Technology, Droughts and Reboots

Lara and ninja Blackie down for the night.

Lara and ninja Blackie down for the night.

Technology and the modern way of life can be a fraking nightmare, seriously it does my noggin in. For some reason my email account (Hotmail) has decided that all emails from the solicitor that handled the house sale are now spam, and like an idiot I didn’t let them know that I had changed my telephone number, oops, slight tangent, we’re going back to our Spanish numbers as French telephone companies are robbing bastards, it would cost us 200€ to keep a number alive here but only 20 in Spain, even with the extra charges per minute and per text to use a Spanish phone in France it works out heaps (and I mean heaps) cheaper, plus apparently roaming charges disappear next year so…wtf?¿! Where was I, oh yeah so luckily the solicitor tried all the numbers I left them and they managed to get in touch, it turns out there is 270 more beer tokens coming from the house because I have left Spain and don’t have to pay any tax, woo hoo. Trouble is my bank card has now expired which means I can’t get my grubby little mitts on it. I asked if they could pay it into Vee’s Spanish account, NO, only an account managed by me. Can you issue me a cheque and send it here, NO, bank transfer only. So I asked the solicitor, being as they’re my power of attorney (it took a lot to sign THAT particular dotted line), if they could instruct my bank to send a new card here to France, NO! They could instruct the bank to send a card to my Spanish address though, now I’m not very good at telling banks and the like when I change address, I actually have no idea which of the four places that we’ve lived in since I opened that account is the right one, it’s irrelevant any way as I’m not bloody there any more, and the solicitor would require more than half of said money to do this for me anyway. You may ask why I haven’t opened an account since we moved to France, because banks are the worst sort of thieves and I want as little to do with them as possible (11 billion €uros* in overdraft fees in 2015 ffs, think about it, that’s people caught short at the end of the month or whatever, with no money getting charged for having no money). I would so like to be a non-person, but in this day and age, if you want to travel, or have a phone or well, anything… you have to “be”. As we are now of no (official) fixed abode, we’d better get used to this brick wall that we will hit every now and then. So, I have a bit of extra money, sitting in a place I can’t touch while the bank slowly whittles it down to nothing, well, maybe not, I have an idea.

So not a happy feline

So not a happy feline

Felix took a dunk in the cold canal Thursday morning (1/Dec), they all have this really annoying habit of walking on the very edge of the “bumper” that runs around the boat, it was very icy and, he slipped. I am hoping that he has now learned to not walk on that bit. Vanessa cuddled him by the “fire” and he’s all good.


In brief, cos I’m bored with it, and probably you too, work on the Alcyon has finished (I think/hope), talk about the never-ending story. It’s too cold/wet to paint the roof, so they’re going to shrink-wrap it in some canvas stuff, the joints need to be covered in a tar strip thing, but erm, I now can’t remember what happened to this but it’s gonna be a plastic strip that is being specially made but can’t be put on the boat at the moment because…. it’s too cold/wet?¿! I can’t paint the wood now because… it’s too cold/wet. Whatever, I’m done with it. I managed to paint the front cabin (after brushing all the ice off and toweling it down), quite proud of that, always practice on someone else’s stuff, I’ll be painting the Adventurer next year and she’s gonna look brilliant.

A new neoghbour, Tilly the teal.

A new neighbour, Tilly the teal.

Remember I said that we have to get our own water to fill the tanks the other week, we didn’t realise that once the weather turns the boat yards turn their water supply off, oh bugger! So now we are without water, the tank is dry, but as usual we adapt, we are surrounded on all sides by water that we can use for washing up and the toilet and I’ll do my best impression of a pack-horse and get drinking and cooking water from the shops, bugger about the little extra expense but hey ho. We will of course check the taps daily, if they have turned them on again we will take the time to top the tank off.

Je pense que j'ai besoin de plus de bière.

Difficult typing with a cat in your lap.

We’re making our own Whiskey Fire, 1 bottle of bourbon, three sticks of cinnamon, ½ cup of brown sugar,and five dried bird’s eye chilies. So far so good, though I think this maybe the concentrated version and we’ll have to “water” it down with another bottle. Also, that’s probably way to much chili for the average Joe, but I want a real kick, too often we buy something with chili and we barely get a burn from it. Also, this means that it’ll be too hot for others and we won’t have to share.

I’m trying not to mention the weather, we had ice inside the boat the other day. Only in the salon where there is no heating at night, but still a bit of a shock. While all this is going on I had forgotten about how I should be keeping the guitar at a constant temperature, and not the wild swings of as much as twenty degrees that is our life at the moment. Now she sleeps next to the radiator which you would think is bad but the thermometer that I put in the guitar case (yeah yeah) states a constant 10º, not good but better than the 1s and 2s that she had to endure last week. I will have to look into getting one of these guitar sound-hole humidifier things that give and take moisture as needed before the “real” winter kicks in.


And finally, that was not an otter, we never saw it close up whilst out of the water and so only saw the streamlined outline propel through the water, when we did see it out of the water we realised our mistake, it’s a coypu, (otherwise known as a water-rat).

Mexican stand off between Coypu and Neighbour's cat.

Mexican stand-off between Coypu and Neighbour’s cat.

So, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, how’d I get on with the Reboot in November?

Read more, I am, this is the most pleasurable part of this little adventure. I’ve read 2 books (Peter Clines 14 and The Fold), listened to one (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff’s Gemina), and I’m halfway through Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien. 5/5 say thankee sai.

Write more, totally bombed on this one again, just normal journal type blog posts, the one time I did write something a little different I got a reprimand. 1/5 must try harder.

Watch more movies, oops, I think we may have been too involved in binge-watching Elementary and so have not watched many, I still don’t know why I included this category though?¿! 3/5

Eat better food, LENTILS, chili con lentils, lentil and mushroom curry, all good (except for the after effects, not good but pleasantly warming), we’re supplementing all this goodness with cup soups though, not the best but I intend to start making our own soon (definitely not lentil soup though, enough is enough). 3½/5 I dropped a point because there were some eclairs and other sticky stuff kindly given to us by Roget (woo hoo), and half point because of the processed crap in the cup soups.

Exercise more, I walk, though not as far as I should be, my bike is still broken, it’s proving to be a nightmare trying to locate the part I need. 3/5

Drink less beer, well I thought I had cracked this, no beer for 3 days and then 4 days the next week and then the Alcyon reared her ugly hull again and I dulled my senses with a few Top Budget lagers again. 4/5 for effort 🙂

Get better sleep, I had the first night in months that I slept ALL the way through last week, totally gob smacked when I woke, I was sure the time was wrong and it was really stupid o’clock instead of seven. Lara still insists on waking me most nights to get under the covers. All good but I dunno how to mark this one which doesn’t matter, I still think this will come together once the rest is sorted out.

Structured guitar practice sessions, you may have read last week that after 30 years I finally learned Space Oddity all the way through. There are about five other songs/tracks (whatever) following behind, plus heaps waiting in the wings. I do tend to practice what I know rather than the stuff that I find difficult, but I am ecstatic that my fretting hand is finally learning some discipline, (while my right hand has decided that holding a pick is too much like hard work, hey ho). 4/5

Shining Star

Shining Star

*I believe this is the States only, I couldn’t find a European or worldwide figure, frightening isn’t it.


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