(301 to 400 of 739 replies)
ParaScubaSailor 8:01pm, 2 January 2007
2007/01/01 - Lundi 1er Janvier.

Bon, ben voilà, on y est arrivé à 2007, il suffisait d'être patient.

Mon année commence par une annonce, c'est maintenant officiel, je ne renouvelle pas mon contrat de travail, donc à partir de fin Avril, je suis libre (tout au moins de ce côté là).

Je pars faire un petit tour à la voile dans l'océan Indien. Première étape, Afrique du Sud - Madagascar...

Ca s'arrose:
Cooling down

Plus de détails sur un Blog qui va garder une trace de ce périple.
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(301 to 400 of 739 replies)
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
Jim, thanks. It's going to take a little while before I'm fully comfortable with it, I think.

Lori, nothing yucky about it, you just have to avoid thinking about the raw ingredient.
Yes, the evening with Maryse and Gisèle was indeed very nice...

Jallen, I'm glad you have an appreciation for these things ;-)

Gipsy, I think boar would have a very strong taste, but I'm only guessing. I'm doing quite OK, getting over the frustration.

Lady, I'm glad you like good food. It's usually a good indicator of a healthy apetite (and I'm not talking about eating ;-)
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-17 - Mardi 17 avril.

Highlight of the day: the evening!
Claire invited a bunch of us for supper. She cooked Boeuf Bourguignon, beef in a Burgundy wine sauce. There are tomato and mozzarella cheese balls in an olive oil and basil dressing as a starter. Maryse and Sylvie can be seen making a wonderful fruit salad for desert:
Sylvie and Maryse
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-18 - Mercredi 18 avril.

These being my last few days at work, there are a lot of people that want to have lunch with me. Today it's the turn of Georgina and Hervé, and we go to my favorite place in Geneva: Chiang Mai Thai restaurant.
Guess who's wearing the crocodile skin shoes:
Georgina's shoes
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Daniel...I would think these shoes would get tied up in the lines of your parasail and perhaps be a little cold - boots would be a better choice!!

Good to see you up early. Me too - early riser but it takes forever to wake up. B.B. in the dinnerplate. Makes me want some oxtail !

CollardGreens: Oops!
eelend PRO 11 years ago
very nice shot
but i really LOVE the one of April de 16th
it's perfect

eelend's 2007
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Sorry to hear you had internet troubles but...you probably had a wonderful time at altitude !

CollardGreens: Oops!
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Ted, there's only one thing these shoes are good for, certainly not paragliding, that's to lure the male appreciators of women feet in pretty shoes! ;-)

I love getting up early. It's such a powerful feeling to be up and about before everybody else.
(And it's fun to play mischief with the chicken in the hen-house ;-)

The Internet trouble was not too much trouble, actually, more of a handy excuse to concentrate on things in meat-world. The time at altitude was indeed pretty wonderful. Details coming up below.

Thanks for the visit Izas.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-19 - Jeudi 19 avril.

Last day of the working week for me. I head out of Geneva up the Arve Valley to my friend Dédé's house. We're going to a showing of the movie "Ma Mondialisation", a locally made film that relates how globalisation is impacting the region (this is one of the highest concentration in the world of industries specialised in manufacturing tiny mechanical parts), followed by a public debate with the film maker.
When I get to Dédé's house, his son is busy fixing a Mobylette, a motorcycle that was old when I was riding motorcycles, at his age...
The film ends at around 22:00, the "official" debate with Gilles Perret in front of the screen lasts for another hour, revives for half an hour in the lobby, then carries on in the street in front of the cinema until well past midnight. With all the world's problems finally solved, we scatter into the night and go to bed. I sleep at Dédé's house as he stays half-way to Annecy, where some adventure begins the next day...
eelend PRO 11 years ago
i can't wait to read what new adventure you had

eelend's 2007
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-04-20 - Vendredi 20 avril.

I leisurely get up just before seven. A neighbour at home is looking after the chicken, so I don't have to worry...
We have breakfast and say goodbye to Antoine who heads to school first, and then to Dédé who also goes to school (not to the same, and not to do the same thing ;-) and chat to Aimée for a while. I'm meeting my friend Roger at the train station at 9:15, so there is plenty of time as the drive to Annecy is only half an hour long.

