Sunday, December 21, 2008
Dom is home for Christmas and Olivier is on holiday even though he hasn’t really been at school for two weeks because of the strike.
This morning we went into town for breakfast and then a little Christmas shopping. It was so quiet, I expect everyone was in town this afternoon…
It’s my mum’s birthday today. I telephoned this morning and thought that I was talking to her, I was talking to my aunt who thought that she was talking to my sister! It’s like that in my family. My aunt was telling me that Eleanor, as well as having two gold medals, has a gold Blue Peter badge!! Eleanor hadn’t arrived at my mum’s when I phoned, so I didn’t get to speak to her.
I've written another story for Christmas and last year's is here.
I doubt very much that I will have much time for blogging over the next few days. A very Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope that Santa brings you everything on your list!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As usual in that place I had the start of a migraine (I think it’s the air-conditioning). Then when I left the building to go home, I slipped on the wooden walkway and landed flat on my back. A student came running and helped me up – bless her. Only my pride was injured, fortunately and I have a nice bruise on my derrière.
I discovered on Tuesday that someone had mentioned the problem in Monday’s exam to the exam office, I was relieved, though when I talked to Rob and Olivier about it they warned me to watch out as they know this lady has Latin blood and a bit of a temper. I saw her on the bus this morning and she was the same as usual towards me so, I’m still alive.
On the bus I also saw one of my pupils from when I taught problem children. She hasn’t changed, her mental age was always behind that of her peers, but now she’s physically grown up and living with her boyfriend, I wonder how that will work out. It was nice to see her again, but she’s not in contact with her classmates at all.
Roll on the weekend...
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
What I propose is to post any information I can here so that when you surf you’ll hopefully come across the information. If you’re waiting for your blog to be approved the queue is just over three weeks long. A lot can be done to shorten the time and avoid disappointment simply by reading the requirements on the add/edit blogs page. If anyone has more information as to what is going on please leave a comment.
As for the forum spammers I think that you will find that no one is reading your ads anyway…
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The children always used to laugh at me because I couldn’t put those mini earphone thingies into my ears and make them stay put. Those of you who have been paying attention will remember that back at the beginning of August I had a nightmare about robots which left me with a shh, shh noise in my right ear which keeps coming back. I can still hear it as I type this.
On Friday I went for my three monthly check up. I mentioned the noise in my ear and the Doctor had a look with great difficulty because my ears are a funny shape inside; I have unique ears and now they can’t laugh at me. There is a bit of a blockage which could be responsible for the noise, so now I have eardrops for a week.
As usual he was pleased with my blood sugar readings in my little booklet. My blood pressure has been perfect the last few times so a month before I go back I’m to stop taking the tablets to see what happens. I’m really pleased about that because I will be able to eat grapefruit again.
Tomorrow I’m off to have the first session on the veins on my legs. She says it might not work as some of the veins are very old - 40 years for example.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I’ve started decorating the Christmas tree. For years Rob did all of the decorating at Christmas, as it happens I’m happy to take over as I don’t put so much out and it was always my job to clear away….
Next week and the week after I will be supervising exams nearly every morning. As the school of commerce grows so does the examination period – good news for us exam ladies.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today, minus the half hour lie-in I was looking forward to, I have been out looking for a new jack (I should be so lucky!). Nowadays they make what I can only describe as a camping stove look alike. Rob phoned the Renault dealer and all he could offer was a new jack at 200€ and told rob to try the scrap merchant. There is one nearby so I dragged Olivier along with me and we got one for 10€ cash. Rob will collect it this evening as I didn’t have any cash. The nice man remembered that we used to have a Citroën 2 CV… twenty years ago.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Then, when I put AOL on to look at my emails this morning I saw that they have a feature on France in 1900. This should stimulate interest in vintage postcards. All in all a good start to the day.
I spoke to Dom on her birthday. Her parcel had arrived okay and she was pleased with the contents, especially a purple jacket exactly like this one. Though she still insists she prefers the orange/pumkin one! She is teaching English twice a week now and really enjoying it. The job at the library is very demanding indeed. It’s very quiet so she’s on MSN most of the time AND getting paid for it. The afternoon of her birthday was going to be spent baking and preparing food for her party in the evening. One of her friends was kindly lending their flat as Dom’s has only got standing room for about 4 people (one in the shower) and two of her friends were coming from Paris. I haven’t heard anything since…
Olivier is being driven to lycée this week by his friend who is an apprentice chef. The building where he studies for 1 week every month is next to the lycée so they go together. Half an hour extra in bed all round, much appreciated by me. It’s strange to see them going off, it only seems 5 minutes ago they were sitting on the doorstep together, in the sun with their toy cars.
Rob and I worked flat out for a few days last week. Ebay put on a special offer for professionals (that’s us); free placements. You can imagine we prepared a maximum amount of postcards and managed to put on 180. We’ve been selling groups of cards too, to clear our stock, which have been doing very nicely. I was rather proud of this group, which now has a bid I’m pleased to say.
Click on the image for a much better view..
