Friday, October 31, 2008

A bit of fun

My son sent me this. It's fun. Try it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Five times table

Five occasions when it's quite permissible to say 'oh fuck'!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Only Bob would complain about this plumber.

Now there's a surprise

My other car really is a Porche.

Nearly my last ever post

I've mentioned before that the driving is so poor around these parts that almost without fail we see an 'incident' every time we leave the house. It's always some type of stupid, dangerous driving that could easily result in a serious accident. More often than not it's overtaking on a blind bend.
Anyway, yesterday, we were very nearly wiped out. We were driving from Sommieres to home, just after the narrow bridge, heading towards quite a sharp left hand bend. Well blow me but a huge articulated lorry came round the bend so fast that the driver had difficulty controlling the beast. It moved over to our side of the road and the trailer started to slide and lean, taking up even more of our side of the road. God only knows how we missed it. I thought the trailer would at the very least take the side of the car off, if not flatten us. I swerved as far over as I could without sticking us in the ditch and held on for dear life. The bastard. I could gladly stick pins in the stupid prick's eyes. It was very, very scary. It's no wonder that motoring insurance costs are so high in this department.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Plan B

As I lay in bed this morning (do we really want to know this? - Ed) listening to the rain thundering on the roof, I knew that the day was going to be different. Different to planned. Yesterday I spent an hour or more lowering the water level in the pool next door, because recent rain had filled the pool to nearly overflowing (I'd had to lower my own by about 18 inches).
Today I was going to check out another friend's pool but it hardly seemed sensible to a) stand in the rain and b) try to empty a pool whilst it was being filled by rain.

So I switched to Plan B - and stayed in bed! Yippee.

Where are the chips I ordered?

Where are the chips I ordered?
Video sent by alexhampshire

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another hard day at the office

Despite a poor weather forecast, it was sunny and hot playing tennis this morning. After driving to Sommieres for a blood test (where it was drizzling) I returned to see the village bathed in sunlight and set to with William to beat the enemy. We had a little revenge (well OK a lot) in mind because the last time we played they took both sets off us. Not only was it hot and tiring but we only won one set. They're getting better! Bum!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How bad can it get?

Friday, October 24, 2008


This morning we mentioned to a visitor from the UK (London to be precise) that we were going to the supermarket. She asked us to buy her some cigarettes. She was somewhat bemused when I told her that they couldn't be purchased at the supermarket and because it was something that we didn't normally do, that we would have to go looking for a tabac.
I remember when we first arrived in France that we struggled to come to terms with Sunday (and quite often Monday) closing. We'd been used to eating out at whim and in particular chomping at our favourite curry house on a Monday evening. Try finding a restaurant open around here on Monday or Tuesday come to that. Fat chance. Even in Nîmes it's hard to find a restaurant open on Monday night. I remember when we first started to furnish the house and the wasted journeys because we had forgotten about lunch-time closing. Ahhhh, those were the days. Not.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

If you think things are tough now....

Wait til tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How much?

Floyd and Rob, my two tennis coaching buddies from the UK, arrived this afternoon, ready to eat drink us out of house and home. Jan served up her famous barbecued ribs for dinner, probably enough for ten people, and every single one went. The medal winning primeur wine (though how you have time to win medals so soon after it has been made, beats me) which was on sale in Intermarche Vacquerol was (you'll note that I don't keep that kind of information a secret like some other blogger I know!) excellent. They drank enough to float the proverbial battleship. A very good time was had by all.

Both Jan and I left the house on errands at around 09.00 and those two surfaced near lunch-time. It's a good life for some!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How will the credit crunch affect you?

Will one be wanting fries with that?

Crap wine

This was an interesting report.

The disappearing car door

Ginny sent me this. At first I thought it was a joke but it looks pretty cool to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The best bacon

In the interests of market research, Jan cooked three different brands of bacon this morning (with a weight watching fry up) and after several seconds of munching we agreed that Carrefour own brand was the nicest of the three brands that we tried. Such selfless research on the behalf of others.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Some good news

One of the first things that I did after picking up the car in Montpellier yesterday was fill it with diesel. Petrol prices had remained stubbornly high before we left for the UK and I hadn't expected much movement when we got back. How wrong can you be. We were away for 5 days and in that time diesel had reduced by 13 cents a litre. Grief, we'll have a bit more of that. I also noted today that our Carrefour in Sommieres was even cheaper so the competition with Intermarche is beginning to work. Some good economic news for a change.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gatwick airport

I hate Gatwick airport. It's no wonder that BAA want to sell it. It needs billions spending on it to get it up to speed with newer airports. It's crowded, poorly signed, tries to take a lot of money off you and is generally a poor travelling experience.

