Friday, September 29, 2006

The Perfect Hostess
I’ve been reading ‘The Perfect Hostess’ by Rose Henniker Heaton, written in 1931. It’s very tongue in cheek and so funny. She says things like “It isn’t the menu that matters it’s the men you sit with” There are lots of little poems and it seems you just couldn’t have enough matches in those days. There are menu suggestions for visits from wealthy relatives, American visitors (it’s important to Be British), breakfast in bed for the bright young person and so on.
Here we are again
Another week has just flown by, I always seem to be saying that. I’ve just switched over to Blogger BETA which is nice as now I don’t have to wait hours when I publish something. I don’t know how but some sites seem to be bigger. (Nothing to do with Blogger) I’m quite happy with that as I’m getting old, I’ll have to see what the rest of the family think, although there are only really Rob and I on this computer. Poor Olivier, his new/old screen won’t let him see Flight Simulator properly. I’ve found a couple of sites to help him and Dom has sent her suggestions too. I hope that you all appreciate that future pilots start practising so young. Oh, and he looked up the Ré Island airport (our airport) on the game simulator and it is there and it does look like that. When he sorts out the problems with the screen he’s going to fly over the village and see if he can see our house!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The weekend went all too quickly
We picked Dom up at the station on Friday evening. The traffic was chaotic, all those students coming back for the weekend from Poitiers plus the 22nd was our day without cars (we started it in la Rochelle 10 or 11 years ago), so there was a lot of aggression from drivers who’d been deprived all day. I was expecting her to look really worn out. She looked full of beans, though she was starving, so my lasagne was appreciated. Her lecturers are all very nice, she told us, except for one who is boring. One of the days she has 15 minutes to get from one place to another and it takes half an hour, but other than that the timetable is cool. It sounds like she’s living on compote/apple sauce, real fruit is too expensive she tells me. I sent her back with a few supplies but as she doesn’t have a fridge it’s a bit difficult. She’d brought a book to read on the train but hadn’t looked at it as she discovered she was sitting next to someone on the same course, they met up for the ride home. I was sad when we got back from the station on Sunday evening, though it’s good to know that she couldn’t wait to go back.

I bought a long extension lead yesterday with 4 sockets and cut out if it overheats so that Olivier could set up the old computer in his room. Our electricity is different in the bedrooms so we only have two pin sockets. Someone had lend him an old monitor which seems huge! First go he had a blue screen but the second time it ran beautifully. Like me he had a lot of files so we shall be seeing what we can do about my stuff tonight. Once he’s dis-installed all the old stuff (there were two scanners and two printers on there), he’s going to have a lot of space for music and games. Hope he doesn’t forget his homework.

Next job is to get a key for wifi, I forgot to mention Dom installed the new AOL box for us before she left, bless her. I came up with a solution as he didn’t have any speakers, he’d made some at school last year, they didn’t fit, but some others he’d bought for some reason did. He wouldn’t have tried such a ‘stupid idea’ without my suggesting it. I’m a clever mum.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Is it the first day of Autumn?
Just recently I’ve been waking up in the night to see a blanket coming from above me to cover me over. As soon as I realise it’s dark and I wouldn’t be able to see it anyway, it disappears. Olivier told me that he came to see if I was okay the other night because I screamed (Rob was computing in the living room and didn’t hear). When he told me I did remember screaming and I remember the blanket had pretty patterns on it. Weird.

I went to the doctors on Monday because when I was eating my lunch my jaw hurt and the left side of my face swelled right up. I looked awful. Nothing too serious, just a blocked salivary gland. I’m on anti inflammatory drugs because there is a little rheumatism and sweet looking little tablets to make more saliva. Does rheumatism in the jaw mean I talk too much ?

