Monday, December 19, 2016

My new book has arrived!

I'm very pleased to announce the arrival of my third book, 'Beausejour'. It’s available for Kindle on Amazon. I’m not putting a link directly for my book here as it won’t work in all countries. The best is to go to Amazon and search for my name in the Kindle Store.

If you're interested you can visit my page at Author Central.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The big small button scandal

Have you noticed how buttons appear to be smaller on new clothes? I’ve been wondering how much is saved in button costs by downsizing them. I’ve been having problems doing up buttons recently. This is all very well for teenage fashions, but today I’m just wearing a checked, brushed cotton shirt; sensible and warm. My hands are older now and my fingers not as supple as they used to be, so every morning finds me struggling to button up the blouse or shirt I’m planning to wear.

 I’ve also noticed that the button holes don’t appear to be smaller to match, so the buttons don’t stay buttoned! I suppose the next step will be manufacturers downsizing button holes to save on thread costs.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The 'Lac de Frace'

Towards the end of September we went for a walk at the Lac (lake) de Frace. It’s not far from where we live but we’ve only visited once before. The weather was good, it was early evening and the main season was finished so that it was very peaceful. We almost had the place to ourselves!

Friday, September 09, 2016

And now it's September!

I seem to be posting here once a month this year. I’ve been very preoccupied with my business as eBay wants our announcements to be compatible for the app for smart phones. As it happens we had started cleaning up our older announcements before eBay mentioned the changes. We now have over 7000 postcards online!

The weather has been very hot for about a month. I spend most of my time indoors with the shutters closed. Keeping the shutters closed helps to keep the rooms cooler.

Olivier has finished his studies and has a job in the bank where he took his apprenticeship. He really enjoys his work, looking after business customers. He’s expected to visit them and he loves doing that as he gets shown around and can better understand how the businesses are run.

This September is the first year we haven’t had any of our children going into education of some sort since Christian started school back in September 1989. Dom is starting her second year of lecturing at Essex University. She and J-M love living in the UK, they don’t regret moving at all.

All in all we’ve had a good summer up to now.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Wrong number!!

Somewhere in France last week a group of boys went off to football camp. I don’t think that they were very old as one was crying as the coach left and another had his birthday while he was away. The parents were anxious to know that their sons had arrived at their destination safely.

What does this have to do with you Anji? You may well ask. My phone number was given out to the parents in error and they were phoning a lot at the beginning of the week. At the end of the week it started up again; the parents had been given 3 different times of arrival. Not a very well organized trip. I hope that the budding footballers enjoyed themselves.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

June has come and gone...

I can’t believe that I didn’t write a post during the month of June. Rob had some time off so we were busy on those days.

I think that the highlight of the month must have been our visit to the Château de Crazanne. The weather was beautiful and we were the only tourists as the season hasn’t really started yet. We had the guide to ourselves and had a really interesting tour of the inside of the chateau.

We ate a picnic lunch in the grounds under a huge tree. We even shared our crumbs with some very polite ducks who waited at a discrete distance until we had finished eating.

 Did I mention that I love trees?

On the way home we went to take some odds and ends to Emmaüs (a charity shop) and to have a look around. Came home with one or two books; I love that place.

Just a small sample of what they've got; much more inside

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Comings and goings

I have my “smart” phone back again. Everything is in perfect order and working well.I didn't think that I would miss it so much.

Olivier came home for a few days. He seems well and happy and will be starting work properly in the first few days of June. He will be doing the job that he has been doing for some time anyway. I think he’ll enjoy it more knowing that it really is his job and he will be paid properly for it.

Olivier left and it was Rob’s turn to have a few days off. We didn’t do much really – caught up on sleep mainly and went for walks. Yesterday was strange; I was all on my own, all day long for the first time in a while.

This morning I went to see the Rheumatologist about my knee. It was very swollen and painful at the end of March. Fortunately it is much better now, but I will have to have gel injected into it during the month of July . I’ve coped with the pain etc. much better this time, I think. I meditate everyday when I can which I find helpful. My Doctor also told me to try to keep the leg straight when sitting for long periods. That has been a gold nugget of advice for me, as I work using the computer almost all day. I only took 4 out of the painkillers my doctor gave; me two of which were for a headache and back ache. Would you believe I put my back out one morning when I was putting eye drops into my eyes?

Not much fun getting old sometimes.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Just over a week ago, my super intelligent phone died on me (not so smart after all). I was just sorting out my photos on the cloud thingy and everything went dark. I fiddled, did soft resets, tried to charge the battery up. Did you know that if the battery gets too low, it isn’t strong enough to charge up again? I’m pretty expert at getting the back off the phone now.