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Dom is 20 years old today. I haven’t managed to speak to her on the phone yet. I imagine her struggling back from the post office with the parcel we sent her. I remember driving to the hospital in the early hours of the morning. I started to panic when we hit the streets around the market and there was a lot of unloading going on. We got blocked in for a couple of minutes…. The rest is history. Yesterday she phoned me for a recipe for mustard cake, she’ll be making her famous carrot cake and asked me for other ideas. Hope you all have a great time tonight Dom!
Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi was the number one hit according to Billboard magazine the week that Dom was born
I got my page a Day diary out for 1975 to see what I did on my 20th birthday. It was a Friday so I went to work as usual. My friends at work gave me a couple of books ‘The Fortune Tellers’ and ‘Natural Magic’. In the evening I went to see some friends and we went out for a drink. It was the start of a new relationship which lasted 4 years. I didn’t have the time to write much else.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Christian phoned this evening. He’ll probably be coming to stay at the end of November for a few days!!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I took Dom back to the station this morning and collected Olivier from a friend’s on the way back, how’s that for ecological co-ordination? (Or perhaps convenient children)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Yesterday morning my annual check up with the Swedish chef*. As I was undressing he popped out to his receptionist and collected his post. A parcel from England! He asked me it I minded him opening his parcel. A book on the anatomy of the brain. He was as pleased as punch and before I left showed me some of the pages he’d been send via the internet; Oh yes, everything is tickety boo – I find it quite amusing that Rob pays for another man to tell me I’ve got impeccable breasts! (for my age)
After that, across to the other side of town to collect Dom from the station. She was waiting for me and half of the very busy, too small car park was closed off for resurfacing. Dom is fine and she was very tired. She’s got a job in the university library when she goes back. 7 hours a week. She’s decided that she is going to open a bookshop. I’ve passed her my notes from the Chamber of Commerce about setting up a business. Working 7 hours a week she is going to take a while to save up enough to start a business, but at least she has ideas. Olivier is panicking a bit, I think, about what to do next. In the immediate future I’m pleased to say that Dom has taken up drawing again. She was always very good and I was disappointed she didn’t pursue it more. I am now minus all of my watercolour equipment and would I look for a tin to keep the tubes of paint in?
Olivier looks less like a Hamster now but is in pain still. He’s eating more solid food and is as hungry as ever – he’s making up for last Wednesday when he didn’t eat anything.
Me? Busy doing the washing, of course.
*Rob had his wisdom teeth out the day before I saw the Swedish Chef for the first time!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Did you know that if you come to my house with a yoghurt you have to store it at a temperature one degree centigrade lower than if you visited Zoe’s house with the same yoghurt?
This evening Rob and I were putting the car away when I heard the sound of rustling leaves. From underneath came out an adorable young hedgehog. He took no notice of us at all and came right up to us looking at us as if to say ‘What are you doing here?’. He snuffled back into the leaves and went on his way again.
Don’t forget to put your clocks back. It’s the last weekend of October already!!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
He’ll be off school till the weekend when the holidays start
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We’ve been digging through our ‘put to one side’ stock. Rob had the idea of selling lots of 50 postcards. So far we’ve come up with two good lots. We’ve also found some gems which we overlooked in the past because of lack of experience. That gave me something to do away from the computer.
Someone is selling a lot of 100,000 postcards on eBay (yes, one hundred thousand). We’d love to have them, the starting price is only 14,000€. It is, in fact, a bargain at only 14 cents a card. It's fortunate that we can’t afford them as we haven’t got the space to store them. I think we’ve got around 20,000 postcards at the moment, which is just about manageable.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
There are even more road works. We seem to have had roads closed all over the village since the turn of the century (I’ve always wanted to use the phrase ‘the turn of the century’). The cars are being diverted through our quiet little road. We live on the corner and it’s quite noisy at times as drivers are in a hurry. I’m waiting for someone to miss the corner.
There is a plant in our post office. It’s grown very big over the years and occasionally has rose like flowers though I think it’s more of a Begonia* type bush thingy. The post office lady, who has been there longer than us (more than 22 years), can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there. This morning she was sweeping up leaves. The poor plant looks really sad and is losing its foliage. She’s tried feeding it but it seems not to even want watering at the moment. This year it had more flowers than usual, I suggested that perhaps it was tired.
*Begonias are named after Michel Bégon who was steward of La Rochelle 1694-1710.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Olivier arrived home two hours earlier than expected and there was only fish in mustard sauce and broccoli and cauliflower to eat – dreadful! Anyway I quickly made him some pasta so he didn’t die from vegetable contamination. I think he was a little disappointed with his weekend. It was quiet. The students all seem to have gone home for the weekend. He says would have liked a tour of Nantes and he only saw the river Loire from the train. They ordered a salmon pizza last night and it was awful. He told me he was glad to be home. (Isn’t that nice to know).
While Rob and I were out for a walk this afternoon we met a couple we knew years ago. Rob taught all three of their sons English. There were all lovely boys. They are all grown up now and one even lives in Canada, installs computers and stuff into control towers, all in English thanks to Rob’s influence. It was lovely to catch up. We like to know how the youngsters we saw in the past have got on in life.
The weather has been magnificent, 25°C yesterday and no wind. This afternoon I went out and cleaned out the gutters which was easy as the leaves were dry and just needed brushing out. I don’t mind going up a ladder but I don’t like coming down. Managed to get my foot tangled up in some rosemary on the way down once, but I only panicked a little bit.
