Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Not here, there or anywhere

I overslept this morning. I don’t think that I’ve ever done that before. Rob had got up earlier and came to see why I wasn’t moving around. I sprang out of bed and don’t seem to have managed to get my body and mind synchronised again all day.

It’s the end of October and it’s as warm outside as in and the lizard was out on the kitchen windowsill at lunchtime. Very strange, he should be asleep.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health matters

Yesterday evening I was very shocked by a report shown here on French TV ; I think that the journalists told us that they had been to Virginia and visited a hospital or clinic. It was early morning and lots of people were waiting outside. They were waiting to take part in a lottery to see who would get treatment that day. These people weren’t the poorest, these were people who had lost their jobs and their health cover or they just couldn’t afford it. One woman was asked what was wrong with her; I could tell immediately from her face and neck. She needed hormones for her thyroid. That really struck home with me. I was undiagnosed for two or three years and I remember how much better I felt when my treatment was sorted out. Goodness know what happens to your body if you are treated for a while and then not.

The reporters 'forgot' to mention that in France, Médicines Sans Frontièrs looks after the people who have slipped outside the system. I had a friend who did some voluntary nursing for a while and she was very, very shocked that even in a ‘well to do’ town like La Rochelle there were so many people in need.

Now I know that I’m really old. This morning in the post I received a bulky pink envelope with no indication of the company which sent it. In the past this meant samples of disposable nappies /diapers, baby food, beauty products (posh cotton wool discs) and sanitary products. Well, I’ve discovered that I’ve been promoted to the ‘leaky ladies’ list. Perhaps I should book that shampoo and set at the hairdressers today – what about a lavender rinse?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When I was young I loved playing around with yoyos. I was never very good at it, but that was probably because I could only afford a cheap plastic one. In more recent years all three of my children have enjoyed yoyos and they were certainly more sophisticated than the ones I played with. I seem to remember one which lit up; needless to say mum had goes too.

I’m very tempted to start yo-yoing again now that I’ve discovered the existence of Yoyo Shop UK. You can buy yoyos online to your hearts content from beginners to pros, all colours and designs…. You can even by Tom Kuhn yoyos. You may well ask what or who is Tom Kuhn? Tom Kuhn is a dentist from San Francisco who makes amazing wooden yoyos. These are items of beauty as well as fun to use. You can’t get them from anywhere else in the U.K.

A yoyo might just be the stocking filler you were looking for and the postage is free…. I might just put one on my wish list.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just another Sunday

I’ve been time travelling today: First I celebrated the 6th birthday of a little girl who was born in 1899. Then I ogled the handsome young cyclists of the Tour de France in 1950. Next I admired the new white cape and ‘Kepi’ worn by the French police men at night from 1949 onwards and then I finished off by watching the Russian troops march through a French town when they joined the First World War effort. Not bad for a quiet Sunday.
How about you?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The joys of being a mother

I try really hard not to be a neurotic mother, but sometimes fate just overwhelms me. On Sunday lunch time Rob told me that a report was coming up on TV about riots in the centre Poitiers! I sat and watched the pictures of the devastation with my stomach churning. Such a quiet, peaceful town, holding a festival. I knew that Dom and J-M would attend something like that on their doorstep. Dom and I managed to converse with each other via our message services. They were fine, but disappointed that the event they were going to attend on Saturday evening had been cancelled.

A gang of around 250 hooded and masked men had passed through the town centre on Saturday afternoon smashing shop windows, letting off smoke bombs and causing damage. Fortunately only one person was injured. From the far left, they were protesting about the building of a new prison. What is shocking, besides the violence of the attack, was the way that the protest had been highly organised.

Olivier had come home for the weekend so I knew that he was safe and sound. Or was he? On Saturday evening he went into town with some friends on their bikes, which they normally do if they know that they will be drinking. I know, bikes can be lethal too when mixed with alcohol. They park them just outside the police station, so that they are well guarded. Somehow he managed to loose his phone. We tried phoning him to see if we could locate it, but the battery was flat. He spent Sunday afternoon organising a new one. Fortunately he was almost at the end of his contract. Thanks to the internet he can pick the new phone up from a shop in Poitiers during the week.

He remembered to take his alarm clock back with him. If he misses lectures he will lose his ‘grant’.