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?

Honour.

May 28, 2016

I am a teensy bit stymied tonight because my honour has been called into question.  And  as ever with people like me, I defended myself.  I really should not have done this.

I am a Moderator on a Madeleine McCann Forum which long ago ceased to have anything to with the child herself, or anything to do with my perceived opinion of the innocence of her parents.

I don’t even want to talk about that.

But for two years now I have been trying so hard to stop these people from tearing the hearts out of each other.  I have never abused what little power I have.  And I have always hoped to be fair.  It was all actually okay for quite some considerable time.  But then I was appointed rather than elected.  So my word was Law.

And then the Forum Owner decided to get frightfully democratic, and called for Elections for new Moderators.  And it all went dreadfully down hill after that.  The new Mods are all at each others throats.  Bugger the poor bloody Posters, although you can mostly stuff them in so far as I am concerned.  I just want reasonable peace.

But Forums simply cannot be run as democracies.  It is a fool who tries to do that.

So now I have to consider whether or not I wish to go on doing this.  No one is indispensable,  Much as some of us wish that we were.  This is probably the hardest lesson of all.

Madame Merle.

May 15, 2016

Madame Merle.

Okay. We kicked Petit Merle out of the nest last week. Greedy little horror. Or was it Petite Merle? Who cares? Anyway, it was getting boring. It couldn’t half eat.

So now what? It is still only May, and I do have urges you know.

I had a look around, but this nest building lark is quite hard work. So I decided that the old nest is still okay. An upgrade en suite will have to wait.

Apart from that mad English woman who creeps past and thinks we can’t see her, there isn’t much wrong with the old nest. She called me a sweet baby today. In English, would you ever believe? Daft bint.
And of course, she spends a bomb on bird seed and they barmy grease balls, although we quite like those.

Monsieur Merle stands guard over the trays of bird seed to keep off the hoi poloi while I get my beak in. And then he bogs off for a few worms while I get back home. He came back with just one today. One? do me a favour.
My mother warned me about him, but you know us girls. Anything for a Flash Harry.

So here I am, up the spout again, and sitting on two eggs this time. But I don’t have to do much, so it’s quite nice to have a bit of a rest. Until this lot hatch, that is.

Au Revoir, for now. Or A Bientot, as we say around here.

Fete du Voisins for Lunch.

May 12, 2016

Fete du Voisins for Lunch.

I went to that one last Saturday. Very rare for me. Not a huge number of people. This is not a vastly populated area. But enough to be jolly.

I was just amazed by the number of them who actually know me since I don’t mix a lot.

Much kissing, but you really don’t notice that. And it hardly interferes with conversation anyway.

10 Euros for all you could eat and drink over several hours.

The Pig Roast was superb. Cooked up in half a battered old oil drum. I wish I could cook pork so well.

No comment on the drink since my taste buds always fail me after the first one.

I think I left at about 6pm, when I decided that I had drunk more than enough, and before I actually fell over. That would never have been forgotten. In fact they probably still remember the last time some twenty years ago.

I am told that it went on until midnight. So probably quite a lot of people fell over by then, amid much Breton Dancing.

But they certainly know how to throw a party around here.

Ode to a couple of very ordinary Blackbird

April 23, 2016

Well, not actually an Ode.  Just an observation.

They built their nest at eye level this year, which is a trifle disconcerting.  I have to creep about for fear of upsetting them, while Mummy watches me with a jaundiced eye.

But three eggs, so, if, buts and maybes.  I wait for Mummy to bog off to feed so I can have a  quick look.  However, don’t be fooled.  Daddy Blackbirds do sit on the nest, no matter what the experts tell you.  I have seen him doing just that, with his long, orange beak.

I am hoping that they have learned to trust me.  But I am not putting money on it.

Maybe one day.

 

Australia

March 5, 2016

I have been a huge devotee of Nevil Shute for all of my adult life. Every story he ever wrote has been magic for me, so perhaps I have an unrealistic opinion of Australia today.

His tales weren’t just about Australia, he was also besotted with aeroplanes. And so was I. And he wasn’t all that enamoured of Britain during the days of my childhood. And nor was I.
I felt as though I had a kindred spirit.

I still have all of his books beside my bed, and I still drag them out when I need a lift.

Nothing ever quite grabbed me as his tales did. Not least, “In The Wet” and “A Town Like Alice”, although there are many others.

And now Doctor Blake is back, which so much mirrors my thoughts. Not least that I lived in Singapore during the 60s. A bit after his time, but things were still a bit Post War in Singapore even then.

Wives, daughters and loved ones still being found after nearly two decades.

There was a particularly distressing case of a Dutch child who had been loved and nurtured by her Malay Amah throughout out The War and long after, and was about to be married when her mother suddenly reappeared and demanded her return, although I don’t want to go into the morals of that.
Suffice to say that it caused the most dreadful riots during which it really wasn’t safe to walk the streets in some areas if you were white.
I did, as it happens, and never received anything other than courtesy. But sometimes so speak the brave and the stupid. And I learned a bit about the real poverty that Lee Quan Yew fought so hard to eradicate, although not always for the better.

So I hope that Doctor Blake will go on for a bit yet. He, along with Nevil Shute are my Australia. Somewhere I still wish that I had gone when I was young.

In the meantime, poor Jean.

The Wrens.

January 16, 2016

The Wrens.

I joined The Wrens in 1957. This wasn’t all that easy for a working class girl in those days, although this was more an attitude of mind than The Navy itself. The Navy never made me feel working class. Although I did have a vaguely upper class accent, learned during my three years in a very nice children’s home, and not quite forgotten. But once in, my accent rapidly improved again. After all, most of them were genuinely upper class. You live it, you speak it.

