Friday, 28 February 2014

..try to communicate with French police

I shall have coffee with a friend and speak French,  this is what my title should have been.

Ambitiously phrased of me.  My french is severely limited.  It was the one O' level I failed, shouldn't have opted for it in the first place but the alternative was welsh and scarely under the circumstances being that I am welsh, that was even worse.

So here I am a year and a half of living here later, with two children in a French school, still as rubbish as I ever was.  I can proudly say I understand more but that was never going to be difficult, nothing to something never is.  The sticking point is speaking.  People who know me laugh in my face when I say I am shy but that is because they know me and I do like to chat.

However my chat often consists of throw away comments and witty responses, with the odd rather volatile debate thrown in for good measure.  I don't do small talk and always feel rather ridiculous when I try.  I am also much better one to one if I am honest especially when in the company of a master of the art of chit chat.  Finally as mentioned previously I talk fast and frankly prefer it when others do.  So little wonder why the speaking french bit is going nowhere.

This can't go on though.  We intend to stay here and will hopefully be buying a house soon which will require renovating, haven't managed to buy one yet that doesn't so why change the habit of a lifetime.  A kind friend has bravely volunteered for the unenviable task of helping me learn.

 So today I shall go to her house and we shall drink coffee and we shall speak French, after the police have left that is.  Bikes stolen from the garage last night and now left to deal with it all using my serioulsy inadequate French.

All done
Hubbie will be pleased,
Won't have to,iron own shirts next week, darling.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

...sort out my laundry room

French houses, unlike british houses, don't appear to have boot rooms.  Okay many british houses don't have them either but most have an utility, a place for washing machines, wet dogs and dirty gubbings alike.  Never worked for me, two opposing needs lumped into one room.  Too many crisp clean sheets soiled by muddy paws and earth clad floors.

In France they have the baunderie, easy to remember ' sounds like ....laundry', throw back to my teaching days there.  It more often than not is situated upstairs, convenient for discarded clothes, not convenient for dirty boots and wet dogs, hence the obvious segregation.  Unfortunately mine is rather a large room, unlike back in blighty where it fitted a machine and ironing board,  and as in all large families there is an accumulation of stuff and that stuff must be housed. Not in an attic where stuff never needed again and xmas decs live, things  that may be useful stuff. Material for projects planned, not done, grown out clothing that will another conveniently birthed son adorn.  Mouses live protected from killer cats. Every house needs an indoor garage in my opinion.

So stuff therein accumulates and spreads, gets rummaged through and dropped.  Frankly it all ends up in one big,messy muddle that yours truly has to sort on a too regular basis.  Put off for far too long today it will be once more tackled and this time it will stay organised.

She doth jest of course!

A brave before photo.
So no backing out now
Might need to do some ironing?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

.. listen

Whilst running around like a blue arsed fly, it is Wednesday after all, MJC and all that.

I talk but do I listen? How many of us truly do?  I talk too quickly, trying to get my words out, make my point before eyes glaze over, a cup tips, a phone buzzes, a door knocks, a child/ adult interrupts or in this house a mad scrabble to the door with cat in arms mid pee.

Time to lead by example.  Time to silence the mobile, close the Ipad, put aside the magazine the book - maybe not that, another day an explanation. Laptop temporarily but perhaps conveniently broken.  Cleaning can wait, it always does, never a serious distraction.

Time to just sit and listen....... once I have posted my blog of course.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

..wash sheets and tell you about Sherlock.

The sun is shinning, an excellent washing day, bleached white sheets waiting since the big stay to billow forth in the breeze.  Lots of white sheets in this abode a continual cycle of on and off both line and bed especially since....

....the arrival of Sherlock!

When to France we did set off, a beautiful English setter accompanying us amongst a motley crew, two adults, 4 boys, 3 cats and guineapig 1.  Sadly Sassy the year did not see but her present to us after an impromptu stay had she at S.P.A was Sherlock.

When bereft of her company a thought was there of all those who would not be retrieved when her I did after brief, very brief soujorn.  So off we went, boys and I, and three did see that might be ours.  From out of hat a noisy Gordon came but me I was a little sad for scruffy black my heart had grabbed. Next day both hubbie dear and I did return to collect the barker chose but fate did play its clever hand. Dear hubbie made a fortuitous error when cage number he did present t'was wrong and out they brought for us to keep, young scruffy black, oh happy heart.

The boys a name had already thought for a boy if that was what we brought and sure enough no better fit.  For here he is all black and mucky on my sheets all crisp and white.  But happy soul he must be from concrete floor to luxury and moi aussi for love him I do, the aching gap near filled.

Our S.P.A rescue dog.

Monday, 24 February 2014

.. actually post my blog and show off my Annie Sloane painted mirror.

My intention is to try to post everyday.  All about discipline and carrying through on projects planned.  So yesterday's blog was all written up and ready to go but internet, as it does, let me down.  So today I shall post yesterday's shall.

Last weekend I did nothing bar reread a long running and favourite blog, to pinch a phrase, " you know who you are" .  Granted I had just enjoyed a wonderful but exhausting two weeks hosting my family, two of whom have significant mobility issues and was feeling the loss of their company.  Was that excuse enough?  No me thinks.

But read I did and inspired I was to get up off my arse and write my own.  So know every day I set a task, it makes me write, it makes me do and it makes me happier.

