These months normally represent the start of Spring, and so it was this year too.
My spring (they call it a "reawakening") started on a slightly more positive note than the year had shown to date!
I finally heard from those so famous "Social Services", who had decided that I did have some kind of right to assistance - but only so much. On the basis that something is better than nothing, the case was allowed to repose by me, and the Utility companies were happy too!
Spring also wakes up other people, although not always what one would wish for, being as happy as I am in my "hermitage".
It's nice if you can make some kind of tentative planning for the following few months, when the weather is better, warmer, milder, daylight hours are longer, and one can use it accordingly.
Even though I'm not "mobile", I still have my 2 feet, and get around surprisingly well, within certain limits.
My Doctor often rants on about "more exercise, Monsieur, more exercise"! I point out to him that carting shopping up three flights of stairs is not for pleasure reasons, and I consider that to bee exercise!
I also ask him how HE does his shopping, knowing full well that he has his 4 wheel drive range-rover at his disposal!
It is a fact - walking to the various shops, walking around them, carting everything back, humping it up the three flights, arranging it all - what should that be classed under? Pleasure, necessities of life - or what?
Not forgetting the 25 litres (25 litres = 25 kilos) of assorted wines required, and needing transporting as well!
Cat toilet articles each weighing 10 kilos (unused) which (30 kilos after use) has to be taken down the same stairs for disposal - pleasure, exercise or what.....?
(air of lament!)
However, back to Spring! Another one of these people who consider that I must leave my hermitage more frequently proposed passing some time (a few days) at her new home, in fact her own deceased parents house, where she had installed herself since she couldn't find anything else!
I was aware, of course, that my presence would sort of "legalise" or make her installation more official, and indeed that is roughly what happened!
Through the three days I passed there, we were visited on a daily basis by at least one of her sisters, and other members of her family!
Some, of course, only came to get a free meal and drinks, others to "control the situation"!
At the end of my stay, on the return journey to "the hermitage" I made it as clear as possible that this visit had been my last one!
Since then, I've heard nothing, maybe the message got across!
On the 22 April, I note in my diary, at around 3am, I had my customary 1st visit from that persistant little beast that makes buzzing noises in your ear, whilst you're asleep. This is my "resident" mossie!
Comes back, every year, without fail in April or May, when you least expect him, and when you're the least prepared!
After his visit - bye bye sleep! On the 1st available day, the electric anti-mossie thing gets plugged in, and that's it until next year!
There seem to be some traditions which always continue.......!
Like, for example, the annual purgatory of filling in Income Tax forms!
I'm not liable to pay anything, but I've still got to prove it! I'd prefer to pay, because that would mean I'd got something tangible - but "hélas" that's not the case! At least now I can do everything via internet, and even get my certificate by internet!
A memorial service was held in Raleigh, N. Carolina, USA for my sister - all I could do was call, and create a webpage. Here is the link:
And - that was April 2009!
May (according to my Diary) was a relarively quiet month. No invitations either to or from "L'ermitage"!
I note that the start of the month saw me becoming a permanent "Chromer". For those uninitiated, "Chrome" is an Internet browser, much faster than any other, free (of course) and after a few problems with "Firefox" - I migrated!
I did my normal exercise - ie kilos and kilos of shopping and kilometres and kilometers of walking! My Doctor would be proud of me!
Then - all hell broke loose!
The "proprietaire" (owner - landlord) decided finally, after 9 years of my occupation, to actually re-do the entry and communal areas of the building, which were in a state of ruins!
I think this had to do with the fact that he was having more and more problems to rent the other apartments, due to the bad impression given when you entered the place!
Over my 9 years of occupation, I had been the only occupant for at least 6 years, with a few short comings and goings. This suited me fine, and now my "Ermitage" was going to be cleaned up.....!
INSIDE, my flat always was, and still is, most accomodating, and very individual:
I refuse to show you a picture of my bedroom, it's too kinky, mirrors and things everywhere! You can come and see it, if you're young, attractive and RICH!
I wondered what was going to become of the outside, communal area. I was used to climbing the crumbling 42 steps, laden down, and I was used to the usual practice in the area of employing a member of the family, normally a self-declared expert in something or other, and I was used to the normal outcome - nothing worked, and was left half finished.
We're not far from Spain here, and the Spanish maxim "manana" (tomorrow) is rife!
Here you are - I was still living in the place, and was effectively imprisonned in my own flat, being unable to pass for days on end!
It would have been nice to have been informed BEFORE the start of all this, but of course, if you are reliant on other family members (albeit remote) then you can't say a start date - I suppose!
Of course, the Social people didn't like this, and wanted to send inspectors and things, but I refused, on the basis that I preferred relatively good relations with the owners than bad ones!
In the future, I'm not too sure!
Anyway, the "redo" went on well into June, and these months are relatively hot down here, so the workers did a lot of sweating, which made them thirsty, which meant cold beer and iced rosé wine - all mine - of course!
It was like being on a scaffold, so I just stayed home and bothered people on the internet, which by some miracle had been spared by the fervent workers! They had missed cutting the telephone/internet cables by inches!
Television wasn't a problem, because my Satellite reception cables and things are INSIDE the flat....thank goodness!
Now I knew a bit what it must be like to arrive in your holiday hotel and find a building site.....!
So there we are - April & May were gone - passed away with the other months, and I was still alive - JUST!
(no - it's not me, I'm not so dumb...!)
(mr le marquis - 30600, Vauvert, France - Nov/Dec 2009