Fridges and a Funeral

Added on Wednesday 20 Sep 2006

With my back slowly improving I recently felt strong enough to clear out our utility room, which had been accumulating a vast amount of rubbish over the last few years. Among one of the things that was stored there was a very old and large Prestcold fridge. This has great sentimental value for me as my father bought it in 1952 and I had grown up with it during my childhood. It has only had one repair and when we moved here to Salignac I brought it with us and continued to use until sadly it stopped working some years ago. Our friend Alain had always admired it, it is after all, a classic design of the 50's and he offered to buy it as he wanted to use it as a feature, and a filing cabinet, in his house and after some cash changed hands it was his.

Photo: fridge. It however has remained there for some three years now but having borrowed a trailer to remove the rest of the rubbish to the dump I have decided to take over to his house this week, all I need is a couple of strong bodies to help put it in the trailer. As I write this it is sitting at the front door waiting transportation but every time I look at it a wave of nostalgia comes over me and I shall be very sad to see it go. I know that it will go to a good home and may even be repaired as we have a mutual friend who does repairs to fridges. It would be good to know that is working again.

With the end of the holidays here in France, September has got of to a start with building work in Salignac. Our Post Office and The Mairie, which stand side by side, are being converted into the one building and although this work was supposed to start in April work has begun this month. Nothing moves fast in France! On the other side of the square our local bank is being gutted and refurbished with 4 Portacabins being used for temporary accommodation which is a bit of a pain when there are more that three or four people waiting as the rest of the queue have to stand outside which is not much fun if it rains. Meanwhile part of our ceiling downstairs fell down as our toilet above had been leaking which soaked the plasterwork. I had asked our neighbour, who is a retired plumber to have a look at the toilet and he duly did some repairs, which helped, but it turns out that the ceramic base has been cracked. This was apparently caused by my fall down the stairs some two years ago. That explains why I now have such a huge steel implant in my arm and shoulder! Now I have to buy a new toilet and wait a week or so for the ceiling to dry out before re-plastering can start. Fortunately Alain is a plasterer to trade and he has offered to do it for us for the price of (quite) a few beers!

Photo: arbe. Very sadly Alain's ex boss Michel died a few weeks ago with a heart attack at the age of 48 when he was trying to save a 73 year old man who had fallen into a water cistern. Both men died in this tragic accident. The funeral took place at the local cemetery and was unusual for me as it was a non-religious ceremony, the first that I have ever attended. As Michel was a very well known character in the village there were well over a hundred mourners were there but not a word was said as everyone filed past the coffin before it being lowered into the grave, all this was conducted in complete silence throughout. A very moving and sad occasion for the village of Salignac.
On a lighter note.

I unfortunately acquired some seven years of bad luck by knocking a mirror off the wall at the foot of the stairs; I also incurred the wrath of Fiona because the mirror was of great sentimental value to her as it was her Grandmother's. I didn't hurt myself, thankfully, but I was lucky to escape with my life! However, as Fiona is off to London for a couple of weeks it will give me time to have it repaired in time for her return with a bit of luck. Mind you, I am being left with eight cats (yes, I know that is rather excessive but Fiona seems somewhat reluctant to let the new ones go, in fact she has left the decision to me while she is away) so the big softy that I am, I will probably do nothing on that front despite the fact that one, or two are promised to a friend in Sarlat. Meanwhile I am still battling with our internet provider whose motto is ?all is clear?, is it hell! It isn't I can assure you. Even the guy on the help line laughed when he said it, not very encouraging is it? The problem has been for the last few months when the phone rings it only rings once and then goes all sort of 'mushy' not exactly what broadband and 30 euros per month is all about I would have thought.

Although Salignac is not a hot tourist spot, one certainly notices the difference in the number of people that are about once September comes along, it is now possible to get served much more quickly in the supermarket, shops etc. As a photographer I really do love this month as the light is much kinder and with the current blue skies and warm temperature it all seems so much more relaxed as everyone settles down as autumn approaches and it gives me the opportunity to take even more pics of life here.

Rural France. I love it!

? Barry Paton. Sept 2006.