I think I’ve seen more butterflies this weekend than I have all summer. Yesterday two gendarmes were mating on the kitchen windowsill. They are very quick and both run off in opposite directions afterwards. Once out in the garden I did a little tidying up cutting and pruning, I’d forgotten to look out for these (don’t look if you don’t like spiders). They weave magnificent webs and have very plump bodies. Fortunately, I didn’t find one in my hair.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The man across the road set fire to a tree in his garden a year ago and since then we have had a giant stick of charcoal to look at from the kitchen window. He finally cut it down yesterday.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Autumn in the corner of the woods,
What fun for the leaves!
They waltz in the arms
Of the wind that carries them.
They say they are dead
But no one believes it.
Autumn in the corner of the woods,
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
When Rob got home he opened two letters from the tax office. When he read the first one he couldn’t decide whether we owed them some money or they owed us. He opened up the second letter and there was a cheque worth having. Really.
Here is the prayer:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
Dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
In France they have to ‘do’ philosophy in their last year. Most pupils hate it because they just don’t get it. Olivier is one of them. Dom has taken it as an extra two years running at university she loves it so much. Any way I thought of telling Olivier he will just have to be philosophical about it, but I don’t think he’ll appreciate the joke…
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
*Dom made a few cakes in the summer too, they must be in a cake conspiracy together.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Strangely enough at the moment, Olivier is studying those people who wear white gowns (I won’t put the name, but I think you know who) and guns in the US in English. We had to look up the white gowned people at home because the lycee computer blocks those kind of sites. So I told him about Emmett and showed him the picture, then I found him the Lyrics of Strange Fruit and he listened to John Martyn singing them. We both felt pretty sick after that.
A day later, he gave a talk on the subject, he thinks it went pretty well, he made an effort to speak slowly to the rest of the class. His talk lasted longer than intended and he didn’t use all of the material he’d prepared (I’m familiar with that one).
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Chandni has been writing about helping people too.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Yesterday I crushed a big grass hopper in the front door. We thought we’d thrown him out earlier, but it appears we hadn’t. Olivier told me he was cycling along one evening when one landed on his shoulder and was enjoying the ride. I should have told him it was Jiminy Cricket. Perhaps he should have listened to see if he would have given him some careers advice. I told Olivier (again) the story of the time I was hanging out the washing and felt something wriggling around inside my t-shirt…
A week ago I discovered a European House Centipede (Cute, aren’t they?) in the bathroom, he was very close to where I had hung up my hair washing towel. (Thank God he didn’t hide in there). Olivier came to the rescue with a shoe, leaving a few legs on the wall – oh well. Looking him up (the centipede not Olivier) I discovered that he is a goody and quite harmless. They run very fast when they get the chance to.
Here is a tip: Don’t crush cockroaches. When Dom was on the campus last year there were cockroaches, fortunately they didn’t reach the 4th floor. Students were asked not to crush them because that releases the eggs. The forth floor was also where Dom discovered that earwigs have wings.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
- Cut the crap :: Spit it out
- Scent :: animals
- Vanishing :: cream
- Wetness :: nappies/diapers (The memories stay with you a long time)
- Cheap :: cheerful
- Badges :: school blazers
- Puppy :: wuff
- Problem solver :: me!
- Gambling :: waste of time
- Sophia :: Catherine the Great
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Yesterday I discovered that she has now gone public with a second blog which promises to be as good as the first - or even better because she’s had more practise. Her blog is called Brilliant Girl Genius which is what she is, why not pop across and say hello.
I was thinking about what could be my contribution to this day. I did know someone who was indirectly involved, fortunately her story had a happy ending (they married in the end). All I can think of is suggesting that everyone make some sort of effort to make sure that this never happens again. If everyone decides to be more open minded and tolerant towards others. More accepting of everyone’s right to be different, or even to be the same. Perhaps the world might start to be a better place for everyone, wherever they are.
Not Dom's place just part of the street.
On Tuesday morning we set off at 3 o’clock in the morning for Poitiers loaded up with Dominique’s belongings. It takes around two hours to get there. As we rarely spend longer than about twenty minutes in the car at a time this is a long journey, especially in the dark. We arrived 20 minutes earlier than we said we would, despite two stops for coffee on the motorway. As it was only 5.30 we sat in the car and waited for a while before ringing her to let her know we were there. The early start was worth it, there was no traffic at all in Poitiers and we parked right in front of her front door.
Dom’s little flat/apartment/studio is lovely. Plenty of cupboard space with useful furniture and the main part, after two years as a university tenant, her own toilet and shower! When you stand by the front door you can see (and hear) the fountain and the Prefecture (picture possibly taken from her street). After unloading the car and helping Dom to assemble her Ikea table we took her to collect her fridge which she doesn’t need. It’s very small so I’ve put it in our kitchen now to store the overload from the other one. Then we had to drop her off at the university as she was addressing the 1st year students in her roll of the psycho association president.
