Sunday, 31 May 2009

You Know Who Your Friends Are - 1

Here are the pictures from Cleaning Day. Cast of characters:
  • Anne - English, cleaning queen
  • Michael - her husband, English, retired (!) plumbing & heating contractor
  • Polo - Chilean, baker, husband of
  • Nadine - French. It is their house that we've been helping to build.
  • Laurence - Belgian (French), she only spills paint on herself
  • Marie - French. She and her doctor husband lived in Old School before us.
  • Mireille - French. It was fruit from her trees that we used to sell by the roadside
The "bedroom" and "living room" will be come showroom space when our apartment is done, the "kitchen" will be the finishing shop, and the "hopeless workshop" will be the machine shop. I'm going to try to set up an album that will show progress for each room.

Meanwhile, the baby birds are no more. Our cats escaped. Mother Nature is red in tooth and claw.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Coo Coo!

Which is French for yoohoo. And cuckoo. Both of which apply.

Following daily phone calls, today we have the internet! Hello, everyone.

I'll be posting pictures of events and progress, but not until the weekend. My day is taken up with dog walking (we haven't a proper garden now) and shutter painting.

I have re-started chemo. After telling me that I'd be on the same regime, I've been switched to a different protocol. Must be a killer on the heart. I had to have a sonagram of my heart, I had an electrocardiogram during the treatment, my blood pressure taken every 5 minutes for an hour, and ice packs on my wrists and ankles.

I asked this time. I was on carbo-taxol before, every three weeks. Now I'm on carbo-caelyx, every four weeks. I haven't found any useful information, yet, on the internet, but I haven't had much time to devote to it. Did I see something, I ask myself, that said I wouldn't lose my hair?

Anyway, the day following treatment, I was up and dressed, but sleepy, at 7:30. At 8:30 I went back to bed for a nap -- until 2 in the afternoon. Since then, I have felt fine. No problems like I had with taxol. My appetite is reduced, it's true, but I consider that a bonus.

I have 192 new messages in my inbox and maybe 300 for my groups. I hope you aren't expecting individual replies really soon.

Tomorrow we go pick up tiles to enclose the shower (Nick is not a happy camper) and to Montélimar for Nick's second infiltration. The doctor agreed with you, Laura; rest for the day and then go on as usual. Unfortunately, he isn't a lot better, so he's going to rest for the weekend.

Oh, yes. The dogs and cats are just fine.

Ah, and my laptop broke. It had already lost its touch pad and then the screen went -- when I dropped it on the floor. New one on the way from Amazon.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Dear Diary

Mon., 11 May

At last, we signed for the house. The sellers were there, brushed and sober for the occasion. The notaire was happy because she has been trying to sort out the property and inheritance mess since 2003.

Nick had his sonagram and I had my CT Scan. Tumours are growing, again, and there is a new little one on the peritoneum or something. I'm not good at interpreting the results, but will see the oncologist on Friday. Chemo will probably be commencing soon.

Tues., 12 May

Cleaned and painted. We had a crew of 5 in the morning and one of 6 in the evening. We finally got home around 10. You really know who your friends are when you're moving.

Found a bird nest in a niche in the wall of the courtyard with little ones. Got some neat pictures, but have to wait for Polo to get them to me. I forgot to charge the battery in mine.

Wed., 13 May

Moved stuff. And moved stuff. And moved stuff. And didn't finish, so we continue tomorrow. And clean the apartment and move to the new house tomorrow night.

We have a lot of things to do on Friday, so I didn't feel it was fair to dump the animals in the new house and go off shopping and doctoring. We'll all sleep there tomorrow and the may have hope that we'll return. Bad enough they've all been alone all day all week.

Cats are now locked in. I hope that haven't forgotten what litter trays are for.

We have had no phone since this morning, but, oddly, we still have the internet. Think I will post this before we lose it.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Since We Last Met . . .

House guest for 5 days
  • Visit to Nyons wine cooperative, art gallery & olive museum
  • Drive to surrounding countryside
  • Day in Avignon for shopping, sightseeing & vet visit
Nala's eyes are no longer producing tears on their own, she's mostly blind in her left eye, can't see much from the right, but -- taratara -- she doesn't need surgery! Since the ectropion is mild and she doesn't produce tears anyway, it wouldn't help.
  • Visit to notaire to discuss the parts of the contract we don't understand
As the French view it, we were married under a contract of separation of goods in the U.K. For purposes of property ownership in France, we are now married under a contract of communal property -- this cost 500€ and only applies to real property in France.
  • Had the electricity turned on
  • Scheduled the changeover in phone service
This required an entire morning on the telephone plus three follow-up calls. Not to mention the meeting at the house to greet the electrician.
  • Been to the mairie (town hall) to arrange appointment to turn on water and
  • to get the forms (forms, forms, forms) for planning permission for the rehab
  • Been to the doctor in Montélimar for Nick's shoulder -- tendinitis
Things are now so bad around here, we're having to coordinate our doctor appointments to cut down on the trips to Montélimar. See further schedule.
  • Helped one friend, Polo, to return borrowed wood stove to other friends, Michael & Ann. As part of this outing:
  • Viewed house with insurance agent
  • Toured M&A's house (Polo hadn't seen it)
  • Toured M&A's house under construction (Michael doing it all himself)
Decided M&A's dilapidated shower would be O.K., but won't fit through bathroom door. Will hang curtain to disguise mouldy wall and make do with current arrangement.
  • Went to theatre-in-your-home production in neighbouring hamlet and did not sleep through difficult Giono piece.
  • Went to Nyons to hire a van for next Wednesday.
  • Sorted furniture and goods in friend's garage and separated what we're taking from what we're leaving for awhile.
  • Packed a fair bit (Nick).
  • Finished a translation job (me).
  • Shopped, cooked, walked the dogs (both).
Coming up:

  • Packing.
  • Going to Montélimar for horsy show with this guy, who turns out not to be the same guy Raw-Lite was raving about a couple of years ago.
  • Packing.
  • Meeting village worker to turn on water
  • Signing contract - this would be a hooray, but is now just a sigh of relief
  • Montélimar for CT Scan for me & sonagram for Nick -- coordinated, see?
  • Shopping for last minute stuff
  • Packing
  • Visit neighbours to discuss their solar hot-water installation
Tuesday: Crew of friends (bless them) helping to:
  • Clean and paint 2 rooms and bathroom
  • Check water heater and plumbing (Michael, bless him, too)
  • Strip enough weeds and overgrowth to clear patio for dogs
  • Maybe clear some of the junk of the ages from garage
  • Pick up truck in Nyons
  • More friends (bless them, again) arriving to help us move
  • Return to Rémuzat to pick up menagerie
  • Return truck to Nyons
  • Sleeping in new house!
  • Phone guy arrives morning to connect phone
Internet could take up to 10 days, so if there is nothing but silence here, you will know why.
  • Clean flat
  • Hand over key to flat
  • Go to Montélimar for appointments with oncologist (Margot) and whatever-he-is for Nick's injection in shoulder.
Nick will now not be able to do much for 2 days. Rest at last!
  • Of course, there will still be all those unopened cartons.