I get there with enough time to spare and I walk out of the train station to look for a magazine. I then realise it's market day in Annecy. I have a quick walk through the stalls and buy three kilos of delicious Beaufort cheese and a couple of other cheeses so we have something decent to sustain our adventures for the next few days. I also get a loaf of good sourdough bread from a seller that comes every week in Thonon to the Thursdays market. I then rush back to the station as I don't want to be late for Roger's arrival.
No need to worry, his train is stuck just outside the station in front of a signal that malfunctionned.
We're reunited a few minutes later and I help him carry the 20kg basket of oysters he brought with him. Roger likes to call himself a sea-farmer: he grows oysters. Delicious ones at that. Amateurs in Paris will have to wait until late September, when his selling season resume at the market in Versailles...
We load his rucksack and the basket of oysters in the car, and head back to the market to resume our shoping and visit the old part of town, where the stalls are situated, as Roger has never visited Annecy. We walk leisurely while catching up on news. We were together in the French Air Force, back in the late 70s and remained friends since. We try and have a hiking adventure in the mountains once a year, when his selling season ends in Versailles.
Last year, we were together when the news of my brother's accident reached us and we aborted the hike...

I like the atmosphere in markets. We come accross people that are really dedicated to what they produce. One of them sell only onions and garlic, lots of different kinds:
We're in Annecy until the end of the morning and ride out of town leisurely, before the mid-day rush of workers going home to eat. We only stop at a small "Casino" convenience store to buy a bottle of Mercurey and drive in the beautiful weather to Le Plateau des Glières, the scene of fierce resistance during the 1939-45 war.
We get to "Chez Constance", an institution there from many years. We carry our stuff to the rooms and don't waste time getting into our hiking gear to go for a walk. After a short half an hour, we find a place suitable for our picnic, followed by the standard siesta... Our afternoon walk to Le col de Spée completes a wonderful day, while we carry on catching up on news and political debate, but not presidential debate...

Later that evening, Sam, another longtime friend who sstays in Annecy, and Jean-Pierre, a distant cousin of Roger, join us and we all eat Beignets de patates, the speciality of the establishment.

Of course, we have a merry time...
Dragonhide 11 years ago
wow, that IS quite the collection of onions and garlic!!
BellaGaia PRO 11 years ago
I wish i could experience the smell of it....
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Yes ! I know the market in Annecy - we have a friend who grew up there and has a summer home. We go there with him and his family every August...wonderful city. Les Huitres...I can eat my weight in them...we enjoy them in November and even take a oyster weekend in Cancale every year ! Nice to hear the story about Annecy in any case...

good weekend..CollardGreens: Oops!
I love your priorities. Good food, good wine, good times.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Jallen, that's what attracted me straight away. I guess I'm a little compulsive when it comes to collections, series, ensembles...

Bella, funny enough, there was no particular smell. Thinking about it, not too funny: garlic and onions don't smell much until you cut or crush them.

Ted-well-travelled-man, if you like oysters, we'll have to arrange to meet in Versailles this autumn...

Gypsy, I delight in enjoying that side of life. There is so much to taste everywhere!
I agree. There is so much to experience in life.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-21 - Samedi 21 avril.

Lazy rise for a week-end. We all end up at more or less eight o'clock on the terrasse of "Chez Constance" to enjoy a traditional breakfast: tartines with butter and home-made confitures. Gisèle and her daughter Zoé arrived during the night, so there are six of us on the path this morning. We walk leisurely, as it is the week-end, after all ;-) to "Le col de Spée" that we reach an hour later.
The hike we've just started is a five to six hour long loop, and we plan on being back "Chez Constance" late afternoon, to meet the few more people that will be joining us.
In places, the ground is covered in Crocus (Crocus versicolor) to the point where it's sometime impossible to put a foot down without stepping on one. There are also numerous wild daffodils and lots of other flowers:Daffodils
We are awaken from the siesta that followed lunch by the repeated shrills of the marmotte, the alpine groundhog. I grab my camera and try to get close enough to catch sight of the animal.

As we get back to "Chez Constance", we are greeted by Nanard, my friend from the time I worked in Grenoble, over twenty years ago. He tried to catch up with us on his mountain bike, but kept getting holes in his tires...
Philippe gets here a little while later.

The evening meal includes Tartiflette, a very local (but also very recent) dish...
Delicious scenery. :D
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-04-22 - Dimanche 22 avril.

