Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Gaspers

Run fast, little teckel. Run fast and run true. Run 'til your small heart beats like a drum inside your deep chest. Run until your breath pushes your chest in and out like bellows.
For here in the woods, the Gaspers live. I have just seen one behind you, his matted hair fouled with the slime of a thousand slugs, his breath as putrid as the deepest swamp, and his yellow eyes swivelling constantly round in search of his prey. I can hear him crashing through the trees and snapping the twigs in the forest as he chases you. He can run fast on his bandy legs. If he catches you, he will cut off your legs. Already your legs are just stumps because long ago, one of your ancestors, Ruben the Digger, dared to dig in this part of the woods. When a Gasper came upon him, he was angry with Ruben for digging so hard, and he started to chase him. Then he tripped in the hole which Ruben had dug. Enraged with pain, he caught the dog, and cut off his legs so that he could dig no more. Later that night, the wood fairies came and found the poor suffering dog, and with their woodland magic, they were able to sew his paws back on again with tendrils from ivy leaves, and they placed spiders webs around the wounds to help them heal. But, before he had left,the Gasper had sat and gnawed upon Ruben's legs, and they were too badly damaged to be replaced. This, as you know, is how the teckels came to have such short legs, and this is also how the Gaspers came to have bandy legs and bad tempers. It's the reason why the Gaspers hate teckels even more than tax officers, or social workers, or MP's or even bankers. So keep on running little one, and do not stop until you have crossed the bridge and run out of the forest and safely into the sunshine.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today, I have resumed the pointing of the chicken shed. Here, you see firstly my own pathetic and messy efforts. Second is an area done by my personal pointing guru called Pelle. If you think his looks good, you should see the left hand side of his own house which was where he made his own first efforts at this 'craft'-believe it or not, it's not much better than mine. Obviously he has done a lot since. No matter how good you are at it though, it remains a long and slow process. Can't be hurried. There's the whole chicken shed to be done-front, and back and sides. Currently, the stones are just resting on each other with nothing in between-not a good recipie for stability. To keep my spirits up, M took over tea-making duties which was fantastic. Bess the staffie-type dog came and sunbathed-she lolled against the chicken shed gate in the full sunshine until she became so hot that she'd have a panic attack and have to lollop into the shade. Her breathing has not been so good again lately-she comes to be to be 'calmed' when she's having one of her gasping attacks. The vet said this was a chronic condition, aggravated by the conditions she was kept in before we had her. Anyway, in between her wheeziness, Bessie did manage to tell me a couple of doggie fables to help while away the time. In return, I told her a potted version of the 101 Dalmations. She was a bit cynical about it because she does not believe in mongamy-she seems a little bitter about it, in fact, and any attempt to discuss the rewards of a long-term committed relationship with her just make her hacking and wheezing worse than ever. Poor Bess.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Baby Bird

Tonight, M came and put a baby bird in my hand. It looked directly at me with it's beady brown eyes, and opened it's mouth into a big yellow diamond shape. It made no attempt to get away. We didn't know what to do with it. He had found it on the ground, underneath one of the cars-the cat had been about to get it.My suggestion was to give it some water from a dropper-perhaps with some sugar in it. M checked online. "Do Not give your baby bird water", he read out. Our baby bird??? I thought...since when ???? looked at me, and cheeped. "Do Not give your baby bird sugared water" he continued. is coming to something when a Man starts reading instructions. The advice continued to suggest that we should be fetching a wide variety of insects for 'our' baby bird. Instead, after some thought, M made this rather neat surrogate nest out of a spare corner of old carpet on the tree closest to where we'd found our baby bird, and I popped 'him' in. We put all the pets indoors and withdrew to a safe distance. It wasn't long before there was much cheeping and crying between this baby and a couple of adult birds in the next tree, and then the adults started flying into the area of the carpet cone nest. A little later, 'our' baby bird was gone. I'd like to think it had all had a happy ending but realistically,it seems unlikely. Nonetheless, I feel there should be little nest cones like this every 10th tree or something for just such eventualities at this time of year...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pipes and Tension

Sunday was a bit trying for M. On investigating the cause of a loss of water pressure in the house, he discovered a spurting tap up in the garden. We are fortunate here in being able to use a type of well water which was originally put in for the railway line which used to run along the back of the house (now a footpath). This means we only have to turn the mains water on if e.g. we need to use the jet washer-so all our garden watering etc comes for free. it saves a fair bit of money since all water supplies here are metered. Anyway, M clearly thought he had saved the day when he went and shoved one of those things in the pipe which you usually use to stop up a wine bottle. Me, I am a little less of an optimist and sure enough, I was proved right when the stopper came flying out again. Much cursing ensued. I carried on banking up the soil around my potato plants since there's a time to offer a man help, and it's not when he needs it- it's when he asks for it. After he'd been soaked for the third time, M reached this stage and I duly held the pipe whilst he went and sought a solution. All is well again now and he has also neatly concreted around the base of the tap. I saw a goblin admiring his handiwork as I walked the dogs around the garden first thing this morning. It's a fact not commonly known that goblins are terrific at DIY. They actually have very high standards-it's partly why they're often in a bad mood because they're always stressing over the quality of finish, the cost of materials, and how difficult it is, when you're very short, to find a staff member to help you locate things in B and Q stores. As you can see, Franck found M's repeated soakings great fun-this dog is completely incapable of responding appropriately to a number of human emotions-these being things like anger, irritaiton, stress, and hatred. In his world, everything is full of love and sunshine. It could be the death of him one day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

This morning, I noticed things seemed very noisy just outside the kitchen window. I turned the radio down...a cock was crowing loudly and repetitively. Since a) I was listening to a farming programme and b) we haven't got a cockerel, I turned the radio completely off, thinking it must be background noise in the programme.But the crowing contineud more loudly than ever. So I finally took a look out of the window to see the above scene-where three of my 'girls' were eyeing up the neighbours cockerel, who has ventured into our garden, lured by their charms. The girls have gone about in a tight huddle all day, not sure what to think. The cockerel is small (size might matter)-in fact, I think he could be a bantam. But he makes up for it in terms of the noise he produces, and the strutting he does. He has his own girlfriend-a small dark bantam who follows him around-but at the least opportunity, he gives her the slip and strays over here. The grass is always greener as they say, and it certainly was this afternoon when I took the dogs for a walk and admired the fallow fields, full of dandelions. A rabbits delight-and I saw a hare leap across the road from this field obly the other day. As for the chickens, the tension is mounting (but will the cockerel be mounting, too?) It's nearly as exciting as British politics at the moment.


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.