Sunday, March 31, 2013

They've got my number

A couple of weeks ago I started getting calls and messages on my phone from a number I didn’t know. The messages were in French teenage-speak asking me who I was. I don’t answer calls from anyone I don’t know. Anyway, I took advantage of my big tall strong son with a deep voice being home and asked him to answer the phone.

 It turned out that my phone number was on the toilet wall at a school somewhere we’ve never heard of in France. After talking to Olivier they stopped phoning and sending messages. Hopefully I’ve been scribbled out.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone, whether your eggs are delivered by a giant rabbit, Snoopy or the bells; I hope that you receive the ones you want.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Time keeps on slipping into the future...

That’s how I feel at the moment. I don’t seem to get a minute to myself.

Last Friday we went to Bordeaux to an auction which I love, but is a very long tiring day. The nice part was that Olivier met up with us for lunch. We also saw the new bridge that lifts up to let the boats through. We came home with some excellent postcards.

Olivier has also been home for a few days, so I’ve been washing and ironing and preparing meals. We don’t have a bus service to this village so I ferried him to the nearest bus stop a couple of times – as well as just passing time talking.

The weather has been sunny but cold – nothing to do with the end of March here. We’ve still got the heating on and the clocks go forward this weekend!

Dom and J-m are coming to stay next weekend as J-M is in a play this weekend by Steve Gooch; Female Transport, about 6 women convicts sent off to Australia. Dom will be giving her first lecture in an amphitheater during the month of April. She’s looking forward to it! – Brave girl. She knows her subject well so there should be no problems.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Did we save a life?

One of Rob’s colleagues is ill and as he is in charge of the time table she left him messages at 5.30 and 6.30 this morning (he puts his phone on silence at night these days – can’t think why!).

At breakfast he phoned her up to let her know that she wasn’t working today anyway and to ask how she was. It seems she has flu and was dosing herself up with paracetamol and a cold/flu cure which is popular here, it also contains paracatemol, as well as another medicine we don’t know. As soon as he put the phone down he realized what she had said and sent her a message telling her she was double dosing on paracetamol. She didn’t know it was dangerous at all and thanked him.

We then forwarded the number to the anti-poison center (first page of telephone directory in France), so that she could check whether she was okay. She contacted us a few minutes later to say that they had instructed her not to take anymore paracetamol for at least 15 hours. She lives alone, had she continued to dose herself up every four hours goodness knows what would have happened.

 In France you have to go to the pharmacy to buy all medicines. If you buy paracetamol and the cold cure together they always advise you not to take them at the same time. I hope that everyone knows how dangerous paracetamol can be.

From Wikipedia:

 “The onset of analgesia is approximately 11 minutes after oral administration of paracetamol, and its half-life is 1–4 hours. While generally safe for use at recommended doses (1,000 mg per single dose and up to 4,000 mg per day for adults), acute overdoses of paracetamol can cause potentially fatal kidney, brain and liver damage and, in rare individuals, a normal dose can do the same. The risk may be heightened by chronic alcohol abuse. Paracetamol toxicity is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the Western world, and accounts for most drug overdoses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Recently, we’ve had snow, warm spring weather and now we’re back to cold with the threat of snow. Although we seem to be in winter still, we’re only a week away from spring. Where has the time gone?

On Monday in town I saw a hollyhock in flower.

Last week there was a small earthquake locally – it didn’t wake us up.

I watched “The Lake House” on Sunday evening. Lovers corresponding to each other from different time zones – just the kind of film I like!

Just finished “Last Night at Twisted River” in French. Dom is going to lend me it in English next time she and J-M come to visit. I’ll review it on Still Learning when I’ve finished the second reading.

Findus France have announced their recent troubles as a “problem with labelling”.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


This morning a flock of geese flew over. I heard them before I saw them, flying in the clear blue sky in a ‘V’ formation.

All of a sudden I was transported back to over 30 years ago when I lived on the farm. Flocks of geese would arrive to make short work of the new shoots of wheat. Come harvest time there would be quite a bald patch in the corner of the field. I used to go out for a walk with my collie, Elkie. Although she wasn’t trained to herd sheep, she definitely had the herding instinct and would go down onto her tummy and shuffle silently towards the geese. Then she would wait for my command, struggling to stop her tail wagging. “Sedemoff!” (send them off) meant that she had permission to rush at them barking and they would rise into the air, a noisy cloud of surprised geese.

For a little while I had a lump in my throat, Elkie is long gone, the farm is no longer a farm and I live in a different country.