Another lazy rise. The group that's still here (Jean-Pierre left us after supper the previous night) gathers around the breakfast table. We decide to go for a short walk, as we want to be back for lunch, when a lot of friends will join us.
Martine joins us just before we set off on the path to La Montagne des Auges. We walk very leisurely, as Philippe knows a lot of the names of birds we hear and flowers we see (he's a biology teacher) and we're very eager to learn about the nature around us. We get to a small open hill where I had hopes to take my paraglider out, but the wind is too uncertain, I've never flown in the area and the slove is not steep enough to get quickly to a safe altitude if problems develop, so I remain earthbound and we make our way back to the restaurant.
On the path, we meet Mireille and Dédé with their son who deciced to walk for a short while rather than drive all the way to Constance.
Everybody else has arrived and Roger starts to open oysters straight away, while everybody tries to catch up. We seldom all meet nowadays, and some of us haven't seen each other for over twenty years...
The table has to be lengthened as it was set for only 18 people, and there are 26 of us...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-23 - Lundi 23 avril.

There is a clump of trees in front of Chez Constance, and I've decided to "camp" in it from daybreak until breakfast time, so I get up stealthily and creep downstairs early. There are already lots of bird noises, I love this part of the day. Nothing seems to move, until you settle down, remain quiet and open your eyes to everything that happens from daybreak to sunrise.
A few birds get reasonably close, but not for long enough to allow me to snap their picture.
As the sun starts really warming things up, I go to the breakfast table on the terrasse. I catch sight of the cook to work and I get myself a big pot of tea to enjoy the sunshine, playing lizard...
I don't have to wait for too long, Roger joins me and we have a quick breakfast before we set off on a loop that goes past La Montagne des Auges, a clump of chalets that used to be occupied in summer, when farmers from the valley would take their cattle to graze the mountain grass.


We don't complete the loop as a landslide has taken away a big part of the path, so we have to go down retracing our ascention. It's a good thing we gain some time, as I wanted to practive my camera skills by filming Roger piloting his glider, while still leaving early enough to avoid the traffic jams in the valley.

A good week-end it was, overall, and I'm glad Roger and I could catch up a little bit. We part with plenty of possible plans for next time...
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-04-25 - Mardi 24 avril.

Mouse trouble. Yes, you sometime can't connect to the Internet because of mouse trouble. I know how to use the keyboard when the mouse doesn't operate, but there are times when you need the soldering iron to patch-up the telephone cable that the mouse nibbled. This is one of those times...

Mouse trouble...
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Yow - wonderful series in the mountains...I would have like the ever expanding breakfast table !! Sorry about the mouse trouble...little buggers are funny about what they will eat ! Bring on the oysters anytime !!!

CollardGreens: Oops!
I, too, love that early morning time when the day just begins.

Beautiful meadow with all those flowers.
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-04-25 - Mercredi 25 avril.

[Apologies for the late edit, folks, got mixed-up in my evenings, leaving things for too long]

It's a dog's life, really... We work-work-work! What for? How many of us can answer this simple question? What do you work for?

I think it was Robert Heinlein that said the masters of the earth were actually the cats, as the feline race managed to enslave the human race to serve them, feed them, provide shelter with no counterparty.
When I grow up I want to be a cat...

Ladybadtiming PRO 11 years ago
I love the mood in this photo.
( A Gypsy Outdoors)
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Ted, the little bugger was funny until it found my secret stash of smuggled Swiss chocolate (pavlovian reflex: I can't cross a border without smuggling at least something ;-)
It doesn't eat telephone wires now anymore. No sireee...

Gipsy, that's the best part of the day, with remnants of the night's languor, suffused with the energetic promisses of the day.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-26 - Jeudi 26 avril.

Pasta. Again. What can I say? I find it quite flattering that I keep being asked to make it again and again...

It's the more or less usual gang that participates: Claire, Sylvie, Martial, Maryse, Pierre-Alain and Philippe.


This time, I made putanesca (chili, garlic and anchovies lightly fried in olive oil) and also fresh tomatoes, olive oil and basil sauces.

Good times indeed...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-27 - Vendredi 27 avril.

Yay! Last day at work!!! Today I start my loooooong week-end. I'm a bit sad not to go on the long trip as originally planned, but there is plenty of adventure to be had within a short range of "home".

I'll also be able to spend a bit more time post-processing my photos after I catch up with all the ones I left behind.

This morning, before most people arrive at the office (I like being at work early), Nadia brings me a present:
2000 years of paintings by the meter...
I'm thrilled and delighted! This is so original.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-28 - Samedi 28 avril.

I spend the day doing small jobs around the house. The garden is a real jungle, inhabited by ferocious animals and I have to wrestle with them:

Fabulous insect. I am indoors because it is raining here.

I answered your email, did you receive it?

