Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A brisk morning walk

Despite the fact that I have the week off, I was up early this morning ... bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ... Well that's a bit of an overstatement, because B. and J.L. came over yesterday for a chili con carne lunch. Lunch was enhanced by a few glasses of Loire Valley wine. We very very reasonable and I didn't have a hangover, but an hour longer in bed would have been nice. But no peace for the wicked, because I had to drive my little car to the garage to have it fitted with its winter tyres and have an extra check-up.

Remember this photo?
Nothing to do with today's subject, but nevertheless worth your while. This step-by-step reconstruction was sent to me by Chm, one of my faithful blog readers. The perspective being all wrong, due to the fact that the church of Candes Saint Martin is on 'higher ground', he ran it (several times) through Photoshop to obtain this amazing and very truth-worthy result, bottom-right.
 Thank you Chm!

For the last four or five weeks the engine has been making a 'chirping' noise, as if there were a nest of young birds living under the hood. At first the noise only manifested itself with an idling engine (is that the right expression?), but for the last two weeks the engine was doing it all the time ... owing me some frowning glances from passers-by when leaving the parking area at the office or the supermarket.

And to top it all, my left windshield wiper has been behaving rather strangely. Last week I spent several hours in traffic jams, due to the heavy rain and the numerous road accident on the main motorways in and out of Brussels. All the time I was afraid that either the chirping engine or the dodgy windshield wiper would fail. But luckily they didn't. Anyway, to make a long story short, I was happy I could leave my car in the loving and professional care of my trusted car mechanic. 

I made it to the garage at the scheduled time and then started out on my brisk morning walk home. Temperatures were about 6-7°C, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining. There was no wind so the speak of, and the walk was really, really nice. I stopped in at the bookshop to buy the 2014 horoscope book (I know ...) and check-out a concept called 'Vivabox'. 

During their recent visit, on All Saints Day, my cousin's husband W. announced that he would soon be celebrating his 60th birthday. To mark the occasion he would like to buy lunch for my mother and me. This may be a bit of problem due to my mother's reduced mobility. A caterer at home might offer the solution though. And birthdays mean presents. As we find it extremely difficult to buy a present for a man who has everything and who's not into D.I.Y, we decided that a Vivabox is a valuable option/alternative. It's a nice big box which, with the proper wrapping, looks really festive. Inside are some samples or quality gadgets that are linked to coupon that the birthday boy can use to pay the activity linked to the box. There are several themes: culture, sport, gastronomy, wellness ... The concept, which you probably have in your country too, is explained in a nice and glossy brochure that I will show my mother. Together we can then pick the right present/theme.

After my visit to the bookshop, I dropped in at the pharmacist's and our local bakery for some more light shopping. Light, because I still had a long walk ahead. Arriving at home, I felt really refreshed and invigorated, with the top of my nose and the tip of my ears tingling with cold. 

Maybe I should do this more often ... I can start on Friday when I have to pick up my car ... hopefully without its nest of chirping birdies and fully equipped with winter-proof tyres and windshield wipers.


chm said...

LOL Martine! You're welcome. That was for your eyes only, not for public consumption. But I guess that's OK. That was a lot of fun to do! I'll do it again if I have a chance.

This Vivabox sounds intriguing.

Nadege said...

I need to buy a new car as mine is getting too old. I am really not sure what to get but it will be either a Honda or Toyota. Reliability is the most important when you live in Los Angeles.
I'll have to Google "Vivabox". I never heard of it.

Bob said...

Sounds like a worn belt or water pump going bad. Hope for the belt. Now that I retired, I do my walk in the morning. Feel much better for the rest of the day. Now that it's turning cold, might have to shift to the afternoon. Enjoy your day's off.

VirginiaC said...

I'm glad you're getting your car looked at....those noises would have me worried.
Enjoy the rest of your week off.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Here's hoping for good news with the car. Mine is getting old too, though it doesn't look old, and there's always some little thing to have repaired. Glad you enjoyed your long walk. I'm going out with Callie in a few minutes for our afternoon stroll.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Hopefully the chirping isn't too serious and you get your car back today safe and sound.
Enjoy your days off :-)

Louise said...

Good luck with the car...mine is very overdue for a in Australia I need to keep the water tank checked for summer...not winter tyres! I am sorry I haven't commented for some time...I was reliant on iGoogle which is no more so I have had to export all my favourite blogs...and to learn my way around the new "home" site...nice to read your missed blogs today...

ladybird said...

Chm, It was too good an opportunity to miss. I'm sure my readers enjoyed seeing the transformation.

Nadege, I don't know whether the Vivabox is a Belgian concept. I'm sure something similar exists in the US.

Bob, Bad news from the car front. It was more serious than that. But in the meantime the problem has been fixed ... still waiting for the bill though!

Virginia, I had a great week off, despite the fact that it was very busy.

Ken, I enjoy reading about your walks with Callie ... especially when she pushing through her will when it is raining :)

N&A, The car is back, nicely repaired and without the worrying noise.

Louise, Happy to read you. Computers and their programs can be a nuisance, just like cars, can't they?