Saturday, 18 February 2017

Our Life in France, your help is needed

Hello dear Readers,

This blog is a cry for help as I am experiencing real problems with my blog, I really am a bit of a technophobe, my blog has been running perfectly ok since 2009 and now I am having problems with comments, it seems that only people who comment via Google + can be seen on my posts, therefore I am not getting comments from some of you and cant answer, I hate the fact that some of you dear people are commenting and thinking I am not answering, I have tried everything I can and it is not working, I am tempted to open up another blog with a different provider but hate the thought that I would lose everything from the original as it is like a diary to me, if any of you dear readers are able to offer any help please feel free to do so, it will be very much appreciated, please could I ask you to send any help to my email at
I await any help I can get as the alternative would be to shut this blog down

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Our French Life - Sad times

Hello dear Readers,

Our life in France has been an adventure and along the way we have met lots of people some have come and gone, my Mother would have called them fair weather friends, the sort that are always around while the going is good but as soon as it gets difficult they are nowhere to be found, and some stick around and become best friends forever, for the last eight weeks John and I have been supporting one of those forever friends, he was told a week before last Christmas that he had cancer, previous to this he had no symptoms, he felt unsteady on his feet and went to see his GP who thought he had experienced a stroke and sent him via taxi to hospital 45 minutes away to get a brain scan, he was diagnosed and offered treatment but it started spreading too quickly and and at 3am Monday morning he lost his fight, 8 weeks from diagnosis. R.I.P. John Fitter, a Father figure, good friend, great comedian, great company and such a great soul, we are devastated .

See Big John you made it to my blog, take care on your new adventure x

Monday, 6 February 2017

Our life in France - Little Betsy is broken.

Hello Dear Readers,

I could blog today about all the silly things that were challenges at the weekend but I don't want to burden you with my woe's,   Our little baby car is broken but hopefully we can fix her, she is a wonderful little Rover Cabriolet whose little engine purrs as we tootle along in the summer sunshine, roof down, the wind in our hair, sometimes we have a cd playing that we sing along to, old songs that we know the words to, maybe a little country and western we tap our feet to, we tootle off to places new and sometimes take a picnic, oh how I dream of those lovely hot sultry days of summer.
I always wear a large brimmed sun hat when we have the roof down and I once said to John, ''do you think people think I am a film star" and he said yes Lassie.
So I now need to concentrate on happy things. like this wonderful toad in the hole we had for tea, yumsy x

We bumped into a couple today when doing some shopping who have bought a house in the next village to us, I had picked up a small pocket torch and the man of the couple said " you can get that for a pound in England" I remember when we first came here to live full time we used to compare prices and feel appalled at how much things cost but I guess after 8 years we accept it now, so I answered but we are not in England we are in France and that is what it costs here. and yet another couple who voted to leave the EU, it beggers belief, I struggle to understand the logic.

Thanks for popping by and please leave a comment.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Our French Life - out of the gloom.


Hello Dear Readers.

Well February is here and sorry I haven't been on here much but we have just about managed to get through January, life has been somewhat different since just before Christmas what with me having bladder infection one after the other, a dear friend finding out they have cancer and the disruption that something so life changing brings, then John has the flu or La Grippe as it is called here in France, such a fitting name I always think as it does grip you for sure, My birthday came and went without any celebration as I was of course playing nurse to John, we will of course do the celebration bit at a later date when John is better

It is all of the above that has made me think how really lucky I am to have my John and just how much I rely on him and how much he actually does for us both and friends too, even though he struggles to walk with arthritic knees, when he was staying in bed with the flu and it felt like I was alone it gave me a glimpse of what life would be like if I was left on my own or indeed if he was left on his own, I certainly now know that I must take some of the strain, it's a wake up call. The good thing is John will recover from his flu so in the grand scheme of things it's not so bad.
As for my bladder problems it seems I have a prolapsed bladder and will need surgery, not looking forward to that but glad it is in France and not the UK.

The very good news is that as I go out and down the garden path I can see that everything is starting to come back to life, all the daffodils, tulips and crocus are all up, little buds popping out from everywhere, after the really hard frosts we have experienced it is hard to believe these tender little souls have survived, it is like they are all waking up and stretching after a very long sleep.

