Saturday, December 22, 2007

Safe and sound

I had a very busy week supervising exams and this morning Rob and I went into town to do a little last minute Christmas shopping and pick Dom up from the station. The man at the Irish Counter very nicely gave me a free plastic carrier bag as I had a flimsy bag from another shop that was going to break. He said as long as I walked round town a lot with it he didn’t mind. (Don’t worry I always use plastic bags till they fall into holes.)

A couple of mornings last week I arrived at the big car park just after seven. The fairground is there at the moment but I suppose everyone was asleep at that hour, so the car park was deserted. I thought that I would feel more afraid to get out of the car than I did but it was fine. The closer I got to the park there were a few more people about, though mainly women like me, on their own. I didn’t want to go through the park so I used the underpass by Dom’s old Lycée. It’s really well lit inside and at either end. I was amazed at how secure I felt.

The Return of the Pink Panther Cork

In the interests of scientific research, I bought another bottle of the pink corked wine. Now I can tell you that it is called “Les Recoltes d’Adrien” and is a Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot. It’s a wine from the Atlantic coast of France and on the back it says it’s robe(?) is of pale rose petals. Its scent is of strawberry with note of liquorice, caramel and menthol ( menthol??). It is supple and rounded. Personally I think that it is a little mediocre, but chilled on a hot day it would be very welcome. As it didn’t cost that much I would say you get what you pay for.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It rattles my cage!!

I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve reached the age of 52 and I think that my eyesight has done pretty well up to now. However, I do not see as well as I used to in the dark. I don’t like driving in the dark. I find it difficult to cope with on coming headlights and lights shining in the rear view mirror.

This is the point I’d like to make: If you ride a bicycle or a moped without lights, how can you expect to be seen? Especially when you have a menopausal woman behind the wheel who can hardly see anyway. If you are reading this and ride a bike in the dark without lights remember you are almost invisible. It’s like the disappearing Statue of Liberty trick that David Copperfield does. The difference is, it’s a lot easier to knock someone off their bike.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Seeing Pink

I had a bright pink cork in some wine this week. And that was before I’d had a drink…

One week later...

Yet another busy week has passed by. On Monday I had a meeting at the school of commerce were I supervise exams. The old boss is back from maternity leave . She said exactly the same as her replacement but in a much pleasanter tone. We got paid for going to the reunion too. For the next couple of weeks I’ll be out supervising, there are a couple of mornings where I start at 8 and finish after one o’clock. I must remember to put a snack into my bag – I thought that cheese and fruit would be best.

I’ve put the Christmas tree up, Rob and Olivier aren’t interested at all this year. Anyway I think it looks beautiful.

Other than that mostly I’ve been working on the cards and writing revues of websites. Perhaps it’s winter, but I don’t feel much like doing anything else at the moment.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December already

This is the December page of my Tahiti calendar

I’m ashamed that I left my blog for so long without posting. MIL has gone home now after her stay. We get along very well and talk and talk and talk…

I like this quote
“In December keep yourself warm and sleep.” what sensible advice.

To make up for reproducing a page from the calendar without permission here is a link so that you can see the other Tahitian products for sale.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to those passing by who celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving to those who don’t too. I’m sure we all have at least one little thing to be thankful for – have a think about it.

I’m busy preparing for a visit from MIL. She’s coming tomorrow for nearly a week. As Dom isn’t here she’ll be sleeping in her room, normally she sleeps in the living room, so this time she’ll have some privacy. I have to go and collect her from the airport tomorrow evening.

I’m the 50 something lady who always stops just too far away to get the ticket into the machine at the car park barrier. I’m sure you’ve seen me all over the world.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A true star

Visitor number 40,000 came via Google and was looking for Patchwork Stars! Thank you to everyone who contibuted to all of the other 39,999 visits.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Toasty :: When I was a child we'd make toast on the open fire in the winter, with lots of butter mmmmm.

  2. Allegations :: accused

  3. Herb :: cookery

  4. Bacon :: and eggs

  5. Neck to neck :: equal

  6. Simon :: Garfunkel

  7. Heels :: feet

  8. Fundamentals :: basics

  9. Middle :: average

  10. Seasonings :: peppercorns

If you'd like to play

Special Saturday

Yesterday was a very good day for me. It started off with my visit to the post office to post off postcards to customers and then collect the post (a lot of ‘posts’ in that sentence – sorry). I had a surprise package with very beautiful handwriting indeed! When I got home and opened it up it was a letter from Keith plus a book on “Good Handwriting” which he had used more than half a century ago in the past to improve his handwriting. And it wasn’t even my birthday. Thank you Keith!

The day went well too.

In the evening as the sun was going down, Rob and I went for our usual walk to the sea and witnessed a really beautiful sunset. The sea was calm and reflected the red of the sky. The water on the marsh was blood red. It was really cold and the sky was clear. We kicked ourselves for not having a camera with is. We often have lovely sunsets but that one was exceptional.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Excitement in our street

The man across the road sometimes has a bonfire of cuttings from his garden. This week he chose a dry day without wind, perfect for the job. I saw the bonfire start to burn and wondered into another room. Olivier joked that I wouldn’t be much use if he set fire to himself. (he has a strange sense of humour at the moment)

A few minutes later I could see very bright flames indeed through the yellow glass of the front door. One of his tall trees had caught fire. It was very spectacular. Rob went out and asked if he should call the fire brigade, but the man didn’t seem too worried.

I now have the view of a giant stick of charcoal from the kitchen window.

Excitement in our street

The man across the road sometimes has a bonfire of cuttings from his garden. This week he chose a dry day without wind, perfect for the job. I saw the bonfire start to burn and wondered into another room. Olivier joked that I wouldn’t be much use if he set fire to himself. (he has a strange sense of humour at the moment)

A few minutes later I could see very bright flames indeed through the yellow glass of the front door. One of his tall trees had caught fire. It was very spectacular. Rob went out and asked if he should call the fire brigade, but the man didn’t seem too worried.

I now have the view of a giant stick of charcoal from the kitchen window.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Biting the bullet

Like a lot of people I put off going to the dentist for as long as possible. Having put two children through the ordeal of wearing braces for several years, dentist waiting rooms are not my idea of fun places to hang out. You can imagine how shocked I was this week to discover that it’s two and a half years since I had a check up.

A lot of cleaning up needed to be done as my teeth are squashed together but I didn’t need any treatment!

Enjoy what you're doing and get paid

I think most people who visit this blog regularly will realise that I also try to make a little money on the side. blog advertising is a way of earning money for bloggers which seems to be increasing in popularity. It can also serve to increase search engine ratings as you add links to your posts.

I’ve recently joined up with Smarty and have already written one or two reviews for them. Smarty ask for blog posts between 150 and 400 words, which isn’t too much if you’re writing on some of the interesting proposals which can come your way. You are provided with a home page where you can see offers suitable for your blog. So far there has always been something there for me. If you accept an offer you have 3 days to submit your post. All of the instructions and rules are clearly explained. The best part is that you can get paid for blogging once a week.

19 years old today

Happy Birthday Dom !

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bad news week

Recently we cancelled the local paper as ‘nothing ever happens around here’ and we didn’t have time to read it anyway. Last week there was a house fire in the village and a lady living on her own has been made homeless. She’s been helped by our friends at the campsite who have installed her in one of their cabins. We walk a lot but the burned down house doesn’t appear to be in the parts of the village where we go. Olivier doesn’t know where it is either.

The second piece of news was very sad. For around twenty years a homeless lady, Marie-Ange, has been more or less camped outside the smallest department store in la Rochelle. The story goes that she used to work at the store and her boyfriend /husband would meet her everyday after work. One day he stopped coming and she started to drink and I presume lost her job and spent her time waiting for him. This week she wasn’t asleep outside the store she was dead.

La Rochelle is a town where there are a lot of big houses and wealthy people and it’s considered very chic to live here. There is another side to life…

Friday, November 09, 2007

Not much going on...

