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Occasional Dairy - France

Friday, 9th December 2005, Châtellerault, France
Firefox Rules but Trashes our Website! OK as I'm not doing much Cycling at he moment I have been turning my attention to my other great love - no not Richard, Computing. I have been aware since Bologna that our website looks just DREADFUL under Firefox. You'd think my mum who looks at the website every day and has been using firefox since forever could have actually mentioned it! What I wasn't aware of was that none of my folding text code works (eg on the links page and the FAQ.) By the way that reminds us. THE FAQ page is a bit thin at the moment. If there's a question (or answer!) you'd like to see there let us know. When we set the site up Firefox, had only been out a couple of months and had absolutely no share in the market - well at least not in the people looking at our site. Even 2 months ago it had only risen to a max ever of 6%.

Imagine my shock when I looked the other day and saw the percentage had risen to 31%. The worst thing is that since trying out Firefox myself - I just love it! FIREFOX ROCKS! So I'm going to have to recode this website to comply under W3C so that it can viewed properly under firefox - urrrrggg! Not really got time for that - any volunteers?

On the point of changing ye old & faithful software. Our junk mail account has started to fill up exactly with that. Well it's done 2 years so it was a pretty good innings. So I thought, lets try out a gmail account despite all the hype regarding privacy. I've got to say it - despite all the fanfare - I prefer the yahoo user interface a 1000% more so I'll just stick to yahoo. Considering how google has been so amazing at everything else they've turned their attention to, I'm disappointed that they can't do something better. The only thing that is slightly swaying my thoughts is that Gmail allows you not to access your account for 9 months before they delete everything in it - yahoo only allows you 3 or 4. Learnt from experience when we did our Tour de Americas how painful it is to sign on and find out you've lost everything. 

Saturday, 3rd December 2005,Châtellerault, France
Protesters from 30 countries unite to fight global warming.
The first worldwide demonstration on climate change is today. Stop reading this and get out there! Britain is backsliding on her environmental commitments. In 11 European Union countries emissions have grown, not shrunk. In Japan, emissions are nearly 18 per cent above target while in Canada - host of United Nations conference this week that is supposed to be tackling the issue - the gap is almost 30 per cent. 

Tuesday, 29th November 2005,Châtellerault, France
I may be the slowest - but I'm not the heaviest.
I know I should really put this in the weblog section but ...
Today I stumbled across Josie Dews website - the first question she has on her FAQ is How much weight are you carrying? It is a question we ourselves are always asked. Everyone is always horrified by our response (Richard 80kgs & me 60kgs - give or take) Very few cyclists we meet actually appear as heavily loaded as we do ourselves. To my surprise she quotes 65 kilos.

Monday, 28th February 2005  Montpellier France
Tomorrow we head off  for Morocco. We're getting a ferry from Sete to Tangier and probably won't be on line for a while.

Saturday, 18th February 2005  Montpellier France
Lise Rihouey is an ANGEL!. She's also Richard's cousin and she has very generously offered to translate this website into French for us. Despite the fact that this webpage is in English more than 50% of people who view this website are from France and they are complaining! It will probably take a month or so to get the French version up but we'll post a note when it's ready. In the meantime Richard's wine notes are in French and you can subscribe to the French newsletters by visiting our Newsletter page.

Sunday, 13th February 2005  Montpellier France
Back in Montpellier. We managed to get the sun for a couple days whilst visiting 3 of Richard's favourite wineries but the weather has turned again and it's raining hard. To see Richard's notes on the wineries visit the Wine Notes page in a few days.

Tuesday, 8th February 2005  Montpellier France
Algerian Visa is a complete nightmare. We were intending to head off this afternoon but we've spent the whole day chasing after stuff required for the visa despite the fact we have already been going back and forth and calling for the past 2 weeks to find out exactly what was required. Every time we produced the latest required item we were told something else was necessary. At one point in the afternoon Richard was angrily stating he didn't want to go there that much. After 3 visits back and forth to the consulate, they finally stated we needed to buy tickets for the ferry from Spain. The ferry details they gave us are only valid for summer. We spent the whole day searching on the internet and ringing up different companies to find out who did actually go there. Have decided to go on a mini bike ride to visit some wineries as the Consulate is only open on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Monday, 7th February 2005  Montpellier France
Brrr - Richard's been checking out wineries in Morocco - it was snowing there just a week ago. Thought we were heading that way because it was supposed to be warm?

Sunday, 6th February 2005  Montpellier France
Ok those of you who know us know that we cannot exactly be described as light travellers. Richard seems to want to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the category "got the most stuff on my bike". Saw a photo of Richard's Godfather today... now I know where CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGEhe got it from. Yes he does have a ruck-sac as well as the panniers!

Saturday, 5th February 2005  Montpellier France
The Algerian Embassy in Montpellier says we can't get the visa here. Richard is from Châtellerault so he needs to apply in Nantes.  Spent the day on the phone ringing Nantes. Eventually got to speak to the Consulate himself who agreed to call Montpellier about it. Was told to call back in half an hour. A couple of hours and several phone calls later we were advised to call Montpellier direct as the Consulate couldn't get through. Really weird as we did straight away (before we got put on hold of course!) Eventually the attaché to Consulate said yes we could come back on Tuesday to apply for visa's but we could not enter Algeria via Morocco. Looks like we'll have to take the boat to Spain from Morocco and then back to catch another boat from Spain to Algeria - grrrr!

Tuesday, 18th January 2005  Montpellier France
Checking out visa's for Algeria. Doesn't look promising at the moment. Several websites are claiming both land borders with Morocco are closed although we've found a couple that claim "the one between Tlemcen and Oujda is from time to time open"!

Sunday, 16th January 2005 Montpellier France Portos - the most gorgeous and gentle natured dog. Staying a while here to get this website prepared and await some parcels. Fattening up is also high on the agenda! Couldn't resist posting a picture of Portos - the most adorable and gentle natured animal possible.

Tuesday, 11th January 2005 Montpellier France
Arrived today and Richard's sisters bakery. As most touring cyclists dream of bakeries and all you can eat buffets we simply felt thatGael Poivret Patisserie this was the appropriate picture of the day. For those of you who in search of a fabulous patisserie the address is Gaël Poivret, 10 Bld Renouvier.




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