Turned the Calender over for February, this is the one we get from the Pompier (firemen)

My Camelia in full bud

Tulips dafs and some weeds

Here is my tree peony, it was hidden in a hedge and we re planted it, lots of buds

Sadly I left this pot out and the frost has broken it.

So we are trying to remain positive and certainly looking forward to the better weather.

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Friday, 20 January 2017

Our French Life - Just when you think all is good.


Christmas had come and gone and if I am honest it hadn't been the best we had experienced for one reason and another but as the saying goes "things can only get better" with no big expenditure in sight I thought I would be able to save a little to get ourselves a set of those new (plastic) rattan style patio sets for the summer, well they say don't get too comfy don't they... First of all my very old hairdryer that I must have had for 30 years melted, so I couldn't finish drying my hair properly so instead of going out with wet hair I decided to bake a cake, got the scales out of the cupboard and promptly dropped them on the tiled floor, of course they did not survive that impact and I think I will be finding bits of them for months to come, needless to say they have both gone to the tip or as it is called in French La Decheterie.
ok so yesterday I had to bite the bullet and go and buy new versions of the afore mentioned articles, we drove to our local biggish town 30 minutes away (nothing is close here), went to Intermarche a large supermarket and we were looking through the hairdryers, well these things do so much these days I thought I only want to dry my hair but some of them do the housework too, I spied one which took my fancy and looked at the price underneath it, it was a Remington and only 19,98€, I was a little surprised at this so asked a very nice shop assistant was it right and she looked and said non non non and pointed out that this one and the one next to it had been swapped around, so when I got to the till I would have been paying 59,00€ bit of a difference, so be careful when buying these items and check the ticket for correct details.

Phillips is a good name in fact it is probably better than Remington.

Right next door is Action so we popped in there to look for some kitchen scales, they had several but I chose these, I wasn't going to have digital but these were so good as they could be changed to lbs and ozs or Grams, liquid measure and a built in timer plus they hang on the rod in the kitchen so well pleased with them and only 7,92€

We then went to another shop to get some cling film (Gifi) I like their particular cling film as I don't end up looking like a cling filmed mummy after using it, I spied this little gem for the bathroom.

I hope you can read it ok, if you have a man In your house it applies 😊

Thanks for popping by today and don't forget to leave a comment and  click the follow button  πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰ over on the rightπŸ‘

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Aims to aim for


First let me start by making an apology to you all, I have been playing about a bit with my blogs look and I am sure everytime you clicked on it there was a different colour or had a different header, well I think I have settled on this one so normal service will be resumed, thanks for being patient.


As I have said many times I am not one for making new years resolutions and anyway it is too late now by my reckoning, but it was a fellow blogger who made me realise that it is good to have aims for your year and be able to reflect on them, thank you Moira, you can find her blog here take a look,

I think it is good to do this otherwise you are bumbling aimlessly through your year and it is 18th January already just to put it into perspective, 18 days where you had no real plans now that scares me, we have not pets to give us purpose although we often say we would like another dog but sadly neither of us would be able to take it for long walks so that's out,
Right lets look at what I would like to aim for. I know a lot of french but still struggle to hold a meaningful conversation, the main problem is the understanding part, so I guess I must get cracking with that, the language problem also brings another and that is integrating into our village life or should I say the lack of it, when you struggle to have a conversation the easiest thing is not to put yourself in that situation and I guess that is what we have done, so now when we go to our local tabac to get the euromillions tickets we stop and have a coffee, we have promised to take some English tea next week as John prefers tea, it helps us and helps them.
There are still some jobs around the house that we need to knuckle down to, especially finish the downstairs toilet, lay carpet on landing, decorate our bedroom.
We also need to get a bit more exercise.
Well I think that will be plenty to keep us busy.

  1. Improve my French language skills
  2. integrate more into village life
  3. Finish the jobs.
  4. Get more exercise
It will be good to look at it all at the end of the year and see how well we have done

What are your aims going to be, let me know,

thanks for popping by ☆

Monday, 16 January 2017

Pretty memories - our life in france

As this week See's the end of a rather nasty run of virus's for me and I haven't been able to get out and about to get pictures of anything interesting, plus the weather is just awful with rain and more rain and we are in for some really low temperatures later this week so as you can imagine I am going into Hibernation mode, well it got me thinking about the things that I have around me that make me happy and thought I would share them with you.

