Friday, September 19, 2008

Off I go again!

They're howling because I'm off again! Just for the weekend, to Carcassonne, where it's currently 25 degrees! Yeah baby!

Monday, August 25, 2008



Back from our extremely last minute holiday to the Sarf of France!
When I say last minute it more or less was.....First there was the drip drip water torture on the husband....'oh, this English summer is so awful, if I don't get away, I'll get clinically depressed'

Then the surreptitious buying of cheap pool toys such as blow up doughnut rings and lilo's in the shape of a flip flop.
The secret calling of dog kennels to provisionally book our dog in for three weeks.

Then the trawling of French holiday home websites for last minute gite availability!
Then, the looking at tents for the journey up and back (budget you know)
The secret purchasing of camping stoves/picnic ware/etc
And suddenly we were on the boat to Calais - just like that! Hardly any effort involved at all (said Andy! - tsk!)

We had a wonderful time, my parents joined us for the gite bit of the holiday down near Carcassonne. We visited friends who are resident down there, and friends visited us who have a holiday home down there - all very very sociable. I could go on, and on about my holiday are some pics!

Only one person in our family is able to eat Moules frites and she's nearly 14 - but even this amount she found rather scary!

No such trouble with Iles Flottante! (that wonderful french delicacy! NOT!) (can you see the sea in the background? That's the Med! That's where we lost our first blow up doughnut ring thingy as it blew away in an offshore breeze - the lifeguards whizzing up and down in their boats refused to retrieve it for us, how bad is that! (heehee) We watched it disappear off until it was a pink spot on the horizon.
Lots of messing about in the pool! (with the one remaining ring!)

Visiting 'long standing' friends. Yes, that's me grinning wildly in a pink way next to the brown and distinctly smaller Tat! (as in Tat - really, I don't have the time to remember how to do links!)

And friends come to visit us!

Ewww, scary!

And their dog!

And then, a complete change from Med to Mountain! Andy got some Tour de France climbs in - we followed in the car!

Lots of this for two days - then off to the Atlantic Coast for three days.

We stayed on one campsite ( a municipal one) which had mainly French people in. We loved the campsite but it was situated amongst miles and miles of pine trees (Les Landes), which could turn a person mad if you had to live there permanently! (well, me and Therese Desqueroux (Yes, I remember my French A level literature)).

Our last night was spent in Chinon in the Loire Valley - the campsite was next to this river with the Chateau of Chinon overlooking us.

The next day, our final day, we had to drive five hours to Calais. It rained all the way, but when we arrived at the Channel the sun came out. We had a few hours to kill so we went to Wissant (20 minutes down the coast). We used to go to Wissant a lot when we lived in London, for the day.

And, so that was our wonderful holiday!
Now, I'm back home (and glad to be) but am thinking about going back to work next week and how I have to teach (TEACH!!!) GCSE English to Year 10's and 11's. I'm thinking I'd better get on and read 'Of Mice and Men'!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Hi there, just thought I'd put some more photos of my garden up for my own records really!

I think the washing airer on the right really makes this picture don't you?

Two days ago I found a tiny weeny baby hedgehog wandering along the pavement in town. Thinking that this poor hog wouldn't last an hour with all the traffic I rescued him and he's living in my shed in a shoe box, living off cat food. I will release him today probably in the depths of the countryside but we are really enjoying having 'Hodge' as a guest. He's SOOOO cute. Here's a picture of him!

Who isn't so cute are the students we currently have residing with us. Two fifteen year old girls, one from Italy and one from Barcelona. The one from Barca doesn't speak much English but she is clearly a city girl and knows her stuff. However, the one from Italy is quiet fluent but also rather arrogant. She is from the very bottom of Italy and though her family are rich and she is well educated you can tell she hasn't experienced much in life. She likes heavy metal (AC/DC) but dresses in the typical European uniform of skinny jeans and nice Pepe t-shirt and trainers. I would have thought she was OK but for the fascist tendencies she displayed yesterday at the table while we were introducing her to the delights of the Chinese takeaway. Here are a few quotations from our meal!

"The Chinese are stupid, they cannot speak English or understand anything" (referring to the Chinese on her course)

"They take photos of everything and they can't dance"

"When I told my Dad I was having Chinese tonight, he said 'poor you'" (her father refuses to eat anything other than Italian food).

