Les poissons en France

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"The Whirlwind"

I am very concious that when people ask me how John is I say "oh he's fine", as though my illness has usurped his. Well I can officially confirm that he is as well as possible for someone with a damaged heart.

Today we went to Toulouse to see Professor Galinier and it can only be described as "an experience". We set off at the unearthly hour of 5.45am as John's appointment was 8.30am. After an ECG we waited for the Prof. Suddenly there was a very loud voice outside the examination room, which at the time we took for a porter berating a nurse. However we soon discovered that this was the Prof. It would seem that his normal way of addressing minions is to shout from one end of the Department to the other. We felt that they were expected to click their heels and respond immediately.

The next thing we knew the "Whirlwind" had breezed in, or should that be stormed in? He was a little man with an extraordinarly loud voice. At a rate of knots he explained that at present John did not need a heart transplant but it could be considered in the future if necessary. Whilst advancing  years  was an issue it did not totally prohibit a transplant if  his condition deteriorated. Furthermore he said that an extra 'pump' could be fitted to assist the heart. We both found all this very reassuring as we had had the impression that if John didn't have a transplant there was nothing else that could be done.  However "the Whirlwind" now had to dictate all this for the record, which he did very loudly of course and either incredibly fast or conversly incredibly slowly. All I could think of was how on earth does his secretary cope with this and John was sitting there concentrating on not giggling. Eventually he left as he had arrived saying "just carry on living your life normally"!! We didn't know what had hit us and were sure that many a poor student has suffered in his wake.

So he did as he was told and we bought lots of  DIY gear on the way home so that he can press on with the en suite bathroom and the office. In truth he has been doing a lot in both rooms this week.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Still Blooming

Despite our lack of work in the garden, it persists in still growing and flowering!

 There are also signs that summer has truly arived with the sighting of the knapsack sprayer!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


A week ago our neighbour Fred arrived with a tray of eggs. John was particularly delighted and said he would like some meringues. Well I used to be a dab hand at making meringues but seem to have lost my touch since we moved here. I have blamed it on my oven but have had to reflect on my diagnosis. We recently had lunch at a friends and I complimented her on her meringues. "They're dead easy" says she, "you have got a Kenwood haven't you?". "No". "Ah". My third one broke not long before we moved here and I decided that I could manage with my little hand beater.

Those of you who know John will know that he does not let the grass grow under his feet and the next thing I know he is on to his trusty one click Amazon account and we have a new Kenwood Chef winging its way to us.

One has to reflect that to turn some free eggs into meringues just cost 200 euros!!!! He says that if I go in to full scale production we will soon recoup our investment.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stirrings in the Undergrowth

Despite all attempts to slow down the Head Gardener, she refuses to be 'poorly' and is impelled to attack those weeds which get too big to ignore.

Don't get carried away with the idea that she is out there at all hours.  She still is very fatigued from the chemo, but she only has one more week, and then we're hoping that she will gradually regain some strength once the toxins from the chemicals begin to dissipate.

After I'd cut the grass, I took the opportuniy to clear the weeds out from the Rose Arbor and then Sue couldn't resist instructing me on pruning them!

Then she had to sit down.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How does your Garden Grow?

I'm conscious that the photos of my garden are all taken with a view to showing them at their best.  However, as the most that we will be able to do in the garden this year will be to cut the grass, I felt that you should be able to see things without their 'make-up' on.

But then, a weed is only a flower in the wrong place!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Carla has an illness which prevents her body metabolising carbohydrates normally, rather like diabetes but it isn't diabetes. She was told by her doctor that if she lost weight it would negate the problem.

When she stayed with us at Christmas she was on a Weight Watchers diet and adhered to it rigidly even though it was Christmas. However she became very frustrated when she had only lost a pound and a half after a few weeks. So she embarked on a diet whereby she replaced meals with a "shake" three times a day. We have to concede that we were rather worried about her but it was supervised by her pharmacist. Anyway ultimately it was none of our business.

Yesterday she hit her bmi and sent us these before and after photos which we had to share with you. She has  lost five and a half stone (35kg) since January!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Squeeky Clean?

Experienced window cleaner is looking for new customers.  Reasonable rates but may not be very regular!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Happy Families

A very successful weekend on all fronts!  We travelled to Liverpool airport on Friday with Ryanair and we have to say that it all went without a hitch.  We'd requested wheelchair assistance to the plane and it couldn't have been easier ... we kept bypassing all of the queues!

It was great to see Guy and Carla  .. and Yoda of course.

It didn't rain whilst we were in Manchester but it was cold for the first 2 days!  However the sun did try to shine on Sunday and we went walking in the countryside.

The return flight was just as smooth and Sue thinks she's got to make sure she finds reasons why she'll need a wheelchair in the future!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

More Normality

Continuing on from the last post, we are making the most of Sue feeling less fatigued and we entertained some 'new' friends today.  Sue had invited Martine, her 'personal' Aide Soignante, and her husband to lunch.  The meal was fairly simple although she did do her normal exotic touches on the dessert!  We're pleased that, despite our mangled French, we can maintain a conversation for a couple of hours without getting a headache.

We were overwhelmed when they arrived with a bunch of roses and 2 bottles of liquers made by steeping fruit in eau de vie.  I anticipate they will be sweet and potent!

Then, as one does, we're nipping over to Manchester for the week-end to stay with Guy and Carla.  We're really looking forward to seeing them both!