When I got up the other morning the internet was down (shock, horror). First thing I do when I get up is read the news with a cup of tea in my hand, so you can imagine this was seriously going to mess with my day! Oh, I could still get the internet on my phone but I really don't like reading on that so after about 15 minutes of piddling around I gave up. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how your day suddenly becomes about four hours longer! I think I'm pretty aware how much time I waste on the computer but even so, the fact that I went out and got a week's worth of grocery shopping done and the internet hadn't even been restored by the time I got back really brought home to me how much time I waste! I reckon if I could knock that on the head and get to bed by midnight I'd score a whole extra eight hours a day!
My friend is having her balcony rebuilt by the same young man that did mine five years ago. He does excellent work, is very friendly and he and my kids apparently have a couple of friends in common, one of them being Max. Anyway, when I stopped to check my mailbox, he wandered over to me and asked if it was correct that Jordan was a plumber/heating engineer. When I said it was, he handed me his card saying that he routinely gets clients asking if he knows any reputable plumbers and to have Jordan give him a call if he's interested. So I explained to him that at the moment, Jordan's biggest problem is lack of tools (that stuff is expensive), but he said not to worry as he had pretty much everything Jordan could need! How nice of him! And talking of Max, Jordan told me he sent him a message the other day to say that he (Max) hoped they would remain friends despite everything, that he realized just how much work Jordan had voluntarily put in when Max was renovating his farmhouse (he was over there most weekends), and that if he ever needed to borrow tools to work on his own place to just let him know! Wow, that was nice wasn't it - now if only his brother hadn't been such an AH to work with!
Things at work are going fine for Jordan. He's been at a different site these past couple of weeks and said the site manager is a bit of a jerk (he said the heaviest tool he's seen him pick up so far is a pencil!!!) but that the other guys are nice enough. There are three Romanians and a Polish guy on site, and while the Romanians kept themselves pretty much to themselves, he and the Polish guy got along well. Then, when the Romanians realized that he wasn't in fact French they started asking him to translate English words into French for them - and now they all get along just fine! The temp agency also said they want to extend his contract for another month but he told them he'll be taking leave come August and then they could see what happens after that. That's not a problem apparently!
I had Charlie again on Friday and as it was really hot, after a trip to the farmers' market I went to a bar and sat outside in the shade with a bottle of Perrier water. He loves drinking out of bottles, so he had the other clients cracking up every time he took a slug of my Perrier and then made the funniest faces when the bubbles went up his nose. And again, I have to say just how much I like their town as it has everything you could need right on your doorstep within easy walking distance - something that is very much lacking in my little village! It was a bit of a pain in the butt on Tuesday for them though as the main road was blocked off all day when the Tour de France came through town - but since that only happens once every few years, I'm sure they weren't too put out!
The clock tower in St. Jeoire
I like both the son and the daughter from next door very much, so again I was shocked when the son and his wife arrived to see how gaunt and tired he looked at just 45! He works in catering for a large company in Geneva and when the pandemic hit they laid off four of the seven employees. In the meantime the company expanded and now they can't get staff back to keep up with demand, so he's working 14 hour days, servicing cocktails in the evenings, and he looks dreadful. He asked me if there was any way André could get him in where he works, but how do you let somebody down gently and explain that he doesn't really have the relevant skills for where André works. Years ago my organization outsourced the guards, then the messengers, followed by the catering and most of the IT staff so the trend really is leaning heavily towards outsourcing (although to be fair to my employer, they never laid anyone off - anyone who wanted to stay was found alternative employment). I really hope he can find something else as it does seem to be a buyers' market at the moment - companies are crying out for staff and are not able to find them!
While I was there I got a message from my American friend who lives in Annecy. She was mortified a couple of months ago at having to "uninvite" me to her son's destination wedding in Spain because I'm not vaccinated and there would be medically fragile people there. I was perfectly fine with that because hey, it's their wedding, and in any case, I didn't want the hassle of the ever-changing rules and restrictions regarding foreign travel and covid. Well as it turns out, the entire wedding party (with one exception) came down with covid, including her very pregnant daughter and the daughter's FIL who had a liver transplant earlier this year. Thankfully it seems everyone is fine now, but I wonder how many of those guests unknowingly jumped on planes back home before they knew they were covid-positive. Either way, I wouldn't have fancied the idea of trying to find accommodation and/or rebook flights because so many of the flights were cancelled anyway due to staffing shortages. I'm relieved that everyone was ok in the end, but also so glad I was already uninvited, for obvious reasons!
The young salesman came by on Wednesday to give me the info on solar panel installation (strictly speaking, photovoltaic panels) and I've gone ahead and signed up. It's weird because the cost and the projected savings would seem to align exactly with what my sister in England is experiencing, so that's reassuring. It's going to cost me €12,000 to install and he reckons that at today's prices I should knock around €1,000/year off my bill, without taking into account what I can sell back to the grid. So it occurred to me I'd have to live another 12 years to get my money's worth out of it - although I hardly think I'll be on my deathbed yelling "damn, I wish I hadn't had those solar panels installed", do you!
I also took an executive decision this week regarding money I am holding as the treasurer of our little second-hand book store at work. There were just three of us handling the logistics of this bookshop so a while ago I sent a message to the other two saying that I thought it was madness for me to be sitting here with €1,000 in the kitty for over two years when the local food bank was crying out for help, and did they mind if I took €300 and made a donation? Well I got a "greetings from Peru" message from one lady and the other guy didn't respond at all, so on Tuesday, when I took my usual crate of food down to the food bank, I also handed over €300 in cash to them (I got a receipt of course - not my money). Still I don't think anyone will object, I just wish I could have gotten a "go ahead" first!
And finally, I see Bojo finally got his "et tu Brutus" moment, after being stabbed in the back by his own MPs. It probably should have happened ages ago but I don't think anyone is surprised. The problem now is who will replace him, and while I didn't like him playing the buffoon on the international stage, I'm not sure if any of the potential candidates will, in reality, be any better! That being said, I don't know much about British politics so was interested to look up some of the names involved and again, while I don't know this lady or her politics, when I first listened to her speak I was very impressed with her poise and how articulate she seems!
Can you imagine if she got in as Prime Minister - wouldn't that just upset the apple cart of the old boys' network!!!! Oh, and I just had to post this - a letter from Bojo's former tutor to his father regarding Boris!
So yeah, hopefully things could be achanging in the entitled old boys' network. Macron got his a$$$ handed to him in the legislative elections last month, and while he still has a relative majority in the National Assembly he no longer has an absolute majority, and so will have to actually negotiate instead of just having his legislation rubber-stamped from now on!
At the G7 summit in Madrid recently. Divulging
"confidential" information regarding Middle Eastern oil production?
Macron: Oh my goodness, are those cameras?
Biden: Who the hell was that!