Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
This means that while we had to bring LOTS of baggage with us we can send some stuff back with the folks who are staying in our home. This means we can buy Gwilym a cheap suit from Asda for school at a third of the price of a similar shoddy suit in France.
Almost everything is cheaper here. That's the delight. But the danger is that we overspend severely !
Be careful Daveys !
They say that it takes you a week to destress when you start your hols. It's true that for the moment Alan is not in work but work is still in Alan... Still. Here's the plan:
This week hols.
Next week UFM FamConf
Week after hols..
Week after AberConf
Week after hols.
Then home again.
Meanwhile preaching four times and speaking twice.
Kids on SoulSurvivor and camps.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Firstly a chef who is on a gastronomic tour and contacted us about the English Service. I haven't heard from him since, but I assume he's coming. We'll wait a decent time before eating.
Secondly a Dutch family on the way to the Pyrenees. They contacted us interested in their kids doing something with the English-speaking kids from church. Basically that means our kid, so we invited them too.
Thirdly someone who we know who contacted me to say that they're leaving Bordeaux in mid-August so they'll be in church on Sunday. Since my phone went off for repair I have lost lots of numbers, so I am not sure who this is. We THINK we know, but we'll see.
I hope we have enough salad....
Postscript : We had enough salad and loads and loads of pizza, the chef didn't come, the mystery guest was Héber and our new Dutch friends are considering long-term overseas mission.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I only promised the house to two different people at once while we're away.
The first a family with whom we're doing a house swap.
The second a man who's coming to preach one weekend.
"You can stay at our place" seems such an easy things to say... In retrospect, too easy.
However all is OK. The family are arriving on Tuesday and the couple leaving the Monday before.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A good discussion. We came away with our schedule sorted out for September and October. We do need an outside preacher once a month (and God to continue to bless us with unfailing good health every weekend!) but with those things we can continue to maintain morning services at Cenon and at Blaye.
(Please pray for our car, too !)
It's a great joy to work well together!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Quentin said "It's on its way. Ring again at 2 to make sure"
So I rang, and he said, "Yes, I've got it" and I went to get it from the shop.
I looked warily to see what version of Android it's on now, and it's on 4.0.3 ICS.
It's good to be reunited with my Bible programme, daily readings (One Year Bible Plan), tuner, metronome, books on Kindle, etc..
Now to try and get all my phone numbers back..
Sunday, July 15, 2012
However yesterday we had an urgent call - a nest of hornets has established itself in Patrick's barbecue - the dreaded frelons asiatiques. So it'll be here instead. Less convenient for the folk from Blaye, but better for anyone without a car - we are accessible by public transport.
The weather is looking good.
We have lined up lots of tables in the garden.
We have over 30 chairs that can be taken out there (See ! It IS sensible to have plastic dining chairs)
Better shower and get ready !
Saturday, July 14, 2012
"So what do we use for tarts ?"
"Whatever... Golden..?". ("Golden" is what you know as Golden Delicious ...shudder...)
Well there's still no Cox's and apples are always an issue (gala or fuji this week ?) but there's a REALLY NICE PEAR here called Fleuralys.
It's not one of the budget pears but this time at the supermarket there weren't any budget pears anyway.
So I got four of what smelled nice.
Fleuralys. Delicious !
But hey, don't judge me too harshly, or before you judge me just walk a mile in my shoes.
Because I promise that if you're anywhere within a mile of me when you judge me, and if I have my shoes on I'll give you such a kick !
(just kidding... it's withdrawal symptoms...)
Friday, July 13, 2012
Please note that a supermarket aisle in French is a rayon.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
So today we went to Haut Leveque hospital to see a surgical dermatologist.
What a palaver !
I remembered to take the cheque-book (which we didn't need) but forgot the carte mutuelle (which we did need).
It never occurred to me to take his passport (which we also needed).
AND his carte vitale was out of date.
AND the fact that he has two first names (Gwilym Thomas) confused the lady no end.
All in all the form-filling and computer admin took longer than the doctor's examination.
