Monday, 26 September 2011

accuse them of theft.

The evenings are markedly closing in, we have a tonne cheap coal from Belgium waiting to be delivered and the crop is getting to the point of final pickings. We have no idea what to do with this barrow full. There is a Halloween party to go to and we are throwing a guy faulks night here so we will do the traditional thing and shove candles in the goulie faces that Mike is going to have to make for me. The friend who gave me the seeds for these pumpkins was organising a panto of Cinderella for Christmas but it has been postponed and my prize pumpkin will not tread the hallowed boards of a panto stage after all,  I was “well gutted”

After a few false starts due to crock knees weather and Lerclerc we finally got Beema’s delivery trip from Cherbourg to Dielette under way. We had to leave at the crack of dawn on Friday to catch the best of the tides and managed to get around the Hague and onto our new birth in six hours. On the way we had a little problem with an over heating engine so Mike pulled back on the revs to keep her cool enough to up the revs when we got to the over falls but we only had one rough  encounter and as we were having such a lovely ride despite the complete lack of wind  we stayed at low revs and poodled all the way. A little bird came to join us and stopped for a breather. He crash landed into the cock pit then sat on the gunnels for quite some time before setting off again to warmer climes

Well there she is all tucked up in a lovely port surrounded by old houses and sea walls we are very happy and were trying to work out a way of keeping her, we do that every time we take her out, but we have a man coming to look at her on Saturday and I will have to watch that Mike does not try too hard to  put him off…

We are still up to out necks with Leclerc. They have sent us a registered letter saying that we will need to pay them 250 Euro in order to buy the licence for a new Windows Seven program. They confirmed in the letter that there had been a serious act of fraud but did not state who was responsible so we just need to pull out and deal with this ourselves. I called them this morning to say that we would collect the PC and go directly to Microsoft for the licence but the director of the Carentan branch said that if we did not write a statement with the facts of the complaint in French then we could not have our computer back. Mike and I went to the police to ask if he had the right to hold our PC to ransom like that and they also turned on us and said the director had called them this morning to say that they would need an officer to attend if Mike turned up to collect his PC and that I was to go alone…..can you believe it. We cancelled the appointment and wrote a response to the quote for new software saying that we would not be accepting their expensive offer  and wanted our property back. If by Thursday we have not got it back then we can  accuse them of theft.

Monday, 19 September 2011

book us up for 2012. What a relief.

What is going on,

 spring is in the air and we have not yet hit autumn. Mike came in the other day and declared that there was some funny stuff going on.

Our male Mandarin Duck did his season, unsuccessfully I might add as his daughter did not produce any chicks and he managed to loose his wife, but unperturbed he turned all his colour off and went grey and female looking which is actually the correct way of carrying on if you are a male Mandarin Duck. I spotted him however, in the pond showing off a spring like colour scheme and it is, all wrong. We have also spotted daffodil leaves in the back yard, poppies on the mound and September Gladioli….

Whist Mike and I have been in positively war like postures over our computer still captured and imprisoned at Leclerc I got to thinking about my Mac chugging along on steam power and it started to bother me that I had not done a recent back up of my photos so I set to one evening and glad to say I am all up to date just as the CD reader and writer decided to get a error complaint and shut down.
Just look at this collection of precious cargo stored in a grab bag under the stairs so that we can keep our memories. I just hope that by the time we are infirmed and content to sit all day just reminiscing that the CD won’t be obsolete and this pile of precious discs won’t  just be a pile of junk.

I am really pleased to announce that both Mike and I are feeling a lot better now. I have been laid out with a multitude of stuff all shown up on a blood test and I am now rattling like a pair of medication maracas, but I found the energy and, WOW, the enthusiasm to get into the mobile homes to take a few advertising pictures for our web page. We had our friends for supper the other night who are well connected in the D-day events business and asked if we were ready for them to recommend us.  If we can get this bit right we will be booked for the D day week.  We had a potential booking this August which I turned down not knowing whether we would be ready…clever move on my part,  but the gentleman has come back and wants to book us up for 2012. What a relief. 

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mike's computer on his lap where it belongs.

In 2009 we bought a laptop from Leclerc and at the time of purchase we made a point of asking that the Windows Seven operating system would be in English and we were assured that all programs these days are multi language. Wrong, computers  in France are sold with a basic program  only in French so we took it all back and said, no good. The assistant held onto the laptop, did us an update and we found we were cooking on gas except that Mike realised the keyboard has a different configuration but as he does not wear stiletto heels and touch type whilst taking down short hand it really did not matter.   A year later Microsoft asked us for a current licence number, but the number we had was for the original French version of Windows Seven so we took it back and the assistant again did the work and all was well until this year when Microsoft declared that the program is still not genuine and we needed to buy the licence. To cut a very boring and not very life in France story short we took the laptop back, explained the plot so far  and found ourselves invited to talk to the store Director, Manager to you and me but never the less it was starting to look a bit serious. We asked that Leclerc buy the licence and take responsibility and we left the PC with strict instructions that for security reasons we would need to understand what they planned to do to get legal. We returned yesterday to pick up the PC but it had been transported out of store to god only knows where to be investigated and when I asked how long this might take we were told could be three weeks. After we had insisted that we should be consulted on the movement of our precious PC Mike blew a veritable  fuse when we were told it was gone . There was an exchange of words in the store and Mike used his best English  Mr Angry vocabulary and promised to be back to see the manager in the morning as he was conveniently out. This morning we returned and marched into the office and were catapulted into a tirade of argumentative discussion where the manager asked what right we had to interfere with the way he was running Leclerc and that he was tempted to call the gendarmes and have Mike escorted off the premises for swearing abuse at his floor assistant yesterday. Mike welcomed the opportunity to talk to the gendarmes as we all knew that something very sinister was going on and Leclerc were either covering their tracks or trying to get the original assistant out of a job. I cannot tell you the abuse and unbelievable attitude we were subjected to until I shut Mike up and quietly explained to monsieur le director in my very best French that we were the customer here and do have the right to know where all our data is. His response was that Leclerc had strict rules about keeping the law and being respectful and they would never, ever steal data from anyone’s PC….but, they might load some pirated software, and I guess that would be OK then.   Mike is now without PC and is seriously not happy. I have used my French to it’s capacity and I am hungry for more. We await a call tomorrow to let us know when we can go back in to resolve the issue. Actually now I have tasted blood in battle I am quite looking forward to it.

