I have no idea why but for some reason this week has felt like a really good one! I got a lot done that has been hanging over my head for ages but it hasn't felt like a chore. I don't know, maybe I just paced myself a bit better. I know what really helped, though, is getting back to yoga on Monday morning! I've missed a couple of weeks, what with having fuel delivered one week and then my car breaking down, but if there's one thing that sets me up for the week it's yoga - and that despite the fact that I have to force myself to go there! This week there was a new-to-me older lady in our group and I had a hard time trying to figure out what was going on with her. She was a tiny little dot of a woman who has obviously done yoga before, but I'm not sure if she'd maybe had a stroke or had dementia because while she could do the exercises easily, she seemed somewhat confused and was difficult to understand. That being said, our teacher was patience personnified and from what I gathered from the lady herself, she intends to continue - and good for her!
On Tuesday my car was back in the garage (a planned appointment) for new brakes, so after dropping it off I caught the little bone-shaker mini bus back home. By car it takes 10 minutes, on foot I could probably do it in about 50 minutes, but for €1.50 I got a 30-minute scenic ride round some of the local hamlets before being dropped off at the church in my village. With nowhere to go I felt in the mood to do some baking, so since I get on well with Thiery at Ford, I made peppermint brownies to take with me when I went to pick my car up later that evening. To be honest I was lazy and took the bus back down to town even though I could easily have walked, but as it looked like rain I decided to give walking a miss this time. I got chatting to the driver who, it turned out, was the same age as me and also retired (but still driving for the bus company?). Anyway, he was asking me if I liked walking in the mountains, so I said I did but hadn't done nearly enough of it this year, and I was probably pretty foolish for going on my own. He commented that if I didn't have health issues it shouldn't be a problem, but when I pointed out that anyone could twist an ankle or fall he ended up agreeing with me that it probably wasn't a good idea to go solo - and would I like to go walking with him one day??? Say what? I'm not sure what I said, exactly, and in any case, since we already have snow in the mountains, now would not be a good time to start. Anyway he said he regularly drives this mini bus and if I change my mind to get in touch!
About 15 mintues into the journey, "Jessica" got on the bus! I know her name was Jessica because she was on her phone constantly (and very loudly) the entire journey. Turns out Jessica needs new glasses and has an appointment mid-December. Then she wasn't sure what to make for dinner and seemingly balled her mom out for not walking the dog yet! It beats me why people have to have these kinds of conversations in confined spaces and at such volume! Oh I understand if the phone rings and you get caught out, or if it's an emergency, but I will never understand why people can't keep these conversations for when they are alone so that the rest of the world doesn't have to know the intimate details of their lives! When I was still working you would occasionally get someone like that on the bus to the border and the entire bus got to know their business, but to be fair it wasn't very often! I guess there's nowt so queer as folk, is there!
On Wednesday I managed to talk myself into going to the gym for the first time in about six weeks! Oh I was desperately trying to think of an excuse for why I shouldn't go but as I couldn't come up with anything, off I trotted and again I like it very much once I'm there. There were only three of us in the entire upper floor weight room so it's not like you actually have to wait to use any of the machines. Well that's maybe not strictly true because shortly after I arrived a man came upstairs and sat on one of the machines - and then proceeded to look at his phone for the next hour! He never moved once, and then just as I was about to leave, he picked up his towel and left! That must have been quite the work-out!
And remember I mentioned that I was going to make up a photo album of old photos for my sister? Well I got that done this week and sent it off for processing - and then 24 hours later my album was sitting in my mail box when I got home! Talk about efficient! It's not the greatest album because, as I say, it was made up mainly of very old black and white photos, but I'm delighted with it and I'm pretty sure my sister will be too. One of the oldest photos was of my great-grandmother on my mom's side holding my brother Phil - which I guess was taken around 1943 and which has come out reasonably well, so I'm pleased with that!
|Phil, mom, granddad and great-grandma!
When I was at sewing club the other week, Chantal mentioned that she thought Patricia (our sewing teacher) wasn't doing too well at the moment and what did I think about stopping out to see her? This is the lady whose son fell down the stairs, landed on his head and who is now mentally disabled as a result. Patricia works in a factory during the day but depends on her sewing in the evenings to make up her salary - except that she currently has problems with her shoulder and arm and despite being on sick leave she can't even take advantage of the time off to catch up with her sewing. So Chantal asked if a couple of us would like to drive down to Patricia's under false pretext on Thurdsday just to stop in for a chat. And that's what we did. I bought flowers, Bernadette baked a couple of cakes and Chantal brought a bottle of wine and we spent a couple of hours helping Patricia with a few odd jobs before cracking open that bottle! You know how occasionally you meet someone who is just nice - well I reckon that's Chantal. She's very thoughtful and always one of the first to pitch in and help out, and I know Patricia was very touched by our visit!
Then on Friday I had to drive out to Thonon to pick up a serger (a fancy sewing machine, for the uninitiated) for our club and while Thonon is beautiful I hate driving out there because it's 50 km of small, traffic-filled roads and bottlenecks. And to think my neighbour drove beyond Thonon to Evian (where the bottled water comes from) every day for over 10 years for his job! I'm not surprised he was thrilled to be able to retire early - leaving home at 4.30 a.m. for years has got to get old very quickly! I gave myself plenty of time as the sewing machine guy - while nice - is chronically late and I still ended up sitting on a wall outside his shop for half an hour waiting for him to show up. Still, it's all sorted now and I drove back via St. Jeoire so I got to see Charlie for a couple of hours afterwards, thus making the hassle all worthwhile!
And finally, I've gotten such a lot done this week I'm really happy with it. I've been trying to set myself an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to work in the house and either in the garden or the garage and it's been really productive. I guess I might be panicking slightly at the thought of 41 square metres of tiling plus fittings being dumped in my garage sometime soon in order for them to start work on my bathrooms! Still, through slogging away just a little bit every day I've got my bedroom completely sorted (eeew, the dust bunnies when I moved the bed) and a whole load of stuff taken to the charity shop! Where on earth does it all come from though? And then tonight I spent an hour "putting the garden to bed", and while I was doing that a paraglider drifted out from under the clouds on the mountain and landed in the field at the back of my house! How cool is that? I guess that's one way to avoid the traffic jams isn't it!
|He landed a couple of seconds
after I took this picture!