lundi 13 juin 2016

An ill fated trip to Lille

On the 26th May, we set out to visit our friends at Lille to celebrate a 90th birthday with a barbecue. We had hesitated to undertake the trip due to the fuel blockade, but had filled the van's tank to the utmost and Patrick had assured us that, even if  there was a problem in reprovisioning in Lille, we could get fuel in Belgium, only a few kilometres away.
  However, things did not go smoothly from the start. Even to reach Poitiers took ages, as the forains were en colere over some grievance and were blocking the motorway. The Police wouldn't let us join the A10 and advised us to go to Chatelleraut by the N10 and take the motorway after that.

 Arrived there, and decided to have some lunch at the service area before taking the motorway. As we made our way to the restaurant, Kim tripped on a curb and fell heavily, landing on her right arm. She couldn't get up for a few moments, then we were assisted by the very kind people from the services, who helped us into the restaurant area. They wanted to send for the Pompiers and get us sent to Tours hospital but Kim felt she would be OK after a rest and we ate a snack. But it was clear to her that she had damaged the wrist, but we decided to continue to Lille and ask Cecile to take her to hospital there for an X-ray and treatment, as Cecile is a Nurse and would know the routine. So that was what we did, although C took her to Roubaix hospital, where her contacts smuggled her in the back door for VIP treatment!
  After a very pleasant weekend and a barbecue neatly fitted in between the rain showers, we returned  home with Kim's arm plastered and in a sling, so it's just as well I can drive again...after a couple of weeks, the plaster has been changed for a lighter resin one, but Kim's arm is still very painful needing lots of painkillers, which make her sleepy. You can see, therefore, why at first she couldn't walk her Dane as promised but lately she has been able to accompany me as we walk the dogs off to the leash on quiet paths.

Papy Julien lights his candles
Bye for now, phone's ringing!
The barbecue is lit

samedi 11 juin 2016

Canine news-- New Ark Crew

    Well, it's finally happened, Kim has realised her lifetime 's ambition to own a Great Dane. A rescue organisation has offered her a rescued Dane found wandering and malnourished and restored to health through their care. More importantly, she persuaded me we could look after the enormous beast, she promised she would accompany us on our walks to control the behemoth. We introduced the other two dogs in the organisation 's pound and they seemed to get on well, so we were able to return home with Rufus.
  As you can see from my photo, he is huge, and in fact weighs more than I do! However, he is a very docile and placid individual and has been very little trouble. We bought him a special sofa of his own, which at first he used, but having fallen in love with Kim, he prefers to lie on our large sofa, curled up between us. He doesn't pass unnoticed if we are in public, more than one French citizen has remarked, 'Ah, la vache!'  and we don't know whether it's an exclamation or if they think we are leading out a Fresian heifer... He loves riding in the car, so we were able to take him on our trip to visit our friends in Lille a fortnight ago. Unfortunately, the trip was ill-starred, and led to Kim being unable to keep her pledge to look after her dog all on her own. I'll tell you all about our unfortunate adventures in my next blog, it needs one all to itself

  Bye for now, I need a further cup of coffee.

mercredi 18 mai 2016

Sad news. Segoline has passed on

No, not Mme Royale, but someone dearer to our hearts, our elderly ewe. She has been ailing for some time, arthritis in her front legs, losing weight and condition. Still, with a little help to stand up, she carried on. She was sheared recently, and this seemed to rejuvenate her for a while, but it didn't last and she died last night, just missing a vets appointment today. I doubt if the vet could have done more than ease her passing.....

 Bye Sego, you were a good old sheep and your daughter Rosie lives on to remind us of you.

 Bye for now, drinking a cuppa in your memory

lundi 16 mai 2016

The French and car names

    It's a strange phenomenon -- the French love to give their cars names with an English flavour. Perhaps it is to sell their vehicles abroad, to give them credibility in English-speaking countries?  But it is an endearing tendency of the French, that they slightly distort English words,for example, a car park becomes a parking, a dry-cleaner a pressing. Car names are no exception . Renault has both a Jumper and a Jumpy, both giving a quite different impression to English ears-- woolly or nervous? The Duster does not bring to mind a virile, off-road four-wheel-drive vehicle but a cleaning-rag, called a chiffon in French. The oddly-named Trafic brings to mind being caught in a jam...I don't know what the Step-way is meant to imply but it doesn't inspire me to buy one. Why don't the motor manufacturers run their new names past a native-speaker before making themselves just a tiny bit ridiculous?
  Bye for now, off to drive my Berlingo Bivouac

samedi 14 mai 2016

Re-stocking of the Book Reserve

   Guess where we`ve been today? You're right, it's to the spring edition of the Hope Book Sale. We spent a very pleasant day there, having first picked up our friend Agnes from Chef Boutonne. As you can see from the photo, there were enough boos there to delight the heart of any bibliophile, and at a Euro apiece, you can indulge yourself  without feeling profligate. We came away with 35Euros worth between us, not a bad haul as you can see below.
   Of course, there are other attractions there, such as the fish and chips van, plus loads of interesting stalls and we had a good wander round. Kim brought some plants, we filled up on fish and chips, plus cake and a cuppa, very welcome as the weather was a bit cool. Now we're back, looking forward to reading some of our new acquisitions. And the cherry on the cake is, that the Fair brings in lots of funds for the Hope Association, to help in their work to rescue needy cat and dogs.

mercredi 11 mai 2016

Bees in the Bonnet

A few days ago, our neighbour, Phillipe, pointed out that a new colony of bees had established themselves behind the shutter of our friend Liz's house. While Liz was in residence a week ago, a swarm had been removed from a tree in her garden, by Chris Luck, a local apiculturist, so this new swarm also needed a new home. Unfortunately , Chris was very busy and was unable to come for a few days, but today he arrived to deal with the problem.
The bees were well established between the shutter and the window, and a clear view could be seen from inside the room. The bees had already made a lot of comb in flat plates between the two surfaces, you can see the edges of the combs in the pic on the left. Chris climbed the step-ladder and opened the window, exposing the colony. I was poised for a strategic withdrawal but in fact few bees entered the room.

Chris was then able to push open the window. Some of the comb stuck to the pane and broke, which did not please the insects, however, most flew outside.
  From outside, the combs could be clearly seen. Chris was putting them in a new hive inside the room, but as they were somewhat disturbed and he had the protective suit, I decided to leave him to it and return home for tea.

samedi 26 mars 2016

Rescue dog transport

  On Thursday, we had arranged to assist in the transfer of a rescued dog to its new temporary family.
Accordingly, we visited the temporary quarters at Animal'Or at Sauze Vaussais to collect this lovely Boxer, called Guayane. She had apparently been adopted from this establishment some five years ago, before being recently dumped back, as her family had found her inconvenient! Some humans are strange.....
  We found her a most attractive dog, very affectionate, clean, quiet in the car,a little pulling on the lead, only natural in a dog recently confined in kennels. A little training would soon have sorted this. She was very thin, too, but otherwise seemed in sparkling health, very interested in her surroundings. We found her absolutely charming, we would have kept her ourselves if we had room.
As arranged, we then drove her to Gencay, to hand her over to Camilla, her new keeper, until a permanent, loving home can be found. I'm sure the Association will have no problems in rehoming her, the first family seeing her will snap her up. Is anyone reading this blog looking for a new companion? Give me a ring.....
  We left her licking Camilla and drove back home, a bit tired but happy to be able to help in this worth-while work.
   Bye for now, breakfast calls.