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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I'm Back

Well, that was a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday.  As usual, some time off the treadmill really does give you a bit of perspective on things, and add in fantastic weather, a pool five metres away and a fantastic view, and you cannot really find a better way to spend a couple of weeks.

The biggest surprise to me was how much I enjoyed Provence.  I expected hot, and I guess some good scenery, but the locale was fantastic.  We were in the Var region, the hilly region to the north of Cannes, which, in contrast to the wealth and decadence of the coast, a tough and uncompromising environment.  I did not particularly see it, but the guide books tell us that life is pretty hard in the hills.  Certainly the up and down, twisty turny roads test ones driving, and the nerve of a chap's passengers, makes for a rugged landscape, however the up side is that there villages, mostly built on the top of hills, mostly centering round a church, look fantastic from a distance, and provided delicious "proper" French villages that were delightful without being chocolate box, if you know what I mean.

Normally, after mid-August, the temperatures would expect to drop to a reasonable 27 degrees centigrade, but our stay coincided with an extended heatwave where the temperatures stayed between 35 and 40 degrees, and boy did we feel it.  While the outside temperatures did drop overnight, a combination of us wanting security so keeping the windows locked, and also the fact that the bricks of the building act as a radiator of the heat absorbed during the days, meant that the inside was very hot, to the point that we slept naked with fans on us all night.

If you need to try and remove that image from your mind, then consider Cannes, or St Tropez, or even Nice, and some of the amazing ships berthed along the ports of each city.  We have decided we would like one of them, at some stage of our lives, and of course that will require a lottery win, or two, but that is mere detail.

So, I am back, and feeling much sadder than usual to not be on holiday, and I guess that time will slowly change that feeling.  We do have some things to look forward to between now and Christmas, and they will keep us going in what is my least favourite phase, the after-the-summer-running-in-to-Christmas phase, when there is usually little time off, the days shorten and the weather worsens.  Oh joy.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thursday Thursday here again

The last working day before my holiday and I cannot wait.  As for the Maggots, well you could run a small town off the energy they are giving off.  Next task is to get the roofbox on the car, so we can start to pack the light stuff.  Better go and do it then.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Mid-week update

'Tis midweek, in the office, so lots of people to talk to, and boy are they talking.

Otherwise, an ordinary day, the end of which will signify it nearly being my holiday.  Roof box goes on the car tonight and the basic light elements going in there will be packed, and we can also cross off another day on the holiday countdown chart, which is now taking pride of place on our new blackboard wall in the new extension, where else.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Oh yes . . .

. . . forgot to say, thought I would brighten up the site's design for summer.


Due to my upcoming holiday - did I mention I am going on holiday soon? - I thought I would do something that I have hitherto been unable to do; write my blog every day.  I know, totally unheard of, how will you find to time to analyse and absorb my deep and humourous words?  A question that we should probably leave lingering like a bad smell, in the hope that it will dissipate in time.

Not so much to report today.  We did do the final coat on the blackboard wall, and have now removed the masking tape, and it does look fantastic.  Bit of touching up to be done with the white round the edge where the tape has pulled the top layer of paint off, but rather that than a low-tack tape that allows the paint to bleed underneath the line.

We have also started packing, or to be precise, putting the clothes and other items in piles ready to be packed.  The clothes-we-don't-need-until-we-are-there suitcase is packed, the clothes-to-wear-in-the-car-on-the-first-day pile is ready, as is the clothes-we-will-take-in-to-the-hotel-for-day-2 pile.  We also have several lists, the shortest of which is the list detailing where we have put all the other lists, and all in all we are in pretty good shape.  The top box is going on the car today, and the light-and-not-needed-until-we-get-there stuff will be packed in there probably today and tomorrow.  This will include a couple of toppers (you can never be too soft when it comes to a bed*) and various beach and pool items such as sun shelters, buckets & spades, snorkel & masks, inflatables, you know how we love our inflatables, and various other ephemera**.

