Sunday, May 9, 1999

09/05/99 Frogs Legs and Other Delicacies

Back for my weekly moan, I'm afraid.

Well, the big news over here is the arrest of the préfet Bonnet of Corsica for having ordered the fire-bombing of an illegally-built restaurant on a Corsican beach-front. It was so ineptly done that the three gendarmes involved in the affair were easily identifiable: they were the ones with 2nd-degree burns on the face and singed moustaches. Shades of Rainbow Warrior - you'd think they'd have learnt by now!

Exactly why the préfet (whose status, incidentally, is rather akin to that of an American governor, in that he can call in the army or rule by decree if he so wishes, but who is appointed by Paris rather than being democratically elected) would wish to have a third-rate restaurant which was due to be torn down at the end of summer bombed remains a mystery for the
moment. This being France, conspiracy theories abound, and the loyal opposition has of course demanded the resignation en masse of the government. Unlikely.

Kosovo is also in the news, naturally enough - after all, it's a small, if undeclared, war being fought more or less in Europe's back yard. Once again, the conspiracy theorists are busy - why is America doing much of the work whilst letting the NATO allies take most of the credit (or blame)? Whatever the answer to that, the news is full of civilian casualties and aghast responses: don't seem to realise that if you're going to have a war you might as well do it properly and kill people.

Anyway, Spring's in and the grass is growing as if there were no tomorrow, which means regular mowing (twice a week if possible). I'd planned on getting it done today, but the weather had other ideas and it's been raining steadily all day, so it's been pushed off until tomorrow. I hope.

In fact, with the warm (28° promised for tomorrow) and humid weather we've been having, the place is almost impossibly green: all the high mountain slopes that are forbidding grey rock in winter have suddenly turned into pasture, the trees are in leaf and the massif behind us is covered in great clots of different shades of green. Looks a bit like the top of a swamp, really.


And as it turns out, today was hot and sunny. Yesterday having been totally grot, I "profited" from the fine weather to take the mower down and frighten the grass, then carry on shifting soil to level off the little bit where, in the not too distant future, we'll install the barbecue. Another couple of weekends should do it, I reckon, then it's down with the sand, on with the concrete slabs, and up with the BBQ. Then all we need are a couple more adult trees planted around the place to give a decent bit of shade.

After that, there's the courtyard to get done. The first plans were for just paving it over, but I'm leaning more and more towards sticking decking down: looks nicer, and it's a lot less work, all things considered. But it's so hard to think about working when it's warm, and the sun's shining brightly at 8:30. Especially after a hard day's mowing, with the attendant beer consumption.
Had a ring from our painful Swiss client, who swears blue that he's finally cabled up all the necessary gear so that we can start testing another type of equipment. This does not please me, as it means I'll be back to doing 5hrs/day driving again all week, and we still don't know whether or not the thing will actually work when it goes out on field trials in a week's time. The buggers will pay for this!

Anyway, I'm up early again tomorrow morning, so I'll sign off here. Love to you all
Trevor & Margo

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