( A Gypsy Outdoors)
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-29 - Dimanche 29 avril.

I went to the forest to take pictures of birds, and all I got were sore feeet! I can imagine the T-shirt with that sentence on the front.
Well, I didn't get sore feet, really, but it sounded good, and sort of balanced the fact none of the pictures I took that day were worth anything... A bit of a disappointment.

I resorted to taking a picture of the book I'm currently reading. I highly recommend it, to sift through the bullshit spewed by the would be presidents out there, especially "our" midget that's trying to rival The Shrub Emperor...
Reading material
BellaGaia PRO 11 years ago
Para -- (re: scent of garlic) that's interesting that it doesn't smell there. There's a place called Gilroy here in California, called the Garlic capital of .... let me check.....of the World.... when I drive through there -- it totally reeks of Garlic, however, you're right, come to think of it. I have garlic and onions in my house and I don't smell it there..... hmmm....

cool bug...

BellaGaia (Living with BellaGaia)
I know about Gilroy! Have you ever been to the garlic festival. I bought a great garlic press their many years ago that I still have. My sister-in-law once asked me "Do you think you can ever have too much garlic?" and I answered "In food or in the garden?" She said "Both." And I replied "No."
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Perhaps a bit of garlic will work on the emperor...watched the debate with focused interest last night. At least the discussion was focused on internal problems and how they stand on repair. Yes - garlic on the emperor should do nicely !

CollardGreens: Oops!
eelend PRO 11 years ago
economics... it looks hard

eelend's 2007
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Teresa, Gypsy, interesting about Gilroy. I dimly recall seeing that place mentioned, probably in a novel, but I can't recall the context.

Ted, garlic was considered as one of the gifts from the gods, and it cures a lot of ailments, but unfortunately, greed, stooopidity and inhumanity aren't on the list of flaws that can be "fixed" with a touch of the flagrant bulb. Now that I think of it, it's been rumoured to keep away vampires, I wonder if it would work on the Midget and its minions... We might need it after Monday :-(

I purposefully avoided the debate, as I did all rallies and broadcasts of speeches. If I'm told they contain anything significant, I get the transcript and read it, it feels a tiny bit less disgusting. I came accross a very good program (Là-Bas si j'y suis, normally on France-Inter, but I only download the podcasts) that I listened to while gardening yesterday. It's about the structure of the political speeches delivered from the beginning of the year by the two remaining fighters. It analyses what words are used, in what context, to what effect. Very instructive.

Izas, it looks hard, but if one only does easy things, we end up in the mess we're in right now... Agree with it or not, that's what rules our rulers, and the effects that state of affairs have on our everyday life do not please me the least...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-04-30 - Lundi 30 avril.

More gardening. One month of neglect at the crucial time, and there are weeks of extra work to catch up. It's not as easy as catching up on the Flickr photo diary, though...

While gardening, I listened to various podcasts (Democracy Now is one I seldom miss) and to some very good music too:

ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-01 - Mardi 1er mai.

"La fête des travailleurs", not to be confused with "La fête du travail". This day of celebration was started to commemorate the workers that died because they tried to unionize in Chicago, in 1886 (more details on Wikipedia, what a wonderful resource!). The later name of the holiday was coined by the Vichy government in France. It shows how easy it is to subvert a cause by simply manipulating language.
Another of the slogans at the time was "Arbeit Macht Frei", and the Midget now uses "Le travail rend libre"...
NOT a coïncidence.

I really need to get my Italian papers. The political game there is no better than in France, but at least nobody in the world takes it seriously.

Video evening tonight, we watch "Le Grand Bleu", with Gisèle, but she falls asleep before the end...

I sill have a good one from the library I want to watch soon:
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-02 - Mercredi 2 mai.

Another day spent trying to catch up in the garden, mostly. I ran a couple of errands, trying, amongst others, to find a part to repair the sun awning. That was not very successful...

Managed to finish a book that was given to me by my friend Yasser, a very good novel by Paulo Coelho. It's the first time I read one of his novels, but I'll try and find some time to read more.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-03 - Jeudi 3 mai.

More time in the garden, but I finish early in order to go to the market in Thonon. I want to buy some fresh vegetables to make Taboulé, and some fresh fish to cook on the grill over the week-end.

I meet Jean-Marc late afternoon to go to Lausanne for the monthly Flickr meeting. Nicolas is hosting the gathering, and we have the usual good time, accompanied by good food and drinks.

Technical discussion
Lalalian PRO 11 years ago
Oh! I loved The Alchemist!!!

