot of difference to my life anyway as I have no intention of going out night-clubbing, but it will be nice to be able to sit on a café terrace for a coffee, something we unjabbed have been banned from doing for the past however many months!

I have to say that the French securité sociale (the medical system) kicked in very quickly and efficiently after my positive test as I was bombarded with messages telling me what to do and asking if I needed financial help, medical help, assistance with my living arrangements or food shopping and so on (all of which was a "no thank you", of course), and then today I got a call asking for more details of my movements and who I had had contact with. I told the young woman that I was fine and that she didn't need to contact Jordan and Jen as we were all aware and had all tested positive, but she told me she had to call them for recording purposes so that was fine too!

Now while I may not have chosen to get the jab, I have been following quite a few online doctors/experts who have been giving advice on what to do if you get sick. Here I have to say Dr. Eric Berg is just wonderful (although not the only one) and as each doctor gave their recommendations I looked up the product they were recommending and put it into my online Amazon basket. Not that I ordered everything of course, but I accumulated what I thought were the most helpful videos/recommendations and watched how you go about making sure you can clear mucus from your airways (not that it happened in my case anyway) and so on. But the most common recommendations seemed to be for Vitamin C, D3, Zinc, K2, Quercetin, Glutathion and NAC (N-acetyl-L-cystein), which, I understand is kept on hand by many doctors in the case, most commonly of Tylenol and/or alcohol poisoning. Basically it's a potent anti-oxidant and detox (or at least that's my understanding). So a few weeks ago I dumped everything out of my Amazon basket except those things and luckily for me I had them all on hand when covid caught me out and started taking them as soon as I was confirmed. Maybe they helped, maybe they didn't, but I have to say none of us have been any sicker than a regular cold, except that it maybe lasted a bit longer than a seasonal cold would by a couple of days!

Anyway, we're all over it now and can come out of self-isolation as from tomorrow. Now André's peeved because he said if he realized that was all it was going to be he would rather have caught it and got it over with, but then he would throw a wobbly if he ever thought Charlie was going to spit up on him so maybe he'll never catch it!

While I didn't need anything (another reason I'm eternally grateful that I keep a well-stocked pantry), André (who has repeatedly tested negative) did a bit of running around for Jordan and Jen. He was telling me that he stopped in at the pharmacy for them the other day and was flirting up a storm with a pretty assistant when Jordan called him and asked him to buy some diarrhea medication (I guess that was one of Jordan's side effects) - which kinda put the kibosh on André's flirting!

Oh, another bit of juicy news is that France's vile Prime-Minister, Jean Castex, has just tested positive for covid also! This is the guy who has been banging the gavel about how we needed to be strict about obeying the guidelines and if we didn't there would be stiff penalties to pay. The same Jean Castex who categorically stated in July that if you were double-vaxed it was impossible to catch or transmit covid (WRONG), so the guy is either lying about his vaccine status (which is what I believe) or he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to listening to medical advice. More to the point, Mr. "We all have to follow the guidelines or there will be consequences" was filmed at a recent Mayor's Congress fraternizing with mayors from all over France, not wearing a mask and shaking hands with everyone! He then travelled to Brussels where he met his Belgian counterpart just one day before being declared covid-positive and the French media are having a field day!

Castex and the French Minister of the Interior at the
recent Mayors' Congress!

When questioned about this behaviour, Gabriel Attal, France's chihuahua in chief official spokesman said it was just "a human lapse of judgement". Such "human lapse of judgement" would get you or I a €135 fine but then I suppose the rules only apply to the little people, don't they! Do as I say, not as I do!

And finally, around lunchtime there was a knock at my door so I leaned out my window and told the elderly gent that I wouldn't open my door as I had covid but could I help him. Turns out he was from our village Mairie bringing Christmas baskets to all the "elderly" people in the village (and yeah, he'd got the wrong address - he was looking for Mme Mugnier). Normally they have a Christmas lunch for everyone in the village over the age of 65 and since it was cancelled yet again this year they were distributing hampers instead. But I thought it was sweet of him to stop back a couple of minutes later and ask if I needed any help. I don't, of course, but it was nice to know someone cared enough to ask! So stay safe everyone and happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S.!


