Thursday, 24 January 2013

Life has been ticking along nicely.

Weather has been good and bad, snow and cold then sunny and no snow.

We were welcomed to the town a couple of weeks ago. Got a lovely invitation in the post and so we trotted off to the Salle de Fetes on the Saturday morning. The Salle had hundreds of chairs facing the stage, wow, that many have arrived!

The Maire came and said hello and shook our hands as did the deputy Maire and the Councillors. They were so very nice!

Eventually the presentation started. A screen had been set up for a power point presentation. They went through what the town had done during 2012 from road works to theatre and dance to new citizen. Then there was presentation of bouquets for people for the 'Ville floraison' and then for us newbies. We were last, probably because of our surname, but we were introduced as 'les Anglais', no problems for me at all, there are another couple recently moved in but they did not show. Handshakes and bisous were on the agenda comme d'habitude. We were given a welcome pack giving details of the village and also a small plant (for the garden - a primula). What fun! We then had aperos (non-alcohol) and nibbles and chats with locals...

So now we are legal in the town. I feel that we belong.

At our last village we had a short presentation and that was all. Nothing special.

There is a website where you can see how much debt your commune has, our last communes debts increased enormously since the last elections, at least our lady Maire then there kept the expenses down.

We were invited by our immediate neighbours for the Fete de Roi, we sat and partook of feuillettee and brioche and a really nice raspberry beer, for the ladies, and another beer for the men.It seems that there is a new brasserie in our local large town offering quite a variety of beers, will have to take a look and see if they have any good English Beers (doubt it).  All in all a very enjoyable evening, AND, it snowed, within 3 hrs we had over 1" of snow.

The snow was all gone by Monday afternoon. I did enquire whether they enjoyed their 'Pudding de Noel' that I gave them just before Christmas.

The answer was a  definite 'YES', they loved it.

Now strange as it may seem I found a recipe for Christmas pudding in a French magazine and reading through it, it is accurate and authentic. I did tell them that I have a recette for them and they said that they would like a copy. So copy I will.

We are plodding on with the decor indoors. Hallway almost finished and I must admit it is looking good. Have re-arranged the lounge as the chimney is in the most difficult of places, we have had a wood burner installed with a black 'tube/pipe' chimney up into the ceiling. I suppose the chimney is about 1/4 of the way from one wall. If only it was in a corner it would make life so easy, but hey ho, you do your best with what you have got.

Needed to move the dining area to the other end of the room, so for two days we have been shifting furniture from here to there, and hey, it works! But, we need to have the aerial/cable for the TV moved. Thank heavens for our lovely neighbour - now there is a man who can!!

Surprising how ones life changes, it takes me around 30 mins to vacuum and dust through the house and when I decide to do a 'proper' clean you can add another 30 mins... Wasn't like that at my last place. I just wish the weather would improve so I can start to get bits done in the garden.

Have had enough of the grey days, at least it will start to improve over the next couple of weeks (please God!).

Monday, 21 January 2013

This evening, for some unknown reason, I got embroiled in the most amazing argument on the LIFT Facebook page.

A member asked the question about offering ready to heat meals, mainly curries, for sale to members of the public and whether they would be interested.

There were a few responses before I replied.

This lady had all the necessary catering qualifications (English) but they are different here in France. I just endeavoured to point her in the right direction so I suggested that the ‘poster’ created a business and then went through the proper channels to be legitimate in France, even giving her a link to someone selling food here.

Another person said ‘Are you taking the Mick & etc.?’

Well this comment opened all sorts of responses, bearing in mind that there are now over 1000 members on this particular site
A lot of people agreed with the fact that she needed to be legal. After all I was only trying to help her, heaven forbid that she goes down the wrong route and ends up being closed down and fined a lot of money that she cannot afford.

There were a couple out here who ran a pork business; oh you know,   “We breed rare breed pigs and make sausages, pies, sell chops, piglets etc.”  Yes, they got caught out and had to pay an enormous amount in fines and eventually left the country. Yes, they were running the business without the necessary permissions! 

Don’t like to see that happening to someone wanting to make a living out here.

Eventually the posting acquired around 150 comments before admin deleted it.

There was a lot of vitriol.

So there is, out there, the occasional person that will stir up something innocuous and turn it into a storm.

I was quite surprised at the response from this particular person, I just could not understand why she had responded in such a way. 

Maybe she had had too much to drink, she did sound a little ‘slurred’ with her comments. 

Am I making excuses for someone with issues?

I have had support from people that I know as well as those that I don’t know.

I won’t keep my mouth shut when there is knowledge to share. 

I do not like to see people get the wrong sort of advice.

If I don’t know then I won’t say but if I do then I will and on this occasion I did.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Protests are afoot in Gay Paree - it seems that the 'ordinary' folk are not so happy about the proposals of  M. Hollande to allow same-sex marriage. I hear all the shouting on the news and see the images in the press.

Trains, buses and other alternative transport was laid on to allow the protesters, for and against, to congregate and make their stand.

I will just stay here in the relative comfort of my home and observe from the sidelines.

It will another one of M. Hollands plans to bite the dust, peut etre.

At least the Justice Dept. are happy to throw out his ideas.

We are in the process of decorating, this has been an ongoing task for around 6 months now. It is only the hallway being done but it is looking very nice, almost finished I am pleased to say.

Himself has been papering, I did a little but found that up and down the ladder did me no good and put me in pain for a few days. It is all to do, I hope, with the arthritis in the base of my spine and how affects my hip. Referred pain can be a bit of a nuisance as you are not sure what area to treat. I did have a cortisone injection a couple of years ago and that made no difference whatsoever. I do hate to take painkillers and want to go for the natural approach to pain when possible.

The local ladies group is now in four figures, not bad in four years but it seems that a little friction is making its way in.

I suppose it is a bit like a large all girls school, you either get on or you don't, sometimes you argue, call each other names or even tell someone exactly what you think of them. You fall out and then make up and remain friends or never speak to the other party again. So far this year there have been two nasty spats.. oh dear!

The 'headmistress' has been very diplomatic over these 'infantile' postings.

There is also the lady who's house bounds on a farmers field, they had a falling out a while back, over something minor, and now the farmer is building a shed against their house. Lady and husband are now selling up, if they can.

I think that this year there will be quite a few changes here, some people will find that life is not all it's cut up to be and will be opting out and trying somewhere else.

Wheat and Chaff come to mind.