Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Xena Heaven.....

.....is having her ears tickled.

Oh, Nicole, that feels good!And the other one!I love you!Don't stop!Yep! Just there!
Ahhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Summer Time

An absolute nightmare.

A heaving mass of humanity all squeezed onto a strip of beach (and into the sea) in Spain.

And they pay for the privilege!

Think we will stay round our pool.
***
Oops!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Nemesis

The locals tell us that when the marin wind blows, it brings rain.

It arrived yesterday evening. And the rain followed.Know-it-alls.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

All Partied Out

Our dog sleeps under our bed at night. Always has done; always will. She goes where I go.

Richard made our bed himself, and designed it especially to cater for his long legs. Extra long so he can stretch out, and high off the ground.

Which means that the dog fits under it easily. Along with her 'hard' bed and also her thick leather cushion which does on top.

Now Xena is fairly rigid in her timescales. She sleeps all day, in whatever room I am in - including the toilet. But her stomach wakes her up on the dot of 18:00 every evening for her dinner.

She expects us to go to bed at 22:00 and no later. If Richard goes up ahead of me, she starts to drop VERY large hints. Like putting her front paws up on the keyboard in front of me. Subtle, she is not.

Our party yesterday went on until about 1:30 in the morning by which time Xena had had enough. Even though she kept on sitting very pointedly beside me, I did not take the hint. Finally she pushed off and went to sleep on her 'downstairs' bed at the bottom of the stairs. Absolutely comatose. When I finished clearing up I managed, for the first time ever, to get up the stairs to bed without her noticing........

....until 5:00am. She arrived at our bedroom door and tried to barge in by head-butting it until I got up and let her in!

Dog lover?! Give me a cat any day.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Party Time Once More

We had a great get together at our place tonight. Us 4, 16 of our French friends/neighbours and 2 English friends. It was a special menu - we decided to introduce our French friends to Indian cuisine!

After nibbles, we had starters of samosas, onion bhajis and tandoori chicken legs - all home made, I will have you know!

Then Beef Dopiatza and Mutton Rogan Josh with pappadums and various side dishes.

Deliberately made quite mild - we still had our French friends running for the water jug!

The brinjal chutney did for them totally - luckily we had warned them that the chilli/lemon chutney was to be avoided at all costs unless you had an asbestos mouth!

And how do you explain pappadums.........we had already had to admit that lentil flour was a required ingredient and therefore, I had not made them myself!

Even though they did not eat very much....they still kindly gave us some wonderful presents! Including a cassoulet and a confit de canard. Is this a hint?! NOTE: opening a Curry House would not be a good business proposition in the South of France.
***
Three brave people came to our party.

Marian & Andy who are renovating their holiday home in the village. They at least (being English) ate the curries!And LeeLee's boyfriend who agreed to run the gauntlet of all our friends......Our neighbours' little girl fell in love with him, and all evening she was heard calling out 'KEVIIIIN!' Her Dad asked us who this Kevin was?! And we reassured him that Kevin was not English!
***
When we go out to our friends' houses here, it is usually an 8-8:30 start. Which, under the local timeclock, means anytime from about 9 onwards. That is what we call 'French Time'.

When WE have a get together, however, we say 7:30-8 'English Time'. Which means everyone French starts to arrive just after 8pm.

It has taken us 6 years to get this sussed. The number of times we have turned up at a neighbours house at the time stipulated, only to find them not dressed and the tables not laid out! But not any more....

Friday, 15 August 2008

27 Years And Counting

Doesn't time fly. 27 years ago, Richard and I said 'I Do' and the rest is history! Nic made a lovely card for us, and a cake as well. Isn't she wonderful! LeeLee?! She was asleep for most of the day - but that is teenagers for you!

But when she woke up, the girls both decided that it was a dressing up day - I am sure it looked better on me!And they went on to ask if I had had any weird boyfriends......other than Dad, of course.

Cheek!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Jolly Green Giant

Our kind neighbours, Eric & Chrystel, gave us a freshly-picked courgette from their garden this week.

Just one courgette for a family of four?! I hear you saying.

Given that we have already had two main meals out of it, and there is another 1.9kg left over..... .....does that explain things better?!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Monday, 11 August 2008

Almost A Ploughman

His lunch anyway!We found that our homemade peach chutney goes very well with homemade roquefort cheese quiche.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Partying Again, And Again

Tonight was our Commune 'do', at Taussac (the village just behind us) this year.

And I forgot the camera - so a boring 'words only' post. Sorry!

English friends, who are doing a house up in our village, came for the first time - and a great time we all had. Even got to smooch around the dance floor which cheered Richard up!!

