Sunday, 28 November 2010

La neige

from a bedroom window.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

French words learned today

A noun.
A padlock is un cadenas. Say it as cadanar.

A verb.
Cadenasser is used when putting a padlock on a gate, door or bicycle.

Sweetpea padlocked her bicycle. 
Sweetpea cadenassé son vélo.

The garden gate was padlocked.  
La portail du jardin était cadenassée.

A preposition.
autour de meaning around or round

We would like to put vermiculite around the flexible flue liner.
Nous voudrions mettre de la vermiculite autour de le tubage flexible.

We have to line the chimneys in preparation for woodburner warmth.
I have a new lawnmower in one of the gardens.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


I just opened my computer and feel compelled to express my deep sadness.

I have just received sad news.  An acquaintance who has been supportive and enthusiastic about "my renovation project" and who has given me friendship and support during this last summer has lung cancer.  Life's a bitch!  Every time I consider that C word I cringe cowardly and contemplate that my problems in life are nothing, absolutely zilch,  tho' they topple the equilibrium of my daily life, they don't ruin it to spell gloom and doom.  I am very sad.   She doesn't live in France permanently but has in the last seven or so years made a beautiful home here.   She is now in UK about to undergo treatment.   The precious gifts of life, love, survival and a degree of happiness are such a struggle!
I am very sad.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Orange Saga is complete ... I HOPE

Yesterday after an hour on the phone plus with the technical help from Captain Sensible and a man called John from the English Speaking Orange Helpline who must both be praised profusely,  the internet LIVEBOX has been re-set, the internet phone has been re-set, the two phones are wired up correctly,  and it is all working with the original fti/ connexion number rather than the second one that they sent me.  Mysteries solved!  The conflict of having two contracts has been resolved!

I am still nervous about whether it will last.  However, I am assured that the Orange and France Telecom engineers did something on 10-11-10 and now it is all tickety-boo!   I've even had my first invoice!  Now, after 86 days, I can "phone for free" on the internet line or pay more on the landline.   What Choices, eh!

Friday, 12 November 2010


The wind and rain were forecast to be so strong that Camille the poney was stabled.  We could hear her kicking the fence and neighing in protest at her confinement.  She had for several weeks disappeared to where we know not and has recently been returned to her flock of 8 sheep which circulate the fields in front of and behind our fermette.  

We must count those sheep because on Wednesday we received the carcass of a lamb...for the freezer, ewe know.  Oh, those years of vegeterianism hang rather limply these days when eating food-in-france!  It was only in February, we were sort-of gifted a lamb, to eat, you understand, and we haven't eaten all of it yet!  One cannot eat lamb every day!  However, a few weeks ago we were asked whether we would like a lamb. Of course we affirmed that we would!  Panic prevailed....we realised we had 'to make way in the freezer' so at this point in time we are rather full of my favourite meat and have got to the point where we do not really want to eat more!
When we were approached,  I bravely asked how old the lamb would be.  I certainly did not explain why,  but in Year one we definitely had 'lamb' in contrast to Year two when we were inclined to believe it was 'mutton'.   We have learned that the transition between lamb and mutton is not only dependant on culinary cooking times but also on the weight of the animal as well as the age.  We're not sure but we are hoping that we DO have lamb and not mutton as in our first year.  It makes a difference to what cooking methods we use so as not to have to chew the meat!
Perhaps we have inherited a sheep that was barren... best not to ask... I will coo and aah in raptures at the first and even last of the lambs that are born to give so much pleasure as they gambol in the fields of France and generate food for almost free!
The proverb that "Beggars cannot be choosers" features much in our lives.   Let's say it was a  very satisfactory price compared to the price of Poitou-Charentes lamb in the supermarkets or boucheries.
The wind has abated... the temperature has risen before the fall of the frosts yet to come and Camille has re-appeared in the field.  We witnessed her rolling on the ground... either she was happy or has a tick or two!