Rob and I spent the morning wandering around Poitiers until she was free again when she look us on a guided tour. Dom likes her history so it was interesting with dates which I’ve forgotten. We left her after lunch and started the long journey back. Rob stopped and we both slept for a while. We arrived home at 5 o’clock and went to bed and slept again. I’m still tired now, I need 8 hours.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Frog: No! Leave me alone
Anji: Come on, I’ll take to a safer place and then we can move the car.
Frog: No, my mummy said to always hide under a rock if I was frightened.
Anji: But it isn’t a rock, it’s a car tyre.
Frog: It smells.
Anji: That’s because it’s made of rubber and it’s not for frogs.
Frog: Don’t poke me with that stick
Anji: I’m not poking you, I’m trying to make you move out of the way
Frog: Alright, I’m coming out – don’t hurt me
Anji: I don’t want to hurt you, I’m going to give you a little ride in my dustpan and put you in a safe place
Frog: whoa! Where are we going now?
Anji: Into the long grass where it’s nice and wet and the magpies can’t see you.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I think it’s time for a little update. We went to the ‘seaside’ at the weekend. We don’t count here as the seaside as the beach is stony and the island is not far across the way. Last time Rob and I went we decided that we wouldn’t go again. Not much fun without bucket and spades and children. Dom asked if we would go just for old times sake so we went and it was one of the three hottest days of the year – the end of last week. So we swam and it was lovely, very crowded though and lots of Brits. In the evening we ate at The Goldwing which is decorated Mexican style. I love the colours warm and faded. We were really surprised at how good it was and not too expensive. American style burgers, though I suspect any passing Americans will wonder where that idea came from.
Olivier has finished at the restaurant and they were very pleased with his work. He earned more than we all thought he would. I told him that I hope he doesn’t spend it all on sex and drugs and rock and roll. I’ve got a feeling that as he worked so hard to get it he’ll hang on to it, for a while. We shall see. He’s started school again – last year, hopefully. They broke his class up as there were a lot of trouble makers but he doesn’t mind too much as he knows most of the others in his new class. So far he’s been pretty cheerful
Dom is busy packing. I’ve been given some makeup she doesn’t want/need any more, so I will experiment with that when everyone is out of the way. She’s just put in a request for new socks before she goes. All the socks in the house seem to have disappeared this summer. Perhaps there is a sock fetishist in the neighbourhood?
Me? I’ve been postcarding most of the time though I did prune the roses and clean out a gutter last week. When we go for our walk in the evenings there are lots of frogs around and they seem to be all sizes. I don’t know if they are different species or all the same but at different stages of development.
The spiders have started to come in. So far just medium sized ones. Winter is on its way.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
My dear son is still washing up and making salads at the restaurant. We went to the drive-in at MacDonald’s the other evening and while we were waiting he explained to me how to cut up a pineapple professionally. He can cut it up next time we have one. He’s looking forward to being paid, which I think is his main inspiration for getting out of bed in the mornings.
Dom went to Ikea with a friend and bought herself a small table. It’s a long way from here so I’ve never been to Ikea. Sounds like there are some good bargains for students. She also came home with a new computer (not Ikea), so Olivier now has her old one. She couldn’t sell it because sometimes the screen turns off. I haven’t heard Olivier shouting yet.
Rob and I have been very busy with the postcards. As professionals we sometimes get special reductions so we prepared a lot of cards in advance this week. We now have over 1000 postcards in our shop. This was the 1000th card. My mouse clicking finger aches a little so I even tried using the mouse left handed, I’m very slow.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I’ve just had an email from my sister to confirm that our very own cousin will be swimming in the paraplegic Olympics in September!! I haven’t met my cousin, but I do know that she is very young and very small - and very courageous.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I remember the robot film from when I was small. A little boy was chased around by an unstoppable robot who rescues him in the end (!). It really frightened me and I still worry about robots coming onto general use – even though I used to know the three laws of robotics. Isaac Asimov died in 1992 so he isn’t around anymore to sort things out for us...
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Olivier got the job as washer up and salad maker. The lady who was coming for the job permanently turned up late on the first day of her tryout and then not at all, so they asked Olivier to do the job for a month. It is hard work but he is so pleased. He’s going to show me how to make croq monsieur properly and knows how to remove the pith from oranges. I’m expecting him to tell me I need to buy a proper set of knives next…
Dom and I went shopping on Friday. Looking for odds and ends for her new home in September. How many years is it since I really looked around household and furniture shops? I’d love to start again and have bright orange cake tins (when did I last make a cake?). We did enjoy ourselves.
At the end of the last century (!) I was teaching English in several primary schools locally. One of the schools in the north of the department was in a old convent which had been seized during the revolution. I imagined the beautiful old staircase being quietly used by the nuns – not by noisy children as it is today. I was teaching the children who would be leaving for the ‘big school’ the following September. I really thought that their teacher was called Boris Vian - that was the name on the classroom door. When I went into the headmaster’s classroom I realised that their headmaster couldn’t possibly be Victor Hugo. I was pleased I hadn’t addressed the teacher as Monsieur Vian. Anyway, the teacher, whoever he was, was someone really special. The class had adopted one of the contestants of the Vendee Globe boat race and he was using the race as a way of teaching all of the subjects throughout the year. The children were learning to plot a course, study weather, geography, natural history and so on in the context of the race - oh yes, and compose a letter in English! In the March of the year they would be staying for a week in Vendee and hopefully greeting their adopted contestant as he sailed home.
