Things on the home improvement front look like they might be starting to move around here. By that I mean that hopefully I'll be able to start working on my bathrooms soon, as goodness knows they're in dire need of a facelift/total makeover! I found out the other week that Jordan had bought himself tools in order to do a side job that weekend for a friend. He was always up for working side gigs but as a plumber you need tools to fit every eventuality and while he can borrow some from work if Max and his brother aren't using them, if you have to buy them yourself they are expensive when you're starting out! Anyway someone had asked him to move a couple of radiators and I think it bought home to him how much more money he can make working for himself than working for Max. He's happy enough working for Max and has learned an awful lot, but as a trained plumber/heating engineer he knows there is so much more work for him out there if he wants to work for himself. Goodness knows people are crying out for tradesmen! So I asked if he would come with me to pick out a couple of bathroom sinks for my larger bathroom and install them as a way to make a start on the bathroom renovations. I figured the large mirror above the sinks could stay, and as the unit was made to measure I would keep it - it just needed repainting. Unfortunately I'm going to have to stick with more or less the same sinks as I already have if I don't want him cutting into the made-to-measure unit, so I ordered them and then went out and bought a lovely charcoal grey paint for the unit. It is already such a great improvement over the insipid grey/pink colour it was before, I wonder why I didn't do it 10 years ago! We figured he would take out the bath in the large bathroom and install a douche italienne (an "Italian shower"? - a large, doorless, walk in shower), then get rid of the shower in the smaller bathroom, replace it with a hand basin and install a new toilet that doesn't look like it's seen service on a building site for 10 years. With that I'm good to go - all I need is a tiler! I had a couple of names/recommendations and apparently the young Kosovan tiler that did work for my neighbours is up for it so it looks like things might finally start to move on my crappy bathrooms!
Talking of my neighbours, Jordan asked me if I would watch Charlie for a few hours this afternoon as he wanted to go to band practice and Jen was helping her mom clean the house she has just sold before she hands over the keys. Of course it was a pleasure to have the Munchkin as he really is an easy (and fun) baby to have around. I had shovelled snow and put down salt earlier today as we'd had quite a snow fall last night, and I was watching out the window for them to arrive when I spotted a wisp of cigarette smoke coming from by my neighbour's front door. So I leaned out the window and told her that I'd spotted her but not to worry as I wouldn't tell anyone. This is my favourite neighbour (with the "difficult" husband), who had quit smoking three years ago when she ended up hospitalised with pneumonia. For some time now she's been back to smoking a couple a day "when she's stressed" so I asked if everything was all right. Turns out it isn't because her mom is 93 and they just called from the nursing home 800 km away to say that they might want to get there sooner rather than later because they felt the end was near. So she's packing and wanting to set off immediately but they can't go until Wednesday because her husband has medical appointments this Tuesday. Turns out he finally got his legs operated on on Monday (after messing the hospital around on more than one occasion and walking out the last time before they could operate because he was pissed off at having to hang around when the surgeon got delayed)! Yeah, that guy! Well he went in on Sunday, was operated on on Monday and called his daughter to come and get him Monday afternoon, without waiting for the doctor's go-ahead! Thankfully she told him off as there was no way he was leaving hospital yet again "against medical advice" and said he would just have to wait until the next day and the all clear from the surgeon! Then he apparently found out on Tuesday morning that he was cleared to leave and called his wife at six in the morning to come and get him! The guy is nuts, because even if he knew at 6 a.m. that he was going home that day he would still have to wait until the admissions office opened up later to do the necessary paperwork. But how selfish is that anyway, to wake someone up at 6 a.m.? The more I think about it the more I guess he was so used to being "important" at work all those years that he seems to think he's still important, when in fact he's just another nobody like the rest of us!
Jen came to pick Charlie up around 5 p.m. and after he had eaten she was getting his stuff together when there was a knock at the door and it was my neighbour (the wife) asking if Jen could move her car as they were going out (Jen's car was sticking out slightly). So Jen said to just "give me a minute while I get Charlie's coat on" and my neighbour said "well the sooner the better because he's getting pissed off as he wants to leave right now!" Wow, now I knew this wasn't her being difficult it was him. They were only going over to their son's for a visit so an extra minute or two was neither here nor there while Jen got the babe ready, but nope, there he was sitting in the car revving the engine making his point (whatever that was)! And this from the guy who routinely parks in my driveway in front of my garage!!! I was pissed off at first but then I just thought "oh to hell with him, he's just a miserable man who can't deal with no longer being king of the dung heap"! Sad though, isn't it, but at least I don't have to live with him!
Maybe I'm so zen because I went back to yoga on Monday for the first time in seven weeks (what with missing classes because of catching covid and then the Christmas break). I tell ya, by the time I walked out of there I was going to sell up and move to an ashram, that's how great I felt after what was, to be honest, just a namby-pamby warm-up class! Even if I never feel like going beforehand, I'm so glad to be back at class!