I hate the piss poor security area. You queue to put your possessions through security screening, then you have to walk through a metal detector and then you get frisked. Somewhat relieved you then get to another security check. What now? No, I don’t want to take my shoes off. You've done everything except a rectal examination. Do I look like a fucking terrorist? And, by the way, neither does that little grey haired lady standing next to you. The whole process is very demeaning, way over the top and frankly unnecessary. Has anyone stopped to think that the last two terrorist events were on a bus and on the underground and were committed by people who looked like they might possibly be terrorists. The day that a white, fat, middle class man or woman blows up a plane then by all means search everyone but until that day fuck off and leave us alone!

As we were travelling cattle class with easyJet this morning and had a couple of hours before the flight, I decided to try one of the airport lounges. It was excellent. You leave the poor people behind. You leave football shirted oiks behind. You leave screaming kids behind. You sink into a tranquil, wood panelled, soft armchaired, luxurious world of free everything. Breakfast in the main departure lounge costs the same as entrance to this haven of luxury. The shopping areas are also miles away so you (Jan) save a fortune by not browsing the shops because you're bored. This is the life for me, this is the life to which I was born. It’s a no brainer!

The easyJet flight was very good and it was warm and sunny when we landed. It was good to be back.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A good crack

Last night we met up with my old friend Rob for a curry and a Cobra. A few years back, usually after long coaching sessions, we got into the habit of finishing a long hard day (OK a long hard, few hours) by popping out to our favorite curry house and sinking a few pints of Cobra beer.
Last night was all about re-living that experience. James chose the restaurant, Shahi Tandoori on Beaconsfield Road, and the four of us (Rob, James, Jan and myself) met up to do justice to the place.
What a good crack. I haven't laughed so much since the last time I laughed so much! Excellent food, good wine, Cobra beer and good friends. Perfect.

In order to get a few last minute things for home we popped into Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys. Despite all the talk about recession, things looked pretty busy and bouyant to me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't shake hands with a man in Newcastle

Thank goodness we're in the south. Having said that, London didn't fare very well either.

A ride in the country

It rained today (not much new there then), and we had a gentle ride out into the country to meet Jan's sister Val. High on my list of things to do was sink a pint of bitter. The Swan, in Fittlesham, sells London Pride and they keep it beautifully. Excellent, but the food was poor and not too cheap. It's a beautiful, quaint country pub, with a log fire, but not too many drinkers. If they can't get the food right they'll sink without trace.

But we're spoilt. Yesterday we had a fabulous lunch at Carluccio's in Brighton. I had, a new one for me, a red wine risotto, which blew my socks off. If you want good Italian food, this is the place for you. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The four stages of life

I'm just a bit too close to stage four!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back on the road

We've both noticed that there is a difference between Ryanair and easyJet. The experience is somehow more relaxed and comfortable with easyJet. There is little to chose between them at the airport, that experience is identical, it's when you get on the plane that you first notice it. Ryanair use a Boeing 737 and easyJet use the Airbus 319. Somehow the atmosphere in the Airbus is better. From the staff, who seem a little more relaxed and friendlier, to the decoration and lighting of the cabin.

Anyway, as you'll probably gather, we flew to the UK last night, with easyJet, and I'm scribbling here in Brighton.

First up today was a trip to London to meet Jan's youngest, Luke. He suggested that we meet at Busaba Eatai, 106, Wardour Street. What a good choice. A Thai meal was definitely on the cards for this week and this place excelled. A bit like Wagamamas, you sit at large tables with others and it all seems to work. The food was excellent. I recommend (cos that's what I had) Pad Thai and Char-grilled rib-eye beef. One of Jan's dishes was Yam pak, a Thai fruit and herb salad dressed with sesame seed and tamarind. Excellent. Recommended.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just what I need

California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic.

