Sunday, April 22, 2012

We voted

Well , we voted first thing this morning as Rob had to go to work afterwards. Rob was the first voter in our village.

It hasn’t been an easy campaign for us, the long suffering public. The ecology candidate seemed to have lost her way. There was more about her coming from Norway as an au pair girl when she was 16 than real issues. Everyone seems to think that they will have unlimited money to throw around if they become president. The national front candidate will just abolish everything. The ex-president? Well if he gets to be president again he will do things differently.

Unless a miracle occurs (outright winner) we’ve got another two weeks to go…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sad news

Regular readers of my blogs might remember me making friends with an elderly man one day when I discovered him struggling to breathe on my way back from the post office. I’m afraid to report that he died this week; he was 85. As I remembered he was a Major in the Gendarmes. He also fought in Indochina (Vietnam) and Algeria. I always enjoyed my talks with him when we met up.

 Here is some of his story.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stop Press

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter and afterwards

Last weekend we met up with J-M’s parents in town. We met up on the port and managed to find a table for 4 at a cafĂ©, despite the Easter weekend tourists. If you’ve never seen someone before, do they turn out like you expect them to? Well J-M’s parents were completely different to what I expected; they looked much younger!

Fortunately we all got along well. J-M’s father collects vintage postcards of the region where he was born and his mother is interested in history, so we all had plenty to talk about – after we’d discussed our wonderful children of course.

Olivier was home for the weekend too - plus washing.  The weather was reasonably kind to me and I only needed to iron 4 shirts. He does some of his washing at university. He will probably be home by the end of May. If all goes well he will have his diploma in economics.

 I found the time and inspiration to add a new short story to my Still Learning blog, if you’d like to read it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How did it go Anji?

..much better than I hoped.

 I had a bus journey and a 15 minute walk to get to the lab, so I drank my litre of water before I set off. I arrived about five minutes before my appointment. There was no queue and the receptionist was friendly and helpful. I went into the waiting room and was just getting my book out when my name was called!

The doctor was very nice and did the first part of the ultrasound scan quite quickly; he then showed me to a toilet - I was so relieved in more ways than one. Then I went in for the internal scan which was a little uncomfortable at first. I asked him questions so keep my mind occupied. He told me that I have a small uterus and was surprised that I had three children. They were all very small when they were born, perhaps it was because of lack of space.  I dressed and went to the waiting room to wait for the results. It had only taken 10 minutes.

I didn’t get too far with my book when my name was called to collect the results. The examination cost 56€70 (£46.80 or $74.09), most of which will be refunded by the social security and my health insurance cover. My gynecologist is just across the road, so I dropped them off there and walked back to the bus station. The bus was just about to leave when I got on it - excellent timing.

I think that the lab must have undergone a few changes since I was last there. Everyone was pleasant, there were no queues and I didn’t have to wait very long at all. Someone told me that most of the private clinics, labs, etc. around here are now owned by a Swedish company.

Pity I didn’t get very long to read my book

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

Take this freshly laid egg
 On this beautiful, long awaited day! 

This “freshly laid egg” is now 96 years old – Happy Easter anyway.

 Seashells, my short story for Easter

Friday, April 06, 2012

A scientific experiment in real time

I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this before. At the beginning of December I had what I thought was cystitis. So I bought some cranberry tablets and took a month’s cure. Unfortunately it kept on coming back and the tests that were taken where clear. Anyway, I ended up taking tablets for bladder spasms. I’ve looked around on the internet and now I don’t drink large quantities of anything in one go and have trained myself to wait 90 minutes between visits to the loo. This keeps things more or less comfortable most of the time.

It just so happens that next week I have an ultrasound scan and guess what? I have to drink a litre of water an hour before. I know the journey will take roughly an hour, so I must drink the water just before setting off. I’ve been worrying about this since I found out the ‘good news’ yesterday morning. This morning I came up with a plan. I would measure out the water (4 glasses) and drink them down. Allowing one hour plus another hour for waiting because appointments are usually late, I’m going to note how I manage. If it really is too uncomfortable, I will cancel the appointment and contact my gynecologist to see what else can be done. Anyone who has had a baby will know that an ultrasound scan on a full bladder is no picnic.

Progress will be updated every hour.

 9.22: Drank down four large glasses of water

10.22: I need to go but it's managable - no spasms.  Not sure how I'll feel about someone pressing the scanner onto my tummy at the moment

11.05 : I was hoping to get to 11.22, but considering everything, I did better than I thought I would.

I checked the medicine I’m taking; Vesicare. It’s designed to help people last longer – as it were. So in theory I will be alright on the day. I found the website and there are 3 stories of women of different ages, who suffered with overactive bladder (there, I said it). I’m thankful that I went to see my Doctor pretty quickly. Now I understand what had been going on.

If you’ve found this post because you’re trying to find out what’s wrong; please, please don’t hesitate to talk to your Doctor – it can’t be more embarrassing that having an accident when you’re out and about, can it?

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Friday morning found us leaving the house at the crack of dawn (if not before) to catch the train to Bordeaux. We were off to an auction. The first auction we’ve been to that hadn’t been organized by our expert. It was lovely to watch the sunrise over the fields as we made our way South. Bordeaux has an efficient tram system which was really easy to use. The only problem we had was how to get the tickets read by the machine. A fellow passenger soon showed us how.

 The auction house is along the docks. Like a lot of cities these areas have been re-built and we were surprised to find rather good discount shops and lots of restaurants and bars as well as a pleasant place to stroll along the river. The auction house was rather large and imposing but the people there were really friendly and we viewed all of the lots we wanted to see and a few more. We really were spoilt for choice. After the viewing all we needed to do was choose ourselves a pleasant riverside restaurant for lunch in the sunshine. This is the life! (Though we had to go through our notes and decide what not to bid on).

 The auction was very well run and moved along very quickly, no time to doze off. We got most of what we wanted and managed to catch an earlier train home. It really was a good day, the journey went smoothly and the weather was great.