Tag Archives: vima

Saturday 17th January 2015 – I’VE BEEN SPENDING MY MONEY …

… again today.

Last night I looked at the weather forecast for the next few days and apparently the snow is going to arrive on Tuesday night and stay with us for quite a while. Around here of course, no-one goes anywhere in the bad weather unless they really have to, and so I made a decision that I would go to Montlucon today instead.

For once, I was up and about early and in Montlucon for the opening of the shops.At Amaranthe I bought the usual vegan cheese and some vegan paté, and at Noz I merely bought the usual rubbish.

I struck the jackpot at Vima though. You may recall that I bought a soot sucker – a 500-watt vacuum cleaner thing usually used for sucking the ashes out of a woodstove – and I’ve been using it as a vacuum cleaner. It works but not as well as it should as the dust clogs up the filer and thus it needs a few moditications. However, in Vima, there was exactly the machine for the job – a proper 600-watt vacuum cleaner especially designed for dust-sucking and complete with the correct bag filter and all of the attachments. And just €14:99 as well, seeing as it was an ex-demo machine. How can you refuse at that price?

At Brico Depot I spent €170 – and that’s without the tiles. I would have had them too but the server I spoke to promised to come back to me “in a minute” – and half nn hour later, I was still waiting.

However, I now have all of the skirting board, the glue to fit it, the interior crepi for the wardrobe, some more wallpaper glue seeing as how I’ve run out, all of the beading, and tons more stuff besides.

But it was here that I really did hit the jackpot. An electric 600-watt belt sander for just €20:00 was the first thing and that will speed things along here, that’s for sure. But the highlight, at just €0:95 each, were the clip rings for holding the capped halogen (or in my case, capped LED) bulbs into the ceiling. If you remember from reading this rubbish from ages ago, I’m having issues about the weight of the bulbs pulling themselves out of the sockets. Now I can set the bulbs in the false ceilings and clip them in. And where there’s no false ceiling, I can use these plastic junction boxes.

On the way back I stopped at the swimming baths at Commentry and went for a swim and a really good shower. Now I’m set up for the next couple of days.

Back here, I had a little snooze and then did the script for the rock radio programmes that we do for Radio Anglais. Tomorrow, I’m going to be doing some more radio stuff. I’ve been letting it drag for a while.

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.

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!

Saturday 23rd January 2010 – I didn’t sleep through the alarm this morning.

I had all three going off in close proximity and that’s enough to awaken the dead – such as the OUSA Executive Committee. It’s well-known that they spend most of their meetings sitting round a table holding hands and trying to contact the living. So much so in fact that Caligula and her horse’s predecessor was once heard to say
Is there anybody there? Knock once for yes – and twice for no

So after I heaved myself from my stinking pit I made a coffee and went chaud-pied round to the Intermarche to find out why they hadn’t rung me (or Liz, for that matter) about this famous flight in a chopper.
We didn’t have time to ring everybody” the manager wailed. And me, having amongst my many and varied talents the ability to read upside-down, noticed that in general all of the people with a French name had been contacted, and none of the people with a foreign name had been contacted.

So we just turn up a l’improviste tomorrow. well, we’ll see.

Then it was off to Montlucon and shopping. Apart from the usual items I bought a pile of plasterboard, a load of wood and some more insulation. I’ll be starting on the cupboard on the first floor next week if it’s too bad to work outside. And learning from the work in the attic, I won’t be wallpapering it. In one of the cheap shops (the VIMA) they were selling indoor crepi (that’s the cement-based paint for brick and stone walls and looks a bit like fine pebble-dash) for €9:00 for 15 litres so I’ll be covering the plasterboard in that.

I also bought 12 x 3-metre lengths of shuttering for concrete. That’s 175mm by 25mm rough-cut and cheap. I’ll be making my raised beds for the new vegetable plots with that. The current raised beds are 1.33 square – these will be 1.50 square and I have enought wood to make 6 of them. I can salvage the others in due course. I like raised-bed gardening.

In the other cheap shop (the NOZ) they were having a DVD clearout with titles as low as €0.78. I spend €20 in there on seven or eight DVDs, including a copy of “the Definitive Barclay James Harvest”.

