Sunday 22 October 2023
Wednesday 18 October 2023
Following the difficulties in getting Wise's AI software to recognise my perfectly good proof of ID, (see here) I sent them good copies with a mugshot via their website contact page. I told them that they could accept this proof of ID or close my account; their call, and I drained my account.
Since then, the red flashes demanding proof of ID that appeared on my smartphone Wise app and on my Wise website login page have disappeared and I can still log in to my account. I'm not sure what this means.
I haven't tried to use it (no need yet) and the deadline for my using their AI software for proof of ID isn't until a week or so, so I will see what happens.
As an aside, I have good anecdotal evidence that French banks are rejecting 94% of mortgage applications. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a doozy.
Trips from the boat to shore were made using a little tender. The sea was calm throughout the whole cruise, and our first stop was at Portofino in Italy. A prettly little fishing village in the past, now a tourist destination, with a row of quayside cafés and restaurants, and a castle and lighthouse to visit. It's known for its colourful houses fronting the harbour. No shortage of money there, either.
We sat outside enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, then I went up the long, steep and narrow stairs to the castle that's also a museum, at the top of the hill. Fabulous views. I came back down through the pretty museum gardens that offer different views over the countryside and town.
Saturday 14 October 2023
We're just back from a short cruise on the sailing/motor cruiser Club Med 2. A great experience, we can recommend. The ship itself has 5 masts, and if I understood the captain correctly, has both electric and diesel engines. And sails. I am told that the sails, averaged over a year's cruising, save about 20% to 25% on the fuel. Made in France.
The onboard facilities are excellent. The cabin was spacious and comfortable. The drinks are all included, even the very acceptable Champage that was served every evening after 6PM. The food was as good as you might find in a very posh onshore restaurant, and available either as a buffet, or in the waiter-served restaurant. Apéros were served from 7:30 PM.
The crew were efficient and friendly, and the systems and procedures onboard seemed to work like a charm. Or clockwork.
We set off from Nice, stopped at Portofino in Italy, Ile Rousse in Corsica, and Saint-Tropez. More later.
Tuesday 3 October 2023
My Box hedge is in a bad way. Apparently, I'm not the only one with this problem; box hedges are dying across western Europe. The attack comes in two waves. There's a moth whose caterpillar eats the leaves, and there's a fungus that attacks the leaves but not the roots. I sprayed with a biological weapon (bacillus thuringiensis) against the caterpillars, and I thought I'd done what was necessary, but no, the blight is coming for the second wave and this one I might not win.
I understand that there's a fungicide that can cure this, but it's hard to eradicate once established, and I think it can be said to be established in my hedge. Anita and I have spent the last couple of days cutting the hedge back and taking the cuttings to the dump. Fungicide is on order. But I'm not hopeful.
I wouldn't mind so much, but the Box plants were about 6 inches high when planted some 17 years ago, and they have reached the height required just about now.