As I mentioned yesterday, the inside of the car has been cleaned*** and today or tomorrow I will give the outside a little wash, and another thing can be ticked off the list. 

We spoke to the owner last night who had sent an email saying "we have not received the cheque" only to find in the evening when she rang that the deposit cheque had been stuck to the back of the payment cheque.  Doh!  Too late, we had already cancelled the cheques and paid by electronic transfer, so hopefully that will all go through OK.  The lady sounds very nice, and has just returned from the place, and was able to give us various bits of advice, including the fact that there are lots of mozzies, and that it is as hot as Hades there.  It looks like we will not be doing much during the day.  Lovely.

That's all for now folks, speak again soon tomorrow.

* ... or a Mister Whippy ice cream, one thing to which the French really have not mastered, or actually even tried to master
** very likely not the correct use of the word, but it just popped in to my head, and does have a pleasing sound to it
*** Apart from a few drips of something unspeakable on the passenger side console, as high-lighted by LO.

Monday, 8 August 2011

What a fantastic weekend

We had a great weekend, with Brad and Angelina down to stay and a Meal for Eight on Saturday evening.  Needless to say that we were v. v. tired Sunday, and so it was a slow day of little chores, tidying up and generally starting to prepare for our holiday.  The car internals got a clean and I was ably assisted by the two Maggots who, to be fair, did a fantastic job polishing and hoovering their respective rear seat areas.

We then extracted all our holiday gear from the loft, and inflated the inflatables to check which had lasted the long cold winter, and which had fallen by the wayside.  I can report, with some sadness, that the crocodile and my favourite armchair have both bitten the dust.  This fits with our need to pack less this year, but is still an event of sadness that will stay with me through until my coffee break at eleven o'clock.

On the first call of the week, which is meant to be a "what's hot for this week" kind of call, but descends in to a painful and boring run through a couple of lists of things that are going to be done. #

This week will be a time of loose end tying, and the offloading of tasks that will run in to the following weeks, including my team-lead role.

Have a good week, and let's catch up before I go on holiday.

Friday, 5 August 2011

And . . . relax

It is Friday, the sun is shining, and this weekend we are having the "Meal for Eight".  As part of this, Brad and Angelina, and their pair of offspring, will be staying with us for the weekend.  We are very much looking forward to the weekend and I have had to tidy up all over the place.

Hope your weekend is as good as ours will be.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Holding pattern

I think today will be one of those days that will be remembered not at all, a holding pattern kind of day.  There will be some work, albeit now located IN MY NEW OFFICE.  This is not what a chap would call "finished".  I am in and working, but the desk is currently a bit of leftover MDF balanced on my little computer desk that I have been using in the bedroom.  This is not pretty, but it does give me some decent space.  And yes, it is only temporary. 

I have also retrieved the filing cabinet from the shed, albeit with the two drawers with the important stuff still in the loft (I did not want to have all our papers in a wooden shed, albeit a beauty of a wooden shed).  I also have a pile of gumf that will be in the study once I have storage to accommodate it; stationery, various cables and the rest of the electrical items yet to be installed, such as main computer, light, 2-way switch etc etc etc.  I won't bore you further, I think that is enough boring for a Tuesday.

We have the "meal for eight" at the weekend, so I will be on a strict timetable to remove all my stuff from the many and various temporary storage locations.  The shed has to be the final resting place of said detritus, and now that the filing cabinet has been relocated, I think I have now removed the last excuse I have for not tidying it up.  The shed, as you will know, is the dumping ground for everything that needs a temporary home, and the many repeats of moving all the stuff from the left to the right to get to something, only to move it back from right to left the day after to get something else, means that, putting it politely, space has not been optimally used.  There is also, I am reliable informed by LO, in her own minimalist and direct way, "a lot of cr@p you can throw away in there". 

I guess that is me told.

Enjoy your day and speak soon.