Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tooheys New advert

Strange noises

I woke at around 05.00 this morning with a loud, medium pitch buzzing in my left ear. It was uncomfortable and very scary. You may have gathered by now, that I'm used to hearing strange voices and other sounds, but this was altogether different. It was so loud that it even drowned out Jan snoring right next to me.

'Bugger,' I said to myself, 'this is not good.' (I'm quick like that) Hearing voices is one thing but a permanent distracting noise is something else.

I started to feel very sorry for myself (what do you mean started? - Ed). Was this the beginning of the end? Was it a sort of tinnitus that could send you mad? Was this god's retribution for my waywardness and lack of belief (See how long the Catholic guilt thing lasts).

I was so scared that I needed to tell someone, but as my beloved was snoring so soundly I decided to delay waking her until a more sensible hour. It then occurred to me that she saw fit to wake me in the middle of the night the other day so why not?

My doctors will post regular medical bulletins right up to the end!

Friday, November 28, 2008

International relations

Bloody hell it was cold this morning. Despite changing the start time for the tennis to 10.30 it was so cold, with a slight wind from the north, that I had to shoot back inside for a hat and gloves. Have ever tried to hold a tennis racket with a gloved hand? The grip size changes way too much for me and it's near impossible to hit the ball but there was no way that I was taking the gloves off. At least not until I had warmed up.

Anyway, William and I fought back from three down to win the first set 6-4 and I was serving at 5-4 in the second. I suspect that everyone was hoping to get back into the warm for a coffee. Well, blow me, but I double faulted to give them the game. William sidled up to me and whispered in my ear, "Eet is not a Chrisamass yate." They went on to take the second set in a tie-break.

(See Bob, you're not the only one who can bore people to death with sports minutiae)

A heartwarming story

A small boy was lost at a large shopping mall.

Sobbing, he approached a uniformed policeman and said, 'I've lost my grandpa!'

'The policeman asked, 'What's he like?'

The little boy hesitated for a moment and then replied, 'Crown Royal whiskey and women with big tits.'

A touching Thanksgiving story from Will!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sometimes, I find it difficult to know whether Jan is talking to me or the dogs. I could have my head down, reading and hear Jan say, 'are you feeling all right my lovely,' only to look up with anticipation and pleasure and see her talking to one of the dogs.

When she got back from art at lunch-time I heard her come through the front door and say, 'hello gorgeous, have you missed me?' Needless to say she was talking to one of the dogs and not me. Some discussions are more obvious, like, 'my you've got a cold nose', or 'do you want your tummy tickled?' I know they're not aimed at me, (are you sure? - Ed) but there's always a bit of doubt.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How on earth?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cheaper petrol

With the cost of fuel dropping by the minute this may seem a little late, but a couple of weeks ago Chris W showed me a neat little bit of software on his iPhone. Tell them where you are and they looked around you to tell where the cheapest petrol station is. For all my French readers take a look at this. It's basically the same thing but for PCs. Cool.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Get your eyes checked my love

As I dozed in bed this morning, Jan had the nerve to come back and wake me up with a cup of tea. It may well be our anniversary, but waking a man before dawn, with or without a cup of tea, is pushing it a bit. I wouldn't have minded but after she woke me she started barking orders about me going into the garage to get a new bag of dog food.

Now normally I'm an easy going sort of person and jump to my beloved's every wish, but I had to point out to my visually impaired amour that it was still dark outside and that surely the dogs could wait until at least sunrise.

This challenge to her single minded mission seemed to work and she then calmed down sufficiently so that we could discuss things sensibly.

It was a nice cup of tea.

(I suspect that you may have raised a few female hackles my son - Ed)

Anyway, to celebrate 12 years of harmonious bliss (surprising with an klutz like you - Ed), my beloved decided that we would eat out at Restaurant Lennys, in St Mathieu de Treviers. Excellent and highly recommended.

BNP Member List

If you know about the above and if you fancy a laugh, look here. The emails are very funny.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Palace Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue

When we lived in Windsor, it was relatively easy to pop into London, and go to the theatre. We didn't go that often but as we visited more and more theatres it became obvious that they are all in need of refurbishment. What particularly gets my goat is the amount of legroom you get in some places.

Last Saturday we went to the Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. Jan booked the tickets before we left for England. To get three seats in the stalls was going to cost in excess of £220. No thanks said my thrifty beloved we'll go higher. We ended up in the 'gods', with a restricted view, for a total of £87.

