As we all prepare for another New Years Eve, some of us with fancy celebrations to attend, some of us with literally no clue yet as to what we will be doing apart from wandering aimlessly around Bordeaux, I think back to a previous and somewhat ill-fated New Year’s Eve a couple of years back.
It certainly was not for a lack of planning; with flights booked to Hampshire to party with friends and family on New Years Eve itself followed by a trip to London on New Years Day to dine at a lovely Italian restaurant after which we had front row tickets to West End’s reawakening of Miss Saigon (my favourite show since its original long time run at Drury Lane).
A proper grown up and well-heeled weekend of New Years celebrations.
Sadly, my body had other ideas for our little break and after feeling unwell on new year’s Eve itself, so much so that I only had two glasses of champagne and no cheddar cheese at all (those that know me will know how unlikely this would be in normal circumstances), the following day was quite simply a disaster of spectacular proportions. I had been getting what I believed to be heartburn or acid reflux for several months, well probably years in reality and usually at the most inconvenient times, for instance, when we had a restaurant reservation or a party to attend. Continue reading ““We can always say we had Tuesday””
So, here we are, knocking at the door of another Christmas Eve.
As I think back to this time last year, we had some lovely plans; drinks with friends on the evening of the 23rd, a family meal at a local restaurant booked for Christmas Eve and then, of course, Christmas Day at home with all the trimmings.
I remember we had quite a few drinks the evening of the 23rd, though unsurprisingly, I remember very little else! Bottles of fizz were popped and drained at record speed and as is often the case with this particular set of friends I drank far, far too much! One of my pet peeves, when spending an evening in company, is if your hosts are painfully slow to top-up your drink, leaving you nursing an empty glass for the best part of an hour, though such a thing could never be said about these particular pals. They are indulgently fastidious and as such, we were downing glasses of Champagne like they were tequila shots and after just an hour of being there, I stood to make my first trip to the ladies that evening and nearly fell over! The evening continued, I undoubtedly talked far too much bollocks and eventually at some point, probably not even quite eleven o’clock we said our goodbyes, wished each other Merry Christmas and set off home. Continue reading “Merry Christmas one and all, such festive cheer I bring, with fond memories of bygone days and finally a pair of Champagne flutes that make that satisfying “ching”.”
Downton Abbey update.
We have finally finished watching all six seasons. We set aside last Saturday evening to watch the finale, complete with Champagne and adorning some finery, you know the usual pomp and ceremony that should be reserved for all such very special occasions.
In fact, so carried away were we that we had managed to drain a bottle of bubbles within the first twenty minutes despite using the tiny, dainty Deco champagne saucers. There is obviously nothing dainty about my champagne guzzling habits.
Thank goodness for the ‘pause button’ whilst replacements were hastily recruited.
The following morning, whilst still in bed having a lazy Sunday morning lie in (accompanied by a slight headache I might add), my husband switched on episode one of season one with the intention of watching just the first five minutes to see how much everyone had changed in the many years that followed, unsurprisingly we became rather engrossed and shamelessly ended up watching the whole episode again, followed later by episode two and thus on it goes. A never-ending Downton Abbey circle; who could believe that it was only episode 3 of Season 1 that John Bates purchased his rather barbaric limp corrector device. I would have sworn it was much later, perhaps even Season 2. Having just watched the entire six seasons, back to back in a matter of weeks, I was amazed at how much I had already forgotten, for instance, the dastardly Duke of Crowborough from the very first episode. We intend to watch it all again, just to see if there is any tiny little snippet we missed, or if we feel differently towards some of the characters now that we know their full story. I still can’t quite get my head around Lady Grantham, Cora Crawley’s accent, I’ve never known anyone to have such difficulty with vowels since Paula Abdul’s rather public ‘prescription drug dependency’ on American Idol all those years back. Ha Ha Ha…. but at the risk of boring you all to tears, let’s leave the Downton subject alone for a while now. Continue reading “The Downton Grand Finale and the final curtain to the very last possible chance to purchase mince pies, Cadbury’s chocolate and any other festive treats.”
I have been keeping my eyes peeled for notifications from Chateau de la Motte Husson as I desperately want to get a weekend booked at Dick and Angels Chateau in 2018.