It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night.

The new wine will be marketed as Pino More.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm rare!

Checking this site I've found that out of the 300 million people in the US, only one other person has the same name as me. Not many people know that.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The end of summer

Whilst the days have been gloriously warm and sunny recently, nights have been cold and the water temperature in the pool is low. It's time to cover the pool. This involves a good clean, the addition of some kind of nuclear fuel to stop algae forming, lowering the water level and reinstalling the little pegs around the pool which will hold the cover in place. To help prevent against the lateral pressure of melting ice, Jan and I spent some time placing floats (above), across the diagonal, in the pool. The theory being that should the water ice over and then melt, the floats will contract, rather than the ice forcing the walls apart. A tad cautious perhaps but, believe me, the water has frozen over at least twice in the last six years and the bill to fix cracks in the wall could be huge.

Anyway, we covered the pool today and I had this strange sensation. A sense of loss. With sadness, it signified the end of summer. Strange, I've never felt that before.


Or, for a slightly different perpective:

A husband and wife came for counselling after 25 years of marriage.

When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 25 years they had been married. She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness,loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of un-met needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.

Finally,after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately while fondling her intimately.

The woman instantly shut up and quietly sat down as though she was in a daze.

The therapist turned to the husband and said, 'This is what your wife needs at least three times a week...... Can you do this?'

The husband thought for a moment and replied,.. 'Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I play golf.'

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh - George Parr - Subprime - subtitulos
Video sent by erioluk

It makes the career a bit more interesting

Teachers unions have been demanding relaxation in the laws governing teachers and sexual relations with their pupils. This is an interesting and informative article.

Who would have thought it

Congratulations to all my UK readers. You now own a bank! Which of course means that they can now lend you your own money. Mnnnnnn.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I give in

Dreams are funny things, aren't they?

Lord knows where all this came from, but last night I dreamt that I was involved in some heavy construction project, designing and installing large reinforced concrete beams and was then asked to visit an elderly recluse (above) to judge his mental health because the caravan he lived in was blocking the route of this project. I took a huge sheaf of papers with me and was very prepared to be fair to the guy and get him all the protection he needed, then I woke up. You figure.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Don't try this at home

Have you ever sat next to an irritating person who keeps talking to you and snooping at everything you are reading?

Next time just follow these simple instructions, and get ready to enjoy your well-earned privacy. Probably in a cell somewhere:

1. Quietly and calmly open your laptop case.

2. Remove your laptop and open it.

3. Start it.

4. Make sure the annoying person can clearly see the screen.

5. Close your eyes and tilt your head up to the sky - take a very deep breath - and open the following web address.
6 Get a good lawyer.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Local hunters

We were down in the village today and caught sight of some villagers skinning and gutting a sanglier. I left as the blood poured down the street and as they were about to remove the entrails. Not something a towny like me can stomach too easily.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Christmas shopping

If you are wondering what to buy your beloved for Christmas, here's the answer.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The EU

Frankly, with its 23 official languages, I've never been a fan of the EU. To expect 12, never mind 27 sovereign nations to agree on any major initiative is pure fantasy. Its motto is 'United in Diversity'. Bollocks, when the chips are down and tough decisions have to be made, history shows that every country looks after itself and couldn't care less about 'the common good'. This mammoth, money eating bureaucratic nightmare, that spends 40% of its budget on just 5% of the population, is so corrupt that it has never even had its books signed off by the auditors.

It is, in my mind, a huge, expensive joke. Somewhere in its mammoth machinery there is a department dedicated to re-numbering the motorways of Europe. I can't wait for our nearest motorway, the A9 or the E17 according to Brussels, to finish somewhere near Turkey. It will certainly help all those transcontinental idiots who don't know which country they're in, or those who can't read a map, to get from A to B. I'd hate to think that anybody was wasting their time!!

Good old Sarko is trying his best to become an international statesman but his latest initiative looks like it has hit the dust. More fool him for trying!

More Palin, but not what you think

And on the subject of Palin, Craig sent me this link. Very funny.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mrs Palin

This is very funny. Thanks to Caro.