Australia.

April 22, 2017

It is nearly sixty years since I first began a love affair with Australia when I read my first Nevil Shute book. Although I have never actually been there, and probably never will now.This is almost certainly a good thing as I doubt it is the Australia today that I first fell in love with.

It was still a brave, new world in those days. Tough and often dysfunctional families who somehow managed to survive in the outback, with nothing much more than sheep for company.
Most of them managed to make huge amounts of money eventually, which they often didn’t know how to spend.

That was the time when I should have gone there. I guess that I simply didn’t know how.

Stepmother thought about it because her brother had gone, but poor old Daddy nearly had a fit. He had lost his Irish thing by then, and preferred boring, grey old England.
His forte was mathematics, and he would never have made a sheep farmer.

Interestingly, I inherited his love of mathematics, but then I apply it to everything. I would have known how many sheep we had, and how many acres we owned.

In fact, I have probably got more relations in Australia than in Ireland. There aren’t many Mitchells in Ireland these days, not even in Mitchellstown. On the border of Tipperary, if anyone is interested.
The Mitchells are a wandering race. I only managed to get to France before I ran out of money for boat fares. And besides, I like it here anyway.

But this Blog is more about Nevil Shute. What a glorious story teller he was. I have read them all now, and several times, and will no doubt read them all again when I need a lift to my spirit.

Read a Nevil Shute book today. You could start off with, “In The Wet.” I guarantee that you will be hooked.

Circumspection.

April 1, 2017

Hi All,

Now that is hopeful, if nothing else.  But I only found my way here by route of Bill Sticker.  He’s a laugh and a half if ever I saw one.  And his Blog gives me access to mine. So there you go.  Word Press is incestuous.

But I really did have to talk about the night sky early this morning.  I was actually only up and about at 2am because the rotten little rat bag had been on the piss and left all of the bloody lights on yet again.  And I was worried in case he had fallen down the stairs, and left the lights on.

Oh My.  It was glorious.  Stars that I didn’t even know existed.  Millions of them.  Pitch Black. After I had turned off aforementioned lights.

Sadly, I am entirely incapable of explaining just how glorious it was.  But it is permanently imprinted on my mind’s eye.  I am never going to forget that one ever.  It doesn’t matter if it never happens again.  The first is always the best and only.

Thank You to my particuliar God for such a beautiful thing.

The Dog.

February 18, 2017

Okay, here’s another one.  I think I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms of getting to talk about Me, Me, Me.

This what Blogging is.  So don’t kid yourselves.

However, The Dog.  The Blind, Demented and Incontinent Pug staggers on.  Actually, it is me who is staggering.  I mop up rivers of pee every day.  But what can I do?  She has forgotten where the garden is.  And I simply can’t have her put down for something quite so unimportant.  And I do have a tiled floor.  I might feel differently if I had a carpet, but I don’t.

I knew you see, when my lovely Rom died that there would be some ghastly dog that needed rescuing.  I just didn’t realise how awful this could be.  But I deserve nothing better.  Fifty years of wonderful dogs, and never a bad one, so this is par for the course.  It’s Pay Back Time.  Karma at it’s best.  Karma isn’t always bad.  Sometimes you get the chance to earn a few Brownie Points.

I have never trained a dog in all my life.  They just behaved.  But then I treated them and my children like recalcitrant puppies.  Please don’t do that.

I suspect that the children weren’t all that keen ultimately, but it worked when it mattered.  And I don’t care anyway.

They are all good kids.

I watch her most of the time these days, just in case.  But she isn’t looking like dying any time soon.  She no longer flinches when I stroke her, but I don’t want to go into that.  There is nothing even remotely unpleasant about this dog, so I cannot imagine why anyone would have wanted to hurt her.

I don’t know what I will do when the day comes.  But I will never rescue another dog.  Just too much that I don’t know.

 

Oh My.

February 18, 2017

I have finally managed to get back into My Bog, sorry, Blog.

The afore mention son messed about with my laptop, deleted the cookies and locked me out.

He also locked me out of every other Blog.  Sorry about that, Last Furlong, Bill Sticker and Legiron.  I haven’t actually abandoned you all.

But he and me have had a hilarious time trying to get him registered in the French System.  Really not easy.

However, because he lives with me The French System wants to know the ins and outs of my particulier cat’s backside.  And are now trying desperately hard to throw money at me, which I don’t actually want or need.  Although some might think I do.  The French State thinks I do.  The British State Pension always was a joke around here.

But they have decided that I can’t afford the 69 Euros a month that my Health Insurance costs me.  And I do reluctantly agree.  So I might accept that for free.

And then there is The Banque Alimantaire.  That’s The Food Bank to the uninitiated.  So I went.

