Rosé on tap

This year we have discovered the joy of Rosé in a box and it’s been quite a celebration!

We have a number of Roséline bottles with glass stoppers which were working perfectly for refilling with water. Oh how naive!

When we spotted the Roséline brand of Rosé in a box at the supermarket (five litres for €24.99) it seemed like the ideal solution. We can’t get rid of glass without driving it to the village so now with the box in the garage, we have the joy of Rosé on tap which is a little disastrous and all for a very affordable price!

The good news is that as we’re actually reaching saturation point for the summer, the end is in sight!

Summer continues

It’s been a while as July turned to August and the summer continued. I have been working well, breaking my day up with multiple zoom calls and swimming sessions. Pool maintenance continues and I’m proud of how good the pool has been this summer. No panicking this year.

My swimming has improved from watching YouTube videos in between zoom calls and I’m even thinking of looking for a gym with a pool when I go back. It’s never crossed my mind before as I’ve used the local pool in Swiss Cottage (verrucas and pubes) but perhaps a private gym would encourage me to swim through the winter. One can hope!

The inevitable return is looming in about ten days as Agnes and I will lead the troops home to London. Apparently it’s been very wet and chilly so it sounds like we’ll be putting the fire on upon our return.

Until then, I’ll be swimming several times a day, while I still can!

Vaccinated, the rules change again

Apparently I am now considered to be vaccinated as France now recognises the Indian AstraZeneca, Covishield.

Just in the nick of time it would seem as the French rules are changing…again.

From August 1st, double vaccines will be required to go to restaurants, shopping centres, bars and long distance train journeys.

As I am now booked to do the journey back to the UK in mid August, this is a huge relief as I was worried Agnes and I would get stuck in Marseille. Or rather I would!

Stung!

At the age of almost 52 I had never been stung by a wasp, until today. I thought it was rather unsporting as the wasp was hiding in my yellow trouser leg and stung me as my foot emerged from the hem. Off he flew angrily as if I was the one at fault. They were my trousers!

While it was still hurting an hour later, it seemed fine and looked unlikely that I was going to go into anaphylactic shock.

Wasps. Not very sporting.

Flat Monday

After the huge build up and excitement of the Euros Final including company emails giving us Monday morning off to recover from our inevitable hangovers, Monday was very flat indeed.

Being in France, we didn’t quite get the full excitement, but with expectations running high, the mens final at Wimbledon and the final leg of the Tour de France, it seemed everything had been crammed into one day. We cheered, we screamed, we booed, and then there was nothing.

Despite the England loss, it had been a good match, gripping football and then sadly a loss at penalties. Everything riding on five players and five attempts at goal. And then game over. Back to work.

A viewing with the devil

This week we listed the French house for a winter rental as we’ve done for the past two years. It means we have guardians on the property and the mortgage is covered, a win-win situation.

Last year we had some difficult tenants so we were keen not to make the same mistake twice.

We had two viewings, felt cautiously optimistic about the second viewing and then the third viewing arrived and the devil walked into our house.

It’s fair to say that I am an extremely bad judge of character. I take everyone at face value and assume everyone is as honest as I am. Luckily Big T is an excellent judge of character and is not in any way as naive or trusting as me!

A 50-something French soon-to-be divorced father of three arrived to view the house, he walked around, didn’t ask questions, claimed to be an opera singer, told us that he liked to maintain an open house policy with his friends but of course he wouldn’t in our house, invited Big T to stay rather than staying in the studio and accused the dog of taking cocaine when she zoomed around like a maniac obviously picking up on his energy. It’s hard to explain!

He seemed keen to take the house but finally I started to realise that something wasn’t quite right. As he backed his black Mercedes out of the driveway, winking at us as he went, Big T caught my eye and looking down at his number plate, three black sixes stood out in relief against the white background. The devil had surely come to visit!

Grand Pool Master

I have proudly reached ultimate clarity with the pool as the water looks like glass and every tile is visible. It is a delight to behold!

As a result I have reached the pinnacle of pool obsession because every house with a pool must have a pool obsessive.

The person who can’t swim without sweeping, the one who diligently skims every leaf from the surface, who checks the chemicals, backwashes the filter and empties the pump basket.

Without the pool obsessive, it’s impossible to maintain ultimate clarity and so I have taken on the role and so far, I’m very pleased with the results except… now I can see where the grout needs to be replaced!

Vaccinated or not?

It turns out that I’m one of five million Brits who had the Indian Astra Zeneca vaccine rather than the Oxford and according to the DailyMail, it’s not recognised by the EU.

Considering I got vaccinated in order to travel, suffered twenty four hours of miserable COVID symptoms and missed my father-in-law’s birthday, I have to wonder what’s the point?

So now what? Do I need another vaccine? Am I even more unwelcome in the EU? Am I susceptible to the Indian variant?

Who the fuck knows? A sentiment which pretty much sums up everything these days!

Agnes becomes French

Yesterday Agnes became a dual citizen as she now has a French passport. This is in addition to her UK EU passport which allows her to get back in to the UK but no longer allows her into Europe after Brexit.

Having gone through the paperwork required for an animal travel certificate which took an hour, cost £90 (normally £160 and is only valid for four months) a French passport seemed like a good idea.

Of course there’s something so wrong with all of this as the dog now has dual nationality and we’re not allowed to stay longer than 90 days.

Will Agnes bail us out if we get deported?

June ending

We’re approaching the end of June which seems to have flashed by in the blink of an eye. I’m ensconced in the small top bedroom following a daily routine of swimming continuously in circles for fifteen minutes and swimming very short lengths to practise breathing for another fifteen minutes. It’s more effective than it sounds!

My daily zoom calls, team restructures, admin and HR continue and when possible I try to do something creative. I’m getting more of a handle on this new job and distance has actually been my friend with the hour time difference buffering me from the UK. There are return to office discussions, apparently the start date is September 1st (Covid permitting) so I’m making the most of my time before I have to start the slog back to Camden with my fingers crossed for the next lockdown!

I leave the house on average twice a week which means I’m well protected from Covid, as if we still care. In rural southern France it’s almost like it never happened. Life is a little more slow and simple as apart from work, I am sewing cushions, growing succulents and occasionally watching tennis and football.

And so as the weather heats up (30 degrees this week) the pace slows down a little as out of office replies bounce through and Summer Fridays are a nice corporate perk where every second Friday is a day off.

Enjoy the moment.