Wednesday, May 04, 2016

All grown up

I found this post about Olivier when he was 12 years old (he’s a lot taller than me nowadays and I don’t wear spiky hair). He’s 25 now – how time flies. Today he starts his final exams for a Masters degree.

Not much I can do but wish him good luck and hope that he gets questions on the subjects he’s passionate about.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Earthquakes and strikes!

Christian & J were here for a week, though that was not their intention. Their flight home was cancelled on Thursday because of strikes. They managed to extend the car hire and get places on the Saturday flight.

There was also an earthquake and we were quite close to the centre of it. One loud bang and a wobble and it was over; no damage done and nothing fell off the shelves. The sun shone for most of their visit, though there was (and still is) quite a cold wind.

Christian very kindly brought some Victoria Wood  DVDs with him.  I was very pleased to be able to watch them, she was such a funny lady.

 I do enjoy having time with my children, despite unplanned events.

Friday, April 29, 2016

To Rennes and back

A couple of weeks ago we went off to Rennes for the day to collect Olivier’s belongings from his apartment there. The weather was good and there wasn’t too much traffic both ways so we had a stress less day.

He had everything packed and ready, so we only had to load the car up after a cup of coffee and he’d been out to fetch us croissants! The apartment is on the 6th floor and in an old window box right next to the little balcony where the residents of the apt go out to smoke, was a pigeon’s nest, complete with mother and three chicks. She didn’t bat an eyelid when we went right up to the window to look!

Olivier treated us to lunch and took us for a walk around the old part of Rennes. There is a beautiful park which is worth a visit. After using that walk to stretch out legs we headed for home.

Visiting my grown up children is one of my favourite occupations!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Special offer!

I’m running a special promotion for my book ‘Angie Brynner & Company’ on Amazon Kindle UK and Amazon Kindle US.

The UK promotion starts 12th April at 8 am GMT until 19th April at 12 am GMT; the price is reduced from £2.37 to 99p.

 In the US, the book will be 99 cents from 12th April 8 am PST until 19th April 12 am PST, original price is $2.99.

If you don’t have a Kindle reader you can download a free app for your smartphone, tablet or computer, in order to read The link is just below the book cover on the page.

Because Amazon doesn’t seem to cope well with links from country to country .The best way to find the book is to go to Amazon, look under Kindle and look for my name: Angela Knutsen.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

A bossy bird

The cherry tree in the garden of the Mairie (town hall) next door is easily visible over the wall as I hang out the washing. For the last month there has been a Great Tit in the tree declaring himself to the world. I can easily see him as the leaves are still buds and the branches are visible.

 A couple of weeks ago I was clipping the top of the hedge and the GT appeared to be advising me how to do it. I was definitely doing it wrong as he was very vocal – telling everyone who took time to listen.

 A few days after that, I was making a fuss of Tigger who paid a visit and was sunning herself on the garden table – which I imagine was warmed by the sun. I won’t say we were attacked, but there was a very angry visitor who flew past in a huff and made me (and Tigger ) jump. Was GT jealous of the attention I was giving to the cat, or was he trying to warn me of possible danger from the cat?

This week GT is far too busy flying around with his lady friend to bother with a mere human like me.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A fly in the ointment - sort of *

For just over a year I’ve been using drops and ointment in my eyes because when I saw my ophthalmologist 13 months ago he said that I might need an operation to remove scar tissue in my left eye. The good news is that I don’t need an operation and I didn’t need new lenses for my glasses either.

Apparently I’ve reached an age when there aren’t great changes to vision. Unfortunately, in France the ointment that I’ve been using for almost 30 years is out of stock. A substitute ointment was almost no use at all. Now I’m on stronger drops till my beloved ointment comes back again.

* couldn't think of a better title - could have put A Fl-eye in the ointment!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

When life isn't as expected

Thursday morning got off to a strange start. My phone is cracked and I must have bumped it at some point on Wednesday evening. My alarm didn’t ring; just made that horrible «I’m buzzing towards the edge of the table” sound. Fortunately I was awake already, so didn’t miss it.

When we got up we realized that although the toilet flushed the tank didn’t refill. I went to put some water in the kettle and there was just a pathetic trickle. Rob walked along to the village shop and discovered that there was a fire in a silo at a local farm. The water had been cut by the firefighters so that they could fight the fire. It came back on again so that I could wash up the breakfast things but the pressure was pretty pathetic all day as they were using water for over 12 hours.

It really is strange to have no water at all. I had bottled drinking water which we could use sparingly. We take so much for granted. Just the simple act of rinsing my hands after peeling an orange became complicated.

All is back to normal for us, but it won’t be normal for the farmer’s family for quite some time to come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nearly there!

Olivier phoned this afternoon. He had to give a presentation at the regional office of the bank he works in. It went very, very well. He didn’t use notes. He loves his subject and work. I’m so pleased for him. He’s almost at the end of his apprenticeship and will normally be taking his finals for his master degree in the spring. Rob and I are very proud parents.

Very sad news

We had some very sad news towards the end of January. My sister died very suddenly one evening when she was just settling down for the evening with her knitting. She was the fittest of the four of us siblings. Always active, grew her own vegetables and ate healthily. She was the one who could always be relied upon to pass round family information and news. It was a big shock to all of us.

As soon as I phoned Dom with the sad news she offered to collect me from the airport and take me to the funeral. I travelled to the UK on my own. It was strange, but as it was a journey we’ve made several times in recent years, nothing I couldn’t manage. Dom and J-M were so kind, looking after me for the two nights that I was there.

This was only the second funeral I had been too and the first time I’d been to a church ceremony. I was surprised at how comforting the service was. As I’ve lived in France for over 30 years now, there were quite a few people I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was lovely to be with my mum, brother and sister, my aunts and uncles and cousins, not to mention my now grown up nephews and niece. Family is really important at a time like this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's caught up with me at last

I’ve recently had to take another blood test as my blood sugar has been creeping up again. As from this morning I’m on a very low dose of Gliclazide at breakfast time. I have to take another test and see the Doctor again in three months.

Anyone who has been reading this blog over the past ten years will know that I spent 5 years from 2005 to 2010 testing my blood sugar several times a day. I managed to control things by eating sensibly. Then my Doctor retired and I had a period of 5 years with Doctors who didn’t believe in “pre diabetics”. I appreciate that I have managed to stall taking medication for this for 10 years. At least I don’t have to use insulin.

 My present Doctor’s advice is to avoid sweet things (which I’ve always done) and take more exercise. I know that I have to lose weight too. I’m off now to put on some music and do a bit of ‘keep fit’.