20 November 2015

Sleepless in Saint-Aignan

Okay, I got two nights of good sleep. Night number 1, Tuesday —> Wednesday, I slept from 8:30 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. Good deep sleep, too. Night number 2, Wednesday —> Thursday, I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. and got up at 7:15 a.m. I was happy and optimistic. No complaints.

Night number 3, which is just ending, was a disaster. I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. as usual, but I woke up at 12:30. I stayed awake until about 6:00 a.m., tossing and turning, grunting and groaning, despairing. I fell asleep for about half an hour just before I woke up and got up at 6:30 a.m. Here I am, even more bleary-eyed than before.

Wednesday morning in the vineyard

It's raining off and on outside, and very windy. It's not cold yet, but that's the next phase, predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

Oh, I went out shopping yesterday. I just felt the need to shake off my claustophobia, after spending most of Monday and Tuesday in planes and trains, and Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday in the house. I drove the Peugeot to Montrichard to go to the Netto supermarket over there (a 20-mile round trip). I got some yogurt, cream, lardons, ham, lettuce, carrots, pasta, and eggs. The countryside and villages are pretty.

When I got to the checkout stand at Netto, I searched my wallet in vain for my Crédit Agricole debit card (MasterCard). It was not to be found. Thinking about it, I realized I must have left it in a pay phone at the airport. When I arrived on Tuesday morning and had collected my suitcase, I looked all over for a pay phone so that I could call and tell Walt that I would be on the TGV scheduled to arrive at Tours (St-Pierre-des-Corps) at noon. (In such situations, a cell phone would be very handy, but I don't have one.)

Wednesday morning was nice. Yesterday was pretty dismal. Today is worse still.

The first pay phone I found refused my bank card and then swallowed a total of €1.70 without ever letting me place the call. In no uncertain terms, I told that phone what I thought of its uncooperative behavior and headed off to find another one.

Before long, I was trying again to place the call. I put my bank card in the slot but again got a message that the card was refused. Then I put 70 cents in coins in the coin slot and lo and behold I heard ringing at the other end of the line. Walt answered. I conveyed my news and then walked away from the phone without, in all probability, retrieving my MasterCard. Jet lag...

Since I was in Montrichard yesterday — a stroke of luck — and our bank is over there, I stopped in and reported the lost card. Now I have to wait about a week for a new one. I don't know how much the bank's fee for the replacement card might be.


  1. Hi Ken, welcome home. Good luck with the lag. I am enjoying your photos and your stories. I hope that your card was not used by others!

    1. So far there's no indication that the card has been used by anybody else. As of yesterday morning...

  2. Hi Ken, welcome home...

    That's the reason we decided to stop "commuting" and move permanently...
    however, we were suffering from 2CV-lag...
    that's when your brain reaches the destination before you!!
    No wonder you left your card in the slot!!
    And these "half-light" days aren't helping, either...
    and now this wind...

    The only suggestion I have is for you to take Callie for both her perambulations for a day or two...
    that will confuse her... so that the pair of you can settle down together and recover...
    leaving Walt and Bertie as the "sane" ones to manage the fort!
    Keep On Truckin'

    1. Walt likes to get his exercise every day too. My commute is manageable -- just once or twice a year. It's the six-hour time difference that really is disorienting, especially coming this way, against the sun. Going over to North Carolina, I don't especially suffer from jet lag.

  3. Hope everything will be ok with your card.

  4. ugh the lost bank card... the worst. i was kind of surprised to hear that you dont have a cell. i have a $10 one from the Dollar Store. ha! if you ever want one for emergencies - or travel - the throw away ones are actually pretty good.

  5. I left my American Express card in Hawaii last winter, it was the end of an 18 hour day and I left it in restaurant. Amex was wonderful about the replacement, when I got home I called the hotel, and security had the card I had left behind. Glad I called, it was nice to close the circle of what happened to the card (I had them shred it.)

  6. Oh what a major pain in the arse for you !! I agree, AMEX is wonderful about lost cards ... they will practically come to your house and hand you the new one ... hope things settle down now and you get your sleep :)

  7. Once you've report it as a lost card, the bank and MasterCard will not approve any transaction. Here they don't charge us for a replacement card.

    I like both photos today. The colours especially the sky remind me of some paintings by Gustave Courbet wrt the humble scenes of country life.

  8. I'll third about Amex being great on lost cards, and fraudulent charges. They are on top of things and generally catch a problem before I do.

    We don't have a land line. T-Mobile for 2 cell phones, $79 a month for unlimited domestic calls, texts and internet access for both phones. International rates are $10 a month total for unlimited calls to 70 countries including France, UK, Canada. Sorry if that sounded like an ad. The point is, costs have come way down.

  9. We do have a mobile phone. It costs us 1.50 euros a month unless we use it a lot, which we don't. Maybe it's time for a second one on the same plan.

    Our land line costs 16 euros a month. We pay 23 euros per month extra for unlimited calling in France and all of Europe plus all of North America. Our unlimited ADSL Internet line costs 20 euros per month. All that is a pretty good deal. Since we travel infrequently, we've only had a cell phone for a year ot two, mostly for emergency use (car trouble, especially, since our vehicles are old now).

  10. Your land line rates are quite a bit better than ours Ken, especially when you factor in the international calls....that's why we don't have one, lol....your internet is less too. ;-)

  11. One thing I discovered about sleep is not to fall asleep too early or too late.
    Stop eating anything with sugar after dinner .. and of course soda, chocolate , tea , coffee = caffeine.
    And don't take a nap. Good luck.

    The only falls I get on my landline are nonsense calls, the town letting me know garbage pick up will be late etc.
    My cell phone rarely gets calls. No one knows the number lol
    I like it this way.

  12. Our land line is listed, so we get several marketing calls every day. It's a pain.

  13. Hi -- just getting around to catching up on blog. Your card should be replaced at no charge. I see you still maintain your landline with Orange (ex-France Télécom). We switched to the all-in-one from SFR, so we have the landline with our old number (now 37 years with that number) with free calls France and abroad, internet, and TV. We've added the extra charge for unlimited calls to mobile phones in France since our children are all on mobiles, not land lines, and I got sick of hunting up the cell phone to call them on a whim. We gave up the land line and I think it was a good choice. We would have to pay for some service should the line go down, but I figure the monthly savings we've made on eliminating that separate subscription more than pays for the occasional problem with the line. We haven't severed the line while clipping the roses in several years. I think we've learned where it is!


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