Saturday, 20 November 2021

And here we go again!

One of the neighbours in our little housing unit has just got a totally new roof installed. Well quite a few neighbours have been doing that recently actually. Last year I got all new insulation put in and my roof treated (come to think of it, that might be part of the reason why my heating bill has gone way down, don't you think), but these people got a totally new roof and man are those guys hard-working! They've been showing up really early and working until it gets dark (I guess they have to work while the weather permits, right?) and while a crane has been depositing the tiles on the roof, these guys are the ones humping stacks of tiles to wherever they need to be before installing them! As I say, that's damn hard work!

Talking of hard work, for the foreseeable future Jordan is working just down the road from me where they are building several new apartment buildings. I kinda like these apartments and might have been interested in one of them on the top floor except that they don't have a lift, so nah, I won't be going there! Anyway, when I've got time I've been making a cake and taking it down for the guys to eat with their lunch and I have to say he looked exhausted the other day. After Charlie's operation he managed to get a cold, followed by a cough and neither Jen nor Jordan got much sleep last week as the babe was crabby. Oh Jen's been pumping serum physiologique (saline solution?) into his nose to make sure to get that gunk out and he seems to be pretty much over it now, but that was a rough week for the three of them. But talking of the babe's operation, immediately after the procedure he pretty much stopped dribbling like a water cannon and - something we noticed this week - he can now actually tip his head back and look at the ceiling - something he seemingly hadn't been able to do previously, as I guess it pulled on his neck too much! So all in all, despite being unpleasant, getting that procedure was a good move! I spent a few hours over there on Wednesday to try to give Jen a break and the little devil managed to pass his cold on to me, but 24 hours later that's over too!

Anyway, as I was driving down to Jordan I saw my friend going to the supermarket and she had walked there. It probably takes about an hour to walk down and maybe 20 minutes more to walk back because it's uphill, but hats off to her for being so dedicated. I sent her a text message to see if she wanted a lift back but she said she was good, so now she's putting me even more to shame!

I stopped in at the supermarket to pick up a few things and noticed a little Asian food pop-up in the parking lot. André and I had eaten his take-away food before and it's pretty good so I decided to treat myself to lunch for a change. I have to say that's one thing covid has really turned on its head. More and more pop-ups are springing up everywhere, as is take away food, which really wasn't a thing round here before. Still, it's all well and good if someone can benefit from these crazy times we're living in!

As I say, last week was rough for Jordan and Jen so I decided to make dinner for them and take it over. I felt like eating gratin (I make a good one) so I made three - one for them, one for André and one for me - and bought pork steaks and fresh broccoli to go with it. André was out when I stopped by to drop it off but as I have a key I let myself in and dropped off some mail at the same time. He was really pleased when he got home so called me to thank me and that was when he told me he was kinda in shock because a young woman he works with was taken ill on Sunday night and died Monday morning of an "unexplained and unexpected" event. She was only 37 (I think - well certainly under 40) and in good health, so even though work may never know what happened to her, I seriously hope they do an autopsy so that her family can find out what happened. It won't bring her back of course but ...!

I don't want to sound smug (nah, yeah I do) but I've pretty much done all my Christmas shopping! I hate crowds so have been picking things up as and when so except for another gift for André I'm done. I stopped in at my local beauty salon as I wanted to buy a gift voucher for my friend and that's when I decided I was finally going to start going back to them again! So on Wednesday I had my first facial in about two years and it felt wonderful (I think my skin was screaming with relief). I asked her if she wanted me to do a covid test beforehand and she said no, but I figured I'd do one anyway and showed it to her when I got there, so all's good!

I also finally got round to calling the travel company we had booked with to go see the tulips last year and asked for a reimbursement as it is now 18 months since they cancelled it (the legal limit). I mentioned to my friend that the cheque would be coming to her as she was down as the principal traveller and she told me she'd totally forgotten about it so it would be a nice Christmas bonus for her! Heck, if someone owes me €1,200 (about $1,500) I promise you I won't forget about it. I mean, that's what they have insurance for isn't it!