What a rip off. £87 to sit in seats made for children, in agony because of the legroom, and unable to see half the stage. Because we are high up all the heat in the place ends up around us so we sweltered as well. Frankly I'm amazed that people put up with it. It's a scandal and nothing has changed for years. Despite using a wide angle lens in the photo above, you still can't see where we were sitting, it was so high up.
Things will change when I'm in charge mes braves.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Older and wiser

When I was 14, I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend.

When I was 16 I got a girlfriend, but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.

In college I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional. Everything was an emergency; she was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened suicide. So I decided I needed a girl with stability.

When I was 25 I found a very stable girl but she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided that I needed a girl with some excitement.

When I was 28 I found an exciting girl, but I couldn't keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad impetuous things and made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but had no direction. So I decided to find a girl with some real ambition.

When I turned 31, I found a smart ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground and married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took me for everything I owned.

I am now older and wiser, and am looking for a girl with big tits !

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


When Madonna first moved to England, she said she 'wanted to feel more English'.

She's now an unmarried, single mother with three kids from different fathers, one of them black.

Not a bad effort really.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good effort

As always, it's good to get back to your own bed. The Ryanair flight out of Luton was good and, despite the plane having already been to Milan and back, we left Luton before the scheduled time and we arrived twenty minutes early in Nimes. Credit where credits due. Do many airlines do that?
Anyway, more to the point, the sun was shining!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A final family day

Tim, Sue and their delightful children Emma, Jessica and Abigail have been our hosts for the begining and end of this trip and it was back to their house in St Albans that we went this morning.

Joining us for a typical Sunday roast, from Brighton, were Becs, Trevor, grandchildren Maisie and Elsie and Jan's other son Josh. Mnnnn, good old roast beef and Yorkshire puds. Excellent.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


As usual Cara gets it right. My genes live on. She has expensive tastes and then offers to pick up the whole tab if she can claim it back on expenses. That’s my girl.

Hakkasan is a fabulous restaurant selling Chinese food. Tucked away in a basement at the junction of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road the opulent interior belies the scruffy surrounds at ground level. The food is equally opulent and as it was lunchtime and we were a party of five, our helpful waitress suggested that we order dim sum. What good advice. The food was fabulous, washed down with a Viognier, Marsanne mix from Australia which was also fabulous and which was also the cheapest on the wine list.

This is not the place to go to if you’re thirsty and don’t have a credit card but if you want to taste very good food in modern, silky, sexy surroundings then this is the place for you. Given that we were with both Jan’s youngest Luke, his girlfriend Lydia and my youngest Cara, who kept us in stitches, this was a truly exceptional and memorable meal. Highly recommended.

We then had four hours to kill before the theatre, so what to do? The kids suggested Tate Modern and as neither Jan or I had yet been we thought that it was a great idea. ‘You’ve got to see the Rothko exhibition’, we were told. Bloody hell, getting lessons in culture from your kids.

You have to admit that the place is impressive and it was packed out with people. So many art lovers and it wasn’t even raining. As I was still in a fairly jolly mood (we get the drift – Ed), I was ready for a dose of culture. We had to pay to get into the Rothko exhibition and the woman behind the cash desk was a bit bemused when I asked her if they offered concessions for blind people. Cara thought it was funny but did threaten to ‘take me back to the home if I didn’t behave myself.’ Jan pushed me along, embarrassed.

Look, I admit that I’m no art critic and I wouldn’t know a Matisse from a Mondrian (actually I might) but this Mark Rothko must be pissing himself laughing at all the people going ooh aah at his stuff. Huge canvasses, filled with gallons of paint, with little or no discernible point, as long as it’s two colour and sort of rectangular. The last time that I was so disappointed was when I went to see a Jackson Pollock exhibition.

Either I’m a total philistine (no comment – Ed) or I have a very good eye for the Emperor’s new clothes.

By the way, I enjoyed the majority of the other galleries, so maybe I could be an art critic after all.

Friday, November 14, 2008


A trip to England for me is all about choice.

We took the train from St Albans to St Pancras station this morning. What a station. It's so impressive, and now that it has been modernised, full of 'I want one of those' type shops and fancy restos. We were staying in London for a couple of nights and couldn't check in to the hotel until 15.00 so what to do? Well, the first thing was to get rid of the bags. The left luggage at St P is not cheap but, in fairness, they have had to buy an expensive x-ray machine, so no quibbles really. The best for me was to come.

