Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Serenading Your Loved Ones

Over the last few weeks, we have had many get-togethers at our place with family and friends.

Now I would not say we drink an awful lot at these parties, but how much booze do you think it would take before Richard got up to sing a duet with Albert on the Playstation karaoke machine?!
When you are at your lowest but trying to keep positive, it is unforeseen acts of incredible generosity and kindness by friends and family that make you burst into tears.

You know who you are - and we cannot begin to tell you how much you mean to us.

Monday, 29 September 2008

It's Behind You !

Pantomime season has come early this year.

On the way to college in Bedarieux with the girls, we drive over the only bridge that takes us to that part of town.

It is a bridge over the wide storm conduit, which deals with the huge amounts of water that runs off the mountains when it rains. The other 11 months of the year, it is dry. And mainly used as a footpath.And is obviously the hunting territory for a very stupid fluffy siamese cat.
Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded.....Only Xena could fall asleep on her back with her head under the cocktail cabimet!

I will let your imagination guess what happened when I called her for her dinner.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

If It Is Good enough for Her Majesty.....

.... it is good enough for us!

Isn't it silly what you start to do when you have no money?!

Richard and I have taken to switching lights off in the house as we go from room to room. We ended up this evening eating dinner in near darkness before one of us plucked up the courage to go and switch the light on!

Now I know you will all tell me that this will reduce our EDF bill next year, but it is not actually going to help with paying the one this month, is it.
Deciding that we waste too much bread each day, I remembered Mum used to make a mean bread pudding in my childhood, which I loved.

So out came the recipe books and into the kitchen I went.

When it came to the line telling me to add the beef suet....I hesitated because I certainly did not remember Mum doing this! But, I reasoned, Reader's Digest cannot be wrong so in it went.

It looked a picture of beauty when I brought it to the table after dinner. The girls decided that abject poverty wasn't so bad given that I had produced an actual pudding for after dinner - we usually always have fresh fruit (we have to watch our weight, don't we!).

I cut slices and handed them round. The first mouthful went in ....and I spat it out. It tasted nasty. It tasted of beef suet!

The girls tried to persuade me that they could eat the top (which had brown sugar sprinkled all over) but I whipped their plates away. No way were they going to miss school with food poisoning!

So out came the fruit bowl. And into the bin went the bread pudding, along with the Reader's Digest cookery book.
Richard and Nic had kiwis.

I think Richard is becoming a 'South of France Man'. Look at the size of knife he used to cut off the top of the kiwi. And whose child is Nic?! Who on earth de-hairs a kiwi before they eat it?!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Never In A Month Of Sundays.....

....did we expect the credit crunch in the UK to effect us. How wrong could we be.

Late last month a bomb was dropped on us by our UK bank and we are basically in shock.

Many apologies for not blogging for so long - I will try and get up to date, but I am sure you will understand if I am otherwise occupied!
Our very good friends came round to tell us some wonderful news, but unfortunately walked in on us when we were feeling low and not ourselves.

They are very special people and took us out to lunch that weekend, which was just what we needed to take our mind off things. We went to the Petit Nice restaurant in Roquebrun. For the last 6.5 years we have heard so many people praising this place, but have never ventured there ourselves. Always thinking that the reality would not be as impressive as the hearsay.

How wrong we were. It was wonderful!

The situation overlooking the River Orb, the bridge, and stony beach. The food delicious - with portions so large that no one should risk anything but the basic menu! Look at the snails, and the puddings were to die for!The wine from the local cave co-operative - a perfect foil for the food.

Service - friendly and attentive whilst being laid back.

Definitely recommended !
Lots of English (and Scottish) friends have been staying locally over the last few weeks and we have enjoyed many evenings and meals together.

Each time, they have commented on our two girls. The fact that they sit down to dinner with us all, are well behaved and have excellent table manners. Are articulate with the adult guests whilst politely listening and waiting to be spoken to rather than butting in.

We are SO SO proud of them!

But it brought home to us how different it appears to be in the UK. That this behaviour is noted and commented on as unusual when down here it is the norm.