Saturday, 30 August 2008

Back Home Again and He's Still Here !!!!

Here we are back in France and although very sad to leave family and friends behind, it is good to be back home where we have our own space and we're not living out of a suitcase. Having said that, our girls always give us drawer space but you know what I mean. It was lovely staying with Vicki, Bill and the children and we spent more time with them this time, then we went to stay with Clare for the last few days. Brilliant. The really good news is Smokey is still here and he looks very well and has grown quite a lot. As you can see he is back to feeling at home. I whispered to him tonight that he is booked in to have his "little operation" on Tuesday as we didn't manage to get it done before we went away. I don't know what this does to a cat, apart from the obvious of course, because he couldn't be more loving. Perhaps it will stop him roaming very far?? Perhaps to the garden for a pee and then back to the rocking chair??

The visit to the UK didn't go quite as well as it should have done because, if you remember, the main reason we took my mum and dad back when we did was because of my dad's 90th birthday. We got back and my sister and I did various planning and printing of photographs, finding a book to put them in, buying cards, food etc and all the usual planning for a birthday party. That was the first week, all was well. Well............ the day dawned and I was ill!! I had a sore throat the previous day but thought, OK, it will be fine I just won't go too near my parents, but on the Saturday morning, I had ulcers all over the back of my throat, I couldn't speak at all and my legs wouldn't work, so after all that, I missed the whole thing. Everyone else went and my dad thoroughly enjoyed his day and would you believe it, it was the ONLY DRY DAY, the whole three weeks we were back there?? August in the UK has been the wettest on record and still more to come!! You can imagine how we felt just now as we were sitting outside having our dinner at 7pm and it is still 85f. Also while I was there I had been called for another mammogram and I am still waiting for the results 2 weeks later!! When will all this end I ask myself??

Today we have visited some good friends of ours, mainly to see how Sue is doing because she fractured a bone in her foot and can't put weight on it. I lent her some english crutches because the french ones are really hard to use so Sue, if you are reading this, have a go with them!! They have loads and loads of fruit trees in their garden and we went scrumping. We came away with apples, pears, figs, plums and blackberries so you can imagine what I am doing in the next couple of days. I have frozen some but I want to make some jam and I have found a recipe for apple pear and ginger chutney so I am looking up more recipes at the moment and on Monday when we go to the market I will have to buy in some sugar and hopefully I will be able to put something on the shelves of my store cupboard for the very first time. All very new to this so wish me luck. The figs are amazing and Richard just loves them so not many will go for storing or preserving as they will be eaten. We have some coming on in our own garden but they are the beautiful white flesh ones and they aren't ready yet.
It's good to be back talking to all my blogging friends and I am slowly catching up with all your news but if I don't comment, I'm sorry, I am reading them as quickly as I can. Take care all of you and talk again soon.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Back in the UK

Well here we are back in the UK (the very wet UK) for a while and already my mum and dad are wondering whether or not to put their suitcases back up in their loft or keep them out "just in case we need them again". It took a little while for them and us to recover from the journey which wasn't particularly pleasant, with lots of thunder, lightening and rain and we travelled through the night, thinking it wouldn't be so hot, but never again.

We are now looking forward to the celebrations for dad's 90th birthday on the 16th of this month and as you can imagine, there is lots of "whispering" and sneaking peaks of different things and photographs, ready for the surprises. Hopefully I will get some good photographs and will be able to post them for you to see.

At the moment we are staying with my youngest daughter and her husband and on Tuesday we will be going to our eldest daughter's house where we can get our fill of our beautiful grandchildren. I can't wait, I have missed them so much. It has only been 6 weeks since I have seen them, but no doubt, they are doing lots of things I haven't seen before and the girls vocabulary would have grown lots.

Talk again soon, take care everyone and God bless.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Birds and Cats.........Hmmmmm

Gosh here I am again so quickly you will probably be getting rather fed up with my news, especially as it isn't very interesting. My first bit is:- I saw my first Golden Oriole today!! What a sight. I have heard them every day, but they are rather shy birds and you are lucky if you get a sighting, but he sounded so close this morning so I just waited and it paid off. I didn't see him for long but it was enough to be able to make out the beautiful dark buttercup yellow and black. A silly thing to get so excited about but I was really chuffed. Also we have this dear little cattle egret that has adopted us, he has been in our garden now all week and just walks about, mainly in our pond as you can see. He can't seem to fly very far, he goes a bit like a chicken, up in the air, flaps and then down, luckily enough to get out of the way of cats. He is obviously damaged or hurt in some way, but nothing that we can see and he seems quite happy to be with us in the garden. It's a shame because you can't see him very well in the photo.

Today we took my mum and dad to a festival in a nearby town, it is Jazz in Marciac and we were rather lucky because the day was overcast and not too hot, it would have been unbearable if it had been like yesterday when it went up to 37 and the humidity was very very high. The town is full of stalls selling all sorts of things from musical instruments, clothes, jewellry, special food etc but none of it is what I would call tacky. There is music playing all the time, mostly jazz of course which I have to admit I really don't like, mainly because I just don't understand it. The people selling instruments all get together and they have jam sessions to demonstrate their wares and the atmosphere is electric. Loads and loads of different places to eat, it seems every other house and shop has a table and chair outside and in one street, you can eat from almost any country you like to choose. When we went last year we walked passed the beautiful church and there in the grounds was a grand piano with a blind pianist playing and it just made you cry, the sound coming from that instrument and the feeling with which it was played was amazing. It is like that there, around another corner, there were 5 teenage children who are studying at the local music college, and they were playing rock (more my scene) but again, they were brilliant. Should you ever get the chance to go, it's well worth the visit. It is on every year from the 1st to the 15th August.
When we got home, after the cuddle with Smokey he decided he would check out the little house that my dad has made for him. We have put a little bowl of food at the back to encourage him to go in and he was there for quite a while bless him. Cats being cats, he wouldn't turn around for me to get a better photo, but I thought this was rather cute and it shows you how clever my dad is at making the little cat kennel. It has to be painted yet but we want him to get used to it before we go back to the UK next week.
That's all for now, lovely chatting to you.