I’ve been using my old Samsung as an alarm in the morning and after meditation. It’s a rather harsh sound compared to the gentle music I’m used to nowadays.

Rob took the dead phone into work to show a colleague who knows about these things and he’s ordered a new battery. Now we have to wait for it to arrive. I really hope I haven’t lost everything. My photos are okay – I was looking at them on the cloud thingy; -which is where I came in.

Monday, May 09, 2016

8th May 2003

… Was the date of my very first blog post. Blogging has come a long way since that date 13 years ago. I didn’t understand anything at first and relied a lot on the help of my children.

 Archives had to be added to a blog manually and comments were added from a third party. A lot of early bloggers had broken hearts as comment’s sites disappeared or merged and comments were lost forever.

I learnt to make alterations to my blog by using HTML. I’ve still got my to HTML, but I haven’t needed to use it for a few years. Widgets were invented so lots of bits and pieces could be rapidly added at the click of a mouse. Even I could do that.

Blogging has slowed down quite a bit these days as people post to Facebook; even I’m guilty of that. I still love my blogs – all 6 of them!

Here is what my blog looked like in March 2004, thanks to the Wayback Machine.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

All grown up

I found this post about Olivier when he was 12 years old (he’s a lot taller than me nowadays and I don’t wear spiky hair). He’s 25 now – how time flies. Today he starts his final exams for a Masters degree.

Not much I can do but wish him good luck and hope that he gets questions on the subjects he’s passionate about.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Earthquakes and strikes!

Christian & J were here for a week, though that was not their intention. Their flight home was cancelled on Thursday because of strikes. They managed to extend the car hire and get places on the Saturday flight.

There was also an earthquake and we were quite close to the centre of it. One loud bang and a wobble and it was over; no damage done and nothing fell off the shelves. The sun shone for most of their visit, though there was (and still is) quite a cold wind.

Christian very kindly brought some Victoria Wood  DVDs with him.  I was very pleased to be able to watch them, she was such a funny lady.

 I do enjoy having time with my children, despite unplanned events.

Friday, April 29, 2016

To Rennes and back

A couple of weeks ago we went off to Rennes for the day to collect Olivier’s belongings from his apartment there. The weather was good and there wasn’t too much traffic both ways so we had a stress less day.

He had everything packed and ready, so we only had to load the car up after a cup of coffee and he’d been out to fetch us croissants! The apartment is on the 6th floor and in an old window box right next to the little balcony where the residents of the apt go out to smoke, was a pigeon’s nest, complete with mother and three chicks. She didn’t bat an eyelid when we went right up to the window to look!

Olivier treated us to lunch and took us for a walk around the old part of Rennes. There is a beautiful park which is worth a visit. After using that walk to stretch out legs we headed for home.

Visiting my grown up children is one of my favourite occupations!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Special offer!

I’m running a special promotion for my book ‘Angie Brynner & Company’ on Amazon Kindle UK and Amazon Kindle US.

The UK promotion starts 12th April at 8 am GMT until 19th April at 12 am GMT; the price is reduced from £2.37 to 99p.

 In the US, the book will be 99 cents from 12th April 8 am PST until 19th April 12 am PST, original price is $2.99.

If you don’t have a Kindle reader you can download a free app for your smartphone, tablet or computer, in order to read The link is just below the book cover on the page.

Because Amazon doesn’t seem to cope well with links from country to country .The best way to find the book is to go to Amazon, look under Kindle and look for my name: Angela Knutsen.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

A bossy bird

The cherry tree in the garden of the Mairie (town hall) next door is easily visible over the wall as I hang out the washing. For the last month there has been a Great Tit in the tree declaring himself to the world. I can easily see him as the leaves are still buds and the branches are visible.

 A couple of weeks ago I was clipping the top of the hedge and the GT appeared to be advising me how to do it. I was definitely doing it wrong as he was very vocal – telling everyone who took time to listen.

 A few days after that, I was making a fuss of Tigger who paid a visit and was sunning herself on the garden table – which I imagine was warmed by the sun. I won’t say we were attacked, but there was a very angry visitor who flew past in a huff and made me (and Tigger ) jump. Was GT jealous of the attention I was giving to the cat, or was he trying to warn me of possible danger from the cat?

