Sunday, 30 December 2007

Back to Reality

That's Christmas done and dusted then.

Just New Year's Eve to go (meal at a posh restaurant with Us in France) then life returns to normal whatever that is.

For us late January will mean a trip back to the UK for a couple of months to earn some money to see us through another Summer in France unless someone over here is rash enough to give us some work. This means we really will have to get on with manuring the veg beds ready to get cracking with the garden the minute we get back and get the coppice cut for next year.

TS learnt a new skill yesterday he can now drive a tractor including picking up a bale of hay on the spike thing on the front. I'm sure the temp agencies in the UK will be duly impressed. I got to feed the pet sheep and make a cup of tea. I can't be trusted with farm machinery. These things are part of our friend Miranda's ongoing efforts to make country folk of us. Whenever we call up to see her we get dragged into some activity. Well actually we get organised and bossed into it. It's kind of an attraction of opposites we find her archetypal horsiness (think Princess Anne)amusing and she finds our Yorkshire accents and towny ways hilarious.

The Dinnerladies are going down the road to Us in France for the duration. No doubt they won't want to come back by the time they have been spoilt by Debra with pasta and cat food.

Sissy will get to use her passport which cost an arm and a leg if I can work out the logistics of getting her through the Tunnel not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours after a tick and tapeworm treatment duly certified by the vet and assuming her microchip is still working and all the other things that I'll decide to obsess about that could be wrong with her paperwork. In fact I am already working out what we will have to do if they decide not to let her through ie turn round and drive back here.

I'm not looking forward to the UK at all not even a little bit I'll just have to pretend it's not happening.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Slightly less interesting than a fish sandwich

Christmas the season of The Great Escape on tv and the season of the escape proof half a chicken tractor at the Breezy household. Finally, those pesky chooks have met their match in the the form of an archetypal chicken arc type run from which there is no escape.

They have tried. I've watched them inspecting every inch of chicken wire and gathering in the corners comparing notes. For two days now they have been stymied. It's great. No more climbing over the barbed wire to retrieve them from next door, no more walking up the road with a chicken under each arm.

In the fullness of time we will complete the moveable chicken house and Chateau La Chook will be retired in favour of Dunroamin (a nice little Swiss Chalet type design in my head) and then the Girls will get to do the gardening ready for next year's stunning crop of veggies. Optimistic? not really.

We are emerging from a horrible cold flu type of thing and one of the symptoms seems to be being really depressed and paranoid I'm sure it was the feeling of impending doom which finally motivated us to get on and get the run built.

It also motivated me to phone my mother. That and guilt. Now she hasn't got much of a grasp on why we want to be in France and do the things we do but she does like to hear about what the chickens have been up to as a rule. So I gave her a call "Hello Mam How are you?" "Martin's just brought me a fish sandwich" Clearly the conversation was over before it started.

So there you have it our life in France - slightly less interesting than a fish sandwich.


Thursday, 13 December 2007

More Christmas Stuff n Nonsense

Ha Hah ! Christmas is almost sorted.

The spooky pathetic lights are up on the tree outside and the holly and mistletoe and shiny things are up inside.

We have been invited out for Christmas Dinner so my proud record of only ever cooking one remains unbroken (even then I somehow managed to let the turkey go off and had to make an emergency dash to blag half of my Mum and Dad's).

Sissy is also invited out with us for lunch which means our hostess will be cooking and serving it not in her house but in their gite next door.

You see Sissy lives up to her name she is a dog who is scared of everything. The chickens, plastic bags, new blankets, the sweeping brush . . .

"Lurchers" someone once said to us "they chase and kill everything" Not Sissy. Sissy pretends she can't see things other dogs would chase, she suddenly finds a blade of grass unusually interesting while looking at the "prey" out of the corner of her eye. Once any danger of catching it is past she will spring into action and then look at us as if to say "damn if my attention hadn't been caught by that grass I would of had that!"

The last time we took Sissy with us their elderly cat chased her through the cat flap (it is quite a big one the cat flap not the cat) So dinner will be served next door to make sure Sissy isn't bullied by their cat.

As for Christmas just buying presents, sending cards and getting the vittles in then. Work of a moment! (I wish)

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Lighting up the town

Christmas has come to our village. We arrived home today at dusk to find a single string of lights strung across the road from the village street light between us and strange other side next door neighbour. Yes not for us the garish displays of other nearby villages with their multiple strings of twinkly lights and their christmas trees on every lamp post.

To make up for this I notice Debra has lights around her door and strange other side next door neighbour has had his madly flashing randomly strung lights up there since mid November. So tomorrow we will do our bit and put some lights up on the lime tree. Ours are allegedly programmable to flash and change colours in many interesting and varied ways but I seem to recall that they usually finish up fading in and out in a ghostly blue. Between us all we should get the traffic moving along pretty briskly I reckon.

The most popular exterior decoration appears to be Pere Noel Grimpeur (Father Christmas Climbing) these are in all the shops and range from about two feet high to larger than life size. We have seen them hanging from lots and lots of houses. Unfortunately hanging seems to be the operative word they all have the look of being strung up as a warning to other Santas.

We really will have to do something about christmas I suppose though as usual we are not in the slightest bit prepared. In my case I think it's due to having a birthday at the beginning of December not that I'm ever ready for my birthday either. Actually I'm never ready for any "days" or anniversaries or anything. Yes scratch the birthday theory/excuse I'm just not ready.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


This is how Mimo did everything.

Full speed with tail fluffed out.

This is how she died on the road outside on Wednesday. We came home to find her frozen in action, killed instantly.

In her short life she climbed everything she could climb and played with everything that could be played with.

She was a furry grey blur who pounced out of nowhere on bare feet, bits of straw, the sweeping brush, the dog. One minute she was there and the next she was gone.