You may or may not have heard, but Macron is turning the screws even more now as he intends to swap the pass sanitaire for the pass vaccinal on 15 January. What that means is that we are moving from having a valid pass by virtue of being (now) triple-vaxed, having a negative covid test or having recovered from covid (so that's me), to them only accepting triple-vaxed and no longer accepting the negative test, although those of us that have recovered from covid within the last six months still get to keep the pass. It's madness because to my mind, if you are going to force people to show a pass to go anywhere (sieg heil, Mr. Macron), (say, to a restaurant, or a bar, or a café, or a library, or a cinema, or .....), surely it would be better to have to show a negative test rather than proof of vaccination, which frankly proves nothing? When they introduced this legislation some bright spark (the Prime Minister) stated that not only did you have to show the pass vaccinal to enter a bar, but you could not stand at the bar and have a drink, you had to sit down - because apparently the virus only circulates over four feet off the ground. Also, you are no longer allowed to eat or drink anything on long-distance transport, nor will you be allowed to eat or drink in the cinema! I guess you can imagine the memes that have been flying round after that one! Anyway, not having the pass is the reason I haven't been to a restaurant (or anywhere else) in about six months, but then of course it was possible for all that to change (not that it did) once I recovered from covid and got the pass. That was how I was able to meet with friends in a restaurant in Geneva just before Christmas. Not that the restaurant owner asked for my pass but at least I had it! Anyway, André asked me if I had downloaded the Swiss app before I went to Geneva and when I said no he said "well you ought to", because when I downloaded the Swiss covid app and uploaded my French "recovery from covid QR code", I see that in Switzerland it's valid for a year!!! And I'm tickled pink because while my French pass is valid for six months (or probably even less time in the future once they start pushing the fourth jab on people after three months), the Swiss recognize natural immunity for a year! But please God tell me we won't still be on this merry-go-round a year from now!!!
Pre-covid, I would very occasionally meet up with friends in Geneva for lunch (about once a month) and went to the cinema there to watch a film in English maybe twice a year - if that - but since I have been a social leper for the past six months, and haven't been able to go anywhere, I subscribed to Amazon Prime and Netflix - and I honestly don't see why I would bother going to a cinema in Geneva again, paying $25 a ticket, when I've been able to watch whatever I want for the past six months for about $15/month!
And finally, talking of movies, I started watching the new Leonardo di Caprio movie, Don't Look Up, the other night. My first thoughts were "oh this isn't for me", but when I read the background to it I realized just how clever it really was (I should have known, what with it being directed by Adam MacKay)! It's about a pair of astronomers/scientists who discover that a massive meteor, capable of destroying the entire planet, is headed for earth and how they desperately try to get the powers that be to take action. It's got an all star cast with Meryl Streep not being particularly stretched to play a US president who seems to be only "in it for the glory", and Jonah Hill as her equally disinterested Chief of Staff. The cast were all brilliant, of course, but for me Mark Rylance playing Peter Isherwell, the insane, megalomaniac tech billionaire with dollar signs for eyes, well he just stole the show. As I say, if you believe it, it's a metaphor for a massive catastrophe coming to destroy the earth, with the brave scientists trying to get everyone to put their damn phones down and "look up" to see the danger they are facing, while the powers that be are holding rallies with the slogan "don't look up" so they can pull a fast one on everyone while making themselves richer and richer! I won't give away the ending but it was very clever and I actually ended up quite enjoying it. A clever plot, great acting and a not-so-subtle metaphor!
I have a walk-in shower that includes a bench. It's wonderful, though mine has a large door to keep dogs out. I'd probably watch Don't Look Up, except I don't like DiCaprio. The rest of the casting is fine, but he grates on me.ReplyDelete
I did think about putting a bench in the shower as it would seem to make sense wouldn't it. As for Don't Look Up, I'm not a DiCaprio fan either - only watched it because I had seen it recommended! It's not my type of film anyway but it was VERY clever!Delete
Your neighbours husband sounds a right pain in the backside, she deserves a medal. Think I might have snapped well before now!ReplyDelete
The Covid situations a pain here too and cases rising. Boris is an oaf but hasn’t the balls to do anything that might affect his popularity and votes. I can’t even begin to imagine still being in this situation for the whole of this year. Heaven help us all. I used to enjoy yoga, not been since before Covid, sounds great, glad you enjoyed it.
