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Holiday! :-)

I got up at six o'clock yesterday morning to drink tea and be at work for 8am. I had only about five hours sleep, having made the mistake of discovering Castlevania and, well, watching the entire first season.

As predicted, I was to go into "plonge" (industrial scale washing up). I went into the little plonge (pots and pans and such) rather than big plonge (big industrial washer for baking trays and other large flat things) because I know the routine of little plonge and how to clean down the machine at the end.

There were two others present, who had been there most of the morning. When I turned up, neither of them wanted to go, even though it's not as heavy work over there.
They eventually left, while covering the other two on break, and then came back. I can only imagine that the other two were...being difficult?

Everybody was supposed to finish at 12.30. They actually pretty much finished for quarter past, and thanks to some careful manipulation from the line manager, they didn't dump everything on us in the final minutes. There were a few things as production came to an end, but it was manageable.

At about ten past twelve, I got word from one of the women in the larger plonge telling me to turn off the washer and clean it. My reply was basically "sod off, I'll do that when everything has been done". I don't know if that reply was relayed back. Nor do I care.
About five minutes later my boss's underling came and told me to go to the other plonge. I asked why, and she said to clean the tunnel. I told her that I had no idea how and she rolled her eyes and walked away.
It wasn't a lie. The big washing tunnel gizmo (and to give you an idea of the scale, when it is all fully functional it draws around 150kW ... yes, a hundred and fifty) is cleaned at the end of shift at night. I'm not around then. My total experience with that machine is cleaning the slot-in filters once, and having the shutdown process described, not demonstrated, by a guy who corrected himself several times along the way. Since it has multiple valves, filters, and things under pressure... just no.
Does make me wonder what happened to the two who were supposed to be there?

At half twelve, one of the girls with me in little plonge vanished. Well, okay, she was supposed to work until half twelve and at half twelve she left.
The other and myself, who spent quite a while talking to each other as we worked (gasp! yes, I can talk! and she got my sense of humour which is always useful) finished up what needed washed. She then put things away while I cleaned down the machine. I then gave her the choice of washing down the floor and the drains, or emptying the bin. She chose the floor, so I went and did the bin. I came back after and helped with the drain (big metal grilles which were heavy). When that was done and the excess water wiped off the floor, I turned off the ventilator and the lights. We were done, nothing left unwashed, no problems.

Since by now it was quarter to one, it seems that we were the last people in the building. Everybody else was outside at the summer party.
We went to the larger plonge to see if they had finished up, and... nobody. Gone. Didn't even check on us or anything. Not only that, but they had left a lot of stuff unwashed.

We both clocked out and went to change. Me? I grabbed my stuff and as I had planned headed up into the gallery (a raised section that spans the length, it's where less important visitors can go to look down over various parts of production in order to observe the process without actually being present on the floor (hygiene)) and went to the reception stock area, took a right, headed to the offices, and out the front door. I had luckily managed to get a parking space right beside the entry gate, so I got into my car, changed my top, powered up the cold box, and was off! Holiday!

Three weeks of doing nothing!

Err... <looks at grass>

Three weeks of interacting with nobody!


My first port of call was Châteaubriant. I promised myself a celebratory burger.
Actually, I first stopped at Action to look around and see if they had a hammock. I didn't spot one, so I got something from Amazon instead. It's cheap and claims to be made out of parachute fabric. Well, as long as it survives the summer... Amazon promises it'll be here on Monday...though it hasn't been sent as yet.

There was a funny photo opportunity in Action. I know that drinking straws cannot be made out of plastic any more. Most people use carton. I wonder what the heck these straws are made of that they manage to pass the 8kg weight limit? ☺

Heavy straws
Heavy straws!

My next stop was the Leclerc supermarket to get some things. I did a quick whip around, and for the third time running, the scan-your-own gizmo wanted to verify that my purchases were correct. I suspect this is because I rapid-fire my purchases. Let's just assume that I want three chicken and tagliatelle ready meals (I did). The system probably assumes that you will pick up one, scan the barcode, pick up the next, scan the barcode, and pick up the last one and scan the barcode.
What a waste of time. I pick up three, stack them so they're all facing the correct way, then bi-bi-beep all barcodes scanned.
I don't know if the system gives the checkout girls a message justifying the scan, because once it had been put through the till she said "yes sir, it's all correct". I replied rather curtly "I know".
How do I know? Because the running total in my head and the one of the scanner matched. Because I go out of my way to not cock it up (otherwise you will be penalised and not trusted by the system).
I guess next time I'll have to scan, count to five, scan, count... what a bloody bother.

Another photo opportunity. This one left me a bit speechless. A bamboo toothbrush marked down the bottom as "It's Vegan!" (C'est Vegan!). What?