I've read a few others of his and really enjoyed them {:->
eelend PRO 11 years ago
nice pic
to relaxing

(yep, i agree with you)

eelend's 2007
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Lara, I finished The Alchemist last week, and it's indeed a very nicely written book. I wish I could read Portuguese, as I beleive books lose in translation and I'd love to read it in the original language.

Thanks for the visit, Izas.
Ça va, mon ami?
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-04 - Vendredi 4 mai.

More gardening... My hands are turning green, but there's still nothing growing in the garden. The event of the day happens in the evening: a "work" outing in a fancy place in Geneva. The nicest part is that I don't work anymore...
Well, the nicest part is that they still count me in.

It's nice to dress up from time to time, and Gisèle looks gorgeous.

The only picture I have of the evening is taken by somebody else, there isn't enough light even when pushing to 1250 ASA, but a colleague is more enthusiastic than I am to try the 1D, and I whisper to Gisèle not to move...


The evening is very pleasant until the "in" crowd starts pouring in, and the place turns into the trendy night club it normally is... That's a good excuse to go home early ;-)
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
VERY Dapper indeed !! I love it when the garden produces...makes the early hard work worth it!

The subtle colors of the nightclub ...good stuff ! Trying to breeze around and get a feel for what I missed over the last 10 days...also to catch up on some morning news...politics aside.

CollardGreens: Oops!
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-05 - Samedi 5 mai.

Have I mentionned my love for science-fiction?
Well, first there's my love of reading, and of books. I love reading, and it's not tied to books. I discovered recently that, with the right hardware, I can read books and magazines on a screen. I hate the fact that paper is used to print newspapers and magazines, ephemerous objects that don't live past the following edition. After close to five years spent avoiding buying newspapers and magazines (I go to the public library to consult them), I started subscribing to the ones I really like again, mostly because they have electronic editions available...
Then there is Books. I love the feel of a "good" book. In France, we have "La Pléiade", an edition on fine paper, leather-bound, but in a pocket format. The paper is so fine that often the complete works of an author can be found in one volume. For somebody that likes to travel and read, it's the perfect edition.
But what really makes a good book varies all the time. There are times where I want to taste good literature, where you read a phrase a second time to enjoy the sensuous way it reads, as the writer has managed to string ordinary words in a sequence that makes your brain sing when reading it...
Other times, it's just the ideas, exploding as your eyes feverishly scan the pages, and a good Sci-Fi book will camp a scenery effortlessly, as alien as it can be, and you'll still feel like you're there, taking in the novel situation and enjoying the impossible made possible.
The very first Sci-Fi book I ever read, when I was 14 I think, was "All Right, Everybody Off the Planet !", by Bob Ottum, translated in French at the time. That book single-handedly made me love science-fiction. I managed to purchase the English version of that book a few years ago (at the beginning of Amazon, when they had an amazing service that would find you second-hand books), but couldn't capture the magic again...
My favorite science-fiction author is Theodore Sturgeon. I thought I read all his books, but at the last Flickr meeting, I found one I didn't even know existed in Nicolas' book shelves. Sturgeon is a very talented writer, and his stories bring forth eternal questions about what makes us human. Long after you finish a book by Theodore Sturgeon, you brain still churns the concepts and questions he so elegantly placed there...
Theodore Sturgeon
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-06 - Dimanche 6 mai.

Of course, for most French people, this is an important day: we select our next president. There wasn't much surprise in that election, despite what the journalists and other pundits wanted us to believe. In any case, what difference does it make? It's still a politician that gets elected...
Sure, I would have preferred the Pretty One to the Garden Gnome, but nobody listened to me. ;-)

I'm glad there's a series of programs on France-Inter that will present Noam Chomsky to the French public. He's not well known in France, mostly, I think, because he doesn't speak French, or loud English...
I heard a recording of one of his speaches quite a few years ago where he presented his version of an ideal system: anarchy. He's my hero.
Maybe there is a rainbow somewhere after the rain?
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Gypsy, I'll Flickr-mail you later, some news about Corsica. Looks like things are falling in place very nicely.

Ted, good to "see" you. Nothing new on the political side. Did you expect "real" change that soon? ;-)
We still have to organise that beer one of these days...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-07 - Lundi 7 mai.

Found another interesting book at the library on Saturday. It's by a journalist I really like, Serge Halimi, who normally writes in Le Monde Diplomatique (better known as "Le Diplo", and yes, there IS a version in Gleesh).
His central argument is that the changes in the last quarter century did not happen by chance, nor are they inevitable.