The teacher was also an artist so he’d arranged for the children to pass some time at a workshop based on the work of a late local artist – I forget his name. Towards the end of my time there the teacher took me up into the roof which was beautiful, completely wooden and divided into three areas; computers, library and art. One of the dividers to the areas was a huge sail painted by the children at the art workshop. With the sunlight coming through the windows it equalled stained glass!
Those children have probably left the school system by now. I hope they remember and appreciate their teacher
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I’ll leave you to browse the pictures I found on Google. It seems we have ‘hollyhock’ cookies too! ( They contain hollyhock petals and the cook also makes honeysuckle cookies.)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Don’t smile at gastronomes
Little daddy tender peach
Your mummy in a bin is delicious
Weekends, not before Sunday
Bring me all the children for washing up
We find the stars are very good
Always need presents
It’s not easy as the words work their way down the fridge and disappear underneath. When the men take the old fridge I’ll ask if I can scrape off any lingering words from the bottom. Poems seem to have a foodie theme as I had a few sets of words free with something or other we used to eat.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I know that the leaks in the nuclear power stations in France have made the headlines in the UK – after all, a lot of electricity you use over there comes from over here. Perhaps now is a good time to lay in a stock of candles and matches.
I remember when the children were small EDF/GDF (one company then) used to advertise their nuclear power. A man knocked on the door of a house and asked his neighbour if he could borrow his electric drill; “ You mean nuclear drill!” the neighbour would proudly remind him…
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Olivier still doesn’t know if he’s got the job at the restaurant. We all went and had breakfast on the port this morning before he and Rob went to the bank to open an account for him. Dom and I looked around the shops until it was time for her to go to work. Then I looked at the sales. Everything in my size has gone!
Monday, July 21, 2008
The harvest is well under way and the village was covered in chaff this afternoon as it was so windy and blowing the bits over from the fields. There is a lot of bird noise this evening, I’m wondering if there will be another brood of chicks before they leave in august.
Olivier has applied for a salad preparing and washing up job at the restaurant in the village. In France it is very difficult to work if you are under 18, lots of paperwork and responsibility for the employers. I wouldn’t want him to work anywhere like that illegally. I used to know a girl who worked in a posh tearooms in England, she was under age and when she burnt herself one afternoon, they couldn’t let her go to the emergency department. Fortunately it was alright in the end, but…
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems over the years which is why I didn’t think Olivier was hallucinating. I’ve cut out some cardboard to put just inside the shutter to act as a screen though I don’t think he’ll be back for a while.
Olivier had his exam results today. He didn’t do too badly and surprised even himself!
Monday, July 07, 2008
Recently a local butter company ran a competition and the prize was to eat a meal in an unusual place. The unusual place was the Saint Nicolas Tower and Dom happened to be the guide who got to work overtime. She gave a much appreciated guided tour and she and her colleague were invited to join in on the meal. She knew that the local press were there to record the event, but didn’t realise they had taken a photo – until this morning. So here is Dom strutting her stuff in costume.
My stories are quite comical really, but it isn’t always the case. Go and read Dru’s story about someone else’s problems with public loos…
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
On Friday morning we headed for Poitiers to collect Dom and all of her belongings. She’s been looking at apartments. She’s seen a really nice one right in the middle of Poitiers. I hope she can have it, though it will stretch her budget. If she does move in there it will mean she’s really left home. Still, it will be a good excuse to visit Poitiers which is a beautiful old town. Needless to say I’ve had a lot of washing to do over the last few days.
The plug of the adapter of Rob’s laptop started to make noises. When I tested it in the kitchen it really sparked. Rob phoned up the company, Packard bell, and they found him another adapter. His Laptop doesn’t exist anymore and it’s only 11 months old. All the pictures on the site showed the adaptors complete with plug. The adaptor arrived without a plug. The people at Packard Bell were very helpful but kept disappearing for at least 15 minutes every time Rob phoned. Olivier discovered the CD player plug fits, now he’s not happy. We haven’t found another plug anywhere else. Sharing a computer has been hard as both Rob and I usually work on two computers. Needless to say I always come second…
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
She's nothing like the doctor of the same name on TV so Rob won't be coming with me...
The reason why I had this dream was all thanks to the computer. The clearing in the woods was on one of the postcards I’d been preparing during the day. Then, when I was having a stroll around my blog friends I came across a word I’d never seen before and had to look it up. Next, I popped via the comments to a new blog where I learnt that the lady who used to organise the poetry&words tent at the Glastonbury festival had died. Strange the things that stay in your head.
When I woke up I remembered a play I was in in my early teens; I was the narrator in The Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning (I didn’t remember it was by him!), I tested myself and I remembered the first verse. This took me on in my thoughts to a Canadian film, *The Sweet Hereafter, with Sir Ian Holm about a school bus which crashes and kills most of the children in the village. The poem runs through the film (The survivor used to baby-sit and read the poem to her young charges.). Sir Ian Holm is the insurance investigator who is sent to decide whether the survivors should be awarded any money. He is also trying desperately to reconnect with his daughter, who is a drug addict, at the same time. It’s a very sad but beautiful film. I remember the lady who drove the school bus saying that when she picked up the children for school every morning she felt like she was picking berries and putting them into her basket. If you haven’t seen it I recommend it.