A lovely glass cake stand with freshly baked scones
and they were scrumptious, The tray is made by the mosaic method by an old friend.

A plate made specially for a loaf cake, I will put the lemon drizzle I baked earlier on here as it is John's favourite, mind you it would seem that every cake is his favourite.

These are two pretty cups that my dear Mum used to drink her tea from, she treasured them but I use them every day as I don't see the point of hiding things away to keep them safe. the one on the right is one I bought her for Mothers day many moons ago and the one on the left is the only one left out of a set sadly, the milk jug I got from a vide grenier here in France and I often wonder how old it is and who used it.
A vase of used corks that I will make something with once I get the inspiration
Another little jug from a vide grenier with a pretty candle that I just cannot light and a lovely little crochet brooch that a friend made me her company is

and what it is all about

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Our French life - Vendredi 13th

Vendredi 13th Janvier
Hello Dear Readers,

Yes tomorrow is Friday (Vendredi ) 13th unlucky for some or so we think but not so the French, they think it is quite the opposite or at least the ones I have spoken to, here in France we have 13 my millions to be won tomorrow with the Euromillions, you have to be in to win as they say,  who knows, someone has to win why not us hey, here are a few more superstitions the French have but it is only hearsay and could quite possibly change from one area to another,

Horse shoes
I am used to hanging it like these below

but the French hang them upside down over the door outside. how do you hang yours?

Twiddle a French sailors red bobble, Don't mind if I do/
Apparently if you see a french sailor in uniform you should touch his red bobble for good luck, this good be why every girl loves a sailor.

Lighting cigarettes
I might not have this one quite right as there were conflicting ideas and it is from WW1 but this is sort of how it goes, never light 3 cigarettes with one match as the first one alerts a sniper, the second tells him how far away the target is and the third light gets the bullet, I think the answer is not to smoke in the first place.

If when pregnant you want a girl the french superstition is that if you set eyes on an owl during your pregnancy you will have a girl/

The last supper
The French are renowned for their dinner parties but they will never have 13 people around a table as they believe it will bring bad luck, as a Catholic country they believe it hails from the last summer and 13 people around that table one of which was Judas Iscariot who turned out to be a traitor.

Well these are but a few, so take it easy out there and stay safe/

Saturday, 7 January 2017

French life, how it's done

Galette des Rois - The French tart with a charm

Hello Dear Readers,

I write to you today about the Galette des Rois, this is traditionally a frangipane cake which always includes a paper crown, it is usually eaten on 6th January for Epiphany, this however is not a bank holiday so the actual feast day occurs on the first Sunday of January (unless it falls on the 1st,) then it goes to the next Sunday.
So you guessed, it will be tomorrow.

Normally this galette it made from Frangipane and puff pastry ( Pate Feuillettee)
But the one in the picture is brioche with bits of chocolate, so I guess it is more like a giant pain au chocolat, yummy yummy.

According to tradition the cake must be cut into enough slices so that each person gets a slice and a few more in case of unexpected guests, Here they have a gadget that you sit on top of a cake or gateaux and it allows you to cut equal sized slices, there will be a small figurine baked into the cake and the person who gets this figurine in their slice will have good luck for the year and becomes the king or queen for the day, wearing the crown provided, it is a good party game and the French love their party games, in order for it to be fair a child must sit under the table and shout out the names of everyone there and a slice is presented to that person. it would be very unusual for there not to be a child present as this is a family affair and the children are always involved as they are always well behaved, maybe this is why they grow up into such nice rounded people. when you think about it, if you send children to bed while you are having fun what does that say to the child,  interesting.!

Here is a video link so you can see how its done.

Happy l'Epiphanie to all.

