Sunday, August 30, 2015

The History of Humankind

Throughout our time on earth, ours has been the stories of mass migrations and social upheaval. By now it should have taught us that not only is migration inevitable, it is necessary for our ultimate survival.

Building fences or walls, sending armed marshalls or guards only foments hatred, dissent and fear among all the peoples affected and separates us from each other in ways that can take centuries to overcome. And all to no avail because one way or another migratory change is going to happen.

So why then are we all not taking positive steps to help incorporate new societies into the fabric of our own and stop wasting time and resources in preventing what is impossible to prevent.

Of course there are moral issues. We are watching scenes of  devastating  poignancy daily on our television screens and we are being threatened with dire consequences if we don't stem the tide of the masses that will overwhelm us. And so we convince our inner souls that it is right and necessary  to turn our backs on those who so desperately seek our help.

What is very disturbing to me is the dissention and, indeed, vitriol within our own society, within families and among friends -- nevermind Internet colleagues -- that is now rife. Personally, i come from a nation of immigrants and cannot forget that heritage. We are in fact all products of ages of immigration and migration and it is at our peril to forget that.

Friday, August 21, 2015

and All Is as It Should Be -- More or Less

So when I last wrote we were about to be beseiged by guests, had no television and the Internet had failed. Oh and we were in the midst of filling the new pool that was replacing the one the  mice had eaten...

For two days we filled the pool with  the garden  hose. The Man  was taking a well-deserved nap and I had come to the terrace with a cup of.  tea and a slice of cake. "Oh my" I  thought to myself, " that pool seems to be bulging out a bit. I will call Him when I  finish  my  tea?" Suddenly mid-bite I heard the sound of a wave breaking a few yards away from my back!

I screamed loudly for the Man that the wall of the pool had collapsed. Indeed, I thought the thing would be empty by the time He arrived. It wasn't but had lost more than half the water! Using brooms and logs as wedging/support devices we have been able to secure the wall enough to fill the pool with about 20 inches of water -- far short of the 4 feet it is  supposed to hold, but enough to entertain the three girls when they were here and to cool off ourselves on some very hot days.
This all because The Man did not adequately level off the ground when setting up to fill. We know for next year, provided something doesn't eat it!

Our guests arrived and brought with them a new satellite  box. And I  am happy  to  report that we are now able to receive our daily injections of British television. The problem seems to have been that our television is not HD and so the signal came through all mangled looking and pixelated. The new box has two selections for each channel -- one HD and the other not. So that problem was gratefully and rather easily solved!

The Internet, is more or less working. I contacted 03 and explained that their roaming card did not work on my mobile router. After many hours on the phone they said they would continue to  have their  engineers working on it and would be back in touch with me. It had been necessary for them to make a few changes to the settings on my account, which I thought had been made before I left the UK. The problem I now have is with the connection in this part of rural France not being totally dependable except for  the  wee hours of the morning and now and then the rest of  the  time. So for example I will be able to publish this fairly easily as long as I don't try to publish pictures. (Thank goodness for friends with a splendid Internet  connection!)

My last annoyance came shortly after our guests arrived on the 19th of July. I was seated in the blue chair above. It is very low on the ground and when I  tried to get up I felt  an excruciating pain along the outside of my thigh. It is now the 21st of  August and this week for the first time all symptoms of pain and discomfort have gone! I can now climb up and down stairs, get out of bed, get out of chairs, in and out of the car and even up off the ground -- and it is painless!

And now I have real problems to think about -- such as family in South Korea with that thug in the North threatening war. And I really do worry about the thousands of refugees trying so hard to escape murder and mayhem with their families and nowhere to find a safe harbour. If only my little worries and annoyances were all anyone had to cope with...

Sunday, August 02, 2015

France Profond and All Is as It Should Be -- finally!

It is a very long drive from Southport to the Lot. We left on July 8th and arrived here on the 10th. The house was in its usual state -- lots of dust and spiders. Nothing unusual -- that is until there was a 'bang' of sorts and the electricity went off. After a short investigation The Man got us re connected and we are still nome the wiser as to what happened..

The result of this scare, however were frayed tempers resulting in The Broad storming out in 38C heat to walk to the village shop to by tomatoes-- which I had forgotten to by earlier.

The next day all was much calmer and necessary apologies were made or I would have stayed on my high horse and time was not to be wasted ...

Alors ... time could not be wasted because we had a family of five coming to stay for 4 days in less than a weeks time. Fortunately, the grass had been  cut  and the terrace had been successfully treated to stay clean so all The Man had to do was get the swimming pool up and filled with water.

Ha! We arrived on Friday. The Man had set aside Sunday to set up the pool. Sunday came and with great anticipation he began the task. From the terrace I heard a sudden anguished "OH, NO"!!!  Upon opening out the pool he discovered to his absolute horror that mice had ingested much of the bottom with giant Swiss cheese effect...

Ho, hum... the discovery on Sunday in La France Profond meant that  a replacement pool woul have to wait until the next day. Fortunately, we found another pool the next day. It was even bigger that the one the mice ate. 18 feet across instead of 15 and 4 feet deep instead of 3.5.but of course that presented us with problems we hadn't anticipated...

In the meantime I was fighting  my yearly battle to get some kind of
Internet connection. Before we left England for France I  learned that I mcould get a pay-as-you-go connection with Three -- 10 gigabytes for £15 per month and that I would pay the same amount while in France. I have a little mobile router that enables me to do this,  but when I got here I could not get connected! Needless to say I was not very happy about that.

Then we tried to get the TV up and running. A good friend was coming to watch the Wimbleton Final. The reception kept breaking up. In fact it was just impossible to watch. Then we discovered that we could not receive any of the BBC channels! We know that we are on the edge of the 'foot print' but last year we were fine.

Anyway we were not fine now and The Man had two theories. The first being that the decoding box was old and had been playing up for some time. To that end he had our son get us a new satellite box and give it to the family coming to stay with us in a few days time. His second theory was that we needed to invest in a larger satellite dish...

In the meantime back at the pool, which was hour after hour after even more hours filling with water. This pool took a lot more than the mouse-ingested pool! And we were about to discover that having the groung absolutely level is very very important. .