The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Worth the effort!

I always end up running round like crazy on Saturdays because God forbid anything should be open in France on a Sunday - nope - that's  not going to happen round here. So for me Saturdays are always pretty chaotic. It's always a shock when I go home to England and find things open on Sundays. I mean, last time I was there I had an optician's appointment and they offered for me to pick up my new glasses on the Sunday! Well you could have knocked me down with a feather. Round here (I hesitate to say "in France") there ain't nothing open on a Sunday! Well in the summer months you might get a garden centre, but definitely not a DIY place (crazy, I know - how much money could they make?). I have to say after nearly 30 years in France I still find it very customer "unfriendly" but that may have more to do with France's strict employment laws. We have an Asian restaurant opened up in town which is very good and very popular and they were forced to close on Sundays. It beats me, I can tell you, but in a way it isn't always such a bad thing. I mean, do you really want Sunday to be just like every other day of the week? I'm not religious so I don't even say that coming from a religious angle, but I'm not sure I'd want everything to be open "as usual" (except maybe the DIY places)!

Anyway I digress, but as I said Saturdays I am always pretty busy trying to get all my running around done. I whizzed off to the market first thing and then dashed off to the hardware store (before they close for the day at noon - see what I mean - they don't open back up in the afternoon)! Since I have gone back to my maiden name I had ordered two new name plates for my mail box (one for the outside and one for the inside which can only be seen by the mail man when he opens all the boxes up at once). I had specifically asked for "Ms T, formerly Mrs. B" since I realize I will be getting mail for a while in my married name. I thought they might get my maiden name wrong as it isn't easy for the French but no, everything was just as I asked for. Except, when I went to put them on the mail box, the second plaque (which was hidden behind the first one) was in the name of "Aquitaine Solutions"!!! Bugger, I hadn't noticed it when I picked them up, so I had to dash back to the hardware store to drop that off and get them to order the correct one. (Anyone at Aquitaine Solutions wondering where your nameplate is - I have it and am holding it to ransom until ....). The chappie was very nice and apologetic of course, but still!

Then, I managed to make it back into town just in time to catch the jeweller (a.k.a. the Nutty Professor). I had dropped off a necklace that had been given to me by my ex for my 50th birthday (he left me four months later - nice) since the Nutty Professor buys gold. As I had never worn the necklace I wanted it out of the house as it had no sentimental value to me. He had originally told me to come back in two weeks' time. So getting somewhat more savvy to the ways of the Nutty Professor I went back three weeks later just before lunch (thinking he would want to be out of there to go eat). I was right of course, but while he indeed had the gold chain and pendant he couldn't find the precious stones that he had removed. He said they were quite small but there were a lot of them and I might want to have them re-set into something else. But do you think he could find the bag with them in!!! No of course he couldn't. Frankly the place was such a mess it makes me wonder how he ever found anything. So he spent 30 minutes searching up and down for the stones but to no avail. In the end we agreed he would pay me for the gold and I would come back when he had found the stones, but then do you think he could find his cheque book????? Of course he couldn't. So 45 minutes after he should have closed for lunch the two of us are still rummaging around looking for his stuff but only managed to find the cheque book. As I waited for my cheque I happened to glance at a collection box he had on his counter collecting small coins for various charities. I told him I didn't want to ruin his day any more than it already was but he should have handed in the collection box at the post office by noon that day (it was now nearly 13h) and of course the post office shuts (for the day) at noon on Saturdays! He wasn't too worried about that though as he said (quite rightly I suppose) that they would soon come round asking for the piggy bank when they wanted their money. And to top it off, since he was buying gold he had to register the purchase with the French authorities (fill out various forms etc), except that he had used the last of his forms without thinking to make copies of a blank so now I have to go back in the coming weeks to sign off on the cheque he gave me!  It was quite comical actually but as I said before, while I am incredibly patient I think it isn't such a bad thing he is retiring in two months!

So the weekend was just one mad dash after another but I realize I actually like my life to be busy (although not the  "chasing your tail" kind of busy) so I have signed up to a couple of more things to keep me out of trouble (more about that in another post).

On a totally different note, I am doing well with the exercise (pretty much five days a week) and as I love the side effects of the exercise and the weather here is gorgeous I hope to keep it up and get some weight off (weigh-in with Janet in Florida on Monday - "hi Janet").  I have exercised all three days this week so far during my lunch hour, but today I made a point of taking my ipad with me as the weather is so gorgeous. I had bought a lovely little bag in St. Lucia which I wasn't using so thought it would be good to carry my ipad on my walks. I trotted (read "crawled") up ("up" being the operative word) to the US Mission and while it is still a challenge for me it seems to be getting easier. But oh the walk back down - definitely worth the effort!

My pretty St. Lucia bag

Through Geneva's botanical gardens

Saw this little man in the botanical gardens!

Believe it or not the alps are over there - but it's too sunny to see them!
What the view from the same spot looks like on a good day - photo by the Swiss Watch Blog
So while the aim is to lose weight, I think the scenery is worth the effort anyway (and long may that enthusiasm last)!


  1. Good for you with the exercise regime. It does pay off in so many ways (Not that I would know since I am so lax with it)
    I think it is rather nice that stores close on Sunday. Here everything but the banks and post office are open everyday. It is nice to have just one day of down time.

  2. I can't say it is exactly "strenuous" but I am enjoying it. As a young woman I loved sport so I guess there is something buried deep down there, but I think what I enjoy the most is the wonderful "euphoric" feeling afterwards (or maybe it's just the shower!)