No words this week, just a pictorial impression of our camping weekend, as they came off the cameras. Suffice to say that Lizzie behaved impeccably, giving us more confidence to try her on longer trips.
About 90 days until our next big trip.
to celebrate my 64th birthday, Fathers’ Day, and a rare period of uninterrupted good weather set to last for a full four days. Hence no blog today – probably on Tuesday.
A note to our regular readers. We hope you are both having as much fun and relaxation as we are. Profitez bien du soleil et du chaleur !
Another week of mixed weather, although better overall than has been the case of late.
BBC-TV’s Springwatch has been right up to standard again. This time we are more closely involved than is generally the case, for two reasons: Trevor loves the sound of young birds and the Kestrel count is being run by the Hawk Conservancy Trust, which has meant a bit of extra work for me.
Let’s start by seeing how much Trevor enjoys the Springwatch content
I think it’s the sound of baby birds that gets to him. As is his usual practice at this time of year, he is also spending a lot of time sitting in front of the fire, convinced that a chick or three will fall down the chimney. It happened once, four years ago!
The Kestrel count forms a major part of an important study into the reasons for the decline in numbers of this bird over the past couple of decades. It is hoped, too, that the data gleaned will allow conservationists to put in place strategies to begin to reverse the decline. All this from a simple, anonymous web form that says where and when a Kestrel was sighted, what it was doing and what you were doing. At he time of writing, more than 19000 sightings have been recorded. If you see a Kestrel (each time you see a Kestrel), go to www.kestrelcount.org and record it. The site works well on smartphones, too, so there’s no need to wait until you are by your computer to do it.
A couple of other things are looking better this week, too. The parts we needed for Clare’s car, the banjos (or banjoes, depending on your preference – both are correct) and banjo bolts, have arrived and been handed over to Jan. Repair to Lizzie’s exhaust is also complete; very grateful thanks to Rob for his massive help.
My 64th birthday is approaching faster than I would like. We have decided, weather notwithstanding, to spend a few days around my birthday camping. This is partly as an away break for us and partly as a test for Lizzie, to establish the likelihood of her surviving a long trip to UK in September. We shall be going to Vigeois, about 165 Kms south west of here, to camp at the Camping Municipal du Lac de Pontcharal, where we camped in September last year. [link] The forecasts, as always, change almost daily, so we’re not even thinking about what the weather will be like. It will be a nice change of pace for a few days or more, and somewhere different to walk the dogs.
The last major job of the week was a visit to Clare’s French teacher to set up WiFi for her. The job went well, she now has full use of her internet connection on her iPhone and iPad throughout the house, and I have set up a remote support capability with TeamViewer. We left her a happy lady.
The only real downer this week was an official letter following the inspection of our septic tank last October. Yes, it really has taken eight months to process the inspector’s report and pass his recommendations back to us – together with a demand for a little over seventy euros for the privilege of having the compulsory inspection done. There are only two requirements, one of which will be addressed when we have the tank emptied and cleaned in a few months. The other recommendation, for a “conforming treatment”, which I assume to mean the soakaway filtration, is a little bigger. We will be re-inspected in four years (maybe that should read three years and four months) or when we sell the house, whichever comes first.
About 100 days until our next big trip.