I asked her what she thought of the tiny amount she managed to put away and she replied;

"I prefer Italian food, my father says Italian food is the best in the world why would we want to eat anything else?"

Oh dear. When she complained about our weather and the fact that the sea round here isn't blue like it is where she lives, I HAD felt quite envious of where she lived but now I know that if I lived in a town where probably the majority of people have the same small town mentality then I would never be happy. Amazing isn't it?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Garden Update

It's been a long while since I posted anything here, but my garden is looking so lovely compared with last year that I've been taking loads of photos and feel the need to post them here!

In fact since I took these photos even more stuff has come out as the wallflowers (yellow) and forget-me-nots are nearly over. I have roses covered in buds just about to burst! I can't wait!Every morning I wander up with my coffee and my dog and inspect the flowers and the pond which is currently full to bursting with fat tadpoles and quite a few large frogs!

Ah. We still have the dog, yes. I still love him and he still disgraces himself occasionally by chasing sheep (only the once and NEVER again), and even cows with newborn calves in full view of Sunday walkers - why does the countryside have to be full of livestock???

My dogwalking sometimes stresses me out, the fact that I have to go everyday when I could be doing other things such as hoovering all the dust up that seems to reappear miraculously every morning. (sad person that I am). But, at this time of year, the countryside is absolutely magnificent and my dog walks have become longer and longer every evening (sometimes over two hours!). But I just delight in the wonderful scenery around me - in the last couple of weeks I have seen carpets of bluebells, herds of beautiful deer and listened to cuckoos.

So, I'm now a complete and utter country girl, I'm afraid. That urban lass that moved up from London two years ago barely gets time to read the Review Section in the Sunday papers anymore. I realise that my cultural life is lacking at the moment, but that is soon to be remedied with a trip to Sadlers Wells and a visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in a few weeks.

Hot diggety dog! Remedy for mad dog? Turn the sunshine up to 26 degrees and voila! - a dog that can't be bothered to move, how simple is that!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Our house is coming along slowly but surely. We still have the decorators in....I think we've got him booked until 2012! Mind you, if you want a great decorator and you live in Suffolk then he's your man (if you don't mind a long wait).

Alice's room is now more or less completely done - all she needs is some pictures on her wall. But her blinds came at the weekend and it all looks wonderful! I will post some pictures another day. But today I want to talk about the GARDEN!

Here are some before pictures followed by the 'after' pictures!

Undergrowth and falling trellis.

Large areas of concrete where sheds once stood, and then covered over with dodgy decking.

A circular 'lawn' of pea shingle and loads of overgrown bushes.

Here's the 'lawn' without the shingle but before the grass.

We had another circular lawn put in at the top of the garden too (the two lawns are divided by that trellis you see there.

My new shed! Which has now been painted black.

Where that wheelbarrow is, we now have a pond (and four fish).

The circle going in.

That bit of hardstanding with the shed on was already there in a rectangle and the guys anglegrinded it in a semicircle to fit the edge of the lawn.

And now the finished thing:

Well, the pond needs to 'bed in' and more rocks and plants and things (hey isn't that a song by 'America'?)

Originally the trellis was covered in jasmine and a rose which I think was Rosa Albertine (for those that are interested) but they were so overgrown I cut them right (right)back but they are sprouting again so we should get flowers where we can see them next year. I've put plants in those spaces now (must take some more pictures).

The view from our patio. That is the side of another house at the end of our garden. It seems a bit close but actually none of their windows look over us so the garden is extremely private. I've now put in all my plants that were living on the allotment waiting for a garden. I now can't wait until the spring to see the garden come to life.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Oooh oooh

Just when you thought I'd gone....

I was looking at the new Boden catalogue on line todayand saw that my dog is in it! I'm on trend! (as they say) (in a middle aged, middle class, predicatable, Sunday Times sort of way).

I wish that was me in the photo though with legs like that. Oh, and my dog wouldn't sit that still, he'd be off like a shot, just a blur.....

Now that I've said goodbye for the summer I feel the need to post something on my blog. Typical eh?

Monday, July 30, 2007

So it's goodbye for the summer

This blog is coming to it's natural end.

Summer is here, I have a dog to exercise, a garden to do, an enormous dog hair covered house to hoover and dust and an older daughter that hogs the computer.

I won't be here for a while.

But it's been fun, this blog.

Bye everyone.