Monday, May 31, 2010

Steak frites

It was a bit windy by the pool this morning so it was off to Montpellier with our visitors and lunch at L' Entrecote, our favourite steak frites place. Highly recommended.

The girls then had a bit, OK a lot, of retail therapy in the small streets to the north of Comedie and then it was back for a great impromptu pasta dinner, heavy on the red wine.

That's two excellents in one day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Out of breath

With some lovely visitors gracing the house it's difficult to find the time to post.

After a great picnic lunch of oysters, roast chicken, cheese and sweet, delicious cherries in Sommieres market yesterday, it was off for a little wine tasting to Domaine de l'Hortus. Then, back for a quick rest before popping over to see Vincent and talking about importing some of his excellent rosé into England.

After a further 30 minutes of rest the babysitters arrived and we went out for a lengthy but excellent dinner at Le Ranquet.

I've grabbed fifteen minutes now just before we all head out to see an abrivado in Saussines. Still, there's a Grand Prix and some footy on the television this afternoon so it's not all go, go, go.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A survey

A recent survey found that six out of seven dwarves aren't happy.

You got nothing bigger?

And about time too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Win friends and influence people?

A puzzle

I've always wondered why Jan calls me Mahatma! Now I know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Following from yesterday's post

And here's the answer.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Something to think about

Take a few minutes to watch this.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In with the new(ish)

Because I care a lot about my appearance (since when? - Ed) and trying to look smart for our trip to Sommieres today and, given my new svelte body (do you actually know what svelte means? - Ed) I tried on some trousers that I hadn't worn for about 10 years. They fitted perfectly and I looked really good.

When she stopped laughing even Jan agreed.

I knew that bell bottoms would come back into fashion.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Carolina sent me this, with the very blatant message that men lie.

Caro, of course men lie, we're just crap at it and therefore need to practise more.

If, on the other hand, women lie less often how come they're so good at it? I rest my case.

(You should have taken up law? - Ed)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A pain in the arse

Bloody pools. If I had any idea how much time, effort and money was involved in running a swimming pool I'd definitely have thought twice about installing one.

For some reason the margelles (the tiles around the edge of the pool) had started to disintegrate so they've had to be replaced and, at the same time, I emptied the pool and gave it a deep clean.

That then meant that the paving around the pool had to be jet washed because it looked grubby. If you add to that the ongoing weekly maintenance and cost, (don't underestimate the cost of running a pump for hours over the summer), they're a right pain in the arse.

As Jan will be only to pleased to tell you the only time I use it is when it's boiling hot and I want to cool off but even then I don't swim (cos swimming would make you hotter) I merely walk around.

Still, on the upside, there's nothing like a bit of naked late night swimming. Whilst not beautiful to behold, it can be quite invigorating. (Enough, that's too much information - Ed)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Embrace Life

A rather nice and touching video courtesy of Will.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday in Sommieres

We guessed that getting a seat in the bar was going to be difficult as we drove past the hundreds of extra cars parked on the outskirts of Sommieres this morning.

Jan, who's clever like that, mentioned that it was the Sommieres' triathlon, so the place was heaving with slim, athletic, super-fit types (not much like you then - Ed).

However, I felt very relieved because I realised that that sort were never going to crowd us out of the bar.

After a very jolly drink with the usual suspects we drove round to Carrefour for a little shopping. As we pulled into the car park, we met
Peter, proving that all the good folk around Sommieres were not slim, athletic and fit.

Poor old Pete, he's got the outlaws staying at the moment and he looked very forlorn as he trundled his trolley around the supermarket. I tried to cheer him up by asking him how come he'd got so little in his trolley when he obviously looks like he 'enjoys his food.'

Quick as a flash he said, 'I haven't even started yet, I've still got to go to Lidl.' That's the Peter I know and love.

Cherry blossom

Whilst we are now back in France (love the new Montpellier to Leeds service - thanks to Ryanair) this picture reminded me of the hundreds of trees laden with cherry blossom that we saw during our time in Harrogate.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Southern belle meets Northern lout.

Mum, who needs a new knee and will get one later this year, doesn't get out much so we organised a day out, a mystery tour. It was so much of a mystery tour that five minutes before we set off we had no idea where we were going. One little thought that I had in the back of my mind was a nice pint of beer. Preferably John Smiths but anything liquid would do.

As we drove out of Harrogate, Jan mention the number of dead pheasants by the side of the road. I said, 'Aye lass, even t'road kill in Harrogate is reet posh.'

Never having been there before, we set off for
The Lion at Blakey Ridge, high up and isolated on the North Yorkshire Moors. They had quite a good beer selection and I settled on Old Speckled Hen. The others got stuck into wine. The place was full of earnest walkers, people who were walking from one side of the country to the other. Have they never heard of trains?

The food was hearty and big portions. My haddock fillet was fresh, well cooked in a lovely batter and hung over the sides of the plate. Excellent.

On the way back we passed through
Hutton-le-Hole. Jan, using her degree in stating the bleeding obvious said, 'I wonder if there is a French connection?'