We had three hours to kill so shopping was high on Jan's radar. Food was high on mine. We had to eat, so where better to start than Yo Sushi, close to the bag drop. I love sushi (better than shopping) and thankfully Jan likes Japanese food as well. I thought that if I could stretch this meal out for three hours we'd save a fortune (apart from the Japanese meal - Ed), but I knew that Jan could already 'smell' the shops, so it wouldn't be easy.

We didn't make a Japanese meal last time we were over so this was perfect. Lots of Japanese snacks pass the table on a conveyor belt (above) which, from the restaurant's point of view, is very clever and heaven for a pig like me. Highly recommended.

Talking about satisfying a craving, we went back to the hotel and chilled out for a while, before deciding that the next culinary challenge would be at The Red Fort. Jan fancied Indian and the best that I could think of, within walking distance was The Red Fort, 77 Dean Street, Soho. The last time that I was there was when Kevin took Vincent and myself, after a wine venture at Vinopolis a couple of years ago.

My memory was good. This is an excellent, up market, Indian restaurant. Highly recommended.
Whenever I'm asked what I miss about England I usually say not much really. But if there's one thing that I do miss it's choice. However you want to eat, you have choice.

Happy Birthday Your Highness

Hi, it's Jan here. While my lord and master is runing an errand for me I thought that I'd surprise him with a post of my own.

I was prompted to do this because it's Prince Charles' birthday today and that made me think about his lordship as well because they both have so much in common. Think about this:

Both were born in the same year.
Both feel they were born to rule.
They both like being waited on hand and foot.

They both have ambitions above their station.

They both like toothpaste being put on their toothbrushes.

They both like the best of everything.

They both have expensive tastes.

They both have had two marriages.

They both have children brighter than them.

They both fancied Diana (for a while).

And their differences?

Charles is a king in waiting

Alex is a dictator in waiting

Charles dresses very smartly all the time

Alex dresses very scruffily all the time
Charles talks rubbish

My beloved talks sense (well, sometimes)
Charles likes wearing uniform
Alex has a penchant for women in uniform
Charles wears kilts
Alex wouldn't be seen dead in a skirt
Charles has big ears
Alex has neat ears
The ears do it! All in all, I think I'll stick with Alex!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

St Albans

Aha. Thanks to that doyen of luxury travel, Ryanair, we're now in St Albans, our base for the next few days, whilst we visit friends and relatives. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing my daughter Cara, on Saturday, whom I haven't seen since January.

It may seem strange, but we spend a bit of time travelling at this time of the year, mostly because we have more time and also to get away from less pleasant weather. What's even stranger is that we go to England to do it. Go figure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Along with 20 or more of the usual suspects, we met at 11.00 am this morning, at the village war memorial, to mark the end of the First World War. Something we never did in England. Strange.


I must be one of the few people who actually likes spam. I like the names of the people who send the spam, like Florian Effenberger. How cool is that?

The other side effect of spam is that it makes you feel warm and wanted. You wake up each morning knowing that someone who writes to you in Cyrillic or Chinese script feels that you might want to learn their language so that you can communicate together. How cool is that?

Now that I get so little spam, I feel that maybe I should get out and make more friends (you can say that again - Ed).


I didn't realise that prince Charles and I have so much in common.
I send Jan to the kitchen each morning, before I get up, in sufficient time so that even with minor distractions, like walking the dogs, she has time to cook my breakfast to perfection. I thought this was normal but it looks like The Mail aren't so sure. (Words fail me - Ed)

Sunday, November 09, 2008


As part of my new health regime of slobbing out in front of the TV, we watched the film Atonement this afternoon. It was bloody complicated and at times difficult to know what the hell was going on. Jan said that the film was better than the book, which she had struggled to read. I thought that the film was overly complicated and bloody miserable. Jan reckons that I'm a philistine. She may well be right, but at least I'm a happy philistine!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Why can't I just say no

A definite downside to all the rain recently is a lack of general exercise (and an increase in slobbing in front of the television - Ed). So it was a welcome relief yesterday to get some tennis in. Having said that, Chris, Delphine and the lovely Scarlett popped round for aperos during the evening and, determined to undo all the morning's good work, Jan and I got stuck into a few bottles of our current favourite vino. Bum. We are so weak willed.

