It looks like autumn is well and truly on it's way. The weather is still gorgeous but considerably cooler and nippy in the mornings, so much so that I decided to put a duvet back on my bed today when I changed the sheets, rather than sleeping with just a sheet. And you know what, I welcome it! I find summer so draining that spring and autumn are definite favourites. Even winter is doable (just as well really right?) - anything rather than that dreadful heat! Blogger Sam in Minnesota mentioned the other day that she was going to try to refrain from putting her heating on until November!!! A fine aim indeed and one that it would be nice to replicate over here, but in all honesty I don't really see being able to hang on that long but hey, why not give it a shot!
Talking of heating the house, when I was dropping garden cuttings off at the recycling centre the other day I noticed that there was a fireplace/wood burning stove place right next door to it that I'd never noticed before. Now if you remember I'd been to two places about getting a wood burner inserted into my fireplace since open fireplaces are now illegal here. To be honest I've only used the fireplace once in 12 years anyway (when we had a power cut), but I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to look into it just in case. On both occasions they told me they were unable to help me, something to do with the width of the opening at the top of my chimney, so I just dropped the idea since, as I say, I don't really use the thing. But on the off chance, I dropped into this new place the other day, explained my problem and she said "well why don't you just get an insert rather than a stove"? and I was flabbergasted. If it's really that easy (and that's a big "if"), why didn't the other people mention this to me? I guess I shouldn't count my chickens until they're hatched but they are sending someone out to take a look mid-October so fingers crossed it'll work out this time! I thought my friend was smart when she had her wood-burner installed in that it is purely a wood-burner and not electric powered because, as my other neighbour was saying, if we get long power cuts her own wood burner will be down because it also uses electricity. In the event of a long power cut I would use my fireplace anyway (and to hell with the law, but don't tell anyone)! So we'll see what they have to say, but if I can get that done it'll be another positive in my book!
On the entertainment side of things, I finally got round to watching The Dallas Buyers' Club the other day and boy was it good. I don't know why I never bothered watching it when it first came out, but I have to say Matthew McConaughey was excellent (as was Jared Leto), but it's stunning what he (they?) did to their bodies in order to be able to play HIV/AIDS-infected patients! I've never seen him in anything else so it was a pleasure to realize that he's not just a pretty face! I also finished reading a book by Joanne Harris called Blackberry Wine and enjoyed that too, so I guess I'm on a roll at the moment. I like Joanne Harris' books (Chocolat probably being her most famous), which tend to be set in a fictitious town in France and always include some kind of magic or spells - they are an unusual read!
I don't know what was going on the other day but while I was sitting reading a helicopter was flying overhead constantly for about 30 minutes non-stop. I don't think it was search and rescue because (I believe) their helictopters are red, but who knows!
|You might just be able to make it out|
(badly circled in blue) just above the white house!
And remember I was saying in a recent post how I was trying to stop wasting so much time on social media, well I don't know what happened in the last week but I am getting absolutely bombarded on FB with "suggestions for you", it's really weird. Things like a post by Radio Humberside, something about an obscure football club somewhere, a vintage car club ... you name it, it's being suggested as something I might like. I was so p....d off that I managed to bash out a message to FB asking what the heck was going on. Oh I doubt they'll do anything about it, but after deleting 20 such consecutive "suggestions" in a row (and still counting) I decided that as soon as I saw a "suggestions for you" post I would log out of FB - and viola (as they don't say over here), I don't waste nearly as much time on FB anymore, so thank you FB!
Yoga started back up last Monday and while I never actually want to make the effort to go I positively floated out of there after an 8-10 week break, so much so that I drove straight to the gym where I was enrolled pre-covid and have paid back up for a year's membership! Now I just have to start motivating myself to go again, but I'm sure it'll pick back up once I get in the swing of things! Then the other day I got a phone call from the company my friend and I did quite a few trips with pre-covid saying that they had had two cancellations for their upcoming trip to Corsica and would we like to sign up? Damn, my friend will still be away in Spain over those dates so I guess we'll have to give it a miss this time around. But it did get me to thinking I might wait until Christmas and book a "solos" trip somewhere for around March/April, depending on the situation then. I'm thinking maybe South Africa or Mexico but who knows where (and even if) I'll end up. Still, it's nice to be thinking about travelling again after so long! I don't enjoy travelling on my own, but am perfectly fine travelling with a group of people I don't know. My friend, however, loves to travel on her own and has been posting pictures of her trip to the South of France recently and it looks beautiful. She is also a very talented, creative person and posted a picture of some painting on silk that she had just done! I'm green with envy at her talent!
