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?