4th April 2011. We've been struggling with our internet connection (no names - but there's a clue in the colour of the record label below..) We had to phone the Call Centre in Tunisia (of all places!) on our mobile to sort it out.. Following the instructions over the phone I ended up on the floor pulling out the dusty tangle of electric spaghetti from under my desk in order to disconnect my router, before resetting the LiveBox and then reconfiguring it according to the distant voice - before going for a walk for an hour while ones and noughts were fine-tuned from afar. Miracle of miracles, when I switched on again - it was all working as advertised. We have a single broadband connection that gives us the internet, TV and unlimited free* phone calls within Europe and to N America so when it goes down, we feel a bit isolated!* unlimited for 7€ a month.
Now tell me you don't rate Harry Nilsson..
On Thursday, we're away on a trip first to Paris, then Andalusia in southern Spain for a week or so. We take the TGV up to Paris on Thursday, staying with friends of Madame's for a couple of days before flying to Malaga.
This is a trip organised by a group of current and ex-'profs' from Madame's old school - we had a weekend away with them last May when we went up to Rouen - and they're a really nice crowd. The trip is a tour of Andalusia visiting Malaga, Ronda, Granada, Seville and all stations in between. During the week, we're staying in about 5 different hotels and there's a coach to take us everywhere. All meals and wine are included.. It's a region I've not visited before so I'm really looking forward to it. The temps are forecast to be up in the high 20s in the afternoons.
To finish up with, here's a clip that combines three of my favourite things in life.. Django Reinhardt, rowing and the Impressionists:
The artist is Ferdinand Gueldry who has up until now completely escaped my radar.
Well, as we're talking about favourite things in life, I'd better include this piece by Chet Baker. I'm in the "less is more" camp when it comes to jazz and if you're not sure what I mean by that, take a few minutes to have a listen to this:
5th April 2011. I must mention something that's been stuck in my mind ever since our trip up to Arès (across from Arcachon) last Friday - we drove past a supermarket that was called Le Mutant..! With all the health scares about GM foods, factory farming, growth hormones and all the rest of the brave new world that is modern agriculture, wouldn't you think that, out of all the thousands of potential names there were to pick from, perhaps a better name could have been chosen?
Lunch outside again today..! Just picked up Madame from Biarritz - according to the car, it was 25½°C (or 78° in Ye Olde Fahrenheit) this afternoon.
Went out in an VIII sculler on a beautifully balmy cloudless blue evening with a warm slanting sun. Did 12km (Running total: 560km) Had a quick shower at home and ate out on the terrace.
6th April 2011. The dog is spread-eagled on the tiled floor in the kitchen - it's 28°C in the shade in the garden.. or 82½°F if there's someone out there still using Ye Olde Royal & Ancient Fahrenheit. According to the TF1 Météo this evening (via the ever-charming Evelyne Dhéliat) it was 31° down in St Jean de Luz this afternoon..
Now I'm off to pack my suitcase - you'll have to talk amongst yourselves for a few days!