Saturday, October 30, 2010

You can't win them all

Today was a little different. Rob had a message yesterday from a friend who keeps an eye on the auction house in town. There were a few boxes of postcards coming up this afternoon. We spent the day in town and had a good look around – like tourists. We had a lovely lunch in the little square (triangle really) by the magic tree (meeting place of all young people with guitars and funny cigarettes for many years until they took the low wall away). I had toasted goat’s cheese salad with walnuts, apple, goat’s cheese, etc. and Rob had salmon tartar (but I didn’t tell him that the salmon was raw) which he really enjoyed. We went to the auction and waited patiently for our lots to come up… we were outbid. That’s life.

We also found the house which had been the home of this lady. Rob took a picture with his super iPhone and will forward it to me tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A lady I’d like to meet

I haven’t done the 'meeting the other parents' bit yet, but I’m really looking forward to meeting JM’s mother. I don’t remember all of the details exactly but I seem to remember something about her having a Citroen 2CV and two Dobermans (Dobermen?) when she was young.

The family has an apartment in Paris where JM lived when he was studying there and his younger brother lives now. Unfortunately his younger brother arrived home one day after visiting his parents to find the place taken over by squatters. Can you imagine how upsetting that must have been? He phoned home and I’m not sure how quickly his mother came, but when she came she was armed with chains ropes and super glue (again I’m not sure of the details exactly). She started to board up the shutters and doors with the ropes and chains. Of course the squatters wanted to know what the hell was going on. She told them as they wanted to stay there they could, but they wouldn’t be able to get out. They left.

A few weeks ago the family home was burgled during the night. She bought herself a Rottweiler.

Now read Keith’s post about breaking the law in the UK

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Before you roll your eyes and stop reading. I thought I’d tell you about how Halloween has changed in the little part of France I live in the past 20 years or so. When the children were small the big dressing up and asking for treats day was Mardi Gras. There would be knocks at the door all day if it fell in the school holidays.

Then Halloween started up and little by little grew and took over from Mardi Gras. We even organised a big Halloween party for the children in the village, with prizes for the best costumes. When I was an English assistant in Primary and secondary schools it provided and excellent lesson in Anglo Saxon culture, followed a few days later by the story of Guy Falkes

Now both Mardi Gras and Halloween seem to have been forgotten by the children for some reason. Despite half hearted attempts to sell costumes, wigs and masks in some of the shops.

November 1st is All Saints Day and is a holiday in France. Traditionally people visit the graves of their loved ones and leave chrysanthemums. It’s a good moment for a family get together. It’s lovely going shopping at this time of the year, the shops are full of pots of Chrysanthemums.

What do you do in your country?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catch Me If You Can

Rob and I took a little time off yesterday afternoon. As it was pouring with rain we put on a film. Not only is Catch Me If You Can worth watching, it has one of the best opening title sequences, on a par with the first Pink Panther film.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Update on my eyebrows

It’s been 3 years since they dropped out due to stress I think. They are coming back very slowly. I hadn’t been drawing them in because I didn’t want to clog the hair follicles up, but I was getting fed up with a straight fringe in my eyes most of the time. I took my courage in my hand and left a comment on Cherelynn’s blog Makeup University Inc. asking for help. I got a very quick reply and she suggested drawing the eyebrows in with eye
shadow first then using a soft crayon; I tried it and it was so easy to do. I couldn’t believe how good they looked. I’m still working on getting the thickness right, but they look pretty natural and now I don’t panic when the wind blows.

Cherelynn has all sorts of advice on her blog and giveaways too if you live the other side of the (Atlantic) pond. Well worth a visit.

Can I put the record straight?

In order to start receiving a state pension in France you have to have worked for 41.5 years. People who are entitled to retire at 60 will be people who started full time work before the age of 19. This means that they didn’t go far in their education and worked in low paid jobs. Most people in low paid jobs work well into their 60s in order to obtain a decent pension. Nearly every one works extra years to bump up their pensions. People who work on the black market never get a pension and work until they die or become too infirm.

The marine biologists I used to give lessons to calculated they could start thinking about retiring after they were 70.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just a thought

I just wondered it anyone else had noticed: As far as we know, the miners that were trapped underground seem to have managed to get along reasonably well together. Do you remember the behaviour of some of the inmates of ‘Big Brother’ (in France ‘The Loft’)? It made me think….

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I can dream

I got to have a go with Olivier’s Blackberry. We were coming home after taking him to his lift to go back to Poitiers early on Monday morning. We could hear music and as a car was overtaking us at the time thought that they had their music turned up loud. A second car overtook with it’s music, the same music, playing loudly. I assumed they were listening to the same radio station. Then the music played again. Olivier was phoning us (his phone) with his friend’s phone to tell us that he’d left the blackberry on the back seat. We had to turn around and go back to the pick up point. Fortunately they had only lost 10 minutes. They both had lectures at 10.15.

I expect that’s the closest I’ll get to using his phone.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blood and gore

Not really but it caught your attention, didn’t it?

Back to the veins on my legs; year 3. I counted yesterday, 109 injections. The needle doesn’t hurt but the product burns a little especially around my knees. Funnily enough they weren’t sore afterwards.

I watched the last two episodes of Season 2 of The Tudors yesterday evening, lots of beheading and blood. Fortunately no nightmares.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

October 88 and pregnant

Something I haven’t done for a while is get out my diaries to see what I was doing on this day in 1988. Not a lot it seems, Dom was due in November and I was childminding as well as looking after Christian who was by then 20 months old. Looking at the days around that date squeezing in rest time seems to have been my goal. The little boy who I was looking after at the time was the same age as Christian, so they had an afternoon nap at the same time. I was eight months pregnant and weighed 4 kilos lighter than I do now!!

It’s nice to look back on those days but I don’t think I’d like to go back in time if I had the choice.