The computer whiz arrived and whisked off the computer, so I was unable to read or reply to the comments on the last post. Tom told me off for being rude about bulls' bits, and I notice some of you are still insisting on NOT squeezing the jelly bag, such effete culinary purism, or even puritanism. You know who you are, Joe. I concede there may be a point with paler apple jelly...
He has done nothing with the computer, because he couldn't get it to misbehave to order, he uttered unintelligible things about possible RAM chip failures and how a new laptop wasn't all that expensive anyway, and that really reformatting it 'back to factory settings' seemed rather drastic under the circumstances. Oddly, I was kind of looking forward to having a tabula rasa; the idea of an empty My Pictures, feeds and favourites all blank and needing to be resubscribed, new shortcuts made, was somehow appealing, a born-again computer. I know I could do it anyway, but I won't. So we must simply observe a few precautions and wait and see.
In the meantime, I have finished three novels, cut the grass, pointed quite a large section of wall, done some drawing, sprayed the tomatoes with Bordeaux mixture (yes, I know it's late, but so are the tomatoes, and the pumpkin leaves were looking a bit mildewed too so I included them), taken Tom for a check-up and met some really lovely people in Lamballe (see below). Oh, and the new car's battery also died, but the garagist replaced that under guarantee.
The angelic bowel doctor is very pleased with progress, and booked us in for all the preliminary stages for the op. Unfortunately, rather than getting it all neatly done and dusted by the beginning of October, it will be a rather more strung out sequence of events than that, which left us worried and unsettled as to how it will all pan out and fall into place with other events.
My anxiety was somewhat allayed when Rosie-Gillian rang to see how we were, and I asked on impulse if she might be able to stand in and teach my classes for a week or two and she said 'yeah, all right' just as if I wasn't asking a huge favour at all ... Just knowing someone is willing to help out is reassuring, and this confirms for me that bloggers, at least the ones I know, are the very best of people.
Which was further reaffirmed by meeting up with Julia of Kolokolo and her gorgeous family in Lamballe. They live in Prague, but have been staying at Val Andre, up the coast a way. I lured them down to Lamballe with the hope of a second hand bookshop for Julia's husband, which turned out to have closed down who knows when, since I last looked anyway, but they were so gracious and sweet and serene they didn't seem at all fed up, and anyone would have thought that having coffee and trailing round Lamballe market on a wet Thursday in late August that felt more like October was a worthwhile thing in itself. They said if we came to Prague they'd be tour guides there for us, which seemed to me we'd rather get the better end of the bargain.
Flame-headed James is obviously a very cool traveller at just three and a half months, and looks quite bit like his dad, less the professorial beard and glasses,
and pretty, self-possessed C. ( "... and I'm from Prague!" she asserted proudly, when her parents had told me where in America they came from originally), wears red ribbons on her plaits to school, is conversant in three languages, and reached for all the printed matter in sight as soon as we sat down.
and Julia's even more like she is on her blog than she is on her blog!
Just lovely people, they felt like my friends straight away. Which I think they are.
Now, on the eve of September, it's finally decided to be summer, I don't know for how long. I'll try to catch up with blogs ASAP, but it feels a little sinful not to be outside when it's sunny at last. Thanks again for being here when I got back!