Monday 25th May 2015 Back to the Festival today. More low-key today as the animals had gone and the area where the large vehicles, tractors, farm machinery etc. was not in use. Still, a Fete for Pentecost, live bands, BBQ and a dance in the marquee with music by an 11 piece accordion band "Montoire Accordion" all gave a lovely atmosphere to the day. The accordion band were not just accordions but keyboards, drums and guitars and two singers. They played typical French music with a splattering of more modern songs in their breaks. We had fun remembering the French style of dancing and did a fast quickstep, much to the amazement of the French! We jived, cha cha'd and even did a social fox-trot or two! After a while we got into the swing of things and learnt some new steps following the French people! All a good laugh.
Note for Caravan Club friends - And nothing changes does it - here we are in France in the middle of a green field dancing in a marquee!!!
Except this one was massive!
Traditional French Folk Dancing on one of the stages
Tuesday We spent the day relaxing and doing very little, recovering after a very busy and tiring few days. However, because we were able to get free wifi there and we were thinking of moving on tomorrow we decided to get our Blog up-to-date. With all the photos for last week this really took us most of the day. There is really quite a lot of work that goes into one of these Blog updates. We also managed to get hold of James for a good chat on the 'phone which was really nice.
Wednesday Another day of doing not a lot. Dorothy read almost a complete book and Allan spent the day struggling to see how he could overcome the current issues with our website forwarding. Freeparking have changed their servers and caused hassle for hundreds of people. Although the website is there and working properly, Freeparking have not linked jacm.co.uk to it properly amongst other failures. This is all so frustrating. Needless to say we did not move on today, although late afternoon we did return to the proper Aire at the Gare Historique,
spending a couple of hours (!) in the supermarket on the way for "essential" supplies. In the evening Dorothy had a long phone call to one of her friends (Hi Anna). Maybe it wasn't a day of doing not a lot.
Thursday Well, time to catch up on all the jobs. Cleaning, Hoovering - Allan swiped the electricity cable from some Germans next door while they were out because ours was not long enough but he got caught out when unfortunately the Germans came back! Ha Ha. Fortunately apologies were accepted and World War 3 did not break out. This is quite a significant station from the 2nd World War.
Montoire entered the history books on the 22nd and 24th October 1940 when Laval met with Hitler followed two days later by the famous meeting between Petain and the Chancellor of The Reich. The "handshake" started four long years of collaboration between Nazi Germany and Vichy France.
The plaque on the wall outside reads...
Le 11 Août 1944, des elements
de L'Armiee Americaine ont libere de l'occupants Nazi la Ville de Mointoire
Montoire 11 Août 2004
Then we went to do the Laundry - Dorothy is still amazed that you put the money in the machine on the wall on the other side of the room and the washing machine starts automatically. On the way back to the Aire we went shopping (yes again!) this time at Lidl.
Back at the Aire, suddenly we heard bells ringing and wondered what it was all about. We wandered round to the track side of the station just in time to see a massive train trundle through. The track is out in the open in a green field and there are no barriers of any sort apart from where it crosses the roads where there are half barriers and red lights! The wagons were filled with cereals. In the photo on the left below the train had gone halfway through when the photo was taken so you can imagine the length of it.
In the evening Dorothy made another of her keeping in touch phone calls, this time to friends who can't be contacted via social media.
Friday Today the German's left and so Allan took the free electricity as we had parked nearer to the borne yesterday afternoon when we returned and our lead could now reach. Frustratingly Freeparking have still not resolved the website issue and Allan has spent a good deal of time on this again today. We have also taken the opportunity to update our Blog to today.
Saturday The weekend before last we received an email from "freeparking" telling us that they were going to change to a new computer hosting company. It was going to be a newer, faster and more wonderful server. The email went on to tell us that this would not cause any problems and that we only had to change a few details for the emails to work and everything would be so much better. We should have known better.
The address "jacm.co.uk" is with "freeparking" and so when you type in our address they then forward everything to where the website actually is at "whuk"
"Freeparking" in fact didn't work for most of the week, they changed our name, how we contact them and also changed our password, and then forwarded everything to themselves on their newer more wonderful server cutting out WHUK. Then they changed the rules and said that people in the UK should contact them differently to people outside. They didn't understand that although I live in the UK I am abroad at this moment. I am not the most computer literate person in the world and when we had to sort out this mess with a phone in France and without access to the internet for most of the time and with no help at all from "freeparking" I can tell you I was fuming. It has been a very frustrating time.
Very shortly when things have settled down a bit and we have good access to the internet, there will be a another change to our website. It may well stop working again but only for a day or two. But that will be a small price to pay when the name jacm.co.uk is transferred away from freeparking. To a more professional company.
As it stands now we think it is working properly. Unfortunately there is an old webpage that gets in the way when you first log on to our website and you may need to log on, go to another page on the website and then return to the main page. At 10 am today that was corrected. If you experience any issues with our site then you probably have a saved or cached version in your history which will need to be deleted. A simple refresh may correct this.
WHUK have always been contactable, always answered the phone immediately, always answered chat straight away, and have never stopped working or let us down for five years so we will be going with them completely and ditching freeparking at the earliest opportunity.
Dorothy said that I wouldn't be happy untill we had transfered to WHUK so we did it. What a day it was. Finally at 10 pm after saying that the website may go down as we change to WHUK it is ready to go again. There are a few problems left to sort out but in the main it is WORKING.
Sunday After a really early start most of the website problems are sorted. Just a few links not working and I know which links they are (the forum was never finished). The Email side of things is a little more difficult to sort out and we will be without Emails for a few days but we have phone, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype etc. so we are not too remote. And Freeparking has lost a good customer!
On a better note, it is Mother's Day today in France and so here is my card from my wonderful son James. Thank you James xxx
We then travelled to the Troglodyte village of Troo for an afternoon visit. It appears not to be the tourist season here yet and as it was a "closed" day tomorrow we decided not to stay. However, there was a good bourne next to the school and the Aire is some way out of town and very remote. There was no-one else there and you had to obtain the code for the entry barrier from the Marie. So, we travelled down to St. Martin des Bois where we found a lovely little Aire next to the lake.
The lake at St. Martin des Bois
Time for a rest before geocaching tomorrow!
Last Week - Next Week - Index - Message Page