Saturday, June 25, 2011

This Ain't The Garden Of Eden ...

Well, we've been having spectacular thunderstorms in the evenings with the Belledonnes across the valley as footlights: great gray-black clouds boiling up behind them and every so often they light up orange and yellow from the inside for a couple of km across - good to watch, not so fun if you're right underneath I expect.

All very pretty, but I guess it kinda put a dampener on the fete de la musique on Tuesday night. Difficult to play music with rain beating on the drums and filling your saxophone. (Not that I mind. In fact, I find the image of some poor sod making muffled geyser noises out of a water-filled sax rather amusing.)

OK, I am now officially a White Van Man. Margo is a happy parrot, as there's heaps of room in the back should ever she wish to "borrow" it to head off to shows and such laden down with all her junk, "and we could even"' she said, ignoring my pained frosty looks, "get the dog in there when we go off to Pesselière".

And I must admit it's rather more fun to drive than I would have suspected. Let there be no mistake, it is not a sports car and getting from 1st to 2nd can be a bit sluggish but otherwise it's quite nippy and handles well - although I've not yet mustered the courage to see if she'll take the St Pierre exit at 115kph, that might be a bit excessive. And the sixth gear is definitely nice on the autoroute.

On the downside I have yet to master all the electronics. The Bluetooth phone interface would doubtless be useful if I could think of a good reason for actually using it, but the "media centre", as it proudly proclaims itself to be when I turn it on, seems actively user-hostile. Yes, it will mangle CDs and I can plug a USB key in and in theory it will play my MP3s, but in practice I have not yet managed to work out how to teach it about directories.

Because, being rather anal-compulsive that way, I have my music organised in directories, one per group, with subdirectories for each album and so on: unfortunately the frikking thing seems to want to play the whole damn lot in alphabetic order - except when it doesn't - which is not a lot of use to me. If I'm listening to Alice Cooper I really do not want David Bowie popping up irritatingly in the middle - and vice versa, of course.

I suppose I really should have expected something like that would happen, given that the presence of the little Windows logo button on the steering wheel would seem to indicate that the thing is running Windows CE. (Or Embedded, or Windows For Cars, or whatever they're calling the bloody thing these days. Could I suggest "Pile Of Crap"?)

Whatever, usual sad story today; dawned bright and sunny (and, unusually, stayed like that - something has to go wrong soon) and headed off to do The Shopping. Relatively painless, although I do rather tend to dither a bit at the market - do I really need to buy those shiny poivrons, or those fuzzy peaches?

As Jerry goes back to his stage at Aiguebellette tonight, and Margo is off to a salon in Normandy on Wednesday, the answer is probably not, but I gave in anyway, and bought both. And everything else that took my fancy.

The poivrons will doubtless disappear in a curry some time, and if the peaches don't get eaten they will meet their maker in the form of the faithful old Kenwood, and vanish into the freezer as purée. And I know that the apricots and nectarines will disappear somehow, by some mystical process - that is to say that I never actually see them being eaten, but every day their number diminishes. Can stone-fruit get religion?

Anyway, the point, to which I'm getting in my own good time, please don't try to rush me 'cos it's my blog in case you hadn't noticed, is that on a fine hot day after the market some lubrication nourishment is required, which means a glass or two at le Modesto, Sophie being off sharing quality time with Rémi (or, if you prefer, sitting bored witless through a tennis tournament). Bryan was a bit reticent, practically accused me of getting him drunk last Saturday, completely against his will of course, but I managed to twist his arm. Without, let it be said, great difficulty.

Truth to tell, the real problem is that since Karen disappeared to rusticate in Mumblefuck there's no-one to keep him in training, and he doesn't have the will-power to map out a personal fitness schedule and then keep to it. With the sad, but predictable, result that three glasses of white at midi and he's anyone's.

(Incidentally, should that apostrophe have gone there? It doesn't look out of place, and I can't be arsed googling it, but any grammar nazis may correct me if necessary. Not that I'll pay any attention, mind you.)

So once again time drifted on by, as it will, and having parked my arse before midday I was rather surprised to find that by the time we were all ready to get up and leave it was in fact 14:00.

(On the bright side, they know us now. I suppose there can't be too many loud English-speaking amateur alcoholics at Chambéry, so we probably stick out a bit. at least it saves me from having to actually order. Payment, unfortunately, is still required.)

In my defence, let it be said that Rebecca was to turn up in only twenty minutes after stopping off at the market to buy apples: either they were pretty scarce or she'd decided to plant a tree and harvest the bloody things herself, because Bryan had the time to occupy himself with his prostate twice and I had to get myself yet another glass to avoid dehydration while we were waiting.

And for the life of me I cannot recall exactly how it was we got onto the subject of Clapham Common. I think it may have been around the time that Bryan asked plaintively, with his eyes fixed on Rebeccah, if older men couldn't be loved too, and I rather acidly replied that probably yes, but only by other older men, which got us on to British politicians and then ... yes, you can see where this is going.

But the thought of Harold Wilson prancing naked, with only a pipe in his mouth, around those celebrated toilets whilst waiting for a blow-job (Bryan actually had to ask me how to pronounce fellatio. Can you believe that?) was not a happy one, so we rapidly moved on to other topics.

Which also, incidentally, escape me, and probably just as well for I suspect that it all went a bit downhill from there. I do remember being asked which century I was born in, just because I asked if someone wanted to see my etchings ... the rest is a blur.

And as for the title - I have still not gotten around to giving the lawn that second short haircut it so badly needs. So it's kind of Argentinian pampas down there still. That will have to change: there have been pleas for a barbecue soonish, so I shall have to do something. If only so that the actual barbecue is accessible.

Mind you, the noisetier isn't going to like it. Tough titty, no-one actually asked it to come and grow overshadowing my sacrificial altar.


  1. I am concerned about the growing trend for blogs to quote Blue Oyster Cult lyrics when titling posts.

  2. You want perhaps Bay City Rollers? Sod off.

  3. What is this Blue Oyster Cult stuff? I shall have to find out if I'm going to get on the bandwagon!

  4. BOC is a running joke at Riddled.
    We have another joke too but I can't remember it at the moment.

  5. Only two jokes? What a sad place... :-)