At the risk of boring you all to death, I don’t want to go into every silly, inconsequential thing that has happened this week and you certainly don’t need to be kept informed about the almost weekly debacles of French bureaucracy, let me see………..

Gosh, let me just take a moment here to pick over my week and extract the heady highlights!

My neighbour’s cat seems to be confused as to where it actually lives and insists on mewing at my doorstep morning, noon and night. Whether he just prefers our house and its delightful vintage decor or whether he is actually suffering from some form of Cat dementia I don’t really know. What I do know is that he fully understands English and also every expletive known to man, judging by my neighbour’s occasional tirades when she returns home to discover that one of the neighbourhood dogs has done a great big, messy crap on her driveway. Never the less, the cat is quite effective at ignoring the command “Bugger Off!” or any other instruction for that matter and if you dare to open the door just a crack he will be in like a shot and we will have to spend the next ten minutes chasing him around the house to eject him again. I don’t like to be unkind and if it is pouring with rain outside I will often relent and allow him in to curl up on my sofa, but quite frankly his daily visits are now becoming quite tiresome and I certainly do not wish to encourage this unwanted attention, a bit like the postman last year who started to get altogether too familiar though, of course, I have never let HIM in on a rainy day to curl up on the sofa!

In fact, I’m dreading the onslaught of Christmas online shopping because, of course, with it comes the necessity to receive numerous and frequent parcel deliveries and with that more regular visits from the ‘friendly’ postman, though thankfully after the ‘faire la bise’ (that irritating French custom of kissing both cheeks by way of a greeting) was becoming decidedly disagreeable with me, I managed to make it evident that I wished to return to a simple ‘Bonjour’ just to make absolutely sure that there could be no ensuing over-familiarity.
As you can probably, sensibly deduce my regular postman does not resemble, in any way, shape or form the rather divine Josh Holloway. Perhaps, if that were the case, I would be a little more inclined to forgive the occasional flirtatious behaviour.  But…Ugh….just NO!

Unlike many of my friends, who are already beside themselves with excitement in the build-up to Christmas, this is what Christmas preparation means to me! Yawn!

Talking about online shopping and parcel deliveries, is there some form of a conspiracy between online outlets and postal services? It seems that no sooner have I placed an order with several items on it, at least one of them will apparently be ‘out of stock’ so my order is then shipped minus that item and a cancellation issued for the out of stock item. I will look the very next day only to find that the item is miraculously ‘back in stock’ requiring me to place yet another order and of course pay another delivery fee.  This has already happened three times recently and I’ve only just started my Christmas shopping. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m being taken for a fool and my irritation is two-fold, one for having to pay the delivery fee twice and two for having to receive twice as many parcels and thus twice as many visits from the ever-hopeful Postie! Tsssssssk!

My husband returned to work this week, though still suffering dizzy spells, albeit less frequently, and still none the wiser yet as to the categoric cause. I mentioned last week that I was impressed with the thorough evaluation by his doctor, but it has since occurred to me that whilst waiting the six weeks for his hospital appointment, why on earth did she not send him for blood tests at our local clinic which take just a few minutes and would have established whether he had any sign of infection? At least if that were the case, a dose of antibiotics could have been prescribed and this may all have cleared up inside of a week or two with no need for a hospital visit at all. As I said, he has had some extensive dental work recently to correct previous collapsed root canal treatment which was causing an abscess. He made the doctor aware of this at the time of his visit, so to my mind, it’s all very plausibly linked though, of course, it could also be entirely unrelated.  I’m certainly no medical expert, but I do feel that sometimes our medical professionals overlook the obvious. A bit like an acquaintance who recently had to go to hospital suffering from acute abdominal pain and vomiting. We all immediately said ‘appendicitis’ without a doubt, yet the hospital initially suspected ‘gallbladder’ issues, despite that his pain was much lower down,  that he has already had his gall bladder removed and that they were reminded of this upon his initial admission. Three hours later, he was finally receiving an ultrasound scan to ascertain the site of the problem and his appendix ruptured right there and then whilst they were performing the scan. Thankfully, they wheeled him into surgery pretty much immediately and he is now making his recovery.
Fortunately, my husband had a fairly gentle reintroduction to work this week.  His most local customer developed an issue which required a couple of day visits and since they are a mere hour and a half away and thus perfectly commutable, especially if your preference is to sleep in your own bed instead of an overnight at a sterile Ibis, he went there and back both on Monday and Tuesday.  I must confess, though, that I have never had to do such regular grocery shopping as I have in the last few weeks. I’ve been shopping so many times lately, yet it is still like Mother Hubbard’s in our house.

From this………..

to this…………..

We haven’t seen a hotel for getting on for three weeks and  I suddenly found myself missing the hotel lifestyle. I realise that I’ve gotten quite used to only having to grocery shop for the weekend when my husband is home and the kids come over and we are all together as a family. If I accompany my husband on his travels well, of course, neither of us are at home and even if I remain at home on my own,  I would never cook for just myself, I would probably just have some toast or a bowl of soup or cereal so I get through hardly anything in the course of a week but all this being at home all day, every day of late required a great deal of meal planning which I am quite unused to!

With the weather having turned altogether wintery,  we have welcomed the return of the ‘gravy dinners’, however, having forgotten a bank holiday last Saturday that snuck up on us and rendered me without the possibility to go food shopping for the fourth time that week, I had to plunder the depths of the freezer to rustle up a Sunday dinner for the six of us. One meatloaf later (made from minced beef, onions and stuffing) accompanied by boiled cabbage, cauliflower cheese, roast butternut squash, roast potatoes, green beans and two pints of gravy, I can confirm that the family-fart-factory was in full, efficient production and whilst the occasional visits from Confused Cat initially gave my husband someone to blame, I did eventually rumble him!


Here is a picture of the neighbour’s cat, yet again, patiently waiting to gain entry to the WRONG house.  Der!





So, other than endless grocery shopping and piles and piles of more French paperwork that really is not worthy of explanation, my week has been pretty uneventful, though typically just days after my husband remarked to me that in all the years he has known me, he has never really witnessed me being ill (with the exception of my gallstones and my gallbladder surgery), I have now developed a cold and a cough, albeit fairly minor and I’m hoping that it goes away as quickly as it started.

Oh and by the way, because many of you are now reading my blogs and keeping bang up to date with my wildly exciting life on here, you are forgetting to let me know what you are up to, so please do keep in touch and avail me of your own eventful news.
I never intended for my blog to replace actual personal contact and I do try to keep in touch with you all on a more personal level.



Yes…that means YOU!





Have a fabulous weekend one and all.

The Virtual Recluse


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