Saturday, July 9, 2011

Five Finger Exercises

Water low in the river now
Sunday, and today Yan leaves us to return to Bremen. He is booked on the evening flight from Rodez to Porto so we went to Belcastle after lunch. This time we intended to visit the chateau itself. Here are some of the pictures I took.

This was a bit of serendipity - I didn't see the man until I had downloaded it.
The chateau was well worth the visit. It is largely a reconstruction by a French architect who fell in love with the ruin and had it restored using old methods. It is beautifully done.
We had intended to finish off the visit with a meal in Anna's place where we ate  before but we discovered it was not serving meals at that time of day on a Sunday and as we could find anywhere else on the way to the airport we had to put Yan on the plane hungry. Tsk! Tsk!

On Monday a party of hydro-biologists arrived from Toulouse University. They wanted to investigate the fish in the river either side of the weir. The leader spoke perfect English so Jim was able to converse with them easily and gave them permission to do whatever they wanted.

They took samples of fish from the river, recorded what they found, clipped off bits of fin and then put them back. The fish were mainly gudgeon and trout.
The biologists may return in September for another look in the river.

Wednesday was a quiet day in, doing patchwork and laundry. Jim strimmed various grassy areas. Discovered Elizabeth Peters stories about Amelia Peabody. Bought and downloaded the audio version of the first one ‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’. I like to have something to listen to when I am sewing or ironing. There are 14 books altogether so I have enjoyment ahead.
The badminton stuff arrived - it looks okay. All we need now are some keen players - and the grass cut.

Usual morning at the market. However we have now deserted ‘Le Globe’ for coffee as we wait an age to be served and went back to La Parisienne. A pity because Le Globe is situated next to a plant stall. We bought another Honeysuckle for the structure around ‘Peter’s Place’ before we left.
We now have a shortage of water for garden purposes. Jim’s reservoir is empty and he is having to water by hand. We need some rain soon.

My midi keyboard controller arrived. Such frustration! I connected it up to the computer but I couldn’t get a peep out of it. Obviously I needed to load the software. My computer kept ejecting the disk provided so I tried it on Jim’s machine which was ok so using my memory stick I copied the files to mine. Ha! I tried to follow the instructions (in English) but it was technical gobbledygook and still no sound from the keyboard. The Albert Hall was going to have to wait.
Two hours later I turned to GarageBand (an Apple music application for Macs) and voila! I practised a few chords and then as I was downloading lessons for the piano into GarageBand – phizzt! – the Neufbox died! I couldn’t believe it! No broadband again!
It rained. Jim said not enough to fill the reservoir.

I rang UK telecom. The snappy woman (I think she remembered me from last time) said that a new Neufbox would be sent – we should get it Monday or Tuesday next week. We shall see. 
We went into Maurs to get our haircut in the same salon we used last year. No problems except a long wait. We then went to La Parisienne to log on and pick up emails.

This morning (Saturday) I switched the Neufbox back on out of curiosity and, lo and behold I was logged on! The lights are not functioning properly but otherwise I am on the web so emails picked up, read Facebook and did this blog. I shan't cancel the new Neufbox as I still think something is amiss with it.

Mega ironing day today and supper with Caro and Dennis tonight. They have also invited their French neighbours who have some eco-building project ongoing. Should be interesting.

I am going to publish this blog now (Saturday morning) just in case I lose the connection. If I have missed any news I may add it later.
I have to practise the piano before lunch.
Don't forget your comments, please.
Late evening sun on the lawn


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  2. Looks like a gate, doesn't it? I saw it as a gate at first. Didn't recognise anything else - apart from the Hydrangeas. The bars on the tree house (why do we call it a tree house - it isn't a tree house but that name will serve as well as any I suppose so let's keep it) look like the bars on a gate. An entry into the hillside. Out of the sunshine and into the underworld gloom. To find what? Gold perhaps, or garnets or perhaps coal.

    Glad you are learning the piano. Will you play during the long evenings when the DVD player doesn't work? Play and sing? Maybe we can offer you to Camilla for a clubnight.

    Lots of great adventures. Very envious. Though not of watering everything by hand.