I really haven’t felt like writing much recently. Nothing much has been going on, Dom went back to Poitiers on Sunday and Olivier went back to lycée yesterday. Rob and I have been really busy with the postcards, we don’t have time for much else.

Do you remember I mentioned breast cancer in my post about my visit to the Swedish Chef? I was talking to Dom about what he said and she told me that it was something she was worried about. When she was 5 or 6 years old (she'll be 19 next week) someone came to the house and asked us to sign a petition against extending the airport. One of the things he said (in front of the children) was that because of aviation pollution more girls would have breast cancer when they grew up. It stayed in Dom’s memory and I remember him saying it too. I hope what I told her the other day reassures her.

I did find something to say after all.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I was looking up what to write about November from my ‘Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’ and I discovered that November 11th used to be the date regarded as the beginning of winter.

‘If there’s ice in November that will bear a duck,
There’ll be nothing after, but sludge and muck.’

If we get any frost here at all officially it’s not until after the November 15th . The first year we moved here snow got into the roof. We discovered that it doesn’t officially snow here and builders weren’t obliged to put in any protection; the regulations were changed the year after.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Now, where was I?

I’m not sure where the time has gone this week but wherever it went, it went quickly. I’ve been very busy with the postcards as usual. Rob and I have been trying to get out for more and longer walks. Though it’s cold, the weather has been really sunny. I didn’t think the autumn colours would be so special this year but on the way back from La Rochelle this morning, there really was every shade of brown, red, orange and yellow imaginable.

It’s holiday time again here, so I have Olivier home and Dom is staying for a few days. Dom is still enjoying life in Poitiers and I got to wash her ‘psycho’ t-shirt. (goes with the association for psychiatric students).

This morning was my annual visit to the Swedish Chef. He was an hour behind with his appointments and really apologetic. Everything is well in that department and he sent off the usual tests to Bordeaux. He also told me that my breasts are the type which are at low risk for cancer. You see, there are advantages to having small ones!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Personalised Number Plates

Number plates have been required on cars by law in the UK since 1903. At first only a single letter was used. The system has been adjusted several times since in order to provide enough letter and number combinations for all of the vehicles now in use. Lots of families in the UK have enjoyed long journeys finding words from the number plates on passing cars. Many people like to own Personalised Number Plates for their cars with words or combinations which mean something special to them.

Northumbria Numbers was established in 1995 and can help you to find the number plate for you. They will even carry out all of the paper work required for the transfer. The website also contains lots of fascinating information such as the ins and outs of transferring number plates, the law, and the history of Number Plates.

This is a sponsored post

Sunday, October 21, 2007


This is what our newspaper called Nicolas Sarkozy the other day. I remember asking myself 'just what does the French president do' in the past because we only saw M. Chirac on special occasions. M. Sarkozy seems to be getting involved in anything and everything. It must really annoy his staff. I used to know the names of the French prime ministers, but this time I don’t, because the president is very high profile.

Just in case he does happen on my blog (he is a blogger and perhaps he is a member of Blogmad or Blogexplosion and he's the same age as me), my husband works for a government department. Recently if his salary slip runs to two pages he receives them in two envelopes. Think of the money and paper which could be saved…..

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh No!

Someone visited looking for 'what happens to spiders when they are hoovered?' I do hoover them up but I haven't gone as far as emptying the dust bag to see their fate. - Sorry.

Bits and pieces

A couple of things to write about this evening:

If you’ve ever fancied the idea of holidaying in Greece pop along and read Neutron’s day to day exploits as he revisits Greece.

A film made by Dove and some interesting information on how little girls are brainwashed into thinking that they must become perfect. If you watch until the end you’ll see an interesting make over. Visitors from the US might have seen this already. They seem to talk as if all this is something new, but 30 years ago I admit that I lived on 500 carefully counted calories a day until I got down to my ‘ideal’ weight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My name

Some one sent me a payment for a postcard and this is the handwriting they used for the envelope. In purple ink too!

Wish I could write like that....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sleep well

Last week Zoe wrote about how her bed had collapsed. I was pleased to read that it happens to other people too. When it happened to us, Rob and I bought ourselves a king bed. I recommend to Zoe to do the same. Smaller beds just don’t make the grade if you’ve slept in King Beds. I’ve recently discovered that there are Queen Beds too and that the most traditional style is known as a Sleigh Bed. Perhaps a sleighbed is the type of bed to treat yourself to with Christmas coming up!

This is a sponsored post

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Every blogroll tells a story

I was going to write this post a few days ago, before the latest round of bad news. My blogroll is squashed down at the bottom now, but everyone is still there. Most of you are well and carrying on as normal, there have been some changes.

In August around the 2nd or 3rd Isaac Stolzfut disappeared. He could have gone for a walk, every thing was left as it he’d just popped out. His grandson Adam has been keeping us up to date, but Isaac hasn’t been seen since.

Patch seems to have disappeared too, though I suspect he’s getting on with the rest of his life like he should. I did try writing an email too him a while back but his email box was full.

Zoe is dealing with being a famous writer and celebrity and now the parents of up and coming bloggers will be using her as an example of what you can achieve if you post regularly to your blog.

Leslie needs all the encouragement she can get for the next chapter of her life

Thursday, October 11, 2007

And there I was - gone

I had my three monthly appointment at the Doctor’s yesterday evening. I had mentioned it to both Rob and Olivier, though I didn’t know the time of my appointment until later in the morning. While I was in the waiting room reading a 6 year old copy of Madame Figaro my phone started to ring, as usual it had stopped by the time I found my phone in the bottom of my bag. I quickly sent Rob a text to tell him where I was and turned off the phone.

My appointment went well, by the way, and the Doctor is continuing to heap praises on me for keeping my blood sugar under control without the help of insulin etc.

When I arrived home I discovered that I’d really been missed. I don’t think they quite got as far as reporting me to the police as a missing person, but they were worried. It’s quite boosted my ego to know that I’m loved.

(I think that there was something about them needing feeding but I’ve left that out so the story sounds better)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not easy being a man

Olivier really made me laugh out loud yesterday evening. He was trying on a pair of Rob’s shoes and needed the shoe-horn. Our shoe-horn was brought back from Norway when Rob visited his relatives there when he was a boy. It’s quite long and at the top is a moose’s head complete with antlers. Olivier was having quite a struggle when he announced,: “You have to watch your b***s when you use this thing”.

I’ve never had any problems with it….

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Some useful advice if ever I saw any:

‘In October dung your field
And your land it’s wealth shall yield.’

From The country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

Monday, October 01, 2007


Don’t forget that if you are visiting and you are from the UK, you can now order Zoe’s book. She’s very famous you know. Just scroll down to my Amazon Ad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Say "cheese"

I really shouldn’t be nibbling while I’m on the computer, but we can get a most amazing cheese at the moment. It’s called Mediterranean Gouda. It’s got all sort of teeny bits in it. I don’t understand how something that is supposed to come from Holland can be called Mediterranean. There you go…

Hair Straighteners

If you live in the UK and use hair straighteners you might be interested in the special offer of cheap ghd hair straighteners. At the moment there are 9 different offers. If you are unsure which one to buy Paul Paterson is on hand to guide you in your choice of iron. It’s possible to save up to $45 on some models.

This is a sponsored post

Saturday, September 22, 2007

See you next summer, perhaps

Although I knew about it already I didn’t know the whole story. The Chain Tower (Tour de la Chaîne) in La Rochelle is closed for refurbishments and will reopen in May for the celebrations of Quebec’s 400th anniversary. So if you’re coming over next summer all the way from Quebec you will probably see Rob and you may even meet Dom. I love the French Canadian accent.

Friday, September 21, 2007

How they get in

I know how the spiders get into the house. Like everyone else they come through the front door. Olivier came in one morning and a big one shot round the door frame. I went out to get the newspaper yesterday and one huge one walked in as bold as brass. I shoo-ed him out with the newspaper and he went off down the steps in a huff. This morning I opened the front door and a small (fortunately for me) spider was dangling down from the frame at eye level. I wish they’d learn that our house is ‘invitation only’ this winter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stars in my eyes

Recently, when the sky has been clear just before it gets light, there has been a planet visible low down over in the East. It really is bright and shiny. This morning I remembered that Rob has some very good binoculars so I got them out (dusted them off) and had a look. I was amazed to see that there were craters visible on the surface. Does anyone know which planet I can see?

