Thursday, July 1, 1999

01/07/99 Usual blurb

Haven't written for a while so I thought I'd get up the collective nose again with some more useless information from the bottom half of the world!

Off on holiday on Monday - a whole glorious week of doing as little as possible. Down to the Gers to see Patricia & Jacquy, with no more worries than a briefcase full of papers I have to organise into a two-day course to be given on the 15th, just after we return. Never mind, it'll be alright on the night - or so I keep telling myself. I'm taking the laptop, but not the modem.

Anyway, we're slowly getting into summer mode: winding down for the long school holidays. Malyon has finished school, Jeremy follows suit tomorrow. And as Margo is working full-time at the shop, that means I get to work at home for a while. Quite pleasant really, I find I manage to get a lot done (don't know how) and there's none of this silly business of getting up at some ungodly hour when the alarm goes off.

Margo is working full-time partly because her partner, Monique, is marrying off her eldest son this coming Saturday (we're invited to the whole lot - registry office, church, drinkies, dinner & piss-up, dancing to traditional obscene French folk tunes) and has consequently been busy for the last two weeks or so making petit-fours and patés. There will probably be enough to feed a NZ family of four for about three years, which means that there'll be no leftovers.

The kids are now officially on holiday, freed from all care and worry apart from who's going to look after them when Mummy and Daddy are away working. When they were smaller we could just lock them in a cellar and they'd stay quietly there until one or the other of us came home, but it doesn't seem to work anymore. Shame, really.

Malyon bid a tearful farewell to her school and came away with the address so that she can post a few letters there when she's in NZ. She also came away with something I hadn't been expecting: every year, the kids in CM2 (ten-year olds - is that form 2?) who are heading off to lycée get a book each from Mme Carceles, their teacher. Malyon walked off with a $60 boxed set of stories of life in old China. Mme Carceles approves of us, although she has said that we'll have to make an effort and try to get Malyon to lighten up a bit.
I think I've mentioned before that my friend and estimable colleague Renaud is in the throes of having a house built - in theory they move in at the end of the month. Spent all last Sunday round at the site, helping lay the pipes for the underfloor heating. You learn a lot about house-building doing these little things, but what I haven't learnt is why exactly people actually want to do it! As far as I can see Renaud might as well get the phone surgically grafted to his ear - it'd save time - and it seems to be extra stress that anyone could do without. Still, when they sort out the problems of exactly where the sewage line is going to go (through the neighbour's garden is where the builder wants to put it, but the neighbour is - understandably - reticent) and how they're going to get a bit of flat land out of their 45° slope, it should be really good.
Just to make you all envious, it's been stinking hot all day and we had dinner out on the terrace, as usual. Supposed to carry on like that for some time, I gather. The swallows are flitting about in the evening - as are the bats - and the apple tree down in the garden is groaning under a bumper crop of worm-ridden apples (you expected plums, perhaps?) And the grass needs mowing - again.

Anyway, I'd better get back to looking up interesting articles concerning the Windows 95 registry on the Redmond CDs - you'll hear from us again when we get back, tanned and fit, from our too-brief holiday.

Trevor & Margo

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