To get over our little ordeal we went to the local depot vends for a bit of cheap retail therapy and found this fab coffee table. This table is completely HOSS tail friendly and we have somewhere to keep the collection of controllers we own. Mike is still leg up after his op but things are a little better and next week we hope to be back on form, with Mike's computer on his lap where it belongs.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

I don’t want him to have her…..Oh Dear…..

They do say that as you get older time flies by without a bye or leave,  and at this rate I must be knocking on 100. We just cannot imagine where this week has gone except that Mike is putting his feet up and we are both getting really into those antique programs on UK lunch time TV and my all time favourite Escape to the Country. I can immerse myself into a program like that, have an opinion and it not effect my life in any way except that the red cabbage are not being harvested and that huge bowl of Tomatoes are looking very red and in need of processing.

One of my best plants in the garden is the pampas Grass and we wait all summer watching the plumes develop and then without the courtesy of letting us see it in full plumage the wind dashes through and knocks the blighter over. What a disappointment,  last year the plumes saw us right though the snow and we were forced to cut them down one very cold day in fear that the ice might damage the plant crown, but it looks like half the plumes will be gone before the snow comes. Autumn is really here and the apples are tumbling off the trees. I made a call to Jacqueline, our cider  making boss,  to confirm that  she is happy to do cider again this year, she says she will start picking her apples now. Jacqueline  is in her mid eighties and takes her wheel barrow up into her orchard and picks tons of apples before us softies have even thought about it. We are seeing Graham this week and will put a picking plan in place so all those who want to play this year can get involved.

The Mobile Homes are now ready to be used. The engineer from EDF came and popped in the breakers and turned us on.  After all the troubles we have had getting thus far he did not even ask to see our certificate and I felt like ramming it in his face but he was the innocent party with the simple task of switch us on.  I would not let him leave however until Mike had assured me that the lights worked. I tried to explain why we were being so stupid about his visit but it went over is head and he sauntered off to switch somebody else on.

We popped up the boat to check her over and to prepare for her move to Dielette. We have been on the waiting list there for 4 years and our turn came up and as it costs no more than Cherbourg and Dielette is a far prettier place we have decided to take a change of port. Beema is still for sale and I have an interested party wanting more pictures of the inside and now I have taken  the pictures I don’t want him to have her…..Oh Dear…..

Friday, 2 September 2011

to start all over again.

Oh Blimey, you can’t keep an active bloke down.  I have been trying to keep Mike firmly attached to his arm chair allowing only  assisted walks into the garden to take air and realize how much work he has to do when he is finally up on both legs, but he escapes now and then and I caught him feeding the tomatoes in the cart, bad boy.  The nurse popped in yesterday and took off a mile of bandage to reveal two tiny entry wounds and a bit of swelling. Poor girl just laughed out loud and said this is nothing and we all laughed with her feeling that perhaps her bed side manner was a little out of practise.  We were in day two and still felt we wanted a bit of ohhh and ahh and “that must hurt”, but no, she slapped on some anti something and gave Mike two of the biggest big boy plasters you’d ever seen and said she would be back on Saturday.

HOSS was grumbling excessively on the drive yesterday, I was in the poly tunnel potting up 44 baby strawberry plants and Mike was obeying orders watching daytime TV. HOSS barked and barked and in the end I came out and he took me to the post box which I dutifully opened and dragged out the usual junk mail which we quite like to read so we know where the best deals are, There was a letter from some friends of my Mum’s who had tried to send her best wishes from Belgium to Brevands but they missed her by two days which was a shame. The address was a bit of an essay and there was a little note to thank the post man for deciphering the dubious address  but it still got here late.  
The last letter was, at last, our consuel conformity form and now we can put our order in to get the electricity turned on in the mobile homes…what a relief. I called EDF all afternoon yesterday to put a request for my electricity contract but constantly got the reply that despite all their efforts they could not put me through. In the UK I might have just walked to another supplier but in all these situations for us, here, it is best the devil you know.  This morning I called and got a very willing customer services lady who on hearing my sigh of disappointment with a connection date of the twentieth said “Oh wait, I can see there is a possibility for the twelfth”. Had she clock the date that this nightmare started, well maybe she had

In Mikes hand is a mouse the cat was playing with, in the background is the cat wondering where the mouse has gone,  the reason we noticed this goings-on was that, the cat had sat back to  allowed the dog to join in the fun I was in the yard and called HOSS off and then we thought it may be kinder to put the mouse back in the garden,  for the process to start all over again.