Les poissons en France

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The End

...and the beginning!
Sue has finally made it to the end of the Serpentine bed.
She seems to have been weeding forever (well, a few weeks!) but, seeing as the beds were hardly weeded at all last year, she's done well.  So now she can start all over again .... and again ... and again ...
Seriously, we are slowly reassessing the garden to see what is practical for us (Sue) to maintain; but it's nice that she has rediscovered her enthusiasm for the garden.

In between mowing the grass and helping out here and there, I'm progressing with the stairs.
As you can see I'm now fitting the hand-rails although there is still ongoing discussion about what and how we will 'fill in' the area below the hand-rail to form the bannister.  Sue is definitely happy now that the house is moving on.  Our attention is starting to focus on the 'salon' and we are trying to get quotes for putting in the underfloor heating and/or having a wood burning stove.  We will be needing to make a firm decision soon on exactly how we're going to fit out the room.  No doubt there will be more 'discussions'!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tip Toe Through The Tulips.......

I expect you are fed up with me showing you the same pictures of the garden each year so I decided to take a different approach. Last night when I took Yoda out it was a beautiful fulll moon and the tulips in the serpentine bed looked ethereal. Well perhaps I am getting a little too poetic there, but they looked nice. So I went to get the camera, realising of course that I had no hope of capturing this special moment as my camera is old and simple and certainly doesn't have the facility for delayed exposure. Hence you have a picture of the tulips taken with the flash and you will have to imagine the silver moonlight.
I have been working in the garden for whole days this last week. I am so happy that I feel "normal" (no jokes please) this year and can once again enjoy my passion.

John is beavering away on making the bannisters for the stairs and is almost there. However he is having to mow our acres of grass about every three days as it grows as you look at it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

She's 'appy

Finally ....Spring is here.  The sun is shining, the grass is growing and there is movement on the house!!!  'Er indoors is happy because I've eventually managed to resolve the problem of fitting the hand rail to the first flight of stairs .. and is is how she said (dictated) she wanted it.
However, this only brings the next major problem closer!  The rest of the handrails/bannisters.  There is ongoing discussion as to how I can fit them.  As normal 'She' doesn't like the only practical way of doing it!

In the meantime, in between coming indoors to assess progress on the stairs (she can tell by eye if something is not level by half a centimetre!!!) she continues to work on the Serpentine bed, duly assistent by Mr Yoda.
I expect we'll soon be complaining of no rain!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Heart Warming Story

John has just read a story in the local paper which we think bears retelling,

A young family with children aged 3 and 6 fairly recently moved from Paris to a village near Gourdon to make a new life for themselves in the country. They bought an old tobacco drying house and began to renovate it to make their home. Unfortunately the husband, aged 30, died of a heart attack.

The Mayor of the village co-ordinated a plan, together with a TV programme, to mobilise local tradesman to finish the work. 500 people turned up from far and wide with 26000 registering their offers of help on Facebook.

This is remeniscent, although on a larger scale, of the help our friends received when their house burnt down. The Mayor of this village said "we are all neighbours" which is exactly what people said to Sue and Mark. Incidently they continue to receive offers of help from unexpected quarters even though the builders are making progress with rebuilding their house.

We live in what are known as Communes, which are administered by an elected Mayor. It would seem that above all they are Communities.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Race

On Saturday a lady knocked on our door to tell us that a running and walking race would be taking place on Sunday morning and the route would pass our front door. John said he had seen a poster and that it was organised by the St. Germain Athletics Club. I didn't even know we had one, not that its on my priority list for things to join.

 So on Sunday morning I was up on the terrace with camera poised ready to capture for posterity the hoards as they passed by. Well it wasn't quite as I had envisaged!! There were about 40 runners, men and women of all ages and standards and the walkers were a small group of "randonneurs" out for a Sunday morning stroll. Something must have got lost in translation!!
I write rather tongue in cheek but I actuially have enormous admiration for the majority of paticipants who were around our age.

Friday, April 05, 2013

"Bedding" Plants

We know that it is Spring here, not because the verges and meadows are covered in cowslips and that it is a wonderful year for violets, which it is, but because the bedroom and hall are beginning to be covered in seedlings as well as the landing!! I was very tired on Wednesday evening after four hours at the Bridge Club so I went to bed early and went straight to sleep. I was woken a few hours later when John came into the room uttering expletives,  I looked up to see Diana (white cat) bedded down on one of my seed trays. John said he knew I was exhausted as I just said "oh dear" or words to that effect and went back to sleep. Not having grown any plants last year I had forgotten that she has done this before and that it is necessary to barricade the trays with sticks.

You will recall that at the end of January we were having "some disagreement" about the bannisters. Well yesterday all was resolved (I hope I am not getting too far ahead of myself) as we revisited the shop we originally bought the rails from and to our utter surprise they had all the elements required. All comes to she who waits!!

On Wednesday, before playing Bridge, I went for my monthly check up with my cancer specialist. I was delighted as once again my cancer marker has reduced by almost half to 17.  I asked if it would eventually hit zero, to which he fell about laughing. However it secretly remains my goal. I reflected that the body's chemistry is totally amazing. I take a minute pill each morning and it has such a profound effect on the remaining cancer cells. I will probably be on this hormone treatment for four or five years providing my oesteoporosis does not deteriorate.

More health news. John saw his cardiologist  last week and he is very pleased with the stability of his heart. All this walking with Yoda. John was particularly pleased that his BNP, an indicator of the condition of his heart shown from a blood test, was as good as it was when he left the "boot camp" 15 months ago.

Good, with all this fitness we can now go out into the garden as it has AT LAST stopped raining.