In many ways, we (my husband and I) are very much like them, my husband can be a real Dick at times and, of course, I am a complete Angel. Ha Ha Ha
Seriously though, we have very similar tastes, we love all things vintage. We don’t quite have a Chateau to call our very own but an Englishman’s home, even if it is in France, is always his castle and having fully immersed ourselves in many episodes of Downton Abbey recently, I have been once again casting a critical eye around our rooms and dreaming up all sorts of DIY projects for some extra finishing touches. I had to walk out of Maison du Monde the other day when I had mentally spent about two thousand euros on things we simply don’t need, like a very large gold Pineapple and some wonderful peacock fabrics in rich greens and golds. As I said, it was only a mental spend. Continue reading “Snow, a spot of pre-Christmas DIY and the thought of facing Christmas with no Cheddar Cheese!”
You would imagine, that being the case, that I have prepared something very special in which to commemorate this auspicious occasion.
Well, I haven’t.
I’m travelling with my husband again this week, back at an Ibis, not even an Ibis Styles, just a boring old Ibis. Same old, same old.
The plus point is that it allows me to concentrate on my writing whilst sat in my bland, featureless hotel room with literally zero distractions, the downside is that whilst sat in my bland, featureless hotel room with literally zero distractions, inevitably I actively make distractions, like launching Google for the sole purpose of checking a fact or looking up synonyms for a word and then an hour later, after looking at holidays on Kuoni, checking out local weekends away and wandering onto Facebook for no other reason than to mindlessly scroll through the same posts that I saw that morning, I eventually return to my almost blank Word document! Continue reading “This week will be my 25th Blog post which I guess is cause for some kind of celebration.”
This, obviously, is NOT a picture of my Mum.
This is a picture of our beautiful Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, the year my Mum was born.
With me living in mid rural France and my Mum living in West Cumbria, the opportunities to actually get together and spend time in each others company are few and far between but we speak regularly on the phone, sometimes several times a week, always for an hour plus, sometimes for considerably longer and more often than not even after a very long phone call one of us will then immediately send a Facebook message to the other about something that we clean forgot to mention whilst on the phone for an inordinate amount of time, sometimes it can have been the very reason for the original phone call itself. It’s not forgetfulness per se, moreover the fact that we probably have far too much to say and invariably end up going off on a complete tangent.
Born in 1952 to working-class parents; my Grandmother was a housewife and an enthusiastic seamstress, my Grandfather was from ex-Parachute regiment stock, following this up with a career as a Prison Warden for H.M.P.S. before retiring and becoming the author of two Military history books as well as painstakingly tracing our family history and ancestry back several hundred years, my mother is the eldest child of four, with two sisters and one brother.
My Grandparents still live in Cumbria today, about ten minutes from my Mum, though unsurprisingly they are no longer the busy little bees of yester-years and often they find that there are insufficient distractions to occupy them through the long days.
My mother, on the other hand, does not suffer from that issue in the slightest! Continue reading “So this week my lovely Mum turned sixty-five glorious years of age, though of course she won’t be heavily publicising that fact. That’s my job! Muh-ha-ha.”
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!
Continue reading “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………..”
Let me think, what has happened since my last blog, some two weeks ago? It’s unusual for me to miss a week of blogging, I can’t even genuinely say that I have been exceptionally ‘busy’ of late, though I suppose, for me at least, I have been busier than normal.
My brilliant step-daughter passed her driving test first time with just 3 minor faults noted, after completing a 40-hour intensive driving course in just a week. It was a far cry from the numerous and often pointless lessons that I had at just one hour per week some two decades ago. I remember it would take me almost half of each lesson to start to feel comfortable about being back in the driving seat. I wish I had possessed the opportunity to undertake an intensive driving course back then, I might even be a more confident and less crap driver now if that were the case. Continue reading “The joys of getting older and more decrepit and just how the bollocks is it only six weeks until Christmas?”
This week I have been busy binge-watching a series called ‘Colony’ on Netflix (though it first premiered on USA Network in January 2016).
There are currently two seasons available for viewing and as I start this post I am a third of the way through Season 2. I had to overlook the fact that they have cast the actress who played the immensely irritating ‘Lori Grimes’ from The Walking Dead as the pivotal female character. In fact, I would have to go as far to say that in this she plays an almost identical nauseating character ‘Katie Bowman’ who is deceitful, irrational, hot-headed and at times plain senseless inviting an almost daily shower of shit on her family at her many reckless decisions, including her astoundingly dimwitted belief (in a world where everything is seen and heard) that a peaked cap added to her outfit of the day is clearly more than sufficient as a disguise from the many eyes upon her.
