…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.’



lazy in winter


March already!

This winter I have mostly… been  knitting blankets for rescued cats, crocheting blankets for who? I’m not sure yet. And trying to meditate with DeepaK Chopra. Oh yes and making vegetable stew and dumplings…


We’ve been to Spain in the camper van to escape the worst of the winter


via Argeles sur mer and

here’s the snow capped Canigou.


and then after a couple of days in the very windy south of France here are the mountains above Denia – the scene of our daily walk – I think I put photos on a few years ago of the Almond blossom


And now, well I am doing a course called Strategies for Successful Ageing – Oh yes, I hear you say – you and successful ageing? Interesting – especially after going into hospital with gastric enteritis and being convinced it was the beginning of the end…

Laugh – you have to, if this is as rough as it gets we are doing very well!

I can’t resist putting in some more photos – I read somewhere that a blog should have photos…

IMG_3226the donkey at the last campsite  –                           IMG_0106  the doglet on the washingIMG_0116

and of course the Charolais on our daily walk.

I have given up on creative writing courses – I read somewhere that if you are going to be a writer – just write – so obviously I am not going to be a writer…in this lifetime.

I have just read through some of my earlier posts and actually I quite like them – ah… those were the days when I actually did some writing! So this year i am going to try and put something on regularly – even if its not very literary I shall practice my craft!


it could have been us…

I know I haven’t put anything on here for ages…and why I hear you ask – you are retired – your time is your own and how can you pretend to be practicing your craft if you don’t write anything!

C’est la vie – that’s me  – one time small, dainty and thin would be writer, now rather lazy and on the large side hasn’t written a word for months sort of person!

But here is something to tell you…it started as one of my,  with hindsight, less than good ideas; a four day coach trip to go on the famous trains in the Alps – the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express. And this would have been the story of the coach trip from hell… then two days ago, the very same train we were on just two weeks ago,  was derailed by a landslide and some coaches thrown down a ravine – people were badly injured and airlifted off by helicopter and the tourists who could walk, tramped away from the horrific scene back down the line. So how could I moan about the low cloud, rain and not seeing the wonderful views?

IMG_3549 IMG_2361


And my quote for this week has absolutely nothing to do with the Alps or swiss trains –

“the mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

This comes from The Water Mill by Sarah Doudney 1843 – 1926


and many thanks to my  friend in the Lakes for introducing me to this poem. If you need a change of reading matter I would recommend you sit somewhere with a cuppa and read it gently outloud – the words like ‘languidly’ and ‘garnered’ and phrases like ‘but never glideth back again’ just serve to remind us how beautiful our English language is.  And the rhythm and flow and the way the poem rhymes – sounds so easy to do – but oh so difficult to do – especially to do so that it does not sound false and contrived.

And from Emily Dickenson..

“If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain, if I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain.”


and to finish – I just couldn’t resist putting his statue in my blog! No prizes for guessing who or where it is, but I wonder why?



writer’s block… another chapter in ‘how not to be a writer…’

Usually Sam could lose herself in the characters of her novels. In fact if she’d ever thought about, it she‘d have realised that was precisely why she wrote.

Her characters were young, sexy and adventurous. She liked them – she liked being among them. She joined in with their adventures as she wrote- she laughed with them, loved them, slept with them and worried about them all.

Lately she had started to feel more like their mother watching them get into scrapes and unable to do anything about it. That depressed her. What had changed she kept asking herself

 This time something was wrong, seriously wrong, she just couldn’t seem to get inside the skin of her leading lady and the young devilishly handsome rake in the computer section of the office.

 It wasn’t that she hadn’t done her research – a while ago she had temped for a big firm of marketing specialists for three months. It had been fine, as well as earning some much needed money – she had gone clubbing with the young ones on Saturday nights; had after work drinks to the Campari Bar with the designers from the second floor – gone to the Races with the MDs  secretary and her crowd of friends; and had slept with a salesman.

  It wasn’t that she didn’t have any ideas, actually she didn’t know how the story would end, but that was usual – the characters developed as the story went along and the ending would often come about half through or even three quarters and then she would know in a flash what was going to happen.

 Writers block!

After cleaning the flat from top to bottom, even going so far as to wipe the dreadful blinds, emailing her mother and a few ex boyfriends, half a bottle of chardonnay, fish, chips and mushy peas, Sam decided that was it –  she couldn’t write another word.