lundi 23 juin 2008

L'été !

A sea
-- of pink hydrangea blossoms

Il y aura une version française, éventuellement. Peut-être.

The days get longer, without seeming to offer more time, and then, they get shorter again.

We are on the shorter side again, by just a little.

....

La fête des 60 ans de Dominique
et de la musique

le 21 juin

We fêted, and there was music, and as we drove back home on the highway from Viroflay, well into the morning of June 22, the dark of the night sky was lifting to that kingfisher blue of the earliest morning. I am still pooped.

Yesterday was a lost day.

The kind where the only moment you feel awake is the very first when you get up out of bed, make your coffee, and take it to the garden steps to contemplate the heat of the second day of summer, and then feel it suck the life out of you.

The remainder of the day was spent wishing I were outside but collapsed into the cushions of the sofa, watching Formula 1 and Grand Prix motorcycle racing, wondering when I'd finally give up the ghost and head up to bed again to slumber until dinnertime and the start of Italy v. Spain in the last Euro 2008 quarter-final. We wanted Italy to lose.

I love Italy. We do not love Italian soccer.

They lost, in a penalty shoot-out after playing the sort of match Italy does so well: kill the match, play with 8 or 9 of the 10 field players in their own penalty zone, roll around faking penalties and injuries to try to win it on a penalty shot -- for the slightest move of the opponent toward their goal sets them falling like bowling pins with central nervous systems and tremendous acting abilities -- while the entire stadium can see on the giant screens what the referees must be threatened by the Italian mob not to see.

The commentators groan and thank us for staying with them all the way to the end of the match, wondering all the way through when and how this will change. You can feel them practically pressing your palm in a warm, heartfelt handshake of gratitude at the end. Why would anyone want to watch a match like that, you can hear them asking themselves. Well, in our case, it was just to see if Italy really would manage a PK for a faked penalty in the very last minutes of regular or overtime. Not this time, thank heavens for small miracles.

Just the sort of soccer for the sort of day after an all-night party.

Maybe the parties for our 70 years will end earlier.
....

Pruning

I'm pruning the lollipop tree next to the gazebo. Cut out a lot of branches to thin it out and let a little sunshine through, open up a view from seated at the table and coming down the stairs under its lowest branches, and now I have to grab Sam to help me do the top. I hate going up on the ladder alone, with it leaning into the ball of the tree branches -- and Sam can reach higher to get the tippy top.

....

A word
-- on the renovations

(You thought I'd forgotten, didn't you?)

After a three week delay, they will be here Monday to set up the scaffolding and get going. The bank asked for a few more items for the loan after the day all was supposed to be finalized, and Audouin started going on about how they had better not do what they did for the loan to buy out his ex's part in the house. And, what was that? Take weeks and weeks longer than they said it would.

Oh.

So, when the contractor called to confirm the start of work for the June 6, I felt like I had better play it conservatively and told him the truth. We might not have our financing approved in time. The days ticked by, and then when I went for another appointment at the bank for my motorcycle insurance, Madame Morel clasped my hand in hers and poured out her relief that the bank had come through with their "oui" just that morning, in time for her to give me the good -- and expected -- news that afternoon.

I left a message on the spot for the contractor and waited... for a call... for workers the next morning.

Nothing.

The call came the following Monday after another message from me; they had accepted, as I had figured, another small job since our financing wasn't certain. I understand that. That is, after all, why I had told him in the first place, but if he had called me to tell me he was considering accepting a smaller job "in between", I would have called the bank and started making some more noise! That's the way it goes.

I just was not about to have them start work and then have the bank surprise us with the unimaginable, "Sorry, but your loan application has been turned down because, well, we don't feel like it, and the economic climate really sucks, you know?"
....

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