Showing posts from July, 2022

Getting the swanky coffee machine

 For the new ‘welcome centre’, a UK charity offered to buy us our coffee machine. We had had long discussions about possible coffee machines and had come to the conclusion that one of the one touch automatic bean-to-cup models was what we needed. So armed with this information I did some research with a local-is supplier, based about an hour away towards the sea at La Teste de Buch.  We went out there, hoping to see something in action, but though they have a very impressive showroom devoted to every gadget you can imagine for the production of coffee, and though they have a cafe with fine cakes, biscuits and cereal bars, and delectable coffees on offer, all we could really do was order the machine. It will be ready by Thursday, we were told. It arrived on Thursday and I booked a car to go and get it - the only available time was the following Tuesday. Then the forest around L aTeste caught fire. The shop was advised to close on that Tuesday. We waited. The fire was slowly mastered. Th

The heatwave has broken, but

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far for us, with temperatures of 42°C. Our bananas slow-cooked on their hook. In addition our tram lines, C and D, are closed down for repairs. The company is providing a bus de substitution . There is no more terrifying term in the Bordeaux glossary. However I had an errand at the bank to run, so I took my courage in both hands and went to court disaster on the bus de sub . And disaster it proved to be. The bus arrived, stuffed with people and I found a small spot to insinuate myself into. A sturdy lady next to me was burdened like pilgrim. After a while I dared to say to her, Madame, si vous baissez le sac-a-dos ça va libérer de la place . Thankfully she agreed and laid her burden at her feet. We lurched slowly along through the morning traffic like terracotta skittles ranked in the kiln to fire. At each stop more people insisted their way into the bus until we got about two-thirds of the way to the bank, where the poor doors of the bus, a

Fire !

 The heatwave that will hit Britain over next week has been here for a few days now, and two forest fires are raging about 30 miles from our home. One is at a place called Landiras, pretty well due south of Bordeaux. We can see the smoke of this fire from our balcony, like distant clouds. The other is right behind the Dune de Pylat, pretty well due west of us and we saw that smoke, too.  The firemen have been working night and day using bulldozers to create firebreaks and Canadairs to dump tons of water on the fires. What we really need is a heavy storm to drench everything for a couple of hours, but we aren't due to get one of those till Monday or Tuesday. On Tuesday I have to go to the town next to that forest fire to collect our swanky coffee machine for Espace Gallien.  Meanwhile we are living behind closed shutters, creatures of shades and shadows, hiding from the sun.

Post covid

 I’m pretty well back to whatever usually counts as ‘normal’. I have a sticky cough but I no longer absolutely need to nap during the day, I have resumed my forced marches to local supermarkets and I think I’ll try running next week, though early in the morning to avoid the sun. Pat is also fully recovered and no longer needs to nap. At least not every day. The city is now in summertime. This means fewer trams with more people in them. Since covid is once more on the rise we wear masks in the trams and try to avoid the busiest ones… Except we have no idea when the busiest times are!  Summertime means parks, and the Jardins de l’Ars are resplendent with their trees and shrubs, picnic tables, sun-loungers and little platforms for performance poets. The trees are not yet tall enough to provide much shade, so the picnic tables are not as busy as they will be, but it’s great to wander through the paths and that’s where I will run next week, if I can rouse my inner pig-dog. The summer also m