25 Jan 2007

A little DIY

On the road again the other day – back to Narbonne with Sandra. I needed to call into the phone shop to sort a few things with my new mobile phone and also to buy a cheap electric drill. On unpacking my last box of tools, I thought I’d packed a cordless drill with the incorrect charging unit – nothing seemed to fit together. The cordless screwdriver was just fine – plugged in and charging away. (There were a lot of tools to sort through in Scotland, and some of the pieces went to a boot sale).
We got sidetracked to a few second hand / antique furniture stores – SO much cheaper than in the UK – you can understand why people drive down here and load up with furniture to take back. However, it really was just looking – I’m not looking to squeeze anything more into here just at the moment.
Anyway I managed to buy some plastic trays to install inside the food cupboard in the kitchen – to hang off the doors. The cupboards are so deep that food at the back is impossible to see. Also got a cheap drill in Carrefour and given that time was running out, gave the phone shop a miss and headed home.
A funny ‘car moment’ on the return journey. We’d left Narbonne when we noticed that the hazard lights were flashing. I fiddled around, trying to find out how to turn them off. Traffic was quite heavy, so decided to pull over to work this out. Still no joy – Sandra gets the manual out of the glove box to see if we could find the damn thing. And then we spotted the big red button – right in the middle of the dashboard. What had happened was that a few minutes earlier, someone had pulled out in front of me and I’d had to hit the skids. While applying the brakes on her side, Sandra had also grabbed hold of the the dashboard! And yes, must have pushed the hazard light button. Mystery solved …..
And so onto the DIY. An embarrassing start was to discover that the battery that needed charging actually was INSIDE the handle of the cordless drill, and DID of course fit into the charger unit. Woops. So my next trip to Carrefour will be to return a redundant cordless drill.
I managed to get most of the trays screwed onto the inside of the door – sadly I drilled right through to the front in three places, but not too obvious unless you look hard! And the cleanup wasn’t without incident either. I had trouble getting the vacuum cleaner plug into the adapter, and figured I may as well keep going with the DIY and change it to the French plug. So cut it off with the scissors, dismantled the French adapter to attach, only to discover I’d bought the wrong sort of plug! So there’s the vacuum cleaner out of commission in the short term.
And to top it all off, the trays don’t actually hold a lot, some are crooked and they hang down at alarming angles with the weight of whatever’s in them. Thank god this is only temporary. I’ll leave the new kitchen cupboard/storage installation to the experts.
Case in point. I'm not about to hang out my shingle any time soon . . . .
Weather has turned freezing – howling winds – but still some clear blue skies. It had snowed briefly overnight – just a bit on cars in the morning. But the Black Mountains about 15 kilometres north of here are covered in snow. And does this house rattle and shake and howl in a strong wind! I lay awake a lot during the night, thinking some of the shutters had blown open … but no, they’d all held. Just made a lot of noise. Here the wind is called Tramontane, similar to the Mistral.
And here's picture of the snow on the mountains - taken this morning. Still a blue sky but freezing cold.

Moving sideways

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