This is a howl a minute.  It’s a Social Club.  We all queue up outside smoking  and chatting while we wait our turn.  And then they give you Free Food.  But I do have to say that the four extremely old ladies who are in charge are never anything other than totally pleasant. Probably because they don’t have much idea either.

The first two weeks I didn’t get very much, but free food is always welcome.  So no complaints there.

And then came the First Week of The Month.  Just too much for me to carry.  I stood on the step bemused, thinking how on earth am I going to carry all of this.  Until The Queen Bee, there is always one of those in these situations, told someone to help me.  And a very nice man did just that.  He carried my stuff back to my van for me.

They have all sussed that I am English by now, but this appears to be a bonus.  Even some of they Brits are poverty stricken, as it were.

I am not sure that I am.  But after two horrible van repair bills, I suspect that I might be.

This has been one of my better experiences, although France has always been good to me.

Actually, I am a bit schlushed by it all.  You find kindness in the most peculiar places.

 

Ex Pats.

October 17, 2016

Of which I am one, although it has been a long time now.

Some are really okay, and some are effing awful.  And I have had a bit too much of the latter kind of late.  Not that it matters all that much to me personally.  I am an old hand at that game.

But my youngest son turned up here a bit back along, and in some distress.  Nothing much to write home about.  He will be okay, because I said so.  And it was just the same old same old anyway.  Anyone who is a parent has been through this.

However, suddenly, the worst of these people saw fit to put him down.  Not ever directly to me.  They circumvented me and read him his fortune.  He is a waste of space.  He needs to grow up.  He needs to get a job.  In other words, “Go home.  We don’t want you here.”

Mind you, I do have a bit of a plum in my mouth.  And suddenly I have produced proof that it isn’t just me.  He is well educated, and erudite and with the same ghastly plum, although he does try to hide this.  God alone knows why.  Meanwhile, most of them can’t actually string a sentence together in English, let alone French.

Me?  I take any old rubbish.  I don’t fall out with anyone for my own sake.  But they have made a very serious mistake on this occasion.  Don’t ever attack any of my children because I am lethal.  It might take me a minute or ten, but I will wipe the floor with them, and they won’t even see it coming, or perhaps even know why.

I simply don’t understand unkindness.

Autumn.

October 13, 2016

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

So, I’ve been making loads of Chutney.  Apples and Peaches mostly, although the Quinces are coming along fine.  Quinces are vastly underrated, perhaps because they are small, very hard and very fiddly, but they are so worth the effort.

I boil them to mush these days and then sieve out the juice, which I then boil again with loads of sugar.  And such a very pretty pink jelly you get.  The taste is something else.

Next will be the Chestnuts.  And I have bottled a few of those in my time.  They are currently fetching eight Euros a Kilo, while they lay on the ground around here just for the taking.

Not an abundance of Walnuts this year, but they run in cycles.  Next year will probably be better.

No Cob Nuts at all, so I expect that the Squirrels are back.  We still have Red Squirrels here, so that’s okay.

Another Summer gone and Winter isn’t very far off, but I have loads of wood to burn, mostly foraged from somewhere or another.

Thank you, God, whoever you might be.  I do so love this place.

Encore.

September 9, 2016

I can feel a Bog coming on. Sorry, I think I meant a Blog. But I have no idea about what.

Just too much going on around here at the moment.

However, it behoves all Bloggers to talk about utter crap sometimes. That’ll separate the men from the boys.
No, I am not a feminist and never have been. I actually believe that there are some things that a lone woman cannot do. Although two women probably can.

When I was a Wren Air Mechanic we sometimes needed to shift Air Bottles. These were very big and very heavy, but two of us could do it, so no sweat. None of us ever complained. This was the way of the world..

Wren Air Mechanics were paid exactly half of the price of Naval Air Mechanics, despite totally identical training and exam results.
But none of us cared about that. We never had to put our hands in our pockets for a drink or a meal. It wasn’t even expected. It was The Rule. Those were good days. Everyone knew where they stood.

But that wasn’t really where I was going when I first thought of doing this particular Bog, sorry, Blog.

My youngest son went off up the road this morning to help out with erecting marquees and stuff for the impending, local “Pardon”, since when I have no idea of where he is. Probably lying in a ditch somewhere, along with the rest of these public spirited persons.

I don’t actually care. I desperately needed a bit of peace. And I really don’t want him in my space all of the time.

But then I walked up the road with the ghastly Pug, Charlotte, to have a quick glimp. And not a soul in sight. And marquees flapping in the wind. I can only hope that we don’t have a gale tonight. Or is it gail? I never have quite worked out that one.

