Sunday 30 August 2009


Oh oh here it comes again. I can feel the tension rising. Tear level lifting. Things that were not even on the radar are suddenly major obstacles. Words of songs suddenly push all the buttons.

It will pass.

Why there have to be hot flushes as well is JUST NOT FAIR.

Him Outdoors still surprises me

Dear Daughter and I were singing-along-a song from my teenage years which I can sing with exactly the same phrasing as the singer. Not the same voice, obviously, but I used to have them on repeat on my Dansette record player in my bedroom and sing them over and over and over.

Him Outdoors NEVER, EVER listens to the words. Decided years ago that he couldn't hear/decipher them and doesn't know the words to any songs.

Took my breath away.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Beaucoup de bruit pour rien

Or 'Much Ado about Nothing'.

Last night we went to the Halle to see a London theatre company perform Shakespeare. It is a beautiful setting for any performance and at this time of year the swallows swooping about are wonderful. (Him Outdoors was a bit late because we forgot that we would have to get the chickens in bed before we could go out!)

As we have now come to expect, the local British 'posh' contingent was there. The ones that we have met are very wealthy Brits and Americans who have large holiday houses here. They get dolled up and go to all the performances around. We have been to 3 or 4 and I did ask one woman last year whether it was the same people at all these things and she said 'no, but it's the same sort of people'. I quite agree. The ones we have met have been through a very kind American woman who also visits in the summer.

I didn't remember the plot - it's a film with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson (aren't they all) and also Keanu Reeves and Denzil Washington, set in a beautiful villa in Chiantishire. BUT it's stupid! You want to shout out for the heroine (Hero) to get a life and not marry the stupid bastard. As with all Shakespeare, there are some people that can speak it as though they are just chatting and you understand completely and wouldn't even know it was 400 years old, and there are the rest. Unfortunately there were quite a lot of the rest in this. Quite a lot of young actors who were only just starting being held together by some excellent people and an elderly man who had obviously been 'treading the boards darling' for years. I wonder why they do a summer season in France. I mean it's beautiful and all and it's work so maybe that's enough but it's an awful lot of work for 5 performances. Maybe they do a load more all over the place.

Monday 3 August 2009

More staircase

After we had received the letter from the solicitors, Him Outdoors remembered that he had been given some free insurance from our expensive french insurer that might include something to do with legal matters.

He went to see the Axa man and sure enough (something right in this saga!) although the amount isn't enough to be covered completely, we do have insurance that enables us to ask their legal team what we should do. The Axa man also offered to come and see the stairs to see if we were being sensible or not and to write a letter to the stairman/solicitor.

After he had visited the general concensus was that he would write a letter taking the attitude that we were not going to pay the bill yet because the stairs were not finished. List the things that could be mended in situ, mention the things that were wrong but presumabley unsolvable in situ - like it goes in front of the door underneath it, and it's put in crooked. And see what happens.

This has now been done and sent off with 'avis de reception' and we await the next stage.

From the happy corner the Axa man has been lovely, very helpful and prompt.

Do they see us coming?

From the happy corner I always try and make excuses for everything unpleasant that happens. There is always an explanation for turning a hurt into a mistake.

But it's too hard this week.

I have just seen my french teacher in the town and whilst explaining the last round of things that have happened I found I would quite like to sit down and cry, so a blog is called for.

The final straw was the wardrobe. We have had difficulty finding a wardrobe for our wondrous new bedroom. We went to a shop that was recommended about an hour's drive away and although they did not have what we wanted in the shop they had an old oak one in the workshop that looked as if it might be lovely. The very nice man said that he would do it up and then we could look at it and if it wasn't what we wanted we needn't have it. 900€. Sounded too good to be true but ok.

A month later his wife rang and I'm sure said that it was ready and we arranged to go and see it on Saturday afternoon. When we got there we were shown another one at 950€ that was nothing like the other one because there had been so much work to do on the one we wanted that it was now 1200€. We went to see the one we wanted which was still being done and looked lovely. BUT forget it. Why do they think we would suddenly pay 1/3 more? Why didn't she say on the phone - well actually I know why she didn 't say, if we were in the shop we might have bought the other one.

On the same day we had a letter replying to our letter to the plumber/electrician. We had asked why the bill was 39% more than the devis and listed loads of points requiring explanation. In France, if you buy your own stuff for the pl/elec to fit they don't quote for fitting on the devis, they add it at the end. You would think that someone would have mentioned this perhaps. Even from the happy corner - who else did they think was going to fit it. All the other points were just repeated with more words. No mention of any less money.

I'll put the update on the stairman on another blog.