Today I decided to head off down to the large mall near Annecy to buy a new phone, even though I still hadn't decided exactly what I wanted. All I knew was that I didn't want to spend a lot of money. There have been (and still are) loads of roadworks going on in that area and now I can no longer get to my usual mall entrance so I have to go a different way. This takes me to a much more practical entrance and that's where I spotted "him"! It was a small stand advertising quick repairs to phones and so on so I went over and showed him my phone, which was down to about 30% charged in just a matter of hours. He said it was most likely the battery but beyond a certain point there was just no saving a phone in some cases. However if I wanted to leave it with him for about an hour he would take a look at it. So I took myself off for an unplanned lunch out and a little wander, and wadda ya know - it was indeed just the battery and he was able to replace it and recharge my phone, all for the princely sum of €40 - as opposed to €400-€500 for a new phone! As you can imagine, I'm well pleased because I knew if I went into the SFR shop (my mobile carrier) they'd try to get me to change my contract (the one I just recently negotiated down), or try to sell me a much more expensive phone. I really didn't want to spend that kind of money because planned obsolescence annoys the hell out of me! I also spotted an Yves Rocher shop - a new one to me - and was able to pick up some of my favourite products there too. I like Yves Rocher's products and they're not at all expensive, so it was a double win!
When I got back to la Roche I stopped in at the gym and wadda ya know - it wasn't open! I had a walk around because I wondered if maybe they had gone out of business since my last visit, but when I looked them up on my now fully-charged phone it seems they actually close from noon to 4 p.m! Obviously there isn't much demand for lunch time fitness sessions by the looks of it, and 24/7 access? Ha, as if! This is France after all! I did wonder if this was maybe God's way of telling me "oh you look just fine, you don't need the gym", but then I reckoned even God wasn't that blind!
When I got home my neighbour's friend was now parked across my driveway, so as I must have been in a somewhat more tetchy mood than usual I just sat on my horn till he came out, apologized profusely and moved his truck. What is it with these people? I mean, if it's a question of just running in to the neighbours to, say, drop off a parcel I have no problem with that, but I will never get why you park in someone else's driveway, especially when there are plenty of parking spaces around! Once I had calmed down I saw that my roofing people had been back to finish up the sealant on the remaining 15 square metres that they had missed first time round (an easy mistake to make as that part of my roof actually looks like it belongs to my neighbour) - so that put me in a slightly better mood. I have to admit I'm pathetically grateful when I receive good service/follow-up, but in reality isn't that the way it should be everywhere? And then my gardener showed up with his son to get my lawn sorted. With it having rained for the last four days he has been hard pushed to catch up while the weather is holding. I do wonder what he does in the winter though - snow clearance maybe? Who knows! I asked him to give me a quote to cut my hedges and he's given me a decent price so I'm happy to let him do that too. I have to say though that I do wonder about his health. He has an enormous belly on him - the kind that hangs way down over his trousers in a kind of fat flap - and with the kind of hard physical work that he does, particularly in the heat, I'd be concerned for his health somewhat. He's a decent enough guy so I hope he proves me wrong but having all that fat, especially around his middle, would be worrying to me. So yeah, I think I've just talked myself into going back to sign up at the gym tomorrow - maybe I'd just had a vision of the ghost of Christmas yet to come!