I dream of storage space

Since I came to live in France I never seem to have had enough storage space. Our house seems to be over run with ‘useful’ objects and if I dare to throw anything out you can bet a use for it will turn up the next day. has a huge range of storage bins for all sorts of needs. I love those units with lots of little drawers, just right for all of Rob’s Christmas decorations. Have I ever mentioned those? At the moment they spend most of the year in cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes. A neat row of little yellow drawers is just what I need.

Then there are my teaching props, Rob’s coin collection, garden tools, toy cars, out of season clothes and accessories……

This is a sponsored post.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A bit of culture

We had breakfast on the port this morning, followed by the surprise. As the monuments are free today, lots of other visits are organised all over the town. Rob decided that a visit to the railway station would be a good idea. We learnt about the old station and that this month is the 150th anniversary of the railway system coming to La Rochelle. Unfortunately, Rob and I already knew quite a bit about the old station because of our interest in postcards. We could only visit the outside of the ‘new’ (opened in 1922) station because the French railways are very strict about having the public going all over the place. The visit was a bit of a disappointment.

This week has been the week of the television festival, which used to be held at Saint Tropez. While we were learning about the station some of the festival cars arrived to deliver the stars to the Paris Train. I didn’t recognise anyone, except for our favourite ex TV news reader Bruno Masure. Rob had seen him during the week when he visited the towers, but hadn’t got round to asking for an autograph. In fact we got his autograph about 20 years ago and he wrote us a little note with it. I presume he was covering the festival for one of the French newspapers. Checking his biography on Wikipedia I see that he is on the radio now and that he used to present the news wearing slippers which is why he always seemed so relaxed, I suppose.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


If your husband offers to drive you somewhere and drops you off in the car park. If you come out half an hour later with your purchases and get into the car. If your husband has parked by a concrete edge because there is a cute baby tree that offers no shade at all. Then if he drives off in a straight line and hits the concrete: It rips a hole in the tyre.

We then spent another half hour changing the wheel (I read the instructions). We nearly had to call out the garage because we couldn’t undo the screws, eventually Olivier did it by kicking the winder thing with the bottom of his foot. Fortunately the spare was okay, though it’s not the same make.

The car has to go for a service soon anyway so we now know that we must buy a new tyre, if not two or even three…

Friday, September 14, 2007

A 'This 'n That' update

We set off early yesterday morning in order to take Dom back to Poitiers. Last school year we took and collected her on a dark rainy day, so it was very pleasant to see the place where she lives in sunshine. She’s in a different block this year, though her room is exactly the same but painted white, it looks much more cheerful. She's on the forth floor again, I found it hard going carrying things up the stairs (three trips). I need more exercise! In her block is the library – her library apparently as she’s applied to be president of the library committee this year. What more could a bookworm want (except perhaps a bigger library)? The part of the block she’s in is all girls, she thinks it will be quieter, Ha!

The house seems very quiet now and when I was putting away some of her clothes it looks like she’s forgotten to take socks. Fortunately shops in Poitiers sell socks too. We had a lovely summer, Dom has really grown up in the last year and is great company, I will really miss her. They were very pleased with her work in the towers too.

Olivier seems to be settling back into lycée okay, but he doesn’t like being educated against his will. He was even cheerful this morning when I went in to wake him up. This year there are girls in his class too, perhaps that is why. He’s got a theatre trip coming up – I do feel sorry for the teacher who will be responsible for that evening.

There was a hire truck parked down the road yesterday evening. Looks like one of our neighbour’s daughters is moving out. He has brought 3 of his children up by himself since his wife walked out the week before Christmas about 6 years ago (she has them from time to time when it suits her). It must be very difficult for him because she’s done her best to turn the children against him. Hope the moving out daughter comes back to visit from time to time.

We have the most lovely weather here at the moment, though the mornings are cold. everything is still lush and green because of all the rain at the beginning of August. I hoovered up my first big spider of the season the other day, though it was a small big one. There are quite a few smaller spiders around too.

The monuments in France are free to enter this weekend. Rob isn’t working (he makes a point of avoiding the chaos), so he’s arranged a surprise visit somewhere for me on Sunday morning. Hope the weather stays nice Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


This is a true feel good story: A thief somewhere in France had a surprise when he tried to steal a packet of cigarettes from a blind man. The victim just happened to be the handicap world judo champion. He held the thief down until the police arrived.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back to school

It’s been a very stressful time here at the Knutsen residence. Olivier returned to school on Tuesday afternoon. Of course I was the one biting my fingernails down to the quick. I made something special for lunch before he left (the condemned man eats his last meal). Unfortunately we gave one of his friends a lift and I messed up getting onto the ring road because there was so much traffic. If you read this and are planning on having children in the future, find out if it’s possible to fast forward their adolescent stage.

Dom is fine, planning what to take when she goes back to Poitiers next week. I’ve never worried about Dom like I’ve worried about the boys, she always seems to know where she’s going. She’s a very lucky person.

Best wishes

Mary Lou is in hospital as she’s been rather tired lately and now they are sorting her out. I think that getting her revenge on Phyllis for the photo will spur her on to a quick recovery. Please pop by and say ‘Hello’.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sushi time!

Dom is a great fan of Sushi and every time she eats out it seems to be what she chooses. Since the beginning of the summer she’s been offering to take me out for a Sushi. Yesterday we finally went out together. First of all we spend an agreeable hour looking for shoes for her. There really are some lovely boots around at the moment, all I have to do is loose some weight to get my calves into them.

We went to a restaurant by the port that Dom knows and trusts, so I asked her what the name if the restaurant means. (She knows a little Japanese and Chinese). She couldn’t tell me because the restaurant was Vietnamese. I had the menu so that I could try everything sushi and have some meat too. Dom chose Chinese food for a change.

As Dom says, it’s a bit strange at first, so I’ll have to try it again. I do know that I really liked the cabbage salad I was given with the soup. I found the sticky rice a bit strange but the fish was nice. I ate 95% of my food with chop sticks!

We didn’t wait for the bus but walked back out of town to where I had parked the car. For a change it was sunny and the buddleias were full of peacock butterflies.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

For the weekend

This is what we want to hear girls!

Not off to the circus

When we went shopping on Monday, Dom and I spent enough money to get free tickets to the circus which is camped at the side of the car park. The cashier was really pleased to announce this happy event to us, we just smiled politely. I’ve never liked circuses, I feel that it’s humiliating for the animals and any I’ve seen close up look miserable and unhealthy (when the circus comes to l’Houmeau the animals are tethered in the park).

Dom has been studying punishment and reward as part of her course and circus animals came into it. So she told me about some of the nasty tricks they use. Yesterday I came across this site. I feel I should pass it on to as many people as possible. The video is in English with French subtitles so please don’t be put off by the French site.

It is quite shocking.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Don't go shopping with a psy.

Dom accompanied me for the weekly shop this morning, she’ll soon be going back to Poitiers and was looking around for odds and ends (for mum to pay for no doubt). When we got to the till she was very helpful but would insist on giving everything a category. For example there was ‘dead stuff’ which was mainly meat; then ‘heavy stuff’, ‘lighter stuff’ and then ‘phallic stuff’ which consisted of anything from deodorant to cucumbers. She explained that this is what you get when you take a psychologist shopping with you. Thank goodness no one could understand what we were talking about.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another "Sunday" post: Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Uneven :: lumpy

  2. Wonder :: awe

  3. Spider :: legs

  4. Emma :: Jane Austin

  5. Swing :: saxaphone

  6. Orbit :: space ship

  7. Flirt :: 'naughty'

  8. Donation :: gift

  9. Veil :: nuns

  10. Atmosphere :: fresh air

If you'd like to join in visit here

It is Sunday!

