Category Archives: Pascal_C

Saturday 2nd May 2015 – I WON’T HAVE MUCH …

… of my mind yet at this rate, the amount that I have been giving out to other people just recently. And today was the day that capped it all and they will remember me in the Orange telecom boutique in Montlucon for quite a long time.

For in there today, I have had customer service of the kind that makes Belgium look impressive.

It all started when I arrived at the place and there were two assistants on duty (on a Saturday morning!), of which one of them sat there all morning just tapping numbers into a telephone, making no attempt whatever to deal with the huge crowd of people in there.

I’ve never seen anything like this at all.

I had to wait there for a good hour before I was finally seen, and we started off as we meant to go on when the assistant refused to take back the television decoder that I have mysteriously been sent.
“You can do that at the other shop” she said.
“So why not here?”
“Because you do it at the other shop”.

And then we finally had to deal with the issue of the contract for the new service. Despite my asking for hard copy stuff because I don’t have a printer, Orange still managed to send it to me by e-mail. So I needed them to print it out.

She could manage that fine, and so I suggested that I can fill in the papers then and there and that would be fine, but …

Ohhhhh Noooooo –
“you did this by internet”
“yes I did”
“so you need to post this off”
“Because you sis it on line”
“But this is an Orange shop?”
“So why can’t i just do it and hand it in here?”
“Because you did it on line”.

It was at that point that I exploded and, as I said, they won’t forget me in a hurry in there. It’s a long time since I’ve reacted like that. And even though it won’t solve anything, I felt so much better afterwards.

And I haven’t finished yet, by any means.

Apart from that, I’ve done the rounds of the usual shops in Montlucon and bought a pile of DVDs and also some new cotton bedding in the sale at Auchan – some nice dark brown cotton pillow cases and a quilt cover and a light brown cotton sheet.

I’ve bought the stuff in Brico Depot that I need to finish off the beichstuhl and the lights in the bedroom, and probably a few other things besides. There was a nice wooden toilet seat that will fit nicely on the beichstuhl too. But not the worktop – I’ve seen something that might provide a solution for this.

It was also a day for meeting people too. I had a coffee with Liz and Terry, whom I had met at the Orange boutique, and then bumped into Pascal, Marianne’s son, at leClerc. In the Auchan it was the turn of Michel, who used to be associated with the football club at Pionsat and he told me few things that answered several but by no means all) of what has been going on at the football club.

But no football this weekend, so tomorrow I might even have a blast at the radio programmes.

Tuesday 1st April 2014 – IT WAS A LITTLE BETTER …

… getting up this morning, which was just as well as I had a lot to do today. So I was sitting eating breakfast before the 08:00 alarm reminder went off. I can’t remember when (or if) that has ever happened before.

And at 08:55 I was at the bank at Pionsat ready to withdraw some cash, only to find that the Credit Agricole plays right along with this Poisson d’Avril lark by having expired my bank card yesterday. And, according to the guy behind the counter who has tken over since Madame de St Rémy retired, “we posted your enw one to you three weeks ago”. So now I’ll have to sift through this enormous mountain of post that accumulated while I was in the Pyrenees.

Off to do this furniture removal and either I’m becoming much less tolerant as I grow older or else people are just losing all sense of proportion and priorities, in that the place wasn’t even packed up – even down to last night’s leftover food still in the saucepan on the cooker.

Everything should have been packed up and the furniture dismantled … "disPERSONtled" – ed … a long while ago and we could then have slung it into the van and cleared off. As it was, we didn’t even have the first load (because we ended up having to do two trips) into Caliburn until long after 11:00.

On the way into Montlucon we had to make a diversion as the mother of the guy who was helping us had had a power failure and Yours Truly was asked to take a look. But I tell you what – I am never going to complain about the standard of my wiring ever again. The fuse box of this house had been assembled on a wooden frame and whoever assembled it had trapped a wire in the framework and then driven a screw right into it, missing the wooden support completely.

So we just dumped the stuff into the garage and went back for the second load, by which time we were having the hottest day of the year so far. There was tons of stuff left over, but none of it packed and so they can pack it themselves and move it in a car.

Then of course we had to take it all upstairs. And by that, I mean three and a half storeys without a lift. And no hot water here – I spent about an hour trying to make the gas water heater work, but with no luck.

