Hopp Over

I don’t have an iPad and hate anything Apple (my problem, PCs and Windows let me fiddle a lot more). The iPad owner had lost his passwords and there was little to say it hadn’t been stolen – it hadn’t, I was even in contact with his daughter whose kids had changed passwords willy nilly but until the battery ran down they hadn’t needed one).  Anyway, multiple resets and support calls to Apple (they said “not a chance”), it was resurrected despite rather than because of Apple.

We had my photoclub’s Xmas lunch this week, 12 of us at an Auberge for the plat du jour. A fishy thing for entrée, veal filet for the main and passion fruit+ entremets (after Bake Off this year I know what an entremets is – a sponge and mouse multi-layered thingy). Back home and I had half and hour before my Franco/Brittanique Rencontre in St Laurent sur Gorre (every third Tuesday of the month) – I had to go this time in particular to pick up the wine we had ordered after the degustation (see http://patblog.patbell.co.uk/2017/11/14/and-about-time-too/). Just before I left home I rashly answered my phone – another client with a problem with the recent big Windows 10 update; it’s a long update and the woman, like many I think had shut down in the middle of it unaware what was happening in the background. I think this is where the problems happen. Anyway, it transpired that she lived opposite the place I was actually going to in St Laurent and since usually my clients are many kilometres away it seemed serendipitous. So I got to my “rencontre” a bit late but then called in to collect the problem laptop. Solved eventually, after several false starts, by stepping back to before the dreaded update.  A quick turnaround since usually a client has to bring the problem to me and leave it for a few days. She was so pleased she gave me another laptop to fix but less urgently fortunately, since my plan is not to work at all over Xmas week.

A couple of days later, another urgent issue with a laptop, this time a Norwegian woman with a failed laptop screen. The solution was simply a matter of connecting to another screen to get the stuff she needed. However the configured language was Norwegian and that is where I found that ‘skip’ in Norwegian is ‘Hopp Over’ – it wasn’t all that easy though!

This afternoon we have invited our neighbours for coffee and cake, and to view our living room. They’ve seen the progress all along (including the afternoon “cabaret” of Delia and me struggling to get 12 excessively heavy 4.5M oak beams off the hire truck – only ‘Madame’ so she only watched but seemed entertained!) Delia’s just finished a chocolate cake (thankfully with chocolate ganache rather than buttercream, which I detest – cream with melted chocolate is the only chocolate icing to have I think). Tomorrow (Xmas eve) we have the annual 30+ dog walk around a local lake followed by Xmas day – I will leave the remainder of our Xmas celebrations to Delia’s blog next week. By the way, we were considering  merging our blogs into one next year, what do you think?

Here’s a couple of snaps rom a Xmas market last year.


Snow, hangover and lots of food.

For once Delia and I weren’t joined at the hip this week. Delia flew off to Manchester and gave me a whole 4 hours to wrap her presents, go to bed ready for an early start for me to fly to Stansted to meet up with my brother, Richard. That morning though it had snowed and whilst Seina was imitating an energiser bunny, the snow had frozen to the car and as a result I forgot Siena’s food and bowl and left my carefully prepared coffee (for the journey) behind. Siena went to our helpful friend for a week of fun with her sheepdog friend Freya and Wallis the cat was free to come and go whilst our neighbour dropped in daily to feed him.

Richard’s son-in-law, Stephen’s mother from South Carolina was visiting and on Saturday they were to celebrate a late Thanksgiving. That evening we went to a local winebar, came home and drank some more, enough so I was dozing off with a slight headache by 11pm. Going to bed and my headache increased to the scale of a stroke! Seeing as no stroke lasts for hours I could guess that it was in fact a hangover. I must admit that the last time I had had such a hangover was also at Richard and Lyn’s so perhaps there’s a pattern forming.  Unable to get up that morning, Lyn was almost sympathetic and brought me some toast and telling Richard that “he’d broken his brother”. Eventually I made it downstairs but, rather than the family celebration I was expecting, 20 guests had arrived. Lots of great food (but just a single glass of prosecco for me!).

Delia arrived on the Sunday from York and from her first work ‘do.  And that night we played one of the most politically incorrect and inappropriate game I have ever encountered. “Cards against Humanity”.  One has 10 cards with random, sometimes obviously rude phrases but more oftent than not; just random, but which when combined in response to a question card can become outrageous. I can’t reproduce most here, but it was great fun. Stephen’s mum joined in with gusto adding a special slant with her strong South Caroline twang to the mix. I don’t think I have any other group I could possibly play this game with!

The next couple of days Delia and I needed to work but Monday evening was a delightful evening with my daughter and her fiancé at a restaurant in London’s Soho. On Tuesday Richard and Lyn treated us to a fantastic Indian meal at restaurant in Princes Risborough. Wednesday we were off again to London, Delia to Soho again and me left to my own devices.

That evening we went to her other work ‘do where I was the ‘plus one’ . It was good to see all the faces of names Delia had spoken about, the food was lovely and the champagne endless. We went back to the Ibis mostly sober.

The next day we were going home but, our flight being at 6pm, we met up with a friend in Nottingham and took him for a pub lunch and then a country walk. It was well-deserved for him since our last visit had involved an extra 6 days at his place due to an air traffic controllers’ strike. It was a lovely way to break up what would otherwise have been just a day of travelling.

Finally landing at about 9.30pm we headed through sleet to pick up a happy Siena and back home to our welcoming new living room.