Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sitting on roofs, kicking off moss, and using rubber paint.

Just had one of those freaky moments when you feel as if you have been close to another dimension in time. I took a t-shirt out of the wardrobe in the bedroom and carried it across to where the dressing room will be, then it disappeared. There was no-where for it to have gone and I had taken it nowhere else. It just vanished into thin air. I looked in places I knew I hadn't gone and under things I had not picked up, down the side of things and even in another drawer. Either I imagined it, or I thought I had seen this particular garment and neglected to actually take it from the wardrobe, or it has slipped into another dimension. I am feeling a bit phased by the experience. On revisiting the site of this "paranormal" occurrence I obviously found said pice of apparel almost immediately. It had simply slipped off what I had temporarily placed it on and I hadn't remembered. Am I losing it?!

Feeling slightly agrophobic too. Guess my confidence is at a bit of a low ebb this afternoon, today, this week, recently. Exacerbated by the fact that I might have to speak in a language which is not my own, I am not drawn to going out on my own. It isn't that I cannot or do not, nor that I cannot communicated with success when I try but I think I am avoiding it.

Maybe I am just going a little mad?

More practically I had not realised what a range of products there was available to mend one's roof. I ventured out with Max to our local Castorama (it is a bit like B&Q) this morning. Our kitchen roof has sprung a leak and we think we have pinpointed the source to an existing repair where there is a crack in the cement and fibre corrugated panels. It isn't a very glamorous roof covering I have to admit. We settled on some rubberized paint stuff that sounds miraculous were one to believe the side of the tin. We shall be more than happy if it works and then gets us through the winter. Pic somewhere around here if the loading thing works. Scraped off a whole load of moss too, hence the title. addendum - it rained during the night and now the leak has moved along the panel - rats!!!

Well at least it hasn't rained today, yet. My mood is not improved by the weather which has been less than kind for the last two weeks I think. I ventured into the garden on our return with a new garden saw which, of course, I had to try out. Amazing, and only 3,99€ in Lidl. Several additional branches have literally bitten the dust in preparation for letting in the sunshine should it every return in any appreciable quantity.

Have done some "work" ie put some time and effort into getting paid work but my heart is not yet in it. I have been without any income for almost a year now and I have to do something about it. Waiting on the possibility of perhaps the prospect of maybe some occasional work or not with the tourist office in Lille. Should be doing some 1-2-1 english teaching with one and possibly two students both at "friends" rate. If I smoked it wouldn't be enough to keep me in fags for a week.

Of course one of the benefits of blogging this is that I have released it into the world and it is no longer wholly mine, but is shared by the handful of kindly - or misguided - souls who read this virtual diary of mostly nonsense and occasional lucidity.

Suggestions welcomed!

PS have switched to Blogger beta but the photo upload function is as dodgy as ever. Tried for the nth time and no luck.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What shall we bring?

Our guests invariably ask us what we would like brought from the UK and, just as invariably, I can't bring to mind anything that we really want. So, on our recent visit, prompted by the birth of niece, Savannah, I made a list of stuff we either cannot get in France, haven't yet sourced here or have found but appreciably more expensive. Quite an odd combination of things:

  • walnut pieces - not halves, we can get those but, of course, they are pricey whereas the bits are much cheaper and mostly what I use
  • vege-gel - or some kind of non-meat gelatine. I would probably avoid as anything like that has rarely worked for me and I have memories of gorgeous veggie terrines made with agar agar, which, when extracted from the mould would gracefully spread all over the plate.
  • Marmite - the perennial favourite, of some, and although purchasable here it is about twice the price.
  • Marmite biscuits - A&Ps fault as we had not come across them before, and they kindly brought some with them but, trust me, they are fantastic.
  • Maldon salt - for Max's papa.
  • Salad sprinkle - a mixture of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts from Holland and Barrett.
  • oat cakes - preferably rough and organic!
  • porridge oats - Sainsbury Taste the Difference whole rolled ones
  • soy sauce
  • acqueous cream - great for general use and fab for feet.

I couldn't resist selecting the photo to accompany this post. Savannah is 2 weeks old today. Bon Anniversaire, chérie! We had an all-too-short time in the UK. Savannah was obviously the highlight but getting to see three nephews too was wonderful, as was seeing all the Grantham-based family, and, briefly, some good friends in London as we passed through yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

PMA, quotations and a new niece.

We are in the UK over the next few days, primarily to see our new niece, Savannah. Looking at the weather forecast I see that we won't be escaping the coldwave that has locked itself into northern France. The temperatures during the day are less than they were during the night only a couple of weeks ago.

Flicking on the PMA* switch, that means that my window boxes and hanging basket won't die whilst we are away!

In our absence a few quotations.

When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago
- Friedrich Nietzsche.

Ain't that so? However well sorted we think we are, we are still the sum total of all our life experiences whether or not we have dealt with them.

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Listen to it! And drink lots of water too!

The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake - you can't learn anything from being perfect.
- Adam Osborne.

Some more PMA* needed for this. Takes a strong person to see through the moment and realise that even in the negative there is learning and development.

Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments
- Rose F. Kennedy

Of course it is both milestones and moments but don't live only for the milestones because the moments are more easily attainable,enjoyable etc and sustain us as we move towards the milestones.

* Positive Mental Attitude!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Favourite flip-flops

I found an article about James Blunt (appropriately pronounced Bleughhhhhnt by the French) and emailed it to the wonderful Sir Christof of Rhythmshop - see link on right - who promptly namechecked me and started a bit of a survey to see what irks people.

My contribution was "Dave" Cameron if anyone is remotely interested.

Then I spoke to another very dear friend, and writer of the sublime Lemon Soul, about the best things in life being free. We had a brief chat and agree that actually that is not always true and I suppose it would be truer to say that it is the little things that make you happy, the things that you don't generally notice au quotidien.

Well, my Gap flipflops bought in the sale - the only time to buy Gap clothes which are otherwise extortionately priced - some 3 or 4 years ago, make me very happy. They are more substantial than the average flipflop- thong if you are from the english-speaking southern hemisphere - (Philippe Fauloppe if you are French)- more robust and more durable than your average pair which never seems to last beyond one summer.

Seldom do they wear out as such but the rubber either cracks around the hole through which the retaining bit goes or - as has happened to mine - the retainer thing has come off. I have repaired it three times. The first twice with superglue, which despite claims rarely seems to stick. Now I have reinforced the repair with a small nail to hold the glued pieces which had come adrift.

I am very happy to have them in working order again at least till next time when I may have to accept the inevitable and throw them away. I have spare pairs, though they are not of the same quality. I should have bought two pairs when I had the chance but then I had no idea at the time just how meaningful my footwear would become.

BTW one thing I do not like is to see men wearing flipflops around town. No idea why not but to me they look plain wrong. DON'T DO IT!!

Managed to get a photo under the wire for this posting! What the heck is wrong with the Add Image function at the moment?