We’d done about three quarters of the work but they decided to knock off for lunch (it was about 15:30 by this time) so I left them to it and went to Neris-les-Bains. Yes, an absolutely gorgeous day and so I sat in the park and read a book until 17:00 when the swimming baths opened. First time for ages, and I was feeling all hot and sticky and sweaty.

Feeling much better, I came back here and had a coffee and then crashed out. Finally I managed to make one of my legendary aubergine and kidney bean casseroles, and that will keep mein business for three or four days.

And now that I’m clean, I’m going to have clean bedding tonight. Definitely pushing the boat out here.

Thursday 20th March 2014 – IT WAS 19:20 …

… when I knocked off work today. I know I’m on summer hours but –
1) I was rather carried away
2) it was still light enough to work outside at 19:20 this evening.

Mind you, it was my own fault. I’d crashed out for half an hour this afternoon.

Through the night though, I’d been busy again. I was back at work in Brussels and I can’t remember where I’d been but I returned with a car loaded with all kinds of things. I stopped at the petrol station in the rue de Luxembourg to fuel up when I received a message that I had to go to Luxembourg to pick up a director. And so off I set and arrived at a hotel there and I didn’t know which director I was to pick up and at which hotel he was staying. I hadn’t made enquiries at Brussels because I was so confident that it would be alright on the night.

That sounds about par for the course, doesn’t it?

So after breakfast (and I was up early for a change) I was on the website for a couple of hours. Summer Hours as I said.

I had some jobs to do at Pascal’s apartment this afternoon and so loaded up Caliburn and set off. On the way I called at LIDL as there was something that I wanted in the special offers. Of course it had gone but I still managed to spend €51:50 there. Lots of plants and things were on offer and I needed some seeds.

But we also had a pile of fun there too – a couple of us were watching an old woman trying to reverse her car into a parking space. No other car for miles around but after a while we lost interest and drifted away. She hadn’t managed to park it by then either.

Back here I had lunch eve though it was 16:00 and that was when I crashed out. But by 17:30 I was back outside and now I have a nice bed for the onions tomorrow. But I’m not sure when tomorrow – I have to meet someone else at Cécile’s house.

But I’ll have to get a move on. Incredible though it might seem after a day of 28.2°C, apparently snow is forecast next week. And I’ve just changed Caliburn’s tyres over too.

Tuesday 28th January 2014 – I’VE PUT THE FIRST …

… piece of plaster board on the wall today. This is progress indeed.

Mind you,it took me long enough.

I had to go to the bank this morning braving the flurries of snow – they wanted some information off me – and then round to Bill’s house. It’s been a year since Bill left us and his estate needs to be finalised. Consequently it was the final call for people to buy anything that remains, before the house clearance people come.

Marianne’s son Pascal wanted a few things and there was some tidying up still to be done, so I helped Marianne do that and then gave Pascal a hand, and then took his stuff to a garage that he’s using to store stuff until he moves to his new apartment.

That took all of the morning but I wasn’t finished yet. When I was strapping something onto the roof I noticed that one of the brackets holding the solar panel to the underneath of the roofrack had sheared off. That needed fixing before I went too far and so there I was making a new bracket.

After lunch I fitted the two counter-battens and replaced one of the rails that I’ll be using to support a shelf. It seems that Brain of Britain has measured up for a 27mm rail but fitted a 40mm rail instead? No wonder it didn’t look level.

So having done that, I had to free all of the plasterboard from the stuff that had accumulated on top of it over the last year or so. And then, I could start on the plasterboarding.

And for tea tonight, I made a lentil and mushroom curry. There’s enough forthree more days which is just as well, because it was delicious.

Saturday 25th January 2014 – OUCH!

Yes, “ouch!” indeed. I’ve just sat down and added up everything that I’ve spent today.

Yes, I’ve been to Montlucon today to do my shopping and I seem to have been considerably sidetracked. Mind you, I’m not quite sure what took me to go there because I was, once again, quite late in leaving my stinking pit. Despite having the woodstove going flat-out last night, itwas cold in here this morning.

And dark too. Not the weather for leaping brightly out of bed.I thought at first that we had had some heavy snow bit in fact we were having another one of the local Auvergnat weather phenomena – a hanging cloud drifting up the valley – and it stayed parked up on the top of the mountain all day, apparently.

Anyway, I grabbed a mug of coffee and hit the road. First stop was LIDL where I dropped a jar of tomato sauce all over the floor. Start as you mean to go on, Eric.