And finally, I mentioned before that my neighbour had asked me if I would drive her husband to and from hospital sometime this week for his latest operation to put stents in his legs as she is afraid to drive out there. No problem, I told her to just let me know when! Anyway, it turns out her daughter had taken him to hospital on Wednesday night, with the operation being scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday. Around 6 p.m. I popped outside to take over a parcel I had taken in for another neighbour and M, my immediate neighbour, was also outside so I asked if the operation had gone well. Just as she was telling me that she didn't know as she couldn't get hold of him, her daughter called to say that papa was pissed off because his operation was supposed to take place a 1 p.m. and he had waited until 6 p.m. and told her to come and pick him up!!!!! Damn, this is now the third time he has pulled this kind of stunt, although I wasn't aware of the first time. Apparently he walked out the first time at the major hospital near here because something got up his nose I guess. Then the last time he was rude to the nurse the night before his operation and then checked himself out of hospital against medical advice a couple of hours after the operation. And of course he started bleeding at the scar site - which was when my nurse friend gave him hell for being so selfish as he could have started haemorraghing and left his wife in a real mess. So yet again he's "done one"! Good luck with getting any surgeon round here to take you on next time, after them doing all the scans and prior blood tests necessary for the op! Her daughter told her to keep her mouth shut because if she said anything to him when he came home he would use that as an excuse to lay into her as to why it was all her fault. She stopped in yesterday and was wound up like a spring but said she was managing to keep her mouth shut and he was prowling round like a caged tiger just waiting to pounce! She also thanked me for letting her come round to chat as she couldn't afford a shrink's appointment, so I told her while I was no shrink a cup of coffee with me or a glass of wine certainly wouldn't do any harm, would it!

Actually I've had a few thoughts on whether his new (to me) aggression had other causes, but she said he'd pretty much always been an asshole to her, but was previously able to hide it better from others! She also thinks it's something to do with him "no longer being Mr. Big" (the director of a large bank round here) and that he is not dealing with being just another "little old man"! She might have a point there as I know so many who find it difficult no longer being "important" - I'm just glad I've never been important!  And apparently he really is letting his mean side slip in front of others now, although not in front of me so far. He was extremely rude to her in front of my other, younger neighbours one time and they just turned heel and walked back into their house without saying anything. Then when they were over on the west coast dealing with elderly mother problems, their basement, yet again, started to flood in the heavy rain and two of our other neighbours spent six hours jack-hammering a drain into the basement to stop it from flooding - with one of these men being 83 years old! What was the thank you they got? Something along the lines of "it was a crap job and not necessary anyway" - which is complete BS because the 83 year old is an absolute whiz and couldn't botch a job if you paid him to! So the reaction from the other neighbour who helped was that next time he could deal with a swimming pool in his basement himself when he got back 'cos he was never going to help him out again!

She also told me that when they had been to the nursing home to see his mom, obviously only so many people were allowed in the room at once, so she stood at the door and just waved at mamie (who died a couple of weeks later), and was subsequently thrown out on her ear by him in no uncertain terms! Since her own mom was in the same home she went to see her and when the doctor came round she asked how Mme. R. was, as she was her MIL. And that's when the doctor said "oh you're the one with the rude husband - we've all heard about him"! She said she was mortified but I told her the shame wasn't hers to bear. If he's an AH, let him deal with it! Of course when that incident blew up he "never said that" or he "never did that", selective amnesia being pretty strong in narcs (my ex was very gifted in that domain), but his BIL just turned round and said "well next time don't behave like an AH in front of so many witnesses then"! She also told me a very dear friend of hers in her 90s recently told her that her husband has always only opened his mouth to eat and to say "je, je, je" ("I, I, I"), and she was stunned that others saw him so clearly for what he is! Now I freely admit I'm not a good judge of character - never have been - but I told her I felt that it's probably easy to see from the outside, but not quite so easy when it's up close and personal is it! What to others looked like massive red flags for so long were probably looking like a day at the carnaval to her! Anyway, she breaks my heart and I don't know what else I can do for her, except listen. She did say that she is so bitter because she will never let anyone get close again (she's a lovely woman), as he's sucked out her life blood up and spit it out so many times. I told her not to worry as I was now a bitter old crone too but hey, we could maybe get a place together later - and in the meantime, how about that glass of wine?

