Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Damn Statistics ...

The estimable SC recently went all teary-eyed whiny over his visitors being about 95% Ukrainian. Here at The Shamblings™ we aspire to a better class of click-bait: only Russian oligarchs and mail-order brides for us - if you can trust the Great Google's statistics. And oddly enough, a number of those assiduous followers seem to arrived at these august premises by following a Bing search for "titsup holidays". I draw no conclusions from this, I merely present the evidence. As follows (for this day, 8/4/15):

Something's going on here. Why is no-one in NooZild interested in me? What the hell? I don't have to do this, you know. It takes time (which is money) and money (which is also, more or less by definition, money): perhaps I should just go back to my roots acting as a facilitator (is that a word?) for FOWAs (that's Fat Old White Americans) looking to hook up with attractive young Russians who give great head (but no guarantees as to gender, no money-back guarantee).

If I choose to look at this as a percentage, the Russian population is around 144 million so my readership there is about 0.00000064 percent. Which is - pretty small, not to say infinitesimal - but that's alright, even if I cry at nights, because ... in UpsideDownLand, all I can manage is a lousy 0.00000025%. Come on, people - look at my blog: not because you like it, it's for democracy and freedom! (Well, that and the ad revenue - haha.) Do you really want Vladimir Putin to win?

Strike a blow for Western civilization, leave all your small change in the tub to your left as you go out the door. Thanks.

I swear to god, they will drive me to drink. (Not that I actually need to be driven: that would be rather ostentatious given that the fridge is but a few short steps away, also there'd be a problem trying to get a car into the house. Maybe a golf cart.) Twice so far I have had to rewrite my original spec for Modbus access, and now I'm going to have to do it a third time. I hate writing specs, maybe even more than I hate grouting.

Once I can handle, twice is unfortunate, but the third time it's definitely because someone out there either hates me or has a really sick sense of humour.

I do not wish to brag, but right now - around 10am on a Sunday morning - it's sufficiently hot that I've retreated from the terrace, where I was recovering from last night's barbecue (a rouelle de jambon and a vast potato salad, if you really want to know) and contemplating one of those existential questions that confront us all at some time or other, namely what in hell pushed me to buy two kilos of strawberries and what am I going to do with them now, into the cool of the house.

Where I have another bathroom floor to tile, for Cédric and André turned up last week and set to work again with a will, and André is coming back on Tuesday to put the bath in there so I really do have to get off my arse and get it ready.

Still, assuming it's not a train coming the other way we can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel: apart from the demolition of the monstrosity that is the fireplace downstairs in the living room all the really major work has been done. Yeah, there's still a few places where the plastering needs finishing off and of course there's the ceilings to be painted and all the wallpapering and skirting boards and godnose what else but with any luck by the end of May - only a year overdue, but what the hell, this is the south of France after all - the place should be more or less finished and there will be bedrooms for guests with - a very important thing - functional bathrooms.

Of course, there may not be actual beds for them to sleep in but that is a minor detail which I am choosing to ignore just at the moment.

Also, it is that time of year when cuddly furry animals and all our feathered friends (to whom, at some point, I intend to dedicate a post - mainly with recipes) get it off and start to do something about housing the next batch or brood.

I have said it before and I will say it again: crows have all the architectural style and building prowess of English town planners from the 1960s. Not so much "build it, and they will come", more "drop a load of branches from 50m onto the church and see what sticks". The answer, as it turns out, is "not a lot", and walking around the south side of the église gets kind of hazardous: you trip on heaps of twigs and are quite likely to get another load delivered directly onto your head, courtesy of a short-sighted member of the corvidae.
At least the pigeons don't seem to have this problem: for all I know they wait until the crows have managed to put together (for "erect" is not quite the word here, implying as it does some sort of planning) a relatively robust pile and then go and squat it. I'd not be surprised.

And of course we also have the swallows, who seem to feel that bird poop and spit are an acceptable substitute for actual building materials. I really cannot recommend loitering for too long under one of their nests either: it might not fall off (despite appearances, the things are really quite solid, especially when they're ancestral homes) but there's a reason why there's piles of guano beneath and it's because the little rodents are copious crappers. Just saying.

And you might not want to end up like one of our friends who, many years ago now, came to visit us via London. I think it was in King's Cross station, as they were catching a train to get to the ferry, that a pigeon voided with gusto all over her head, so poor Leslie left Ken with their luggage and went in search of a toilet, to clean up a bit.

This being England, everyone was far too polite to point out that she had bird shit in her hair and running down her face and acted as though this was a perfectly normal state of affairs, and she could wait her turn in line for a handbasin, thank you very much. The poor woman was finally reduced to going up to the people at the head of the queue and saying "Excuse me, you may not have noticed, but I am hot and sweaty and, incidentally, covered in bird crap - would you mind awfully if I just rinsed some of it off?"

Whatever. After months bitterly complaining about the weather we are still doing that, but for different reasons. Out in the verandah it's up to about 26°, the cloudless sky is that particular Provençal shade of blue and to be quite honest, it's difficult to summon up the enthusiasm to get behind a keyboard and do some honest work.

I used to think that the habit of sticking ice cubes in your rosé was obscene and unsavoury, but I can see it has its advantages. I suppose I'd better go order in another tanker of the stuff, mind how you go now.

1 comment:

  1. Chin up - I read your blog every week!! Would miss it if you stopped - and even miss it when you're late. Sue.