There is a new quiz game coming to French TV in September, you’ve probably seen it, "Are people as clever as the average ten year old?" or something like that:

OLIVIER: Did you know that more Americans know who Ronald McDonald is than know who Jesus was?

ANJI: Do you know who Jesus was?

ROB: Jesus was the son of God.

OLIVIER: Don’t be ridiculous, God didn’t have children!

ANJI: (amazed that she could remember it all)l “God so loved the world…..”

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Try again

For those who had problems with the Funny Ads site try it will take you to the same place, hopefully....

Banner problem

Nothing much is happening around the Knutsen residence at the moment. It’s been rather wet and windy over the past few days and I’ve been working hard on the postcards. I’m trying to make a banner to lead to our ebay list. I’ve created the image but I’ve now got to work out how to make it lead to where I want it to go. Other people do it so I should be able to work it out. Any ideas?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Funny ads

I get this every week. You must watch the LA County Fair one if you havn't seen it - if it's still up. Watch them all!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Red Alert

I was watching TV last night around 10 o’clock when we had a red band appear on the screen. I’ve only ever seen this once before. A 5 year old boy had disappeared in the Paris region, last seen with a man with his arm in plaster. Dom told me this morning that by the time the midnight bulletin came round the boy had been found safe and sound. The man has been in prison before (what for we don’ know) and was wearing a blue plaster cast.

It’s good to know the system works, isn’t it?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Being in the right place at the right time...

Or being in the wrong place at the wrong time…

Dom was working here last week when a member of the public came down the stairs and told her that someone was going to throw himself off the top of the tower. He was quite calm so Dom thought that he was joking at first. He insisted that he wasn’t, so she ran all the way to the top. She found the man and managed to calm him down and persuade him to go downstairs with her. Then he ran away. She reported what had happened to her superior who notified the police. We’ve looked in the newspaper everyday and no reports of a suicide locally so hopefully he’s okay.

When she started work Rob told her that the job would be rich in case studies for her, but I don’t think meant that kind of thing. The last suicide attempt from that tower was in the early 90s. No one works there now from that epoch and the archives of the local paper online don’t go back that far.

The Forest Rangers

You know what I’m like, things suddenly pop into my head. Well, this morning it was The Forest Rangers. Do you remember them? I seem to remember watching them on Saturdays. I’ve discovered that I was between 8 and 11 years old at the time.

They’ve recently had a reunion. Joe Two Rivers was my favourite character and here he is today. More information and pics here. I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers them.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dream time

Olivier had a strange dream, he dreamt that Rob bought me a motorbike, a big one like a GoldWing. I was hopeless on it and kept nearly falling off it. When I wanted to turn a corner I’d let go of the handlebars. When I offered Olivier a test drive – he woke up!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Highs and lows and a clicky thumb

Hopefully we’ll settle into more of a routine; The computer seems to be working better than before (touch wood). I (meaning me by myself) installed Firefox, why didn’t we use it before?

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Doctors for my three monthly check up and I was congratulated all round for my excellent results. He even drew me a picture to demonstrate why I’ve got a clicky thumb. He’s really pleased that I control my blood sugar levels with diet, though I can’t say that I make an enormous effort. He forgot to tell me I need to lose some weight.

Two evenings ago we went for our usual evening stroll to the beach and on the way back I started to feel very strange indeed. I felt like I couldn’t walk straight and that I wasn’t really there, I was sweating quite a bit too which I put down to hot flash. When I got home I tested my sugar level and it was really low 58 mg/dL (or 3.19 mmol/L) , no wonder I felt weird. I ate a banana and a small piece of cheese and after 20 minutes I was up to 114mg/dL (or 6.27 mmol/L). Needless to say I took some sugar cubes to bed with me just in case. I had spaghetti bolognaise to eat that evening which is not out of the ordinary and usually gives a normal reading. Perhaps it’s my age?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Chez Anji

I found this video clip on You tube. It's of L'Houmeau beach. This is where I live, so I thought you'd like to see it.

The film has been made by someone concerned about the dangers of windsurfing. The beach is steep and tricky if the tide is low. If you happen here because you are planning to come to L'Houmeau for a holiday, don't swim when there is a low tide, there are still some old oyster beds which you could injure yourself on.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


This is the August picture on my Tahitian calendar. I hope you’re having good weather where ever you are. It’s hot and sunny here. Rob and I went for a late walk a couple of evenings ago and saw the moon rise. It was huge and pinky gold, a real harvest moon, very romantic.

Rob had a visit from his expupil who sent us the calendar. They have just been home for a break and have gone back for another years slog in Tahiti! He gave us a calendar for 2008 and some playing cards. It was nice of them to think of us.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bits & pieces

Dom has started to take an interest in tea since she left home. One of the teas she’s given me to try is lemon pie flavour. It really is delicious. When you first make it, it smells just like freshly baked lemon meringue pie. A lot of people find they need quite a lot of sugar in it but I really enjoy it without. She’s also taken to drinking coffee. One of her friends has given her a small coffee maker so now we have ‘real’ coffee instead of instant. I went shopping this morning and came back tired and harassed and there was the beautiful smell of freshly brewed coffee to greet me…..

Both Olivier and Dom have friends who’ve grown beards recently. It makes me feel old or are boys starting to shave earlier?

One of the fields on the way to the sea is a sunflower field this year. On the road which doesn’t allow cars people have carved faces in the sunflowers. There are all sorts of expressions, it’s like an army of happy people.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Traditional :: old world

  2. Popeye :: the sailor man

  3. Gin :: fizz

  4. Harsh :: without pity

  5. Topless :: boobs

  6. The thing :: a film

  7. Defiant :: rebellious

  8. Huge :: enormous

  9. Food :: time to eat!

  10. Lenny :: Henry

It always comes round so quickly!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The new me

This is the photo Rob took for me to use for my blogs etc. What do you think?

Monday, July 23, 2007

In which I try flying

On Saturday morning we were off early with the computer and I went through the front door trying to put my phone into the little pocket made for it in my bag. I landed flat on my face because I missed the step. Rob insisted we went off straight away so I didn’t have time to soak my ankle in cold water. It didn’t hurt too much but swelled up like a tennis ball. In the evening I discovered grazed knees and elbow and I still ache all over today.

The last time I tried flying from the same step I was 8 months pregnant with Olivier, I somehow managed to flip my body over and landed on my back that time

What Anji Did Next

Rob was using the computer on Friday afternoon when there was a bang and the smell of burning. The fuse blew too. On Saturday morning we took it back to after sales as it was still under guarantee. Hopefully we should have it back in two weeks. Please, please, please let the memory be okay. I’ve got so much stuff stored on it, pages and pages of writing. I always meant to record it onto a disc but never got round to it. Now I’m struggling on a laptop. I know I’ll get used to it but….

There goes my fridge

What Anji Did

Rob was on holiday last week so I didn’t get near the computer. The bar on my fridge broke off so now I can’t store any bottles or boxes in the door (the first bar broke off about 18 months ago). The fridge is over 20 years old and the ice box door broke off within the first few moths of the life of the fridge. It hasn’t had a door handle for ten years. We planned to buy a new fridge next month – at long last!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Noggin the Nog and Oliver Postgate

At lunch time today I listened to Desert Island Discs as usual. A famous person is asked to choose the 7 pieces of music they’d like to have with them if they were ship wrecked on a desert island. It was a great pleasure to me and I’m sure millions of others, that today’s guest was Oliver Postgate. Do you remember Noggin the Nog, (I have my copy open in front of me as I write and you might just get a quote) Bagpuss (I was too old), Ivor the Engine, The Clangers, The Pogles, Pogles Wood?. Peter Firmin drew things for him and he made his films in the most incredible conditions. I remember his lovely voice and it was a pleasure to hear his choice of music.

They played the piece of music that had been written for Graculus in Noggin the Nog when he returned to where he was born.

“Perhaps you dreamed it Graculus,” said Noggin.
“Dreamed it? Perhaps I did but I know that it I fly over there to the right of the sun I shall see a lake of salt water among tall trees” Graculus craned his neck as if to see over the mountain. “There are fish in the lake,” he added; “blue fish, good to eat”

and so it goes on, and they talk about Graculus’s egg remembering where it was laid; it was very moving to hear it again after all these years…

That was my nice thing that happened to me today along with Peter’s nomination.