Surprisingly, I didn’t spend very much at LIDL, and neither did I at Amaranthe, the Health Food Shop – not the least of the reasons being that they didn’t have any of the buckwheat tablets that I like. So no breakfast for me.

It all started to go wrong at the Carrefour. I haven’t changed the gas in the kitchen for 18 months – it’s amazing what cooking on the woodstove can do – but nevertheless I’m sure it must be nearly empty by now. There was an empty propane cylinder around here so I took it with me to swap for a full one to have ready, and that set me back a massive €30:25.

When I was running the bottled gas heater, I was getting through a bottle every two weeks – that’s about €2:20 or so per day. Bearing in mind that my wood here costs me nothing, the €279 that I spent to buy this woodstove means that it’s paid for itself in just 125 days or thereabouts (and that’s not including the gas-cooking either). That’s about a year’s worth of heating and this is the third winter that I’ve been using it. You can see that it’s been a splendid investment.

Noz was another place where I spent a pile of money. Nothing of any significance, but it’s always a useful place to go for DVDs, cheap tins of food and the like. It’s always worth stocking up at Noz. And stepping out of Caliburn, I bumped right into one of Marianne’s friends, François Legay.

However it was at Vima where I really took a battering.

My old hair cutter is on its last legs and about to shuffle off this mortal coil. And there in the sales was another one, exactly the same.

Not only that, I’ve had my eye on a rechargeable LED worklight for quite some time. They charge up off the mains or off 12 volt DC, are quite large and powerful, and sit on the floor and chuck out an enormous amount of light. They were quite expensive but in the sales they were reduced by 50% and they had two left – didn’t that give me ideas?

But what was the final nail in my coffin was the mobile phone. The ‘phone that I bought in a hurry 5 years ago was the cheapest I coud find – a Nokia but a bi-band so no use in North America. I replaced that a couple of years ago with an ancient Nokia tri-band that I bought in an internet auction. The price was correct but the battery wasn’t at all and even with a new battery it’s not lasting for more that 3 days at most. And of course, it’s no use for surfing the internet at all (not that I want to but my phone plan gives me a free allowance of data and as I always run out of the time period rather than run out of credit, it’s a shame to waste it).

Anyway, to cut a long story short … "thank you" – ed … there in the sale was a Samsung Galaxy 3, the little brother to my Canada phone which is absolutely superb. Does everything that I need and even includes a 4GB micro-SD card so that I can use it as a music player. And the camera has a greater resolution than the digital camera that I took with me to North America in 2002 and in 2005. Quadri-band too, with bluetooth, and open to all networks.

And the cost? Just €75:00. I don’t suppose that I can complain too much.

Coming out of Vima, I bumped slap bank into Laurent Dumas, the President of the Canton of Pionsat (you saw him on this blog a few weeks ago). Just the man I want to see, as it happens. There are proposals to change the arrangement of cantons in the Puy de Dome. It’s something very controversial and so we want to do a radio programme on it. As it happens, M Dumas is very much parti-pris whereas Mme Daffix-Ray (who you also saw on here), the Vice-President (they cater for all sorts here) of the Departement, is very much parti-pris in the other camp. My idea is to ask them both to let me have a statement of why they have chosen their sides, so that we can present a balanced radio programme.

I didn’t spend very much in Brico Depot either. I had written out a list of stuff that I needed and then, totlly true to form, I had forgotten to bring it with me so no tongue-and-grooving for the ceiling. But they did have that “space-blanket” insulation on special offer so I bought a roll seeing as how I don’t know whether I have enough here to finish what I’m doing.

The French have a saying “jamais deux sans trois” and so while I didn’t spend too much money there, I did bump into someone from Pionsat – Marianne’s son Pascal. I can’t move anywhere these days without my movements being observed.

Anyone who thinks that I intended to go for a swim on the way home had another think coming. I came straight home and locked myself in. Winter seems to be back now.

Tuesday 21st January 2014 – IF I’M NOT INTERRUPTED …

… tomorrow, I might actually finish these shelves.

I didn’t do anything this morning though because I wasn’t here. I had to go to St Eloy to see Marianne’s son Pascal. He’s giving up his little apartment there soon and moving to Montlucon to be nearer work. He’s not much good with a screwdriver and there are a few tasks that need to be done to put the apartment back how it should be. I said that I’d go for a look around and see what needs doing.

I took advantage of my visit to go to LIDL. Their special offer this week is D-i-Y stuff and I needed some screws so I stocked up with them.

