It didn’t rain last night, so the trip to the Honda dealership in Blois was without the slippery incidents of last week. We arrived just before 9:00, booked the bike in, and then sat and waited. And waited. And waited.
They had a radio station playing over the speakers installed in the showroom; and I wasn’t really paying too much attention until my subconscious mind suddenly said, “Er, what was that?”
I focussed on the music, and there it was again. A French band, who obviously thought it was cool to use some English words in the refrain of their song. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite “get” it.
“On veut du green, green, green, green, green, green washing
c’est nous les as les pinnochio du marketing
on veut du green, green, green, green, green, green washing”, they warbled.
I listened in amazement, and when we got back home I had to look up the lyrics on the Internet to be sure they had said what I thought they said. They did.
“We want some green, green, green, green, green, green washing.
It is us the number one Pinnochios of marketing;
We want some green, green, green, green, green, green washing.”
So there you have it; if you can make more sense out of it than I can please let me know.
Finally at 12:30 the bike was ready. Well, they were about to close for lunch, so of course they now wanted to get rid of us as quickly as possible. I was presented with the invoice.
The size of the bill meant they were obviously making up for being so helpful last week. 3.5 hours labour to change a headlight? I estimated it would have taken me 45 minutes. Tops. AND I could have found the headlight cheaper through my own website. But as previously mentioned, the powers-that-be demand that any work is carried out by an official Honda dealership, and they require duplicate stamped forms to ensure that this is the case.
However, interestingly enough, the hourly labour charge was 45 euros. Including VAT. In Britain, it was 75 pounds. VAT still to be added.
Of course whilst we were in Blois, Leroy Merlin attempted to deliver an order we’d managed to place online three weeks ago. (It was for some aluminium 5-metre scaffolding; as I’m going to be installing gutters on the house I didn’t particularly fancy trying to do this whilst balanced on the top rung of a stepladder; so decided to obtain a proper platform on which to stand.)
Having failed to find us at home, the delivery lorry drove to the village, and stopped at the first premises they came to (an agricultural supplies company) to ask for directions to the post office left luggage department. This is where our luck changed. The cashier/administrator/secretary knows LSS; so she told the driver that she would sign for the item, and they could just leave the (rather large) parcel there. She then telephoned our number, and left a voicemail saying we could collect the parcel at our convenience. This was incredibly helpful of her! I suppose this is one of the advantages of living in a small community – everybody knows everybody!
I spent the rest of the afternoon putting it together – it was one of those “Fold Flap A under Tab B and insert into Slot C before installing Bolt D” jobs. But in French of course. Still, the little pictures came in handy. It’s now assembled and at least looks like the picture on the packet. Whilst I was doing this, LSS planted more stuff in the garden including something called salsify which I’ve only ever heard of. I presume it’s edible.
Wildlife diary: Crickets have started making an appearance in the kitchen. They’re big black things, and seem to hop in through a hole in the doorframe. Of course they are swiftly helped outside again with the aid of the broom, but generally lose a couple of legs in the process. I know it’s just not cricket, but the message does not seem to have spread throughout the cricketing fraternity yet.
I’m pleased to report that the fly traps are now fully functional, and gradually filling up with drowned flies. However, flies are still coming into the kitchen. Strangely enough, there aren’t any in the aged FIL’s house. Mind you, this is probably because he never opens any windows. Not to avoid any flies entering the house, but because fresh air Is Something To Be Avoided At All Costs.