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until next time peeps

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Life changes

Hello dear readers,

I have been doing some thinking about our life here today as someone asked if our lives had changed since we made the move,  I used to think there was no change in fact I would have said there was no difference in our cultures but over the years we have realised that there are some,  but nothing that is insurmountable, we came to France because we loved the fact that here in the rural countryside they seem to be at least 50 years behind England,  life is just like it was when we were kids,  safe to run around outside without getting robbed or attacked,  people especially children still have respect for others and elders,  don't get me wrong, it is starting to change now sadly and as you travel closer to the big cities you will see the graffiti some of which I find very artistic, the french in some areas are getting wise to it now and growing trees instead of concrete walls,  I very often see council workers trying for hours at a time to clean it off but I feel it would be much quicker if they painted it, I wonder why they don't invent a surface that rejects paint in the first place,
Here are a few differences we have found
●  Children behave in shops
●  Everyone greets you even if they don't know you
●  men kiss men to greet them (usually family)
●  food and the way we eat is different
●  The French are creatures of habit
●  If you buy the barman in a bar a drink he has to buy one back until neither of you       can leave or at least that is what it is like at our bar. and of course the wine is so           cheap.

That's just a few for today.

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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

New Year Resolutions

Hello dear readers,

We always have a trifle for any celebration and it is always made in Mum's cut glass bowl
God knows what we would do if we broke it

With A New Year comes new years resolutions, we all make them and we all break them, some sooner than others, I guess there are some people who make them and see them through to the end successfully, sadly I am not one of them.
So with the new year upon us, do the French make them too, the answer is yes....
(Les bonnes resolution du nouvel an).
My neighbour says it is always to lose weight well if you could see her she is so slim, tiny in fact and I tell her "you don't need to lose weight" and she replies " that's because I am constantly on a diet" or Regime as they call it here.
The other one or two are to give up smoking or drinking alcohol, have you noticed these are all the things we love, perhaps not the smoking we gave that up 34 years ago but we do like a drink and we love our food, Well I got to thinking there must be an easier way to do this resolution thing, when you really think about it you don't have to give something up completely, right...why not learn a new language, in my case improve my French so that my poor friend and neighbour Jossette doesn't have to struggle so much with understanding me, you could cut down on something rather than give it up altogether, I am all for that, I am no good with diets, the minute I say I am on one I constantly think about food and can't last longer than a week so I thought I would cut back (not cut out) the snacks between meals and perhaps change some of the snacks for healthier options like fruit, yes that sounds good.
I won't make so many Trifles therefore I won't end up like this ♧

Please let me know what you are doing for your New Years resolutions. ♡

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Winter Proper - A Winter Wonderland

Hello dear readers,

Winter has hit us with a bang and we have what is called a Hoar Frost, this is a frost on steroids where crystalline frost forms on vegetation and forms beautiful shards of ice and icicles  to make such a beauty of nature, I could look at it all day, as we drove to do some shopping it was like being in a proper winter wonderland, pure white for as far as you could see and oh so magical as if nature was preserving the old year in time and dressing it perfectly to welcome the new dawn,

This was our red robin shrubs with just a touch of frost all around the edges of the leaves,


In the cloud-grey mornings
I heard the herons flying;
And when I came into my garden,
My silken outer-garment
Trailed over withered leaves.
A dried leaf crumbles at a touch,
But I have seen many Autumns
With herons blowing like smoke
Across the sky.

The little chapel is just out of the back of our garden


This is to the side of the chapel where the village children play, it was too cold for the today

This is our tap outside which had been drained, I do hope it will be ok,

I haven't seen icicles for a few years,

Where does the poor spider go when this happens, maybe he is very hardy and can walk on ice

Last summers flower heads, left on to protect the plant from such cold but given a last blast of beauty,

This ornamental grass frozen in time, will it ever be able to get back to its glory ever again, Nature is such a beautiful thing but I think so much more so in the rural countryside.

Cobwebs on the gazebo made even more beautiful, the crystals allow you to see how amazing they are.

