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.
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.
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.
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.