9 November 2010

Things Bugging me at the Moment

Yeah – I know – more moaning but what would a retiree do if he didn’t have something to moan about?
Steak Tartare
J and I went to La Source the other day. They only have one Plat du Jour (daily special) which was ray (fish) so I gave that a miss. I really fancied a burger which they had on the ‘menu enfant’ so I asked for that and was about to explain that I would have a bigger portion or pay more when the usual friendly, French ‘non’ was forthcoming. But then she said she’d use steak tartare (raw minced meat served with a raw egg on top) but cook it. That’ll do I said, now proud of the fact that I can truthfully say I’ve had steak tartare. It was ok. No bun of course (it’s rare that you get a bun with a burger in France) but she charged me the full whack for what looked a small serving of steak tartare which is a total rip-off when you consider they normally don’t even cook it. Won’t do that again.

I was coming back from a very rare shopping trip (I said I was off to the DIY store for a couple of things when J thrust a foot-long list into my hands and said, ‘can you get these dear?’) when the Honda started to steam. Now after 9 years and 140,000 km of sterling service it was due a fault but I hate water based problems especially when they involve the radiator, which it did. Being the expert mechanic I am and fearing an overheating job, I took the radiator cap off and stood back only for a stream of green water (anti-freeze) to shoot ten feet in the air and then land on me. I’m not sure if they show ‘the Incredible Hulk’ in France but I did get some strange looks! Anyway, once home and after removing most of the front of the car, I spotted a split in the radiator which will be a long and expensive job but it’s only gone and ‘fixed’ itself. I hate that. You know there’s a problem but it’s fixed itself. Do you continue with the repair or do you just leave it and hope?

I’m now, thanks to my recent cold/fever/whatever, back in that horrible cycle of having to go to bed at 10pm because I’m so tired, only to wake at 2am because you’ve had a good sleep. And so the cycle goes on. The next night I’m tired again at 10pm and on and on it goes.

Websites – they drive me daft at the best of times but it seems that over the past week or so, I’ve found some of the worst on the planet. There’s ‘Pets Online’ where I found Shadow’s thyroid medication for nearly a third of the price that I pay in France but trying to place an order and trying to get through PayPal was a nightmare. J – sorry about the bad language!!!!

Then there is EDF (French electricity supplier). I used to be able to pay my bills online through a third party but for some reason the service was withdrawn, probably because EDF finally moved into the 21st century and provided an on-line payment service itself. The problem is that it’s over a year since I used the EDF website so I ‘said’ I’d forgotten my password, could I create a new account. EDF – ‘Non’ – you already have an account. Me - OK – I’ve forgotten my password – can you send me a new one? EDF – what’s the answer to your secret question?
If you’ve forgotten your password, how the hell are you going to remember the answer to your secret question when it doesn’t even give you a clue what the secret question is? Oh – and can you reset your secret question? Yes – but only if you know your password! Aaaaagh!

And finally and back to Shadow, who has recovered well from his recent bout of illness. One of the things we thought we’d try during the recuperative process was to give him proper dog food, i.e. meat, for the first time in his life. He does get proper butcher’s meat (off-cuts etc) and of course he gets the occasional dinosaur bone from Ed’s but he’s never had canned dog meat but given the smells he’s making, it might be a short-lived treat.

Shadow sleeps in our bedroom and virtually every night, J digs me in the ribs and says ‘Oi’. “It’s not me – it’s the dog”, I protest, but I don’t think she believes me!

It’s a dog’s life!     

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