… never came to pick me up today to take me to the Centre de Re-education.
There I was, just like Martin Adey and "all revved up with no place to go", sitting on the chair in the dining area by the door wearing my coat and shoes and nothing happened.
After a while I rang them up. It seems that yesterday’s driver had forgotten to pass on to the dispatching the new schedule that I’d received because my trips for next week weren’t recorded either.
We had the issue about the trip to Paris tomorrow not being recorded and having to ring up to remind them earlier in the week. It seems that despite their ultra-modern fleet of Skoda saloons, the wheels are coming off their operation.
Mind you, it’s probably as well that I didn’t go out because the weather has finally turned. It’s freezing outside, threatening snow, and snow is promised for Paris tomorrow.
Mind you, snow round here is nothing like what we’re used to.
Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we lived back in the Auvergne temperatures of minus 18°C were not uncommon. We’d have a metre of snow overnight and be snowed in for a couple of weeks. Every year round about the end of October we’d go into the big city and stock up with supplies because you never knew when you’d be able to go out again.
And then into the forest with the chainsaw to cut your wood, store your water somewhere because your well would freeze over and then finally make sure that you had plenty of good books and films.
The winter of 2012/13 is the one that we’ll all remember. The first snow was 27th October and the last snow was 25th May. I went round to Cecile’s to help her hang a door and didn’t make it back home for 6 months. However, the snow didn’t have a great deal to do with that, I have to admit.
They were exciting times and I enjoyed every minute of it, and had I still had my health I’d be down there now. But I’m going all nostalgic again and I really have to stop doing this
But while we’re on the subject of nostalgia … "well, one of us is" – ed … I ended up going to bed quite late again last night. Once I’d picked up the guitar I carried on until quite late working my way through my old acoustic playlist.
That of course is the advantage of living in a building where the walls are 1.20m thick of solid granite – grès de chausey. I can make as much noise as I like and no-one can hear a thing. Much better than when I lived in Expo and the neighbours used to complain about the noise from my headphones.
But eventually I staggered off to bed and that was that.
When the alarm went off I wandered off into the dining area for my medication and then came back in here to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was sorting through my images and came across a folder. When I looked I found another folder with other photos in from the same situation. I was going to merge it in but found yet another one. I kept on finding all these folders. All the while that I was doing this I was hearing that “Jeeves and Wooster” music that was going on in my head. I wasn’t sure why. But this de-duplicating my backup drives is really getting to me at the moment isn’t it?
But the music is explained quite easily. While I was eating my tea I was watching a JEEVES AND WOOSTER episode starring Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie, and then back in here on the Old-Time Radio an episode with Richard Briers and Michael Hordern came round straight away.
Then there was one of these garden parties taking place. There were a lot of children there dressed in ball gowns etc. There was one particular small boy who was very keen on talking to a small girl but she didn’t want anything to do with boys so she kept on running away. It made everyone laugh which really upset him. As the evening drew on, up on the podium someone from the crowd began to recite a poem about a boy and a girl. At that moment a butterfly appeared. It hovered around the boy’s face for a while so he breathed out gently. His breath wafted it towards the girl. She looked at it and began to smile. You could feel the hush of anticipation from the crowd as they saw this. Suddenly the girl had an incredible fit of coughing and swallowed the butterfly. Once again, everyone burst out laughing and the boy and this time the girl too were extremely distraught.
And finally I was back at the kids’ garden party last night, going through the images. All of the sudden I gave a cough and wiped out a whole directory full of images that I’d taken of the young girl in her very nice ball gown.
Once I’d awoken I sat down to make a start on the next radio programme.
While I was in hospital I’d used the time to select the music for several programmes and this one was one of them. Consequently, it didn’t take long to pair them up.
And then in a mad fit of bravado that came from I’ve no idea where I sat down and wrote out the notes for all of it – well, all of the 10 tracks that have been selected so far. I don’t choose the last track and write the notes for that until the day that I assemble to bits.
Nothing nostalgic about anything in this one, which makes a change. In fact, I seem to have run out of steam in this respect.
The cleaner came round after lunch so I stayed in here and wrote out the notes for a few more photographs from Canada 2022 but I’ve run aground at the moment.
The big difficulty is that I can’t remember why I took a few of the photos. I always travel with a dictaphone and make a few verbal notes of most of them but sometimes some of the subjects of the photos are so evident that they need no contemporary notes.
But two things happen when you reach my age. The first thing is that you forget absolutely everything.
"And what’s the second thing?" – ed
"I don’t know. I can’t remember"
That’s how things are. I can remember verbatim the words to any obscure rock song from the late 1960s that you can care to mention, but ask me why I’ve just walked into the kitchen ….
My best friend in this apartment is my white board and washable markers.
With no Centre de Re-education I did some more work on the back-up drive and then went for tea. Something from the European Vegan Burger Mountain with pasta and veg in spicy tomato sauce.
Rosemary and I had a quick chat too. She’d found some wild mushrooms and wanted to know if they were edible. I explained to her that everything is edible once but I’ve no idea about subsequently.
While I was at it I told her about the delicious mushroom soup that Nerina once made for me
"This is delicious" I said. "Where did you find the recipe?"
"In an Agatha Christie novel" she replied.
Tomorrow I’m off to Paris for my appointment with Destiny. We’ll see how that works out but we’ll have to be pragmatic. An 8-hour car drive in bad winter weather is not ideal but at least I don’t have to do the driving.
There will be no medication, no breakfast and nothing to drink before I go, on the basis that what doesn’t go in won’t want to come out, but I’ll make some sandwiches all the same. My appointment is at 12:40 so there will be a moment for me to have a bite to eat before we set off for home.
There are plenty of cafés and restaurants there at the hospital but I won’t be able to walk there, especially if we have snow and ice covering the paths.