Wednesday, 27 January 2010

dogs, cats, cakes and things

Monday: Jensen and Bisto went to the vets early morning. No food the night before, poor chaps they were starving by the morning. Yes, they were off to be castrated... we think it is a sensible decision, they are not stud animals, just pets, and we do not believe in letting animals just produce offspring for the sake of it. So they poor guys were left with our very capable vet and we collected them in the evening. The cat was fine, just a little bit wobbly (almost walking sideways!) and absolutely famished. Jensen was a little weak and in pain. We were given painkillers and antibiotics for him but not to start until Tuesday. We had a 10% discount on the cats operation - probably because it was a 'bulk' order.. I said to the vet it is just as well that their little 'bits' didn't grow back - she laughed and appreciated the joke. He wasn't given a protective collar and we didn't think to ask for one - wish we had. He spent all evening licking at the wound - we nearly went and cut up a bucket to put over his head but didn't. Tuesday morning he went back to the vets to collect a collar and to check the wound. Wound was fine and collar was put on.

So now we have a young pup tearing around the house crashing into all and sundry - Jeff and I have little bruises all the way up our legs from this wretched thing on Jensen. Bisto is fine. They both go back next week to have their 'staples' removed. Hopefully they will forget all the trauma.

Have been on a cake making spree just lately, last week a farmhouse fruit cake and my first attempt at brownies (an unmitigated disaster!). The fruitcake is a recipe I have been doing for many years and it works very well and is very light and tasty - I do like a rich fruit cake but it is difficult to find the right ingredients out here.
Today I have tried an easy french recipe for carrot cake, it is in the oven as I type and it is smelling and looking good. Taking a little longer to cook than the recipe says. I hope it works out OK - if it does then I will try it again and then post the recipe.

Will post some recipes on this blog as some are so easy and tasty. Many I have found out here and I seem to have more time to cook - trouble is I am becoming rounder..... c'est pas grave.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

no heading

Terry is fine, operation a success, he will be back with his mum and siblings tomorrow. I am so pleased that it has worked out well. There was a small problem that has been resolved. Thank you National Health Service in the UK, thank you for helping my grandson in his time of need.

Have also heard today, via Kathy, that Charlotte does not go to French lessons in her school as she knows more than the teacher! Now there's a first!!! Kathy will need to speak to a teacher in a higher school regarding Charlotte keeping up with her adopted language.

Spoke to little Georges on the webcam. Oh bless, he remembered us, called me Maman and his granddad ga-ga...(what he used to call him here!). So lovely to see him, he is growing so quickly. Will be back in the UK end of Feb to see them all. Can't wait.

Monday, 18 January 2010


Today, my grandson Terry is in hospital having surgery. He is having his 'hips' broken and reset. One of his hips is totally dislocated the other is partially dislocated. Terry is five and a half years old. He has cerebral palsy, he also has micro-cephaly and epilepsy. Poor little chap has many problems and his mother is doing a fantastic job of caring for him. She also has a son, Tom, who was twelve years old on Saturday, a brilliant young lad who has a time-consuming interest in both mythology and astrology, and also a daughter, Tasha, who is 7 years. The father of both Terry and Tasha is not in the family equation, there is a divorce in progress - irreconcilable differences as well as mental cruelty (him).
I know that my daughter is going through all sorts of emotions at the moment. I have suggested that she starts a blog, progressing her life with Terry. She has been through a lot since he was born, but then she is the one to chronicle his life and hers. I am not in the same country and only know as much as I am told.
In spite of my children being grown-ups and living hundreds of miles away from them I still worry myself about them and their lives.... Once a mother, always a mother.....

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Ruby or Emerald

I wept when I saw the news this morning, such devastation and loss of life in Haiti - it is unbelievable that this world could wreak such havoc in such a small country. There have been another couple of earthquakes in America - California and Carolina? Is the earth having a tremendous upsurge? There are also 'earth/weather' problems in the far east as well - not widely reported. The Earth is growing. expanding, changing. We have all this news about climate change and global warming and then the scientists are proclaiming that we are embarking on a mini ice-age.... Just don't put scientists and computer predictions together - they create alarming scenarios for Joe Public to become paranoid about..

We have had reports of pandemics from SARS virus to Swine Flu - all down to the Pharmacutical companies that are producing the 'cures' for these illnesses. Again it is 'scientists' (read pharm companies!) and computer programmes which are as good as the programmer that wrote it!

I know I am sitting cosy in my little part of France, with my local radio, log fire, English TV (boring), but I am still part of this wonderful world and am dismayed at the news that I read. Is it all bad news or is there some wonderful, bring a smile to your face and happiness to your heart news out there?

I read of people in their middle age that have spent £100,000.00 over the last 25 years on IVF treatment to have their own children and who have eventually had egg and sperm donors to create their children...... Why on earth didn't they adopt when they were younger. They are now 46 (her) and 56 years old.... In 10 years time, if they are still with us, they will be old and their children still pre-teen, plus the children were born tiny and probably have 'prem baby' problems.....

I read of a 106 year old woman who has been moved from the care home that she was happily living in to another place.... why? because the home is being closed through budget cuts.

I read of young disenfranchised muslims living on benefits and knocking the UK - the country that they were born in....

Oh am I sounding too depressive? Probably I am. I think I will stop reading the news....

On a lighter note though. This year we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. In the UK it is Ruby - in France it is Emerald - Ruby or Emerald or Both!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Possible changes???

So far 2010 has been interesting. The weather has been absolutely freezing - so very, very cold. I do feel for the infirm and elderly, especially in the UK... Just hope that this cold spell ends soon. Come to La Belle France for the sunshine - oh yes, we have the sunshine but a bitter North wind. Brrrrrr. come on summer!

Had a quiet weekend, just getting on with life, cooking, cleaning, walking dog, collecting firewood for the woodburner (an absolute godsend!.

Had a visit from an Estate Agent yesterday. She is very impressed with the complete property. She has now put us on her books at a very competitive price - one that we are pleased with. She is off to the UK to a property show tomorrow, I just hope that she is not stopped by this weather.

So, we must now pull our fingers out and complete the decorating etc. that needs doing. And, of course, look further afield for another dream home..... Yes, possible changes!

Friday, 1 January 2010

A New Year

Went to stay over with friends last night - took Jensen with us - 1st time for a sleep-over for him!

We had a superb evening, a mix of German and Sri Lankan fare with copious amounts of wine and, of course, champagne. We met some new people and caught up on news with those that we had met before.

It was a lovely relaxed occasion and we eventually retired to our rooms in the early hours of the New Year.

Our friends house is a converted mill right next to a river. During the summer the river was very low and the mill pond almost empty. Yesterday, though, the river was roaring like a train past the house. It took me an age to drop off to sleep. J in the meantime was in the arms of morpheus and had been prior to going upstairs - he does not remember a lot!!

Jensen was impeccably behaved. He won the hearts over of 6 new people and also made of friend of Fifi, our friends fluff-ball of a cat. Fifi has never met a dog before so was quite happy to make Jensen's acquaintance, she had no fear. We could not believe how well they get on. We now know that in the future she will be fine when we visit with him. He slept in our bedroom and made no attempt to climb in with us, he just settled down on the rug my side of the bed and slept. He was sooooooo good!

A good end to 2009 and a good beginning to 2010.

Wishing the World - Health, Wealth and Happiness.