I did wonder if the neighbour had become cranky with age but apparently he's always been an AH. It's just that she no longer has the fight in her to do anything about it. It's very sad though. And why Boris would be worried about losing popularity beats me (I thought that train had left the station months ago)! Out of curiosity I looked up the covid stats for Haute Savoie again this morning. Between 20 September and yesterday there have been 125 deaths attributed to covid, but they don't specify "with covid" or "of covid", so while Omnicron would appear to be more contagious it would, indeed, seem to be much less dangerous. Oh and since they started keeping stats at the beginning of the pandemic there have been 6,129 covid discharges from hospital in Haute Savoie, so who knows what the hell is going on. We all need it to be over though right?Delete
My husband watched the movie when he took the sick days last week. I forgot to ask his opinion. Covid is reaking pure havoc again here. Lots of sick people and ICU full, but they still say hospitalization us 80% unvaccinated. I just avoid everyone since NYE except my family, and have my list ready for running in and out of stores for essentials. I'm not starting debate's with anyone- too exhausted mentally and just glad I don't have school age kids or kids in child care with the revolving staff shortages. I'm glad you enjoyed your time with Munchkin. It sounds like Jordan is where my son is- different field but he could make so much more being 100% self employed if he had more and better camera, sound, and light equipment.ReplyDelete
I read what's going on in the States too but that really doesn't seem to be what's going on over here. The thing is, under this new "law", anyone who hasn't received their third booster shot by 15 January will now be considered "unvaccinated" too and lose their pass - manipulating figures seems to be a speciality of this government of course! As for Jordan I think at the beginning he lacked the confidence to go out on his own, but now, like your son, it would appear to be more a question of equipment! I'm sure they'll both get there one day though!Delete
I like what Dr. Mindy said, sitting around the table with family and friends, "We had so much." That hit home for me and I loved the song by Ariana Grande. Who wouldn't want to sing those lyrics?ReplyDelete
You're spot on. That Dr. Mindy phrase at the end hit home too because it's true. And ditto for the Ariana Grande song. It was beautiful and she can SING!Delete
To me, it appears that none of the experts really know exactly how best to protect us, especially with the new variants popping up like wildfire. Some governments are going one way with requirements to try and deter the virus, other governments are going another. Here in Florida in the good ol' USA, there appear to be no requirements. Live or die as you wish. I know that neither having had it nor having had all of the vaccines guarantees immunity. I think at this point, to ensure the least dangerous and severe forms of it, the vaccines are proving to be best.ReplyDelete
You are going to love having new bathrooms! I am looking forward to hearing about that!
You're exactly right. Some countries are building "internment camps" and others are saying "just get on with it". What worries me here in France is that we have elections in April and I'm afraid Macron will try to pull some stunt like "only people with vaccine passports are allowed into polling stations"! Sounds ridiculous but that ship sailed a long time ago! Time will tell I guess!Delete
Oof that neighbour man! I hope she can find some happiness in her life before it is too late. i am sure your son will find a lot of side work, if he so chooses (and once his equipment stash builds up) i am glad you're able to get out and about without much trouble, as it is Omicron is raging over here, sigh.ReplyDelete
Life isn't easy for my neighbour and sadly he's not improving with age, but what can I do, except listen? As for getting out and about, oh I really don't go out much anyway, it's just that I have the pass now so I can if I want to. The thing is, you get so used to staying home and for the most part I'm happy with that. Still, it WILL be nice to go to a restaurant occasionally. As for Omicron, I really don't see it raging round here. Oh it might well be but if so I'm not aware of it. I guess we'll all be glad when it's run its course though, right!Delete
I keep meaning to watch that film. Will try to catch it this week. I'm looking forward to watching First Man this week. I don't think its on Netflix, I think it's on Film 4 or something here, I saw it was on in my mums tv paper and set it to record! If you've not seen it it's very good too, a based on fact story about Neil Armstong. I'm looking forward to Ricky Gervais' Afterlife series 3 this Friday on Netflix. I didn't think I'd like the series, Ricky Gervais can be a bit hit and miss, but I absolutely loved it. He's really hit the nail on the head of how people deal with grief. Your neighbour clearly has the patience of a saint it has to be said, what a life she has :(ReplyDelete
Good luck with the renovations, I hope it all goes smoothly! x
I hope you like the film. At first sight I didn't think I would like it, but once I read about it being a metaphor it was more interesting. And I'll look up First Man and Afterlife. Ricky Gervais isn't exactly my cup of tea so I'm curious to see if I like it as much as you do. As for my neighbour, it's not patience, it's just that she has been so beaten down over the years that she's got no fight left in her. Such a shame as I think the world of her!Delete
It is strange indeed how comfortable we can become in restricting our social mixing to the point where we’d rather watch a new film on TV than at the cinema, chat to a friend on the phone than in real life or, in the case of one of my neighbours, send me a note rather than talk over the gate! I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever revert but draw solace from the fact elbow bumping has never really caught on.ReplyDelete
I guess after two years of being restricted like this you get used to it to a certain degree. It was only this weekend that I talked my neighbour into coming into my house for a coffee! I'm quite comfortable on my own anyway but you're right - will we ever get comfortable being around other people again? That's the sad part!Delete
Your neighbor's husband is lucky to have you as his neighbor. Ugh! What a jerk!ReplyDelete
I'm not very quick on the uptake and I'm pretty easygoing but I think even I might blow if he keeps up his crap. She might be stuck with him but I don't have to put up with it. After my husband left he behaved totally inappropriately towards me and I let him know in no uncertain terms. He waited a couple of weeks and then apologized but as I told him then, your wife is my friend and frankly I don't sh+t on my friends! What a knobhead!Delete