Apple Relief and Autumn Harvest

28 Oct

I ended last week’s post full of trepidation about what might happen on Monday.  I had confirmed when making the appointment that the repair to my iPhone would be done while I waited and that because I was on vacation here I could not readily return another day to complete the job.  My expectation was that I would get to the Apple Store in Nantes, after the two-hour drive, and find out that the repair could not be done because the only person who could do it had broken a fingernail on the weekend and had called in sick for the day.  That was going to mean another trip and more uncertainty.

So we arrived just a little before my opening time 09h30 appointment and I am the first person in the door.  They have me on the list of appointments at the Genius Bar and someone is with me immediately.  Thankfully English was well spoken in store because I would have been up the creek if I had to conduct this exercise based on my primitive French.  She begins to explain that the machine they need to replace the screen is not there at the moment and could I come back in at say 15h00.  My heart sank because I know very well that that is code for, “come back tomorrow” or later.  Then she went on to offer a second option.  The screen repair charge was €159 but they could replace the phone with a new one for €249.  To cut a long story short and skip the bit about tears etc., the girl was extremely helpful, spoke to her manager and got me the replacement phone for the repair price.  Genius indeed!  I was assured that it would be the same model and the same in all respects, except of course the screen would not be broken!  So they unboxed a new unit and upgraded it to iOS 7 and in 10 minutes I had it plugged in to my Mac started restoring all my content.  Ninety minutes after my appointment I walked out €159 poorer but with a new phone that already had all my stuff on it and did everything just like the old one.  Bloody brilliant!

The Apple Store at the Atlantis Shopping Centre in Nantes.  Brilliant!

The Apple Store at the Atlantis Shopping Centre in Nantes. Brilliant!

Now that we had the phone sorted it was time to have a wander around the city of Nantes.  It really does seem like a prosperous place with lots of activity and a nice commercial area.  None of the closed up shops that we have seen in most other places.

Notre-Dame du Bon Port in Nantes. Didn't go into it, don't know anything about it.  Just felt compelled to photograph it!  The location was on the square where we found a parking space.

Notre-Dame du Bon Port in Nantes. Didn’t go into it, don’t know anything about it. Just felt compelled to photograph it! The location was on the square where we found a parking space.

There were significant areas of rejuvenation in progress in Nantes and the Opera House was in one of them.

There were significant areas of rejuvenation in progress in Nantes and the Opera House was in one of them.

This is another area that was being upgraded and I am sure will look splendid very soon.

This is another area that was being upgraded and I am sure will look splendid very soon.

The Rue Crébillon seems to have more than its share of high end stores and for a change we did not notice any shop closures.

The Rue Crébillon seems to have more than its share of high end stores and for a change we did not notice any shop closures.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne.  Taken from their own website... The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is the last of the Loire Châteaux before the Atlantic Ocean. Set in the historic heart of Nantes, once a colonial and industrial port and now one of the most important urban centres in Western France, this exceptional site is the flagship of the city's urban heritage and its oldest historic building besides the Cathedral.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne. Taken from their own website… The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is the last of the Loire Châteaux before the Atlantic Ocean. Set in the historic heart of Nantes, once a colonial and industrial port and now one of the most important urban centres in Western France, this exceptional site is the flagship of the city’s urban heritage and its oldest historic building besides the Cathedral.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne.

We haven’t done a lot else for the rest of the week really.  The weather has not been conducive to being outdoors even though it has not been cold.  In fact conditions have been so good that you can almost hear the lawns growing.  We did go to Parthenay on Wednesday morning but by the time we got there it started to rain off and on so we visited the boulangerie, had a coffee and came home.  I did stop and photograph a field on the way…

This ploughed field is less than a kilometre from where we are staying. Ten days ago it was a mess of weeds and self-sown remnants of a past brassica crop. On Wednesday it looked like this (it might have been completed a day or so before). On Saturday when we drove by it was tinged green with 70mm high spikes of what I assume is wheat. A testament to how damp and warm it has been.

