Everyday life in a rickety old Scottish farmhouse with a very happy Polish Lowland Sheepdog. A record of those unimportant little things that are too important to be forgotten.
Monday, August 24, 2020
Last week there were on average 2 cases of the virus recorded in our deeply unfashionable departement. Over the weekend the numbers have risen to 30 a day. A reminder that the virus should be treated with respect.
The recent thunderstorms have replenished the little stream. They've also made the path down the hill decidedly guttery. Sophie's 4 wheel drive gets her through the slippery mud rather more rapidly than her master. Every so often she turns to urge her companion to keep up.
By this stage of the year the blog should have been full of visits to far away places to see family and friends. 2 trips to DC and visits to Edinburgh and Tokyo all delayed. Instead life has fallen into a gentle routine of walks, shared croissants and 'put the world to rights' conversations on the storm drain.
On Thursday the little VW, which has always suffered from some sort of electronic demon, decided to go to a new level of electronic weirdness. We've got used to the sat nav giving us directions to pizza parlors in Wolfsburg. Now, the safety systems have taken to randomly signalling the arrival of the apocalypse. Buzzers buzz and bells go tring-a ling at unexpected moments. 'The Font' finds this disconcerting. So does Angus. 'The Font' thinks we should get a small Volvo to go with the big one. Angus thinks this may be a rather Swedo-centric view of car purchasing.
Angus explains the situation to Sophie. Today we're sharing our morning croissant in the cafe with the audacious sparrows. The croissant is unedifyingly dull - 6.6/10 - but todays cake selection hints at better days to come. Angus is not so sure about the strawberry and plum combination so we leave without making a purchase. Sophie thinks this is lunacy.
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Gail also considers Angus's failure to find an acceptable bakery purchase as lunacy.
Celebrations in Aberdeen this morning as the local lockdown 5 mile limit is eased. This year's recalibration of travel expectations means that one now gets quite excited about the possibility of a trip to Banchory or Stonehaven!
I've been thinking about that - with no trips, you also have no break from the blog. We, your readers, appreciate this, as your daily reports have been especially reassuring (not to mention diverting) these past few months. It is very strange not to travel. This is probably the first time in nearly twenty years we've spent the whole summer in Japan. At the moment, I couldn't leave even if I wanted to, as they wouldn't let me back in. Somewhat at odds with Japan's latest attempt to promote itself as Asia's next financial center, the government is currently denying entry to foreigners, even those with permanent resident status, who were caught outside when the doors closed or attempt to leave and come back.
There is something to be said for The Font's Sweedish logic of sticking with what works, however purchasing a car manufactured by the French just might ensure better (or at least some!) service while you live in France.
The last time we travelled was the beginning of February. Looks like we'll not be going anywhere too far this side of the New Year. The problem is that if we go to the UK we'd need to quarantine for 2 weeks then do the same thing when we got back to France. The whole hassle is just too much. As for the US I don't even pretend to know whether we're even allowed to go there and , if we did get there, if we'd be allowed back.
A quick walk round Stonehaven harbour ?
Angus wonders if a French car might require more servicing ?
Ugh! The nightmare of purchasing a new car. We are currently going through it. Every visit to a dealer results in disappointment one way or another -- lack of availability, too much money, hidden costs that are deal breakers, salesmen that aren't up to date with current offers, too good to be true offers seen advertised that sold out weeks ago...The only thing worse is trying to decide on a new telecomms contract.
Angus is probably right!
Well Angus, I've had several Peugeots over the years (and several VW's too) and found both to be reliable makes. However most, apart from the last two, were purchased at a time of straightforward, find your own way, not many bells and whistles days! My latest Peugeot is reliable and the local Peugeot garage is excellent. Although I am of a mind to change (for another Peugeot 2008), as Inca has trouble getting into the back seat on the present model, and the boot sill is too high for her, even with a ramp.
My current car only needs servicing once a year, but it is not very sophisticated - the more technology - the more things to go wrong!
Not sure that we would have bought any cakes either, they are not terribly appealing. Whatever happened to all the lovely ones your baker made not so long ago. Look at it positively - there's no temptation to stray from the diet!
Should point out that I currently have a little 208, but that model has now morphed in to a much larger SUV!
Just purchased a new car after driving the same Jeep Liberty for 14 years. The new Jeep was specifically selected for having the least 'bells and whistles' but I'm still confused beyond measure with the new technology. Consulting the owners manual is not unlike reading 'Finnegans Wake' for autos.
I've just checked the current guidelines of the US Department of state regarding international visitors and discovered that, all things considered, my owners manual is easier to understand. Clearly I'm in need of an interpreter for both.
So happy Sopie's stream has returned. I wonder what happened to the minnows when it dried up. All gone?
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