While I'm extremely suspicious of conspiracy theories, I look forward to reading his book, as I believe nothing happens by chance, especially not events that are so important and have so many consequences...
Serge Halimi
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-08 - Mardi 8 mai.

The highlight of the day should have been the evening sail in Geneva, but there's a storm brewing (a Summer storm in May!) and I have an appointment in town I couldn't move.
Pitty, as I love sailing in stormy weather...

ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-09 - Mercredi 9 mai.

Wednesday is "children day", and since I don't have any children, I have to behave like one, so I get some good cartoons from the library to enjoy with my lunch...


For those interested: an omelette, some tomatoes with coriander, and cheese platter. All that with good bread, of course, and a sip of Beaune, a wine from the South of Burgundy.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-10 - Jeudi 10 mai.

Thursday is market day in Thonon (I think I've said that already), and it's a beautiful day. Not a cloud in sight, and I have the feeling the weather is going to change. From Thonon, there's a good view of Les Hermones, the range where we go paragliding, and I decide that this afternoon gardening will be replaced by something a bit more fun...
As I leave the market, I bump into Corinne, and she's keen on coming along this afternoon. She'll be the driver.
More details about the flight in my Flog later...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-11 - Vendredi 11 mai.

Travel day today. I initially planned to leave early in the morning, but it's raining and there are a lot of things I need to sort out before I leave. I finally depart shortly after 12. The departure time is not critical, as I'm using one of my favorite means of transport, my thumb. I'm hitch-hking to Toulon, in the South of France. By train, it's a five to six and a half hours trip, by car five to six, depending on whether it's a busy week-end or not...
I get there in about seven hours, having spent quite a bit of time in Grenoble crossing the town in the very nice tram they have there. When I lived in Grenoble, in the early 80s, the last lines of the tram were being pulled out of the ground, and a couple of years later, a huge works campaign started to put the new lines in the streets...
"Faire et défaire, c'est travailler quand même!".

As usual, I met a lot of nice people during my trip, but things went so fast that I didn't even pull my camera out during the day. In the seven hours I traveled, I must have spent less than fifteen minutes on the side of the road...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-12 - Samedi 12 mai.

One of the pleasures of living close to the sea is to be close to the sea. Hey! How's that for an evidence? Still, very few people appreciate it...

Dreams of travel...

My brother lives a few minutes walk (admitedly, it's downhill on the way there, but uphill coming back) of the sea, and we always try and take a walk every day to one of the two creeks at the bottom of the cliffs.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-13 - Dimanche 13 mai.

That's actually the main reason for my trip: my niece is doing her "communion", a religious mumbo-jumbo experience to indoctrinate innocent children...
She's cute and I like her, so I pretend I'm enjoying the experience.


All in all, it turns out to be a very good fandamily day, with lots of talk, laughs and food. Heh! Good life!
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-14 - Lundi 14 mai.

Back to school... It's a ritual. When I am at my brother's place, I walk (or cycle) my niece to school, if she's ready in time.

Walking to school

While waiting for the train to go home, I decided to start the new project I've had in mind for a while: spy the spies, photograph the photographers, my Big Brother project. This serves as a notice to all suveillance operators accross my path: I'm going to take your picture. Serendipitously, when I opened Flickr this morning, there was a new group announcement for the creation of Surveillance mirror. Of course, I joined, what a question!
Dragonhide 11 years ago
Such great stuff you have posted in here :)
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Thanks Jallen.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-15 - Mardi 15 mai.

Spent most of the morning catching up on email and the preceding postings. Now I "only" have to catch up on what everybody else has been up to...
Met some ex-colleagues for lunch in Geneva. It so turned out that all my male ex-colleagues could not make it, so I had lunch with three ladies, all by myself. Didn't mind at all! I much prefer "girl talk", anyway.
They were a bit upset that they had to go back to the office, while I went to the public library and the media library to exchange books and CDs. I had a browse at one of the pawn shops that is selling a diving dry suit. Made a deal to try it one of these days.
I then met my friend Pierre on his boat in the Geneva harbour, and we went for a sail with Alain and Pierre-Alain. There wasn't much wind, but we had a nice picnic onboard, and then for dessert a gentle puff that let us finish quite exhilarated and satisfied.
Sail in Gva
Life's good!
dda1605 11 years ago
life is good indeed. beautiful picture. it always funny for me to read "Geneva Harbour".......
Dragonhide 11 years ago
That is a nice looking boat.. what boat is it?

