Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Get free Chili Peppers tickets!

If you live in the US you can get free tickets by filling in a brief survey. Yes, free tickets to see Red Hot Chili Peppers. This won’t be up for long so don’t hesitate.

(Déjà vu? You might have seen this post elsewhere. I’m putting it up on all of my sites. I wish I could go too)

Monday, June 26, 2006


These are the coffee cups Rob gave me for our wedding annversary. Haven't they got dinky handles?

On Golden Pond
I always wanted to see this film, but never got round to it. When MIL came she bought some free CDs from 'The Mail on Sunday' magazine and 'On Golden Pond' was amongst them. I sat and watched it on Saturday afternoon, well worth the 25 years wait. I love Katharine Hepburn, had she been British, I'm sure the queen would have made her a Dame.

Looking him up, I discovered that it was Doug McKeon's 40th birthday the other day. Doesn't time fly!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

An Umbrella Shop

Dom informs me that as it is called 'Fabrique', by law it means they must make them there. They had some lovely umbellas in the window.


Some more pics

I really enjoy checking out the stats for this blog, not just for the numbers so much, but for why people visit. This morning I see that my blog was translated into Chinese! Someone else came looking for 'naked woman in a superwoman outfit'. Not very logical and I wonder how I managed to come 9th out of 18600?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Spare a thought for the toilet cleaner
This weekend is our village Brocante/bootsale/garagesale. When I was a member of the school association I used to help out with the food over the weekend. This year Olivier and his friend have taken on the job of maintaining the toilets. Monsieur Pi Pi, as we say in French. I do hope that the good visitors to our village appreciate how fussy my son is. They have to keep the two toilets and wash basin clean and in exchange they charge a 20centimes entrance fee, which they can keep. I met Olivier on his way out early this morning, I was surprised that he was in such a good mood. He was very proud of the fact that they had been complimented on the cleanliness of the toilets. However, there had been one or two who refused to pay the entrance fee as it is a public toilet. They collected around 500 x 20centimes, can you imagine the state of the toilets if they hadn’t been maintained? It will be busier today, I hope it isn’t too hot for them.

We went and looked around for three hours yesterday morning. Rob found some great postcards and I bought 5 novels by Virginia Woolf for €5 (£3 or $6.25 approx). It was hot. Rob overheard someone urging her friend to go to the toilets as they are so clean!

Friday, June 16, 2006

She's still alive
Dom didn’t fall into a ditch or get abducted by aliens. Her exams that day went really well. She told me that, had she been late, she would have been disqualified and have to wait another year to retake her exams. Today is her last day; 4 hours of biology this morning (pray for genetics) and two hours of German this afternoon. She showed me the English paper, a very interesting text about a Jamaican teacher trying to get work in England The opening sentences were in bad English as the poor woman was confused and nervous, I bet that put a few people into a tizzy.
This evening Dom and friends are going out to celebrate freedom.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Something more cheerful
Christian phoned yesterday evening. He and MIL are coming to stay in September! They will be leaving on my birthday. It will make my birthday more special having them here for part of the day at least.

Nice to know that MIL is keen to come back so soon.
Most of you are still asleep
Dom started her exams this week. These are the big ones which will decide her future as regards university. Monday morning was philosophy. She went off on her bike, we wanted to take her in the car, but she insisted so that she could come straight home when she’d finished. She wrote seven pages on learning from life’s experiences and seemed pretty satisfied. Tuesday was a rest/revision day.

This morning she left the house at seven for a whole day of exams. At 7.25 she dashed back into the house, she’d forgotten her phone. She’d only got a quarter of an hour to get back there in time for the 20 minutes entry time before the exam. I have felt awful all morning: Firstly I imagined her unconscious in a ditch along the cycle path (I’ve already been through that one with Olivier). Then I imagined hysterical tears over the phone because they wouldn’t let her into the exam. I’ve also been dreading a phone call from the lycée wanting to know why she hasn’t turned up. Rob cycles along most of her route when he goes to work. He hasn’t phoned to announce finding her body, yet. The police haven’t knocked on the door to break the bad news. In theory, everything should be alright. In 35 minutes I can phone her to make sure she’s okay. Who’d be a mother on a day like this?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

From ants to famous in my own breakfast time
(via a duck)
On Saturday evening we ate lemon meringue pie. I must have spilt some while I was serving it because I noticed some on the floor on Sunday morning. When I got down on my hands and knees to clean it up I could see that it was swarming with miniature red ants. We don’t get many red ants around here, only black ones. In fact when I told a local that where I grew up we only ever had red ants, they were amazed.