*Adapted from the novel by Russell Banks
Friday, June 20, 2008
I slept very badly last night and this morning had a slightly upset tummy. Yes, it’s Olivier’s exam day today. Taking an exam not having read two of the set books must be a recipe for disaster. This afternoon is biology. I made sure he had two pencils and a rubber (eraser) in his bag, he’s bound to have to draw something.
Dom phoned, she retook her driving test on Tuesday (our 23rd wedding anniversary) and has passed. Well done Dom!
I watched Love Story yesterday evening. Rob was working late and Olivier was out. It was lovely to see it again – ‘sigh’.
Monday, June 16, 2008
As the clinic for veins is on the same ‘campus’ I went and made my appointment there too. I must say that everyone is very polite, cheerful and helpful there. My appointment is for next Monday.
When I got home Olivier had made a pot of coffee and it was delicious. I didn’t know he knew how to make it. He’d been revising for his French Bac exam. The first work he’s done all year, the exam is on Friday. He left the house clutching his science revision book. Perhaps he’s got a new girlfriend he’s trying to impress?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I had a lesson later the same day and it was easier to continue than try to phone all of the parents and explain. We were making ‘Father’s Day Cards’. Fortunately my class was well occupied colouring and carefully copying out the English text I’d written on the board to notice that I was quieter than usual. The worst part of the day was sitting through the school musical which Dom was in. Final rehearsals meant that she didn’t come home beforehand. Then when we got back to the car afterwards we had to tell her.
The last time I saw him I kissed him goodbye and told him to take care of mum.
Today is not only a difficult day for all of us who no longer have dads with us. It’s also a miserable day for the dads who for lots of complicated reasons can’t be with their children. So I’ll say have a Happy Father’s Day to the dads without children from the children without dads.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
As the bars have all fallen off the door, bottles, cartons etc. are balanced inside. A week or so back a carton of raisin juice spilt so I ranted and raved a bit and got as far as choosing a new fridge. Rob than had a puncture in the tyre of his bike; this is expensive to replace as it’s a special tyre that doesn’t have punctures (!). He rides his bike to work everyday in all weathers so his bike is a priority. No fridge.
Last week a bowl of cold rice fell onto my foot as I was getting the milk out. ( Have you ever had a slipper full of cold rice?) . This evening it was salad dressing all over my toes. At the moment I’m visualising myself a new fridge, one I don’t have to defrost.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
At lunch time I turned the radio on as ‘World on the Move’, a program about migration, was finishing, they happened to mention that they have a nest with a webcam in it! The quality isn't very good at the moment.
I was saving this poem for when they flew the nest, but as they’ve gone I’ll post it now:
COME TO THE EDGE!
Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
And they came
and he pushed
and they flew ...
(Not sure who wrote it really and sometimes the words aren't quite the same)
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Our babies are growing fast. The parents don’t come back to feed them so quickly now. I managed to count 4 this morning when they all reached up to be fed. I was told to mind my own business as usual. I also saw the cock and hen together, she’s quite a bit lighter in colour than he is. A fly landed near to the nest and the chicks turned to watch it straight away. They didn’t make an effort to catch it though
Rob managed to get a few pictures though the window when it was ajar. He was scolded for being nosy when the parents came back and caught us in the act.
Messy, aren't they?
Then came the really nice bit; I was wearing my favourite linen trousers they are flared and loose so they rode up a bit and he noticed the thread veins on my ankles and calves. I’ve had these since I was 14 and they got worse after the children. I showed him the worst veins and so I’m going off to see specialist, I might be able to have electrolysis and it might be paid for by the social security. Even if I can’t afford to have anything done I will be pleased to see a specialist. My mum has the same problems so they are hereditary. We both walk a lot.
I had a little chuckle to myself because since the children were small there has been a French series on TV called ‘Under the Sun’. I still watch occasionally for old times sake. Rob’s favourite character is a lady Doctor Olivier, she works at the Atlantic clinic. I will be going to see a lady Doctor Olivier at the Atlantic clinic. I think Rob would like to come too.
Friday, June 06, 2008
I often think of Karma as a negative idea. All of those nasty people who will get their nastiness back later is a satisfying thought sometimes. Karma can be a lovely thing too:
Yesterday evening we were coming home from our evening walk along by the marsh and two swans were swimming right next to the road with 6 7 or 8 signets/chicks/nicks. We couldn’t agree on the number because they were pretty active, in and out of the reeds and behind the trees which are in the water at the moment. We stayed and admired the family for a good 10 minutes. I don’t know why anyone should call a signet an ugly duckling, these were lovely and fluffy and various shades of grey. I told the swans how beautiful their babies were and thanked them for letting us admire them for so long. That was my reward, I think, for all of my ‘troubles’ with the nightingales.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Back in October 1973 I stayed up late to watch 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'on TV. That particular night a group called Greenslade was on. The next day I was on holiday from work so I went into town and bought the album. I still have it today even though I can't play it. Like Peter, I've just discovered Youtube as a way of listening to music and watching performances. I was really pleased to find Chalkhill by Greenslade. Joie de vivre is how I'd describe this one. It takes me back to happy times.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
There is one bird which seems to have disappeared though. The road was used as a diversion earlier in the year because of road works, so some of the drivers raced round to make up for the two minutes they lost not going in a straight line. I saw at least two squashed moorhens which I think must have been the moorhen population. The moorhens were very good at dashing across the road like headless chickens (sorry, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe them). They used to be so proud of their chicks in past years.
