The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Friday, 26 June 2015

And even busier - thanks for nothing!!!!

I held off from posting about this for a while as I didn't want to post while my blood was at boiling point.  I thought somehow I might come over as a "hysterical woman" and have my rant put down to the "time of life".  Anyway, now that I am calmer, what do you think of this?

In 2010, my f****-wit ex husband (let's call him P) stopped coming home in the evenings right after Christmas.  Not that I cared frankly because he was usually down town in one of those bars you see in Westerns where they all come crashing out through the windows at closing time (I mean, where-oh-where is John Wayne when you need him?).  Anyway mid-February 2010 he came home all dramatic and announced that he had something to tell me.  He had moved in with B (another bar habituĂ©e) and he would be filing for divorce.  (I tell you, I had to nail my feet to the floor to prevent myself from leaping ecstatically into the air - that would only provoke the little man).  So long story short, he moved out.  Then 3 weeks later he moved back in.  Then 2 days later moved out ..... can you see a pattern here?  Frankly she was/is as pathetic as him so every couple of weeks they would have a spat and he would move back in "cos it's still half my house".  Honestly, they were the worst months of my life, worse even than when he lived here full-time.  (I remember coming home from a lovely evening at the theatre one time and finding 2 suitcases AND A BLOODY GOLDFISH in the dining area - that was when I sat down and cried - sorely tempted to flush the goldfish down the loo - but I didn't!!)

Anyway, eventually I  filed for divorce and it was finally granted but only after I agreed to take on all the debts AND pay his share of the notary's fees for him to allow me to buy him out of the house AND pay his lawyer's fees - for the divorce AND for his (latest) drink-driving case that was also going on.  Generous of him wasn't it - because if I didn't agree to it he was no longer going to sign the divorce papers.  And to think he goes round telling everyone how he gave me the house!

So, moving seamlessly on, eventually Tweedledum and Tweedledee split up after she cheated on him with a "friend".  Then obviously he is devastated because there are obviously no more women in France and he hated being on his own.  SHAAAAME!

Fast-forward a few years and I am deliriously happily divorced and he gets back in touch with an old friend from the US.  Oh, back up a bit.  In January of this year he gets himself what, according to my kids, is the sweetest dog.  Fast forward again and the new/old friend comes over from the States for three months and has a whale of a time with him throwing money around like it's going out of fashion (good job he didn't have to pay any lawyer's fees/notary's fees eh?)

So then I get a phone call two Sundays ago asking if the kids had told me he was going to the States, so I said "yes in August to see your mom".  So he goes "no, this Friday and I'm leaving definitively"!  To make an ever-longer story shorter, he and the new gf (of three months) are buying a place together in the States.  When I asked about the dog he asked if I wanted it!!!! I told him if I had wanted one I would have gotten one, but since I am absent at work 12 hours a day I wisely didn't want one thank you very much.  So the poor dog gets shunted back to the dog's home and - get this - while he has given  notice on the 3-bedroomed farmhouse he was renting he hasn't emptied it "in case the kids want anything".  He just buggered off to the States on the Friday and left the house "as is".  I mean, he didn't even do the washing-up!

I was furious.  I have enough to do without emptying out his shit and taking his rubbish to the tip.  And as for the garden, for a man who is retired and the garden consists of 5 rose bushes ONLY (I kid you not) I have never seen such a jungle which will take a good few hours to put right.

Now I know you might think it's not my problem - which it isn't - but here in France responsibility for debts etc. goes on down the family line as far as the grandchildren so I don't want my kids to get into any hassle over this.  Add to that they can indeed take some of his stuff if they want it.  The rest, I will clean up and sell (thanks for the suggestion Sonya-Ann) but do I really, really want all this extra work right now?  I think not - but then again, if the good Lord now sees fit to put an ocean between me and him, maybe it will be worth it!!!

Oh, and where are Steptoe and Son when you need them most?

And you know what, this might seem like a bitter rant (I hope not) but it feels so good to write this down and see if other people think (a) I am just a bitter ex-wife (NOOOOOO), or (b) he has a few screws missing.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Busier than ever!

