Final preparations for Christmas and the end of 2015, Chelverton House Limited and its news column but not quite the end of life as we know it...
Eurostar to Paris and yet more socialising before returning to the Touraine for pool maintenance and swimming at 12C - refreshing - “the English like to be cold & wet” quote from Colin Firth in ‘A single man’.
Confirmation by Companies House for the final closure of CHL (strike off from the Register) - end of an era (well, 26 years).
Christmas shopping & no time to visit the club.
Cancelled a trip to Portsmouth but dinners out and in with friends from 30 and up to nearly 40 years.
Preparation & solicitor re Will and Testament - very cheerful :-).
Shopping, a long lunch with partner and a friend of long standing.
Returned to Paris, mainly social events and preparation for London.
Updated Twinning web site with the past 4 years activity in English & French and photos from the November visit to Wiltshire.
Returned to a quiet Paris and dinners with friends in Nanterre and nearby; then on the Touraine for more work on the Twinning web site and preparation for next month in Paris and London.
Not in Paris for the dreadful terrorists bombings - very sad to see the same grief as we had back in January (see below).
Peugeot 308 Diesel with the latest functions including GPS to drive to Wiltshire to the proposed twin town. Treated like kings during a super visit to a county I knew little about.
To London for the usual maintenance on the house and garden and collection of mail. Excellent lunch with a former colleague.
Planning next UK visit and charitable work on the Twinning web site.
More house and orchard maintenance - not exciting but good to complete before the colder weather begins,
26 metres of skirting board put in place with no problems - proud of ourselves.
Returned to France for some autumn cleaning of the orchard, software updates and backups.
Celebrated an old friend’s birthday in Wimbledon, the garden clean up and had a super visit to Tate Britain (Hepworth Exhibition) with Steve Pheasant.
Acceptance by HMRC re 2014 & 2015 Corporation Tax returns and other administration completed: banking & finance.
Took my partner to the TGV station for Paris and me to the local airport to fly to London - followed by bus and train.
Eurostar bookings for November and December and updated the Twinning web site with the latest information.
A good evening with the 4 English from Wiltshire at our Chairman’s house. The following day a river trip in an old style boat on the Cher river and lunch close to a favourite Chateau.
A new relaxed month with a weekend when our friends from the English twin town will arrive.
Visit to Hogarth House, cheese & wine with a French friend and the return to France for more physical work and the rare red moon.
Car Hire and to a friend’s 1960’s themed party and to Portsmouth to see my favourite family.
Brilliant musical evening visit to Westminster Abbey organised by my club. Seeing parts not normally available and demos by the organist.
To London for 2015 (8 months audit) and Corporation Tax(CT). CT online problem but a workaround finally worked.
Return to the Touraine to clean up the orchard (again) and more virus removal solutions. Neighbours for dinner - great people
Flight to Oporto for an overnight stop and a fly/drive holiday - excellent weather, friendly people and the Douro & Tamago valleys.
Dealing with a virus sent by a ’friend’ and the Twinning Committee issues.
Collecting fallen fruit and feeding sheep.
Return to Paris and the Touraine.
Visits to the Emirates Airline over the Thames and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Completed audit and Corporation Tax return; great meal out with old friends. Dealing with Companies house re CHL closure
Audit calendar 2014 preparation. Eurostar to London.
Tidied the orchard, pool & house and left for the Paris office. Le Pantheon looking good.
July accounts prepared.
Mechanical check on the old car before the Contrôle Technique in France (required every 2 years). Some new tyres and passed with flying colours.
Set up You Tube channel for the Twinning web site. Created video, uploaded and checked OK.
First draft of web site completed - now to chase the essential feedback and comments.
More field and web work and a super short break to the Auvergne staying in both a good hotel and a Chateau while seeing some great countryside in good and bad weather.
Returned to the Touraine for a busy weekend (difficult strimming of a friend’s field), photographs for the web site.
Visit to the Shard bar on 32nd floor for Champagne with a friend I met in 1989 - a great week in London.
Lunch with fellow author who introduced me to the Airbus contract and another with the retired IT Manager of CHL’s first corporate client in 1989. Excellent!
