Monday, May 31, 2010


For the past week I’ve been working on a little project with some of my friends from BlogExplosion. We have been so disappointed by the lack of response from the owners, LiveUniverse, that we decided to create our own blog exchange ExposeYourBlog! I’m hoping that you’ll see this and if you’re interested come and see what we have to offer. The big launch is tomorrow 1st June. Remember we really are at the beginning of this. I’ve been testing the system along with the other members of the team and we’ve ironed out the lumps and bumps to bring you the best we can. If not, I can assure you that any support tickets will be dealt with.

We have a brand new forum ready to go and we’d love to have feed back and suggestions from you – see you over at ExposeYourBlog!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It’s my turn at last

Today is Mother’s day in France, so Bonne Fête des Mères. Rob is working today so I’m on my own (Olivier doesn’t count as he will be asleep most of the day), I’ll be working here on the computer, I love my postcards so I don’t mind. I’ve had a shower with my new shower gel and am wearing my new super-gooey-strawberry flavoured-watercolour-lip gloss ready to give Rob a kiss on his way out.

To all mothers, women who can’t be with their children and all the women with children on their care, have a lovely day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Read to the end before clicking on the links...

I have eaten horse meat.

As an ex vegetarian I think that if you are going to eat one animal, then why not another? We had horse steaks while visiting friends in the North of France 25 years ago. They did ask us if we minded first and as far as I remember I’d rather eat beef. When we first came to live in the village there was a horse butcher who came to the village on Saturday mornings and the local supermarkets sold horse meat too. Then a lot of people became ill after eating diseased meat. The problem being that in France people prefer their meat underdone. Someone is supposed to have calculated you could get 1000 portions from one horse (different cuts of meat, sausage, offal, black pudding and so on) Since those days the horse butcher stopped coming round and the local supermarkets stopped selling the meat too.

I though that the practise had died out… This afternoon I was shocked to read A Taste of Garlic which contains a link to a post about the way that some horses are treated. I’m not sure whether they are all bound for the abattoir or not. Do not follow the link from his site if you are easily upset.

I’d just like to point out that most French people are just as horrified at the ill treatment of animals as everyone else.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy week

On Tuesday we went to collect Olivier’s belongings from Poitiers. We also went to visit Dom. She and J-M have got a lovely flat in an old building. She wrote to me earlier in the year and told me that it was ‘flowing with light’, she’s right. We also had a little walk around Poitiers in the sunshine. Olivier didn’t really have much to bring home and as he was staying on in Poitiers for a few days and kept the big suitcase with him so the car wasn’t too full.

Rob and I have a very black sense of humour. On the motorway on the way there we left the service station at the same time as a hearse. The hearse undertook us on the slip road and we both laughed at the same time. ‘Undertaken by and undertaker.’ On the way home we stopped for coffee and there again, was a hearse. Fortunately there wasn’t a third…

This morning I supervised a law exam. The atmosphere isn’t like it used to be as there have been a few problems. Needless to say I’ve had not quite the start of a migraine all afternoon.

We wondered if we might have to pick Olivier up from the station this evening. I tried texting and phoning him as we like to have a glass of wine in the evening at the weekend and don’t want to drink and drive. Olivier’s phone was ‘off’. Then I remembered, I unpacked his phone charger on Tuesday when we got back. He’s got his laptop with him so perhaps he’ll send an email from the train – let’s hope we’re online at the same time.

Does anyone know how Helen (HelenChapel) is? Her blog has been gone for a little while now and I wondered if she is okay.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Taste of Garlic

My blog has been reviewed! Just as I remembered that I’ve recently passed my 7th blogging birthday. A Taste of Garlic must be the ultimate collection of blogs written by ex pats living in France. Here’s the review of my blog if you’d like a well researched summary of what I’ve been up to over the past few years.

As I’ve been asked very nicely a couple of times, I’ve now added one of those blog follower widgets to the sidebars of my blogs so that I can see if I have any fans.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A busy weekend

Dom and J-M came for the weekend. It’s the first time that they have driven here so on Saturday afternoon they invited me out with them. We went to Brouage which is a fortified village which was once close to the sea. It was a holiday so there were lots of tourists milling a round as there are craft and gift shops and there was a market. It was very pleasant. On the way home we stopped at Rochefort-sur-Mer. I’ve been their several times but only in the shopping streets. We went to see the Corderie royal (where the cordage for French ships was made – a very long building) and the arsenal and wondered around the grounds and other buildings which had been built by the military. It was beautiful, the chestnut trees especially reminded me of England. Both of these were designed at some point by Vauban who seems to have created fortifications in just about every part of France. One of Dom’s old school friends, Q, came with us. He told us a lot about the buildings. His father is an architect so I can imagine Q being shown all of these places as he was growing up. He was a good guide and as he’s spend time in Sweden And Norway has an amazing accent when he speaks English. My voice was disappearing as we were on our way home. I hope I didn’t talk too much.

This evening they’ve driven off and I waved until they went round the corner out of site. It’s quiet and the house seems so empty now. Olivier will be here on Tuesday. The year since last September has gone so quickly.

Dom asks if any of my readers (!) can recommend places to see and things to do in Chicago

Monday, May 03, 2010

Babies, children and irons

Dom has her ticket for Chicago in August and within a day of her telling me that Christian phoned to say that he’s got a new job at Santander which will save him commuting for two hours every morning and is a step upwards! Sometimes I wonder what is going to happen next.

Olivier and Dom are in the throes of their final exams for this year. Hasn’t it gone quickly?

(Dom, you might prefer to skip this paragraph) Since Dom doesn’t come home so often, her bedroom is now my ironing room. I was busy ironing Olivier’s shirts when he came home the weekend before last. ‘Dashing away with th smoothing iron’ comes to mind. The iron suddenly shot off the ironing board and landed on the floor. Hot side down. I was ironing a cotton shirt on very hot and the carpet is made of nylon. There is now an iron shaped patch on the carpet. I manage to scrape the melted carpet off the iron without too much trouble and it still works. I’m trying to figure out how to move the furniture around to cover it up.

Me? I’ve just been very busy with my postcards, though things have been quiet for the past few days. I can hardly believe that we’re in May already. My irises are in flower. I did sew some lobelia seeds but I keep forgetting to water them. In a month we’ve got another auction to go to, so I’m really looking forward to that. We usually try to make a special day out of our auction visits.

On Saturday evening I went outside to close the kitchen shutters after dark and all of a sudden I heard out next door neighbour call ‘boo!’ I jumped out of my skin and he came over to apologise; He was taking his dog out for a walk and had jumped out at her from behind the wall. He and the dog do enjoy themselves. A lot of dog owners we see seem to be very stressed on their walks. Anyway, he was looking very happy; their third daughter was due to make her appearance in the world. She was born on Sunday in fact. They are such a nice family. Our neighbour’s father taught all three of my children maths.