Monday, May 04, 2015

In competition with myself

I decided that this year I would try to blog more than last year. The results so far are:

January; 1 less post than last year, February; 1 more post than last year, March; 5 more posts that last year! April; 2 more posts. May last year only had one post (where I met Holly the cat), so I’m already equal. On the whole I’m winning, but as they used to write on the school reports “Could do better.

Facebook is very good at mopping up spare time, so I’m pleased that I haven’t lost blogging altogether.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The end of another era

For the last 11 years (already?) I’ve had an annual appointment with the ‘wimmins’ doctor, who always put me in mind of the Swedish Chef from the Muppets. He’s such a nice man and so polite.

My last appointment with him was a week ago. All is well. He’s retiring very soon and will be replaced by a young woman ‘wimmins' doctor. I’ve never had one of those before, so I wonder how we will get on.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sad News

If any of you remember Alan, now is the time to say goodbye.  If you've lost the link, send me an email using the link above the lime clock in the sidebar.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bordeaux revisited

Yesterday was an auction day, so we set off for the station just before 5 o’clock in the morning. We had an excellent day. We managed to avoid the rain, we had a great lunch and we managed to get the cards we wanted for a good price.

We usually go to the same restaurant which has changed hands but is still as good.

The auction house

During our wait at the station in the evening, we listened to the piano music. It was beautiful; a medley of different types of music, which continued for all of the time we were within earshot.

The train wasn’t too crowded on the way home and armed with my Kindle, the time flew by. I slept so well last night.

One day we’ll stay over so that we can play the tourist. Bordeaux is such a beautiful city.

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Hermione

Is a replica of the frigate used by the General Lafayette in 1780 to reach America in order to fight against the English in the War of Independence. The replica has taken 17 years to build and is due to set off for the US in the next few weeks. The original apparently took less than a year! Over Easter it will be docked in La Rochelle.

As we had free tickets, Rob and I decided to visit the frigate this week. The first view of the three mast ship is amazing. The weather was wet and windy and we were warned that the deck could be slippery as we went aboard.

There are between 23 and 25 kilometers of rope, some natural and some synthetic, depending on the job it will be used for.

1000 pulleys

26 canons

We went below deck which was a bit crowded as a school group was being taken around. The stairs were very steep. Fortunately for me, there weren’t too many.

Masts and crow's nests are fascinating.

Some more views.

Back to the modern world.

There is a modern engine on the ship to confirm with the shipping laws of some countries. The Hermione will be visiting ports in the US from mid May and will arrive in New York for the 4th July.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Chicken Soup II

I left the soup in the fridge so that I could skim off the fat easily. Then I used a colander to drain the soup from the bits of chicken and vegetable (yes, I remembered to use a second saucepan so that I didn’t throw the stock down the drain). The chicken came away from the bones very easily. I whisked all the bits of veggies and chicken together in a blender and added the mixture to the stock. It was really good. Not as salty as I was expecting as I’m used to ready made soup. I have enough for today’s lunch and tomorrow. Rob will be home for lunch then and be able to have some too.

It’s not something that I would make if I had people round to eat, there is a lot of messy fiddling about in the middle stage. It’s a good way of using every tiny scrap of leftover chicken.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New grandpuppy

Christian and J have a new puppy. Isn’t he gorgeous? He’s a Jack Chi and very small. So now I have two grandchildren. We won’t be meeting him until the end of May.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chicken soup

Today I decided to try making chicken soup. It’s supposed to be really good for you. I looked up several recipes online and as there were many differences in the vegetables to include I put what I had. I remembered I had parsley in the garden so I added that too. The smell takes me back to my Granny’s stew. I’ll have to get some pearl barley for next time.

I hope that it’s good  for my soul.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sunsets, eclipses, tides...

Back in February I wrote about seeing an incredible sunset in the UK. It was on 7th February, I remember that because it was Christian’s birthday. Well a couple of weeks ago, exactly a month later on 7th March we were collecting a pizza one evening and again, there was an incredible sunset. The sky was on fire. I got my phone out and managed to get a couple of pics. The car one is wobbly because the road is so bumpy.

What a weekend we’re having. The start of spring, an eclipse and the highest tide of the century! Well, once every twenty years that is, but the media in this country are really boosting and boasting; Apparently the population of the world is gathered at the Mont Saint-Michel just to watch the sea come in this evening…

The weather is dull, grey, drizzly and cold

Monday, March 16, 2015

Giant Anemone

I don't understand what has happened here.  This flower is 45 centimetres tall while its siblings measure around 23 centimetres:

Some of the other anemones are tall, but not as tall and the petals are nowhere as big.