Sunday, 25 July 2010

Mid July 2010

An eventful week, well for me it was!

Brilliant visitors last weekend, that is what it makes it all worth while. I am glad that I have done what I have, it has broadened my horizons so very much. Would love to continue with this but changes must be made.

Saw a young stag in the lane, absolutely incredible. He had two tines on his antlers so he was still a young beast, and drat, I did not have my camera with me. Also saw a mum partridge with ten youngsters in tow. My man saw two mum partridges last week with twenty babies... It is superb to know that in spite of problems that are happening in the UK that the wildlife is thriving out here - in spite of Chasseurs!!! Our department are making all sorts of laws protecting the flora as well as the fauna here... heavy fines if you do not comply!!

Thursday we made a visit to some friends that we have not seen for a few weeks, had a lovely lunch and caught up with so many things. He celebrates his 75th birthday next month and I look at him and think he does no way look his age. Maybe it is because he is a Buddhist and has a very laid back attitude to life. We are really looking forward to his birthday party!!

Friday we had a Ladies Lunch. One that I had organised, first time for me I must add. One of our local village restaurants has new owners. Previous owners had been there for 30 years and were desperate to sell up and retire! Under their ownership he was the chef and created superb meals, traditional for the area, such as anguilles et ortie (eels with nettles) etc. But after all that time things were getting a bit 'tired', especially the decor.

The new owners have re-decorated and introduced an incredible menu. They have an English chef for lunch menu and he is an absolute darling! We had been in for lunch one day and had a long chat with the Patron and Madame. She is very much the Anglophile and said that yes she would love to have the Ladies for lunch one Friday. She also has plans for an English evening with, maybe, Roast Beef & Yorkshire puddings or Fish and Chips... and an English musician (of which there are many!)

And so the 'Lunch of the Month' was organised. At first it seemed that there would only be around 6 of us, then the numbers increased and by Thursday it was up to eighteen! I was absolutely delighted that so many girls would attend. All arrived but one dropped out, 17 though was not too bad! Madame created a menu to suit not only fish lovers but meat eaters as well, and she threw in an extra cheese course!

All the ladies were very impressed with the ambiance and meal. For me success!! My local restaurant is now on the list of preferred places to eat... The Patron and Madame are delighted that they have been introduced to other diners from further afield.

We were invited to a Barbecue to celebrate the retirement of a French friend. He is a chasseur that has hunted in our locality for many, many years. We have known him and his wife since we moved here in 2001. We have never, ever, done a French version Barbecue before.... hmmm how do they do it? They have been to many of ours....

Comments were made about my bruising! We did say that my Man did not 'clock me' and that it was due to a fall... Whether we were believed or not I don't know - they saw the bruises on my forearm and shoulder as well as my face (they have almost faded). I did say that if he had then he would have had a knife in the chest, hmmm they laughed not sure if I meant it!

(I must admit though that I still get a lot of neurological pain from my cheek - I think it will persist for some time as the cheek bone is bruised as well as the flesh!)

We left with our neighbour and proceeded to another friends for aperitifs.. 1st drink of the night! We sat and chatted, as best we could, they do not make allowances for us being English! We then left in convoy to the Barbecue site. The chasseur has a lake and land a few kilometres from us. It was a stunning area with has a vegetable patch, poultry and geese, fruit trees, a mobile home and ancient BBQ overlooking his lake with fish for catching and eating!!

There were more Aperitifs (fait a la maison) with nibbles, followed by many salads then a course of barbecued meat and beans (from the potager) and then dessert. There were also discussions about the Asian Hornets, various masculine 'things' which were an embarrassment to some ladies, politics, food, holidays etc..... My head was hurting from too much French!!! But it was a brilliant evening. Himself, though, did not cope too well. He began to flag quite early and we left before he passed out!!!! (Not through alcohol - he just was not too good!)

And so, my last week has been good for me at least....

Next week builder arrives to start doing the repairs to the storm damages from February storm, what fun!!

Photo is taken at the top of the lane.... Sunflowers again this year - stunning!

Friday, 16 July 2010


Posted by Picasa


I fell out of bed last Sunday night! Oooh er, silly thing to do.

Some ex-work colleagues stopped by on their way further south. We last saw them around 8 years ago in the UK, such a long time, so we had plenty of news to catch up on. They arrived late afternoon and we had planned a barbecue, eating out of doors in the summer is so much nicer than being indoors - not only that but himself does the cooking!