I won’t give too much away, for this blog is not intended to be a review about the show itself, nor a vehicle in which to provide spoilers, suffice to say that the irritating Katie character is clearly the penance for once again welcoming the delightful Josh Holloway to our screens as the lead character, Will Bowman, husband to the aforementioned housewife and mother turned activist and all round silly cow. Continue reading “Alien Invasion sci-fi drama? An excellent case study of the Haves and the Have-Nots? or thought provoking Mind Bender?”
So this week I traveled with my husband as, apart from the weekends where he has had a brief bit of time at home, he has been away the last two weeks and we were starting to miss each other terribly.
Naturally, cue a huge argument that, as far as I could see, came from absolutely nowhere and stemmed from absolutely nothing which pretty much ruined our first evening. Isn’t it odd that there are twenty-four hours in the day but just ten minutes of appalling behaviour is all it takes to completely ruin it in its entirety? Anyway, with evening one completely ballsed there was nothing much for it but to retire to bed and quickly relegate the episode to the past.
Will it happen again? Of course it will.
Will we have learned anything from it? Highly doubtful.
As my man-child husband retorted to me in reply to my suggestion that he “Bloody well grow up!”
“I’m forty-nine years old, I’ve done all the growing up I’m ever going to do” Continue reading “The rather unglamorous life of a traveling engineer and his wife.”
This week it’s another nostalgia piece from the archives of my memories, brought on by my seventeen-year-old step-son, who is currently utterly miserable and forlorn at the break-up of his relationship with his girlfriend.
We are, of course, all doing our best to convince him that it absolutely WILL get better but I know that our well-meaning words provide little comfort to his currently broken heart.
When I was sixteen, I had a boyfriend called Jason, but more about that in a little while.
First I need to tell you about his predecessor. Terry (Tez as he called himself) was my first ever boyfriend. I was fifteen and Terry was eighteen. Continue reading “Lessons in Love, One, Two, Three.”
Last weeks blog was about how I feel that we do not genuinely have freedom, how I am disenchanted with many aspects of our so-called ‘democracy’ and how I wish there genuinely was an option to ‘opt out of society’.
As you can imagine, where there is a revolt or an uprising against the controlling powers, my senses are generally sympathetic towards the oppressed and the battle cry of ‘Viva la revolución’ is never far from my lips. Not because I am naturally a troublemaker an anarchist or anti-establishment per se, I am in fact a very law abiding citizen but it is moreover because I like to think that we, the underdogs, will always remain challenging and defiant, if the need calls for it, of the ruling classes.
Thus, having spent much of this week writing a very long, detailed and, might I say, edgy journalistic piece on the recent dreadful situation in the region of Catalonia (which many of you will know is very dear to me) it occurred to me that you wonderful people don’t read my blog for a breakdown or yet another opinion on the ‘actual news’. You read my blog for a break from the endless, depressing, oppressive, monotony of political debate.
So, instead of today’s blog being all doom and gloom about the oppressors of democracy, I will instead provide you a little ‘pause for thought’ about some of the better known and perhaps some lesser known conspiracy theories. Continue reading “We’ve got battles to fight and rights to right but maybe after a cuppa and a biscuit eh?”
Having finally managed to drag myself off of Facebook and YouTube this week, following various distractions as to what my friends and family have been up to during these last few days and videos of Jack Black, Tenacious D, Beethoven, Clara Rockmore playing the theremin and Jackboot’s “Remember, Walking in the Sand”, I was struck by the nagging question that has followed me around for as long as I can remember……What is it all about? Life, I mean.
We endlessly use phrases like “live every moment” or “time waits for no man” these are reminders that our time here is short and we should get the most out of our lives, but all too often I find myself drifting through life with no clue as to what my or ‘our’ real purpose is and now, at least, a generous halfway through my life, I’m literally still none the wiser. Continue reading “Is this ‘nanny state’, this forcible social conformity driving you to despair?”
A boring, bland, business hotel room.
This is usually about as exciting as it gets!
So, last weekend I wrote in detail about ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs which are a real and genuine irritation of mine but it doesn’t end there. There is a whole host of other things that really get on my tits when staying at hotels and when you are as frequent a traveler as I am, that is one big long list!