After that I went to Cécile’s and the Post Office at Gouttières to negotiate a little about collecting this letter. After a lengthy period there with the guy who runs it, we agreed that Cécile needs to telephone him, and so I duly passed on the message.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, all of the washing (or, at least, all that I remembered to bring back from Cécile’s) is now hung up outside, so nice was the day, and then I attacked the shelving.

All 6 uproghts are now cut and shaped and because the floor is uneven and so they are all different lebgth, I’ve but a bracing bar across the three at the back to hold it all in position.

5 of the uprights are now screwed into position and the horizontal fitted to two pairs. I was trying to work out how to fit the 6th – it’s a little cramped in there and I need the room to pass the shelves through into position.

But having a stop and a think has made me think of a way to do it and so tomorrow I can press on.

Tonight I just lit a small fire and had a tea of pasta, veg, tomato sauce and veggie-burger. And it was the nicest meal that i’ve ever cooked on my little stove. I must be improving.

Tuesday 12th February 2013 – I was dead right …

… about the weather.

This morning was horribly grey and overcast with a hanging cloud. And it didn’t get any better than that either. Talking to Terry a few hours later, he said that it was snowing round by his place, and sure enough in the late afternoon it started chucking it down here too.

With regard to Bill’s affairs, it was too cold to go round there and so we stayed at Marianne’s and went through a huge pile of paperwork and did the accounts to date. After that I went with Pascal round to Bill’s and we moved some more furniture out.

This afternoon was yet another afternoon without working in the bathroom and this is becoming a tale of lost opportunities. Terry wanted to go to Brico Depot and wanted me to go with him. It was only fair and I’m not complaining as after all, a huge pile of stuff was for me but none of this is getting my bathroom done and for the last few weeks I’ve been continually sidetracked by one thing or another and it’s beginning to get on my nerves. What made it worse was that I was building up a list of things that I needed to buy next time I was there, and it went clean out of my head.

This evening I was at St Maurice. There’s a series of walks around France taking place every weekend and in 2 months time they will be walking around there, so they had a meeting of potential volunteers. I went along to find out what was happening.

 Back here, it was oven chips and baked beans for tea, and now I’m off to bed. Tomorrow we’ll have more hanging clouds and snowstorms. And who is going to come along tomorrow to put me off working in the blasted bathroom?

Thursday 13th December 2012 – I wish I could remember …

… who it was who rang me at 17:00 today. I would give them a big round of applause. For at 17:00 I should have been at Marianne’s helping her move a bed, but instead I was totally flat out – crashed out on the sofa. I do remember having the most vague and incomprehensible discussion with someone while I was trying my very best to wake up. I wonder what the other party must have made of it.

This morning I had the usual couple of hours on the radio programme that I’m trying to write, and then I went out to empty Caliburn seeing as I had this bed to move. But tidying up isn’t my strongpoint as you know and it didn’t quite work out how it should have done. I ended up leaving the false floor in the van and putting a pile of stuff underneath it.

Pascal, Marianne’s son, and I dropped off a few things around Pionsat and then went to the Chateau to pick up this bed. We were also treated to some exciting news – while the Water Board was digging in the chateau yard to lay a new water pipe, part of the yard collapsed and some of their equipment fell into a long-lost subterranean crypt of some description. Of course, Marianne is in her element, or she would be if she were feeling better, because she’s been ill too.

While I was there, I told her the news about Bill, and seeing as how she knows her way around French administration and isn’t easily cowed, I set her a task to prove that she is worthy – namely, to make the necessary enquiries.

A brief stop at the Intermarché came next. While I was emptying Caliburn, the black cat came around again. Once more, it let me stroke it and pick it up. Clearly starving, the poor thing, and so I bought a box of Munchies and next time I see it I shall give it a handful. That’s me well and truly hooked, isn’t it?

We had our little social night this evening too, and having made a lucky find in a Charity Shop in Stockton Heath when I was in the UK, I taught a group of French citizens how to play Snakes and Ladders.

Yes  French people playing Snakes and Ladders. There’s nothing like a bit of globalisation, is there? Whatever next? Cricket, maybe.

Friday 31st August 2012 – WHAT A WAY …

… to start the day!

Yes, a phone call at 08:00 from Terry “I’m off to the quarry – do you want any sand?”

Well, as you know, I am rather low on the stocks and so at 08:30 I was at the end of the lane and we went off together. 2.5 tonnes of that went into Terry’s huge trailer and then we shovelled 12 sacks – about half a tonne – into the back of Caliburn.