We wined, chatted, wined then dined and chatted more and then, I think wined some more..... Bad move!

I think we were all a bit 'squiffy' by bedtime, I know I was. I had cut right back on alcohol and this 'party' went straight to my head.

I think I must have been wanting to get out of bed and pushed myself up with my left hand. Trouble is the hand was on the edge of the mattress and down I went... I have a beautiful bruise on my forearm, another on my shoulder and a stunning one on the side of my face. What a mess!

My doctor suggested I have an x-ray to check that my cheekbone wasn't fractured. Fortunately it is OK....

Because I was feeling so rough we missed the celebrations for the Fete Nationale in our local town but heard them here, miles away, the fireworks are usually absolutely spectacular.

So 5 days later here I am sporting a multicoloured cheek, shoulder and forearm. Should last for another couple of weeks, and I am definitely going to be more careful in the future with what I am drinking.

I have eventually taken some pics of the boy with his new haircut, but would he pose for me, no, not until today!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

10th July 2010

No modem, again!!

The dog had his first appointment at the Boite a Toutou – his first professional shampoo and haircut. What a difference it has made! He is Top Hat and Bow Tie and now looks absolutely fantastic, but also smaller and totally different. Beatrice has cut his coat short, about 3/4 inch in length. She has trimmed the hair on his ears, beard and muzzle to the same length. His eyebrows are now neat and tidy, so facially, he looks a bit like a trimmed 'terrier'. She has also trimmed his tail so it looks really neat. Such a difference!!

The weather has been far too hot at the moment and he was suffering with the heat, not only that but picking up all sorts of nasty things in his coat. I would spend hours combing him out and then having to do it all again after he had been out of doors. We took a visit to Toutou yesterday (9th) and had a little chat with the owner. She was absolutely lovely and booked the boy in for this morning (8.00 am – early for my man!). She was absolutely delighted with him and he was as good as gold. When he was collected Mme was working on another pooch and our boy was just resting on the floor waiting for his Papa.

Another canine milestone, it is amazing how good he is. He loves people, young and old and is very social with other canine species. We cannot believe how lucky we have been.

The weather is still very warm but on Thursday 8th we had the most horrendous storm arrive in the evening. It started, I suppose, around 6.30 pm. The clouds had started to gather and there were a lot of rumbles going on in the sky. That was the day that I was looking forward to as there would be an opportunity to see the International Space Station overhead later on. I was a bit put out by the pending storm to say the least.

I decided to unplug the modem – just in case! And sat, and read, and waited – the night arrived along with lots of clouds and more thunder and lots of lightning. I kept taking a peek outside and around 10.30 spied a gap in the clouds with stars. Hmmm maybe I would be lucky!

The thunder and lightning continued and I kept a check on the sky. Just after 11.00 pm the ISS passed overhead heading in the direction of WNW to ESE…. Absolutely perfect. The window in the clouds stayed open long enough for me to witness this wonderful thing.

We went to bed not long after and the storm continued throughout the night. I think it eventually blew itself out around 6.30 am…. It was the most ghastly of nights, there was a couple of times I thought that we would be shaken out of our bed. The power was knocked out briefly at 2.00 am when the storm was overhead. The noise was horrendous…

Friday morning woke nice and clear but the air was still very heavy. There was no damage done, well at least not in our neck of the woods.

Plugged the modem in, went online during the day. No problems at all. Then in the evening a little – just a couple of drops – of liquid was spilt on it….. Drat!!!! No modem again…. Don’t know what my internet providers will say about it.. Oh well will see.

Did another trip to Puy du Fou on Thursday. Brilliant as usual. The shows that we have been to see before have been updated to include other things, absolutely fabulous. I still find it an absolutely amazing place to visit.

Monday, 5 July 2010


Ennui: listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest or boredom.

That is my situation at the moment.

Life is not, or does not seem to be, offering what I need. In fact, I don't really know what I need at this time.

I occasionally get these moments in time and am going thought one of these moments right now!

I do not know what the trigger is or was.

Is it to do with 'biorhythms', weather (hot & muggy), hormones (are mine still ticking?) or just being here? Not too much analysing please, it can only confuse. But I do really feel 'out of sorts' as they say.

