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Saturday 29th September 2012 – I SAW SOMETHING …

… this evening that I have never seen before.

I was at St Eloy-les-Mines watching Nord Combraille play Beauregard-Vendon in the league cup, and halfway through the match the home supporters started to hurl abuse at the visiting linesman.

The Miners’ captain ran across the field to his supporters and told them to “fermez la geule” – or “shut your gobs”. And how I wish that more captains of more football clubs would take the initiative like that.

It was an exciting match too – with 10 minutes to go Beauregard-Vendon were comfortably winning 3-1 but then the Miners scored a goal right out of nothing to bring it back to 3-2.

Then, with the last kick of the match, they scored an equaliser from a corner.

Extra-time followed, and the Miners ran rampant, winning 5-3, including as the 4th goal one of the best that I have ever seen at this level of football.

That led to me doing something that I have never done before in all the time that I’ve been here. By the time the match had finished, what with extra time and everything, it was 10:45 and so I wouldn’t be home for another 20 minutes.

Far too late to cook tea, but the kebab house was still open and so I bought a large portion of chips to eat in Caliburn on the way home.

No vinegar, of course, but they were pretty good chips and I’ll go there again if ever I’m out late at weekend.

So what about today then?

I nearly missed my shopping slot at Commentry today as well. But there was a good reason for this.

Just as I was closing down to go to bed (at a comparatively early 02:30) I had a message to ring Rachel in Canada urgently. And so I did, and it turned out that at the garage in Centreville they had mislaid a box which included, inter alia, my bank card that they keep for me.

It’s surprising, if not amazing, that you can spend over 90 minutes talking to people whom you like, about a subject as simple as that (and it was all a false alarm anyway as they found it this morning)

The result of that was that it was gone 04:00 when I finished and then I couldn’t sleep – still awake again at 05:30. and so it’s just as well that the guy up the road started up his chainsaw at 11:00 otherwise I’d still be asleep now.

So what with one thing and another it was gone 14:00 when I set out for Commentry. One of the things that I needed to do was to buy even more tool handles as I’d broken one or two more during the week, and so I needed to strip out the old broken bits before I could go.

At Mr Bricolage I managed to sort everything out (at a price) but the handle for the pickaxe. They didn’t have a wooden handle and so he sold me a fibre one.
“This is unbreakable” said the salesman
“Leave that to me” I replied. “I’ll see to that”.

I also bought the bits I need to do some work for a client with a solar hot water system, and at LIDL they still had a couple of packets of those LED light strips and so I liberated them.

Makes me wonder how many I might have liberated had I managed to make it there last week.

No swimming baths though – far too late to go there, and so I came back here and crashed out for a couple of hours instead after my bad night.

Tomorrow I’m off to the Mont Dore – FC Pionsat St Hilaire are playing Briffons-Perpezat in the cup.

Sunday 9th May 2010 – Well, I got my weather-guess horribly wrong.

I woke up this morning to the sound of the rain crashing (and I mean crashing) down on the roof and it was freezing cold. Whatever breeze had blown away the clouds last night had been replaced by a strong wind that had blown them back again.

You can make up your own mind about the weather – I’ll just tell you that in the 24 hours to 22:00 this evening we had 23.5mm of rain. That’s just over 120mm (almost 5 inches) since a week last Friday. Or to put it in more frightening terms, an average of 12mm per day.

heavy storm cloud font nanaud pionsat puy de dome franceFrom this pic taken at the footy you can just about make out the Font Nanaud (the mountain pass between Pionsat and Gouttieres) in the distance through the rain. That’s the horizontal grey line at about 2/3rds height. You can see the darker squall clouds such as the one hovering over the goal. My estimate was that this particular cloud was at about 150 feet.

linesman sheltering under umbrella fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire beauregard vendon puy de dome ligue de football league franceThis cloud was one of many being slowly blown across the football pitch by the wind, drenching everyone and everything in tons of water. It was horrible.

All of the players were wringing their shirts out every so often and the linesman from Beauregard Vendon was running the line with his umbrella – a sight that I have never seen before and one that I probably won’t ever see again.

fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire beauregard vendon puy de dome ligue de football league franceAs for the football, Pionsat lost 4-0. But it has to be said that firstly Beauregard Vendon are leading the division by a country mile and are unbeaten throughout the season and secondly Francois the goalkeeper was carried off the field with a leg injury after just three minutes of the game.

This deprived Pionsat of the goalkeeper and Christophe who was playing up front went into the goal thus depriving the team of the centre-forward. In those circumstances a defeat was always on the cards.

Apart from the weather, what else can I say?  

Friday 26th March 2010 – On my way …

rainbow heavy rain beauregard vendon puy de dome france… to Clermont Ferrand this evening I passed under the autoroute, went round the bend … “no surprise there” – ed … above Beauregard Vendon and noticed this absolutely magnificent rainbow dangling underneath the clouds.

You need to enlarge the photo to see it and it’s not really all that clear even then, but it wasn’t half impressive. I wish I had taken the Pentax, poorly though it is, with me.

1951 citroen U23 lorry st bonnet puy de dome franceA couple of miles further on at St Bonnet there was a Citroen U23 lorry from 1951 parked at a garage at the side of the road so I stopped and took some pics of that too. No old vehicles for months and months and then two good ones – the Studebaker of Sunday and now this one – in a couple of days.