Oh well. At least his carte vitale is up to date now (and so is mine - I updated it in the machine by the entrance to the hospital !)
He has an appointment for 21 November.
We had to queue to tell the lady at the entrance and while we waited several people cheated the queue and pushed in front of us. We could have died there and people would have just gone round us...
Still. It's all sorted and set up.
The middle one got cancelled.
I wondered whether to come home and then go to the evening one by car (it was at the church), but in the end the first meeting continued longer than foreseen, so I just went for a little stroll in town..
And heard a violinist busking. We don't have enough buskers, so it was good to hear someone playing Bach Sonatas for Solo Violin.
Then I heard a cellist busking. Yes, playing Bach Cello Suites.
And I had time to stop and listen.
The cellist was making some wonderful resonant low note, but I wanted more resonance on the high notes to mirror them. The violinist was very good too.
Here a flutist, but he is playing French Flute Music :
Well, you could, but then you'd have to stand on a chair to reach the top shelf of the fridge...
'but you could try the freezer on top of the fridge. It may not be so high...'
Monday, July 09, 2012
So on Saturday morning I got myself sorted out for the wedding and the Chinese preach, then brother Héber came for lunch and to prepare the order of service and stuff. We had a good time together and I was very thankful to him for coming out to Pessac before chucking him out so I could change ready for the wedding.
I have decided to adopt US academic dress - chinos, stripey blue shirt, red tie and navy blazer.
My plan was foiled by clothes moths who have eaten a neat little hole in the sleeve of my best navy woollen blazer. Horrors ! I hope someone can fix it. I reckon I could conceal it by patching from the other side...
Also I don't have a blue stripey shirt. Well I do, but we removed the collar some time ago and I wear it for slobbing around.
Anyway, clad in my grey shirt, red tie, chinos and no blazer I scuttled off to Blaye. My super-duper Android phone is in for repair (we're going through a time like that just now. Everything we possess is broken !) so I pinched Pat's phone to guide me to the Château.
After a few wrong turns I asked a guy painting his GORGEOUS house ready to sell it where Gauriac is.
"You're there", he said,"go back up to the top of the hill, turn left and the Château is just as you leave the village."
Well I arrived a little after my ETA, but before the wedding party. While I waited the weather threw some hail around to get it out of its system, then smiled sunnily on the wedding ceremony.
Afterwards : "Do you have to rush off ? You can have something to drink before you leave ?" It was HOT so I gratefully accepted the drink.
"So what is this ?", someone asked.
"Well it's a Marquise, basically fizzy wine, wine, a little lemon juice, a little Cointreau, some sugar and some fizzy water".
I also drank quite a lot of water and ate lots of little sandwiches and zoomed off to the Chinese group.
Our Chinese group has been dominated by small people from the South, but suddenly we have a little influx of tall folk from the North, one a Kung-Fu expert who trained at Shaolin. You can pick him out by his poise.
Numbers are down, lots of folk are away, but the group went well.
Then home - to bed, to sleep, perchance to dream.
Next day the Sunday morning service, which seemed to go OK. Again numbers are down, lots on holiday, students mostly gone.
Then in the evening we were again few, but quality made up for quantity.
As it does.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Friday, July 06, 2012
Meanwhile our new colleagues decided on a flat, then read the contract and hesitated because it seemed that their cat was prohibited. A night of deliberation and hesitation, then a text message to the landlord - no problem for the cat - and so all is on again.
Meanwhile preparation is proceeding. I have fallen in love with my text for Sunday morning. Always a good sign.
2 S’il y a donc de l’encouragement en Christ, s'il y a de la consolation dans l'amour, s'il y a une communion de l’Esprit, s'il y a de la tendresse et de la compassion,
I've highlighted certain things in bold because I want to concentrate on those things - the riches that inspire a change of heart.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
So at 4 I drove our amazingly noisy car down to the garage, about 400 yards away. Everywhere I went people turned and looked.
When I got there the garage owner wasn't there, but one of his lads got his torch out and had a good look.
