In the beginning

Short anecdotes, ramblings, happenings and what-have-you around our home in Burgundy, France, by ‘Seth’. For more about L’Echiquier, its history, how to find it, things to do there etc, visit the main web-site . . .
  • voir le site L’Echiquier qui contient des pages en anglais et en français.
  • see main web-site, L’Echiquier, in English and French.

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4th Aug 2011

12h00 – Had a nice long lay-in this morning recovering from 2 nights of poor sleep in Auxerre Central Hospital.

HEART – The news is GOOD, after my coronary catheterizationI have been given a clear report as regards my heart.  There is nothing wrong.

Tagged, no escape

Tagged, no escape

When the specialist told me “Monsieur Reeder, votre cœur est bon”, I was still lying flat, pinned down under the X-ray machine and I started to tremble with relief.  The whole experience was one of some apprehension not just about the outcome but the proceedure?  I had full confidence in the French medical profession but it still not stop you getting a tiny bit nervous.  More detail below if you want it.   The question is now however, What is causing my breathlessness?  P has come up



with a condition called Exercise Induced Asthma EIA [Asthma induit par l’exercise AIE] which seems as though it might fit the bill.  As yet we have found few articles in French about it to present to the local GP.  I used to hill walk a lot years ago and I was always breathless for the first 15-20 minutes or so then everything semmed to clear, it’s only recently that I’m getting out of breath on relatively small slopes.   So there’s some experimenting to do guided by my trusty wife Pauline and her Runner’s World colleagues.

CAT – This is all coupled with some sad news our latest young cat Cressidawas found dead on the roadside on Wednesday night.   We had only had her over a year and had just bought a new cat box for her so she could be more comfortable in travels in the car.  P showed me the spot where she was found by a freind Roger after she did not turn up for her evening meal.  There was still quite a lot of blood on the roadside, we are assuming she was hit by a vehicle as she came across the verge into the road.

Cressida and Sesame

Cressida and Sesame

Roger helped P bury her as flies and ants were already busy on the body.  The other 3 cats, Sesame, Calico and Jéton, are fine, although Sesame will no doubt miss her as they were good pals, see picture above.  We’ve had a few cats over the last few years and integration with the existing family is quite difficult.  Cressida and Sesame got on well, Calico tolerated Cressida but Jéton still kept his distance.  I had noticed of late them both being together at the bottom of the garden.  Well that’s now in the past.

Lawn mowing

Lawn mowing

15h00 – I now do feel really relieved and did not realize how much the heart issue was having on me, I’m off to cut some grass, lawn that is.   The sheep last week did not do much of a job, fortunately.



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24th July 2011

17h40 – He did it again Cav gets the green, how do they do that?

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23rd July 2011

12h00 – Long time no write.  Well it’s been busy I’ve been to the UK twice and we’ve had a few visitors here.   The last week we have had at long last some rain, lots of rain.  It’s been a shame for those here on holiday but we really needed the rain.

I visited Colchester, UK and saw quite a few ex work colleagues, wore my kilt at the Scotland in Colchester event where my colleague John DID NOT do any drumming with CADPAD.   Then on to Milton Keynes (MK – a city in the country), UK and just fell in love with it again, what a remarkable city.   Then a couple of weeks later I was in my home city of Norwich, ‘a fine city but I’m not sure I would want to live there again.  In Norwich I gave my colleague Charles a little help with The GREAT Norwich Duck Race promoted by the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group, GREAT stuff, a huge turnout – WELL DONE Charles and colleagues.

Just had my cardiac stress tests and the cardiologist can’t find anything untoward but I did get breathless under low stress and he has advised a visual internal check, an angiography, CORRECTION it’s actually a coronary catheterization says the hospital at Auxerre. So I’m waiting for an appointment at Gien/Auxerre hospital to have camera poked up an artery into my heart – it doesn’t bare thinking about.   Looks like I’ll be cancelling my August trip to the Aboyne Games in Scotland.   I’d rather gets the medical stuff out of the way and know if there is or isn’t a problem.  I’m not convinced myself that it is not an allergy issue or asthma.

