Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Back on line

The technician finally came out today and we have a phone and internet again thank goodness.
My parents left today after a lovely few days (the windows and garden look much better - thanks Mum!!)
I am off for a hen do in London tomorrow, but will be back to more regular blogs next week. In the meantime here is something I wrote a week ago. Still can't quite believe it.

The longest Day.

Neil greeted me from work, calling me into the garden with an expression on his face I could not read.
“Oh no,” I thought, and wondered if the horses had eaten the cable that goes from the satellite dish or something.
He pulled me to him and held me and said “It’s Tam, I’m so sorry, but he has been killed on the road”..
I crumbled.
I always thought I was more a dog person, but there was something about that little cat and his rescue that had attached him so firmly to my heart that I had dreaded anything happening to him.
Despite all his health issues he had taken all his injections, drops and medication without ever complaining, he had not once used his claws or done anything other than purred within seconds of being touched.
He had forged an amazing bond with our dog Tess, and become a strong adventurous cat I was so proud of.
Too adventurous it seems.
I am devastated. Neil, Tess and I will miss that little fella and he has left a huge hole in our household.
So Midsummers day truly was the longest day.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

I have gone very quiet - not for bloggers block - but because a storm has fried our phone line, so I have no internet or phone.
Janes' second foal was born fit and well thank goodness - I will be back when France Telecom gets their arse into gear and sorts us out!!!

Thursday, 10 June 2010


I cannot tell you just how gutted I am this morning.
My friend Janes' horse gave birth this morning and the foal has turned out to be deformed. The vet was called and the little filly has had to be put down. It had problems with it's eyes and mouth and the vet thought it seemed brain damaged.
The vet said it was the first foal he had ever had to put down.

Last year Jane bought an Andalucian stallion to cover both her young mares and having been there at the conception, I was pretty excited to see the result and Jane has been hopping with excitement the last few days in anticipation. To hear her absolute heartbreak is terrible, especially after Jane was so kind and supportive during the last days of my horses life. She was with me when Amber was put to sleep and I am sitting here with tears in my eyes for her and this poor foal.

This afternoon I have volunteered to go with her husband to take the body to a laboratory, where we will find out if it was a genetic problem while Jane waits around for the birth of the second foal, hoping against hope that all is ok.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Brits Abroad

Our local bar is run by an English couple and when we moved here we were rather disappointed when we realised that the heart of the community was not run by locals. Had we been in a position to afford to go drinking, we had rather hoped the local bar would be a good place to converse with our French neighbours.

A run of programmes such as 'A place in the sun' had advertised our region as one of the cheapest in France and therefore increased the steady flow of British migrants to a flood. What we thought was a little French village is inhabited by a huge number of us.

Neil had started French lessons before moving here, and it was our aim to befriend our neighbours and try to integrate as much as possible. This was hindered somewhat when our closest neighbours suddenly lost their son in a tragic road accident soon after we moved. Although they have always been friendly their grief made it difficult to become close, and finding something to say would have been difficult enough in our own language, let alone our adopted one. So now we have a friendly but not close relationship with them.

We also hadn't bargained for the scale of the difference in culture, sense of humour and lifestyle. The French are very different beasts to us, and although we have made some good friends we feel we will never really be accepted totally here by the French.

It is with mixed emotions then that our social life is mostly spent with our English friends. As much as we were loathe to go down that route on arriving here I just can't imagine ever getting to the stage where I can just have a really 'good laugh' in French. Even the French friends we have made here despair of their 'backward thinking' compatriots and nightmare bureaucracy.

Tonight was the final nail in the coffin for our integration. We went to the bar as there was a fish and chip van there, and purchased cod and chips twice.
We took them to the lake where we walk Tess and sat at a picnic bench with our bottles of salt, vinegar and Heinz tomato ketchup. So we are failed integrators.

Do you know what... it was bloody lovely!!!!!

Friday, 4 June 2010

French and Fresians

We have had one more duck fatality, so I think we will have to keep them penned in for a bit, at least until the fox thinks there is no free lunch to be had around here. Neil wants to get a gun and shoot it, but after recent events in the UK I think gun ownership is a very bad idea!

We had our first french lesson with a new teacher last night - and came away with a very large tv for 20 euros! Neil, who normally could easily live without a tv, seems to have taken a sudden interest in viewing. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out it has something to do with the World cup football.
The lesson was followed by some very lovely rose wine, which is a very civilised way to go about learning. Our new teacher taught French in schools in the UK for some time, and she is really lovely.

Work on our house has come to a grinding halt while earning money becomes a priority for Neil. It is really difficult to get the balance right between progress here and the need to suppliment my income and Neil finds it frustrating as hell to be working elsewhere when there is so much he wants to do here.

My friend the fresian owner sent me these photos this morning so I thought I would share them with you

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

fox spot

I actually saw a fox yesterday walking along our top fenceline. I tried to send Tess out to chase it off, but it was raining so she would 'rather stay inside if it's all the same ta'.
A quick head count showed no fatalities thank goodness.

I had a check with my local doctor yesterday for my high blood pressure, but it was fine last night, and the doctor was more interested in telling me how upset she was that she was retiring and there is no doctor to take over from her.
She did tell me to cut down on my intake of salt, so I grassed Neil up, as he loves to cook and adds salt before he even tastes anything. I was also warned off salty aperitifs, gassy drinks, cheese and jambon blanc.

I was supposed to be having a tetanus booster, but for some reason she has given me a prescription to come back for that another time, so thats another two hours in the waiting room then.