Sunday, April 22, 2012

I've been slowly ...

... organising myself today. And I mean "slowly" as well. But who knows? I might even manage to do it too.

First piece of good news came in the post. If you remember, I bought myself a really good mobile phone in Canada in September. But when I came to use it in February, it wouidn't power up, no matter what I did to it. Anyway, to cut a long story short ... "hooray" - ed ... I noticed last Saturday that one of the guys at the football had exactly the same phone. So I accordingly took mine down on Sunday and we tried his battery in my phone - and it worked fine. So thinking "battery", I ordered a new charger off the internet. Anyway, that arrived this morning, I plugged it into the phone and sure enough, it powered itself up.

Putting some credit on the UK phone that Percy Penguim gave me in December - the one with the UK SIM card in it - that's not proving to be so easy. I can top it up from overseas using a credit card, sure enough, but when it comes to "please enter the numbers of your postcode" it all goes off the rails. "You have made a mistake" says the recorded message. But ohhh no I haven't. Well, Perhaps I have. But it's not the mistake that they are thinking of - the mistake I made was using a SIM card from O2 - a poxy introspective xenophobic British company that totally fails to consider the possibility that someone with a foreign postcode might want to use its service. No wonder Britain has come off the rails when it can't cope with "overseas".

But astonishing news on the travel front. I had planned to go to the airport from Montlucon, meaning a change at Bourges, another at Vierzon, then trying to cross Paris on the Metro and then taking another train from another station in Paris. And how I hate that journey too. But for just €20 more, I can take a train from Riom to Lyon, and then the TGV direct from Lyon to the airport. No struggling across Paris, no lugging heavy suitcases about up and down stairs, no fighting with Paris commuters. And the TGV is soooooo much more comfortable as well. Even better - my return flight lands at 06:12 in the morning and there's a return train journey following exactly the same route, at 08:52. That gives me time to find my baggage, find the station, have a coffee and breakfast and I'll be home by 14:00 all nicely relaxed.

At my destination though, there was a slight hitch. The hotel that I've been using has been under repair and refurbishment for years and so prices have been ridiculously low. And it's also in the part of the city where I need to be, for all kinds of good reasons too. But when I went to book it just now, it's clear that the extensive renovations are now finished as the prices have gone through the roof.

Anyway, there's one of these chain hotels not too far from the airport, and they have a special offer on right now. Furthermore, three of my most favourite shops are only just round the corner, within walking distance in fact if I fancy walking. So that's that sorted out too.

At the football, there are no matches at Pionsat this weekend and so I saw Marcillat play Ygrande. A totally astonishing 3-3 draw - astonishing because Ygrande scored one of their goals and from the kickoff Marcillat roared straight up the pitch and scored themselves. And blow me down if 10 minutes later we had exactly the same thing again - a carbon copy. BUt the highlight of the match was the referee. I've never ever seen a game so well-refereed as this one tonight. So much so that I went over to the ref after the match and told him so. Credit where credit is due.

Tomorrow I'm cutting my hair, and then I'm packing. Strawberry Moose is already packing his bags and is quite looking forward to the journey.

And so am I


  1. Does it have to be your postcode, or can you use a friend's? I mean are they asking for a billing address or just some silly tick box rubbish? Either that or could you rent a P.O. box number over here?

    1. I don't have any friends, Krys :-(

      But seriously there needs to be a name, a UK address and a credit card all at the same address, and this is where this all falls down. I have a post-office box (well, a 1-square-metre unit in a self-storage unit in Stoke on Trent which does receive my mail and doesn't it sound impressive when I give my business address as "Unit 41" etc etc) but I can't register my UK credit card there. I've even tried coercing the bank into issuing me with a second credit card at that address but they won't play ball.

  2. I have an Orange card and phone. It's on 3G. No good to me. I just tried to top it up out of curiosity and it too refused to do it without a UK post code and address. What is it with these phone companies?