I've crewed on a J-30, and will be crewing on a J-90 end of this month in a race... Can't wait!
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Indeed the life is good - a friendly picnic with a boat under you in pleasant weather...glad to see you are doing this. Good on you...

Like you I am trying to catch up on all the threads in the active list...good stuff !

Bon weekend...CollardGreens: Oops!
bunæn PRO 11 years ago
Well, I am all caught up on your life. And it is good. The clouds in the sailboat are fantastic.
Beautiful boat.

(Did you receive my friend's telephone number?)

Take care mon ami
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Didier, I think I understand why "Geneva harbour" sounds funny. I too lived near a "real" harbour, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Let's not forget, though, that in the centuries past, there was a big water traffic between one end of the lake and the other, Geneva needed the stones on which the city was built, and the quarries were on the other side of Evian, in a small village called Meillerie.
A special design of boat was in use just for that purpose (La Barque du Léman, see article on Wikipedia), three of those sail barges have been preserved or rebuilt and can be seen sailing from time to time. The Wiki article has a link to "L'Aurore", a smaller model, that has a very good picture showing off the typical sail rigging.
Beside, a lot of the small harbours around the lake had (some still have) a "real" fishing function until moneyed people started buying everything...

Tim, I'm not sure what the model or type of the boat is, it's a 10 or 11 meters (30 to 33 feet), I think, monohull, rigged as a classic bermudan sloop, with a plain mainsail. It's a daysail boat, with spartiate accommodation for three or four people overnight. Nice that you're going to crew on the J-90. Is that a 90 footer? Sounds impressive. I must admit to not being too keen on racing, I'm more of a lazy cruiser type of sailor. I need space to take along all the "toys" to go paragliding, scuba-diving, hiking, photography, spearfishing, music, movies and especially a decent kitchen onboard...

Ted, good life is to be found everywhere for those that appreciate good things in life... Catching up here is hard work, there are so many people writing good stuff and posting good photos, and so many things to do in meat-world...
Have a good week-end too, I haven't forgotten about the beer we're going to have, one of these days.

Buns, it was really the kind of weather that pulled the camera out of the bag... Good to "see" you here.

Gypsy, I got the phone number, thanks. Will phone her probably at the end of today. Will mail you privately as things develop. Have a great end of the week.
Say hello to her for me.

I had a wonderful day yesterday and hope to have a good one today too

Have a great week.
Ladybadtiming PRO 11 years ago
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
* puts "Beer with Daniel" into agenda planning section...so as to keep it important.

CollardGreens: Oops!
eelend PRO 11 years ago
a boat
i've been on a boat once

you're lucky!!!! :)

eelend's 2007
Speaking of "decent" kitchens, you will be in awe of Annette's.
Ooh if you could slip in your pasta maker--I could finally have a chance to try you homemade goodies.
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
* Plans on target...email will be out over weekend - sms will be a good choice.

CollardGreens: Oops!
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Hope all is well...thanks for the hospitality ! Home safe and sound now...

CollardGreens: Oops!
Have you abandoned your daily diary, my friend?
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Hello All!

Not abandonned, just left it aside for a while to take care of more urgent matters...

I plan on catching up slowly, as I have photos for most of the days. The entries will be fairly laconic, though. The most difficult task will be to catch up with your diaries...
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-16 - Mercredi 16 mai

Fairly average day, kind of blue, kind of jazz type; what with the records I brought back from the public library...

Kind of blue, kind of jazz
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-17 - Jeudi 17 mai

Claire and Dominique are getting married in August. Dominique lives several hundred kilometers away, so when he visits, we try and meet him as much as we can. Tonight we had supper at Maryse, and just before we left, I remembered I hadn't taken a pic for the diary...

Fun with friends...
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-05-18 - Vendredi 18 mai

Dédé has organised tickets to go and see "Le Quatuor". I know their reputation but I've never heard or seen them.
They are actually talented clowns.
Playing classical music.
Le Quatuor
RobW_ PRO 11 years ago
Welcome back, action man! Long time no see.
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-05-19 - Samedi 19 mai

The weather is pretty decent, and paragliding we go. As always, I'm too much in a rush, and the camera is still set to high ISO from last night's concert. The sunlight on the horizon turns into a nuclear explosion, reducing the pilots to mere burnt specks.
Well, not really.... ;-)
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-20 - Dimanche 20 mai

The emergency parachutes have to be unfolded and re-folded at least once a year. It's the occasion to fool around on the ground and admire the shining materials.