I think it's a bit of a psychological stretch to consider not using a plastic toothbrush because plastic originates from coal tar which is a byproduct of the processing of dead dinosaur juice. For all that a vegan might want to feel bad about having anything to do with dead dinosaurs (I take it you don't drive?), the basic fact is that they died out around sixty six million years ago when a huge asteroid slammed into the earth and basically made the sky rain fire and triggering a global extinction event, wiping out three quarters of all life on earth. Kind of puts the whole vegan issue into perspective, doesn't it?
Plus, had you been around in the time of dinosaurs, vegan or not, they would have had only one word for you - snack.

By all means, enjoy and promote bamboo toothbrushes (and other stuff) because plastic is environmentally shitty... but vegan?

Final stop, Burger King. As I had signed up with the website (and no, I won't run their app, I took a look at the permissions and decided "hell no"), I tried to log in with my identifier.
That went well.

Computer says NO
Computer says NO.
I tried twice, but it wasn't having it. So I made my order and went to the till to pay. I mentioned this to the girl there and she tapped the code into her machine and told me I had a 20% reduction, would I like to use it? Uh, okay, why not. So a fifth was wiped off of the order. Can't complain.
Just looked online - got the 20% reduction and 31 points - which means I can already get a cheeseburger. Okay, it's not a lot, but the low end offers rarely are.

As before, I got a Double Steakhouse and maxi'd it up with extra everything (and remembered to take off the tomatoes). It took a lot longer to make my order (about ten minutes) and the girl apologised twice for the delay. I told her it was still considerably faster than "that other place". Her eyes widened and she tried to keep stifle a giggle, so I think she knew exactly what I was on about.

Take a big burger up to eleven
Take a big burger up to eleven.

As I was leaving, a student type (about 18, big glasses) sitting outside was waving to somebody in the building. A child she knew, maybe? As I went by, I turned and waved to her. She did a double-take and burst out laughing. I don't know what she said to her friends as I was halfway across the car park by then, but hey, made three people laugh today.


I didn't feel so great for the rest of the day. A combination of a lack of sleep and the fact that a Triple Steakhouse might just be too much burger/grease to deal with at one time. I think next time I won't maxi up the meal. After all, it is vastly larger than the other place offers.
I feel better today, after a long sleep, two teas, eight croissants, and on my second coke. 😲


When I got home yesterday, the package from Instant Ink had arrived. They had sent an email advising me of the dispatch, and noting that the cartridge may look different but don't worry, it will work.
Not so much looking different as actually being a different model (type 304 vs type 302). It was also a lot smaller - this being akin to a standard 'large' cartridge. I wonder if my account is flagged as "doesn't print enough" or something? Or maybe a batch of the large 302s were 'troublesome', shall we say?
Well, whatever. Seems to work fine. As long as the refills arrive before they're needed...

Old and new Instant Ink cartridges
Old and new Instant Ink cartridges.


Today, I popped up to the local supermarket for milk. Oops, I forgot that yesterday. I also got some Babivanille powdered baby food. Mix that up a little less than baby-strength in cold milk, it actually makes a reasonable milkshake. Personally I'd have gone for Nesquick Banana, but that doesn't exist over here. To be honest, given that milkshakes are considered deserts in both burger places, I really don't think the French understand milkshakes at all.

And, I saw this.

Leather and cookies?
Leather and cookies?
The smell I like, following a test of exactly five deorodants before I got bored, is Axe "Dark Temptation". It's a sort of cinnamon sandalwood concoction, at least, that's what it smells like to me. That name would be better as a Dutch or Finnish Gothic/Doom Metal band, don't you think? (though, from time to time, Epica already tick the right boxes)
Leather and cookies?
What kind of person chooses to smell like their sofa?

I also got myself a new face mask and some heavy duty strimmer line (I think it's 3mm?). This ought to stand up to more, and with the mask, should mean I can go venture into the more difficult weeds. Not as much as if I had a high speed shuriken on a stick, but hopefully better than the current arrangement.

The other sort of face mask
The other sort of face mask.


So, three weeks and nothing planned other than next Wednesday evening (my 2nd vaccination, then I'll be legitimate and legal).



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David Pilling, 1st August 2021, 01:55
Plastic... PLA used for 3D printing is made from corn starch and will eventually degrade. 
"Most people use carton" puzzled me, s'pose it makes sense.
David Pilling, 1st August 2021, 02:17
"Plonge" sounds vaguely sinister "take him to the plonge - har har".
Pieter, 7th August 2021, 04:44
Where your Axe shows pictures of cookies or leaves, the Axe here in Tokyo now show pictures of girl's faces. I guess it is meant to suggest that your preferred smell will attract (or deter?) that type of woman.

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