This ploughed field is less than a kilometre from where we are staying. Ten days ago it was a mess of weeds and self-sown remnants of a past brassica crop. On Wednesday it looked like this (it might have been completed a day or so before). On Saturday when we drove by it was tinged green with 70mm high spikes of what I assume is wheat. A testament to how damp and warm it has been.

The skies were clearing by noon on Saturday and we really needed to get out of the house so we went to Niort for a look.  Another very nice town.

La Sèvre passes through and around Niort as it meanders westward to The Atlantic.

La Sèvre passes through and around Niort as it meanders westward to The Atlantic.

Dragons seemed to be something of a theme at this end of the pedestrian area of Niort.

Dragons seemed to be something of a theme at this end of the pedestrian area of Niort.

What can I say?  It's a dragon.

What can I say? It’s a dragon.

Inside Église Notre-Dame in Niort was this incredibly detailed wooden pulpit.

Inside Église Notre-Dame in Niort was this incredibly detailed wooden pulpit.

On the way home we got caught behind a tractor and trailer unit carting maize to the local grain store.  These things don’t leave much road for anyone else.  We met a postie van on one section and with each one almost in their respective ditch they managed to pass.  Then I decided to put on the video recording on my phone.  It was fixed on a windscreen mount so you get a part of that in the frame but it tells the story.  Here is the link.

If you have just watched the video you probably know what happened next.  I was lurking with intent to photograph over near the field beside the grain store.  Next thing the tractor driver (a different set up altogether from the one we were following) comes over to me and one thing lead to another, in spite of my extremely poor French, and we are invited to ride in the cab with the operator.  Wow!  That would never happen in NZ.  They would have OSH all over them like a rash.

So I climbed in and sat on the second seat beside the operator and Leanne rode standing in the open doorway and off we went.  Very cool.

We got caught behind this tractor and trailer unit on the narrow country lanes about 3km or so before our hamlet.  Those big tyres on the trailer were bulging under the load.  It was still able to do 25~30kph though!  We decided to follow him to the grain store which is less than a kilometre past our stop so we could watch him unload.

We got caught behind this tractor and trailer unit on the narrow country lanes about 3km or so before our hamlet. Those big tyres on the trailer were bulging under the load. It was still able to do 25~30kph though! We decided to follow him to the grain store which is less than a kilometre past our stop so we could watch him unload.

Right beside the grain store this field was just being harvested as we arrived.

Right beside the grain store this field was just being harvested as we arrived.

As we waited for the harvester to complete his circuit of the crop and come back into view, the attendant tractor and trailer unit arrived.

As we waited for the harvester to complete his circuit of the crop and come back into view, the attendant tractor and trailer unit arrived.

And then the main show arrived.  Not a big one but still the closest I had been to have a look at one of these machines... so far!

And then the main show arrived. Not a big one but still the closest I had been to have a look at one of these machines… so far!

Looking from the cab at the transfer from the harvester to the trailer unit.

Looking from the cab at the transfer from the harvester to the trailer unit.

The whole machine.

The whole machine.

This is the guy who arranged for us to ride on the harvester.  Standing here on the weigh bridge after checking his tare weight post off-loading.

This is the guy who arranged for us to ride on the harvester. Standing here on the weigh bridge after checking his tare weight post off-loading.

So our otherwise quiet day turned out to be very interesting.

There has been a storm here today that began in the middle of Saturday night. We got up in the morning to find one of the plastic growing tunnels had been shredded at one end. Ran out of duct tape trying to secure what was left while the wind did its best to stop us.

There has been a storm here today that began in the middle of Saturday night. We got up in the morning to find one of the plastic growing tunnels had been shredded at one end. Ran out of duct tape trying to secure what was left while the wind did its best to stop us.

The only other news is that France came off summertime and the clocks went back one hour today.  So it is now a twelve-hour time difference to NZ.

By the way, this is post number 99 since we started our Mid-Life OE.  Next week will bring up my maiden century.

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