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

A boring week!

I have to say it's been a pretty "bleh" week round here. Maybe it's the grey weather and, of course, the fact that I can't be arsed to get out walking, but I'm not exactly full of the joys of spring right now! I haven't done an awful lot except potter around home and read quite a bit, but then again I reckon that's allowed right? I mean, seriously, do I have anywhere else I need to be right now? I mentioned some time ago I think that I'd stopped reading the newspapers (online) on a daily basis and limited it to just one time over the weekend. And you know what, turns out that's enough. I don't need (or want) to be bombarded with all the negative stuff that sells papers and attracts clicks. Oh I see all the dreadful things going on in the UK (and probably everywhere else too) but in the end, there's not an awful lot I can do about it is there so why not just drop it from my day-to-day life? I get a lot of what's going on in short bursts on Youtube news channels (which has been very helpful for me to get to know more about what's going on in France), but to read all the "gory details" every day - nah, I think I'll pass! That being said, I do follow a Youtuber called Phil Moorhouse re British politics and I have to say I really like his analysis of all the shenanigans going on there. Last week has been all about the "cash for influence corruption scandal" (you know, MPs selling themselves out to the highest bidder - shocking, I know)! Dear old Boris - instead of having the "corruption committee" investigate the latest thief in a top hat, tried to get the committee disbanded all together! You can't make this stuff up can you, and if it wasn't so serious it would be laughable - not that I see many people laughing about it right now. I guess most of the wheeler-dealers aren't too worried though are they, since they're the ones with the money and can "buy" all the votes and influence they need! I was glancing at something else while listening to Phil yesterday and I had to laugh when I heard him say (of Boris) "if he could just stop being a prick for a week or two maybe things might start to calm down". My thoughts exactly Phil, my thoughts exactly, but Boris stop being a prick? Nah, impossible!

Because I've been rather less connected lately I only just found out about the attempted bombing of the Remembrance Day ceremony in Liverpool and the actions of a very brave taxi driver! I haven't caught all the details yet but from what I can gather the driver picked up a young man who wanted to be taken to the where the services were being held, but the driver was getting a bad vibe from him. I'm not quite sure how he did it but he ended up driving away from the ceremony and up to the front of Liverpool's Women's Hospital, where the young man attempted to detonate his belt. Apparently it stalled for just a split second, whereupon the driver was able to lock the man in the back of the cab and jump out himself. He was taken to hospital but released the next day as his injuries were relatively minor and I'm happy to say the only casualty was the deranged lunatic in the back of the cab! I hope he gets a medal for his bravery (and someone starts a Gofundme to help the driver get back on his feet)!




Then last Tuesday I took a crate of stuff down to the food bank in town, this time concentrating mostly on buying baby stuff, having seen how expensive baby formula and nappies and so on are because of Charlie. I got chatting to the staff while they were unloading my crate and the lady was saying that they've seen a three-fold increase in the number of families requiring assistance over the last six months! Times are hard right now but I suspect they will get worse before they get better, right?

A couple of weeks ago Jen asked if I would be free to drive her to a doctor's appointment for Charlie in Geneva yesterday, as I lived in Geneva for five years and know my way around, whereas she doesn't. No problem of course! Turns out the babe is "tongue-tied", where the strip of skin connecting the baby's tongue to the mouth is shorter than usual. This probably explains why he dribbles so much and would also, apparently explain why he wasn't able to breast-feed! Her paediatrician told her she could wait to see a doctor in France but since there weren't many locally she could recommend a doctor in Geneva if she was willing to pay out-of-pocket to see him. And of course the answer was yes so the two grandmas, Charlie and Jen set off to the appointment yesterday morning. Talk about luxurious! As we were early, a very handsome youngish man came over and asked us to wait until the therapist arrived and then came back with coffee for the three of us. I'm guessing from their names they were Greek (or maybe Cypriot) and the therapist explained that as I spoke English she would be happy to have me come in with Jen as her English was better than her French. This lady really took her time examining the babe and said she agreed that this "tie" should be cut in order to make life easier for him in so many ways. She also said that this should have been picked up in the maternity hospital, but what can you say about that now? She took her time to explain the whole procedure to Jen and said that he will definitely scream because he will basically be put in a straight jacket but that it would be very quick and almost painless! Turns out "handsome" was the doctor who was going to perform the procedure and since Jen didn't want to go with Charlie, her mom (who is a surgical theatre nurse) went in with him and in about five minutes it was all over. And yes he screamed (and Jen balled her eyes out, but what can you do when it's your baby)?

