lundi 25 janvier 2016

Update and various reflections


I note I haven`t posted an Ark for ages,so I thought I would post a sort of selection of thoughts and reports.
   On Sunday, as it was so sunny and mild, we visited our favourite local attraction, the weir at Rejallant, near Ruffec. it looked beautiful, with loads of water coming down the Charente and we had a gentle wander over the new footbridges. a pleasant foretaste of summer. We used to like the restaurant there but it's gone very up-market and expensive.. Afterwards, we had a drive over the Charente at Condac and visited the hamlet of La Leigne, where we often used to walk.. Later, perhaps when my legs have strengthened...
   Another reflection which comes to mind is gratitude at the warmth emitted by our wood burner . Bought to replace the old and decrepit cooking wood burner, it's true you can't really cook on it but it's easy to light and gives far more heat for less wood, as the air circulates between the caste iron core and the sheet metal casing. As you can see, it only has a small window through which you can see the fire but this feature hides a clever trick. Most wood burners with 'picture' windows have to be cleaned daily or they soot up so the fire can't be seen. The clever trick with our Supra is that the window is very close to the firebox, protected by stout bars . It is of a special glass and is itself protected by an outer double glazing. The inner window becomes extremely hot and any soot burns off, it needs no cleaning at all. Neat, eh?

    Other more personal news is that my cold has finally departed and Kim's is much better, though there is still a nasty cough which is difficult to shake off. She's feeling stronger, though. I'm still having Kine sessions twice a week, and things are gradually improving, not as quickly as I would wish. Still when I remember the state I was in when I left Niort hospital to go for rehab at Le Grand Feu, there's no comparison I'm nearly back to normal, just a case of building up strength and dexterity.

Bye for now,going to get in some logs!

mardi 12 janvier 2016

Back home again!

Well, here we are re-installed in our French home,  quite a change from Alyson's house in Goosewell. We spent a very happy few days in Plymouth, having made the sea- crossing both ways and the long car journeys with only one car- driver, as my licence is, I hope, temporarily withdrawn in view of my stroke in October. Kim had to face the driving on her own, which daunted her a bit, but she is feeling proud at having managed it. We stopped at St Brieuc on the way up and spent the night, before embarking the following day. On the return overnight crossing, due to sea conditions, the ferry was diverted  to St Malo rather than Roscoff. This in fact suited us fine, the journey by road back home being 100 km shorter! We thus managed it without an over-night stop. No doubt, foot-passengers for Roscoff, who had to face a long coach trip back there were not so keen....
   Unfortunately, we have both brought back with us an unwelcome souvenir in the form of a virulent English cold, which has left us both very much under the weather, with severe chesty coughs.. I haven't felt much like blogging but will try to upload some Christmas pics and especially some of Mimi, the new great- granddaughter in my next.
   Bye for now, got to take my medicine....

vendredi 25 décembre 2015

Christmas Wishes to all Ark Readers

    I hope all Ark readers have a peaceful and happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year !

mardi 22 décembre 2015

The Ocean-going Ark.

    Well, we've successfully completed the first parts of our peregrination and completed the complicated procedures to load ourselves no our dogs onto the Brittany Ferries vessel Armorique. In fact, this blog is being written from a rolling seat aboard in the seaway opposite Roscoff. It promises to be a turbulent crossing, luckily we are both good sailors

   Later... In fact, it has got quite rough, it's better to stay seated, as to walk about risks to make you into a caricature of a drunk, reeling from side to side searching for a hand-hold...luckily, there are not a huge number of passengers on this crossing, it always puzzles me how Brittany Ferries can make a living in the winter, I don't suppose these large ships do many miles per gallon , or more likely per ton of fuel...
  It's quite noticeable how the move to the north from home causes the surrounding conditions to change. It was colder this morning at St. Brieuc , and still dark at eight when I went out to feed the dogs, in France dawn would already have broken. I have just put my watch back to Greenwich Mean time and night is falling fast , over a wave-tossed sea. Not hard for me to find reason to live where we do, even though it's good to visit Plymouth from time to time.