Well dear readers it is the end of 2016 and I have opened the back door to let it go and opened the front door to let 2017 in, all that remains is to say

Good Health and Happiness to you all 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Glad tidings we bring

Merry Christmas to all my dear blog readers
I hope you are all safe and well and looking forward to tomorrow with exitement, I also wish for you everything you wish for yourselves where ever you are in the world.
Thank you for reading my blog over the years and I sincerely hope you will continue to do so over the coming years.
My wish is for Peace and love and understanding in the world

A very Happy Birthday to my wonderful hubby John for Christmas day

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Nearly Christmas

Hello dear readers

Christmas is almost here and am I ready, sadly not yet, there are 101 things to do before the big day, we have dear friends coming on the day to help us celebrate the season and John's birthday of course, There are beds to be made ready in case anyone wants or needs to stay over, Presents to be wrapped andthe house must be cleaned and all the last minute tinsel and glitter added to every nook and cranny, There are the beef bones to roast and boil to make the most delicious gravy, the red cabbage to be boiled down with lots of nice flavours for an accompaniment to the wonderful joint of meat we will be having on Christmas day, not to mention the mince pies and sausage rolls to make plus the last minute shopping to do, oh my will I ever get it all done πŸ˜‡ yet somehow it does all get done, it is only one day after all.
Christmas for the French of course as I understand it happens on 24th December, in theory the whole family gets together on the evening for a grand feast which is normally fish / seafood and you will see them at the very last minute on Christmas eve in their droves in the supermarkets collecting their pre-ordered Oysters,lobsters, prawns etc; all to be washed down with oodles of champagne of course, this feast will start at approximately 9pm and somewhere thereafter the children will be allowed to open their gifts ( this I think is a far better way to do it feed the kids until they are fit to burst get them very tired, let them open their gifts and then they are ready and willing to go to bed) result ☺
The grown ups of course can party for as long as they want to in fact I have known them to still be eating at 5am, at midnight they go to midnight mass or if you are in our village they have stopped it and now go at 8pm, no wonder they sleep most of 25th.
We are just off to give gifts to our local Pharmacy and the receptionists at the Doctors surgery as they are so good to us and help out a great deal.

so a very Merry Christmas to you all and a very prosperous and Happy 2017

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Tis the season to be merry

Tra la la la la la la la.

I seem to have loads of Christmas songs in my head and just blart them out at random, to John's amazement but I am really in the seasonal zone right now, for those that know me this is so out of character but long may it last.
My dear John has his birthday on Christmas day and it always gets lost in the excitement of Christmas in fact he very often doesnt get many cards as people will just add it on in Christmas cards but he is used to it now, so, yesterday we decided to celebrate his birthday a little and he was allowed to open a present.

I got it from a proper jewellery store and they really packed it up nicely for free

 A lovely box within a bag ribbons and all
oh the excitement

And yet another box, he was so pleased with his watch as he had been without one for so long and I couldn't get him used to looking at his phone for the time. A happy bunny.

Thanks for reading dear friends 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas is coming

The Goose is getting fat, Please put a penny in the old man's hat,
If you haven't got a penny a halfpenny will do,If you haven't got a halfpenny, God bless you.

OR as my friend Moira says "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" see her blog here

As usual the festive season is almost here without me being organised, I say every year, just after Christmas that I will be organised next time but of course I have to go through the doom and gloom of the onset to winter which I hate but then I seem to come out of the mist and start to get excited and focused, I must say that I have bought the beef for Christmas dinner (I nearly fainted at the price) but it is a lovely piece from the English butchers in Gorron, you can find them here   they are a traditional butchers and they have some well hung meat also lots of goodies like homemade sausages, Scotch eggs, which John loves (I can't eat eggs)  proper gammon steaks and homemade pork pies to mention just a few,
I have also posted my Christmas cards to all 4 corners of the world although I believe there will be a postal strike in UK so hopefully they will reach their destination on time.
yesterday we put up our Christmas tree and other bits

and for the first time I actually enjoyed doing it, maybe it was the fact that we had Christmas carols playing while we did it that cheered it all up but of course once you sing these songs they stay in your head, now I can't stop singing them, dear John just looks at me when I burst into song and says "you are a happy little bunny"

How are your preparations going?

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Quertily Queer

Hello Dear Readers.

Today my dearly beloved bought me a wifi bluetooth dear little keyboard for my tablet.

As you can see it is a Azerty and not a Querty keyboard, so I pair it to my tablet and start to type with it then realise I am typing rubbish, ... although it is on the face of it a azerty it is typing as a querty and nothing I can do will change it .... I have unpaired it and reinstated it, turned off the tablet and turned it back on, all the the usual but it will not change, don't get me wrong I am coping with it in fact it is a bit of a challenge, it keeps the old brain working.

If you have any ideas do please let me know, until next time.