Pug Charlotte then sat down in the road and refused to walk another step. Try carrying a ten ton Pug. And No, she is not overweight.
But I had to call on my neighbour to carry the rotten little rat the rest of the way home.

So my transient neighbour and I then drank the rest of the beer. He only lives here occasionally. And the beer is all gone. But he did carry the awful Pug home for me.

Tough shit our kid. Mummy drank your beer. La la. What a thing.

Le Meme Chose.

September 1, 2016

Went to Pontivy yet again today, but don’t knock it.  I will get the rotten little arsehole registered for work if it is the last thing I do.  Which it might well be.  I might die first.

Anyway, we got home, Robin Dominic was utterly foul to me, and I got pissed, and then I fell over

The rotten little horror story who is this really ghastly, awful  and horribly ugly little Pug who doesn’t even like me, then budged up behind me.  I am lying on the ground, and she is as close to my back as she can get.  What a surprise.

At this point every neighbour that I have, who I mostly don’t see from one day’s end to another, were instantly concerned about me.  That is the nicest thing that has ever happened to me.  They all knew what was going on, and rushed to my defence.

But this is rural Brittany.

I will deal with Robin Dominic tomorrow, if my neighbours don’t do so first.  Which they well might.

This is the shit side of my life at the moment.  I love him dearly.  But no one around here gets away with treating his mother so badly.

Silly boy.  He didn’t even see it coming.

He has had a bit of a hard time.  But then haven’t we all.

Hopefully he will feel ashamed of himself.  But what on earth does one do with recalcitrant children?

 

En Y Var.

August 17, 2016

Went to Pontivy early this morning to get my recalcitrant brat registered for work. But that was a waste of time since you can’t register for work without a Numero de Securitie Social, and this woman didn’t know how to do that. She probably got hers at Birth.
But I don’t think that a British National Insurance Number will quite cut the mustard here in France. This was all so much more easy back twenty years ago. No wonder the Black Economy is doing so well here.

Never mind. We went to Lidl. Bought a load of Sell by Date stuff, notwithstanding a kilo of Duck Breasts at half price. Even at half price this wasn’t exactly cheap, but life can’t always be about cheap Pork Chops and ghastly French Sausages.
Nothing wrong with French Sausages, but nothing even remotely resembling a Chipolata. Old habits die hard.

And then just as we were leaving, I found this box containing, Bananas, a Melon, a Red Pepper, two Cucumbers and loads of Carrots, all for 1 Euro. We eat a lot of Carrots. We always need Carrots.

So, it has been a good day. The Lord continues to provide. Albeit not in quite the way I hoped for. But I am not knocking it. Thank you, Lord.

Oh, by the way, I am not frightfully impressed with the Sushi, even if it was only 50 centimes a packet. I can only hope that there was no Puffa Fish in it. As it is, the odd Prawn will probably finish me off.

Such is Life.

August 14, 2016

Six weeks ago my much loved youngest son turned up on my doorstep after a traumatic end to yet another relationship.
Yer, yer, I know. But I am his Mother. Even if he is 50 years old.

However, he was doing quite a good job as a Fire Fighter at the time. The anti Depressants not withstanding. But that was nothing to do with the job. Although all Fire Fighters have to be mad.

I nearly had a fit, despite knowing nothing about anti depressant. You know, give me a Speed Job if what he says is true. I could well have got off on that during my frightfully traumatic life. Thank God I never did. But then I wouldn’t have known how to ask.

What! Admit that I couldn’t cope? No chance. But don’t imagine that anti depressant aren’t addictive, even if only as an emotional crutch.

He ran out of that shite three weeks ago, and is actually doing okay. Absolutely no possibility of getting anymore here as he doesn’t even know how to get to a doctor. And I’m not telling.

I think he now wonders why he ever fell for it. But his lady has been on this rubbish since she was seventeen years old. Jesus Christ, God preserve me. And him. He appears to have finished up with no self esteem what so ever. But then I am his Mother. So no blame intended to anyone.

Meanwhile, one of my grandsons did impregnate a woman of 38 years old when he was 21 years old. I am now a great grandmother. What a mess. She has bogged off back to her Mother. I hope she stays there.

I would probably decimate her if I were foolish enough to get within hall mile of her. She is old enough to be my grandson’s mother. But then there are monetary considerations, although not from me. I don’t have two sous to rub together.

Robin and I aren’t actually agreeing on this one, Robin being my son. And Elijah being his son. I have told Elijah to leave it be, and wait and see, while Robin seems to think that there is something to be salvage from a very misbegotten relationship.

No one in my family is ever going to deny the right of that small baby to any love and care that we can offer.

I am just disgusted by what she did. How does a woman of 38 coerce a boy of 21. Or have iI lost the plot?