Saturday, June 25, 2011

Is There Life Without Broadband?

A new week and still without broadband which ceased functioning on Friday evening after torrential rain. We don't know if that was the cause. UKTelecom is closed now until Monday so we shall just have to wait until after the weekend for the engineer.

A vide-grenier in Flagnac this Sunday. It is being held in the grounds of that picturesque chateau on the way to Decazaville for those of you who know what I am talking about. A bit of French 'culture' for our workawayers although I suspect that boot fairs are known the world over but with different names. A few purchases were made, crepes and beer were sampled and the route home over the plateau via Conques. We had never approached Conques this way before and were astonished by this vista of the place:

As we arrived at the town we had to drive over the Roman bridge. It looked impossible but we made it. Remind us S.L.B.'s to take you that way on your next visit.

A view from the church

The lads were impressed with Conques. Bart felt he needed to try out this sarcophagus for size:

A perfect fit!

No engineer arrived to fix the broadband connection on Monday and as Bart leaves on Tuesday for the UK he needed to get train times and a ticket for Paris so we tried Maurs internet cafe so that he could log on and transfer money for the purchase. No luck. We all went into Figeac again on Tuesday to log on there and to see Bart off. We shall miss him and his gentle guitar strumming.

The three of us returned to Maurs for lunch in La Bascule. In the evening Yan gave us a viewing of a film on his computer - an animation - Mary and Max. Unusual, but brilliant, a story about the unlikely penpals Mary, an unhappy eight-year-old, resident in Melbourne and Max, a middle-aged New Yorker with Asperger's syndrome.

Work continues inside, if wet and outside, when dry. We are still waiting for Axel to come and fix the chimney before we make a start on painting the kitchen as I suspect it will be a sooty job. Jim has had to prop up the hole as debris kept falling down into the kitchen.

No engineer Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I have rung them everyday and given them the benefit of my thoughts. It is an English outfit so I don't have to watch my language. It would seem that they have put in a request to France Telecom and we just have to wait. They are short of man-power, vans etc. Their excuses, not mine. If you feel inclined to rant about British Telecom try France Telecom, it is no better.
However on Friday morning just as I had made the coffee and called Jim and Yan down from Peter's place (on the walkie-talkie) the phone rang - the engineer was on his way. It was a comedy really - he repaired the pig's ear the previous engineer had made of a junction and fixed the fault that existed but then told us that the neufbox was broken and needed to be replaced. I rang UKTelecom - again and explained. I was told to reset the box and restart my computer and everything was hunky-dory after that - nothing wrong with the box at all.

Our English neighbours from the next village, Caro and Dennis,  surprised us Friday afternoon by a visit just as I was taking a tray of scones from the oven (I told you I was baking, didn't I?). A very pleasant interlude and we invited them for a meal next week. They were enthusiastic about my Shakespeare plan so I must get on with the details of that.

I did the banking, read 40 emails - mostly rubbish, (not yours) wrote my blog, downloaded this weeks instalment of The Apprentice (I think Helen will win) and watched it whilst ironing - yes - I have that here - it's not all a rural idyll.

Whilst getting in the washing one evening this week (more ironing) I saw a buzzard fly over the house with a large snake waving from his claws. Amazing!

I believe I have now identified the flower from last week. It is Legousia hybrida, Venus' Looking Glass. The illustration in my Keble Martin is not very good and the specimen in the forest is rather weedy which is why I didn't spot it. As Sherlock Holmes said "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

Bottled up three large jars of pickled walnuts. I hope they are edible this time. I think I picked them early enough.

Today, Saturday Jim and I drove over to the Poterie du Don to see the current exhibition of sculpture by Susan O'Byrne. I had previously seen some illustrations of the items and had thought I might buy one. Ha! Not only were the figures life size but they had a larger than life price tag. €4000 for the stag!

They were made of porcelain paper clay and quite beautiful and there were some smaller items - birds - the least expensive being €85 but I decided I could live without one. Bought a jampot instead.

We had a barbecue this evening - usual raw or burnt offerings and as the three of us sat in the gloaming drinking beer and enjoying the mixed aroma of barbecue and chestnut blossom Rufus disappeared into the stables and started barking. Jim went to investigate and watched him flush out a rat and kill it. Well done Rufus! I gave him a sausage off the barbecue.

We then watched and hour and a half of the BBC version of Our Mutual Friend. Very dark, complicated and confusing. Yan was non-committal when we asked him if he could work out what was going on. More tomorrow - it lasts six hours.

1 comment:

  1. Oh jolly good - about the Shakespeare. Must fix dates. Look forward to seeing Conques from a new angle and taking a dip in the sarco. What's the caterpillar.