We passed some scientists with binoculars , they were observing the birds and making notes. It was nice to see that they were enjoying the wildlife as much as we do
Last summer the farmer planted linseed. This year the wheat fields are lined by red poppies and blue linseed flowers. It really is a lovely site.
Still very few butterflies.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
I’m looking forward to seeing the results. If you read my post about eyebrows you’ll see that someone talked about thyroid problems in the comments. I have been very tired lately, but the worst part is feeling that life is one long set of chores stretching out before me. I had this feeling for a few years before I was diagnosed so I’m hoping to get that sorted.
Olivier and Dom tell me that the non-smoking rule emptied the night clubs at first. Not because people weren’t allowed to smoke. Apparently cigarette smoke does a lot towards masking the smell of sweaty bodies. The last I heard night clubs were going to introduce artificial cigarette smoke so solve the problem.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Dom phoned, she will be taking her driving test on Tuesday so please keep your fingers crossed. What she really wanted to know was what was the question which gives you the answer 42. You see I’m a mother who knows everything. I advised her not to search for the question as if she finds it the universe will probably come to an end. Then I had another phone call a couple of days later. She has had a ‘mention très bien’ for her exams and came first in her year; I am a very proud mummy indeed, as you can imagine. Well done Dom!
Olivier had a letter from the ministry of Defence. The second, so I was just hoping he hadn’t signed up yet. Do you remember that I wrote that he had a train ticket to nowhere when he was called up for the day? Well, they handed their unused tickets in and got a cheque for 8€ travelling expenses (that was the letter). As he only went two stops after his lycée anyway to get there he used his school journeys which we paid for at the beginning of the year. Rob and Olivier couldn’t help wondering how much all that cost the government.
When the children were small a two year old boy was kidnapped and assaulted and murdered by two older boys, you probably remember that. My mum wrote to me at the time and told me that when I was small I disappeared for a while and everyone in the village was looking for me. There were lots of tears when they found me. This upset me a lot because I couldn’t remember anything about it at all. Over the years I’ve let it go, but events like finding that postcard, sometimes bring it back...
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Rob gave me the American Gigolo DVD. We went to see it together before we came to France in 1984. I see that the film was made in 1980. I spent half an hour reading through my diary for 1984 trying to find exactly when we saw the film; I haven’t managed to find the date. I was disappointed, but the trip down memory lane was worth it.
Friday, May 23, 2008
One morning she happened to mention to me that one of the young men was especially nice. He had longish blonde hair and beard, he was slightly muscular (don’t like too many muscles), tanned and wearing a white shirt and a neat pair of tight jeans. He was also very pleasant and polite so I’m not really sure what my friend meant. I checked his name on the list – Mr. Gateau.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Anyone who reads any of my four blogs on Blogspot for the next day or so will see this identical post. After humming and ha-ing for several months Rob and I have decided to open an Ebay Shop for our postcards. A lot of people have asked why we haven’t done it before. The simple reason is that we sell small price items and a shop isn’t always viable in that case. As there have been recent changes to charging on ebay accounts for professionals in France we thought we’d give it a go.
If you have a moment could you please have a look and tell me what you think of the colour scheme etc. I know it’s in French, that’s our main market, although we do sell all over the world. Please leave a comment if you have anything to say or a question on any of the cards.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
4 things I did 10 years ago: (1998)
1. I started teaching as a self employed teacher which was to last three years
2. I got the contract help marine biologists with their English – one of the most interesting things that I have done
3. Prepared for my eldest son to go into secondary education, a big step as it meant a 20 minute bus journey for him!!
4. The teacher of our art class arranged for us to have a real live nude model, not very easy at first, but I have some sketches of naked backs which I am proud of.
4 things I did 5 years ago: (2003)
1. Started blogging
2. Put our eldest son onto a plane to live with his Grandma
3. Was made redundant from my secondary school teaching job and the after school group which I’d been teaching for 10 years. Altogether 5 teaching jobs dried up at the same time.
4. Dom started lycée
4 things I did yesterday:
1. Cooked, washed, ironed
3. Handled a postcard which was sent in 1880, the oldest one I’ve seen yet!
4. Spoke to Dom on the phone
4 shows I love to watch:
2. Cold case
4. C Dans l’Air (French current affairs programme)
4 things I love to do:
4 people to get it:
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
I told Olivier the following story: When the children were small, Dominique was a baby, I think. I woke up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare about someone buying her a pink toy vacuum cleaner. Not long after some friends came to stay. Their daughter was two or three at the time. It was late summer so the autumn/winter catalogue had come out full of ideas for Christmas. Her mother called her over all excited; toy vacuum cleaners and irons!!!! Needless to say I took myself off to the kitchen to escape.
