Whatever, I'm headed off to Chambéry for a few days in a couple of hours, and of course I would pick a holiday cross-over weekend. One of those where the juilletists go home, and the aôutards head off. Luckily for me a) Sarah is, exceptionally, in working order so at least I'll have the a/c (and mangled music, but I shall just have to live with that) and b) the SmartBuffalo website assures me that traffic conditions should be "normal".
I shall see what "normal" means today: probably no more than that traffic is actually moving - although slowly, and with thick lumps in it - and in the right direction. In the Rhône valley speeds will doubtless be limited to 110 kph so that the camper vans don't feel discriminated against, and as usual the Dutch and Belgians will all be sitting in the left lane, gallantly spurring on their three-tonne caravans, drawn by an arthritic 2CV, up a hill. At such times as these, zen can be a difficult state to maintain.
I'd organised to stay at the first-born son's place, so of course when I arrived he was off in Grenoble having fun. There's not much of that to be had in Chambéry on a Sunday evening - even the bars are closed - so I took the only reasonable option, and headed off to see Bryan, to see how many bottles he had open. (Bit like Pooh, but with less hunny.)
Eventually Jeremy turned up, and we were both a bit peckish, so we headed off in search of Sustaining Nourishment. Montmelian is even more dead than Chambéry of a Sunday, if such a thing is possible, and so we wound up at the mini-golf at Challes, of which I had not-unfavourable memories. Seems they've changed chefs since last I was there, and our son turns out to be a picky eater ...
"It's not that it's badly cooked", he said, "mais ce n'est pas du magret du sud-ouest". And the red was tannique - fair enough, he doesn't actually like wine that much and it could have done with breathing for a bit. The he picked up a bit of bread, and sneered at it. "From mid-day, kept under a damp cloth" ... I must admit that I'm not a fan of rubbery bread either. We finished up, I paid, and we headed back to his hovel: he was quite happy in the knowledge that there was no way they were doing anything as well as he can.
I said that when I turned up it wasn't actually raining - not as such - an omission rapidly rectified. When I got up and went off to Miqro on Monday moaning it was about 25° and sunny: when I made it out of le Modesto around 14:00, with a gratin de ravioles au foie gras under my belt, it was 18° and pissing down.
Luckily for me, not many people have worked out that the best thing to do in such circumstances is to follow the heavy lorries and the semis, who barrel down the right-hand lane mowing down cars that get in their way ... five articulated trucks in a row looks like an awfully long line, but they take no longer to get through than five cars (assuming the driver is not a Pole with an expired Russian credit card) and as the cars were about forty-deep it was pretty much a no-brainer ... it was good to get back.
In other news, not content with STD we have acquired another dog. I blame it on eating out: had we not headed off to Lou Griffou in Lézignan just because I couldn't be arsed cooking (and I would go back, with pleasure) we would not have felt the necessity of walking off a few superfluous calories before going home, and so would not have walked past the offices of the SPA and perhaps not seen the photo in the window ...
Whatever, I have some vitelotte, haricots beurre and fresh sweetcorn that I suspect are not going to cook themselves just like that, nor are the lamb chops going to jump into the poele for a quick kiss of butter. So I'd better go get that lot ready, before returning to do yet another bloody implementation of Modbus TCP/IP. It's not really what they promised me when I signed up to do Comp. Sci. all those years ago - a far cry from the blondes and the boozing.