Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saving




I've never really manged to save-apart from in the very short term for a specific thing. Obviously, not having had much money has been a factor-but I also think that I just don't really 'get' the saving money thing. So I've decided that I'm going to save days intead. When a really good day like today happens, I shall save it in my bank of memories and then draw it out when a shite day or a difficult day or a sad day comes along.


Today has been good because the sun has shone like billio and I have cleared the bramble patch by the chicken shacks (see pictures). Like it or not, meaningful work is essential to human happiness.


Throughout today, I've been aware that M loves me which is a little miracle in itself and he was happily busy as well and I've also thought how fortunate I am to have two adult children who are both thoughtful and kind and clever and a lovely grandson and another grandchild on the way. Life does not get much better than this. Not for me.


I might have to store this one up til I'm really old and uncomfortable and can't get out anywhere, or in case M goes bonkers eventually and I end up having to spoon feed him. Who knows what's round the corner? But I've least I've got something tucked away for a rainy day now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where can we eat?




The hopefully soon-to-be kitchen has been cleared ready for the action of painting and floor laying. In the meantime, we have nowhere vaguely warm to eat. So I created a space upstairs for this. The background is of abstract stripped walls and there is limited floor space for dogs to sit and beg so they will just have to refrain from this pathetic acitivity.


One of these photos has not come out properly and is pants but I've included it because it shows the more romantic bistro type atmosphere which pervades here in the evening, as M takes up his ukelele and croons to me softly whilst he gently passes wind following the evening repast I have lovingly prepared him, and I bask contendly in the atmosphere.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to Deal With a Frisky Male


Generally, Franck and Bess have a free run of the 'grounds' here. They have always been very good about this and seemed automatically to know where the boundaries were-eg stopping at the edge of the adjoining field when barking at something far away, or stopping directly at the gate when going to greet an arriving car.

That is-until a couple of days ago. You see, lately, Franck has not alway been coming back when summoned. Yesterday, I had to hoodwink him into thinking he might get a car journey (which he loves) by going and starting the engine of my little purple twingo. Then today, Franck didn't come back at all. Bess and I had to leave for the daily dog walk on our own. (She kept turning round to look at me as we walked and i swear she was grinning-can dogs be smug?)

Franck duly arrived back home about 5 minutes before Bess and I did, and was placed firmly on the running lead (which is actually longer than it looks in this picture-he'd just got it stuck round a tree). He remained unsettled-doing this silly high-pitched bark and snuffling at the door after we'd brought him in the house. Franck is 11 months old now, and I've had to acknowledge that he may be growing up, and that there could well be a bitch on heat somewhere in the locality. Luckily, I know how to deal with a frisky male, though. He will be down that vets ASAP to have his nuts chopped off. I've just looked at the photo again and he's even licking his lips in it. Disgusting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pipes and windows







M can make the most fantastic things with pipes. Here are some of the pipes which go round the back of the woodburner. His soldering has improved since we came out here. The tradition here is to have the pipe work exposed and the artisan plumbers are very good at their pipework. However, all the plumbing and wiring now buried in the walls in the kitchen here. Also the telly aerial-which now keeps going wrong!



Also included is the before and after picture of the kitchen window.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wood cutting




M has taken the photos for today's blog. He was quite keen to show the results of his wood chopping today. Of course, the result which isn't shown is his aching limbs-but believe me, the pain is audible. Anyway-it's good to know there's a substantial quantity of free wood here for next year. It's a shame Bess looks so ugly in these pictures but, to be truthful, she really is that ugly.


Meanwhile, I did the accounts. This was just as painful only in a different way. There's no need to show any pictures-just imagine piles of bits of paper on a table, and me looking very old and despairing.

