I took a trip out to our large, local charity shop last week to drop of some stuff (not enough - I need to do better) and have a look around. As I was almost there a cyclist came belting round a bend, down a hill and on the wrong side of the road! He wasn't a lycra fettishist, just an old fart on a bike, but thank God I spotted him before he got to me. The guy behind me wasn't quite so lucky though as he had to swerve like crazy to miss the idiot! Damn, do some people have a death wish or what? This charity store isn't much cop, to be honest, but they don't do too badly for baby items and I was able to pick up a lightweight, collapsible stroller to keep at my house for just €10 - whereas they run anywhere from €80-€100! So score there then!
On the way home I stopped back off at the garden centre to pick up a couple more of the 7' wooden stakes and a couple of tomato plants. The old guy behind me at the check-out made me laugh though when he said "hon, you've got some high hopes for those tomato plants, haven't you"? Although actually no I don't. My "build my own greenhouse" idea is a roaring flop so that will all have to be taken down, I guess. In all honesty, given the amount I've spent on my "organic gardening" idea so far, I'd probably just be better off buying it all from the health food shop and to hell with it! Still, every spring I get this madcap idea how "this year it's going to be better" and then it mostly goes tits up (if you'll forgive the expression)!
Jen had an interview today for the director position at another local crèche (she was upfront with her current employers about it). I don't know how she did as yet, but if she was lucky enough to get it it would basically just mean a transfer from her nursing job at the psychiatric hospital (where she worked before she had Charlie), on the same pay grade and with all her time in grade respected, so fingers crossed!
Then last week I got a reminder email from the people who prepare my French taxes asking where my paperwork was. I told them I'd been waiting for them to send me the link to the Legal Pilot that we used last time but nope, this time they were using Swisstransfer - and what a wonderful system it is. I'd already prepared my paperwork anyway, but using Swisstransfer it literally took me two minutes to upload everything, type in their email and they'd received it. The difference is that once the document is sent, other than my own copy the email/file then disappears permanently. Clever huh! I would guess these people handle some pretty big tax declarations and can't take the risk of having people's personal tax information possibly being hacked!
On another positive note I recently received my latest water bill so I yet again sent André a message saying "thank you for moving out", because my water bill is now only about a third of what it used to be! And then, I got a phone call on my mobile from "Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes" - which is this region - and while I don't normally pick up on numbers I don't recognize, this time I did and it was my bank/insurance company wanting to review my various insurances. My first thought, of course, was "here we go", but nope he suggested that as my car is now 11 years old I probably didn't need fully comp (I had no idea it was still on fully comp), the insurance amount for renewal of home contents was waayyyy overvalued so all in all I've knocked about €60 off my monthly bill for that, in addition to the €40 a month that I was being charged by my telephone provider for a wifi box I no longer owned. The one place I wouldn't go was my accident/sickness insurance because I have excellent worldwide coverage through my former employer, but all in all I did pretty well from that phone call! Add to that the euro is dropping like crazy at the moment so that gives my Swiss franc denominated pension more bang for my buck, so I'm well pleased!
And finally, the windows guys showed up today to install the three velux windows I'd ordered a couple of months back and man did they work hard. It was scorching hot and they were up and down my stairs and had those babies installed in just five hours. The only thing missing is the blackout screen for the large velux in my TV room, which is on back order, but I'm so pleased with the rest as those rotting windows were starting to get on my nerves. Now if I can just get my bathrooms started .....! But I think I'm going to have to go with someone other than Jordan as he is working all hours God sends at the moment so he's fine with my looking for someone else - although goodness knows I won't be looking forward to the mess when they start that! I think it's time to do some serious decluttering before even thinking about all that!