Showing posts from December, 2022

What about the energy crisis, then?

 Well we are being told to Lower, Switch off and Delay (je baisse, j’éteins, je décale) in order to help the national grid to cope through the winter, but the people most affected are the bakers, some of whom are really struggling to pay their energy bills.


 Christmas Day was a comparatively quiet day, with a shorter service at our flat, followed by lunch. In the end we represented the USA, Egypt, Nigeria, France and the United Kingdom. We did not watch the King’s message this year, I caught up with it later on YouTube. On Christmas Eve we had had a video call with Gwilym and Beth in Norwich and with Catrin and Froim, who were on the autobahn from Munich to Vienna.  This week has been restful and festive, though we’ve had lots of leftovers to eat so we haven’t sampled any the eateries that I shortlisted to try. We did call in at a coffee-shop and we’ve also been to the cinema to see ‘Living’, a reworking of a Japanese film with a screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro. The main character played by Bill Nighy, whose name I try to avoid attempting to pronounce.

Christmas follies

We get alternating periods of mild weather and very cold snaps at the moment. Snow has sometimes been forecast but has not materialised.  To this is added a season of strikes in Bordeaux' public transport that has led to some lines not running at all, remaining lines having decreased frequency and nothing at all after 9pm. On Friday I was due at A Coeur Ouvert for the last day of opening at 10am. I left hoping to get tram C and walk through the Jardin Public. Tram D was not running. I waited at the tram stop. When the tram arrived it was already stuffed fuller of people than a can is of fish.  I gave up and prepared to walk to A Coeur Ouvert - it would take perhaps a little over an hour. Then I remembered that bus 1 to the airport leaves from the station - a mere 8 minutes walk from our home - and passes within a 10 minute walk of ACO. At the station I found a handful of people waiting for the bus, and when it arrived I boarded with joy and sat down, with all the eschatological joy

A little emergency

 So it was 11pm and we had just taken to our downy couch when Mrs Davey said that her heart was beating erratically. I felt and confirmed that she had a very strong arrhythmia. She had no pain, dizziness, breathlessness or discomfort so she walked around the flat a little to see if it would settle. It didn't settle. We decided to ring SOSMédecin. Then to ring the emergency services - 15. After a brief discussion, a doctor was despatched and soon arrived with a portable ECG machine in a backpack. The machine confirmed a diagnosis of arrhythmia due to atrial fibrillation. Pat would need to go to hospital. Some phone calls ensued. "OK. Take her to Saint André aiming to arrive at about 3am." "Yes, OK, but we don't have a car." "OK, I'll book an ambulance." "And I go with her." "No." The ambulance duly arrived and the two guys came to the flat bearing their collapsible stretcher and various other bits and bobs. Pat was once again

Strikes in Bordeaux

 We have a transport workers' strike in Bordeaux today, so there's a reduced service on trams and buses. It's also really cold today. Just 1°C at present.

Operation Frankton

 80 years ago today one of the most audacious commando raids of the Second World War was launched targeting ship harboured at Bordeaux. Read about it by searching for Operation Frankton, or watch the film "Cockleshell Heroes"

A festive 'recipe' - Christmas cruffins*

 Many people will be mass-producing mince pies for the innumerable ca rol services that offer to the discerning guest a choice of Jazz Carols, Classical Carols, Choral Carols, Contemporary Carols, Celtic Carols or Heavy-metal Carols at this time of year. The more the services, the more the mince pies. Fear not; I am here to help. Buy rectangular sheets of flaky pastry. I get mine in Auchan.  (Obviously for Vegan Carols choose your pastry accordingly) Unroll your sheet. Brush it all over with warm mince-meat, attempting an even distribution of dried fruit. Roll up your sheet of pastry from the longest edge to obtain a long roll. With a sharp knife, cut this roll down the middle lengthwise to produce two long half-rolls. Cut these half-rolls into three. Now take each small section of half-roll and twirl it into a pleasing rose-bud like shape.  I mean, do your best to achieve roundness. Place gently into your muffin tin, cut side up. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 20 to 30 minutes

Winter chills

 Well here in Bordeaux we seem to have gone from summer directly to winter without passing autumn or collecting golden leaves. We usually have gentle temperatures here but today we hit a maximum of 10°C. This mean that I had to find my ski jacket. Yes, dear reader, my ski jacket. I know I have never been skiing, bt I do have a ski jacket. Some years ago, in Pessac, I went to put some rubbish in the bins room. There, draped across the green recycling bins, was a ski suit consisting of a pair of ski pants and a ski jacket. They appeared to be brand new, completely unworn. They were in an especially impractical colour of pale beige - probably quite a good idea for the pistes but not so good for the buses and trams. I tried the jacket on. It was a perfect fit. It was immediately adopted. I break it out when the weather gets chilly, like now. Meanwhile we've paid another instalment on the purchase of the flat. This one was due once the architect certified that the roof and the windows w