Crikey, I see it's been a while since I posted.  Trouble is I have been so frantically busy I haven't really known which way to turn.  My work is very cyclical (not sure that's a word) and the months of March - July are frantic and then October - December, with slightly less of a workload in between.  Not that I am complaining, I like to be busy and the time passes faster, but it does mean that some of the other "stuff" gets pushed to one side.

On top of that are all the fun things I want to squeeze in so that I don't feel as though all I ever do is get up, go to work, come home, rinse and repeat.  Just lately though, the "other things" seem to be all happening at the same time.

This weekend we went to see a very good production by the Geneva English Drama Society (GEDS) of Ben Elton's "Popcorn".

I'm not sure how Ben Elton would sum up his play but to me it was a very clever take on how nothing in current society is anyone's fault - it is always someone else's.  You have a Bonnie-and-Clyde type pair of murdering thugs who break into the home of a wealthy film director, famous for making very violent films.  While not wishing to spoil it for anyone who may want to see the play, the thugs blame the film director for making them kill people - it's never their fault you see - but according to the film director, nor is it his fault, so it must be society's fault .... and on and on.  I realized after a short while that I had actually read the book and while I tend always to prefer the book to the film/play, it was very well done, particularly given that they are all amateurs.
I got home about 11.30 pm and then got stuff ready for the next day where I had to be up at 4.30 a.m. to get down into a local town for a trip to Turin in Italy.  The local bus services regularly put on trips to Turin as seemingly quite a few people like to go shopping there.  Turin itself is only about 250 km from here BUT they are 250 mountain km so not exactly a 2-hour jaunt, more of a 4-hour stomach-churning exercise.
We went via Chamonix and the Mont Blanc tunnel - a very impressive feat of engineering I have to say, and then down through the Aosta valley and lovely Cormayeur.
I guess in total it took us 4 hours to get to Turin market.  The original plan had been to visit the cathedral but since the Pope was due to visit the next day all visits to the cathedral were cancelled for security reasons.  I can't say I minded though as we had a lovely time going round the market.  It is what I would call a "working market" as opposed to a "tourist market" - i.e. your fruit and veg market with a separate area for fish and meat and another large area for clothes.  Things were so much cheaper there than they are here in France and the fruit and veg stalls were wonderful.

(Cherries galore!!)
Asparagus was €1 a kilo (as compared to between €5 and €8 per kilo here) and everything was so fresh and tasty.  I guess the Italians bring a lot of it up from the south in the earlier part of the year as it really does appear to be sun-ripened and not picked while it is still green and left to "ripen" (i.e. become tasteless) in transport trucks.  (As a side note, in 2003 a Turkish friend of ours organized a long weekend in Istanbul.  It was FABULOUS, all the more so because our friend was from Istanbul and obviously knew where to take us.  The food was so tasty and well prepared that apart from the tomatoes that I grow myself, I don't think I have eaten a shop-brought tomato since as there is just no taste to those perfectly-formed plastic monstrosities that they try to pass off as tomatoes in so many of the shops.)
Anyway, I bought so much stuff I ended up having to buy myself a "granny bag".  Man are they great!  The only thing was, I wasn't sure if it was the wheels that were squeaking or my knees!

Top all that shopping off with a lovely (cheap) spaghetti carbonara in a local restaurant, and I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!
On the way back we again stopped off in the Aosta valley at a hypermarket where many people wanted to stock up on wines, spirits and cigarettes etc.  I just bought some mozarella and parmesan, which was lovely and so much cheaper than round here.  So we got back around 9 pm tired but having spent a very pleasant day in Turin.
I wouldn't do it often but I think I may take the trip again just before Christmas to go to their Christmas market.  Should be so pretty in the snow.
Of course, just to add to the "busy weekend" the next day was our local "neighbourhood clean-up".  Once a year the group of about 25 houses in our little housing plan get together and spend a couple of hours cleaning up our own yards and common areas and then we all have pot-luck lunch together.  It really doesn't take long when you have maybe 30 people pitching in and the whole area looks so nice at the end of it.
Our houses are built around a small island so that is where we all set up camp and ate together, and since the weather was great we had a lovely afternoon.  Time well spent indeed, although I was glad to get back to work for a rest!!