I’ve been awarded the “Schmooze” award by Peter. I quote: “Schmoozing as defined by is the ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Peter is more of a Schmoozer than I am I think, not many bloggers offer their female readers a virtual bouquet of roses. He’s from Switzerland, the French part, so I can just imagine his French accent….Thank you Peter for nominating me.

Now comes the hard part; I have to nominate 5 new Schmoozers, hoping that I nominate them before someone else does. In alphabetical order:

Alec Millard: A fellow postcard lover, always on hand with information and really beautiful cards. His blog has helped me a lot with my own postcard blog and business.

Because I Can: A very special Schmoozer who has had difficult times but rises from the ashes like an elegant phoenix! (She also has very good news!)

Life after Nexcom. Mary Lou has introduced me to so many new bloggers. She works hard on her theatre productions despite suffering great pain form her back. Her descriptions and pictures of her part of the world are second to none (any friend of William Least Heat Moon is a friend of mine).

Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed Now changed to Spooky's Blog: Spooky is grey with yellow eyes but we still love him and his wonderful sense of humour.

The Introverted Exhibitionist: Is an Empress, no less! She comes from an established dynasty of bloggers and replies to comments without fail.

All of my 52 friends on my blogroll are worth a visit, what I pity I only had to choose five!

Unconscious Mutterings

More mutterings, I do enjoy these but the weeks seem to go so quickly!

  1. Situation :: place

  2. Theme song :: Limelight

  3. Kelly :: From the Isle of Mann

  4. Club :: golf

  5. Swerve :: avoid

  6. Couch :: therapy!

  7. Bigfoot :: he woods on the farm, my dad always told us that the Big foot tribe lived there

  8. Arbitrary :: decision

  9. Inventor :: Newton

  10. Blazer :: school uniform :(

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Insects and poetry

Dom’s friend Iris came (she used to wear a top hat with a toy rabbit in the band). She gave me some more words for my fridge poetry and proceeded to write me some lovely lines. I’ve translated some of them for you to share:

  • Don’t eat before Sunday

  • That takes me on a secret journey

  • When papa dreams of washing up we laugh (how true)

  • Love my heart prepare a good fizzy poem

  • Do you like walking weekends

  • Think that the sun is lovely

She used up nearly all the words. She also studies insects at university. Above is what landed on me the other day. Thanks to Iris I could look it up to share with you, it really was a beautiful blue. Another one

I can't remember where I got the photo from, if the picture above is yours please email me so that I can give you credit for it.

Camping, cooks and postcards

Don’t ask me where the past week went. I can’t say that I’ve got much to show for it. We went to see how Dominique and Monique were getting along at their campsite (they are in the window at the top); they were pleased to announce that they got married in September! Olivier’s friend has started work as an apprentice chef. Now I feel old. I can remember them sitting together on the front doorstep when they were 5 years old.

I’ve been busy sorting out postcards. They are all in alphabetical order. Now all I have to do is sort out the Paris, Lourdes, abroad and miscellaneous sections. Paris and Lourdes are so common that they aren’t really worth selling and some of the Lourdes ones give me the creeps.

The weather is more like March, or is it October?

Friday, July 06, 2007

It tickled my fancy

I received my magazine from England this morning. My horoscope for this week says that I'm in for some 'Rumpy Pumpy'.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Not worthless

$4300.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I'm so pleased that I'm worth something to somebody!

Parrot with a man attatched

We’ve been living in this village for 21 years now and for only the 2nd time this morning I’ve seen the old fisherman who walks around with a parrot on his shoulder. Everyone else in the family seems to have seen him regularly, but I’ve only known of his existence for a couple of years. He came into the post office to talk to someone else who owns a parrot, judging by the conversation I overheard.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Workin' girl

Dom is now a working girl. For two months she’ll be working in the towers. I don’t think that her and Rob’s timetables coincide much. She'll be giving guided tours in English and French. So if you are passing and have an excellent tour in English, don’t forget to tip the struggling psychology student.

My son and stain removal

Olivier recently had a polo shirt. It’s billabong one I think. He really likes it and looks great in it. Ever since he’s had it we’ve had to remove every type of stain. The worst was apple, he even went to buy the stain remover for that one. After four washings I managed to get it out. The next stain was red wine, I think someone must have told a good joke as the person in front of him took a mouthful, it was sprayed all over. Today the polo shirt is drying after its second wash because of spaghetti sauce. The other day he told me to rub lemon into grass stains to get rid of them. I wonder what’s coming next?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Partner :: friend

  2. News :: TV

  3. Foam :: mousse

  4. Paycheck :: money

  5. Me :: life

  6. Eight :: mints

  7. Dairy :: milk

  8. Exciting :: happy

  9. Hockey :: cold knees

  10. Socialite :: debutante

Green card?

Dom is hoping to study in either Canada (English speaking) or the US for her third year. She’s just discovering how expensive it will be. Does anyone know how it works for foreign students who want to work while studying? Does she need a green card?

She’s got a room next year in the same place. It’s pretty basic and she does a lot of visiting so it’s not as if she’s stuck there.

Spanish cakes

This is fast becoming a foody blog. One of my pupils, who is ten years old, is half Spanish so he’s already bilingual and he’s making great progress in English. Last Tuesday was our last lesson of the school year so he presented me with some lovely little Spanish cakes. They have cinnamon in and are delicious. I don’t often bake cakes myself, but they reminded me of a recipe for Pastelitos de Boda in my Mexican cookery book that I used to make, they are very crumbly, great with a cup of coffee.

It was Rob’s birthday yesterday so the four of us managed to eat together for once

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Breaking news

Time for a general news report. For the second time in a year Rob and I have found a car in the stream which runs alongside the marsh. This one was right on its side. *I looked around a bit, no sign of breaks being jammed on, looks almost as if they did it on purpose. Perhaps a romantic couple who thought they’d park on the side of the road – and fell into the ditch?

*We’ve got Numb3rs back on French TV so I’m being extra observant at the moment.

The big news in our region is that one of the inmates of the revived Big Brother on French TV is a very pretty ex police woman from Bordeaux who doesn’t mind pole dancing and stripping on the side. The worse part is she quit the police to go into the gold fish bowl and has broken a 5 year contract. I'm not the only one to blog about it, one of the young men she arrested recently was first.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Russian lesson

Today is the day where we learn a little Russian, to go with the soup. Contrary to popular opinion Cyn does not mean sin. ‘C’ in Russian is usually pronounced ‘S’, ‘y’ sounds like ‘oo’ and what looks like an ‘n’ is prounced ‘p’; so if you put that together you get Soup. Surprise, surprise!

As you’ve all been such good students, here is your reward.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Remember you heard it here first. Bruce Willis is in Paris at the moment, he was interviewed on the first channel yesterday evening. Rumour has it he might be looking for a 'pied à terre '.

What you might not know is that when he’s in La Rochelle he takes the number 36 bus, it’s a pity his track suit top and bottom never match…..

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Russian Soup

This is what I tried for lunch today – Russian soup. I managed to translate how long to cook it for, but Dom helped me with the rest. Like most dehydrated soups it was very salty. I wouldn’t buy it again, even if I could.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A day at the auction

Saturday found us in the town of Chatellerault We got up at three in the morning to take the early train. As well as playing the tourist we were going to an auction in the afternoon. Most of the morning was spent at the viewing. We got most of what we bid for, although there was one beautiful album which went above our means.

On the way out there was a bit of upset because some one had found a dog locked in a car. It was very hot and the owner had closed all of the windows. This happened in the past when I worked in England and the owner of a local pub, who was a dog lover, smashed the windscreen of the car to get the dog out. Fortunately the owner arrived on the scene and insisted she hadn’t been gone for long, that she looked after her dog and loved him. There was a bit of a row and Rob stepped in to smooth things over assuring the owner that people were only concerned for the health of the dog and not criticising her as such. He was a beautiful little dog, one of those breeds with too much skin, he just looked at everyone as if to say “Is all this fuss over little me?”
I was shattered when we got in at around 11. I had the best sleep I’ve had for ages.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A morning with my son

This morning it was Olivier’s turn to have a trip into town with me. I’d ordered a new micro-wave, at last, from the catalogue as it was 25% off. I needed him to carry it for me.

