Tuesday, February 8, 2000

08/02/00 The brave new dawn of the 3rd millenium?

More like the hung-over awakening of the 2nd millenium's left-overs, but never mind.

Well, three weeks into Y2K we're still here. I'm starting to feel that maybe we can relax a little and venture out of the bunker for an hour a week or so. Although that might be a bit premature, at least until Feb. 30th goes by without a hitch (according to purists it's a double leap-year).
Anyway, time goes by and the primroses are starting to get ready in the garden, and I suppose that in a month or so the daffodils will be poking their heads out as well. Which will be A Sign that the lawnmower needs an oil change if it is to cut grass rather than bludgeon it, and that we'll have to go around spraying fruit trees against mealy-grub, white spot, black spot, greasy patches and mad cow disease (this is France).

But all that's on hold for the moment as it snowed again quite heavily on Saturday and then again last night: 25cm of the stuff this low down at this time of the year isn't bad. Friends came around on Sunday and we all went sledging in the paddock, which the kids loved. Shame the snow was sticky: great for making snowmen, but you wouldn't have wanted to ski on it. Wouldn't have got more than a few metres before bogging down and falling over. Seems that it was good up in the stations - nice snow, if a bit chilly at -15°


The snow is still deep and crisp (soggy, actually, but never mind the details) and even except in those parts where it's been beaten down by the passage of tiny feet, and I've spent all day as one of the great unwashed 'cos there was no hot water this morning. (Central heating was still working, fortunately.) Spent a happy afternoon up in the attic with the hairdryer, thawing out the one pipe that I hadn't bothered to insulate, thinking that there was no point as it wouldn't freeze up there, to wit the cold water pipe into the hot water cylinder. I admit it, I was wrong, on exceedingly cold nights it can in fact freeze up there and it does. Have now insulated absolutely EVERYTHING.


Time does fly, doesn't it? Can't think why, it's not as though anything has actually happened but there you are, it just whips past, some swine hands you the bill and you're left wondering vaguely what the hell you're paying for and rather hoping it was worth it.

But it does feel like the end of winter. Don't know why, there've been no conspicuous signs or even little notices stuffed in the letterbox, just the once-a-year feeling that the worst is over and spring is on its way. The daylight hours are stretching out so it's no longer dark at 16:30, little old ladies come out of hibernation, and the youth of the village commit whistling in public places.

Which reminds me that frightened bats make a noise like someone sucking their teeth. At least, the one I woke up from its hibernating in the woodpile made a noise like that. Of course, it may not have appreciated being tossed into the wood basket and having another couple of logs thrown in on top - luckily it didn't seem to be hurt and scuttled off happily enough into a dark crack when I picked it up.

And of course the winter sales started (almost finished now) and I succumbed to the temptation of a new scanner and bubble-jet printer for only 800F the pair. (Well, I succumbed and Upstart paid, seemed justifiable to me at the time.) I also have no real excuse not to buy the kids a decent computer as I can pick up the necessary bits for about 1500F (that's motherboard with everything integrated, 500MHz Celeron and a bit of RAM) so at some point this year I must get around to doing that.

But before doing that we have to get Jeremy's bedroom ready for him, now that Margo has removed all her sewing junk from there into the playroom. Which is suddenly about a quarter of the size it used to be. There's the old sink to be taken out, tiles to be removed from the walls (we're assuming he doesn't want to sleep in the Municipal Baths) and the electricity to be redone, after which it can be quickly bodged up and wallpapered.

Just at the moment I'm trying to work out just how the electricity gets around in this house. Yes, I know the theory - electrons (about the size of a small pea, but faster) move in wires and when they come to the end of a wire they fall out and, thanks to gravity, make the little paddle-things in electric motors turn around thus generating rotational motion which can be converted to a linear ie useful movement by a gearbox. Which does not completely explain the transistor radio.

But what I am actually trying to do is work out just where in the house the wires go. The old heating system is fairly easy to pick out, being relatively recent, and I think I've found the lighting circuit. But I'm damned if I can work out where the 3-phase goes. I'll find it, there aren't that many places it can hide.

Anyway, I rather think I won't do any more work tonight so before shutting down the machine I'll send this off. Have a happy (late) New Year

No comments:

Post a Comment