Frustration and a bit of a rant…

oh yes I’m frustrated because I’m the wrong side of seventy, but I’m lucky to have got here… I’m fedup because I’ve got lots of wrinkles and if these ones by my mouth get

any deeper my chin will drop off,CE9CDAB1-1B39-4040-87AF-A4E2BACB398F

and I have  fat knees and they’re getting fatter… and I’m frustrated because I can’t make a playlist on my iPhone and I don’t know if it’s me being particularly thick or if the steam driven MacBook is just denying me… but mostly I am ranting on because the style of the writing on the last blog post changed half way through to something virtually unreadable and there is nothing I can do about it! And oh boy do I hate that. It has made me cross.

What a lovely word that is -‘cross’ – I used to say that to the children in my class – ‘oh don’t make me cross, please’

Angry sounds all red and horrid whereas ‘cross’ – well it’s more a bit of a pinky colour and  just a bit milder somehow!

But for the real pain in the neck it’s the fact that on this lovely Xmas present iPad, every time I write the word ‘colour’ I have to change it from the American ‘color’. They shouldn’t have been allowed to tamper with the beautiful English language and it’s spelling. It’s a crime.

Don’t get me on to spelling, because then I think about the apostrophe and feel like screaming out ‘which letter have you missed out then?

What a rant this has turned out to be – and why should that be, I wonder?

Could be that it’s february and cold outside, or it could be that taking beta blockers for tachycardia makes me put on weight…and that after having my gall bladder out I am eating less but putting on even more weight…and putting on weight is not synonymous with enjoying a nice meal and a bottle of wine…and what else should I do in winter in the depths of rural France?

And it could be that in the winter, more often than not, I am sometimes to be found thinking along these lines: if the average lifespan for British women is 82years what should I be doing with these next, and possibly my last 11 years? And that’s if I’m lucky enough to get that many.

And therein lies the rub… it’s something to do with not wanting to waste too much time…

…Back to the UK and volunteer to help the homeless or any other charity or read stories to elderly people in care homes, or take them for a walk, anything useful that would help me to put something back for the wonderful life I’ve had? It’s an idea… and think how much more I would see of my daughters and grandchildren…

Hmm,  I don’t really want to think about the ‘going back to the uk’ scenario – maybe later when something AWFUL and probably inevitable, happens…but for now after 12 years in this little cottage could I change again?

Volunteer for something over here, now there’s a thought. Hmm again, after I tried reading the info on a French website and didn’t get very far, I was very much put off and disappointed with my language skills…

So back to knitting blankets for cats then.

IMG_0041  IMG_0110

Sometimes you just have to get a grip, and just because it’s a dismal cold February day it’s no excuse for moaning.

Hey, but isn’t a good rant OK now and then?

and this is my favourite quotation for today. I think the author is unknown

”There  is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take time to look. For example, I’m sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.”




more from the birthday year…

…and what of the birthday challenge? When I was 50 – was I ever that young? – I learnt to play the saxophone – it proved to be a challenge and an interest and it gave me a great deal of pleasure, playing in the school band, doing concerts in Greece, Dublin and France with the same bunch of music loving, very talented children and young people. Far more musical than I’ll ever be – ok,  that may not seem a great deal when you consider I am tone deaf – I even have to hear the words of ‘God save the Queen’ to recognise that tune.

‘Name that tune in three’  doesn’t exist for me – ‘name that tune in any number you choose,  if it hasn’t got words isn’t possible for yours truly. And as for a sense of rhythm – well put it this way  – you wouldn’t want me as the drummer in your band.

So my 70th birthday challenge is to learn to play the accordion…

accordion 1

and let me tell you its not easy. The french seem to  teach only the Button accordion – I wasn’t given a choice. Not that I think the piano accordion would be any easier.

The lady who teaches me is small and rotund with twinkling eyes – she has not a word of English and my pronunciation of french is so poor that conversation between us is at a minimum. The lessons are however, a laugh a minute. She is forever having to tap my left wrist – it’s not curved enough in the correct position, or she taps my right thumb often with her pencil because its not sliding up or down the side of the accordion… and all the time she is beating time with her other hand on her knee…

She is really a one man band.

And as for what she thinks of a seventy year old with little or no sense of rhythm  trying to learn to play the accordion I suppose I’ll never know.

How can I explain that all I want to be able to do, is play some simple waltz tunes and ‘After the ball is over.’

I’m giving it a year – a year of a lesson nearly every week and a year of renting the accordion. And if I can play a waltz here in the privacy of the loft by next February, I shall be ecstatic!

accordion Music

Ah, if only I knew a little more what all these squiggles meant, and if only I could do a different thing with each hand, and read the music and pull and push the bellows at the same time…

…of deer, December and doing things


We see deer often on our walks in the late afternoon and early evening. Himself snapped this one a couple of days ago. We live in France and so of course it has probably been shot by now.

I know hunting is part of the french life style and culture and we might be overrun with deer as they have no natural enemy here, but for the life of me I will never understand how some people really enjoy, get their kicks, whatever you want to call it – out of killing another living creature.

It’s december and sometimes it’s almost been too cold to walk our usual route, -3.5°C. That’s a minus…Brrr!

But I’m glad to say most days I get a walk however short, and the views are lovely – whatever the weather. Reflections and the mist rising make we want to be a real photographer.

and as for the doing things? Hmm…I have joined a knitting group – hardly a group since we are just three, but I have to speak french and of course, knit. So I have made a shawl for my English speaking french friend who puts up with my stilted conversation and who gave me the confidence to contact the group…

…and a case to keep my needles in.

And so the ordinary life just keeps on keeping on – and isn’t that wonderful?

I often wonder why I write this – I try and believe I am ‘practising my craft’ so that  one day before I croak, I will have this idea for a fantastic story…

and as the American playwright and journalist, Elaine Liner said:

‘if writers stopped writing about what happened to them, there would be a lot of empty pages.’