Now see if you can guess what the first track of this DVD is? Yes, you’re right. It’s “Mockingbird”. Barclay James Harvest is another one of these 1970s groups that lost its way after the first 4 or 5 albums and the early stuff is incredibly good. But no matter how good the group might be, it will always be remembered for “Mockingbird” and that’s one of these tracks a bit like “Hotel California”, “Freebird” , “Stairway to Heaven” and a couple of others. A reasonable example of a group’s output but by no means the best, and totally ruined and spoiled by being played and played and played to death.

BJH has done much better stuff that “Mockingbird” and thankfully “Medicine Man” is on the album. But where is “Galadriel” ? And where is “For No-one”? And about half a dozen others that I can think of? This is going to be some “definitive Barclay James Harvest” but at least it only cost me €1:99.

On the way back I noticed that is was 17:00 just as I was passing through Neris-les-Bains. So I went for an hour in the swimming baths. Twice in 8 days! I’ll wash myself away at this rate.

Saturday 29th August 2009 – I WAS UP …

… early this morning. Long before the alarm went off, actually. Not like me, this. But at 08:45 I was on my way to Montlucon for part I of my mega-shop.

Nothing of interest in Carrefour or Vima, and only some new vegan burgers in Amaranthe. But Noz came up trumps again. A copy of an old Donovan album at 1:90 was something, but a triple-pack of Nice CDs at 3:90 was even more exciting – especially as the whole lot was reduced by 50%.

At Auchan I bumped into Rob and Julie and their kids. This was a complete surprise – older readers of my organ at its previous location will recall that it’s usually at Brico Depot that I bump into them. And poor Julie has been quite ill for a few months, although she’s recovering slowly now. That’s nice – I like them and their daughter Ashleigh is quite a big fan of His Nibs.

Brico Depot was exciting. I had two constraints – firstly money and secondly (and more importantly) space inside Caliburn. Interior space was important as I had forgotten to take my ladder with me so I can only reach a very short distance onto the roof-rack to tie stuff on. That stymied me a bit.

But we have the two windows (one of which needs some planing down to fit the hole), some more paint, loads of polystyrene and plenty of wood battens, as well as quite a bit of other stuff. That’ll keep me out of mischief for a week or so and I can go and get another load of stuff next weekend. It’s all very well buying it all in one go but firstly you have to transport it and secondly you have to store it.

I did also pick up a 70x70cm shower base. This was crucial as I’m building the bathroom around the shower and the dimensions need to be worked out fairly soon in my plans. It was the last one in the shop as well so I was quite proud. But as you might expect, as I was walking around the shop it slid off my trolley and smashed into a hundred pieces. Ahh well.

I also went to the “Conforama”. It’s a big furniture shop and it regularly sends out its publicity. Even though it’s only just across the road from the Auchan, in all the years that I’ve lived here I’ve never ever been there, but today I had good reason for going.

They are having a sale on these “click clack” sofas that transform themselves into double beds with a space underneath for storing your bedding. Now, I had one of those in Brussels and I was quite impressed with it for what it was. And so I’ve decided that I want another one to put up in my attic to sit and to sleep on.

The raised bed that I built here works fine but after nearly two years it’s fairly uncomfortable and so I’ve decided to push the boat out and get a really good quality one with a decent mattress. There’s 15% off until the 14th September and delivery is within 3 weeks so if I order it in 2 weeks time it should be ready for when my room is finished. It’s going to be expensive but a good bed is worth its weight in gold.

One problem though is that they don’t do a blue cover – one that will go with my room when I’ve painted it. The assistant who minced over to talk to me talked to me with a lithp, so I was on safe ground talking to him about colour co-ordination and soft furnishings. I suppose I should have profited from the situation to discuss curtains with him.

Talking of beds, tomorrow is Sunday, but no lie-in. A prospective customer wants to come round and talk to me about solar panels. Well, I’ll get out of bed early if there’s a possibility of amounts of folding stuff changing hands in my direction.

And it’s Virlet brocante in the afternoon. Always a good one, that.