Thursday, 31 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
By rising waters of Angles, (Ongle)
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Days almost at their shortest and nights their longest.
The coming of a New Year cries out, “Janus, cheer Goodbye!
The old has past and gone. His and her story done!”
But then the New Year looks ahead and shouts to Janus encore,
“Hello! What gifts in the months shall we treasure and explore?”
However, just give us a chance to pray
a “Bon Noël”, a “Merry Day,”
a Festive Feast for Round Robin,
a Holiday and a Holy day,
a time for rest or work or play,
a time to be with your family,
Merry Christmas and Joyeuse Année.
We hope the sums are accurate, numerically speaking,
yet, the past year of our lives, living or just sleeping
has seen some positive moments of Living in Poitou-Charentes,
at Latitude of +46.81 (46°48'36"N) and Longitude of +0.54 (0°32'24"E)
for 12 months or how shall we put it?
365 days (or was it a leap year?)
we bring you a rhyme in time, for the cheer of the year!
Here comes the Christmas Round Robin!
January soft white snow, scenery stunning for several weeks,
‘sno good for building ‘les bonhommes de neige’ or digging up the leeks.
Bright light dazzles the eyes, but ice was good for downhill slides.
Sanxay - baths and Roman amphitheatre,
David’s birthday, a magical mystery feature.
February made us shiver, frozen pipes and all a dither,
No fresh water in the mornings, wake up and count one’s blessings,
David the plumber is on tap, fancy that, he wears a plumber’s hat.
Then, in freezing temperature, stokes the oak for the warm woodburner,
Helps us to appreciate the finer things in life,
Instead of grumbling about stresses and strife.
March-mad moments, house search goes on,
surprisingly spot the ideal one.
Three months later, investigations reveal
potential rotten timber-frame concealed.
March birthday celebration, of Francesca’s first year,
Teeth appearing through her gums changed smiling to a tear.
Such a lovely little lass, a climbing curious girl
Comes to France, July with Mum, creates a dervish whirl.
Gran’mama loves vitality and tries to keep up gladly,
But sort of pleased as Grandma’s are when home they go, but sadly
March and April come and go, now the bunion’s gone,
Sweetpea was enforced to rest but not without frustration.
David dug and sowed some seeds in the vegetable plot,
May and more, cleaned gîtes for friends – rather fraught somewhat.
June arrived hot and still, prep for party girl,
July came and hotter still, the rain from sky did spill.
Friends brought marquees, tables laid, all so cosy, all was saved.
Roger played piano jazzy, ultimately all quite rosy.
60 roses red, in fact, one for every year,
Sweetpea's life to celebrate in fantastic happy cheer.
At Village de Vaux country venue, 60 guests ate a four-course menu.
August welcomes visitors, adding more enjoyment and exhaustion,
We try to remember to increase our pills, Vitamin B6 and magnesium.
We love them all to be here and it’s always a pleasant rest,
To entertain, but when the “Goodbyes” arrive, Sweetpea's a bit depressed.
September straddles days so warm we sleep out in our hammocks,
Sweetpea goes off once again to become a little flummoxed.
Brittany green and verdant, her cousin makes her laugh,
They natter on incessantly and reads her book in draft.
David quietly stays at home, feeds Big Feet, mows the lawn,
Researches further his learning online for making website design.
October falls, leaves tumble brown, chocolate festivals, nuts and fruits,
Chestnuts, hazelnuts, tomatoes, figs, pumpkins, carrots and roots.
November - David splashes out and buys a brand new camera,
December - we've managed to survive despite poor currency valeur.
Luckily, state pension, pays a crust to save our bacon,
We worry, not so much for us, but for our respective children.
Faced with self-employment, redundancy, loss of jobs,
Makes home-making a challenge, they’re fighting against the odds.
Searching for ways to meet the bills, it’s tough and quite uncertain,
They’re putting on a very brave face whilst hoping to win a million.
We wish that all and all like them a better year to come,
We wish not gloom and yet more doom, one thing we must assume,
Whatever happens there’s not much time, to stuff the veritable mushroom!
We hope that Sweetpea finds a house and David learns more and more
Making simple elegant websites to keep the wolf from the door.
Seasons come and seasons go, All the world is a stage,
Successes here and stories there to turn the robin’s page.
Everyone moves to and fro, busy lives and things to do,
Places to see and people to meet, write, read, twitter and tweet,
What do they do? How do they do? If only the Christmas Robin knew.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
November. Sweetpea headed north to her favourite place with it's sea and beach, her favourite offspring and a little busy one, plus other relatives. A surprise visit was made to Tate Modern and Paddington Station was fun. I love driving and found the journey of 8 hours to Calais rather splendid. The Force 9 gale encouraged me to take a nap on my settee lounger, despite the enthusiastically vocal dutch youngsters. The white cliffs of Dover were viewed in brilliant sunshine as the waves chopped around the Pride of Kent. We waited two and a half hours to enter the harbour. This rather delayed my journey on terra firma but never mind .. it was interesting! Two weeks in UK did not seem sufficient.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Traction engines rattle branches whilst walnuts shake free.
Walnut shells are cracked
Spotty dog was rather sad today. He didn't have a dog's chance at the show because of the change in the weather. He realised that he would never have the opportunity to be top dog at this event. It was raining cats and dogs! Consequently, he had to stand in the drizzling rain, getting quite wet and slippery whilst visitors were protected with their umbrellas. He looked like a dog's breakfast! There was no one to dry him down with a nice, clean, warm, fluffy towel and there was no one to jump on him, play with him and bring a smile to his canine jaws. He felt dog-tired! By the middle of the afternoon he felt even worse and began to feel rather deflated. He wasn't in the dog-house of course, but no one had brought him a doggy bag so he couldn't be like a dog with a bone! Spotty dog was a quiet and well-behaved creature cur .. no one could say that his bark was worse than his bite but he was not that clever and it is true that even though he was quite young in age and in heart no one could teach this dog any new tricks! Every dog has his day, and we don't want any nonsense with dog eat dog, but now we will let sleeping dogs lie ..... Night Night Spotty dog!
Friday, 13 November 2009
Luckily we arrived in La Roche Posay on the evening of Friday 13th in time for a whizz round to taste the wines, cheeses, dried fruit, biscuits and chocolates and be in time for the vin d'honneur which was a very fine Vouvray with aperos from the producteurs ( more cheese, foie gras, rillandes, dried fruits with magret etc etc ) YUM YUM! All the French people know a jolly when it arrives!!!!
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
*Exercise, aching joints, development of stamina, endurance and persistence. Well, it’s not Everest I know and although I would love a real mountain to climb, I have my own small ones to master!
Taking courage for the many small green tomatoes from our garden, I was spared from the many enormous green tomatoes that had been donated to us on account of the fact that I managed to ripen them.
All the ingredients were placed into my most beautiful and treasured stainless steel preserving pan that has been worth all of the £50 I spent 30 years ago. (Before that I used to make preserves in the pressure cooker but it always felt unsatisfactory!) The pretty picture of food in the making was brought to the boil, stirred often, simmered for a long time, stirred often!
Friday, 6 November 2009
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Our walking group were given some of these by a very kind French man when we stopped to admire theseinteresting fruits trailing on trellises in his potager. Our gift seemed unripe so it has been sitting above the poèle à bois for a few weeks. I had forgotten about it. The almost instantaneous www divulged some recipes but as there was only one chouchou it was peeled, sliced thinly and lightly sautéed, served with almost the last of our Romanesco cauliflowers, a leek and tomato sauce and baby potatoes smaller then my thumb sautéed in sunflower oil. All from our garden! A fine vegetarian meal.