Saturday, October 10, 2009

Waiting for pictures to upload

I've been home almost a week. It's Saturday and Anne and I left England last Sunday evening. Even on Sunday it took us a full hour to get from Duston to Luton as we hit traffic of Londoners on their way home from a weekend in the north. Luckily, there was no waiting to check in for the flight and hardly any line at the security check, so we ended up waiting on the other side. When our departure gate was finally listed, we found ourselves among the first in line, but then they switched gates on us, so we had to go back upstairs and get in another line, no longer first. We left on time and arrived on time in Paris, where Paul was waiting for us to come out of baggage claim. Very uneventful.
On Monday morning, I went to Francine's to start painting again. A flower again -- from a photo of a sunflower at Giverny.
From Giverny, 2009 August 14
Tuesday I tried to start sorting papers -- all the mail that accumulated over the past two months that I never got around to. I finally finished that this morning and just need to take the last step of going down to the basement to file them away. I got my hair cut. That was very important and long overdue. I also started contacting potential sponsors for the STC France conference in April, a joint venture with the Trans-Alpine chapter this year.
Wednesday was too rainy to go for a hike and I got up too late, anyway. The weather was hot and muggy most of the week. Really strange for October. But now we've had a few storms and today is cooler. No complaints as this means the heating hasn't turned on yet. I've also started to organize a photo album of Aurelia for Grandmaman (and us, the Husaunndee parents, ...)
Back to painting on Thursday. I put on a first coat of background color and lost most of the detail of the edges of the flower in the process. I spent almost all afternoon on line with Fidelity. I had started a chat the previous evening to ask for a form that is not listed among the documents one can download. The customer rep. sent me link but that was for a different document than the one I wanted and when she sent me the link to the right document, but the page wouldn't open. When I recontacted them, the same thing happened and it took forever for them to understand that the problem was not in the pdf file (they kept asking me to make sure I had Adobe Acrobat Reader) and I kept telling me that it was the link -- there was no page, no pdf file to read and that I had several pdf readers available once I had a pdf to read. Couldn't they just email me the pdf file? No. Tech support was even worse -- he wanted me to change the regional settings of my computer, not just internet browser. I told him I thought the problem was that the link was not working because I was outside the country. Anyway, I ended up calling and speaking to someone else and he offered to fax the document to me, but I don't have a fax. He said he couldn't send it -- but he could fax it! In the end, he's sending it to me. When I get it, I'm scanning it to have a blank on hand for the next time. It's as if Americans shouldn't be allowed access to their own money if they live abroad, where they shouldn't be in any case. I understand the anti-fraud protection argument, but I think they are carrying it a bit too far. I want to transfer funds from an account that belongs to me there to an account that belongs to me here. I am told that if I had another American bank account, it would be easier (meaning still another account....) to route through that, but that's just multiplying the transfers, which, in my logic, creates more opportunities for fraud. This took all afternoon! I hope I receive the form in the mail early next week.
Yesterday, Paul and I got some frames for the prints we had done and are giving as presents, so I spent the end of the afternoon putting pictures in the frames. We also chose a frame for the painting of New York at night (inspired by one of Louis' photos).
Today I finished the paperwork and getting the accounts in order. During the week, I made a preliminary budget and it looks like we are going to take another trip to Asia early next year. I'm waiting for Nadine to give me the dates they are on vacation and where they'd like to meet us. We'll plan around that.
Tomorrow Russ and Judy, Ken and Sandy's New York friends, are back on their annual Paris visit and will come over to our place for dinner with the Touzés. Christine can take it easy and not have to entertain. Jacques mentioned going to a concert in a church in the 11th tomorrow afternoon, so I guess I should call him for the time and place.
Next week is looking good. A hike on Wednesday, a "chocolate tour" on Thursday, the "Money Matters for Women" conference on Saturday. I have a nagging feeling I'm forgetting something on Friday. And with all this, Paul wants me to go down to Toulon with him.

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