We had mussels, freshly cooked over the barbecue, with the aperos. Then a cornish pasty type of thing followed by a delicious daube (the beef was still pink inside yet unbelievably tender - like cutting butter!) with dauphinoise potatoes.

A couple of cheeses and then a light raspberry mousse followed. All yummy!

The local Councillors worked hard all evening making sure we were well supplied with pastis, punch and every colour of wine. Finished off with the local 'champagne'.

We loved the fact that the food was carried round to all the tables on a huge door with two Councillors carrying it whilst another two served. Trouble was - the two serving kept on stopping to chat to everyone whilst the two carrying the heavy load became seriously worried! If only I could have got a picture.....

It was a super night. Ages ranged from babies to someone over a hundred. unlimited alcohol during six hours of enjoyment and no drunken problems at all. It was like we were in another age.

Amongst the first to leave, on our way back to the car we lingered at the edge of the boule court where a group of teenagers (students we know from our local lycée) were playing boules. We waved them good bye and wished them well. We hope our children turn out so well - teenagers to be proud of.
***
When we turned up at Taussac, guess what we found? They had had their terrain tarmaced as well!! So no dusty/muddy shoes tonight either! Our Commune is really getting value from our local taxes.

During the evening, the village fuse blew (when they overloaded their EDF tarif by plugging in the musical entertainment!) and every one of us from La Sesquière laughed our heads off.

We gloated because we have had our tarif increased, so this does not happen to us any more!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

A Lovely Pair

I like having a garden.

I will even do a bit of gardening when it is really required. A little anyway.

I like growing vegetables.

And I love eating our home grown veg, knowing that I only picked them half an hour before.

I look at our friends' and neighbours' gardens and feel REALLY jealous.

And wish I knew better how to get my veg to look as good as theirs.

I watch our immediate neighbour, and if he cuts down his plants (once they have finished producing that year), I do the same.

It is a bit like having the Internet available over the wall. Telling me what I should be doing.

And this week, he cut down his dying artichoke plants.

Last year I did not bother. I did not realise that they grow back in the autumn ready for next year. And this year I promised I would do it when I should because I love artichokes, and I particularly love eating ones we have grown ourselves.

So that is what I did. And since I had left two artichokes on the plant (forgot to cut them in time!), they opened up and displayed their wonderful violet/blue interior.

My favourite colour!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Bravado....

..... or a death wish.

Imagine you are are a fairly small, petite tabby cat who was always picked upon by her brother.

And every other cat in the village.

And who runs a mile if you creep up behind her and say BOO. Or if anyone but her immediate family enters the house.

What would you do in this situation....

Quiet evening at home with all the family. All lounging around in the sitting room.

When a large, very young, bouncy labrador suddenly appears at the glass door, looking in at us.

Now really! Would you fluff up every bit of your furry body and race to the window to scare it off?!Whilst the family guard dog (known as Xena) carries on sleeping, totally oblivious (if she even cared) that her garden has been invaded?!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Romantic Antics

After dinner tonight, we are quietly reading in the sitting room, listening to some music.

Whilst the girls are upstairs ruining some good songs by singing along to them on the kareoke machine!

Richard says why don't we sneak up the garden and go for a swim. Great idea!

Hardly had our bodies got wet when the girls arrived wielding the camera and asking why we had not told them we were all going for a swim. Then the dog arrived. And finally, the cat. Oh, whoopy-do.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Party time Again

August is a very busy time down here. So many parties to go to!

Eric & Chrystel decided to hold their's tonight on the newly tarmaced boule court.

So a gentle stroll through the village, picking up friends all along the way...............with drinks at the far end! That is what I call a great start to the evening!!Food was cooked on the new public barbecue. A spectator sport, as ever.(Grumpy old women?! Who said that?!)

Juliette 'cooked' alongside her Mummy & Daddy - snails and beetles wrapped in vine leaves, using stones for plates. Yummy! When the sardines were handed round, Richard and I picked up our knives/forks and proceeded to pick the flesh off the bones - they were delicious.

And then we noticed the surprise all round us.

And then we were given lessons on the correct way to eat sardines, by everyone including Juliette!

You hold the head in one hand and the tail in the other - and then just nibble the flesh off whilst rotating the fish until all you have left is the spine. Just like eating corn on the cob.
***
We are a little village of about 50 people.

We have had a new tarmac layer put on our boule court to prevent shoes getting dusty and/or muddy at our parties.And a new electrical connection has been installed there to ensure that future get-togethers will not experience a blackout when the fryers are plugged in and overload our tarif.

Now that is what I call getting value for money from our local taxes!