Saturday, April 25, 2009

BINGO


Whenever I put the doormats outside so that I can sweep the floor, it's a mere matter of seconds before one of the dogs comes along and lies on them. If you think Franck is looking a bit peaky, it's probably because he's missing his Auntie Pat. he loves his Auntie Pat because he can never do much wrong in her eyes -she doesn't seem to mind if he jumps up at her and has even been willing to put up with his over-excited greeting peeing on her when he was a puppy. However, Auntie Pat is now in Scotland and has been there for weeks. She tells us it's cold and horrid there but really we know it's like the tropics. She also claims that she'd gone back to do all sorts of important things but we all know that really she's just gone back for a giant, weeks long game of bingo with all her buddies. Poor Franck.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lovely Things




here is a picture of our kitchen shelves complete with photograph of my new grand daughter so that i can look at it whenever I like. Bessie is dozing at the bottom in her bed. This is (apparently) the best dog bed. Frank used to get out of this bed if he'd gotten in it first but now he's grown up and he doesn't any more which really really pees her off because she can't pull rank any more. Sometimes, she's come and fetched me to look at frank in the favoured bed, and then she looks at me with her eyebrows lifted-clearly expecting me to kick him out but I have to explain about SHARING and TAKING TURNS and how much happier she'll feel for doing so. She is not convinced.
Also here is the grass heart which M has mown underneath one of the trees. I seem to remember sometime that I've read of Victorian gentlemen who were so overcome with love for their ladies (often after the ladies had actually died of course-quite probably murdered by the very same men-or banged up in a lunatic asylum by them) that they would build some amazing folly with all sorts of meaning and significance in the style and location of the building. Well-i think the grass heart is definitely today's modern version for the modern man in a hurry with a (very) limited budget . I'm just glad he didn't mow anything rude.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Grand-daughter


My new grand-daughter was born on Monday evening-she and her Mum are doing really well-so are her Dad and her new big brother-they are all home together now as a family. She is called Abigail Sarah Warton. Abigail happned to be one of my Mum's favourite names (she hated her own name of 'Hilda') and my sister's name was Sarah so these are lovely choices to me-it made me cry! It's all terribly exciting and I can't wait to see her soon. I don't know how to import photos from another blog so if you want to see her (and she is beautiful) you will just have to go to "Sellotape fingers"-there's a link to the right of this. And in the meantime, I've tried to find another nice picture to accompany this-but nothing is as beautiful as my new grand-daughter. hurrah!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stars Shining Bright Above

This is a picture of my Mum and my sister, both of whom died, separately, last year. They were both simultaneously strong and also could be quite fragile women. They were both also very loving, clever, and funny. I miss them both. It may seem strange to feature them now because today my daughter is having a baby in England-the outcome of which is currently unknown. However, at this time when i am aware of , and of course concerned for my daughter, I am also somehow aware of these other women who I loved so much and who I miss-it feels as if they are close.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

raindrops and hypnotherapy




Well it was a very wet and murky morning when i set off with the doggies first thing round the garden for their wee wee walk. Also rather overcast and a bit depressing, to be frank. Then I noticed these leaves which were by the side of our garage. Sitting in the middle of each of them was a drop of rain, or dew-so perfectly caught in the middle of the leaves that it looks as if some magical being has come along in the night and dropped a gesmstone in each of them.


A couple of years ago I completed the training for being a hypnotherapist and now that the kitchen/living are is done, I've got my books and scripts out and I can refresh my skills-starting with M, poor soul.

Friday, April 17, 2009

neighbours and friends and hangovers


We have some lovely neighbours and friends here. They are all a little crazy-but very enjoyable company. So last night, we had 3 of them round to a meal to make the most of their sociability-and ours! It was rather a plain meal-no souffles meringues or flambes, I'm afraid but we ate every bit so it must have been edible. We also drank in actual fact as a result of which M started the day with the inevitable hangover -as seen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Skills










Can you see that bug picture??? I absolutely promise you that that is M's finger it's sitting on, and nothing worse. we found a whole set of these bugs up by our little cabbage plants so i hope they weren't planing anything damaging. I'm also including a picture of me looking jolly in the kitchen really for my daughter's benefit so that she can see a) that I am still alive and b) that I am capable of being jolly. When I was a proper Mummy (ie hadyoung children), I had many skills. These included things like being able to undo apparently hopelessly tangled shoelaces, knowing where underpants were, and what was happening tomorrow (M still thinks I have those two last skills). Unfortunately, the sad truth is, that once you no longer need these skills on a daily basis they die off and are given to another proper Mummy who needs them more. Currently, I think I only have about 3 skills left. One of them is useless, the other is know only to M, and the other one is bread making which I can still do. So I've also included the results of my baking today. Also in the background is the stunning new kitchen. Clever M.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Eggs