"C'est la poulie double" (the double pulley).
The boss came back. He priced it up. €230. They'll do the job tomorrow.
So we zoomed off in Tim's VW.
This morning we zoomed happily into town to meet up with M Danton and see two bijou appartements in Bordeaux centre - an échoppe has been converted into four dwellings. The two we saw were at semi-basement level with windows giving on people's ankles in the street. Behind were two little courtyards that were so French it was almost as if they'd been done up for some outrageous film.
However one was too small and the other was kind of OK (if you don't mind a bedroom with no windows) but not up to the standard of what we saw last Friday. So this afternoon we see the bank at 5.
I will also phone my garage man to see if he can lift the bonnet of the car and have a listen.
I begin to wonder if our trusty chariot is nearing what the French call 'fin de vie'. We could do without a car with just occasional inconvenience (getting to church would take three times as long) EXCEPT for Blaye. Blaye would NOT be easy.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
I knew that critical path analysis would come in handy again one day.
The dossier needs lots of information that we don't know like the codes for the courses she's doing.
It also needs lots of information we don't have, like a photocopy of her livret de famille.
It also needs lots of information we have to find, like a photocopy of her Attestation de Sécurité Routière.
I am pretty sure I have filled it in wrong. Still....
I have to present it in person at the school either today or tomorrow.
So I started by pretty thoroughly roach-proofing the bathroom with contact insecticide.
Then I attacked the fridge. It had already been moved to the patio. Now it's back where it came from in the warehouse.
Then I attacked the freezer, moving it from the wall. In all my (limited) experience with roaches, they do like the underside of the fridge. It's warm, it's dark, it's often kinda moist and there's often crusty crumbs of food that accumulate there.
Under our freezer looked like just the kind of place where roaches would like to settle but there was nobody there at all.
Good news. They have not settled in !
So I cleaned it clean than a clean new thing newly cleaned and then applied the trusty contact insecticide.
Monday, July 02, 2012
It downloaded, installed, then froze. Permanently.
So this morning I took it to the Bouygues Telecom shop in Mérignac.
Which is boarded up. "We'll be back in August !" says the cheerful notice.
So I nipped into the Carphone Warehouse (in France just Phonehouse) to ask where the nearest open one was.
"Why ?" they asked. I explained the problem.
"Oh yes, that latest update is freezing everyone's phones. They have to send them back to Samsung. It's Bordeaux centre, Bègles or Bordeaux Lac."
The nearest was the Lac, so I went, parked, found the shop and queued.
For a long time.
Eventually it was my turn. I explained the problem.
"Do you have insurance ?" No, the phone is 6 months old.
"If you had insurance we'd just swap it now, but as you don't we'll have to send it off to Samsung." Ok, and how long will that take ?
"About three weeks." But you'll give me a loan phone ?
"Yes, but they're all very basic." So you're saying that I have paid lots of money for a smartphone, I pay for internet access by phone and for three weeks I won't get what I am paying for ?
"Yes. That's it. Of course, if Samsung say that your phone cannot be repaired, then you'll have to buy a new one." What ! It's six months old and has frozen because of your software update and you say I may have to buy a new phone !
They found me the loan phone, a smashed up old Nokia 5230, and warned me to bring it back in good condition ! I laughed and said I had never seen a phone in as bad condition as the one they were lending me, making a note on their sheet that the phone was in a damaged state.
I left disillusioned. Someone had persuaded me to give Bouygues Telecom a go because their after-sales service is good. Ha !
Oh well. At least I'll get a bit of peace from the ubiquitous emails for a while.
This was an excellent time, using the church's foundation documents to discuss pretty well all aspects of church life. We broke for lunch and ate our watermelon, chicken salad, cheese and eclairs. Then home to get all set for Sunday.
On Saturday I had little voice. By Sunday I had a fully fledged cold. Today I feel a little better.
Anyway microphones are wonderful things sometimes, and in the evening holiday season was ushered in in the form of two Dutch visitors who were on the route to Santiago de Compostela.
I was happy to hit the sack.