We are collecting Dom from the station this evening. I’m making lasagne to celebrate. In her emails she says she’s having a great time, we’re really looking forward to hearing all about life as a student. I mustn’t ask too many questions, I mustn’t ask too many questions, I musn’t…..
Women out of work
Yesterday I attended a reunion for out of work women. The idea is that we will attend a five week course which includes three weeks of work experience. Work experience is easy to get apparently because companies are keen to have an extra worker for free for a while. I handed in the questionnaire that I had been given to fill in. My French spelling is hopeless so I don’t know what they will make of it. If I can’t teach I could do something in computers I think (ha ha). I didn’t sleep very well last night thinking about how useless I am, I know I’m not but that’s how I feel at 2.30 am when I can’t sleep. On 5th October I have to go for a day and they will teach me how to write my CV, AGAIN and see what they can do with me. Christian and MIL are coming for Christmas and it looks as if I might be on my course then – great (not). I’m not very positive today, am I?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I’m up to 30,000 visitors. I didn’t notice till I saw that I’d gone over by five, so I checked my stats and my visitor was Cassie-B. Thank you Cas and thanks to everyone who’s popped by over the last 3 years and 4 months.

To celebrate, this is what I looked like in January 2004. Does anyone remember that horrible mouse thing? It didn’t last long. I’d just started to fiddle around with the background colours, hence the strange appearance. If you want to look at yours got to the Wayback Machine.
In which everything starts going wrong
At the end of last week the electricity went off; the iron blew up. The washing/drying machine gets stuck on spin so I have to set the alarm to remind me to move it on. It doesn’t dry any more just makes everything hot and very wet. Sometimes it misses the final spin. Guess what is on my shopping list for next month?

I’d been struggling to unblock the bath as it was running out very slowly. I splashed out and bought a plunger (better than nasty chemicals and much cheaper). I cleared the blockage in about ten seconds. It was great. I’m actually looking forward to the next blocked drain!
She's gone
We took Dom off to Poitiers on Friday. She’ll be living on the forth floor, no elevator/lift. I knew that her room would be small but there were plenty of shelves and cupboards and a big desk, there is also a wash basin. It looked pretty dark and grim as the woodwork is dark and it was a dull rainy day, but when she sent a photo via Olivier’s phone once she’d made up her bed and arranged her books (most important part), it looked quite cosy. We didn’t stay for long as it was made clear to us that she had so much to do! We took her for brunch at McDonalds before we left. There were no eggs for the egg and bacon muffins!!!
Once she settled in I received yet another shopping list of things-to-get-when-she-comes-home-next-weekend. She sent me her timetable this morning, but from what she said, all that free time , and there is a lot of free time, will be spent working anyway.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Rob was having a good laugh yesterday. Out local paper had printed an article about the tourist attraction where he works (just right for the end of the season-not). His boss is quoted as saying; “At the end of the visit the public should want to leave”

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I try to keep my selling to a minimum on this site. But I really couldn’t resist telling you about these free gift cards. If you live in the US and are over 18 you might find these useful. They can be used online too.

and for the Ebayers there is a $250 Ebay gift card!

Monday, September 11, 2006

We haven't forgotten
I think we’ll always remember what we were doing on that day when the news came through. For us it was early afternoon, I was tidying up in the kitchen. Rob was online when the headlines came up on AOL and he called to me to switch on the TV. “There’s something happening in America” he said…

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Even more books
Jody put the idea into my head. Now you can see my favourite reads in one go. Isn’t it a pity I can’t do Amazon .com? I’ve put a link into the sidebar too, so that you can go and look any time you like.

Choo Choo!
We decided to go off for the afternoon to La Tranche Sur Mer. When the children were small it was our favourite place for a day at the ‘seaside’. Perhaps it was because the tide was out and because it was the end of the season, it’s just not the same any more. To cheer ourselves up we decided to take a trip on the train.

It’s amazing what you can learn on a little train ride. La Tranche doesn’t really go back much before the early fifties when the old wooden lighthouse, which was blown up in the war, was rebuilt. The soil is very sandy but despite that there are lots of allotments where vegetables are grown. You should have seen the beautiful pumpkins! Most of the houses are second homes and as the train driver didn’t point out any famous names we presume there isn’t anyone of note there. He seemed to toot and wave at everyone and most people waved back. He stopped and pointed out a restaurant where the best seafood is served all the year round and everyone dashed out to greet him (I wonder how much he was paid for that?). We were also taken through some forest which we didn’t know was there.