In the summer my sisters and I liked to sunbathe in the garden whenever we got the chance. This involved observance of the lawn for ant hills as we used to lie on an old blanket. Most of the time we managed to burn, er, tan without being stung. Later there was another menace. We had a pet duck called Jemima, who was very friendly and attracted by the slices of cucumber I used to put over my eyes to protect them from the sun. She would also go everywhere in a straight line and if you happened to be lying in her path, tough. Poor Jemima came to a sad end not long after she took to going for walks along the road. She couldn’t walk through a lorry.

When I left home, in the early 80’s, I used to listen to the breakfast show on BBC radio 1. Mike Read was the DJ at the time. He was great fun and even broadcast one of his shows from my old school in Pershore. If he read out a letter the writer was awarded with a ‘Tea Hee’ mug. I think a book had been written or something about real men eating quiche and there was quite a debate about what made a ‘real’ man. Somehow the idea of hugging a duck came up so I sent off my photo to Mike to see if he thought I was a real man. I liked quiche and I’d recently been plastering and decorating, I has hugging a duck (Jemima) in the photo. I was amazed when he read out the whole of my letter over the air and thrilled when he nicely said that he didn’t think I was anything like a real man!

I’ve still got my ‘Tea Hee’ mug. It’s in the bathroom and we use it to keep toothbrushes and toothpaste tidy. When the children were small and I used to be awake really early I listened to Mike again. He was on The World Service giving away replacement singles to people who had interesting stories on how they had lost their favourite singles. I nearly wrote to him again, I lost my beloved copy of ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by the Kinks…..

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mystery solved
Do you remember, I wrote about Indian Brandy on 16th September 2003? (You don’t?). Over the last few years I’ve had lots of visitors looking for it. The other day I received an e-mail;

“HI.I was googling for indian brandy and got the same results as you .Then remembering my british childhood I recalled it was brandEE not BrandY.checked it out and sure enough --the old stomach remedy as remembered.”

Looking at the ingredients I would say that this could be the stuff. Thanks Rose!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

(1201st post)
For our second rail trip for €1, Rob and I decided to visit Poitiers. We know that it is a very interesting town historically, but it will also be Dom’s home for a few years from September onwards. We had to leave home early to get the cheap train and arrived in Poitiers just after nine o’clock. La Rochelle is more or less a flat town, so the steep climb up ‘a few’ stairs when we left the railway station to join the main town was a bit of a shock! It was worth it though. Lots of old streets and interesting buildings and not too many tourists. When we crossed the town and reached the river, Rob insisted we climb the 300 steps (so Dom says and I believe her) up to a statue of Mary which over looks the town. When he’s sorted out the photos I’ll publish a pic of my struggle to the top. The view was well worth the effort. If you remember, our trip to Saints at the beginning of April was spoilt by the cold. Yesterday was boiling hot. We did have a lovely day though. I was hoping to put in some links with pictures but you’ll have to do with this for now.

We arrived home at about 8 in the evening. Olivier had washed up at lunch time and tidied the bathroom, bless him. He even had his school report to show us, which was much better that he deserves. Yes, he is after something, one of these.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I'd like to welcome (you can too if you like) Neutron News to my blogroll. This is his personal blog but he also has an English as a Foreign Language teaching blog. I suddenly thought earlier, what if he happens to be one of Mr Teacher's colleagues from hell?

I've also corrected the link to Lyman's blog, I put in a link to a single post. I'm sorry about that, I feel as if it's as rude as calling someone by the wrong name. There is a real feel good post on May 31st 'Moving'. Well, I thought it was special anyway.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The last meal
As our favourite restaurant was changing hands we went for a final meal. This is what we ate. The Brittany ‘gallete’ is a little like a pizza or a Cornish pasty; it was an easy way for workers in the past to transport their food. Did you know that Cornish pasties originally had meat one end and fruit the other? A whole meal wrapped in pastry!

We took MIL to the leaving party. Lots of interesting nibbles and sangria to wash them down. The new owners assure us they won’t be making any changes to the menu. Hopefully we’ll be visiting the old owners in their new bar soon.