What a pretty village. Actually a bit too pretty for my tastes, you couldn't see any slag heaps! Still, the sun was shining and this was our last day before braving the volcanoes and getting home to the dogs. With all the sheep grazing quietly by the side of the road and lots of lambs frolicking in the fields Jan said, 'How do you thing Max and Minnie would react to the sheep?' I said, ' Would that be before or after they ripped them to bits?'

Women just don't have the same sense of humour.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Uncle Nino

After spending all day ferrying folks around (sort of an international taxi service), I needed a pint, so we drove out to The Radcliffe Arms in Folifoot.

Mum, the oldest person there by a mile, ordered a
triple gin and tonic, much to the barman's amusement, Jan a double and I had a pint of Sam Smith's bitter.

Anyway we were sitting there and mum started to talk about Italy and her adored, long dead brother Nino. Uncle Nino is something of a family legend having made it from humble beginnings to president of the Italian Court of Appeal but, I also knew that he was a bit of a rogue.

By the time of this part of the conversation I'd had a couple of more beers and as mum was in a good mood I said that 'yes he was a bit of a rogue, I'd even met his girlfriend.'

Mum's reaction made me think that maybe I'd said too much. The saintly Nino was being maligned.

Mum's reaction was one of horror. She asked me 'if I'd met the scarlet woman,' and I said. 'yes, she lived nearby.'

Again mum wasn't happy. 'There's no way he had a girlfriend in Foggia,' she said. Jan looked away, thinking that I'd taken things too far.

After a short silence my 86 years old mother piped up with, 'he had a girlfriend in Naples, but never in Foggia.'

God, how we laughed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Home sweet home

We did it! Defying death and volcanic destruction we flew from Montpellier to Leeds this afternoon to see my aged mum.

At long last they now run a direct flight from near us without involving a three hour drive either in France or in England. It was a good flight and we arrived 40 minutes before schedule. Methinks there's a bit of padding in the timetable. A journey time of five hours door to door is great.

Anyway, we'd been dreaming of fish and chips for a long time before this trip so it was off to
Bryan's in Leeds this evening for the very best fish and chips. I ordered my usual, the baby haddock (three fillets). Excellent.

Hooking in the name of sport

Well that was a good weekend.

For a few years and for very different reasons, I have supported three different football teams. To avoid the hate mail, I'll avoid saying which ones but all three have done well this year.

One became champions, one avoided relegation to a lower division and one finally got promoted from a lower division .

That's a pretty good effort on my behalf. See the power that my support gives to teams. I'm going to consider suggesting that they send me a little recompense. In fact why don't I write to all teams and sell out to the highest bidders?

The other good event of the weekend was to be invited to a mainly French birthday celebration. We felt very honoured.

Friday, May 07, 2010

A well hung parliament

Given the results of our preferred political parties, I suggested to Jan that we should get into bed and 'form a coalition', and that 'anytime this afternoon would do.'

Typically, she replied that as she holds all the bargaining power she'd consider my proposition at a later date.

That's not my idea of how a hung parliament should work!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

France Telecom

Whilst I worry about posting regularly, I have to say that it's not something that the vast majority of the blogs I read seem to worry about. With the exception of 'me ol' mate Boris' who tries hard to have something fresh and interesting to say (no pressure C), the rest are failing miserably.

Anyway, like Boris, I have a France Telecom story. A week ago today I installed a Livebox for a friend. The phone line associated with the box didn't work and never worked. Eventually yesterday, by ringing the English language helpline (my French isn't bad but when it gets technical it's easier for me in English), I managed to get hold of a technician who immediately understood the problem and offered a correction by lunchtime today.

He called as agreed and by late afternoon the line was working perfectly.

It's a little like how I feel about France, the organisation isn't so good but you can find charming and helpful individuals.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Couch potato guy

One of the benefits of being a lazy fat bastard is that I can spend lots of time reading the newspapers. I try hard to read the full spectrum of political bias so that I can form a well rounded opinion about the issues of the day (the only thing well rounded around here mate, is you - Ed).

Talking about well rounded, has anyone noticed, how the 'red tops' tend to have more naked ladies than the more serious broadsheets. I knew that would come as a surprise!

I read them purely for genuine political research you understand. Take today's Sun, how else would get to know more about
Nikkala 26, from Middlesex? I wonder how she will vote?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Political rhetoric

For followers of UK politics, and for anyone who can still raise a smile after the bullshit of the last few weeks,
this is funny.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A more sensitive male?

I was right in the middle of trying to persuade Jan that the new medicine that I'd been prescribed this week had to be taken as follows, 'Three times a day after sex.'

No matter how hard I tried she just wouldn't listen. I was getting nowhere.

As if from the gods, a message from Carolina arrived. It contained
this link. What it said was that I could buy a nose spray that would put me more in tune with people's feelings.

Well, that's great. If all you need is a nose spray to get you laid then I'll get some. (I think you've missed the point - Ed)