Until recently we collected our orders from the wine shop with the lady who had trouble balancing on her high heeled shoes (drunk). The advantage was that I could park right outside which would have been great for collecting the micro-wave. However, it was not to be and I had to collect the order from town. In order to park 10 minutes walk from the shop we had to leave early to get a parking place. Olivier was up and cheerful, much to my surprise and we went into town and parked. The shop wasn’t open , nor the shops he wanted to look into so we went to the port to find Rob who gave us the money for a coffee (I never have any change on me). We collected the micro-wave which was more awkward than heavy and Olivier decided he’d prefer a sandwich from the supermarket, so we went there, then we collected the post and went to the other super market to buy bread (don’t ask). He then had to mend a puncture before he could use his bike to get to weightlifting this evening. (If I have to pay for the muscles I might as well make use of them) This is the first real day of his summer holidays. I’m pleased it was a busy one for him.

He’s scraped through this year and will advance. For a while we thought he would have to ‘redouble” (do the year again);

Can you smell it too?

I went and collected my free perfume sample yesterday afternoon. It was from a posh, expensive shop. I was greeted by an enthusiastic salesgirl, sprayed with perfume and given a perfume sample though they’d run out of the offer samples. Then they opened the door to let me out. I felt like I’d been whizzed round in whisker or something. The perfume they sprayed on me, mandarin and bergamot, was nicer than the sample I’d gone in for.

I can still smell the perfume I put on this morning; I’m getting a bit of a headache because of it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Women in art

You must watch the video '500 years of women in art'; it really is lovely.

Friday afternoon

Dom and I wet to the mediatec (library) on Friday afternoon. I rejoined and we looked at books and borrowed some. I thought I’d give John Updike a try in French. I don’t know why I haven’t got into the habit of going there. On the first floor you can sit in comfortable chairs in front of enormous windows overlooking the port (and pretend to read?).

The fair is in town so we picked out way back through the booths and rides which were being set up (it really puts you off, seeing them being constructed) and went for a coffee at our favourite ‘belle epoch’ café.

When we were crossing the square I spotted three girls dressed in white with wings (angels)! They were promoting perfume and gave us scented fluffy white feathers and a card. When I got home I read the card and it’s got a number on to phone to see where to go to get my free samples!

It’s nice going out with my grown up daughter.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Summer begins?

Yesterday we drove to Poitiers to collect Dom and all of her belongings. She’s home for the summer! It poured with rain, all the way there and most of the way back. She said it was a pity as we only ever saw her room on a dull, wet day. I thought the same. She came first in her exams. Isn’t she a clever girl!!

I’ve been supervising exams again and I arrived late for work this morning. The buses were on strike so I walked most of the way. Some of the way back was walked in the rain. At least it was the last morning.

After all the travelling yesterday and all the walking today I should sleep well tonight.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another week etc...

Another week passes by and we’re almost at the end of May. Looking at the weather over the past couple of days you wouldn’t think so, high winds and storms. I was supervising exams every morning last week which meant that I wasn’t getting home until early afternoon and then I was out giving lessons, not to mention the postcards. Rob and I are probably going to an auction in another town at the beginning of June. We’ll make a whole day of it which will be nice as we haven’t really been anywhere for a long time.

On Wednesday we have to collect Dom from Poitiers, she had 16 in her exams but I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean. I’ve emailed her so if she replies before I post this I can give out the information.

Olivier had a bottle of Actimel in his room, shook it up, took the lid off, put it down, forgot he had already opened it and shook it again; it went everywhere! His room smelt of pineapple yoghurt for a while.

A car company in Columbus Ohio wants to sell me a Cadillac – I should be so lucky.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Non waving ovens, kittens and blog birthday
I missed my 4th blog birthday. Perhaps it’s a good thing, it means that I have a real life to get on with too. I’ve written 1366 posts on this blog since I started it and 36,088 visitors have passed this way. I’ve made lots of friends from all over the world and learnt a little bit about a lot of things. Thank you.

My Micro wave oven has stopped waving. It’s quite a shock, I can tell you, when you think you’re going to have hot cooked pasta and you finish with a bowl of cold water with bits of still dry pasta lying in the bottom.

I’m not really an ’Aaaah pictures of kittens’ person but you must go and visit Mary Lou and see her little bundle of fluff. Makes me feel broody – that can’t be right…

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Around and about..
I seem to get busier and busier, after the auctions there has been a lot of sorting out and filing away of cards to do. It’s also exam time again so I’ve been doing that and have exams every morning next week as well as some lessons. Dom happened to mention that her exams went okay; I presume that is a good sign because she sets herself high standards. Rob got a quick call from Christian one morning, he was off the Canary Isles for a week.

The weather is really awful, quite cold and wet and windy. We were really spoilt in April and are paying for it now! Today is a holiday so Olivier’s fast asleep. I’ll wake him to see if he wants to eat lunch. It doesn’t seem that long since my mum was doing the same for me.

I now know what Madame Sarkozy looks like. She’s a lot prettier that Bernadette Chirac. Like a lot of politicians wives, her marriage went through a rough patch a couple of years ago I haven’t managed to find any decent photos, but I’m sure there will be plenty to choose from very soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nothing to wear
As he didn’t have any lessons between 11 and 2.30 Olivier came home for lunch. All he did the whole time was moan about how he hasn’t got any decent clothes (he was wearing his levis). He’s fed up with being poor and sometimes he’s ashamed to go out, on and on and on….

If any one has space for providing a refuge for me, about two years should do it, while he grows up, I would be grateful.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Culture and history
As our post office is closed for refurbishment I have to go to the next village to collect our post (we have a box) at the moment and post any postcards we’ve sold. I always park the car across the village and walk through the lovely park. The horse Chestnuts are in flower at the moment and it smelt wonderful this morning as the grass was being cut. In the newspaper this morning was an article about an exhibition of painting by a local artist, so as the town hall is by the park, I went to have a look. There were only two paintings which I liked and the rest were a little bit messy for my taste. That’s my dose of culture for the day.

I discovered why the poster I wrote about fetched so much. The lady in the poster is Sarah Bernhardt but the advertisers hadn’t asked her permission. She was really cross about it and took them to court so the posters were taken down and probably a lot of them destroyed. Now you know why it was so expensive.

Absinthe was banned and I have tasted it. It’s reputed to rot the brain. That could explain a lot…

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How many?
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?
An afternoon at the auction
Yesterday was auction day. As well as postcards, there were binoculars and posters. This is the cover of the poster catalogue. The Terminus poster was magnificent, the figures were life-size and it fetched about $2000! We got most of what we bid for, so now I have plenty of very good stock for my business.
(click on it to see a larger version)
Voting part II
We had to vote early this week too, Rob is working again. Until the debate on TV in the middle of the week I didn’t know who to vote for, though I don’t like Madame Royale much for personal reasons. We will see what happens next…
New Addition
I've added a new blog to my blogroll which I know that regular readers will appreciate. There is a lovely story about the Breakfast Fairy which you must read. The Ripple Effect - Make a Difference. Start to Ripple.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Tumor :: illness

  2. Bunch :: flowers

  3. Gratitude :: thank you

  4. Feel alive :: trees

  5. Connect :: telephone

  6. Temptation :: chocolate

  7. Brighten:: flowers

  8. Jewelry :: earrings

  9. Tough :: maet

  10. Harmless :: teddy bear

    It seems like ages since I've done this.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In the early spring I noticed that the shoots growing in one of the fields looked familiar, flax (or linseed). I was really pleased it was blue, I’d seen fields of white in England. It looks as if the sky has fallen. When Rob took these photos it was just past its best as the wind had picked up. Yesterday it rained and the flowers have nearly all gone

A few flowers for the month of may. If only I could get he rest of the garden to grow like this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What do you think?
I'm not too sure of the colours. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bits and bobs
On May 5th we’ve got a postcard auction to attend. I’m really looking forward to buying in new stock. Last time we went we did pretty well and our estimates for the prices of the lots were pretty accurate. Needless to say Rob will do the bidding and I shall be trying not to fidget.

