Crikey, it's a feast or a famine sometimes isn't it! One week I'm sitting here doing nothing at all and then the next week I'm running around like a "blue-arsed fly" (one of my dad's quaint expressions)!
Monday morning as usual was my weekly yoga class, and on Monday evening the ladies from the sewing club had planned for us all to have dinner together before sewing starts up as we hadn't been able to make the end-of-year get together. You know how sometimes you go to these things but kinda wished you didn't have to - well that was me Monday evening. But I'm so glad I went as the food and service were excellent and I had a really great time! They are nice bunch, very friendly and we had a good laugh - which is something of a miracle considering what some of those ladies have been going through lately! One lady who I went walking with pre-covid lost her husband suddenly in his sleep last year at the age of 53 to a suspected heart attack. They were estranged and living apart, but were friendly enough. I met him and he was a handsome man and apparently in good health until ....! So you can imagine what a shock it was for her and her boys. As a result of his death his two sons received a small pay-out from a life insurance policy of around €40,000 each, but she started telling me what living hell she has been going through with her youngest son because of it! She was leaving for a long weekend in New York (she's there now) and her sister-in-law, who had organised everything, asked her for a small amount of money (less than €500) towards part of the payment. When she went to her bank her cash withdrawal was refused because - as she found out when she went inside - over 17,000 Swiss francs had been taken from her bank account in the last few weeks! I think she told me this was a disbursement from her Swiss pension and she hadn't looked at that account for a while, so she was more than stunned to find that the money had been taken - and more importantly that it had been taken by her younger son! It turns out that when they were clearing out his dad's house, the son had asked for her bank card to put petrol in his car, must have memorized her pin number and then stole her card at a later date! What didn't make sense though was that he had just received €40,000 from his dad, but when she mentioned that he had just met a young Romanian woman online everything clicked right into place (just like my former BIL who got milked out of every penny by a Russian woman he met online a few years ago)! Oh the Romanian and her son had definitely met up, as she discovered when she found out that he had gone to a fancy nightclub in Geneva and paid SF 1,200 for a bottle of champagne, SF 600 for a bottle of whiskey, and spent a small fortune on a night in a swanky Geneva hotel! And of course, as soon as his money evaporated so did the Romanian girl - who couldn't have seen that coming! What's worrying my friend though, is that the sale of dad's house is due to go through this week and sonny and his brother are due to inherit around €100,000 each from the sale of the land (which belonged to his dad's family) and the three of them will then also inherit from the sale of the house! She's desperate to slow down the sale until they can get his money put into something secure like a small apartment for him, but since he turned 21 last week there's not much she can do if he decides to blow through the whole lot yet again! Geez, what a nightmare - I feel so sorry for her!
On Tuesday I decided it was time to start walking again now that the weather has cooled down, so took myself off to the lake at Passy to do a couple of circuits and it was lovely! At the beach end I stopped and chatted to an older lady who was sitting in a deckchair in her swimsuit debating whether to go in for a swim. I told her I was going to do another circuit and would check up on her on the second round - and yep, there she was swimming. Ha, I thought I was brave just walking so I can't imagine what it would take to actually get into that water!
|The lake at Passy - beautiful but freezing!|
Then on Wednesday night the retirees' association organised our first cocktail in over two years and again it was really nice to see some of the old familiar faces. And so many of them haven't aged at all!!! When I first joined my organization in 1980 I had an appointment with Hugo G, who explained to me all about the pension plan. He retired in 1992 at age 60, which would make him 90 now - and he hasn't changed a bit! I guess there's a lot to be said for retirement then!
