Thursday, January 22, 2015

How do I....?

How do I get a little button so that people can like my posts on Facebook too?  I see that some people have a row of buttons at the bottom of each post.  Where do you get them from?

I'm finding it very difficult to take a selfie with my clever phone.  As I turn the phone around, I can't see where to click.  Sometimes I get a voice telling me that they can't answer that question.  What's that called and how do I really get to it so that I can ask a real question?  My phone is a Nokia Lumia 530.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Oppressed Majority

A day in the life...

A French film with English Subtitles.  Men might find this shocking.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Postcards and Pianos

We had a long but pleasant day on Friday when we went to Bordeaux for an auction. A long day as our alarm went off early as our train was before 6 o’clock. We always allow plenty of time – especially if we have an early start.

Bordeaux was just as wet and cold as La Rochelle for a change, but we brightened up when we saw lots of very good postcards at the viewing. Rob and I plan our strategy over lunch and then go back for the auction.

We were pleased with our bids and afterwards installed ourselves at the bar at the station to look at them while we waited for the train home. We drank hot chocolate to warm us up!

I’ve written before about the shopping area in the station at Bordeaux. There is also a piano. I’m not sure if the French railways have installed pianos in all of the stations, but I know that there is one in La Rochelle too. Anyone can play. I’ve tried to find the young man who was playing in November and also on Friday evening when we were there. He was brilliant.

Here is a quick piano tour of France which includes Bordeaux and La Rochelle!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Thoroughly Modern Millie

I finally had a Kindle for Christmas and I love it already. Just before Christmas the BBC TV series Little Dorrit was televised on French TV. I really enjoyed it, so Little Dorrit is the first book I’m reading on the Kindle. Rob can’t take out the bookmark and change the page I’m reading anymore as he doesn’t know how it works. I still have real books to read; almost at the end of “The Fall of giants”

Last week I got myself a clever phone and after a shaky start I’m gaining confidence with it. I haven’t taken any proper photos with it yet (just the floor by accident). I now have to put all of my appointments onto the calendar – there are quite a few already for the first 6 months of the year. I’ve also got ChatON so I can talk to Christian in England instantly – anyplace, anytime.

I’m now on Facebook, having sworn that I would never do such a thing. Rob asked me to do something for our postcard business and I sort of got hooked. I’ve found some long lost friends, which is really nice. I’m sure that I can synchronise this blog to Facebook too….

 “So beat the drums 'cause here comes thoroughly... 
Hot off the press! 
One step in the Jazz Age! 
Whoopee, baby! 
We're so thoroughly Modern...” 

With thanks to Elmer Bernstein, who I am sure would not have liked to hear me singing…

Sunday, January 04, 2015

30 years; a special anniversary

On the evening of 1st January 1985 we went aboard the night ferry to Le Havre. Sometime during that night we crossed into French waters and the start of our new lives.

I’ve now been living in France for more than half of my life. In June 1985 we were married at the Town hall in La Rochelle and in September 1990 we became duel nationals of France and the UK. Out three children were all born in La Rochelle.

People thought that we were both mad to give up our "secure" careers as bank clerks – we didn’t know it at the time, but there were many rounds of redundancies to follow in banking.

You only get one life. We don’t regret our choice at all. We’ve had our share of ups and downs – mainly ups, I’m happy to say.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I think I mentioned that Christian asked me for some photos for framing and things.  This is a tray he made including four of my pics.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Coming up next... Christmas!

Not long to go now.  I put the Christmas decorations up last Tuesday and even if I say so myself; they're looking good.

Dom and J-M will be coming for Christmas with Holly the cat.  Olivier might be coming.  He will have to spend a lot of time and money on trains so he must decide if it's worth it.  He's at work on the 26th.  Rob will be working on the 26th too.  We still find the idea strange, even after 30 years.

When I was teaching at the language school years ago.  I had a lesson at 7.30 in the morning on the 26th December.  My student didn't show.  It turned out she was very ill on Christmas day and tried to contact the school, leaving a message on the answer phone in the office which was locked.  I managed to get the next bus home after waiting around for half an hour.  The sun still hadn't risen by the time I got back!

I haven't been blogging much, or visiting.  Rob is borrowing my laptop most evenings as his is very slow.  hopefully we will be reorganised in a couple of weeks - a friend is fixing his old laptop.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to all those who celebrate with their family and friends today.

I’m thankful that, through the internet, I’ve made contact with all sorts of people from all over the world. I appreciate the opportunity to learn that we are not all the same and despite this we can all be friends.

 Let’s hope that in the future, the people that manipulate these same differences to create chaos and hate will be made silent by us, the peace loving majority.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The eggs were well and truly scrambled

I was very disappointed with N.C.I.S. yesterday evening. It is very popular in France. Friday evening we have episodes of N.C.I.S. and on Saturday evening episodes of N.C.I.S. Los Angeles.

 In episode 23 of season 11, Tony finds himself in Marseille. Why wasn’t the episode filmed in Marseille? The outside shots looked suspiciously like thinly disguised Washington sets. When Tony asked for breakfast in French the waitress arrived with scrambled eggs! In a café, breakfast is croissants or baguette and jam or both if you ask for ‘petit déjeuner complet’.

In my etiquette book the question is asked “What should one give American guests for breakfast?” and the answer is that American guests do not travel all the way to Europe to be served with their own food, so give them what you normally eat yourself. (The book dates from the 1930s)

I’m sure that CBS could have done better there.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Postcards, Beaujolias Nouveau and Hyacinths

I was going to update sooner but life seems to keep on getting in the way.

 The day after Dom’s big day, the alarm went off at 3.30 am as we had the 6 o’clock train to Bordeaux to catch. I wasn’t as tired as I thought I’d be and we managed to dodge any showers thrown our way. We hadn’t been back to Bordeaux for over a year. Auction time, and there were some postcards that we were interested in. We had an excellent day, despite discovering that our favourite restaurant had closed. The station at Bordeaux seems to have had a facelift too. A new bar has opened and some very interesting shops to explore, which was a good thing as we had to wait nearly two hours for our train home.

 Olivier came home for a few days mid-month. We didn’t really see that much of him. It’s so good to know that he’s enjoying what he’s doing now and seems to be appreciated by his co workers. He might be able to move to a bank closer to Rennes next year, which could save him a lot of money in rent and transport costs. Though I won’t be able to say; “my son who lives in a chateau” anymore.

I sorted out the Christmas decorations. They are ready for the beginning of December. I even found the Advent calenders!

We had a lot of rain at the beginning of November – very serious flooding in the south, but we were okay here – just a soggy garden. The last three days have been mild and sunny; I’m waiting for the bubble to burst. This afternoon I did some gardening and planted some hyacinth bulbs.

The Beaujolais Nouveau this year is very good