Dom did go through a Barbie phase but it had finished by the time she was about 5. She’s never taken an interest in vacuum cleaners, pink or otherwise – That’s my girl!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Rob and I went for our evening walk, there was a beautiful sunset reflected on the water which was really calm. When we got to the cliff we could see that something was wrong. Further down there was a car on the rocks. Our cliffs aren’t that high really, if you decided to jump you’d probably break your ankle and suffer a few bruises. A young man had decided to try to kill himself by driving off the top of the cliff. The emergency services arrived soon after we did. The tide was coming in and it was getting dark. We were stood with a few other people near to a camping car which was parked up for the night (illegally) and when a woman arrived (from the scene of the accident) another woman asked if she knew if her husband was okay. The newly arrived woman was really stroppy with her and walked off. The woman started to cry and explained that her husband had gone to help (remember the tide was coming in). I comforted her the best I could and we watched the rescuers running around trying to sort out how to get the equipment onto the beach round by the cliff. We sent the woman into her camping car and watched for a while. The husband returned and was soaked. He told us that the man had wounded his neck and was still alive. Not long after that a helicopter flew over towards the fire station (there is a helicopter pad in front of it). We walked home and I went to bed.
Olivier was on the beach at the time it happened, heard the car rev up and saw the car go over the cliff and roll over a few times. The young man had taken off his seatbelt and finished up in the back seat. Olivier told me that as the car was an Audi the body wasn’t damaged much. The helicopter came back with equipment was used to help remove the roof and then lift the man to the top. The car was pulled up from the beach this evening damaging the already fragile cliff. The rumours have started, some say the man was dead when they got him up from the car. Olivier doesn’t think so because they fit him up with a drip.
I didn’t sleep very well and it suddenly occurred to me in the small hours that my young man who was cheating could have been the man in the car. Not true of course.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Lots of bloggers have come, gone changed identities too. A couple got swallowed up in World of Warcraft . I remember Carol whose son was serving in Iraq, I wonder where she is now. Then there was Isaac who went out for a walk and never came back last August. Spyke, he was good at disappearing – twice!.
Five years ago after having his wisdom teeth out, we put Christian onto a plane heading for his Grandma’s. I was teaching children with behaviour problems for the last time in the two colleges – a job I really loved, I started taking beta blockers. My children were amazed when I bought a little book about HTML and actually started to use it (Widgets came later). My blogroll started to grow and grow.
Thank you to everyone who has visited and contributed to the last five years and I hope we have many more to come.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I’ve been feeding birds around the front by the kitchen window. The blackbird arrives first at about 6.30 in the morning. He perches on the wall, looks down, looks at me, then looks down again “Where’s the food?”. A bluetit fluttered up the other morning and landed on the windowsill for a couple of seconds as if to say “thanks”. The only problem is that the magpie gang are muscling in and the sparrows end up with nothing if they don’t arrive early enough.
There aren't many butterflies again. Have you noticed a decline in the butterfly population where you live?
I haven't heard a cuckoo so far this year
I saw one blog, it belonged to a teenager who’s mum and dad have split up. She was heatbroken and was pleading for comments. Then she wrote she’d got a boyfriend and hasn’t posted for a month or so. I hope she’s okay. I do get involved with what’s going on…
Sunday, May 04, 2008
The mystery birds have set up home in the roof just above the French widows so when I open the shutters first thing in the morning I get a real telling off. The bird that I see, the male I suppose, is about the size of a sparrow, reddish brown with dull orange undertail feathers which he flashes at me in warning. He then sits by the roses and ‘tuts’ at me until I go away. I tried the RSPB’s excellent bird identifier and found nothing. Perhaps he doesn’t visit the UK?
Friday, April 25, 2008
Now I’m waiting for something horrible to happen….
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A little further on I came to the burnt out chateau which has been turned into holiday flats. There were 4 helicopters parked in the clearing. Rob and I had seen them fly over yesterday evening. So I wondered which rich and famous personalities came to stay near our village complete with convoy of helicopters. Or perhaps and Arab prince? Olivier told me later that it was to film and episode of a treasure hunt for French TV – I never watch it so I wasn’t impressed. When I got home and lunch time Olivier had opened all of the shutters (which we left closed because of the early start) and all of the widows to let some sunshine in.
This afternoon I went to surf on Blog Mad and discovered that I had two messages. Recently my blogs have been voted blog of the day!!
The sun is still shining and it’s starting to feel warmer too. Not a bad day at all
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Random things about me
1. I was once laughed at because I suggested wasting paper was wasting trees!
2. I’m very hard to make friends with in ‘real’ life
3. I was once in the ladies room at a hotel at the same time as Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie, I’m not sure which - and I couldn’t think of anything to say
4. I consider that I’ve had a lot of ‘lucky escapes’ in my life
5. My personal diary was used as evidence in a court case many years ago
6. Although I’ve lived in France for 23 years, I can’t write in French (I have read quite a few books and novels in French)
Rules of the game …
· Link to the person who tagged you.
· Post the rules on your blog.
· Write six random things about yourself.
· Tag six random people by linking to their blogs.
· Let each of the six know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment (on their blogs).
· Let your tagger know when your entry is up.
The victims …