Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

It's not all lolling in the pool

Final despatches from Villa Bonden.

FLYPAPERS Deadly but disgusting. My daughter’s idea. Afterwards she mentioned she had taken photos of three papers full to capacity. Did I want to post them or would I run the risk of the blog attracting a warning as in the early days when I posted an ambiguous piece about handguns? So, no flies. Does the RSPCA have a policy on flypapers?
DSG GEARBOX One of the natural wonders of the area is the Circuit de Navacelles, a huge ragged cirque of rock with a terrifyingly winding and narrow road down to valley level. A perfect application for my car’s DSG gearbox – a six-speed auto with the option to switch to clutchless manual changes. The technique: hold third speed for the 75 m “straights” and flick into second for the hairpin bends. Needs practice, though.
NIGHT SKY At about 11 pm, during our evening ingestions of rosé, what we had previously thought to be a sun-reflecting satellite traversing the night sky was in fact a space station. A satellite would be too small to be seen, we were told by an expert.
BARBECUE My technique has always been to keep on spraying the charcoal with spirit-based fuel until the charcoal submits and agrees to light up. The preferred inflammable in France is a form of gel which works better. A first for me but no doubt it’s been around for decades.
SMOKE ALARM Started screeching and wouldn’t stop. Our son-in-law diagnosed the fault as a failing battery, something which doctors might have said to be “contra-indicated”. He was right though.

8 comments:

Relucent Reader said...

Pres. Obama caught guff from PETA for snagging and killing a fly while on camera. (Quick, with those hands, put him at shortstop!) Of course, being a DC fly it was fat and slow, too many trips to the trough...
Do you use a chimney to start your charcoal? They are commercially available, though one can cobble one up using a largish coffee can. Use a can opener to put 8 or so triangular holes an inch/25mm (?) around and above the open bottom of the can. Place wadded up newspaper (I use the daily Richmond rag, so conservative they think coming outta the trees was a bad idea. One must get victories where one can.), lightly soaked with canola oil for faster burning in the bottom; place coals on top of the paper and light the paper.When the top coals are glowing happily, carefully dump the coals onto the grate. Careful, even though Marco Pierre White says "fingers are for burning",no need to emulate his crew.
I bet the sky viewing was great, not too much light pollution I hope.

Barrett Bonden said...

Guess I'd have voted for a guy who could catch a fly on the fly. "Look at me, I'm decisive and I act quickly."

Your take on the Richmond rag's conservatism was so good I shall pay you the ultimate compliment: plagiarism. But then I was born a journalist.

No pollution down in the Languedoc and the sky passage of man-made objects through a plethora of God-made objects was reassuring. It's at moments like that you find yourself saying I'm less ashamed to be a human being than is probably legal. You and the missus must make France some time - you'll find the principle of Cartesianism highly rewarding.

marja-leena said...

Yuck, I remember those fly papers at summer cottages in Manitoba! Thankfully it's not a huge problem here. Something similar for gardeners is a yellow sticky paper that is put on a little stick and inserted in a flowerpot to attract infestations of whitefly. Works well!

As for barbeques, we haven't used charcoal in decades, so this discussion is interesting. The propane tank is cleaner though we'd like even more to hook up a natural gas line to it. The starter button doesn't work well anymore but one of those little lighter things does the job. I guess there is some discussion on the merits of the different fuels as far as taste goes.

Avus said...

Evening ingestion of Rose and seeing space stations in the sky.....Hmmmm

Relucent Reader said...

Plagiarism? Sorry for that--it is unintentional and embarassing. Where did I get it from? Hope it was a good source ,"always steal from the best".....

Barrett Bonden said...

No, no, no. I wasn't accusing you of plagiarism - I am going to plagiarise you. The "down from trees" bit is terrific.

Plutarch said...

Wasn't there a story about an American service man during World War 2, who in a moment of boredom filed a report on an invented form and reference number, on the productivity of army-issue fly papers? The result was that the fictional form, which he had submitted, through the strange reproductive habits of administrative departments, thence forward became a standard form.

Relucent Reader said...

My mistake. Please, do use it; natch, I cannot say it will not appear again in some rant of mine. I once wrote an article for our web pages which included a discussion of a novel about Vikings. I used the phrase "It takes a Viking to raze a village"; last week, a colleague saw a bumper sticker with that exact statement.....