He had had a rough night the night before and she told them that he had a temperature that morning and a blocked nose. Turns out he must also have had "tummy trouble" because what came out the other end a bit later was just evil, so all in all the poor little soul had a very rough day of it. Jen's mom had to leave so I went back home with her to take turns trying to console a tired, hungry, stuffed up baby who wanted to eat but couldn't, presumably because his mouth was hurting! Man was that hard work, walking around with him looking at the trucks and the cars in five minute bursts before he would get cranky again! I know we all go through it but I think you forget just how exhausting it can be don't you! Anyway, for the grand sum of around $600 it's all done (yeah, Geneva is expensive), and she has a follow-up appointment in two weeks to make sure it has all healed properly! I just checked in with them today and he's had a much better day, although Jen has an appointment with her own doctor tomorrow as she thinks he's coming down with bronchitis. Poor little sausage! Still, he's going to go through it one way or another isn't he - either via the crèche or when he starts school, but I'm just glad Jen is able to spend his first year with him so that she can keep him home when he needs more TLC!

So anyway, enough doom and gloom for one post right? As I said, I haven't been doing an awful lot this past week but I see that East Idaho News's Nate Eaton is back on his Secret Santa mission and I'm hooked yet again. Someone in East Idaho is playing Secret Santa and giving away a large sum of money (in small-ish amounts), helping Idahoans in need with anonymous donations. Nate Easton has the perfect personality for the job so since Secret Santa is back I don't suppose I'll get too much done today either. So just another Feel Good Friday (on a Tuesday)!

East Idaho News' Nate Eaton playing Secret Santa!


Saturday, 6 November 2021

This and that!

Yet again, there's not an awful lot going on around here right now, although the weather continues to be beautiful and the autumn colours are just glorious! I always decorate a little for Halloween (nothing over the top) even though I don't get that many trick or treaters because it's not such a big thing over here. I did do a great Mutley impersonation though, muttering under my breath, when my doorbell went on Saturday night and I opened it to two "witches". Thankfully I was gracious when I explained to them that actually Halloween is tomorrow 'cos the oldest said "oh I know, but we won't be around tomorrow so we thought we'd come early"! Right you are then! Then she asked me if I was American, to which I said no, my husband was American, although technically he still is American he's just no longer my husband (note, I didn't go into all that detail 'cos let's face it, all they wanted was candy, not my entire life story, right?). Then she said, "yeah, but you're Jordan's mom and Charlie's grandma aren't you?". When I said I was, she went on to explain that her mom was Jen's best friend, so boy was I glad I didn't yell at them to bugger off and come back tomorrow night! On Sunday I got a couple of visitors in the early afternoon (all the while muttering yet again that this is going to be a really long evening), but when I opened the door to see a really little girl (and her daddy) I was glad that once again I had managed to stuff my inner Mutley back into his cage! All in all, I didn't get too many visitors and it turned out to be quite a pleasant evening all told!





The granddaughter next door, plus Isabelle's
daughter and her friends!

The Dutchman called to see if I wanted to go walking earlier in the week so I at least managed to get in one half-way decent walk, all while he whinges about how far it is to drive to my place and I whinge about having to listen to him whinge, so nothing new there! We lucked out too because although it was bitterly cold we managed to dodge in between the rain drops and got in around 8 km all told, even if it was on the flat!

