Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tipping points and other matter(s).

Hard to say what the feeling about the tipping point is.  Not exactly the imminence of death, as I suppose Anne was talking about in her comment, though doubltless related.  More perhaps the sense that the capacity to grow and benefit from vicissitudes and reverses seems to wane, that overall the balance seems to be towards lessening, that experiences cease to augment one's stock and substance, and tend to diminish them.  But such metaphors are probably flawed; what stock, what substance? I suppose I assumed that the gaps left by losses would always be filled by something else, now I'm not sure.  But the tendency to look on the bleak side is at least in part a function of one's nature as much as one's age and stage, which doesn't mean you shouldn't try to curb it.



We really must eat more baked potatoes.


The bank manager rang.  I am easily confused on the phone about who people are.  He reminded me he was Sophie's and Stephanie's dad and then I placed him, but instantly assumed there was a problem.  Well, he did say he was concerned about our account.  I ran upstairs, 'phone in hand, to consult Tom:

'He says we've only got X euros in there!'
'Well, that's more than usual...'

After a bit, and after I'd spluttered apologetically about having to move some money over from the UK, paying the gardener and getting another car, but how we'd managed to scrape up the funds for that in liquide by other means, he went on to say that if we didn't need it all there he recommended we move some of it over to the savings account. He was not reproving us for inadequate funds but the opposite. It was our instant reaction, though, to an authority figure to assume we must be in trouble, even if he is Sophie and Stephanie's dad.  

Though why bother, we wondered, it's not as though we'd get anything on it anyway, interest on savings being a nice idea but not to be dreamed of again in our lifetime.  We speculated that perhaps in response to the increased Greek bail-out, all the bank managers of France had been issued with instructions to move as much money to more usable places.  Yes, that must be it, we are doing our bit to help with the Eurozone-in-crisis.

I promised him we'd move some over, and sent kisses to Sophie and Stephanie.


'Phone in hand.  Yes, we have a cordless 'phone at last,  I finally faced the fact that my fear and loathing of the telephone, which has made me stubbornly refuse to have any more to do with it than I had to and so not to modernise in any way, was cutting my nose off to spite my face.  It was even worse to be pinned in the corner by it and not even able to move around and do anything else. Still no answering machine, though, that would be going to far in conceding to the Watson-come-here-please-I-want-you tyranny.


Touching wood, crossing fingers, and performing all manner of other superstitious contortions one can think of, the plumbing leak seems to be fixed on the second attempt.  


Tom likes the new car.  It's nippy and fun, and he likes the change.  I still don't really want much to do with it.  Tom refuses to even acknowledge the possibility of a tipping point.


Looking through old pics to find one of interest, I came across this one of the emptying of the septic tank, which, it turns out, took place about eighteen months ago (so we don't need to think about having that done again just yet, photos and blogging are so useful for keeping informal records).

Fear not, nothing too detailed is revealed of this necessary but always to my rather prissy English bourgeois sensibilities, slightly embarrassing operation.  At least not to you.  However, as may be seen, Victor and his sister Hélène couldn't get close enough.  They are both over ninety, and we don't see all that much of them these days, but no sooner had the septic tank emptying truck arrived than they both got wind of it, so to speak, and turned up to chew the fat while peering down the hole at our bodily waste products and their evacuation.  They greeted us only perfunctorily, it seems it was our poo they were primarily interested in. Bless them.


Rouchswalwe said...

Ei jei jei ... you make me laugh, sweet Lucy! Bless you to pieces and Prost!!

the polish chick said...

i'm told poo tells a lot about a person.

tipping point, eh? i do think it's different for everyone, but i think you did a lovely job of explaining. i think our society (well, at least our north american society) is doing a crap job of making that ok. i mean it's probably never ok to face death, although i could be very wrong about that, but with our obsession with "growth" and "progress" it seems almost embarrassing to buck the trend and get old. counter to all those inspirational commercials where 20-year olds sell us wrinkle cream.

and on that note, i'm off to bed. good night, dear lucy!

Roderick Robinson said...

Yes it's all very well being unified by merde but there are other unities in life. I well remember coming back from the mairie where I'd just had the French conversation of my life and making VR aware of the village's project pour brancher au systeme de l'assainissement de l'eau and saying "Of course it's going to cost quite a lot..." and she saying, in almost a hysterical voice, "It doesn't matter what it costs - anything! - just get it done."

For access to our fosse septique was through the bars on the loo window and as one sat on the pot one could look down at the trapdoor that led down to... what? What unimaginable horrors?

And then, early on with Works Well, I did the perfect post about it and you responded with something like "Ah, you've now divested yourself of the the traditional Brit-in-France merde story." But still I wasn't finished and I made a variant of that experience the climax of a short story I wrote two or three months ago and perhaps, just perhaps, we'd achieved catharsis and it was, you could say, cheap at the price.

Because one cannot write fiction about life in the sunlit uplands where one need never fear a visit from the farmer (and his Alzheimer ridden father uttering: "Impeccable! Impeccable!")with le grand tonneau again.

And here, on this day, for what must be the absolutely final coda. Thannks, Ks.

christopher said...


What a beautifully human post.

Nimble said...

I think they must be like little kids getting excited when a big truck comes into view.

Here's to bonding with the new car.

Catalyst said...

I never get excited about those calls from bank managers. We live close enough to Mexico that I figure we can always escape across the border!! :-0)

Avus said...

So....that's the secret to a long and healthy life, then? (I think I would rather die a bit younger)

Zhoen said...

I think a message service is like being cordless, it ends one aspect of the tyranny, since I can just let it go to voicemail.