A Quiet Week Back At Base Camp

14 Jan

As foreshadowed last week, it has been a week without anything really blog-worthy.  We have been busy.  The weather has been fantastic.  Cool over night, 5˚C to 10˚C in the morning warming to about 15˚C during the day.  Always sunny until midday Sunday when light rain started.  We are also noticing how quickly the days are getting longer.

On Wednesday, on our 4th visit to the Mairie (Town Hall) in Le Thoronet, we finally got our visa extension application submitted.  We turned up to do this on Tuesday but the only staff member familiar with the process doesn’t work on Tuesdays.  I must have overlooked that in the fine print.  So on Wednesday we were waiting for the 8.30am opening time with our FIVE new passport photos that I took and printed for €0.58 (that was for 8 copies for each of us) at the Kodak kiosk at the supermarket.  By 9.10am it was all done.  Now we just have to wait.

You've got to love the mandatory expressionless zombie gaze required for passport photos!

You’ve got to love the mandatory expressionless zombie gaze required for passport photos!

I am surprised they would ever issue a government document to anyone who looks like this!

I am surprised they would ever issue a government document to anyone who looks like this!

On Thursday morning I woke up with another migraine-like headache and to cut an ugly story short I went back to bed and didn’t resurface until 4pm!  No idea what is causing these but I might have to ease back a little and take life easy.  No, wait, I am already doing that!  Damn, what next?

When I did finally get up I went online an ordered a 64GB iPhone 5 so it will be at home by the time I get there.  The following morning I had an email from Apple to say they could not get an authorisation from my credit card company but would keep trying for five days.  I contacted Visa in NZ and they told me categorically that the payment was authorised, in fact it was authorised 3 minutes before Apple’s email to me.  What a bunch of boneheads!  Now I have to wait until NZ business hours to see if the order has progressed.

Sue put on a lovely dinner on Thursday evening as a continuation of the orientation process for Lew and Jean who are now settled in to the Olive Cottage at Les Fadons.  As well as us, Jo and Jeremy were there and the seven of us had a very pleasant evening.  It was almost an even split between house owners and house sitters (or between Brits and Kiwis for that matter).

Everyone except Lew is going to be unhappy about how they look in this photo but in my defence I only took two and the other one was worse!

Everyone except Lew is going to be unhappy about how they look in this photo but in my defence I only took two and the other one was worse!

We spent Friday working on some section clearing here at La Regalade.

James and Lavinia left for the UK for 6 weeks on Sunday so on Saturday we called in at Les Fadons for a coffee, a Chicken Resort building inspection and a chat.  The new chickens look right at home already after only one day.

By Saturday the crew at Les Fadons (James, Lavinia, Lew and Jean) had finished the Chicken Resort and installed the the first generation of guests.  Within the first day there was even an egg.  Very efficient.

By Saturday the crew at Les Fadons (James, Lavinia, Lew and Jean) had finished the Chicken Resort and installed the the first generation of guests. Within the first day there was even an egg. Very efficient.

It seems like Sue has been doing overtime feeding us this week – we had lunch with her on Monday (we called in for a coffee and a catch up which somehow turned into lunch) and again on Saturday.  The primary  mission on Saturday was to sort out some small behavioural issues with her computer. Done.

Mid-morning on Sunday Jeremy arrived with Lew and Jean to do the walk to Carcès and Leanne joined them.  I walked as far as the top of the hill, to the lookout point, then returned to tend the fire.  I doubt that it would do my visa application any good if I set Provence alight.  About noon a gentle rain started so our walkers got back a little wet at 1.30pm.

Leanne and I spent several hours clearing some of the section here at La Regalade but we had not been able to start the burning due to wind.  8am Sunday morning it was calm, cold and rain forecast later so the match was struck.

Leanne and I spent several hours clearing some of the section here at La Regalade but we had not been able to start the burning due to wind. 8am Sunday morning it was calm, cold and rain forecast later so the match was struck.

The view from the top of the hill above La Regalade at about 11am on Sunday, before the rain started.

The view from the top of the hill above La Regalade at about 11am on Sunday, before the rain started.

And that really is the entire week in review.  We are starting to look forward to being home now and catching up with everyone, although not to the trip itself.  Packing hasn’t started but there is a list of things we must take home to be left there and another list of things we want to collect from home to bring back here.

The next week will be busy again but probably low ranking on the blog-worthiness scale.  We just have to deal with mainly mundane stuff at the moment, not that O am complaining.  Anyway, I will see you back next week.  Have a good one.

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