How come weeks seem to go by where nothing much is happening, and then all of a sudden I have appointments left, right and centre? I recently ordered heating fuel so I would have a good start to the winter. It's obviously always better to order in the summer rather than the winter but I'm still thinking prices have started to come back down again after the enormous price hike associated with the war in Ukraine. The lady who took my order is very, very nice and when I told her I needed 1,700 litres she told me that comparing a 1,000 litre order last time to 1,000 litres this time, the price had come down €600, and if I wanted to compare it to a 1,700 litre order I was "better off" by €900! So while it's still a big chunk of chump change, I'll take the "win"! Out of curiosity I also went into my electric account and while it was initially showing consumption down around 27% after I had my solar panels installed, for the month of May it was down 37%, so that's looking good too. Of course it'll take a few years to recoup the installation costs, but so far I don't regret having them installed!
Then yesterday "the guys" came to instal my fireplace insert. It's a good job I keep track of my appointments because I was kinda expecting them to send a reminder message the day before but nope, nothing doing. Thankfully I was showered and dressed when they showed up at 8 a.m. and within four hours they'd got it installed. It wasn't an easy instal because of the limited size of my fireplace, but when I told them that I'd been to three other places and they'd all said "not possible" the guy just said that some companies just don't want the harder jobs. That being said, they did work very hard and the poor guy on the roof must have been boiling because it was 90°F that day and then the boss came in with wood and kindling because he was obliged to start a fire in order to see that everything was hunky dory. You can't believe what having a roaring fire blazing in the living room feels like when it's aready 90°. Still, that's another thing crossed off my list, except that I have to get the paperwork from them as I'm entitled to a €2,000 rebate from the French state for putting an open fireplace out of commission. Also, with the new insert it should prevent any more birds from coming down the chimney apparently. Last week as I walked into my TV room a terrified sparrow almost blew my head off, so I'm guessing he must have plopped down the chimney during the night. Then as I was loading up garden stuff to take to the recycling centre, I didn't spot the wasp attached to the bag, so ended up getting a nice sting to the belly - but I got my own back when he died a cruel death! You guys might think you have it rough with your grizzlies and snakes and crocodiles, but sometimes I have to wonder!
Monday night the plumber came by to have another look at my bathrooms, and we have finally fixed a date of 10 July for him to start work (he'd been off on paternity leave). So then when I got in touch with the tiler that I had lined up, he wasn't going to be available until September, so now I have another tiler stopping by (Monday, I think) who can hopefully work around the plumber! I'm not looking forward to the mess but I am so over waiting to get this work done!
I don't know about you, but when I was still working I found I would put off making my personal appointments until I got really mad at myself and then would make 10 phone calls one after the other and get everything sorted in a short space of time. Procrastination at its finest! I had another doctor's appointment in Geneva on Friday (he's been seeing me every three months for the past year) but he thinks he can push that back to every six months going forward but as he wants to be absolutely certain of himself I have to go to the hospital for an ultrasound scan just for him to sign off. You know, the bloody hospital with 500 beds and two parking spaces!!! I'm not worried about the scan, but figuring out how to get there should be a laugh a minute! So I've got that scheduled, plus the dentist and then the hairdresser to get this mop removed from my head and then hopefully that'll be it for a good long while!
Oh, but I forgot about my appointment at Ford today. I had to cancel having them take off my winter tyres and there was a minor repair that needed doing, so I left my car at Ford this morning and then caught the rickety old minibus back home. It's a real bone shaker so you wouldn't want to have brittle bones! I thought it was kinda nice though because after we'd driven through one village the driver told me he thought he'd missed a young girl who sometimes caught his bus and would I mind if he doubled back to see? Not at all, of course, and as it happened she didn't need the bus today, but I thought it was kind of him to do that. Then tonight, on my way back down to Ford, a new driver took a wrong road - and then apologised because he "had only been here a month". When I asked him where he'd come from he said the north of England and when I told him I was English he told me he'd go back in a heartbeat (he was French) as he loved it and had so many friends after spending the last eleven years there. So here's me totally happy in France and this Frenchman wanting to move back to England. I guess it's a good job we're all different!
Talking of brittle bones though, my neighbour (who just turned 90) had a fall last week and broke her femur. I have always admired this couple because they are forever out walking and he - at 87 - could still walk me into the ground. She is adamant she didn't trip over anything, but that her femur just gave way. Poor thing, it must be a real stressor for someone who has been so active her entire life!
Last night I finally finished watching the latest (and last) series of Mrs. Maisel and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't say that about many series, to be honest, as for the most part I just can't be bothered with them. But I just loved the New York jewish humour (brilliant writers), with Tony Shalhoub as the neurotic grandfather almost having a nervous breakdown when he realizes his only grandson is not a genius - well he just steals the show for me. Him and Caroline Aaron as the brash, loud-mouthed mother-in-law. They were a real treat to watch!