This week GT is far too busy flying around with his lady friend to bother with a mere human like me.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A fly in the ointment - sort of *

For just over a year I’ve been using drops and ointment in my eyes because when I saw my ophthalmologist 13 months ago he said that I might need an operation to remove scar tissue in my left eye. The good news is that I don’t need an operation and I didn’t need new lenses for my glasses either.

Apparently I’ve reached an age when there aren’t great changes to vision. Unfortunately, in France the ointment that I’ve been using for almost 30 years is out of stock. A substitute ointment was almost no use at all. Now I’m on stronger drops till my beloved ointment comes back again.

* couldn't think of a better title - could have put A Fl-eye in the ointment!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

When life isn't as expected

Thursday morning got off to a strange start. My phone is cracked and I must have bumped it at some point on Wednesday evening. My alarm didn’t ring; just made that horrible «I’m buzzing towards the edge of the table” sound. Fortunately I was awake already, so didn’t miss it.

When we got up we realized that although the toilet flushed the tank didn’t refill. I went to put some water in the kettle and there was just a pathetic trickle. Rob walked along to the village shop and discovered that there was a fire in a silo at a local farm. The water had been cut by the firefighters so that they could fight the fire. It came back on again so that I could wash up the breakfast things but the pressure was pretty pathetic all day as they were using water for over 12 hours.

It really is strange to have no water at all. I had bottled drinking water which we could use sparingly. We take so much for granted. Just the simple act of rinsing my hands after peeling an orange became complicated.

All is back to normal for us, but it won’t be normal for the farmer’s family for quite some time to come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nearly there!

Olivier phoned this afternoon. He had to give a presentation at the regional office of the bank he works in. It went very, very well. He didn’t use notes. He loves his subject and work. I’m so pleased for him. He’s almost at the end of his apprenticeship and will normally be taking his finals for his master degree in the spring. Rob and I are very proud parents.

Very sad news

We had some very sad news towards the end of January. My sister died very suddenly one evening when she was just settling down for the evening with her knitting. She was the fittest of the four of us siblings. Always active, grew her own vegetables and ate healthily. She was the one who could always be relied upon to pass round family information and news. It was a big shock to all of us.

As soon as I phoned Dom with the sad news she offered to collect me from the airport and take me to the funeral. I travelled to the UK on my own. It was strange, but as it was a journey we’ve made several times in recent years, nothing I couldn’t manage. Dom and J-M were so kind, looking after me for the two nights that I was there.

This was only the second funeral I had been too and the first time I’d been to a church ceremony. I was surprised at how comforting the service was. As I’ve lived in France for over 30 years now, there were quite a few people I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was lovely to be with my mum, brother and sister, my aunts and uncles and cousins, not to mention my now grown up nephews and niece. Family is really important at a time like this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's caught up with me at last

I’ve recently had to take another blood test as my blood sugar has been creeping up again. As from this morning I’m on a very low dose of Gliclazide at breakfast time. I have to take another test and see the Doctor again in three months.

Anyone who has been reading this blog over the past ten years will know that I spent 5 years from 2005 to 2010 testing my blood sugar several times a day. I managed to control things by eating sensibly. Then my Doctor retired and I had a period of 5 years with Doctors who didn’t believe in “pre diabetics”. I appreciate that I have managed to stall taking medication for this for 10 years. At least I don’t have to use insulin.

 My present Doctor’s advice is to avoid sweet things (which I’ve always done) and take more exercise. I know that I have to lose weight too. I’m off now to put on some music and do a bit of ‘keep fit’.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Summer of 1970

I’ve now published my second book on Kindle. It’s free for five days from Sunday 17th January to Thursday 21st. If you don’t own a Kindle you can also read on your smartphone, tablet or computer. I have the app on my smartphone and was surprised how comfortable reading on the phone can be. I use it as a back up when I’m out in case I leave my Kindle at home.

The Summer of 1970

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 seeps in

Christmas and New Year came and went as quickly as it usually does. Rob had a stomach bug on Christmas day. I felt ill too – it was like having a hangover without the fun.

Olivier was home for Christmas this year and stayed for several days and then went off with his friends for New Year. He became ill just after that and had to miss his exams. The re-sits aren’t until October. Dom and J-M seem to have enjoyed their first Christmas in the UK.

The weather here has been very wet and windy and tomorrow I have to go into town for blood tests before breakfast. I’ll be starving by the time I get home. We have buses to the next village every half hour, but they pass by the scenic route, so the home journey will be slow.

Thank you to everyone who either bought my book or took advantage of the free offer. I really appreciate your interest.