Grande fleur
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Thanks Rob! ;-)
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-21 - Lundi 21 mai

I got my driving licence in the early 80s, and as a photograph used a then old photo from a disused official document. My driving licence has been in three pieces, and I never bothered gluing the pieces together. Now I need to present it to book my motorcycle riding exam.
Time to retire it...
Driving licence
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-22 - Mardi 22 mai

Cherry picking time!

ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-24 - Jeudi 24 mai

No entry for the previous day...
Today I'm irritated by the video cameras that are sprouting everywhere. Guilty until proven innocent.

Big bother
RobW_ PRO 11 years ago
I didn't see the live music shot when I posted earlier - fantastic shot.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-25 - Vendredi 25 mai

Our SIV course (Stage d'Incident de Vol, a paragliding course designed to meet abnormal flying configurations in a controlled manner) is starting today. We meet in Annecy, it's a very good place for that course: the lake offers a bit of a softer reception area for the times when things get out of control.
The weather report is not good at all. We still take off for what should have been a pre-course flight, but got turned into a pleasure flight. And great pleasure is had by all, as we had very low expectations but ended up staying aloft for over two hours...
Lac d'Annecy
The rest of the course is cancelled as it rains most of the week-end, and the wind is blowing the wrong way around for this area.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Marc, I'm looking forward to that photo from the museum.

Rob, the evening was excellent, and this is just one of the shots I brought back. I didn't take a telelens to the concert (just the 70-200 zoom), I should have, we were quite far from the stage.
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-26 - Samedi 26 mai

Rain and bad wind. Just the weather to potter around the house, and there's a lot of that to be done, as my messy bookshelf demonstrates...
Messy bookshelf
I have a love-hate relationship with books: I can't prevent myself from buying them, but then I run out of space to store them.
I resolved to only buy reference books, or books I really want to keep, and just borrow the ones I want to read from public libraries, but I have great difficulty sticking to the plan...
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-05-27 - Dimanche 27 mai

The big event of the day is meeting Ted (CollardGreens), and I don't even have a picture of it!!!

We had supper in a small restaurant near La Roche Sur Foron, and chatted away for hours... A good evening indeed!
CollardGreens PRO 11 years ago
Hey there Daniel - Great to see you back. Good trip ??
I thought the same thing - I didn't even get a photo...we were too busy chatting and solving the world's problems ! A bio-memory-photo is all I have.

Again - welcome back to the group.
CollardGreens: Oops!
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
Hey Ted!

Good to "see" you too.

I wish I could download the bio-memory to some form of physical hardware. It was such a great evening, with so many conversation subjects, I'd love ot get back to it.

No trip, stayed here (or not far) but got quite busy dealing with urgent stuff.

Lotsa catching up to do now!
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-05-28 - Lundi 28 mai

More jazz.
When I run out of ideas on subjects to photograph, or my day was too boring to picture (or not for public consumption), I resort to taking pictures of the CDs to which I currently listen, or books I currently read...
Is that boring?
Can life be always exciting?
ParaScubaSailor 11 years ago
2007-05-30 - Mercredi 30 mai

The wind has swung around, the weather hasn't improved much yet, but at least it doesn't prevent us from going paragliding.

While in flight, I spot a bird of prey that takes off from the trees below to come and circle around me. Thrilling sight...

Bird of prey
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-06-01 - Vendredi 1er juin

Broken down dishwasher...
It's my nephiew Vincent's turn to perform this duty.
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-06-04 - Lundi 4 juin

Sad Solex...

The Solex is an iconic motorised bicycle. Everybody recognises it in France, as everybody recognises the 2CV and the Renault 4L.
They were unglamorous mechanical creations that have perfomed their duty particularly well, and now receive more attention than they got during their "useful" lifetimes.

ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-06-05 - Mardi 5 juin

I had to go to the Préfecture in Toulon to fetch my file (minor delay in processing) and passed this old door:
Arsenal - Toulon
ParaScubaSailor Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ParaScubaSailor (member) 11 years ago
2007-06-06 - Mercredi 6 juin

This morning I passed the theory part of the exam for the motorbike riding licence. I was quite amused by the antics of the "youngsters" that were also presenting the exam.

In the afternoon, I hitch-hike back home. This is the first time I hitch-hike from my brother's place. I usually hitch-hike down, and then catch a train back, but this time I had to be there on a certain date, but am not in a rush to come home.

One of the friendly truck drivers that gave me a ride:
Keep on truckin'
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