Administration and accounts, printing & filing; checking with HMRC and Companies House on some technical details. Yes - you have to pay personally to close your own company (called salami slicing if you did this privately!).
Flight to London and coach through the London Underground strike: 1 hr 45 mins from the airport to a station!
More house maintenance and an anniversary.
Further work on the Twinning Committee web site: translations, structure, basic images, WordPress plug-ins for text, tables, images, galleries etc.
Busy with planning the closure of Chelverton House Limited for the next month or so; accounting details, end of month for June.
Visit by an erstwhile colleague - a splendid few days with a car ride to a local chateau or two and a flight over another one - Chenonceau.
Started work for new web site for the Twinning Committee of the family’s Touraine village: web host, domain name and WordPress installation.
To the Touraine for some electrical maintenance and stone cleaning.
To King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill to visit a young friend and her mother during worrying tests.
Car - flight - underground - train to London and hired Toyota Auris automatic hybrid with SatNav to Portsmouth: a few tricks learned.
Cleaned up the orchard and pool and prepared for London.
Played catch-up with emails until a local accident cut 2500 people off from the Internet and telephone: including CHL.
Flight from Toulouse Blagnac to Orly and overnight stop. On to the Touraine by car to complete the project administration.
Final week of May on-site in Toulouse with some machine and software issues, Human Machine Interface translation and live translations of the training given by the Project Manager. Principal contractor and end-client (Airbus) satisfied with the work.
More preparation for the Toulouse project - glossary in English & French, key points, video reviews: definite date for training.
UK General Election by post but only a few surprises.
London for clearing obsolete hardware & filing, local repairs & gardening.
Marketing assistance for Egyptian client.
Client’s PC clean up, anti-malware and new Admin Account
Paris overnight and to the Touraine for MadCap update, tractor repairs and replacement windscreen.
Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race - good weather on the Bridge.
Dentist, doctor minor issues and dinner at the Club.
London for CHL admin, accounts, VAT, year end.
Relaxing break in the Canaries.
Organised a short holiday for April and the next visit to London.
As a flyer, shocked by German Wings airline crash in France.
Installed cassette conversion system (analogue to wave files or mp3) - no problems.
Cinema for The Imitation Game & Kingsman - both worthwhile in very different ways: Turing of course important to IT development.
London for finance meeting and doctor for minor issues.
Updated English & French videos; installed updates to screen capture software, Skype and other utilities.
Visit to new family business in Tours.
Support to associate independent consultant.
Month end accounts and Government reporting.
Wrote scripts in English & French, collected music from client web site and produced the two videos: English (5.5 mins) and French (7.5 mins).
Assisted with preparation and running of the Twinning Committee’s Tea Dance in the Touraine village - great fun. DIY & swimming.
Started work on developing and introductory video for the engineers on manufacturing of hot (750C), heavy, titanium alloy parts. Revision on using PowerPoint and Camtasia together with customised images by PaintShop Pro; voice-overs by SH using Audacity.
Back to Paris and more R&D for the Toulouse client. Virus on the main PC but identified and removed the same day.
Meetings & discussions with Paul Myers at CHL.
To London for the usual month end administration and an interesting financial presentation.
Clean-up and additions to the CHL Google Drive.
Developed initial training plan for engineers. Provided to CHL’s sub-contractor client, approved and passed on to its client.
Reading & viewing 100+ source documents & diagrams for the Toulouse project.
Return to Paris in time for Eurostar to London.
Visit to Toulouse and contract won; purchased safety equipment and TGVs to Toulouse again for an intense, enjoyable and educative week.
Contract security controls dealt with.
‘Escape’ to the Touraine; follow up on possible contract in Toulouse.
Office maintenance and Eurostar to Paris. News of murders in Verviers, Belgium: not a great start to 2015!
London for meetings, accounts, VAT and a 1-day visit to Portsmouth to see the Mary Rose Museum and a cousin who works there - an excellent day out.
Attempted murders of police close in the Touraine, murders, in Metro below Charlie Hebdo murders, Montrouge murder 5 km from Paris office, Vincennes murders further away. A sad and concerning period for France :-( .