Mole Hills




having had all day to myself yesterday, and nothing on Radio 4 apart from cricket, (What view do they have of a 'typical' British person if Radio 4 long wave prioritises broadcasting of midweek church services and cricket matches? Why do cricketers have silly names like Sidebottom?) I decided to indulge in the therapeutic sport of Mole Hill Bashing. I have whacked them all and there are loads. (see before and after pics above) This will have dual effect of the noise deterring them, and the flattening revealing the fresh mole hills into which I shall then place bottles on canes to increase the deterrent noise effect. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind about this method working. The only snag being that I took all our bottles to the recycling centre yesterday and don't have good enough French to explain, if caught, why I might be trying to fish them out again. Perhaps tin cans would do equally well...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spring could be coming




Yes-I really do think that Spring could be coming at some point this year. There were definite wafts of it today. I put my first lot of washing of the year out to dry today (and it did), and Bess and Mackerel amused themselves pracitising sunbathing positions in a patch of sun shine on the floor in the bedroom. Our car blew up yesterday so not so much fun there-but we have yet to find out the cost! Ignorance is bliss so far!!!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cats and dogs




Franck the teckel often likes to sleep upside down in his bed, airing his tender parts in front of the fire. It's at moments like these that Mackerel the cat likes to pounce on him, grabbing him round his neck. A wrestling match ensues which can get pretty vigorous. It's remarkable that Mackerel has already learnt to keep his claws in when he's playing-otherwise Franck's nose leather would be ripped to shreds by now-and Franck also manages to play gently despite a sometimes awesome display of fangs.

Visitors







My son and his girlfriend have been visiting us for a few days.



We all refer to him as Uncle Sam which is a bit strange because so far, he's only an uncle to one person-although, all being well, this should alter to two in May.



He used an old oak door to stick the arrow target on and it was very difficult getting the arrows out again. Still, better than trying to get them out of someone's bottom.



M got very sociable and, one evening, told us lots of jokes he knew all in a row which was hysterically funny because they all got muddled up, then he suddenly fell asleep.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Something Disgusting (You have been warned)


Our neighbours are real dog experts having bred champion dogs and been international dog judges. According to them, you should only feed your dog once a day and the best and most economical method is to cook for them using offal. So M bought this hideous lump of flesh and pipes for a mere 60 centimes. it was terrible to cut up-i mean I have been a vegetarian for years in the past and even a vegan briefly (until my hair started falling out!). Usually, I cope OK with meat but this was just too much-I mean I think it's bigger than a baby. We cooked it for ages on top of the stove and the dogs ate it with carrots and macaroni. We're still not sure what it was.

A Settee!


This is just too exciting-after 18 months of nothing comfy to sit on, we now have a settee. This is the Hagalund model from Ikea which is also a bed-settee. it's available in a range of colours. The gorgeous man in french headgear is not available as an optional extra I'm afraid, ladies. If you do come across anything similar, just remember that it looks attractive, but can be Very Hard Work. The dogs are definitely not allowed on the settee. however, according to M, the cat is.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snow at last!







Yes-at last we have some snow. Not much-hardly more than a scattering-but it looked lovely as the sun came up against the intense whiteness of the snow this morning. Both the dogs loved it although given that Franck is so short, I sometimes worry that his manhood (or doghood?) could get frostbitten. Here is the view from where we live across to the local town-and again another view from our place up into the forest-which has almost taken on it's heathery autumn colours in this winter morning sunshine. Sometimes, deer come down from the forest into our garden and the surrounding fields. it's hunting season at the moment-so they may be a little more wary.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Explosion


Today, M asked if could use the little hoover I recnetly purchased. (ref blog entitled "Will I never learn?) Gosh isn't he good to ask! Well-not really because he has previously blown up a Dyson by sucking brick dust up it.

Anyway, i fetched the little hoover for him and he started sucking up plaster dust. Sure enough, 2 seconds later he was back complaining to me that it DOESN'T WORK. A futher 10 seconds later, he'd obviously carried on trying because the hoover went BANG.

Just look at it-it's insides have melted. What a terrible way to go. Even Franck looks sad.

Never mind-hopefully it will snow tomorrow. This is very selfish wish of mine since was going to give frined of mine a lift to dentist because their car broken-and my Twingo won't go in the snow. Not with me behind the wheel. I just want to see the pretty snow. that's all !

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About Me

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I've lived with my partner in Normandy, France, for about four years now. There's lots I love about our lives here-including our beautiful surroundings-but I also miss my wonderful children and grandchildren who are back in the UK. I trained as a hypnotherapist originally in the UK and am now registered for this in France, I also like making (and hopefully selling) some jewellery.