Recently I’ve been giving English lessons to a ten year old. I’d really forgotten how much I enjoyed teaching children. There is a lot more preparation beforehand though. My pupil is a really nice boy, polite, well behaved and clever. He speaks Spanish at home but is fascinated that Olivier speaks English and French. His mum makes great coffee too!

We’ve decided that this summer Olivier is going to help with some jobs around the house. There are a lot of things which need moving around and sorting out. (I am told that humping doesn’t mean what it used to) His muscles* will come in useful when I take things to the tip/dump too. I just hope that I can prize him out of bed early enough.

*He’s recently taken up weight training.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

was done at 8 o’clock this morning, we were second. We were about so early because we had to take Dom to the station; she’s registered to vote in Poitiers. We set off at around quarter to seven and Dom and Rob had a noisy row because he asked her if she’d got everything before we set off, which she hates. I was trying to quieten them down, I hope we didn’t wake the neighbours. It was a beautiful morning for a drive with pockets of mist across the fields. Rob is working today and Dom will arrive in time to come home with him. I’ve had such a peaceful morning – Olivier is in the black hole down the corridor which occasionally sucks him in a spits him out, usually for feeding.

I’ve got postcards to scan and prepare for eBay and articles to write so I shall spend most of the day on the computer. While we were in the newsagents I saw Dominique who owns the campsite and asked him about my idea of selling some postcards to tourists in their office. He thought it was interesting, so I must sort out a pile of local cards for them to look at. It’s all go. Hope everyone is having a sunny Sunday like ours!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What colour are your eyes?
Dom sent me this. They've been learning a lot from a set of videos about a very special teacher. If you've got time please watch all four.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

School holidays are here.
Dom is now home for the two weeks leading up to her exams. She’s been telling us about the things she’s learnt and it is fascinating. She passed me a paper to read about a group of ‘sane’ people who infiltrated psychiatric hospitals in the States in the early 70s. They were undetected for the duration of their stays except for by the other inmates who spotted them very quickly. They also made notes quite openly as no one checked to see what they were writing about and often the note making was marked down as compulsive behaviour. Hopefully a lot of things have changed since the release of that report.

She’s been doing a lot on the way we perceive things which includes visiting this site with lots of pretty optical illusions to look at.

I’ve been working hard at my postcards and dealing with letters from the various administration organisations. A lot of letters are crossing at the moment, but hopefully all will be sorted out very quickly. The funniest was a paper about me employing other people. I shan’t be seeing a salary for myself for a while, let alone paying someone else!
Rob and I have an auction to attend at the beginning of May.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A new Trick
f you would like to learn how to do capitals Keith can help you.

I think I need a little more practise....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The earlybird catches the worm has to wake everyone up
I love to get up in the morning. I’m quite happy to enjoy the peace and quiet before most people have started the day. I have a cup of tea, shower and breakfast after which I’m ready for everything that the day can dish out. Unfortunately no one else living with me at the moment seems to share this idea. I call Olivier every five minutes for nearly half an hour before he shifts himself. If he misses the bus, Yours Truly drives him to school because she is up. Rob comes later with several pleas of ‘just 5 minutes more’.

We live in a bungalow, so if I was paid for every trip down the corridor I make every morning I could retire. I have thought of buckets of cold water, but guess who would have to clear up afterwards?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This could have been the April Fool
Except it was taken the day before. We needed ID photos for our ‘large family’ card so I went into a booth. I was hoping to come out with a new official picture for my blogs too, in colour, but the machine was black and white. The machine spoke “Are you ready?” . “Yes”, I answered and started to laugh. Olivier tells me you shouldn’t smile for ID photos….

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Sea

I was thinking about the sea and remembered this painting by Georges Lacombe. sometimes in the evening the colours are so varied in the sea that I always think that if you painted it no one would belive you. When I went to art lessons I copied this in pastel. that's why I didn't scan mine, imagine Rob's face if the scanner was full of coloured dust!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

Friendster images

Friendster images

I hope that everyone, everywhere has a lovely weekend.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dogs sniff out mould
This is a sponsored post

All through the winter we battle against mould/mold (US English) in the bathroom and sometimes in other places too. The climate here is warm but the winters can be really damp. Now I really wish I lived closer to new Jersey. I’ve just been reading about how a company called New Jersey Mold Testing Company, uses dogs to help them sniff out mould you can’t see. I also didn’t realise how bad mould is for your health. I thought it looked and smelt bad, that’s all! I’ve spent a while reading some of the information on the site and have discovered that a ‘tight energy efficient house holds more moisture inside….’. Now I understand why we’ve been having so many problems over the past few years. Like I said I wish I lived closer to new Jersey, then I could have a visit from one of their lovely dogs!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

“An April flood carries away the frog and his brood.”

Another quote from ‘The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’. It’s difficult to believe that we are in April already. Suddenly, yesterday afternoon the sun felt warm – yes we had sunshine! In the evening Rob and I walked down to the beach and the moon was rising, it was big, golden and misty. The marsh sounded even more noisy that during the day time with different birds calling and the frogs croaking.

The 1st April marked the official start of my vintage postcard business.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

back straight - knees bent
Rob had to go into work on Monday which is unusual in the winter season. He told me he was on a course but couldn’t remember which.

When I got home in the evening I found a piece of paper on the floor, a map I’d drawn on how to get to a new pupil’s house. I bent over to pick it up and immediately Rob pounced. “You shouldn’t bend your back you should bend your knees”. Guess which course he had been on? They’d done a lot on lifting and bending and how to carry something heavy down a steep stairway (something they have a lot of in the three towers). He was obviously very impressed by it all. The computer screen is now on top of a pile of 6 books so that it’s the 'right height'.

I explained to him that I can’t really bend my knees properly anymore – they didn’t cover that subject.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tom Jones
Every time I hear the song, S*x Bomb by Tom Jones I get the giggles. It happened this morning as I was doing the weekly shop. My mum used to watch Tom on TV on Saturday nights when I was tucked up in bed. I’m sure he must be a great granddad by now and still strutting his stuff.

Looking him up in Wikipedia, he’s 67 and a grand father and he made S*x Bomb when he was 60. He’s also a good sport, he appeared in Mars Attack and the Simpsons (well his voice did).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Two new ones
I’ve added two new blogs to my blogroll , Worldman and The Life of Riley. They are completely different to one another. Worldman has moved around a bit. Olive is probably the oldest blogger (or should that be blobber?) in the business and her stores are fascinating.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Groovy :: Baby!

  2. Jealousy :: misery

  3. Watching :: TV

  4. Kenny :: Everett

  5. Games :: backgammon

  6. Bread :: butter

  7. City :: noise

  8. Stems :: plants

  9. Birds :: spring

  10. Listener :: patience

It's been a long time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New music
This is a sponsored post

Where do all the unsigned bands go? is a site where unsigned bands can be heard globally on the internet. Just one more advantage of the world wide web! There is now an ever-growing base of fans and listeners looking for something new to listen to. On the site artists can create their profile and upload their material. Listeners can browse away to their hearts content looking for new sounds in the genre they prefer.

There is so much to choose from like Grunge Artists , progressive, latin, world, hip-hop, hard rock, experimental, you get the idea? So being ‘old’, I looked at folk and can see that there is a choice of 60 bands and artists . I noticed that a lot of artists consider themselves in more than one category, so no need to feel stuck in a typeset. I chose The Willow Leaf to look at and listen to extracts of, simply because I liked the name. What a pleasant surprise, especially A Gentle Lullaby! There is his website too. I can see that I shall be spending more time here in the future.

Friday, March 16, 2007

If you've got nothing to do this weekend you could try out some of these ideas.

