The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Friday, 1 July 2016

This and that

Oh I'm so glad it's the week-end after the last 10 days or so of racing round like a lunatic (not to mention a very contentious referendum and all the fall-out from that). I'm glad the referendum is over but I wish we could just get on with working out the best way forward for the country, However, given the behaviour of some of our so-called politicians I feel we are in for a long and bumpy ride.

Talking of the referendum, I would hazard a guess Brexit has actually increased job vacancies in one area at least - for those working in passport offices! From what I understand there has been a run on Brits asking for new (mainly Irish) passports, so much so that the Irish passport office have had to issue a "hold your hosses there folks - we've run out of passports" notice. Not surprised really, as those Brits having the right to another EU passport are wisely doing the necessary to obtain them (as I will do myself shortly). I imagine, also, that those non-Brits currently living in the UK are also flooding the UK offices with requests for naturalization for the security that will afford.  My poor colleague and her husband (both Brits) had a baby three weeks ago here in France and have applied for a British passport for her in order to travel to visit their folks in the UK next month. Well good luck with that, I suspect this is the worst time to be hoping for a quick turn-around time for a new passport!

Talking of Irish passports, my (Irish) colleague has been reading out to me some of the banter going round the internet about how to apply for an Irish passport. (1) Get your application in early; (2) Wear green; and (3) Turn up drunk! I would hasten to add this isn't coming from me - but we both burst out laughing.  "Test to verify aptitude for Irish citizenship - drink 10 pints of guinness in 15 minutes"! Again, I would stress, not coming from me - off the internet - but I'm sure the Irish in any case would be the first to poke fun at themselves!

On a completely different note, I can't believe it's the 1st of July already and there is the usual mad rush here of people setting off on holidays, where the motorways become jam-packed and people become bad tempered. I'm so glad I don't  have school-aged kids anymore so I don't have to go on holiday to the south of France at the same time as 10 million other French people. But it's not just the holidaymakers though. Some lunatic was riding my arse on the motorway this morning raring to get past when in fact she couldn't get past anyone as there was so much traffic. Eventually I pulled over to let her past and she proceeded to ride the arse of every single car she came up behind. She was a relatively young woman and I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. I mean, if you are that hyper at 7 o'clock in the morning you are a heart attack waiting to happen surely. I'm just glad I'm pretty laid back as coping with a "hyper" personality would probably kill me in about two weeks. And all for what?

I remember years ago my friend telling me that he was driving through a set of two-lane tunnels in Chambéry. He was in the outer lane and couldn't get over because of the traffic. Anyway, a young man in a crappy car started riding his tail and flashing his lights. As Philippe said, "I couldn't get over even if I had wanted to - which I didn't". So this young lunatic had to wait until Philippe reached the end of the second tunnel and was able to pull over, whereupon said young man whizzed past him giving him the finger - and promptly hit the central reservation, effectively tearing the side off his car and totalling it. He wasn't hurt but I'm sure his pride was - and Philippe said he got a good laugh out of it. I remember also several years ago a young man doing the same thing to me one morning in central Geneva. He was behind me, tail-gating, and bursting to get past - which he eventually did. He continued in the same vein all the way, weaving in and out of traffic and being a thorough menace. A couple of km further up the road, I looked in my rear-view mirror at the traffic lights - and he was again one car behind me - so all the racing around didn't get him anywhere, except perhaps one step closer to a coronary!

Again last night I thought my time really was up. On leaving Geneva there is a pretty big motorway intersection, with two lanes (on the right) merging and the third, left-hand lane, separated by large bollards, where you have to go straight ahead. Well at one point there was a break in the bollards, where someone must have hit one, and a complete lunatic slammed his breaks on and tried to do a completely illegal right-hand turn to merge into the other two lanes. Luckily for me I wasn't going very fast, but I would say about four cars narrowly avoided him. Had there been anything coming up behind him, God alone knows what would have happened. It might not be Los Angeles but the speed limit along there is 130 km/hour (so of course everyone is doing 140)!  Seems some people have a death wish - I just hope they don't take me with them.

Since I seem to have got on the "I want to lose weight" band wagon again, this morning I thought I had better hop off the bus on the Mont Blanc bridge and walk the 30 minutes to work (competitive much?). As I was coming through Geneva I passed an Asian store so I decided to pop in and buy some coconut water (my latest guilty pleasure). Blimey, when I compare prices at work to the prices in town - what a rip-off. Geneva is expensive anyway but prices in the cafeteria at work are just so ridiculous it is unbelievable. In fact, there is a joke that goes "you know you've been in Geneva too long when you live in a studio but still have a cleaning lady"! And that's about the extent of it - there is a lot of money in this city and the prices really reflect it.

On a totally different note, I have been reading about the atrocities in Turkey as they are starting to piece together what happened at Istanbul Airport. One story in particular saddened me. A Tunisian father had flown to Istanbul to try to convince his son, who had run away to Syria, to come back home - the father was killed in the carnage! I only hope the son has to live with that for the rest of his life. What a senseless loss of life, and how Turkey seems to be taking such a beating right now. I have no intention of getting into the politics behind it all, but suffice it so say I have been to Turkey several times and it is a beautiful country with lovely people and I feel so much for those that have lost loved ones yet again in another senseless killing.

So that's about it for today. I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend of not much happening. I have a wedding drink to go to tomorrow from one of the young women in my sewing club but other than that a quiet weekend.  Thank goodness!


  1. Enjoyed this post. I imagine the Irish are much like the people here in Alabama, we have no trouble making fun of ourselves but we prefer it to be our ribbing not someone who doesn't live here.
    Ditto about being tailed in traffic. I don't mind getting over when it is safe, but driving with your nose up my tailpipe does nothing for either of us.
    Have a nice weekend!

  2. I know what you mean. I find it very stressful to have someone on my rear end like that - seems they don't realize how quick it could all be over. Have a nice weekend too. Anna