Damn, I was tired last week, I guess things started catching up to me. I know so much of it was to do with getting over the birthday party I had here and putting everything back to rights, but I guess I also have to admit that I am 63 and have to start realizing that I don't have the energy I had when I was younger, right? That doesn't stop me half the time but ...! For instance, the day before the party when I was trying to get everything set up, I took one look at the back lawn and thought "oh no, I can't let it go like that"! My gardener usually stops by approximately every two weeks - it very much depends on his schedule and the weather, of course. But my lawn looked terrible so I took a deep breath and wandered over to my neighbour's to ask if I could borrow the new, battery-operated lawnmower that their son had bought them for Christmas. I still have a very good lawnmower in my garage but I haven't used it for a couple of years and that thing is heavy! Well their lawnmower was a delight, pretty lightweight and I got the lawn cut in about 45 minutes. The downside was that the battery only lasts about 15 minutes so I had to use three batteries just to get my piddly little lawn cut! I think if I ever had to go back to cutting my own grass for some ungodly reason I'd get one of those things, though I really have no intention of ever going there! And then, of course, I noticed that the peonies - while beautiful when in full bloom - were making a real mess now that they were wilting, so out came the secateurs and I got those and the rose bushes done too! So I guess there's a reason I was tired, right?
What I hadn't really given much thought to last week was that this Saturday I had volunteered to host our monthly boardgame evening, so here we go again. This time it was easier, of course, because we were only 10 and we've now gotten it down to a pretty fine art, but still, while it was a lovely evening I was really tired today too. I had set up Charlie's birthday present (twin tents with an interconnecting tunnel filled with 100 plastic balls!), but when we went to let him get into it we discovered that there were wasps and creepy-crawlies inside, making that an absolute no-go. So then I had the fun task of picking up 100 plastic balls (seriously, why does any kid need one hundred of those things?) and realized he'd probably be just as happy with about 10 balls in a plastic tub - and he was. Well no, in fact, he was even happier, singing to himself and then turning round to make sure we were all watching as he "made his cake"! He really was enjoying himself!
Someone noticed the veggie plants on my balcony and pointed out that there was now a rather nice looking courgette hanging from the balcony where the plant had wound itself back round the railings, so I ran upstairs and "harvested" my first courgette. But seriously, can you imagine sitting on someone's terrace having a nice glass of wine and getting hit on the bonce by a courgette???? We started off having an apéro and eating outside, but by around 9 p.m. some were getting chilly so we moved indoors where we played a few games, with the intention of having Charlie sleep until it was time to go home - but he was having none of it! He slept maybe 30 minutes and that was it - he wanted to be with us! So I spent most of the evening quite happily playing with him while they played their games but I don't quite know how he managed to stay up till 1 a.m. on so little sleep. He's got me beat, I can tell you!
Everyone helped clean up before they left, but of course there's always stuff to do the next day, isn't there. I paced myself better today and worked a bit, then sat and read for a while, then worked a bit, and so on, and in the end it got done. In fact, Isabelle (my neighbour) sat on my tatty old sunbed yesterday and said she could absolutely see why I spend so much time sitting on the terrace as it's just perfect. It has the house's best view and sitting on the sunbed under the balcony out of the sun is just heaven. I swear if we'd gone quiet for a few minutes she would have fallen asleep! I mentioned to her that if she would like a couple of lettuces I had growing on my terrace in my plant pots to come over and get them because I couldn't eat them all, even taking into account that the slugs and snails had had their fill. When she said she'd be over in about 15 minutes I thought "right, that's it, let's get those bloody mattresses into the car before she comes"! You see I'd been to IKEA the week before and bought two new mattresses for my bed and still had the old ones to get rid of. They weren't terrible but every so often I like to get new ones to freshen everything up. Having wandered round (been trapped in?) IKEA for a couple of hours I was amazed at the price of some of that stuff. I don't have any problem sleeping (except when my mind is whirring) so don't need special mattresses or pillows, but crikey, the price of some of that stuff!!!!! My bed takes two 80cm x 200 cm mattresses so that's what I needed to get into my car in 15 minutes to take to the recycling tomorrow. So being nothing if not innovative, I decided to throw the buggers out my bathroom window rather than try to lug them down the stairs! Worked a treat and I now have them both in my car ready for tomorrow - and about a six inch nose space between my seat and the windscreen!
