Friday, September 6, 2013

Nude Interview With The Vampire ...

You were probably expecting something salacious, but it's nothing at all like that ... I drove back up to Chambery Monday night and then off to an all-day meeting with a client in Lyon on Tuesday: having better things to do I took Stacey off to the Beer Tree that night instead of doing them, to meet up with the usual dissolute companions (yeah, Bryan and Beckham, again) and listen to Tim O'Connor sing.

As a general rule, when it comes to folk music I'd infinitely prefer to slit my own throat and gargle with the blood running down the oesophagus until I pass out, but he's a really nice friendly guy so I made an exception and we wound up staying till around 2am, when Audrey and Camille started making meaningful shooing noises with the brooms, so we took the none-too-subtle hint and left. Having promised to bring them a caisse of rosé from the cave cooperative here in Moux the next time I head up.

So later that day I woke (when I say "later" that would mean rather later than intended), and finding that Stacey had gone off to do whatever it is that teachers do when the little children come rushing eagerly back to school, I wandered blearily out onto the verandah clad in the lightest of tenues legères ie bollocks-naked to bask in the sun and inhale some coffee.

(Have no fear, people. That verandah is secluded and screened from the road by masses of wisteria, so no way was I risking doing time for outrage à la décence publique. Just as well, be a shame to go down for so small a thing. He said, modestly.)

I'd got about halfway through that when the phone exterminated at me: Fabrice chose that time for a quick discussion on where we're going with the software. So I dragged the little Samsung out of the backpack and set it up on the table in the morning sun, and being very careful not to turn on the webcam we started our little séance. A working breakfast, if your idea of breakfast involves nothing more complicated than vast quantities of caffeine and a cigar.

Which meant, as I wished to go past the office and pick up a few bits and pieces, that once I'd tucked the computer away again, pulled some clothes on and done all that and fed Suzy I left Chambéry a bit later than I had in fact intended; as luck would have it the autoroute was more or less deserted (or as deserted as the A7 between Valence and Orange ever gets) so I still made it back in time for Margo to take Shaun off to get tutored.

Now for something completely different: if you head into Narbonne on the D6113, apart from the working girls strung out along its length, dancing forlornly in what they doubtless think to be an enticing manner (and who knows? To some, I suppose it could be ...) you will notice on your left, at Montredon, a sign announcing the presence of the "Sexynine Club Privé Libertin". Purely in the interests of science I googled over to their website, where I learnt that June 28 was the "Soirée Gang Bang" and also, more depressingly, that due to health problems (I do not wish to know) the owner is selling the place.

Given that the last update was in June I would hazard a guess that he or she has not yet found a buyer, so I have a wonderful investment proposition for you ...

Do you know what the main problem with working from home is? The idea is extremely attractive - I should know - you think to yourself something along the lines of "Hah! This will be cool, less stressful, I shall work at my own rhythm and walk the dog when I feel like it, and there shall be a unicorn farting rainbows in every garden."

Sadly, this turns out not to be the case - not as such. What actually happens, at least in my experience, is that the day starts with the bells of Notre Dame next door clanging brokenly into life at 7am, and that lasts sufficiently long to bring Mr. Brain to the surface and start clutching at straws, lest he sink back down into the depths again. Then the thought comes to you that a dose of caffeine is essential, as is the easing of the bladder: once easement has taken place and the coffee machine is gurgling monomaniacally to itself you are reminded, often by a cold damp bit of liver on the inner thigh, that it's time to take the dog for his early morning walk - half a litre of urine and a crap sufficiently far down the street that no-one can blame us for it..

Once these basic bodily functions have been attended to and you've stopped him trying to scarf up squashed figs from the road (because they have Certain Consequences concerning the consistency of his bowel motions) you head back home and the coffee is ready (it is now about 7:30) so you might as well slump out on the terrace with the first mug's worth and watch the sun come up (there is some Latin poem about rosy-fingered dawn drawing the curtain of day that comes to mind, I seem to recall that Caligula really enjoyed playing the part of Dawn but I simply cannot for the life of me remember it) as the dog, for want of something better to do, licks your toes.

Around 8am, as the excitement of having the sun come up yet again wears off you think that perhaps you might as well step into the office with a second mug to check up on e-mail/blogs/porn/news items before some bastard decides to ruin your life with a phone call. Which is pretty optimistic, given that about ten minutes into your browsing the phone rings. To set up a VOIP conference call. And while you're getting that organised, the cellphone rings. With an urgent question. So you're juggling two phones and the keyboard, and trying not to turn the webcam on (see note above).

At 10:30 the conference call is over but there's enough to worry about that you don't really want to take the time to go have a shower (which is a shame, as it's much-needed) so you carry on until 12:30 at which point, feeling a bit peckish and just because you can, you take half an hour for lunch. Because at 13:30 the phone will start going again.

So it goes, with the odd nicotine break, until 18:30, when you decide that you can still fit a couple of hours in after dinner ... you can easily wind up doing a 12-hour day, which is not really the object of the exercise. Still, just knowing that you can go out on the terrace for a quick smoke - or take the laptop out there with you - does keep the stress level down.

And whilst we're more or less on the subject of the effective use of time, I am currently doing - amongst other things - a contract for my way-back-when employers, Miqro. Their client is Schneider, the big multi-national industrial group, and those people are amazing. They love to have a progress meeting at least once a week, either by internet or face-to-face (which, of course, involves a trip to Bordeaux or some other distant hole) and at one of the earlier ones, the meeting closed with a decision to create a working group and to put development on hold until it had reported back with its conclusions.

Which, two weeks later, it duly did. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary there, I grant you, just that the remit of the working group was to find a way to accelerate product delivery by saving four days in development time. So putting it back by ten days would seem to me to be counter-productive, but what do I know?

Whatever, I is a happy parrot as I have discovered an Arab butcher at Lézignan. Who was happy to sell me a well-aged (if I'm any judge, and I am) cote de boeuf for only 15€/kg (so I got a kilo, it seemed the prudent course), and while I was at it I picked up a shoulder of lamb: it's barbecue time at The Shamblings, people. Hopefully, not the last of the year. Mind how you go, now.

1 comment:

  1. Do you know what the main problem with working from home is?

    In my experience it is the relentless sexual harassment from the boss.

    there is some Latin poem about rosy-fingered dawn drawing the curtain of day

    IIRC it was Homer who went on about rosy-fingered dawn, though neither Rosie nor Dawn are available for comment.