We’ve had a couple of small amounts of overnight rain, and some green is appearing (and the weeds, nettles and brambles are coming on even better). We are promised a total of 4mm of rain in thunderstorms between 2pm and 8pm today, but that’s it for at least another week (forecast). On verra, as they say; we’ll see.
A confession. One of last week’s photos was a fix. The shot of the interior of the camper, showing a map of France on the back wall, was taken before the map arrived. I didn’t Photoshop it in, though; I used ACDSee Ultimate 9. I saved the product image from the site where I ordered the map, then inserted it into the camper shot as a watermark layer. Here is the shot after the arrival of the poster. No tricks this time, I promise.Sticking on a vehicular theme; I found, in a drawer, the reversing camera kit I had bought for the camper, but which, ultimately, I didn’t use (I replaced it with another kit with a larger monitor and, crucially, longer video cable).
Just for fun, I decided to fit it to the Twingo. Now, I know what you’re thinking; the Twingo is only 3.6 metres (less than 12 feet) long and with okay rear visibility. Why does it need a reversing camera? The answer is in the first three words of this paragraph!
I fitted it low on the back of the car (see photo), wired it all in and tested it. The power supply to the monitor wasn’t too clever, but was okay for testing purposes. First test: the results looked strange, until I realised that the image was upside-down. The screen didn’t allow me to invert the image, so I had to uninstall and reinstall the camera. Tested again: okay, but hesitant. Never mind, I thought, we’ll go with it for a bit. The following day, we drove out to do some shopping. I reversed through the gates to our house and noticed the absence of an image on the video. A quick inspection showed that the power connection to the monitor was more temporary than I had thought. Undeterred, we decided to live another day without the reversing camera.
As we drove off, I saw that the direction indicator warning light was fixed on. Selecting right or four-way had no effect, selecting left had it flashing. Cancelling the indicators resulted in the warning light being steadily illuminated. Bullocks, I thought. I stopped the car, went to the boot and removed the wires connecting the camera to the reversing light. Indicators back to normal.
Back to the drawing-board.
At the beginning of the week, our very good friend Rob came and did two jobs we wanted him to look at. The first was an outside tap. We had two already; one in the side of our parking area, the other by the terrace; but they were both suffering badly from leaks. Here is the new one, near the front door:Having finished before he had completed what he regarded as a full day’s work, Rob promptly repaired the leaks in the other two taps. So now, we have three.
The other job we had asked Rob to look at was the provision of a small wood store at the back of the parking area. As usual, the man did a sterling job. Here it is:Many of our friends regularly burn their way through upwards of ten stères of wood during the winter (a stère is an imprecise measure of about a cubic metre). Our neighbours, who have a larger house, plus his cabinet-maker’s workshop; and we believe they probably cook with a wood-fired stove; have an extensive wood store that suggests they probably use 15-20 stères annually. Our house is well insulated, smaller, and we have electric radiators that we use to get up to temperature in the early mornings. Three stères is more than enough to see us through a normal winter.
Three stères arrived on Wednesday evening.We already had almost a stère from the tree that was felled in July (see something’s for the chop!), which we stacked before the load arrived. The wood vendor had dropped the wood in the middle of the front yard (I can’t bring myself to call it a garden), rendering it impossible for us to get any of the vehicles out. It was incumbent on us, therefore, to have it stacked sooner rather than later.The store wouldn’t want to be any smaller, would it?
We leave for Paris in eight days, flying out to India in nine. Excited? You bet we are!