jeudi 24 juillet 2014

Are the Indians all stupid, or what?

For weeks now, the fixed phone rings about twice a day and the following conversation begins ' Good morning, do you speak English' (bear in mind this is a French phone) 'yes'. My name is ....... And I am speaking from the Windows office. I am sorry to say that we have detected that your computer has a virus' ( my computer is an Apple.) no doubt he would continue to offer to fix it if I provided my access code and Bank details but at this point I am rude to him or put the phone down.
Even if you imagine that I am one of the few innocents on line that have never heard of this hoary old scam, it would be truly incredible if I fell for it more than once, let alone dozens of times!

 So, two points spring to mind. Why ring French phones, if you can't speak French, it must limit your audience severely, even if you confine yourself to English-sounding names. And why ever continue to ring when you have had no takers for weeks.
  I can  only envisage that there exists a scam in India/ Pakistan where for a few Rupees ignorant  and credulous peasants are sold a sure-fire scheme to fleece the capitalists and these scammers are themselves victims? Or is my title question apposite?

  Bye for now, got to answer the phone....

jeudi 17 juillet 2014

I Love My Lawnmower



   Here it is, a portrait of my love. I know that in your eyes, it may appear somewhat dingy and worn but it has several redeeming features-- it cuts grass, it collects it in its grass box and above all, IT IS  EASY TO START !
  We have been using a petrol mower for a couple of years, cheaply acquired and reconditioned by a local firm, and very good  it has been, too. But it must be said, it has never been easy to start and this year  needing more and more desperate pulls on the starter cord, and often refusing altogether. My routine ended up by giving it a few pulls to see if it was in the mood and if so immediately cutting the grass while it was going. I didn't dare to stop the motor to empty the grass box, clearing the mower with a stick to avoid the still rotating blades... Not ideal from a safety standpoint
   We had reverted to using the electric Flymow but besides the problem of avoiding the long flex, there was no grass box and cuttings would invade the house on our feet for a couple of days after each cut. We asked our friends Alan and Elaine at the Field Emporium to keep a look out for a cheap mower and Alan phone recently to say he had one taken in with odds and ends which we could have. It was a bit battered but, hey, it cuts grass, has a box to collect the cuttings and starts first pull! What more could one ask? I would like to be able to recommend its make but there is no discernible maker's name on it.

     Bye for now, drinking Panaché aftercutting the cour, it's baking hot today!

mardi 15 juillet 2014

Laika--Suspected virgin Birth

   This morning, I had to ring to make an appointment at the vets for two of the dogs. Jill's appt was for her annual  rabies jab for which we have just had a reminder, but Laika's problem was a suspected pregnancy! The other evening Kim noticed that her mammaries were swollen as if she was soon to give birth. Nothing particularly strange about that, you might say, a female dog on heat is endowed with a Machiavellian cunning when it comes to arranging a rendezvous with a male. However, Laika is never walked off the leash as she is such a game-chaser. I was beginning to imagine a new star overhead ( Sirius, the Dog Star perhaps ) or a horde of canine angels coming down. However, Francois, or vet was able to reassure us that she was NOT in an interesting condition and that there was no need to change her name to Mary. We heaved a sigh of relief.
  Jilly's jab went ok, and we bought two new flea collars, as the Frontline Spot-ons seem to be less efficacious than they were. A satisfactory, if expensive visit...

   Bye for now, dinner calls

lundi 14 juillet 2014

A busy day at table!

Yesterday, Sunday, was a busy day for Noah and Mrs Noah! We went to Church at Matha as usual, but arrived rather late due to lack of organisation in the morning. Our friends Christine and Clive Charlton have had the inspiration of holding a shared lunch at their spacious house throughout July for everyone in the congregation who wish to attend. All bring a dish or two to share and any not so equipped are welcome to come as there is invariably too much on the table. This weekly party has helped everyone to get to know each other better, chatting around the table, although the weather has not been suitable for dining al fresco.
  However, this Sundays little feast coincided with Loubille's celebration of the storming of the Bastille, the French national day. You may remark that the 14th is the day in question...however for reasons of extracting the maximum of pleasure from the occasion Loubille celebrates it with a dinner at the Salle de Fête on thé 13th. This enables the population  to attend the fetes of our main town, Chef Bouton, or our neighbouring villages on the 14th, thus getting two meals in, clever, eh?
  However, this eccentricity led to us having two copious meals on the same day, both well supplied with beverages, so this morning we are feeling a little liverish... Still, all in all, a very happy Sunday!

 Bye for now, coffee calls!

samedi 12 juillet 2014

It's our birthday!

ReYes, fifteen years ago we were in   France to sign the Acte de Vente  which made us the proud owners of this house in La Mort Limouzin. We had been here in April to carry out the preliminaries, but we had arrived in our VW camper to sign re the act of sale and pay the purchase price at the Notaire's.

When we arrived back at the house with the enormous iron keys to open the shutters and the front door, we decided straightaway to spend the night in our new home before returning to the UK next day as I had no leave left.There were no services connected, but we had water in the camper's tank and a Tilley lamp for light. We carried up the cushions from the van to form a bed on the floor of the bedroom and spent the night in our sleeping bags. We had taken siezin of a piece of France!
Of course, the house has changed a lot since then, but we both remember the feeling of pride which filled us that night.

Bye for now, lunch calls

Telephone scam

At nine this morning, the phone rang and a voice with an Indian accent asked me if  I spoke English, not a common phenomenon on a French phone. When I said I did he began the usual spiel that his firm had detected a dangerous virus on my computer, and he would no doubt have offered to fix it if I would tell him my codes and bank details! I did not allow him to proceed called him a liar and a thief and put the phone down...
I expect you are all familiar with this hoary old scam, but I supposes it must still gather some innocent victims, so I will state that you should not believe him, NEVER give such details to a phone caller and put the phone down. However, it is the sheer incompetence of the caller which is astonishing. Why ask for English speakers on French telephone numbers, can't he be bothered to lean some French? Most subscribers must be French, after all. Why not call UK numbers, do they think migrants are more credulous? Kim had a similar call a few days ago, and when she stated in French that she could not speak English, the phone was put down. Perhaps it is an Indian cottage industry....

Bye for now and stay safe!

jeudi 10 juillet 2014

Paint Job

I have to confess a slight case of misleading my audience, if they have been following the Ark for some time,-- the above header photo of the front of the Ark was taken a long time ago and the paintwork no longer looks QUITE like this... In fact it is now somewhat faded and even blistered off
 in  places, high time for a piece of maintenance. As we had bought the new paint in the UK ages ago, I have no further excuse, and finally set out to repaint the shutters, window-frames and any other painted areas.

   I have been making progress, one shutter already painted and re-hung, and the next one three-quarter done. But it's a long task and I shall have to discipline myself to do a bit each day. Un-hanging the upstairs ones will NOT be easy. I'll let you know how I get on.

  Bye for now, lunch calls, must keep up my strength!