I was back home by 09:30, soaking wet because we were having a storm at the time. But at least i now have plenty of sand for Stage Two of my wall and that will keep me out of mischief for a while

few more hours on the web site – I’m currently walking around the walls of Québec right now (and did you know that Québec is the only walled city in the whole of America north of Mexico City?) – and then outside to play.

Pascal came round with the Twingo and a couple of dents that he had acquired. I had a play around to try to take them out out but that wasn’t any use – his car is well bashed up and so that was that.

After lunch I started on the guttering on the lean-to.

guttering glass window collapsed lean to les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnd not just started on the guttering either because there it is in all its glory, all finished.

No downpipe yet of course because I need to know the height of the water butts and all that kind of thing. That will be a later addition.

But what there is on the guttering which you might just be able to see is that there is some of that fine netting to keep out leaves and so on.

I had a few rolls of that lying around and so I’ve fitted it over the guttering. That is where the cold water supply for the house will be coming from and so I need to keep it as clean as possible.

What you might also notice if you look very carefully is the reflection of the sky in the upper right-hand window. That’s where I fitted the glass yesterday.

I was going to fit some perspex in the other one but then I thought that as I’ll be going into St Eloy-les-Mines tomorrow I may as well buy the real thing – waiting until Monday isn’t going to hurt any.

What’s also significant about this photo is that it’s taken with the Nikon D5000.

You remember that it packed up when I was on that icebreaker going out with the relief supplies to that island in the Gulf of St Lawrence in May and I had to send it away to be repaired.

Anyway, it came back this morning, much to my delight.

It seems that there was a crack in the housing, and some water from the driving rainstorm that we were having when I was on that boat found its way inside.

Strangely enough, I do recall when I was out on the Sageunay Fjord that the photos suddenly started to become woefully over-exposed. Maybe it was round about then that the crack occurred and the over-exposure would be due to the extra light finding its way in through the crack, bypassing the light meter.

I knocked off early today – 18:50 because I ran out of things to do that I could do in 10 minutes and anyway it’s POETS day today as you all know.

I’m going to take it easy this weekend and then start the re-pointing of the long wall on Monday.

I’ll finish this lean-to if it kills me.

Thursday 30th August 2012 – I DIDN’T DO …

… anything like as much as I was going to do today.

I was up early and spent a few hours on the computer as usual, but it was after that that it all started to go wrong

Finding a fully-charged battery for the Hitachi SDS drill was the first issue that I had, and once I’d managed that, then drilling the brick pillars has caused some of the bricks to split. That’s annoying to say the least.

But anyway the window frames are fitted and that’s something. Next plan was to fit the fascia boards to the end of the chevrons on the lean-to,

However, in an astounding achievement the type of which surely only I can be capable, it seems that having cut the wood to the right length, I somehow have managed to discard the piece that I want and I’ve painted the off-cut instead.

As Kenneth Williams once famously said, “I’m often taken aback by my own brilliance”

I didn’t get much done after lunch as the phone rang. The handbrake on Marianne’s son’s car has ceased to function and so could I look at it.

He brought it round and I dismantled the rear end (brake drums held on by the wheel bearings, how I hate that!) to find that the auto adjusters aren’t working. So no surprise as the handbrake needs 12 clicks to work.

I reset the adjusters but that didn’t do much so crawling underneath the car, it turns out that the cable adjuster (there’s one of them too) has slipped out of position. I reset that and now the brakes will stop that little Twingo on a sixpence.

But that cable is totally weird. Most cars have one single cable and there’s a slider at the centre of tha cable that’s attached to the handbrake arm so that the brakes pull evenly, and when you work the manual adjuster, the adjuster works on both brakes.

But not the Twingo.

There’s no slider at all but just a single fitting on the end of the handbrake arm, and two cables, one for each rear brake on each side.

Consequently although moving the manual adjuster will tighten up the cable, it doesn’t equalise the brakes. If one side is lack, then tightening up the cable adjuster will over-tighten the good side.

It took us ages therefore to adjust the brakes correctly, setting up the automatic adjusters individually by trial and error until they were equal, and then tightening up the cable adjuster.

And then of course we had the issue of refitting the hubs and bearings, and torquing up the nuts. That’s something I really hate doing.

