I mean, they ring, I am put on hold because, I am told, there is "un message important à votre attention" and then some poor Indian flunky takes the line and asks to speak to the directeur de telecommunications: I say it's me, for my sins, and that we have both a telephone - which, I admit, works only when it feels like it - and a backup in the form of a tin can with some string attached, they just sigh briefly and say je comprends and don't even protest feebly when I hang up and - for safety's sake - cut the string. Note to self: buy another ball of ficelle de cuisine.
Leading to such hilarious results as "coussin gonflable de sécurité" (airbag), "courrier éléctronique", later shortened to "courriel" (e-mail) and also "baladeur portatif" (Walkman) which kind of sounds to me as though you're walking around with a very small troubadour hanging off your belt.
When you think about it, the whole idea of free music is not bad. Some of it you wouldn't actually pay to listen to anyway, but it does keep the yoof on the streets where the gendarmerie can see them, and if they feel it necessary go ask a few questions about unsolved petty crimes which, I rather feel, will be classed as "Closed" Real Soon Now. Yes, there are Arab musicians too, and in any case many of them are young, and thus automatically guilty of something, for godssake. It's a win-win situation.
But who knows, maybe I'll head into Chambéry and stroll about a bit, see - or hear, more to the point - what young Rémi can get up to on the guitar on the heavy metal stage at Curial, then head off to the Vestiaire at Challes for some 70's music, with Renaud on drums.
Whatever, we got word yesterday that the droit de péremption of which I spoke will not, it seems, be exercised and so we are authorised to sell our green and pleasant land along with the house, which means that the buyers cannot pull out of it. Which is just as well, as we have received word that the CIC will lend us the miserable 70 000€ that we asked for, so that we can in fact pay very comfortably for the place in Moux. With heaps left over, even after Bob (sorry, James, just slipped out) has done those things that need doing.
Which means that things are shifting up a couple of gears, we are getting ready to chuck Jeremy out, get power and water cut off, insurance and phone transferred, godnose what else, I have a list but I'm sure I'll have missed something, and tomorrow is going to be a journée déchetterie taking old computers, useless hardware, cardboard boxes of stuff and whatever else we can find down to the tip. That will be fun.
The things are not particularly complicated, they're just enormous great X-Y plotting tables, but they seem to have been made by a farrier back in the late 1800s and their individual components each weigh somewhere up of half a ton. And of course, it resided on the first floor and we didn't really want to break any more walls, so there was quite a bit of back and forth shuffling in a humourous manner with occasional swearing until we could actually get these 4.3m hunks of metal out the window and onto the street. Good thing Jeremy was there to give us a hand with the heavy lifting.
Which was more or less where we wanted to go, or at least in the general direction, so we followed it ... and after an hour or so, more or less, we got gently shuffled back on to the autoroute, about 15 minutes up the road from where we got off, and went on our merry way - still, we got to see the river. Which is actually quite pretty, especially with the sun setting low over it, and the streaks of clouds limned in gold and apricot hanging in the sky. Bitch when it's in your eyes as you drive, mind you.
Had I had the forethought to do so I suppose I could have
Unfortunately, seems the thing was in use that day (that was their excuse anyway, when you think about it, given the nature of the beast nothing would have stopped me borrowing it at some indeterminate point in the future - or the past - and doing the job then), also they go on and on patronisingly about temporal paradoxes bring too complicated for the uninitiated and are incredibly stingy and tight-fisted about lending stuff out, even to the extent of expecting people to ask first. So we did it the hard way.
Not really my thing, so I ambled off and found a group that was doing some pretty good covers of Nirvana, pelted a few percussionists and fled the folk dances before somehow winding up at the Beer Tree where I found myself with a glass of Laphroaig in one paw, and a bit of relative peace and quiet in which to occupy myself with it.
I can think of worse ways to finish a week.