Jordan and Jen mentioned that they were going out with their neighbours today, either to Les Lindarets (the goat village I've written about before), or to the Parc de Merlet (which I don't know), so I might take myself off this week to visit the Merlet in the hopes of discovering somewhere new!
|Charlie at Les Lindarets. He wasn't the least|
bit scared (which was good, as they can be
Then today the Critérium du Dauphiné (bike race) came through this area, cycling up to the Plâteau de Solaison and my only thought was "oh my God"! I've written about hiking at the Plâteau de Solaison before and that climb is nasty! I don't know how they do it (but then I guess they're not 63 either, are they)?
So all in all, it's been nice having a quieter day today. As I was sat in the back garden I heard a birthday party at the neighbours, with lots of kids squealing and playing in an above-ground pool. That's a real treat and will never bother me - it's what kids do!
Oh, and the big news is ... Jordan's been having a hard time with Max (but more particularly his brother, Arnaud) for some time. The other day Arnaud complained that a radiator Jordan had installed under a window was off by one centimetre. Jordan explained to him that he'd had to follow the plans rather than the positioning of the window because that's where the relevant piping was. Then an electrician who was also working on the site walked over and pointed out to Arnaud that the last four radiators he (Arnaud) had installed were the same because he, also, had had to follow the plans, and in any case, who could spot a 1 cm difference? Basically Arnaud told the electrician to f..... off because "Jordan was just a waste of money"! I've been hearing some of the stuff that has been going on over the months and it has really been getting to Jordan, so this week was the last straw. Even more disgusting though are the so-called "jokes" about Charlie's parentage!!!! and Jordan has had enough. So he's drafted his letter and when he gets to work tomorrow he'll be giving them the requisite two weeks' notice and handing in his resignation! Let's see how many "squared up" radiators you get done all on your own then, shall we Arnaud? He's got nothing to go to but there should be plenty of temporary work (have you ever met an unemployed plumber? Plumbers are like hen's teeth!) and since's André's neighbour came back to him again to say to get Jordan to give him his cv (done) as he's got people asking in Switzerland, it looks like things could be all change in the next few weeks! I'll let you know more as and when!
Arnaud sounds like an asshole and your son? son in law?, can't remember, can do much better. Plumbing is an excellent trade to be in.ReplyDelete
I'm tired all the time too. It's tiring:)
The things I've heard about Max (who I always had a soft spot for), Arnaud and their dad are pretty horrendous, to be honest. Jordan (my son) says if one brother fancied the other one's gf he wouldn't hesitate!!! So while we've been pushing him to look in Switzerland for work (he would at least double, if not triple his salary), I guess we had to wait until HE decided he'd had enough of them. So job done then, Arnaud. And yeah it's rotten being tired isn't it but darn it, do you even REALIZE how much work you put in between your job and Jack? It would exhaust anybody!Delete
Only 63? My, that's young! The battery for my electric motor usually lasts about 45 minutes, unless the grass is tall. I've learned to mow more often. The Criterium is quite famous. You are so lucky to have all these races near where you live!ReplyDelete
My neighbour's yard is so much bigger than mine so the battery business isn't the best - but it's better than what they had before. I actually didn't mind cutting my grass (but prefer not doing it at all of course), it's just the heat that kills me. As for the Critérium, I'd never heard of it before but it is nice to follow them on the different stages to see where I recognize (which is most of it round here of course because there are only so many mountain passes they can go through)!Delete
I remember 63 and I could do so much. Now, at almost 76, not so much energy anymore.ReplyDelete
Charlie looks happy without knowing about all those other balls he is missing...lol. Cute kid.
I bought a lawnmower and paid someone to come and use it for $30. First, I bought a reel mower which has no motor and is soooo easy to push. Then, when I could not handle that, I got the lawnmower and paid for the pusher.
