Saturday, 20 July 2013

Dial 999 ....

Is there a problem?
Our power supply is overhead. Along the road and in the fields one can see a number of wooden and concrete poles, holding up the electricity cables leading to our house, the last one in the network. As a little bonus the telephone cable is attached to the same poles. Of course concrete, let alone wooden poles do not have an eternal lifespan, even though our poles looked pretty sturdy and strong. However, the authorities decided we were in for a replacement of our derelict poles. Beginning of the year the new poles were erected and the cables were moved from the old to the new supports. As far as electricity goes, that is. The telephone cable had to be moved by France Telecom, at their own discretion.
One Sunday night we had unplugged our internet box because of a heavy thunderstorm, and when we plugged everything back in at around 23h00 the box seemed as dead as a doornail. Consequence of this is that the phone we use for (free) outgoing calls also had stopped working. Since this not unusual, we waited till the next day, plugged the box a number of times in and out, and finally phoned our internet provider Free. At first they suggested what we had already done a dozen times, and in the end agreed that our problem had to be logged with France Telecom.

Ready to roll!
We would receive an e-mail informing us of the status .... but we could not approach our e-mail. We could check the status on the internet ..... but we could not get onto the internet. Having patience seemed to be the only remedy. On Monday we saw a bunch of workmen fiddling around with the telephone cable. No, they did not come to repair something, that was certainly not on their order form. They came to move the cable. Tuesday we saw different men playing around with the cable. The same question resulted in the same answer. At least towards the evening our France Telecom line worked again, the one we normally only use for incoming calls. At least we could phone out, although not free of charge.

Why not tie them with a knot!
Wednesday we resorted to our portable PC and to Wi-Fi, so at least that way we could check our mail. That day we managed to secure a booking for a gîte, which made us once more aware of the fact that the internet is more or less our business life line. The following day we visited friends with Wi-Fi and drank gallons of coffee in pubs with Wi-Fi.
However, when we came home from a day out the following Sunday night around 23h00, the box had miraculously switched itself on and was working.
Thinking back now we think we know what had happened. France telecom's maintenance programme obviously disconnects users a day before works are taking place, and the program decides that a week is sufficient for the workers to do their job and automatically re-connects after that week.

 photo internet2.gif

It would have been nice however if France telecom would have had the decency to issue a warning beforehand....

For those who still can approach the internet, I can strongly recommend the link to our own website!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Jazz in Saône-et-Loire

This title sounds a bit pretentious, and.... that is what it is. Of course there is more to do when it comes to jazz in this area than what I write about, but my knowledge of the jazz scene in France is getting rustier and rustier, hence I stick to the musicians and concerts I know about.

The Crescent Jazz Club - Mâcon
About the Crescent Jazz Club in Mâcon I can be brief. It is a very small venue, though quite cosy, but I would not have liked to sit there even when Coltrane and Dolphy were playing there at full volume. And for those two normally I "would killa ze bull"... For people who would like to keep up to date with modern jazz developments in the Mâconnais the Crescent might be THE spot around here; for me it is just a bit too far away to go there regularly.

However, there is more to do closer to (our) home, when it comes to more conventional jazz. The association Jazz Et Caetera regularly organises concerts in the area, like at Le Potin Gourmand (restaurant) in Cluny, in Chapaize in cooperation with Chapaize Culture, in Messeugne and in Château Dravert in La Guiche. The assocciation has a website, but that was updated last in 2007... However, I regularly receive emails of their coming concerts.  
A newspaper article about this association can be found here. The programming is a bit droll, but the quality of the musicians is reasonable to good, hence why not enjoy an evening listening to a stride piano player or a boogie-woogie pianist?

Jazz Et Caetra - 2013

A bit further away, but, as the Michelin guide words it "Worth the detour" is the series "Jazz in Trivy". We have seen a number of concerts there, of which the best were those with Biréli Lagrène, without any shadow of a doubt. This year the concert series was opened by another Lagrène concert. That my knowledge of the jazz scene is deteriorating may be concluded from the fact that I went there to see and hear Lagrène, while those in the know obviously came for violinist Didier Lockwood. Lockwood managed to be the subject of a question in France's most prestigious TV-quiz, something Lagrène still has to achieve as far as we know. Even though the composition of the group suggested a new Manouche combo, Lockwood, Lagrène and their double bass player had more to offer than just a skilful imitation of the Hot Club de France. The program for this year can be found on the website of Jazz in Trivy. For those who want avant-garde jazz however, this is not exactly the right place to look for it.

Lagrène & Lockwood - Trivy 2013

To cut a long story short: Those who would like to use La Tuilerie de Chazelle as a stepping stone for an evening uncomplicated jazz music are at the right address. One of our guests booked a gîte for a week, just to travel 130 km for one specific concert in Vienne, and she thought it was certainly worth staying here for that concert...