This morning I was much more mobile – most of the aches seem to have worn off. But after breakfast I came up here for three hours and did some more stuff for the radio programme. I can now tell you all about registering with French Social Security.

gardening raised beds slate pathways les guis virlet puy de dome franceAfter lunch I went into the garden and braved the wind and rain (we had ONLY 22mm of rain today and it’s p155ing down now). I didn’t install any more raised beds today but I’ve started doing the paths in between them. People keep asking me what I ontend to do with the rubble and old slate still in the first floor bedroom- well now you know. The rubble from the dividing wall is the base of the path and the slates are the top covering. They say that slates discourage slugs from crossing but I don’t care – it makes a good path and there’s plenty of it. Slug-repellant capacities will be a bonus.

Saturday 6th March 2010 – Well, we’re back.

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat st hilaire beauregard vendon puy de dome franceWe had a football match tonight – the first since early February, and only the second since mid- December. Pionsat’s 3rd XI played Beauregard Vendon and were one man short, yet they scored five goals – and still finished on the losing side.

But back in December you remember that Gregory Richen turned out for the 3rd XI as he was unavailable for his habitual 1st XI game and scored 2 of their goals – well that seems to have started a fashion for Christophe Larue who also plays for the 1st XI in attack is unavailable tomorrow so he turned out for the 3rd XI this evening and scored all five goals.

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat st hilaire beaurgard vendon les guis virlet puy de dome france All of this in thoroughly freezing conditions that are threatening snow. As if we haven’t had enough!

Also back is the Pentax – unrepaired and still struggling along. I’ll be happy though when someone round here pays me a pile of cash they owe me and I can think about a replacement.

I went shopping around Montlucon today and did the usual rounds. Some 12 volt LED bulbs at €3 each at Noz and a max-min thermometer at €4.99 from Vima were the highlights. Piles of gardening stuff including my seed potatoes (earlies and normals) and two blazing rows at Brico Depot – firstly when the girl in the building material section tried to sell me the wrong (and more expensive) plasterboard despite being told, and secondly when they refused to open the bulk purchases till so I had to struggle with an enormously-loaded trolley up a shopping aisle. Someone in the car park helped me get the wood on Caliburn’s roof rack to which I replied “it’s a good thing that the customers are more helpful than the staff!”

And then a freezing cold ( and I mean COLD) hour in the swimming baths only to find that the private shower was out of order. That put the tin hat on the day.

But I’m clearly moving in the wrong circles, much to my regret. As you know, at Noz I browse through the CDs and DVDs that they have on sale (I bought two twin-packs of Bela Lugosi films for 69 cents each pack today) and saw a CD entitled “Handel’s Organ Works”. Well, so does mine but no-one ever wrote a song about it!

Sunday 6th December 2009 – Christmas is coming …

le quartier puy de dome france christmas lights… and everywhere is starting to be decorated. This is the little village of Le Quartier not too far away from here and you can see that they are having a good go at the USA-style of house decoration.

They’ve a long way to go and a lot to learn compared with some of the houses I saw on Long Island in 1999/2000 and I’m not sure whether I ought to be pleased that they are making an attempt to brighten the place up or dismayed that they are selling out to the USA again.

But you would never guess that it’s so close to Christmas. It’s 8 degrees outside and raining. We haven’t had a dry day since the 20th November, over 2 weeks ago. It has snowed though, so I’m told. Claude mentioned it the other day and I was totally sceptical except that Terry and Liz have also mentioned it. But I’ve seen nothing at all.

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat beauregard vendonI came through Le Quartier on my way back from the footy. There were 3 matches this weekend, the 1st XI away at Lapeyrouse, the 2nd XI away at Beauregard Vendon and the 3rd XI at home to Montfermy. And of the 9 points on offer they managed to get just 1 and to everyone’s surprise the team that got the point was the 3rd XI. The other 2 lost. What would have been the odds on the 3rd XI getting more points than the other two teams combined? Good for them!

Tomorrow I’m going to be fitting the verticals in the stairwell. That’s going to keep me out of mischief for a while.

Sunday 25th October 2009 – It was 9:03 when I woke up this morning

I thought to myself that that can’t be right – and it wasn’t.

Well, it was because in fact the clocks went back this morning and we are now on real time, although by yesterday’s time it would have been 10:03 and that is much more like a respectable time to wake up on a Sunday.

So having breakfasted I had to do a CD of footy photos for Xavier. He has some friends who play for Cebazat and I had photographed them the other week so he had asked me for copies of what I had. And as I was meeting him at Beauregard Vendon where the 3rd XI were playing this afternoon I needed to get my skates on.

First stop though was the fete de la pomme at La Cellette. I’d been invited by Marianne so I went along to say hello. Antoine, Liz and Terry were there so we had a good chat and then it was off to the footy.

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat st hilaire beauregard vendonPionsat’s luck ran out today – they only had 10 players and not one of them was what could be called a goalkeeper. For much of the match Xavier was in goal and today’s pic features him diving to push a Beauregard shot round the post for a corner. There was precious little else to cheer.

On the way back home I went via the brocante at St Gervais. And what a waste of time that was. Most of the stallholders were Dutch and if you are a keen follower of my blog you will know that the problem with the Dutch is that they have no word for gratis. I was looking for a metal bucket or something similar to take away my ashes (well, not mine, the ashes out of the stove) but there was nothing that would do. Some stallholder had a battered aluminium casserole and he wanted €4:00 for it. It’s not very often I come away from a brocante empty-handed. Mind you, I met Gilles and Heidi there and we had had a good chat.

Back home I plucked up the courage to tackle that wiring job seeing as it was now dark. I took me about an hour to do it, most of which time was spent trying to fish the torch out from downbehind the battery box.

We’ll know tomorrow whether it works properly.