|Isn't she talented!|
And talking of talent, the community association of Amancy (where our sewing club is) had their open day on Saturday morning to showcase the various classes/clubs that are available. As president of the sewing club I set up our stand and some of the ladies brought in their creations so that we could display them as a backdrop. To be honest the Mairie had really done a poor job advertising this event so there was very little attendance - but at least for our sewing club that wasn't such a problem as we are pretty much full anyway (lack of space). We just felt we needed to show up in support of the Mairie which makes the premises available to us free of charge and gives us a small sum towards running the club!
We got one or two potential new members but I ended up enrolling in a Thursday afternoon "leisure time" club where the 20-30 members play card games, principally belote or tarot, so yay me! I played both these games in my mid-twenties when I was with my ex-boyfriend and we and friends of his would sometimes pull an all-nighter in order to finish a game. In fact it was in order to get back into these card games that I first went to the gaming evening in town about five years ago. The problem was though that they were already pretty well-established groups, so that was how my neighbour and I decided to set up our own board game evenings - which have surprised me by the fact that we are still going and that we have more people asking to join! In fact we had our lastest board game evening at Valérie's house just this Saturday. She lives at 1,200 metres (almost 4,000 feet) and it was cold up there Saturday night - but it is such a beautiful spot. We played one game which I thought was going to be a bit naff but ended up being a real hit with everyone so you never know what you're going to get. Next time will be at Jordan and Jen's place (so they can put Charlie to bed) and we've all been asked to dress up for Hallowe'en!
Valérie sent round a message beforehand asking if anyone was interested in buying half a lamb as her neighbours are small-holders and were selling organic lamb raised in the pasture behind them. I was the only one interested but in the end it was just too much meat (and too little freezer space). Valérie already had extra lamb in her freezer so she sold me the most beautiful leg of lamb from her own order which I cooked today. It was hellish expensive but good quality, and in any case I'm happy to support local producers as and when I can. There's way too much meat on that leg for me but I was thinking I'll make a rogan josh (lamb curry) to take over to the kids when I keep Charlie on Friday and put any leftovers in the freezer!
When I signed up to get solar panels, I was told that they were hoping to install them sometime in October so I thought I would request a transfer of the balance I will owe from my credit union in order to have it ready as and when. I have to say I was pretty surprised, though, when I got an automated form to fill in to indicate what I wanted this money for!!! What the flip???? My first reaction was to tell them to mind their own business but soon thought the better of that - but how long has this been going on? When I was still working and paying off my mortgage, once a year I would request 33,000 Swiss francs in order to put down extra on my mortgage and they never asked what that money was for. But now I request SF8,400 and I'm supposed to tell them what it's for??? Geez Louise, you'd think it was their money! Oh I got the money within 24 hours but really???
And finally, the Queen's funeral is tomorrow, which frankly is a good thing in my opinion as it's time to move on. Heads of State have been arriving from all over the world so I can't even begin to imagine what security will be like tomorrow. There's been an outpouring from the majority of the British public, mainly I think out of respect for how devoted to duty and stoic she was. As for Charles, well, we'll see - to my mind the jury's out on that one as yet. But - and this is a big "but" - not everyone has felt that way about the Queen's death or indeed about the monarchy in general and that is absolutely their prerogative. They have every right to their opinions of course, but one lady - a fish and chip shop owner in Scotland - took it a step further and posted a celebratory video of herself with champagne basically crowing that the Queen had finally died. Again, as I say, she has every right to her opinion - free country and all that - but given that many of the locals did not agree with the way she behaved and that the woman had to be escorted from her premises for her own safety, I have to say I'm wondering where exactly was her brain when she embarked on her new business model. As one bright spark commented - "she'll never sell another chip again, I reckon"!