Back on the lean-to afterwards (just as well I finished the car as we had a torrential storm straight afterwards), I’ve fitted one window pane (one of them survived having a ladder thrown on it) and the second one is ready to cut.

But by this time, it was 19:00 and I was well fed up, so I called it a day.

And tea tonight? Courgette and lentil curry. You can see that things are going berserk in the garden right now.

Monday 17th October 2011 – THERE’S A LOT …

… to be said for being up at 08:00 in the morning at the first tinkling of the alarm clock. It  means that by the time you have breakfasted and done your 3 hours on the laptop, there’s still two hours before lunch.

And it’s just as well because it took me a while to empty Caliburn ready for this furniture removal, and then there was still some time to do another little job that I’m thinking of.

You might recall that the 12-volt immersion heater has stopped working and had something of a meltdown. I had a good look at it and what has happened was that the heater element has folded downwards and shorted out against the metal sides. This has

  1. produced a short-circuit that has melted all of the plastic causing the wires to short out (and why the fuse didn’t blow is a mystery to me)
  2. the arc that was created has burnt a hole in the bottom of the drum.

Despite the catastrophe (and it could have been 10 times worse if the insulation had caught fire) I was still impressed with the heat that must have been generated from just 500 watts and my surplus energy.

But at least now I know why the heater elements are fitted vertically and not horizontally – it stops them shorting out like this. The issue with that though is that you need running water into the tank to make sure that when you drain the tank it refills instantly so that the element is never exposed to the air.

That won’t work for me because of course I don’t have running water. My solution would be to go for a non-conductive material like plastic, it I would find a plastic tank that would take water up to 70°C.

Anyway, the result of this is that I have no dump load for my surplus energy and so I had a cunning plan.

>When I was in Canada last year I found some black sockets formy 12-volt circuit and I bought a dozen with the idea that they would be so different in appearance to the usual white ones that it would evidently have some significance.

12 volt fridge dump load les guis virlet puy de dome franceI cut out the wire from the dump load controller and put the black socket into the line. You can see it at the top right of this photo.

As winter approaches and the solar energy begins to die down, I’ve unplugged the fridge from the main circuit because I no longer have the charge to run it 24 hours. That will have to wait for next Spring.

What I’ve done is to move the fridge into where the water heater was and plugged it into the black socket. That way, from now on it will only switch on when there is surplus energy which isn’t too bad in winter. When there isn’t enough sun to run the fridge it will be cold enough to do without it anyway

It’s only 75 watts instead of 500 that the water heater gave out but nevertheless it’s better than nothing and it’s something useful to do with the surplus current.

What I also intend to do in the long run for the coming winter is when I wire in the big Studer inverter that I have, I’ll use the 600-watt one wired into the dump load circuit and couple up a small 400-watt oil heater that I have. I’ll put that in my room up here and it’ll take the chill off the place in the winter whenever we have plenty of sun.

This furniture removal this afternoon – well, I won’t say too much about it except that I was there at 14:00 as planned and Caliburn was all loaded before 14:30. For the 90km drive, we finally arrived at the house at … errr … 17:40 and it wasn’t until 18:10 that we got back under way.

So never mind the plans that I had about doing the washing and so on – we were lucky to make the Anglo-French meeting tonight in time. Still, what can you do in circumstances like this?

And so tomorrow I’m hoping to be back up the wall again. It might be finished this week – you never know.

Tuesday 2nd August 2011 – The best-laid plans …

… of mice and men oft go gang agley’. And today was no exception.

Dunno what happened last night but at 05:30 I was lying in bed still awake reading a book in the dawn sunlight. That kind of thing can upset your day and as a result it was rather a late start again (nothing like as late as Sunday though).

Working on the website again this morning and then after lunch I started to empty the trailer while I was waiting for the water to reach temperature. But a phone call soon stopped that. Was I free to do a furniture delivery to the other side of Montlucon?

“Caliburn will only work if you know the magic words” I said
“Stop messing around, Eric. You’ll be well-paid”
“Ahhh – you DO know the magic words”

And so two guys came and helped me unload the oil tank and we all went off to do this delivery – and I was indeed well-paid. Thank you, Pascal.

I also discovered a really cheap fruit and veg shop there and now that’s me sorted out with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Mind you, I didn;t get the rest of my washing done and it won’t be done any time soon as the weather has broken, the glorious summer weather has gone and we are back in storms again – just about 30 seconds after I made the point that we have been 4 days without rain and the place is beginning to need watering. You can’t get any better timing than that.