Right, bye for now before these musings disappear, as they've shown worrying signs of doing. See you soon from Angleterre!

lundi 21 décembre 2015

New transhumance-- first Christmas in England for thirteen years!

   This year, for the first time for ages, we decided to spend Christmas at Plymstock with our daughter Alyson and her family, rather than at Lille in northern France with Cecile and her large extended family. We felt sad at not seeing our friends in Lille and will miss them. However, the lure of a new great- grand daughter and to see Alyson again proved too strong!
   Mind you, recent health problems  with me left the destination in doubt up to very recently, I secretly feared spending the festive season in Niort Hospital, but I am pleased to say that things are going better and this blog is being written at St. Brieuc on our way to the ferry port. All being well, we should be crossing to Plymouth tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, my stroke means I am not allowed to drive until re-assessed, so poor Kim has had to take the wheel for the drive, which she has done with great skill. We left  Mort Limousin only half an hour behind schedule at ten thirty, despite an unscheduled washing of the bathroom floor, when the handle of a plastic bucket of water broke off in Kim's hand, inundating the room.....she valiantly drove us here arriving at four thirty. We are now going to find our evening meal at the nearby Buffalo Grill.

 Bye for now from the travelling Ark!

lundi 14 décembre 2015

Progress report


   Rereading my last few blogs, I feel that they are a bit self centred, but when you suffer a stroke and find your life suddenly changed and all your previously- held certainties put in doubt, it's difficult to concentrate on anything else!  In my previous blogs I had reported steady progress in regaining the use of my hand, arm and leg... Unfortunately, I have sadly to report a set-back , which has slowed things down for the moment.
  I developed a sudden crisis of arthritis in the thumb joint of the ' good' hand, which was of course not good news as it had been doing a lot of the work that the poorly hand and arm was unable to do. On Saturday after an enjoyable meal at our local Salle de Fetes for us older citizens, this pain moved up the arm and involved both shoulders and neck, very painful!it has since left the good arm ( thank goodness ) and is confined to my left shoulder, which forced a cancellation of my Kine this morning. I am hopeful it will continue its migration and go altogether, the doc has prescribed some strong painkillers to encourage this....
  Kim has been most supportive, she has even had to dress me at times, besides doing the lion's share of the household tasks without complaint. Anyway, there are signs of progress, and I hope to be able to give better news soon.

 Bye for now, tea and drugs parade calling!

vendredi 27 novembre 2015

Back to the hacienda!

Well, here I am, released from exile and back at La Mort Limouzin once again. Both of us are overjoyed to be back together again, and for Kim not to have to make a three hour round trip to visit me. I shall be eternally grateful for the improvement that Le Grand Feu has made to the damage that the stroke  made to my hand, arm and leg, they are so much better than when I arrived there. I am hoping for continuing improvement and we are commencing a continuing series of Kinetherapy at a centre at Chef Boutonne
  The only blot on the pleasant landscape of my return, were a series of really frightening panic attacks the first time I have ever had such experiences.  I felt I couldn't breathe, was trembling and wanting to run, really had the feeling of being about to die. Luckily Kim was able to calm me down and pointed out that my vital signs were all normal, and I took a Xanax, a thing I never do. After ten minutes all returned to normal. Phew!!
   Research on Google into this condition, showed the feelings, though highly alarming, are completely illusionary, and exist in the imagination rather than the body. Armed with this information, I have been able to fight off any recurrence, but I assure my readers I have never been so frightened in my that has settled down, I can concentrate on building up movement and dexterity in my limbs, we have a session of Kinetherapy this afternoon at Chef. I'll let you know how it compares with the Grand Feu Kine.
  Our Doctor has also suggested a visit to a Sophrologist as a good treatment for panic attacks, so we're trying that on Saturday, can't do any harm....

   Bye for now from a hopefully convalescing Noah!