I actually learnt something from this site (explicit).

You could always ask Ms Dewey to help you search for something. That would make Google laugh.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

If something can go wrong it will
That’s how life feels to me at the moment, though every black cloud does have a silver lining. I hadn’t been sleeping well for a couple of nights because I found a lump in my armpit. I made an appointment with the Doctor as soon as possible to get it checked. There wasn’t anything to worry about, just a sweat gland a little swollen. I did feel a bit of a twit, but he said I did the right thing.

Woke up in the small hours on Wednesday to a very load crack. The bed frame had broken. As it was two in the morning, we just moved the mattress into the living room and slept tried to sleep there. I just couldn’t get comfortable and the computer appears to be lit up like a Christmas tree, even when switched off. When I finally did sleep, I dreamt that David Schwimmer (Sorry it's in Norwegian, but it really was the best photo I found) was kissing my foot. What a pity the alarm clock went off! I was a little bit disappointed he didn’t come back again last night.

I’ve stacked up Rob’s side of the bed with old files so it can’t collapse again and while the room was a little bit clear cleaned the ceiling, the light shade and all the places I can’t usually reach. Is that (housework) what they mean by a silver lining?

One of the headlights and an indicator on the car don’t work properly either.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Quote of the week
Olivier: 'mom' is just 'wow' upside down.
yet another busy, busy week has passed by. I took a pile of papers into town this morning and the lady behind the desk was so helpful. She basically had to translate red tape speak into French and then explain it to me. Now I have to wait and see if the papers are all in order. Other than that I’ve been sorting our stock of cards into order, it’s nearly finished. It does sound a bit tedious but I do know my cards now and if I see a report on the news of a town or region, I find my self thinking, oh yes, high cliffs, or mountains, cathedral etc. Blogitive is also back and reorganised so I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing.

I got out into the garden on Monday afternoon and finally pruned the roses (!). I cut back the ivy too before it starts really growing again. The blossom has all gone from the tree at the front of the house. The high winds and rain saw to that.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Today was another session with the advisor for setting up a business. Having adjusted the figures I originally presented everything seems to be in order. In theory I shouldn’t go into the red within the first year and I was complimented on my good work! I really must learn excel. We then looked at some legal forms that need filling in. The idea is not to get them flung out because of stupid mistakes.

With the few minutes left of my two hour session we talked about Eleanor of Aquitaine (She owned la Rochelle), Mary Stuart and the Plantagenants . Which was a nice bonus. It’s not often you come across someone interested in the same period of history as you.

If we’d have chosen to live in another part of France we might not have had any help at all setting up a business.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Our local newspaper
reported yesterday that cafés in Charente Maritime will not be able to open earlier than 6.30 in the morning. Previously opening time was 6 am. The reason behind this is to cut down alcoholism. I did wonder how many people were pouring into bars at 6 o’clock in the morning for their first drink of the day? On closer inspection I discovered that the problem lies with night clubs closing at 5 o’clock in the morning. Night clubbers were hanging on an hour for the final drink before driving home (!).

A lot of people in town here start early in the day, fishermen and market workers who meet up for their first coffee before work. Most café owners weren’t serving alcohol until 9 anyway. Why can’t the night clubs close half an hour earlier?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Proud Mum announcement
Dom is home for a week’s holiday. She came in the top 10 in her exams. There are 800 in her group. She was worried about her results as she had a bad cold when she sat her exams. If she does that well when she’s ill, what will her results be when she’s well?
At the moment she’s in her room…studying.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pancake progress
Since I wrote about making pancakes a few weeks ago I’m pleased to report some progress in the shape. They are more or less round and I think that I owe my success to making them one at a time. I also managed to acquire some real absolutely pure Canadian maple syrup ( Maple Joe) to go with them. All I need now is for the rest of the family to learn to make pancakes for themselves

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Birthday

This sweet little boy is 16 today. Happy Birthday Olivier!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dream time
I had the most amazing dream a couple of nights ago. I was in London and had a telescope to look through. Although the telescope didn’t make things look bigger they were definitely clearer. I could see the details on a tiled floor and the mud on a football some children were playing with. I looked up the telescope in my dream book; “….suggests that we are taking a closer look at something” (I think I might write a book about dreams too ) A telescope can symbolise clairvoyance, so be careful what you’re thinking when you visit this post..

Dreaming of mud suggests we are bogged down, lol. Sorry but I find my book really funny at times.
Spring is on it's way
This morning I heard birdsong at 5.30 even though it was still dark a couple of hours later. We’ve got some blosson around the village this week and in one garden the daffodils have been going strong for a little while. I see that I shall have to start gardening in earnest soon before things get out of control. Spring is really in the air, sometimes in the afternoon, it’s even warmer to be outside than in.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The examiners get examined
This week was another week of exams. Things have changed. We don’t like change too much. I arrived on Monday at 9.20 and went to the office to say hello as usual and was asked to wait until 9.30. At 9.30 we all went in together to collect our exam papers but instead had a pep talk. The head of department is on maternity leave and there is a new head and she wants things done her way. We were all a bit stressed by this meeting as we need to prepare the rooms, check I.D.s etc. To make matters worst the first exam was accounting which meant accounting plans had to be checked too. It was the first ever exam for our group of students so they didn’t know what to do which meant that we started 10 minutes late. One Tuesday, we all waited till the exact time and went together to collect our exams. I was working on my own, which I prefer. The new boss popped her head round the door during the morning. I didn’t think anything of it, but some of the others have decided that they are being spied on. Needless to say they are the ones who aren’t always as rigorous as the should be. Today wasn’t so bad as I was with a colleague who thinks exactly like me and we work together really well.

It will be interesting to sere how many of the old gang will be left when the end of year exams come round.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Diary time
Looking at Pam’s entries on her Grandmother’s diary (and a quiz), I had to pull out one of my old diaries. As it was Christian’s 20th birthday last week, I thought I’d have a look and see what I did on my 20th birthday, way back in, er, 1975.

It was a Friday and I had lots of presents including a book on natural magic and a Mary Quant face pack from my friend’s at work! As usual, before the weekend, worked pretty late at the bank. Went out for a drink in the evening and spent a few hours chatting to a new boyfriend who was to be around for four years. Those were the days!
I’ve taken Cancergiggles from my blogroll. Cass died in January. I imagine he must have been a great inspiration to a lot of people suffering from cancer and their families. One of the beauties of the blogging community is that it’s always possible to find someone who is going through what you are.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

You wouldn't believe how small the world can be...
I managed to survive my course, but it was hard work and we had HOMEWORK to do. The idea is that people don’t set themselves up in business only to go bust. We were told that in the US it’s considered okay to fail three times in order to build a successful business. Other than that I think we’ve had just about all the weather you can get with the exception of heat wave and snow. The strike season has started again so I’ve got Olivier and his friend eating burgers and watching some kind of film or something in his room. I can’t have my music up loud because I mustn’t embarrass my son in front of his friends.

Talking of music, I won the bid on Neutron's CD mentioned on January 26th. This morning it arrived so I’ve been enjoying that all morning. He sings some pretty romantic stuff and has a lovely voice.

I also had an email from my cousin on the Isle of Wight, he’s a musician too. He was teaching somewhere and was approached by the daughter of a couple of my friends I’d nearly lost contact with. I used to baby sit for them but this daughter was born after I left for France. We’re back in contact now which is good news. Paul, my cousin, also gave me some more info on our family tree. He’s a great letter writer so is exactly the person to contact people and has found out more about very distant living cousins.

The ‘isn’t it a small world’ syndrome continued yesterday when I was giving a lesson to a pupil I’ve been teaching for nearly 6 months. A few years ago I used to have ‘conversation’ with a girl called Lise who lived near. She’d lived in the states and her mother didn’t want her to lose her English. The family moved after about three years and I’d often wondered how they all were. On a hunch, because we were talking about school and best friends, I asked my Wednesday lesson if she knew Lise. Did she know Lise? They were best friends and still in touch.

I wonder who’ll turn up next?