So yesterday I swept up leaves,  pruned roses, even though I could not smell them and as the sun shone bright, the air was warm we barbecued.

Today though I shall have a friend over for coffee, she who visited an old house with moi and can I show what I have achieved.  But not my blog of course.

Troc Mirror painted in Annie Sloan Paris grey
Silver gilded. 

Saturday, 22 February 2014 to Grenoble

 ...along with husband and four boys.  A school our destination.  One in which we hope our boys will thrive.

For big mistake we may have made when from their Grammar school we took.  Outstanding t'was , it churned them out those boys in droves with great results and sent them off to institutions proud.

International though there school maybe it's standards are not quite what they should. Worries fill my muddled head and so consider options would.

The problem is that I have found goodly schools for younger two,  French they are and so much more have they to offer than the other.  Bilingual now their options grow but French schools are a motley crew and who knows on them what I might bestow then rue.

Picture not mine.

Friday, 21 February 2014

... visit an old house.

..that peutĂȘtre will be the final one as our sale chugs slowly forth in Grande Bretagne.

Four we have lived in, four bought in varying states of disrepair but marginally less so each time and each time just as we reach that final stretch a new kitchen or stair carpet or window perhaps, up with the sign and off goes we to another project another dream.

The last we thought for keeps but jobs change and one gets tired of raising four children alone. So in went renters and out went us to this our rented french abode which truth be tell could do with our magic or my magic touch for now it is me that renovates and he that pays with money earned from long hours and travel spent oft away from us.

Frustrating though to hold back thoughts of rooms to swap, floors to lay, walls to paint, baths to fit and kitchens to design. But no, alas, for that would line another's pockets and I must work for me and mine so wait I will.

Yesterday's did.
One chevet in Annie Sloane duck egg.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

... paint in Annie Sloane duck egg blue

Not that I am wearing it of course.  I love to paint.  Not delectable landscapes, moody portraits, madcap moderns.  No not I, for I love to paint walls, windows, floors, and furniture, even sofas.  The first three are out for the moment, more on that tomorrow, so furniture I shall paint.

France not only the land of the baguette and pastry but also abundant with brocante, read junk shops, flea markets and Troc no less, with a plethora of old and semi old brown furniture that no discerning modern madame would deign give floor space to.

So off we trot both friends et moi to buy it up and paint it free from landfill, bonfire and Troc eternity.

Today's lucky rescue, upcycle call what you will is a bargain chevet, last Saturday found at Les Puces a favoured haunt for all things cheap and brown.  Some smart stuff too so if in town take a stroll down said canal where all things linen and industrial alongside do reside.

I had once thought to make a go of selling on what I bestow with splash of paint.  But ambitious folk have got there first.  The market fills, the hitherto cheap gets dear here, a place renown.

Ah! a tip off I have received.  A place untapped, ripe to be explored, markets brimming, people giving it away for sure.

Will I act, go for it, grab the opportunity?  No not me for alas! Alec! ;) I am Procrastinator Extraordinaire and I shall just paint this today instead.

15 euro find,
Mustard jar 8,
Les Puces du Canal,
Salad bowl moi :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

... rush around like a blue arsed fly.

because it is Wednesday and as yet the Rythmes Scolaire remain solidly free Wednesday for me and mine.

So lie-in, feet up and a sneaky lunchtime glass of vino in order.

Alas! Alec! whoops him again, she doth protest for today is the busiest day of all for home mother's here in France.  We have violin, we have guitar, we have piano.  We have to collect those poor oldies who have only a half day to fit in tennis, badminton, escrime, drama or any other hobby or leisure/not, activity they care to pursue.

The MJC car park buzzes as we vie for spaces, all skinny latte and useless for us poor souls endowed with good reproductive genes ensuring of need for full cream beasts to cart around our offspring.

What's that I spy nay one brave soul entering now though more rapidly exiting with chunk of trailer in tow, oh fool thee!

So think of this you politicians from above with experience not of this one special day.  When else can all this happen?  There goes the evening glass of wine whilst head over homework bent, the Saturday family outing, the Sunday walks and visits. Sunday schools emptied for football pitch.  Memories of a Britain left.

I do digress, so roll on ce soir, dear little ones to bed shall flea and I shall poor some wine.  For now it is time for me.

Gluten free carrot cake.
Yesterday's did was yum.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

... make a carrot cake #sansgluten #glutenfree.

We live in a world were # is the definitive precursor to all things written?

Another time peut-ĂȘtre.  I digress.  Since moving to France, the land of baguette and all things pastry I find I have an intolerance for all things gluten. Alas, alec ( whoops no that is a son!) bring on the violins she weeps but no not moi.  Bake I must and bake I did, she who did not bake before, and therein hidden talents did I find.  Tarte citron, tarte orange, my own recipe with a dash of Grand Marnier thrown in to the mix, have all joined my repertoire of tasty desserts.  A necessity in a country so poorly served with Gluten free treats.

But my youngest, him who graces my profile pic when at his cutest a time fast gone, has put in a request and so today I broaden my scope and today carrot cake it shall be,
 #glutenfree. # sansgluten of course.

(pic of a horribly gluten full chocolate cake )

Monday, 17 February 2014

...start blogging again.

It's been a while but then t'is all in the name and I did get locked out of my old blog.

So to start afresh, in pastures new, both here and France, to be exact.  From little acorns .. and all that today my blog shall be short and sweet,

 adieu until tomorrow.