Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Quiet Night of a White-Hot Day ...

So here I am, out on the terrace at 22:00 with a glass of white, a cigar, and a flaky WiFi connection. At least it's only 25° now, down from the mid-30s we suffered throughout the day. And there's even a bit of a breeze, which is kind of agreeable. But I hate to think what it's going to be like upstairs later on.

Explanatory note for those of you who don't know the place: the ground floor (or the first floor, if you're looking up from the courtyard) has metre-thick stone walls and is, no matter what the outside temperature, always relatively cool. Not to say frigid, especially in winter. So far so good. The next level has thick brick walls and, despite the acres of French windows, is usually liveable.

The top floor, the bit we had built in the attic space, is well insulated but it's still directly under our nice slate roof. What color is slate? Right. Does black absorb the heat? Right again. So after a good day's sun, it's like an airless bloody oven up there. Opening the windows doesn't help that much, because the outside air is no cooler ...

The best part, of course, is that we're practically obliged to sleep with the windows open just so we can breathe, which means that at 5am we get the dawn chorus, a couple of crows going at it like mad on the actual skylight, thanks very much, and often as not the local vigneron has decided that now would be a nice cool time of day to take the tractor down the vines and spray them. The country life has its drawbacks, you know.

The sex shop is just around the corrner
Mental dyslexia? Going through Chambéry tonight there were posters up all over the place advertising the Fête du Cinema. Harmless enough, even if most of the films presented will doubtless be dire, gloomy and totally pointless films d'auteur (which is the usual phrase trotted out when one has no bloody idea at all what to say apart from the fact that it's totally hermetic and of no interest to anyone apart from the film-maker and, just possibly, his doting mother), but my brain insisted on reading Fête de l'Enema. Not the same, and probably not a good sign.

On reflection, perhaps it's not such a mis-reading after all. Every Woody Allen film I've seen since (and including) "Manhattan" has given me an uncomfortable feeling of bloated fullness. Maybe it's just me, although I have discussed the matter at length with Sophie, one time when we had nowt better to do, and if I"m a philistine I do have company.

Looking back on that last sentence, I can see it could be misinterpreted, by those with an evil mind. Sophie and I do not make a habit of discussing enemas, but it does happen that from time to time the conversation turns to literature and the cinema. Just like to make that point quite clear.

Now that I have my white van, Margo decided it would be just perfect for her to go off to salons in, 'cos she can fit enormous amounts of junk in there (doesn't seem to diminish the piles of junk around the house, mind you) and it just so happens that she has one in Normandy this week. So I'm condemned to driving round in her little Suzy, which actually does a pretty good impression of a popcorn popper.

One of our clients does security hardware: infrared and hyperfrequency barriers, motion detectors and stuff like that - these things are hooked together over good old twisted pair which winds up at a concentrator, which handles the dirty business of turning on the floodlights and unleashing the Dobermanns, as well as providing a web-based interface.

Which probably strikes you as not particularly interesting, fair enough as I haven't yet got to the really exciting part, which is that they're paying me to redo the concentrator software so that it will handle homogeneous networks of everything in their product line. (OK, so "exciting" is a relative term. So I lead a boring life.)

Disintegrator beams are fun!
What I'm working up to here is that they had to deliver a working, more-or-less tested version of this fabulous (in the original sense of being from a fable) software to Schneider on Thursday. And at 18:00 Wednesday evening there were still some all too conspicuous bugs.

After a quick trip down to the supermarket for a couple of bottles of wine to keep me going, I'm happy to report that by 07:00 Thursday morning the stuff was deliverable. (I have never really believed those stories about programmers kept going by Jolt soda. Sounds pointless to me, there's not a drop of alcohol in the stuff.) I really am not in shape for regular all-nighters these days: not as young as once I think I was. Of course, had I got off my arse a bit earlier I wouldn't have had to do it, but that's rather beside the point.

It's alright if you can stand up to piss
While that was going on, Margo was driving up to Normandy. She tells me that all went well, to the point of being propositioned by a self-proclaimed "used chateau salesman" in a beaten-up R5, whilst stuck in a monumental traffic jam around Paris. Fortunately the traffic started to move again before he could extract her phone number from her, so that's alright then.

Having little better to do the other day I decided to go take a look at the stats for this little blog. The most-visited entry is one from last year, "New and Useful Phrases" and for the life of me I couldn't work out exactly why that should be, until it dawned on me that it mentioned Lindsay Lohan and her furry front bottom. This doubtless goes some way to explaining things.

Then, in what I personally feel to be a rather eccentric juxtaposition, I found a Google search query leading to last week's effort. It was, and I quote, "anal blondes". I have no idea how I'm going to explain that one to Rebecca; perhaps I'd be better off not even trying. Although the look on her face would probably be worth the inevitable pain to follow.

And it's certainly more memorable than the image search for "cyclists pissing outside" which led to one of my photos - in which, I'd like to add, cyclists were conspicuous by their very absence.

Timor mortis and all that - just been off to see our old friend Jacques up at the hospital. He's remarkably spry for a septuagenarian who's just had his prostate removed. I suppose I really ought to go make an appointment for a bit of hot and sweaty rubber-glove activity.

Anyway, before I go and organise myself - got a whole afternoon to occupy, probably with avoiding doing any of the things I really should get around to, before going to pick up Jeremy from Novalaise this evening (oh, the bliss! We are to be blessed with two whole months of his presence, not that we'll actually see him that much, I expect) - I would like to point out that this lazy summer stuff has its drawbacks. For one thing, it's not really conducive to great cooking, so it's back to barbecues and bloody salads again.

By the way, we've tentatively pencilled-in the inaugural summer barbie to coincide with one of those obscure little public holidays we have around here, on the 14th, so if you happen to be in the district feel free to drop by. With bottle, and bird.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Jacques is recovering well. Please do give him my very best wishes - and a hug (if you feel up to it!)