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!
Nice decorations, I don't do anything because I have loud dogs and they're frightening enough. Every time someone complains about Amazon, I remind them that many, many people work for that company. Why should I punish them because of Jeff Bezos?ReplyDelete
I kinda like decorating for Halloween but of course that opens the door to more visitors doesn't it. As for Amazon, I know they're not supposed to be the best employers (but wasn't it you who said they are now offering $18/hour to recruit more staff), but as you say, they are providing employment for those that need/want it, even if, like you, I don't like Bezos!Delete
That is strange that someone would come the day before Halloween because they would be gone, well, for any reason. In this part of the country, little children with parents in tow come out in the early afternoon. Between safety and sleep schedules, i suppose it is easier.ReplyDelete
Too bad about the windows. And costs.
Halloween is VERY MUCH an imported tradition over here. Heck, when I first moved in they used to show up on the nearest Saturday to the 31st, so it's not like it means anything to anyone and there is still quite a bit of resistance to it, to be honest!Delete
When my kids were young we never celebrated Halloween. It just wasn’t done. They are 40 and 37 btw! It seems to be a more recent thing. I’d never even carved a pumpkin until the year before Covid. I know kids do like dressing up and although I don’t see the grandchildren because they live too far away I enjoy seeing their costumes. I always have sweets ready for trick or treaters. I think you’re very good to be fixing your window. I would be useless,ReplyDelete
When I was a kid we didn't celebrate Halloween either. I think it really is a manufactured celebration for the most part, even though All Saints (Toussaint) is taken very seriously here!Delete
I like your decorations, though we are not a Halloween decorating house. We never have trick-or-treaters as we live down a long dark driveway and on a somewhat busier road.ReplyDelete
I don't do Amazon.
Halloween is very much a false thing here as it has only just been imported from the US. As for Amazon, I would prefer to go to a bookshop/toy store too, but in the meantime we have to live with decisions taken by corrupt AH politicians so Amazon it is!Delete
You are busy as ever! You are an industrious and innovative woman. Good for you for doing the window repairs!ReplyDelete
Now you've got me wondering about the beginnings and evolution of Halloween here in the US. Honestly- I have no idea. We seem to have just always done it!
Here Toussaint has always been celebrated. "All Saints", and every 1st November people put chrsysanths on graves and clean up the local graveyards. It's quite lovely actually. Halloween has never been a thing here until recently, and as I say, it really is an artificial concept here!Delete
Cute decorations. I used to decorate when my kids were little but once they grew up I stopped. I've never been a big Halloween person, so could really care less, haha.ReplyDelete
I really don't care either but I have always liked changing decorations on my front portch - and seemingly so do my kids!Delete
I think your decorations are quite fitting. I do more fall, as I like ot have them out later, and just tadd the Halloween stuff for the da and door knockers or ringers. Snow does seem to be getting closer to you.ReplyDelete
Oh snow is on its way to be sure, but I can live with that. Hopefully it knows it's place - up there in the mountains and not here on the roads right?Delete
Fun decorations. I think the kids showing up early were cute. They tried and were not disappointed, right? I have seen some American homes decorated for Halloween and wow! Giant skeletons in the yard, mini ghosts hanging on the trees, sounds and lights. They went all out.ReplyDelete
There used to be a house mid-way between my MIL and my SIL's house in Pennsylvania where they used to go crazy at Halloween and I loved it! Too much work for me, but I did appreciate their efforts!Delete
We did decorate and have kids come by, I really liked it. But it isn't for everyone! I am glad you're getting out while it is still warm, we had a nice warm day today and I am sure lots of folks loved it!ReplyDelete
Over here I think unless you have young children people don't want to be bothered (as I say, it's not a French celebration anyway), but I suppose it will take off eventually! $$$$ talks doesn't it!Delete
Petrol (indeed all fuel) prices are soaring, aren’t they. Round here petrol is £ 1.46 a litre, but we had cause to stop at a service station on the motorway last week (not for petrol thank goodness) and it was £1.63! Doesn’t seem to be affecting traffic volumes though, maybe they are mainly delivery drivers!ReplyDelete
Gosh I'd forgotten just how expensive petrol is in the UK!!! I can't remember for petrol but diesel is at about €1.48/litre right now. I'm just grateful I don't have to drive to work any more!Delete
I've never like halloween much especially when my children were young and changed their minds a million times about what they wanted to dress up as until the night before either a school/nursery party or halloween itself! I always had to burn the midnight oil to make them - costumes weren't as available to buy in the 'olden' days!! I must admit we use Amazon quite a lot. Especially throughout lockdowns, you order one day and it turns up the next - its very impressive. That said, I recently ordered stuff from Next and it arrived the next day much to my surprise! Diesel here is about £1.49 a litre, thankfully we don't travel very far these days!ReplyDelete
I never liked taking my kids to people's houses other than those who were friends - but that seemed to satisfy them anyway. And I used to buy a lot from Next - big orders where I'd buy maybe 14-15 things - until one time I checked the order properly and realized I was always missing something. Oh it would be down as included in the parcel but I only realized something was missing when a particular black dress didn't show up. I contacted them and they suggested the parcel had ripped (it didn't, it was intact) so they reimbursed me for that, but after that I was more cautious and then I stopped ordering from them completely, if you get the gist. But I have to admit I'm a bit of an Amazon freak too, just like quite a few of my neighbours seemingly!ReplyDelete