I found a haematite bracelet that I have had for many years and thought that I would wear it today. I put it on my right wrist - it felt too heavy to wear so I changed it to the left and it is sitting comfortably without any effort. I have some other crystal bracelets that need repair - will do so and then see if they will help my well-being.

It is no use me trying to explain to himself. He hasn't a clue about these things at all. Is he the cause of my 'ennui'?

I will get over this, have done before and will do in the future..

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Vegetables versus Weeds

Rose fairly early this morning, had breakfast and then went and did a bit of weeding and hoeing before it got too warm. Just did a little bit around the Aubergines, French Beans and Sweetcorn (love corn on the cob - just cannot buy it reasonable out here). Will do the same tomorrow and gradually work my way down the garden.

Whilst weeding I found, what I think is, Purslane growing in the garden. Having a read up in my Encyclopaedia of Herbs and Herb Growing, I know it is full of vitamin C and has been used for centuries either cooked or in salads. I just need to confirm that it is the said plant! There is an English lady out here who has a cookery Blog and I thought that maybe she could help with this plant late last year. She hadn't a clue! Oh well.. never mind! My man went to the pharmacy this morning to renew his prescription and I suggested that he took a sample of the plant with him just to check that it is comestible - he forgot! I will have a word with my 'wise' neighbour, who found the most wonderful bolets growing around my spruce last autumn, and see if he knows.... failing that back to the pharmacy. Out here it is not what you know but who! We have lots of Fat Hen growing and there is also a plant that a Greek born friend said that his mum would harvest and cook like spinach. I don't know the name of that one at all. What I am thinking is just let the weeds take over and we eat them instead of growing veg. I will avoid the deadly nightshade though!

I have found a website devoted to all things naturalistic in France ( I love wild flowers (weeds included), birds and wild animals. I suppose it is to do with the way I was brought up. They (planetepassion) have a posting showing how to grow potatoes successfully above ground. You put your seed potatoes on the ground and cover them with straw... simple. Obviously the last sentence is a potted version but it seems as though it works well. Maybe I can get himself to try it next year. If the hay used will keep the weeds down then all to the good!!

If I see a butterfly or bug that I do not know then I try to find out what it is, when I was a child my Dad answered the questions. When our daughters were young and they asked a questions that I did not know the answer to I researched it so that I had an answer for them. I acquired a library full of reference books in order to help them! (Thank you Readers Digest!). The books are now distributed between our children so that they can pass on the 'knowledge'. A few years ago we had a nocturnal visitor into our house. My husband thought that it was a bat as it was flapping around in a blind panic, but it was a moth with a 5 inch wingspan, absolutely beautiful and amazing. I did an internet search and found a website via Google France and sent them a (poor) photo of the moth. The website was an italian website devoted to butterflies and moths. Absolutely amazing, they identified the moth as a Giant Peacock Moth (female) and wished me well in La Belle France.

So I think I will use planetepassion just to satisfy my curiosity with anything natural in La Belle France along with these other wonderful websites that I have found, and of course, my neighbour!

At the moment it is 'Soldes' in France, nearly everyone I know is off to find a bargain, me NO! I don't think that there is anything that I need. I have the furniture, linen and clothes that we need. What I would like to find though is the elusive woven, and cool, cotton clothes for the summer. Do you think I can find them reasonably priced? No!! There are plenty of knitted (jersey) cotton garments about but very few woven cotton. My body needs to breath! So I will need to find patterns (if they are suitable) and then the fabric to make the said clothes. Grrr I don't mind sewing at all, although it is a long time since I have done so. I think the last actual clothes that I made were for pre-teen daughters and that was a long time ago!! I just cannot imagine my dear man trying to pin hems for me!!

We have our middle daughter and her son, our first grandson - now 12 yrs old, coming to visit at the end of the month. We are really looking forward to seeing them. Our daughter has been going through a rough time over the last couple of years and for her this will be a well earned break. Our grandson has also been through this trying time as well and, we feel, is growing up too quickly due to familial circumstances. Plans are being made for trips to various places and other delights for them and for our grandson to enjoy his childhood a little longer. It will be so very good for us all.

Have updated my profile picture. Again it is of Clematis Jackmanii - again beautiful this year and we have more and more bloom. The picture has not been digitally enhanced in any way, the sky was that colour that morning... Absolutely superb, I love it!