Showing posts from October, 2023

A moment of calm

Bordeaux is well into its rainy season, and it's also been rather cold, with afternoon temperatures in the high teens, and low teens overnight. This sends us to the drawers where we keep our winter woolies. Well, not woolies, perhaps, but our sweatshirts and such. Incidentally, it's very puzzling to me to see guys roaming the streets in hoodies and shorts. Don't legs get cold? Anyway, we continue to enjoy our new life in our forever flat. Recently we took a long hard look at our lampshades. When we moved we just brought with us what we had and put it more or less where we had them before. However there were some problems. The big white paper balls we had in the hallway don't work. Well, one's OK, but the other gets knocked down every time the apartment door opens. The big fluffy cloud thing in the spare room gets fouled every time we open the window wide. This we've decided to live with for the moment, since the winter is coming and we're not likely to open

Well what do you know! We have our own storm!

 So the Rugby Fanzone is closed and all the parks in Bordeaux are closed because of storm Aline, which has brought high winds and heavy rains. Down on the Bassin d'Arcachon, the lagoon at the seaside, tens of boats have been beached by the wind and the strong waves. Our hatches have been securely battened down, and we're looking forward to calmer weather very soon. In other news, every morning since Wednesday, Merignac airport has been subject to bomb scares. Evacuated each time, the authorities have reminded everyone that making hoax calls can land you in jail.

Rethinking social media

Various well-known people are changing their way of using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram et al. The problem is that anyone public becomes a target for people who need to express themselves forcefully. Fine, but it becomes tiring to be shouted at by lots of people you have never met. I'm not in that category, but I am looking forward to changing my use of social media. Facebook - at present I wish people happy birthday, and Bordeaux Church uses it for announcements via a public page and also a private group. I occasionally put photos of Bordeaux on Facebook. I intend to delete my account at the end of 2025. Twitter - I only follow people I want to follow, and I only look at the "Following" tab. I don't see the vitriol others see, I guess because of how I use it. Instagram - the café uses it. It's taking over from Facebook for younger people. WhatsApp - groups I belong to like the Mission, the International Churches and the CNEF use WhatsApp. The café uses WhatsApp. I

Autumn arrived with a bang

 the tail end of storm Babet hit Bordeaux on Tuesday evening, with torrential rain and high winds. This means for us rearranging the things on the balcony to try and prevent the wind from lifting them, and closing all the shutters fully.  On Wednesday, on the way to the café, I was quickly drenched as I waded down the street. No floods, as such, but the drains were overloaded. Thankfully it didn't last long. Thursday was quite calm, but today the parks in Bordeaux are closed and they have closed the Rugby Zone because of the rain and high winds we are expecting.

Taking surplus pieces of kitchen back to Ikea

 There were some boards left over after the installation of the kitchen, and if you take the surplus back to Ikea they'll reimburse you the cost of those parts. Some weeks ago I used the trolley of Pat's shopping bag to take some pieces back. It was heavy. Today I took back a length of plinth of about 2.5 metres. It wasn't heavy but I had a lot of fun getting it on and off the tram without poking people inappropriately. Got it there and got the refund.

Autumn has hit

Chilly, foggy mornings. Then 30°C in the afternoon.

The odd expressions

A chap on the tram was explaining loudly, on his mobile phone, that he would be late because the tram was stopping at Terres Neuves instead of taking him further. "Et après ? Il faut que je marche à pied !" (And afterwards? I'll have to walk on foot!) In French we hardly ever walk without explaining how we propose to walk, even though it is invariably on foot.   It set me thinking about the other silly expressions that we use. "Would the congregation please be upstanding". (well, would it???) but never "would the congregation please be downsitting"... We do something similar in Welsh.  Wnewch chi sefyll ar eich traed . Will you stand on your feet. As if in some circumstances we might say, Will you stand on your heads...

Final account

 We just received the final account letter from our last apartment - and they're REFUNDING OUR DEPOSIT. 

All day, every day

I remember the good old days. How innocent we were! So blissfully unaware of the horror that awaited us. Now those horrors lie hard upon us. I am speaking of mosquitos, dear reader. Not so long ago, well within living memory and even within my power of recollect, you needed to be careful at sun-up and sun-down. A minty lotion would keep the vampires at bay. Once the sun shone, they would go and hide in moist bushes and shrubs, awaiting their chance to come and pierce you that evening. Not now! Those tiger mosquitos fear nothing! At noon in the tram under the blast of the air-conditioning they dive at you like tiny stukas. In the hot afternoon sun they're at you, sneaking in for a chance at your elbows or your ankles. All day, every day, we're victim to their malevolent attentions. Hate 'em.

Escapade in Marseille

After our unusual summer we sneaked off for a few days rest and recreation in Marseille. We flew Ryanair. The tickets cost peanuts, and since we were going for only four nights, we took small rucksacks that we could stuff under the seats in front. Ryanair thought it entirely reasonable to try to extract more money from us by sending us encouraging emails.  "You want to choose where you sit, don't you."   We found no such desire in our hearts. "You want to sit together, don't you." We did, but not to pay more for it. "With random seating you could end up sitting apart." Yeah, right. So it was that on the way out Patricia was sat in seat 3A with no-one beside her, while I was in seat 10F, again with no-one beside me. Really!?!? Coming back it was similar, except now Patricia was right at the front and I was right at the back. We couldn't even SEE each other if we tried.  We are undaunted. So are Ryanair. After alighting from the plane we found ou