As we set off for the market this morning I was determined not to drink wine and only drink coffee. Fat chance really. Peter H dusted off his wallet and bought us all a big drink and then, after more sensible people had gone home to their loved ones, continued to have Jan and I in stitches with very funny tales of his in-laws. Thanks Peter, it was a good crack.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I don't care where you bought it

It rained again his morning so Jan decided to sort out our wardrobes. Sorting her's out is easy. Keep everything and just rearrange where it goes. She has clothes in her wardrobe that she hasn't worn for 3 years or more! My clothes, on the other hand, had to be 'tackled'.

After she had been sorting for 30 minutes she started to berate me with sentiments like, 'you have clothes that you didn't even know you had' and 'some stuff you haven't worn for years'. Words like pot, kettle and black sprung to mind but given that I was getting my clothes sorted out for free, I bit my tongue. I've certainly got a bit smarter over the years.

Out came the bags with all the winter stuff in, which were emptied, sorted and the clothes put away. These bags were then filled with all the summer gear. What a huge pile of clothes (I never knew I had). Given that I tend to wear the same thing every day for five days, it will take me 193 years before I get round to wearing the awful rust brown pullover that my mother bought me 3 years ago. Yippee.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Real Estate Downfall

Thanks to Craig for this.

Zut alors

And now the fun begins. Sorry Barack!

And he wonders why he's doomed

Having read this today from Gordon and his chums, I tried to play a little chess with Max this morning. Could I get the bloody dog to sit still or concentrate?
I honestly try never to discuss politics in this blog but some things just cry out for comment. For a laugh read this.

Gordon Brownose

Trying to get some of the feel good factor to rub off on himself, Gordon Brown was quoted as saying:

"I know Barack Obama (yeah - for all of ten minutes) and we share many values. We both have determination to show that government can act to help people fairly through these difficult times facing the global economy."

Sorry Gordy, but you're still going to get your arse fired!

And about time

Thank god it's over. This is funny.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A fish called Colin

I was chatting to Bryan this morning about the fish counter at our local Carrefour supermarket (see what life gets reduced to after three days of rain) and we agreed that it wasn't very good. We (Jan and I) like fish and would like to eat more but we have never got to grips with the fish that is generally available here in France. This led to me asking Bryan what the fish Lieu is. He didn't know.

So Jan and I were in Carrefour this afternoon and whilst passing the frozen fish cupboards Jan shouted, "look at this packet, Lieu is the same as Colin. I guess that must be Coley." Puzzzled I said, "Are you sure, I think there's a fish called Colin?" At which point Jan doubled up.

Anyway to confuse matters further when we got home we did some research and established that according to the packet in the supermarket, Lieu = Colin (in France) = Hake (in England) and Hake is known as Merlu (in France). Lieu Noir (in France) is known as Coley (in England) and Coley (in England) is also known as Pollock.

And to make matters worse, whilst researching an image for Pollock, I came across the rubbish above. Confused? My head hurts and I wish I'd never asked! At least there's some football on tv tonight!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A good end to a lousy weekend

The weather has been truly awful today with thunder, lightening and all that sort of stuff. At one point this afternoon it was so bad that there was no satellite signal for the television and, fearing a power cut which would bugger up the computer, I turned it off. Do you know what I had to do? I read. Yes, a book. Remember books?

Anyway, we eventually got a signal back and I was able to watch the final race of the F1 Championship. Apart from the first 110 minutes which was relatively boring, Lewis Hamilton, whom I have followed all year, won the world championship by one point in the final 20 seconds, on the final two bends of the final lap. Even Jan, not a natural F1 fan, was shouting and screaming. Good effort LH!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

That's not what I meant

A woman in her fifties is at home happily jumping on her bed and squealing with delight. Her husband watches her for a while and asks, "Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look? What's the matter ?"

The woman continues to bounce on the bed and says, "I don't care what you think. I just came from having a mammogram, and the doctor says that not only am I healthy, but I have the breasts of an 18 year-old."

The husband replies, "What did he say about your 55-year old arse?"

"We didn't talk about you," she replied.

Sweets for my sweets

The heavy rain yesterday meant that not many kids got out 'trick or treating' last night. We usually stock up with sweets for the little darlings, because I quite like the practice, especially for the little ones, but not one child came to the door last night. The sweets lie forlorn in the bowl by the front door and this of course means that somebody will have to eat them. I suppose, at a pinch, we could give them to the kids next door.