Been watching the Tour de France on ITV4 and TF2 as well as following it on ‘twitter’.  Unfortunately beacuse of my location (non UK) I cannot get the videos off ITV4 – its ridiculous.  I’m planning to go to Paris for the last day and support Mark Cavendish.  I’ll see if I can find my ‘C’mon Cav‘ placard which I made in 2010 when the Tour came through our village of Saint-Privé.

C'Mon Cav

C'Mon Cav -- Allez Cav

17h30 – C’Mon Cav — Allez Cav Tour de France, Cadel Evans has the yellow jersey and has won the tour, Mark Cavendish has the green.  It’s all over!  It’s tomorrow the final, so I won’t be there in Paris, we have visitors.  Well, never mind – I’ll put the ‘C’Mon Cav‘ sign at the gate.  It would have been nice to see Frenchman Thomas Voeckler win after all these years but Well done Cadel Evans, 1st time Australia – ‘Good on yuh mate!’


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14th May 2011

07h00 – Had to get up earlier this morning, Philippe and Julien are coming to lay the ‘chap’, concrete that surrounds the underfloor heating, in the orange bedroom. I installed the extruded polystyrene insulation and PEX [PER in French] pipework last week. It’ll need aout .75 to 1.0 cu metre of concrete. That’s a lot of buckets which Julien will have to carry from the mixer, up the stairs and across the mezzanine. Philippe will be doing the laying and levelling, this needs to be good as the finished surface will be tiled and they are 30cm (1ft) square and need a very flat surface to be layed well, Philippe will do this as well.

Picture show insulation and concrete reinforcing grid that will also hold the underfloor heating tube in place before the 50mm (2″) minimum concrete is added. The original floor sloped from west to east so one side will be thicker than the other. 3 weeks are needed to let the concrete dry sufficiently. Additionally an expansion foam has been placed around the vertical edge.

Insulation and metal reinforcing grid

Insulation and metal reinforcing grid

15h00 – Philippe took his son Julien to St Fargeau and he himslf returned for lunch. After lunch I turned to cleaning all the floors and the stairs over which bucket upon bucket of wet concrete had been carried by Julien. He made remarkably little mess despite the fact it was also raining outside, a welcome rain indeed.

Two pics of Philippe finishing the floor, it was made more complex by the door being above a beam so poor old Philippe had to reach down to get the final bit flat.

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6th May 2011

08h00 – Decided to have an easy day today, Phillippe the tiler will come next week so there is no last minute panic for the Orange bedroom.  Also I have a real pain in my left shoulder it’s been aggravating me for a coupe of days but last night and this morning it really hurt.  P massaged it to ease it and put some Arnica oil on it but it’s still hurting now.  Good news is my chest pain seems to have gone.   I’m thinking I’ve done too much lifting and bruised and strained my self.

So it’s hammock out on the front lawn and BBC Radio 4 or 4 Extra via sattelite on the wireless headphones.

10h00 – Had the first, just the one, strawberry from the garden this morning.

11h00 – New header picture added, acknowledgments to iSpot – your place to share nature.

12H00 – The last few days I have been busy emptying the Orange bedroom and getting it ready for tiling the floor.  This involves laying 50mm of extruded polystyrene insulation all over the bedroom and bathroom floor then laying the underfloor heating IPEX tube which is held in place by steel reinforcing mesh ready for the 50mm minimum concrete screed.  This screed has to be very level as 300mm square tiles will be laid on top.  As such I have engaged Philippe and Julien to lay the screed as Philippe will be tiling the floor, he ought to get it right.  So a nice little light job, tidy up all the tools and clear the mezzanine so we can get the 0.75m² of ciment, sand and fluidifiant mix into the Orange bedroom.  That’s hauling it by hand across the front lawn and upstairs a bucket at a time.  Good luck Julien, I’ll mix you carry.

More strawberries for lunch.

P watered all the veg last night and I watered the south hedge which is showing signs of stress, we have had no rain for weeks now, a very, very dry April.

17h00 – I watched The Lighthouse Stevensons on BBC TV last night, all about building lighthouses around Scotland.  The programme ended with a a modern day ferry skipper answering a question about the usefulness of lighthouses and buoys today with a bridge full of modern technology.  He said “All this and GPS can tell me where it thinks I am, when I see that light I know where I am”.  That brought a shiver to my body; amazing comment.

There is also a book by Bella Bathurst. and a Wiki on Robert.

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