Les poissons en France

Monday, July 25, 2011

Is This July In the Lot?

You wouldn't think so. As I look out I cannot see the hills as they are shrowded in drizzle. It has been raining for the best part of the last fortnight. At first I was delighted - good for the garden and all that - but you can have too much of a good thing, especially when you have friends staying. Bob and Jenny our friends were really kind and weeded the "serpentine bed " for me between the showers. It looks really good now as John managed to cut the front grass yesterday. Infact the garden looks very "Englishey" with lots of lush growth. The courtyard grass was about six inches/15cm tall when John cut it. At this time of the year it is normally biscuit brown and not growing. Dont worry I'll be moaning about the heat next week!!

Despite the unseasonal weather we managed to entertain Bob and Jenny with visits to a beautiful garden in the Dordogne and a trip to Albi.

We were all impressed with the catherdal in Albi.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Visitors Coming

We have friends from England here with us at the moment but this prompted a little surge of preparation work.

Sue's been fed up with the upstairs terrasse for some time, so the imminent arrival of friends spurred her into action, as you can see! Of course, this wasn't straight forward; it involved some trial and error paint mixing to get the right colour.

I tried to carry on with the tiling but shouldn't as it was pulling on the wound where my 'pacemaker' has been fitted. So, instead I've done some work on the stairs that I will be making (in the fullness of time).

It's always nice to see friends, but we wish they wouldn't bring wet English weather with them!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

French Lesson

Events have moved on since we last blogged. Three days after arriving home from hospital, I had a phone call arranging for me to go in on Sunday10th for a 'pacemaker' (or at least that's what we call it in the UK). On the Monday I had the thing fitted (DAI, or in english, an Internal Automatic Defibrillator) which I subsequently found out was there to shock the heart if it starts to beat very rapidly! Further developments will now wait till the beginning of October after I've got over the fitting of the DAI and the chemotherapy medication is out of my body.

Whilst I was in hospital I was sharing a bedroom with an old gentleman of 88 who unfortunately was very confused in addition to a severe shortness of breath (cardiac insufficiency). The main problem was shown during the nights when he didn't know where he was, wanted to get out of bed, wanted to go home, looked for his suitcase, etc. I'm sure you've got the picture. Added to this, when he finally did go to sleep (with the aid of a sleeping pill) he snored extremely loudly!!! So, I had a couple of very disturbed nights. Sue collected me yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) and I slept like a log last night.

Although we've lived here in France for nearly five years now, we still struggle with the language from time to time. especially those words which look the same as a word in English but which mean something else. The morning after my operation, the orderlies (two young girls) asked me to get out of bed into a chair. They were talking of 'faire la toilet' and that I would have more movement. My initial reaction was that they wanted be to sit in a chair so that I could use a bedpan as it would be easier to have a bowel movement. It was only afterward, when they had washed me, that I began to realise that 'faire la toilet' doesn't mean go to the toilet, but to wash, brush teeth etc!!! Also, in the chair I would be able to move easier. A strange french lesson.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Testing Times

Well, I've been in to Toulouse hospital and am back to 'work' a little sooner than I thought. There was a little confusion (or lost in translation) over when I was to go in to hospital; I received a phone call last Tuesday asking where I was! I ended up going in last Wednesday afternoon and found out that I was scheduled for the operating theatre on the Thursday. They were planning to pass a probe through a vein to get an accurate picture of the heart. However, just before lunch I was told that it was off. So, I was a little bemused when a porter took me and my bed down to the theatre at about 4 pm. I just assumed that they'd decided to proceed after all but no ... the surgeon (a young girl) came into the theatre to apologise to me as the procedure was cancelled; my platelets were too low and it would have been dangerous.

However, whilst I was at Toulouse, I had a 24 hour blood pressure recording and an ECG carried out for 24 hours, I had an echocardiograph, I had to blow into a tube to analyse my lung capacity and the take up of oxygen, and finally I had to pedal on an exercise bike to ascertain my stamina. So .... they've got plenty to look at and they're talking of calling me back in a month's time. Not as quick as I'd hoped but, nevertheless, it gives me longer to get over the effects of the chemo!

Today was my first day of 'normality'! And I was able to start my new duties as under-gardener. The plan is to spend the mornings in the garden, helping to keep it all tidy.

I was, of course, suitably supervised!

My afternoons will be spent in the house and today I carried on with the tiling. A fruitful day!