We’ve had an extended period of rather bad weather, at least I think so. As of today I’ve had the X-Air for 4 weeks and in the whole of that time it has hardly stopped raining – a succession of horrible grey, damp days, one after another. The Dordogne has a speciality – not drizzle and not proper rain. It’s like spitting but quicker, just slowly and gently pitter-pattering down and it manages to keep doing it all day long, non-stop. Just enough to make you not want to go and do anything outside, but luckily I’ve found enough things to do indoors to keep me occupied.
The weather’s really strange (for me anyway) at the moment. We’ve still been getting daytime temperatures of around 60 deg F which means that the bugs aren’t dying off. When we used to come to France on holidays as a family, everyone else used to get bitten by the mozzies except me. But this time around I’m being eaten alive and it seems I’m not the only one. I went to the supermarket the other day and thought that I’d pick up a couple of cans of spray so I could give the whole house a couple of good blasts. It turned out that they were sold out – not a can of spray for ‘volants’ of any brand on the shelf, so I got one of those little electrical plug in ones with a bottle on it, like room freshener but with ‘anti-moustique’ in it. Now I’ll have to see if it works but the signs are good as I keep seeing dead mozzies and midges around the place and I don’t seem to be suffering the way I was! I’ve put some lights up on the front of the house because it’s pitch black here otherwise and when I went to take the dog out last thing the other evening there were literally dozens of mozzies and midges around it and some really big ones too. No wonder I’m covered in bites 😕
So for the whole of the last 4 weeks, the X-Air has stood pathetically under covers in my back garden, being constantly rained on. This was it the other morning seen from the back door of my ‘sejour’ but the picture has hardly changed in all that time.
By the way, the corrugated iron you can see behind the trees in the background isn’t because there’s a scrap yard behind my house. It belongs to my neighbour and as is the normal practice here, it covers an enormous stack of logs, all about a metre long, that need to be kept dry ready for use when needed in their wood-burner. Everywhere you drive here there are stacks of sawn wood by the roadside, some of which has been there for many months while it dries out. But nobody would ever think of pinching any of it though 🙂
Yes, that’s MYRO under the cover behind the X-Air. Previously its wings were lying on the ground under a cover behind it but with all the rain we’ve had, I found that the cover was collecting pools of smelly stagnant water full of decaying leaves. There was a gap in the rain that was long enough for me to move them in so they are now standing covered up against the rear wall of my house. I have various future options for MYRO which I want to retain so I don’t want it to deteriorate in the meantime, so this is a much better arrangement. I also need to refit the cabin doors to stop muck getting inside, which is happening at the moment but I didn’t have time after moving the wings before the rain started again.
The weather is changing, of course, as we go through into the Autumn and start to approach the Winter. The night-before-last was very cold and although I’ve seen a bit of ground-frost a couple of times when I’ve looked out in the early morning, yesterday was the first time that I’ve seen ice on the bird-bath. The day continued a bit on the chilly side but was bright and clear and I had the pleasure of having Sophie and Wim drop in for a cup of tea while they were out walking in the afternoon. I expected another cold night last night and put a heater in my bedroom and also left a bit of heating on in the rest of the house but in fact it wasn’t anywhere near as cold as the night before.
Today was a glorious warm, still sunny day which I made the most of. When my mother left her bungalow to live with my sister, she gave me her Freesat box and while I was living in Kent I bought a satellite dish and installation kit that I never got around to installing. Luckily I bought a dish that was larger than was strictly necessary for the south of England, so when I moved here I brought it with me. My original plan was to have the dish mounted on my chimney, but now my roof work has been put back while I see about getting my fireplace and flue ready for a wood-burner, Wim suggested that I could mount it on a pole in my garden. The problem with that, though, is that my neighbour has some large trees in his garden and although there’s a gap in them in the direction in which I need to point the satellite, there’s actually no suitable spot to position the pole on that line. So I thought to heck with it, why not just mount the dish on the southern end of the house and be done with it, as although I’ve been watching a bit of TV on my computer (not an edifying experience because the Internet here is just so slow :-() I’d like to have satellite TV before the Winter evenings set in.
So today I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve been waiting for a ladder that I wanted to buy to arrive in stock at Brico Depot and at last I got hold of one, so today I went up it and fixed the dish on the wall. It’s a while since I’ve been up a ladder like that, let alone while drilling holes into a stone wall, but pretty soon I got used to it and got the bracket and dish up there. I didn’t take a pic as I couldn’t get the whole job finished before the end of the day, but here’s a screen shot taken from the really handy web site I found that tells you which way to point your dish so it finds your chosen satellite. Where I’ve mounted the dish, I’m hoping that I’ll be aiming it right through the gap in my neighbour’s trees 🙂
I may or may not be successful in getting the system to work, I’ll have to wait and see, but I’m giving it a shot anyway. If it doesn’t work I can soon get someone in locally to install a system for me, but I’ve decided that I’m going to get my satellite TV before the Winter one way or another.
Now what about my floor tiles? The sample arrived from Toulouse and as expected, as you can see from the following pic in which I’ve placed it on top of an existing tile, it isn’t quite close enough to the existing ones.
The tiles from Toulouse are all in that same colour. It’s quite close to the ‘average’ colour of the existing floor, but the whole point is that the floor is made from traditional old tiles that are highly variable in colour. This means that an area done with ‘new’ tiles would stand out rather oddly. Wim suggested that in that case I should do the job in a completely different way, by using bricks on edge, for example, in order to create a feature in front of the fireplace. I’m not that keen on the idea and although doing a ‘matching’ job will depend on finding tiles that blend in perfectly, I think I may have found exactly what I need. A few days ago, Sophie suggested doing an Internet search using the term ‘tomettes’, the old French word for floor tiles. When I entered it into Google, several suppliers that I hadn’t found before came up, including one with the following image on their web site.
That looks pretty dam’ close to my floor to me! The tiles in question are 50% more expensive than the ones from Toulouse but so what – the job only has to be done the once. The main problem is that the supplier is a long way away, over to the north of the Riviera, and I really need to see the tiles for myself before I buy them. But I don’t have anything else more important to do with my time, do I. Life’s such an adventure these days 😀