If we’d have been with Dom or Olivier they would never had let us go on the train, so perhaps it wasn’t so bad they don’t come with us anymore. After that we went and had steak and set off for our traditional walk on the jetty. It was closed off completely. It’s made of wood and I suppose is not safe anymore. I think the next time we go it will be with grandchildren, we’ll certainly take them on the train

Thursday, September 07, 2006

How did she do it?
The ventilator on Dom’s laptop died so that it doesn’t work anymore. She’d done quite a bit of writing – new book – and now it’s lost. The main idea was in long hand but she had developed the plot. She’d almost persuaded herself to buy a new one so it didn’t take much for her to run out and buy one. Now Rob wants one too!

This weekend she’s off to Paris for the weekend with friends ( how come my children cultivate friends with swimming pools AND a pied à terre in Paris?). Laptop has to go too as no student is complete without his/her laptop. So, of course, I’m fussing about the train and the metro, I’m sure she will have everything stolen or get attacked or something. I went to Paris for the weekend when I was young and my mum didn’t fuss at all( hence the title of this post) and I was going to a foreign country!

She’ll also go to Disney Land while she’s there. I regret not having the means to take them there when they were small. Perhaps we’ll take the grandchildren when we have some.
All good things come at once.
On Tuesday we took Dom to Poitiers to enrol and so I missed Zoe on the BBC! Fortunately I can listen to her here (Scroll down to the 5th september 'My boyfriend is a twat'). She’s talking about blogging.

We allowed four hours and got there in three. The first part of the journey was in the dark, so wasn’t very interesting, at least there wasn’t much traffic. We arrived at around 8 o’clock, despite getting a little lost on the way. The campus looked lovely and peaceful at that hour in the morning; there are lots of trees and grassy areas. Dom had all of her papers ready so we didn’t need to stay long. Everyone we met was very friendly and enthusiastic We walked along and looked at the building where her room will be. It doesn’t look too bad. Buses stop to go into town every ten minutes. She has to go back for the day on the 13th to get her timetable and go on a guided tour, meet people etc.

Olivier seems to be reasonably happy about his lycée. Unfortunately, Tuesday was his first full day and he had to get himself up and out of the house as we weren’t there. He was really tired when he arrived home on Tuesday evening. It’s very hot here at the moment and a 12 hour day was, shall we say, difficult. There are no girls in his class!

I spent yesterday writing out letters so I could send three CVs out this morning. At three this morning a bottle of fizzy rosé exploded, clearing up glass and wine is not my idea of fun at that hour. It’s the second bottle of the same wine to explode in a week, I wonder what they are putting into it?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Time and Oft
I thought that you might like to visit my nearly new blog. I started up this blog so that I could share some of the vintage postcards that interest me and write a little about them. Now I don't feel so sad when Rob puts them up for sale.

Friday, September 01, 2006

This 'n that
Dom has finally got her laptop. She came home with it on Wednesday afternoon. She still needs this one to go on line for the time being. We’re waiting for the wifi bits and pieces to arrive. She spends quite a lot of her computer time writing, so I have longer to write, visit and tweak. Did I mention that she’s finished her first book? It just needs printing out and sending to the publishers. I haven’t been allowed to read it yet. On Tuesday we’re taking her to Poitiers to enrol. The appointment is before 9 o’clock, I think and it will be at least three hours drive.

Olivier starts lycée on Monday afternoon. I hope he gets up okay on his own on Tuesday. He said he’ll be okay, like he was when he was on toilet duty in June. There won’t be a financial motivation this time though, we shall see.

This new keyboard is driving us ga-ga. The shift key has to be pressed hard to work. I have to keep going back and correcting capitals and full stops. Dom installed real Word for us, thank goodness. You don’t miss the spell checker until you haven’t got it.
September 1st already!!!
September was called ‘gerst-monath’, Barley month by the Anglo-Saxons; I found this motto, which suits me down to the ground, considering the sunny weather we are having today:

“Fair on September first, fair for the month.”

The light here seems to change in September, not so harsh as the rest of the summer.