death of a laptop

There’s something very sad about this old laptop on its death bed. Pretty frustrating really – in fact I have just wasted gallons of ink, 2 pieces of high quality photo paper and have come very close to hurling it down the loft stairs…

But when I think of the hours I have sat with it in front of me; usually on some waste of a time quest, or Facebook – is that not a waste of time too, I ask myself. Sometimes struggling with an online  writing course, sometimes just looking through photos, and then trying to write some more, write something, write anything, beating myself up for having all the time in the world now and not a word written….. then looking up writing competitions that I never seem to enter…and there’s a file on this machine somewhere labelled ‘possibly useful opening sentences’ and at least three unfinished novels, some childrens stories, some poems – wierd and not always wonderful, a journal of sorts – and when I think of all the hours of feeling I was actually doing something, convincing myself I was doing something constructive, then I am sad for it finally giving up the ghost.

You know, most of the time on it, I write long rambling emails to people who haven’t the time to read them, or look up knitting patterns, and of course I read other people’s blogs – how come they are more interesting than mine – aren’t they just ordinary folk too?

Actually I like being ordinary and non adventurous.

At my age being adventurous means walking up a small hill to see the view and having a second glass of wine with my dinner. Anything more smacks of a crisis and that I don’t need at all. When I was young a crisis was something to be got through; to deal with – par for the course sort of thing…they came, were sorted, and went. Now a crisis means fear, trepidation and life never being the same again – and I like things being the same – the same scenery around the cottage, the same lovely views from down the garden, the same walk with the dog in the evening sun. Oh yes give me the same any day, same friends, same loved ones…

I know everything changes – and nothing stays the same –  and all can be so different in the blink of an eye – but for a bit longer I’ll have it just as it is – please.


sunny sunday…again

These sundays come round ever so my friend from over the mountains said when I mentioned how fast time was going:

‘life is like a toilet roll, the nearer the end , then the faster it unrolls’ – you can find her, and her many pearls of wisdom, photos and much crafty stuff on her blog at well worth a visit!

maybe it should have been coffee and cakes this morning – but give me tea anytime!


I took the midget for a spin, ok it should have been my bike – even with a battery it is some exercise up the hills round here, but…how could I leave the little black beauty in the garage when the sun was shining?

– and look what just jumped into my hands at the at the boulangerie when I called in for bread.



Did I really say ‘deux petites gateaux s’il vous plait?’ And they are miniscule – oh yes and delicious!

What a weekend it’s been: Joe Bonamassa in concert in Lyon on Friday night, the local Donneurs du Sang Paella Dansante last night, and midget and sun, cakes and cups of tea this morning.. and still to come a sunday, oh so typically english, roast – whoop! whoop! Mmmm.

not having wrinkles…

It seems to me now that everyone from celebrities to newsreaders on the TV are deperate to stay looking young these days.

Occasionally I am forced to look in the mirror – I agree its a face like a crumpled paper bag that stares back at me, not a pretty sight, and if I was rich and wasn’t so scared of going under the knife again, I would probably get something done – so that I looked my age and not in my nineties…but I’m not rich and I am scared so I wrote a poem instead – called Not having wrinkles…

Not having wrinkles may enable you to look younger,

but your conversation and the backs of your hands 

will give the game away

your experiences will tell tales on you.


Not having wrinkles won’t help

when you need to see the doctor

and your worst fears are confirmed.


Not having wrinkles may help you get a younger person’s job

but your feet will ache

trying to keep dancing to the piper.


Not having wrinkles might do some things for you

but it won’t enable you

to fool the grim reaper…


Now I could put a photo on… my wrinkles; indeed not… good grief that would  be a step too far – even for me!




Sunny Sunday

Dominique, spelt like a girl’s name but he’s a bloke – don’t ask…has reinstated the Sunday morning walks for any one in our village who’d like to join him. So…up with the larks this morning and we’re off. Six of us, and of course, our dog. It is a truly beautiful, bright morning. We all seem to be enjoying the fresh air and the thought that spring is in the air.

Plenty of turned over clods of earth and other signs that there are still wild boar around…safe until september now – hunting finished at the end of February. Enough said.

IMG_2294 reducedThis seems to be the season for chopping down the pine trees here and lopping just branches off the other trees. We counted the rings and this tree is about 50 years old.

I went back later in the midget to collect a couple of offcuts

reducedthey are so pretty – surely I must be able to make something out of them!

IMG_2296 reduced       IMG_2297reduced

Back for the traditional Sunday roast – I know we’ve lived in France for years… but nothing beats those flavours

IMG_2290 reduced

what you can’t see here are the preparations for the yorkshire puddings, lashings of gravy, home grown green beans and sage and onion stuffing!

And just look at the size of these parsnips – grown by a friend of ours down in the valley – truly scrumptious – creamy and roasted to perfection.


…and now for a doze by the fire! Happy Sunday.

what do I do…when it rains?

Actually its more like sleet – the view from the back bedroom window is grey and grizzly


so since it looks uninspiring and so cold and dreary…


I set to and make a steamed syrup sponge – winter comfort eating at its best – it will be served with lashings of real English custard made from Birds custard powder  – and no, they don’t sell golden syrup or custard powder in La Belle France, but the car has a big boot! 

And what else is going on, on this dismal saturday morning?


Himself is busy at the wood turning – no its not a crash helmet but protection against the fine dust particles and a most necessary piece of equipment.


Note the little stove next to the central heating boiler – he can burn all the sawdust and keep warm at the same time!

And no he is not taking orders at the moment (unless from yours truly!)

And mustn’t forget to mention the doglet


She is looking out of the window, waiting for the rain to stop or maybe for someone to come and put another log on the fire!

Whatever the weather  – its a joy to be alive and well and retired – now I am reminded why I went to work! 

If its not too much of a cliche – give thanks for this day – its a new one – and life has no rehearsals , only performances,  so make it a good one! OK you’re right it is too much of a cliche.

Have a pleasant weekend.