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Today I got up for half ten, and worked my ass off outside. That bit that I was going to do little by little each weekend? I "bossed", as the French would say. Bossed my ass off. Got it all done. What's been done is the wet part, or the part in the sun. Or... most of what you can see.
My back will probably pay for it, but I feel I can have an easy day tomorrow watching videos or whatever.
I also got a 25kg tub of cold bitumen for fixing the tarmac area out front. It cost 28 euros, which was less than I expected and cheaper than Amazon! The first patch was the big hole made by everybody that turns around turning their wheels while not moving and/or braking sharply when they realise that there's no more driveway. This took a lot of the stuff because... holes are deceptively spacious. Even when I mixed in a layer of stones and such, it took a lot.
The other thing that needed to be fixed is where the concrete apron out front meets the tarmac. Years of plants growing in the join have caused it to fall apart. So I gouged out the old stuff, swept it clean, and then laid in the patches.
Here is along by the front door:
And here is the access to the postbox:
I'm not going to fix the entire run, we have wild strawberry, california poppy, scented pea, and some other things growing in the join. But the accesses and the bits that need fixing will be seen to. I'll get another tub of the stuff next month.
On the side of dealing with death, finally talked to the NatWest. They have a nifty on-line registration service, but it requires a UK phone number. So I phoned the bereavement line, from my mobile (because of their working hours) and after being on hold for about ten minutes, finally got to talk to somebody. I have a few copies of an "international" death certificate. That means it uses numbers (rather than being written in full in French) and it contains translation notes. They'll want a copy of that once they've emailed me a reference number.
I have a visit with the notaire (official legal person) on the 29th to begin the inheritance process. Started work half an hour early on Friday (important visit), so left half an hour early and legged it across town to the notaire. Made my appointment. It seemed to me like the secretary had seen my email asking for a rendezvous, but didn't bother to reply.
And, finally, the dinky-toy-car guy says he will meet me outside of work on Monday afternoon. I got in touch with him after looking at an advert on Le Bon Coin for a car for around 3000, turns out it's the same guy that didn't bother to respond to my email. Taking a loan from the Banque Postale for 3200 for 36 months will cost 3590 in total, with a monthly repayment of a hundred. That's not so bad, but whether I do that or extend the time frame depends upon what the insurance is likely to come to. The person at the Credit Mutuelle sucked in her breath when I asked about insurance for a sans permis "because I don't have a licence". Weird. So I can get a cheaper level of insurance in a car capable of doing 120 in a 50 zone? That doesn't make much sense. Anyway, I also have to put money aside for the inheritance tax, the burial, blah blah blah. I kind of wish it was next Spring and all this crap was sorted. But, at least, things are slowly starting to get into motion. Might have happened sooner if people with emails thought of, you know, replying to them.
I look forward to having a toy car. It means I'll be able to leave work and be home by quarter past five, instead of anywhere between quarter past seven and eight. Don't get me wrong, I'm really thankful for Gerard picking me up each morning and bringing me home each evening, but due to the difference in our work hours (probably he gets a French style lunch break, I get 45 minutes), I have to spend a lot of time aimlessly wandering around town. It's okay right now, but it won't be fun in the rain, cold, and snow. It also means I can go into Big Town on Saturday, to vide greniers on Sunday, the sort of stuff we used to do. Rather than being completely alone all weekend and doing dumb things like chucking fake tarmac around the driveway or trolling the cat.
For those who are worried about whether I'm eating, thank you for your messages, but please rest assured. I am not my mother. When I'm upset or depressed, it's endless cups of tea and comfort food. Today for lunch I had a chicken. One of those shove-it-in-the-microwave ones. Crazy, two bits of breast cost a fiver, it was six fifty for the entire bird. I didn't pick it all over (the wings are reserved for mom, even when she's dead) but I got a decent amount of extra meat to justify the price difference.
This was followed by a lemon cake straight out of the oven. Because it was either that or an entire bag of Maltesers. Comfort food, yes?
Although... I'd kill for an Ambrosia Cream Macaroni...
Speaking of cats, Wawa keeps sniffing mom's clothes, in the bag that came back from the palliative care unit, and mewing loudly. Is she asking where mom is, or does she know?
Oh my. It looks like Amazon has just dropped seasons 1 to 8 of Castle onto Prime Video. Well, I know how the rest of this weekend is going to go...
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|David Pilling, 13th October 2019, 13:47|
Learning to drive? When I did I thought I'd use old car, ooh cos I'll probably crash. Bad idea, old cars are harder to drive, and in unlikely crash you're more likely to be hurt. Was taught lots of things never done since, like adjust wing mirrors before parking - which is fine if you have new car with electric wing mirrors. New car with parking sensors etc takes yards of difficulty out of it. Also get small car, much easier. Paint chevrons on the back people see police car in distance leave you alone.
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