Here are some of the decorated eggs I made for Easter. The Swedish one being for Pele, our Swedish friend. Also visible are the views from the windows-and in the top picture, the horses backside is in the distance. This horse is left on it's own all the time. Surely it must get bored. It's out in all weathers, and just stands there in the pouring rain with the showers streaming off either side of it's body, just looking bored and patient. Don't horses need some kind of companionship some times?. Perhaps I should find it some kind of craft to do-doing the eggs cheered me up a bit one day when I was a bit stressy. Until I dropped one of the eggs at any rate! perhaps it could do tail painting, or macrame weaving with bits of string attached to it as it wanders across it's muddy field. Last year, it had a beautiful foal-but this year, it doesn't seem to have been similarly graced.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marmalade




I made Marmalade on Monday. I've made jam before but not marmalade. it was a bit of a faff because you have to chop up all the peel and get all the pith off and so forth. But the french don''t really eat marmalade so you have to buy it as an English speciality sort of thing-and it costs over 4 euros a jar which is silly money. it's OK doing the faffy bit if you have a good radio programme on at the time. I was a bit worried about the 'set' since I used a jam thermometer for the first time-before now, I've always gone by the 'saucer' test, and my own personal boredom threshold. With the thermometer, the impression given is that you should take it off the boil immediately once it reaches the stated temperature. if I'd done that, it would still have been completely runny. So there clearly is still an element of judgement to it-which is a pleasing thing. I got 8 jars of grapefuit marmalade out of it for very little money. The funny thing is, I can't stand marmalade myself-but M loves it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Paris!








We had to go to Paris anyway today-so we decided to try and make a virtue out of it and to have a look around. M has never been there before and I haven't been since I was (I think) about 8 or 9. it's quite a noisy place compared with rural Normandy-not many cows around either. The traffic is really and truly scary since the cars don't even stop when you're on a crossing and the little man is green. There are also lots of grilles in the pavement and I'm scared of walking over these. Once these fears are discounted however, there's lots of lovely architecture and graceful boulevards. Snacks are terribly expensive, I think. i wish I'd bought a novelty miniature Eiffel tower now but I chickened out since they were 12 euros. We ended up walking round for about 6 hours which is many ways is the best way to see it. There are lots of cyclists and motobikists and mopedists as well. Who sometimes also go on the pavement which is a bit alarming. Franck and Bessie have meanwhile gone to stay with their uncle Pete and Auntie Julie at the kennels overnight. i don't think they would have enjoyed this trip-although we did see a couple of rottweilers being exercised in the parks. M is striking his "Mr C&A" pose in the photo-interestingly, they do have a big C&A shop in Paris. Also-I am not sticking my fingers up in a rude gesture in the other photo-grandma's don't do rude things like that. I'm pointing to the Eiffel tower in the distance. With my telling-off finger.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Relish




Here is a picture of Bessie and Franckie in one of their 'stand-offs' just before commencing one of their friendly dog fights which will take them charging all over the fields here. Bess always wins of course. At some point in the fight, Franck will always lose his temper. Luckily, Bessie never does. She can just shove him over with one of her paws whenver she likes. Then they both fall fast asleep for ages, together. In this picture, they're also standing with their paws in one of the vegetable plots which means they both deserve to get shot. Also included is a picture of the sweetcorn relish I made today because it's the first preservey thing I've made here. It looks rather like vomit in jars but will hopefully taste a bit better.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sunrise


Here is a picture of the sunrise this morning as the sun came up over the little bread oven house and the big barns. I'd had to stand the dogs on their legs this morning before they would get up-for some reason, they'd both wanted a lie-in this morning. As I stood here taking the photo, I could hear the swallows flying back into the big barn where they will be nesting again soon. It reminded me of the dramatic day last autumn when all the swallows had gathered at once and were perched on the wires, the fences-everywhere. the air was full of their cries to each other-they suddenly they all took off and flew away-and we haven't seen them again until now.

Seeds











Well-here is progress so far. Being a dithery kind of a person, I'm a bit late off the mark planting seeds and stuff. I also haven't got a clue what I'm doing to be honest since as far as I'm concerned, vegetables come from Tesco's. So here are the potatoes chitting-or chatting as I like to think of it-in the attic. they certianly look pretty sociable. I'm told that there are far too many of them here. I think I was thinking that each potato would just get bigger once in the ground. it had not occurred to me that, if all goes according to plan, each potato will produce a whole potato plant. here also are the first of my outdoor seeds-being carrots and peas. the rest are indoors. it's a bit haphazard since i have to translate the french on the seed packets. one of them seemed to have a philisophical sort of joke on it about the importance of manure. Also here is a picture of last night's flan which i was pleased with-quiches are pretentious-and the cat, who fell asleep on m's wellies. My own wellies are only 18months old and have developed a leak. very annoying. Just for a change, i actually weighed out the ingredients for the flan's pastry and realised that i've gotten in the habit of being a bit mean-minded with the fat which does make things a bit less palatable. it was also great to be able to use the food processor which I've bought 2nd hand for the pastry since I couldn't get all the bits of garden out from under my fingernails for quite a while.

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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.