I pay my gardener €30 twice a month (roughly) and he has his own equipment so I'm happy to let him get on with it. The men also take turns cutting the island in front of our homes too, so I paid him extra to do "my turn"! I think having the two parties at my place in 10 days put me under a for a while but what really kills me is the heat. Give me the cold weather and it's fine!Delete
You know what, just weather that’s warm enough to languish on the terrace in, would have me feeling tired. Sadly, we don’t seem to be getting any of it here this year so I’m forced to wear myself out in other ways. No fun in your early 60’s suddenly realising you don’t get through as much as you think you should though and Charlie would certainly beat me in the staying up late stakes every time.ReplyDelete
For me it really is the heat that does me in. I don't know how people do it in hotter countries but then I guess they're used to it. As for getting through stuff, to be honest do we actually NEED to be doing so much anyway. I keep thinking "once I get this place decluttered" I can relax (a bit like your comment on your last blog post), but since life seems to be like painting the Forth Bridge I guess we have to re-assess how we view the here and now, don't we!Delete
Mattresses, ugh! We bought a foam mattress online. It came in a box. It was rolled up tight and shrink wrapped. Getting it out of the box was the hardest part. Once open, it took about a day to fully expand. Very inexpensive compared to traditional mattresses. We are getting rid of our box spring now and getting a platform frame instead. I have never been to an IKEA store. Probably a good thing, lol.ReplyDelete
My mattresses were rolled up too but they do tend to explode as soon as you make that first cut in the wrapping - you just have to be sure to stand clear! I really, really like IKEA (they have fabulous ideas/colours etc.) but getting out of there is difficult. It's designed like a maze deliberately, of course, but it's an amazing shop, especially if you can go when everyone else is at work! I just got "told off" at the recycling centre though for throwing my old mattresses in the bin marked "bulky", rather than the bin marked "furniture"! I sure wasn't going to jump in and fish them out though!Delete
Our mattress is long overdue to be replaced, but getting rid of the current is what keeps me procrastinating ( and price). Arnaud sounds like a truly despicable ass. We just had a plumber from your neck of the woods- well actually somewhere outside London I think. I couldn't figure out what would bring him to our little part of the world. ( His wife, lol). Hosting takes mental energy and extra physical work. No doubt you were tired. Your sun spot sounds terrific.ReplyDelete
My mattresses were about eight years old I think but every so often I feel it's time for a new one. The fact that there are two smaller ones rather than one large one makes it easier to get rid of I guess. I always remember my ex-MIL saying she'd had a vacuum salesman in her house who did a demonstration on her mattress to see what could be sucked out of there (gross, I know - and her home was spotlessly clean), but she ended up buying a very expensive vacuum after that, so I like to change mine more often than probably necessary. And yeah I was tired but I am still bouncing back pretty well, although slowing down, obviously!Delete
My mom is a few years older than you, and I notice now while she has energy, once she gets too tired/sick, it takes a wee while longer to bounce back. I am sorry to hear about Jordan's former employers being nasty towards him. I cannot wait to see bigger and better for him!ReplyDelete
We obviously slow down as we get older but so far so good as I'm usually back up and running in 24 hours. The heat kills me though. Give me the cold any day! And yeah, Arnaud in particular has been an AH for quite some time now but at least that was enough to push Jordan over the edge and make the move!Delete
Good for Jordan! I am sure he will come across people who appreciate his work and he will end up getting paid a lot better. I wish I could see the guys' faces when he hands in his notice. Tell him to enjoy every moment of it. Charlie is so cute!ReplyDelete
He did the deed this morning and had both brothers sign his resignation letter. They made no comment but now they know they shot themselves in the foot because they have three apartment buildings to deliver near me, plus a site in Chamonix, in very short order and are now short a plumber. All they will have when he leaves is an apprentice and an electrician who is retraining as a plumber. Jordan's already got feelers out in Switzerland (as has Jen now), and he plans to contact the lady in Switzerland who asked him to get in touch a few years ago as she knew she could find him work. The only drawback is the commute but that's the price you pay. And yeah, isn't the Munchkin adorable (I'm biased, I know)!Delete
No comment even from his best friend ??? W o w.Delete
The brother/friend is Max. The biggest AH is Arnaud (but Max and his dad have been pretty vulgar too). Jordan's no stranger to "locker room" banter as he played rugby but Arnaud has been going too far these past six months. There's more to it of course but Max has been working out in Chamonix while Jordan has been working near me with Arnaud. It's more difficult for Max because my boys and he play (and occasionally tour) in the same band together. I suppose in the end the "no comment" was the best way to go about it for the time being but I'll find out soon how today went. At least while Arnaud and Max are frequently AHs to each other and would not hesitate to stab each other in the back, Jordan's brother (André) will ALWAYS have his back!Delete
I know it's tricky as they are so interconnected. I think everything happened at the right time for Jordan. Toxic workplaces are no good, 6 months is 6 too many of that!Delete
You're absolutely right. He's stressed of course because he has a family to provide for, BUT he has skills and also being English-speaking in Geneva is a wonderful advantage. Added to that, of course, just the simple proximity of the Swiss labour market, when so many others don't have that advantage, I know he'll be ok. I actually think there'll be more possibilites than he thinks (fingers crossed behind my back)!Delete