Sunday, January 31, 2016

Has it been two weeks? Journal update.

Monday the 18th was our film date afternoon at Josselin.

Then it was time to begin building that cupboard on the landing I've been wanting to do for such a long time. It's a messy job but Bev was eager to get it sorted. Then my sister, now living in Santa Monica, facetimed and we spoke for an hour about old-time memories of the Garths.

Tuesday was Archery in Josselin. Bev is getting very good at it (and very competitive).

Wednesday...Dave and Annies for a game of tens. I won! This was the evening that I came down with a severe cold.

Mickael Kevin Calves visited with news...sorry but we're sworn to secrecy.

I was ill Friday.

Saturday was our annual goals evening with the gang in the UK. Skype is a modern miracle.  Bev won the trophy for achieving her goals for 2015. Now we start all over with fresh goals for 2016.

Sunday was a busy as ever and then it was Monday again.

A helping hand to paint my panels ready for painting again next Monday.

Tuesday was moving those metal cabinets from the living room.. I also put the flooring in the bread-oven. 

Their new home in the overflow larder under the stairs.

On Tuesday evening we stayed in to watch Suffragette and decided at the last moment to go out to Archery as soon as it finished.  Got back very late. It's a good film.  On Monday we'll go to Josselin and watch it in French.

Wednesday was cards again and Annie won BOTH games.  We played two games because the weather was so bad. We worked on the landing when we got back while listening to music at full volume. So good! I've recovered from my cold.

Thursday was French at Marthe's in Cruguel. Flo (her beautiful white cat) has died. So sad!

Friday was an early start as my winter studio door was being fitted.

out with the old.

Stuck!! Sophie tried her 4x4 without success. Then it was her mini tractor.

Then the big tractor from our neighbour down the lane.

It was well entrenched!

Another area to fill and seed.

That's better! I'll be painting in there Monday or Tuesday.

Later it was our night out for a meal and live music at Le Vieux Pont in Le Bono.  It was fantastic!  Loved it!

Toilet promotional wall. Next week looks good!

This is Waraba Live featuring our friend Ludo on guitar. it's an Afro Funky Jazz group and they rocked!

There's something special about being surrounded with in your face live music. Forget stage settings! The bongo drums were brilliant as was the Theremine.

Yesterday we finished the landing as well as the ceiling where the wasps were. The cupboard is just what we wanted. Everthing is looking much better now.

It's as if it has always been there. Just need to hang the door and stain the woodwork. We've decided to carpet upstairs now to get away from the holiday home feeling.

Wasps a distant memory!  All nice  new and clean again!

Today we had Simon, Corinne, Benjamin and Odelia over for a meal.  We had a really lovely time. They're such a nice family. They helped us with French and we helped them with English.

Skyped family and ready to settle down for the evening.

Bev has just noticed that Terry Wogan has died. My word, the stars are falling like flies this year.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Writing about your own life...

My personal history has been on the radar for completion for a number of years now. I'd be embarrassed to tell you just how many years I've been stuck on chapter one, but this year...well, I thought it would be nice to finish.

It's a lot harder than I thought. I'm on chapter three and everything not typed up is just spaghetti at the moment.  How on earth do I untangle everything and progress to chapter four and getting out of my pram?
I imagined about fifteen chapters would cover the first twenty-two years of my life, but already I have headings for thirty chapters and counting, and I must have read those first three chapters a dozen times and making as many changes.

I need a plan! I can't face another decade without progressing.

I feel better now.  This is a little pep talk to myself and I'm ready to dive into spaghetti again.

Yet another week gone.

I's frightening, isn't it?

As it's one of our goals to travel during this our 40th anniversary year, we began modestly on Friday with a visit to Nantes...a city we've never visited.

Oops! This isn't's one of Dave and Annie's trees that blew down in the storm on Tuesday. The big oak on the corner of the lane leading to Yvon's woods also came down. 

Here we go! Through the woodlands, through the valleys tilting at the wind farms passing...

This was one of an avenue of trees to greet us two hours later.

There's a good atmosphere in this square. The next photo is of the interior of that church in the background.

Impressive, or what?  I love the way the French have music playing in their churches as people visit. It's an unspoken but powerfully audible and heartfelt sermon.

Bumped into Charles again. Over the past sixty years he's had a habit of dipping into my life. I never met him (until now), but he's on my list of people I'd most like to drop by and have a chat in the flesh. Told him he's scrubbed up well.

I was impressed with the exterior which was in sharp contrast to the dull and unfeeling interior. It was the warmest though! can, and was, warm and cold at the same time.

We ate just around the corner...still in the old quarter.

We didn't eggspect this!

Love the abundance of wrought ironwork in France...even in rural areas.

Heading towards that tower...

...and this is it from another angle.  It was approaching 1pm and we waited with anticipation of those trumpeters sounding off in abject glory on the hour.  it'll surely be a statement!

And another angle from the window of the room below...definitely more impressive than the pathetic weak 'Gong' which sounded the hour mark.  No trumpeting whatsoever! No proud fanfare!

A very peaceful place over a glass-covered courtyard.

We stood for a while trying to imagine the life that once existed in these rooms. If this was the UK the wall would have had the life flattened out of it by render leaving no trace of it's former glory.

Feeling boxed-in :)

What better way to hide those ugly electricity boxes.

No self-respecting city is without it's street artists, musicians and beggars.  We saw all three.

That clock is chocolate!

Climbing the stairs to an experience.

It's lovely! Reminds me of our visit to the Wayfarers Arcade in Southport a couple of years ago.

You can't accuse the French of being bland.

Nantes had key tourist magnets which were closed for winter, but we still enjoyed the visit.  It didn't have an abundance of all things ancient (which is what we love), but we didn't expect Venice today.  It was Nante's day.  It made us feel at home, has C&A and Burtons.

On the way here and on the journey back home, we learned ten new French verbs...and a lot more about Nantes sandwiched in between.

Monday, January 11, 2016


We tried to kill them off at first...and we killed thousands, but thy just kept coming, so we left them alone during summer knowing they will eventually die as winter approached.

That's exactly what happened and now it's time to remove the nest and make sure they never return.

My first sight of the nest after removing the plasterboard. It's bigger than I thought.

A beauty!

The covering is a crispy paper-like shroud.

The queen is in there somewhere. Sorry, darlin' you have to go!

All done, but I'll need to thoroughly clean the area and disinfect it to make absolutely certain there is no remnants of the colony. I enjoyed the experience, but I don't want to be doing this again next year.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

That's more like it!

We're getting back to normal after our hectic Christmas and it's good to be outside in the garden.
This post isn't particularly interesting, but we've been to Vannes to do some shopping and feel really good about having time to get into the garden after three days of rain...the sun is shining and it feels like springtime already.

Getting more leaves up.

Cutting back the beech and tidying the beds.

Clearing more soil.


Way too early for these to be coming up.

Flowering in January??