On Thursday I dashed around to get my grocery shopping done because I've yet again signed up for something else - a card game afternoon from 2 pm to 6 pm! I was glad I'd looked at some of the grocery flyers because I'm now on a hair-brained scheme to try out planting potatoes, garlic, onions etc. over winter in plastic laundry baskets, since I don't have enough raised beds! Anyway, LIDL were selling them for €4 so I picked up four of them, and then when I went on to my usual supermarket (LIDL doesn't sell everything I want, obviously), the very same baskets were selling for €10!!!! Anyway, I have two planted up already so I will be curious to see how (if?) they work out. Oh and isn't it lovely to see the clementines/tangerines on sale in the farmers' markets - a real sign that autumn has well and truly arrived! As I was heading home I spotted a cyclist and was trying to figure out which side of my car he was going to cycle on so gave him a wide berth just in case. After I'd passed him he caught up with me a little way along and stopped and tapped on my passenger-side window. Now I'm ready to read him the riot act about how I'd left him plenty of room, when he leaned in through the window with a big grin and said "hi Anna"! Turns out it was Stan's son, Sam - you know, the young man who competed in this year's winter Olympics! He'd recognized my car so boy, am I glad I didn't run my mouth off!
Later that afternoon I made my way to the new-to-me card game club because I've always wanted to get back into playing belote and tarot (I haven't played in 40 years). There were about 20 people there and I would guess the average age was around 80, so I felt like a spring chick when someone called me a "young 'un"! They were a nice crowd and I've always liked older people anyway, so age wasn't a problem for me. The old guy I was sitting next to playing tarot shouted at me quite early on for playing the wrong card, but then I realized he was a bit shouty with everyone so I explained to him that I was trying to pick the game back up after so many years and could he help me? After that he was as nice as pie! Turns out it was his birthday and he had brought in wine and cake for their break, but I have to admit I got quite a shock when they all stood up to go over to the drinks table and saw how many of them couldn't stand up straight! We called it dowager's hump in my day and I think it can be caused by osteoporosis (and many other things, most likely), but it made me realize just how difficult life can be for those that are afflicted by it! So with that in mind I also stopped off at the gym for my first weight session in about six months! It was a bit namby-pamby but I guess you have to start somewhere, don't you!
My kids told me that one of my ex-husband's cousins and her husband were in Paris for her 60th birthday and were coming down to Haute Savoie for the week-end to meet up and would I like to get together with them? Well of course I would. I didn't know Pam particularly well but I always liked her. She was what I would consider somewhat reserved so it was a surprise to meet her outgoing, uber-friendly husband, John! He was originally from Brazil but had spent most of his life in the U.S., so I guess the Brazilian blood explains some of his party-animal side! On Saturday night the kids invited us all over for raclette to celebrate my birthday (64 - yikes) and I liked Pam and John instantly. Then on Sunday morning we went to the farmers' market in Annecy - which was still beautiful despite the drizzly weather (they loved it), and then off up the mountains to the lake at Les Confins (again, they were enthralled by the cowbells), and then a quick walk around La Clusaz before heading back to Jordan and Jen's for pizza. Charlie was on fine form and they both obviously like kids so he got to enjoy showing off for everyone. They left back for Paris on Monday morning, where John has booked dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge for Pam's 60th birthday tomorrow! They were so taken with France (and Haute Savoie in particular) that I feel sure we'll be seeing more of them (and with pleasure - they were great fun)!
|Pam and John in Annecy!|
And finally, I've mentioned before that I follow a blog about narcissism - less so now than before, but I still sometimes check to see what's going on there. Anyway, one of the ladies wrote how, at 64 and after 42 years of marriage, her husband had left her for a "bright young thang" and that while she initially had a hard time recovering from the shock, she was beginning to rebuild a life for herself. This is what she wrote that tickled me no end as it's so evocative!
"But in an attempt to work around those limitations I recently joined a gospel choir. And by gospel choir I mean eight elderly white people singing rather dull 1970s middle-of-the-road pop songs slightly off-key in a damp Welsh church, led by a pianist with delusional aspirations towards Britain's Got Talent, who makes his endless disappointment in us very evident 🤣 It's good fun though, and I'm making new friends there."
And the Brits on that site all chimed in "Vicar of Dibley"! How very true to form we are!