But the glory was that I was accepted as an Air Mechanic. The powers that were at Queen Anne’s Mansions at the time, tried to talk me into being a cook or a steward. Well, I hadn’t passed my Scholarship, nor had anything else to recommend me, so I suppose this wasn’t surprising. But I knew what I wanted to be. And I did pass whatever odd intelligence test they set me. I have never really understood Intelligence Tests because they all seem like basic common sense to me, but perhaps that is the trick.

I still remember the hope and desperation, and finally the letter of acceptance. My family weren’t wild about the idea, less than, in fact. An Air Mechanic? What latest insanity is this? So I went on my way without much of a blessing. “Do feel free to come home if you get pregnant” was the parting shot. Pregnant? I didn’t even know how in those days. No one had ever told me. However, I did somehow manage to avoid that. Mainly due to The Chief Wren who definitely knew what that was all about. And no one was impregnating her girls unless over her dead body. She frequently patrolled the main deck at night to see what we were up to. And she knew every hiding place.

But I learned how to mend aeroplanes. Actually it was mostly servicing and changing parts, but that isn’t rocket science either. Although it carries great responsibly. People could die if you don’t pay attention.
But I did have the advantage of being a bit little, all the easier to get into small places. Aircraft designers have obviously never had to work on one. Aeroplanes would be so much bigger if they had.

But oh, what fun it was. This was entirely me, standing on a mainplane with a fuel nozzle in my hand, pumping fuel into a Jet that was soon to take off and leave the earth. Only being a pilot could have been better. But that wasn’t allowed in those days.

I think it might have been something to do with my Italian Grandmother. The Italians are always the best mechanics, and it was everything I ever wanted. The only thing I ever truly wanted to be.

I have done a lot of things since then in the process of earning money. Most of them pretty awful. But I learned that I could do anything in June 1957.

Wren Mitchell. 115051

Just nothing about nothing much.

January 8, 2016

Okay. Tis time I put my mind to this. Let us see if I can come up with something based on nothing at all.

I bought a cheap Rabbit today. Dead, of course, but it did come with it’s head, so that will help in the taste stakes. Brains and stuff that we really don’t want to talk about.

I would have preferred a wild one that had been shot after some great gambolling and breeding, but no one who does this actually wants to part with them. They stick them in the freezer, and that’s the end of that. Even my middle son pretends that he hasn’t got one, even for me, his best loved Mother. I should never have told him that wild rabbit is best. I should have told him I would take it off his hands to ease his conscience for killing one of God’s creatures for eating his lettuces. I mean, really, we’ve all got to eat.

Once, when I was driving them all home from Boarding School, we came across an injured Rabbit, just lying in the road. This upset me enormously. I don’t like to see anything in pain. So I got them to get out of the car to finish it off. What followed was horrendous. I shut my eyes in the end because it was too awful. None of them were very good at quickly despatching a half dead Rabbit. But I won’t go into detail. It wasn’t their fault that I had failed to teach them how.

Suffice to say that I skinned it and gutted it when we got home. And then cooked it.

This was not at all funny. If you have never gutted a Rabbit then you couldn’t even begin to understand.

Sadly, the dead Rabbit that I bought today never had a gamble in the wild and that’s a bit sad.

Noel 2015.

January 6, 2016

After some deliberation I have decided to postpone Christmas Day to Boxing Day. The day on which Stephen got stoned, which he frequently did, in my experience. Although he is dead now, due to getting stoned once too often. May his very unsaintly soul rest in pieces.

However, I digress. The reason for the postponement is because my friend David is coming to dinner on Boxing Day. Not St. David, as some might suppose. Just David, although my David is never just “just”. He is much too amusing for just that.

As it happens, this will be the first time in twenty odd years that I will cook Christmas Dinner for anyone, although I always cook far beyond what I need. And then have to eat it for days after. Or the dog gets it. Which ever dog happens to be in residence at the time. No dog of mine has ever lived for twenty years. One of them once made it to seventeen, which I promise you was a miracle. Another Afghan amongst the several of those. Not to forget Hamlet or Romulus. They both lived longer than might have been expected.

So as you can imagine, I am really looking forward to this. I am going the whole hog. Not actually a Hog. My oven isn’t big enough. But all the other absolutely ordinary stuff, including Chestnuts which I collected and bottled myself. And Bloody Mary’s. Let’s hope I don’t drink too many of those in wild anticipation before the actual event.

I have made a Christmas Cake which isn’t the whole shilling because I cut a corner by melting the butter and sugar instead of beating it, because my hands aren’t all that good anymore. Arthritis brought on by too much pruning of the bloody Wisterias, coupled by carpal tunnel from same. But it tastes alright, probably due the half a bottle of Brandy that got poured all over it. So it might be a bit more like Christmas Pudding. But that’s okay. It can double up.
And Yes, I did drink the other half.

Anyhow, the fire is laid in my big open fireplace, mainly from the prunings from my Bay Tree and the Camillia, more carpal tunnel, but it’s all good burning wood. Nothing much gets wasted around here.
I do so wish all of my three followers a Very Happy Christmas. Your support is appreciated. And there wouldn’t be much point in Blogging to no one. Although I would probably do it anyway.

Charlotte, the demented Pug, says Happy New Year. She knows that something is going on because she has had a lot of bowls to lick lately. She liked the Christmas Cake one the best. The Brandy, I expect. Almost certainly not good for her, but even she is living longer than I expected. Pug Dementia is always more distressing for the owner than for the dog. So here’s to next Christmas for her.. She isn’t at all what I expected when I rescued her, but she is a brave little soul.

Sorry. I forgot about this Blog in the excitement of it all, but it is much more about The Winter Solstice for me. The days of long ago yore when survival was all. I can actually relate to that.
But it has tipped over now and the evenings are getting lighter. En Y Var for Spring.


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