We got snow down to about 1,000 metres earlier in the week (I live at 800 metres, so it's definitely coming closer) and it is so pretty in the sun with the autumn colours. The Dutchman hadn't realized I live so close to the Plâteau de Glières (where a big resistance battle took place in WWII), so he asked if I would be up for driving up there soon as it's a place he would like to visit. To be honest, the visitors' centre isn't very big, but there is some lovely walking up there - on the flat, it being a plateau, of course - so hopefully we can get a couple more walks in before the heavy snow comes!

All the houses round here have shutters on the doors and windows so I've started shutting them at night as it makes quite a difference to the indoor temperatures and fuel consumption. Actually it's been really good to see how relatively little fuel I'm now consuming since Max installed my new heating system. I'm now heating the house and the hot water by fuel and consuming less fuel per year than previously, when I was just heating the house! I suppose that's to be expected with a more efficient heating system, given that my previous furnace must have been about 40 years old. Still, it didn't owe me anything did it! Mind you, given that I shut all my shutters and I have a fire guard in front of my fireplace, I got the fright of my life the other evening when I was sitting reading and a terrified sparrow whizzed past my left ear! Somehow he must have managed to come down the chimney (dodging the plastic that I put up there to keep the cold air out), weave past the fire guard and was then frantically trying to make his escape while I was jumping up and down attempting to get a window open to let him out! 

At the moment Jordan is working just down the road from me on a block of 28 new-build apartments, so the other day I made what must have been the flatest Victoria sponge cake and took it down to the site for him and his friends to have with their coffee (I told him if they didn't like it to tell them Jen had made it, but it all went anyway). They have a Senegalese refugee who just started an apprenticeship with them and who Jordan gets along well with, but the other day Max pulled the "new guy stunt" on him when he asked how he knew that the cement mix was ready. So Max dipped his finger in the mix and licked it (or licked another finger) and told him that's how he figured out the right consistency. Poor sod, got a mouth full of cement mix before he realized they were having him on! They also told the other newbie that when he was cutting metal he needed to collect all the metal splinters as they rounded them up and sold them on to the scrap metal merchant! Ha, in my day they used to send the poor buggers out to buy a "bubble for a spirit level"! Still, they took it in good part!

Talking of DIY, I got the sealant product out that I'd bought the other day to see how it worked on my shower room window and man is that window in worse shape than I thought! Well three of the velux windows are actually, so I think I should get someone in to see about changing them at some point, even if there's never a great time for incurring more expense is there! I got up the ladder and cleaned and sanded the window and then applied the sealant and while it's a definite improvement I reckon I should be thinking about changing them sooner rather than later!

In other news, it's starting to look more and more like Brands Hatch round here, what with all the delivery vans constantly driving round our little island. I want to say "Amazon" delivery drivers, but obviously they're not necessarily all Amazon deliveries, of course, but boy are they busy and, I have to say, hard working! The other day I saw a cute little toy for Charlie for Christmas, ordered it in the evening and it was delivered the next day! Man, whatever you think about Amazon, they are (for the most part) damn efficient! I offered the young woman driver some Halloween candy as a thank you and she just laughed and said she'd forgotten her outfit!

Brands Hatch

And finally, have you noticed how prices on everything seem to be increasing? Petrol, in particular, I noticed had gone up 20 cents a litre the other week over a period of about a month (that's almost $1/gallon). So of course there are continuing protests in France, not only against the vaccine passport but also about the price of petrol (plus the reform of the pension and the unemployment systems, to name a few). I found out quite by chance (thank you Facebook) that it would be a good idea not to head into town today as Jean Castex, the French Prime Minister, was coming through town to head up to Le Grand Bornand (a local ski resort), so all the roads were closed off and the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) had prepared a warm Savoyard welcome for him. Now Jean Castex is to charisma what Cheez Whiz is to real cheese so all I can say is it couldn't happen to a nicer man!

Jean Castex




Tuesday, 2 November 2021

I see the Climate Change conference is a big success then!

I had already seen the photo of Biden asleep, but thanks to Marksgran I just looked up the Bojo picture! Must be a thrilling, action-packed meeting!

It's good to know we're all in good  hands!