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.


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?


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.



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.