December 18, 2014

a son of Esperaza doing well

Here is Annie and Petes' genius boy-child Theo at his graduation... many congratulations :)

Busy Life


As Kat said yesterday; you know you are living in the right place when people can pass the day watching the road being mended.
The workmen, to be fair, gave an excellent show - dancing with their spades to the piped christmas muzac.

December 17, 2014

You have been warned....

I was warned by K and D not to bother with the Post Office in Esperaza as place to put savings. The bloke there took their will to live away - go straight to Limoux, they said.  But its close and the bloke rang me to make a convenient appointment so off I set.

To contextualize this a little, I have some dosh that has to be spread over the next x years and should remain accessible for emergencies. Im uncomfortable with putting it under the bed, so I started with the Credit Agricole; the bloke l saw  there didn't speak a word of English but we happily sorted out what schemes were available and I told him I'd think about it and went off to the post office  meeting.

The bloke there said he spoke English but preferred not to. An ominous start but fair enough. Then he moved into what can only be described as a Monty Python sketch;
PO: What a pretty name
me: Thank you
PO You have your passport?
me: here is my passport
PO: What a pretty name
me: thank you
Starts to photocopy my passport
me: Why are you photocopying my passport?
PO: I have to photocopy your passport
me: But I only what to know what interest you pay savers
PO Have you got a household bill?
me: Yes, why?
..................... on and on, until he confessed that he was opening an account for me at the post office.
HE WOULD NOT TELL ME THE RATE OF INTEREST ON A SAVINGS ACCOUNT UNTIL I HAD AN ACCOUNT THERE
.......... we press on.
me: Here are EDF bills, Tax Fonciere bills, Tax d'habitation bills
PO: Why have you got two names?
me: One is my maiden name, one my married name
PO: Where is your certificate of marriage?
me: Here is my certificate of marriage.
PO What is the date?

Actually I don't think I can carry on. I did loose the will to live as K and D had said I would. The man started asking the same questions over and over as if to test my memory and when I told him that all my work accounts were with my accountant (having said that my work was irrelevant, though needing my Siret, Siren and SS numbers -) he started the process over again. What a pretty name.

So I got my papers together and stood up and said 'if you don't want my money, I'm leaving.'
PO: But we do want your money.
me: ----but Ive had enough

Opening the door, I found a packed post office had been paying full attention with their mouths open. I touched my forehead, rolled my eyes and left.
                                               l'll probably be run out of town today.

So, I missed the town party for the retired people but Im sure it was a gas!!
Bob back tomorrow. Time to deck the halls with boughs of holly. Here's Lily, looking for someone to bite.




December 15, 2014

changes and renovations




 Heres Alecia - looking very like Cinderella in the ashes - pulling up the 1970's tiles in my living room to reveal the lovely old ones underneath.
 And here is a shock.... Kat and I like to take our morning coffee in the cafe du Pont, but today it was closed. Closed by the powers-that-be for a month and a half, because....et alors?? We tracked down the bloke that occasionally works there to find out what was going on and he said, the Mayor had it in for them. Just because he didn't like drunken youths making a racket late at night, he'd done them for supplying drink to minors.
Golly! Maybe he'll be taking on the drug dealers next...
Kelly came round tonight. Neither of us drink but somehow we managed to all but finish a bottle of chardonnay.

December 13, 2014

Saturday blaze

Leaving home just before dawn to walk my amiable dog Lily, the camera didn't come to hand and I decided not to hunt it. I mean, there are only so many photos one can take of sunrises.
Naturally the dawn was spectacular. Due to some weird cloud formations, it seemed that curtains of raspbery and apricot were hanging in layers in the sky, against a pellucid blue. A bit like I've imagined the aurea borealis might be.

Rounding the corner at the town hall things were somewhat different - notably, there were flames and smoke leaping into the sky adding considerably to the visuals.

The garage of Dr Cinelli was ablaze and all our heroic pompiers were there, firefighting away.
The Mayor was watching and was happy to assure me that no-one was hurt though it was a very large fire -

Went back later to photograph the chared remains but I was too late. Our useful town services had sealed off the entrance and were taking down the dangerous timbers. There had been an iron staircase that was distorted by the heat which I'd have liked a snap of and a car totally burned out that seemed to be visually poetic but perhaps its as well not to be too enthusiastic for these things -:)

The fire services are marvellous, truly. As I say, this was a major fire but it wasn't allowed spread, it didn't get to touch the railway line, it didn't catch the street christmas decorations...

December 12, 2014

twilight in Esperaza

 Isnt this thrilling?? Saw Msr Cross cleaning the window of Karims old gallery this morning and by the time the bus bought me back from my day out in Carcassonne, this poster was in place - will certainly be at the Centre Culturel on the 27th, despite the fact that the last time I saw anything in 3D I had to have my eyes closed thoughout what with the vertigo (it was the Lord of the Rings)

Twilight in the town was beautiful tonight, here are a couple of snaps; one by the  church and one by the chemists. You can tell because of the green light from the pharmacy sign.


December 11, 2014

Xmas fervour

Heres our main square, as you can see hardly hopping with Xmas shoppers - lights are pretty in the rain though.

Mixed day for me. Sold my little room in Toulouse which on the one hand means I'm no longer skating on thin ice but on the other, I no longer have a little room in Toulouse.
It was  fun for a while :) Never be able to make my living buying and selling property, I get too attached -

The sweet notaire, probaly sensing my tristesse, took me out to lunch at an Italian resturant in Carcassonne, Del Arte ( its not too far from Tridome, that direction -) Very good. Probably a chain but a nice one, pretty water features, decent service and jolly impeccable food. Been open for three months and packed. Recommended.