Sadly my experiences are more frequently (though not exclusively) of bland business hotels and not luxury holiday resorts, though I have just recently returned from another little holiday to Spain and we were lucky enough to stay at two very pleasant hotels (I’ll write about that separately as it doesn’t fit in with this whinge-blog). Continue reading “More hotel moans and the ever growing list of irritating occurrences I have experienced”
Do you ever hear of or witness a seemingly silly little something that is so mind-bendingly infuriating that you feel completely compelled into action?
Don’t get me wrong there are many, many daily occurrences of idiocy and stupidity worldwide, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson instantly spring to mind as two perfect examples not to mention the Darwin awards, they are always good for offering up a cross-section of the gene pools most eligible candidates that make re-establishing the eugenics movement look like a sensible solution for our continued future as a species. Continue reading “Rules, rules, rules! Some schools are full of fools!”
If ever there was a sign created that was the cause of untold amounts of general disturbance, not to mention a very clear lack of judgement, amongst hotel staff it is most definitely the ‘Do Not Disturb‘ sign.
I once believed that these signs were placed in each room for the comfort and privacy of the paying guest, but I have long since come to the conclusion that they are there for anything but since they are often completely ignored by hotel staff and rather than disturb you just once, they then proceed to disturb you two, three, four sometimes five times to check if there is anything that you need. Continue reading “I have come to the conclusion that ‘Do not Disturb’ signs are indeed a cause of enormous disturbance”
I know a lot of people with a real variety of mild eating disorders.
To mention just two, someone I know has a phobia of food stuffs mixing together and it is absolutely imperative that they must not touch each other on the plate or they can not be eaten and quite a few people I know have to eat their foods in a certain order, for example, all the vegetables first, then potatoes and then the meat, never taking a little bit of each onto their fork, perhaps these are not actually eating disorders, but traits of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
I have often wondered if I, myself, am mildly OCD. I have already mentioned in a previous post that I am a neat freak. I have a lot of peculiar little foibles and routines, none that seriously impact on my lifestyle or anything detrimental like that but I do tend to do repetitive tasks and chores during the day when as an intelligent adult I know, that in all reality, these practices could be performed just once at the end of each day. Continue reading “The last pea on the plate!”
I’m writing this post to appease my husband, well not so much to appease or mollify but to convey some of his concerns about my Blog, or specifically some of its imagery.
Basically, he doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t already know me, to get the impression that I am a bit of silly cow who likes taking ‘selfies’ of herself, wearing stupid hats and/or pulling stupid faces.
Or furthermore, should I say that he wouldn’t want anyone who doesn’t already know me, to think that he (he, being completely anonymous on this blog) is married to a bit of a silly cow who likes taking ‘selfies’ of herself, wearing stupid hats and/or pulling stupid faces.
Just so that we are completely clear on that. Continue reading “And pray tell me, what exactly is wrong with a Captains hat teamed with an oversized pair of sunglasses and a pearl encrusted handbag?”
“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.” Queen Victoria
I am writing this special blog for a friend who celebrates her birthday today (she knows who she is).
We have been acquainted for forty years and the best of friends for thirty-three of those (and still counting) and despite that, in many ways, we are extremely different, we are also very similar and during this time, as you would expect, we have enjoyed endless exploits and entertaining and emotional experiences together.
Our joint experiences have covered almost everything imaginable, far too much to mention here, but just as a summary we have gone from little girls dressing up and playing silly games, to wanting to be Madonna or Whitney Houston, our first cigarette after watching Breakdance the movie at Dreamland Cinema and thinking that Ozone was just the coolest ever, sitting next to each other in every possible class throughout secondary school, the arrival of puberty, being madly in love with Michael J Fox (her), being madly in love with David Bowie (me), Continue reading “Wishing a very Happy Birthday to one of my dearest, daftest friends.”
Those of you who know me will know that I have uttered, countless times in the past, that we absolutely can not buy any more ‘stuff’ because we simply have nowhere left to put it (despite having a rather large four bedroomed house and separate detached barn). In fact, we have been making concerted efforts to give some items away in recent months.
Cue a recent, lovely long lunch one Friday at the Tables du Bistrot with my husband and then a slow (an hour and a half) trawl around our favourite Trocadero in Limoges. Continue reading “When is a bargain no longer a bargain?”