Friday, 21 June 2013

En France

Well, I don't know whether anyone still checks this out, but I thought I'd post anyway.
 We have now been living in France for just over a year and loving it. 
Firstly we were in a very run-down cottage with a huge garden and right out in the middle of nowhere, but had to leave as the owner is now trying to sell (for more than it's worth in my opinion) and we can't afford to buy it.
 We are now renting a house in a little village with everything within walking distance but unfortunately no attached garden. We have, in typical French syle, a piece of land that goes with the house but is down the lane on the other side... not so good for our poor cat, who'd got used to his freedom.
 I know my French has improved, but not as fast as I'd hoped as we had very little contact with anyone at all at the last place. Our neighbours were friendly enough, but not particularly outgoing; I guess we were very much the outsiders in a hamlet where evrybody was related and the house next door was empty   - had been for years, hence the steady influx of mice through the bathroom wall... and no, the cats were no deterrent, apart from one who adopted us and used to spend hours squatting on the bathroom carpet waiting to pounce. She used to bring us lovely presents too; a decapitated mouse with entrails laid out neatly on the doorstep, ditto a skinned baby rabbit ...
I realise this is not very well written but what the hell, if no-one reads it it doesn't matter!
I'm still struggling to use this French keyboard on my English pc; the letters and symbols are in different places.

Monday, 22 August 2011


As it was, After the respray, ... and all that's left :- (

Our beloved campervan was nicked and torched. Bastards! Just for kicks. What is wrong with these people? I would have a little bit of sympathy had a homeless person broken in because he/she had nowhere to shelter and accidentally set it alight, but destruction just for the sake of it... Of course the insurance can't replace everything; it was our little home on wheels, our escape, our freedom. I just can't believe it could be so totally destroyed - you wouldn't know there had ever been cupboards, beds and bedding, towels, clothes, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, books,c.d.s etc.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

"At all"

Just another linguistic irritation:

Why do people add "at all" to their questions? e.g. "Is Bob there at all?" ("Well, he's here a little bit...") "Do you need a bag at all?" ("Well, just a bit of a bag, thank you")? ...and another one...(on the phone) "Who is this?" (Well, if you don't know who you are I'm not going to tell you! - did you mean "Who is that?")

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sad day

Today I had to say goodbye to an old friend ... yes, my old Volvo had to go to the scrapyard. After blowing the head gasket, given all the other niggly things as well as it's age, repair was uneconomical.

I now have a "proper" car - '51 plate, shiny, lots of electronic wizardry ... but I am heartbroken.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Done it!

I've finally submitted my tax return! And waddya know - they owe me £106!

Won't buy me a new (for "new" read "another second-hand") car though! Mine's terminal :-(

Friday, 3 December 2010

Am I allowed to use the S word?

That was our picnic table...

Oh what a surprise! There's still s*** outside. We have about 18" and the world is falling apart! No buses, no trains,schools closed...

It's so quiet outside (not just at this time in the morning). I notice it because there is a bus stop and a cash machine (where cars usually park inconsiderately on the double yellows) virtually outside my house so I am particularly conscious of lack of traffic.

I'm guessing there'll be more blogging as people are stuck at home with not a lot to do. What about when we get the inevitable power cuts? What will kids who have only ever known electronic leisure do with themselves? They might find they have to actually talk to their families face to face or play Scrabble or Ludo or Trivial Pursuit!

We started to build an igloo in our front garden but it's virtually covered by fresh snow. We couldn't face getting frozen again yesterday. I'd forgotten how much my feet hurt when they are really cold! I am wearing two pairs of thermal socks inside my furry slippers, t-shirt, jumper and cardigan the central heating is on. It's this bay window that's the problem, not draughts, just cold emanating from it. Oh look, my spellchecker obviously thinks I should spell it "drafts" - I'm English for Christ's sake!

My son walked into work yesterday and waited outside for an hour and a half but no-one else turned up. No communication at all from the boss. He was frozen by the time he had walked home again (all uphill) and took a long time to thaw out. He has chilblains for the first time, poor thing! No contact at all from his boss ... he's going to go in again today and hope he can get in this time.

I suppose the good thing about this enforced incarceration is that I have no excuse not to get all my paperwork/mending etc etc done. I'm glad we got the new felt on the shed roof before D went off to the States! I'm keeping up to date with the washing, ironing and vacuuming as you never know when the electricity's going to go off! (You'll notice I don't "hoover"; that's another one of my pet hates. "Actually it's an Electrolux, not a Hoover" - I can see a spate of comments coming...)

So much for getting things done...

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hello again

Don't seem to have much to say these days. I've been feeling that I shouldn't be so negative, sarcastic and piss-taking, but then I don't seem to have anything to say...

Well, the Teenager didn't get the grades he'd been hoping for in his AS's (should that apostrophe be there?) so applied for and got (well done him) an apprenticeship in a computer shop, retail and repairs. He works 40 hours for £100 - that's £2.50 an hour! - and to be honest I can't see he's actually getting very much training. He only gets Christmas Day and Boxing Day off (which is really only one day as the shop doesn't open on Sundays anyway). I think he's being exploited. Oh, but he looks so grown up in his shirt and tie!

D's off to the States again just for a couple of weeks to wind up his business there and by the time he comes back it'll be nearly Christmas again. I'm getting more and more cynical about the whole thing. I really don't want to be involved in the crass commercialism that it has become. Family only for prezzies and cards this year, and I'll try to make the cards (I usually run out of time) and I refuse to buy anything which is labelled as a "gift". A gift is just whatever you want to give someone, not what retailers think you should buy. i.e. something that you would otherwise never dream of shelling out money for! (I know, preposition at the end of a sentence...)

Hey, I've got another moan - why can't the spellchecker on Blogger recognise English English? It has just told me I have spelt "cheque", "recognise" and "labelled" wrong. Grrr!


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Grumpy/happy middleaged moaner.