Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Coming from a generally cool climate my perceived wisdom (wisdom? - Ed) is to open all the doors and windows and enjoy the sunshine.
Given that we are roasting in 35C+ everyday at the moment what you should actually do is shut your blinds (certainly against the sun) and shut the windows. That way you stop the sun heating the inside of your house and you keep out the hot air. (Why not just shut your mouth? - Ed)
But, that's easier said than done. When I was young I remember visiting my Italian grandmother (Nonna), during my summer holidays, and her home being in a permanent state of darkness. Not being the brightest of kids I put this down to her permanent bad mood (on the brighter side she was a bloody good cook). Or some death or something that she was 'celebrating.'
How wrong I was and how smart she was. If you follow the instructions above then your house will stay much cooler and it's much more comfortable whilst you spend few hours fiddling with your iPhone (give it a rest - Ed) or other important matters.
The downside of this new course of action is that you will lose your sunny disposition and become a miserable old git (like you - Ed). You just get to live with the pain and all the bruising on your shins.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
The seven dwarfs always left early in the morning to work in the mine.
As always Snow White stayed at home doing all her domestic chores. But when it came to lunch time she downed tools and prepared lunch for the dwarves.
She then took it to the mine.
One day as she approached the mine she saw that there had been a huge cave-in and the mine had collapsed.
She was frantic and tearfully she began calling out, hoping against hope that somehow the dwarves had survived.
"Hello," she shouted, "can anyone hear me?" "Hello."
For a long time there was no answer but she didn't stop trying but just as she was about to give up she shouted, "Is any one there, can anyone hear me?"
From deep within the mine, she then heard a faint stuttering sound. She pressed her ear to the ground and she heard, "Engerlund, Engerlund, Engerlund."
She jumped for joy. "Thank god," she said, "at least Dopey is still alive."
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
It looks like Nicolas Mahut will get the Legion d'honneur pretty soon.
He's played a lot longer and with more determination than the whole of the French football team put together.
However, in trying to save French pride this is not good news for John Isner.
Good effort guys.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
He found himself on an island alone, no supplies, nothing; only bananas and coconuts. After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore. In disbelief, he asks 'Where did you come from? How did you get here?'
She replied, 'I rowed from the other side of the island. I landed here when my cruise ship sank.' Amazing,' he notes. 'You were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with you
'Oh, this thing?' explains the woman. 'I made it out of raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm branches, and the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree.'
'Oh, that was no problem,' replied the woman. 'On the south side of the island, there's very unusual alluvial rock. I found if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron. I used that for tools and used the tools to make the hardware.'
The guy is stunned.
'Let's row over to my place,' she says.
After a few minutes of rowing, she docks the boat at a small wharf. As the man looks to shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white.
While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man can only stare ahead, dumb struck. As they walk into the house, she says casually,
'It's not much but I call it home. Sit down, please. Would you like a drink?'
'No! No thank you,' he blurts out, still dazed. 'I can't take another drop of coconut juice.'
'It's not coconut juice,' winks the woman. 'I have a still. How would you like a Pina Colada?'
Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they have exchanged their stories, the woman announces,
'I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There is a razor in the bathroom cabinet.'
No longer questioning anything, the man goes into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet, is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism.
'This woman is amazing,' he muses. 'What next?'
When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but vines, strategically positioned, and smelling faintly of gardenias. She beckons for him to sit down next to her.
'Tell me,' she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, 'We've been out here for many months. You've been lonely. There's something I'm sure you really feel like doing right now,something you've been longing for?'
She stares into his eyes...
He swallows excitedly and tears start to form in his eyes... 'Bloody hell don't tell me you've got Sky Sports?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Don't get me wrong, we have met some lovely, kind and generous French people, but from time to time you see these attributes, particularly from other drivers or simply from people standing in groups blocking paths or supermarket aisles. So why would anybody be surprised?
The national team only display the same attributes as the rest of the nation and before anyone suggests that I'm xenophobic, I don't have any good comments about the England team either.
The team I've liked the most so far are the North Koreans. They got hammered by Portugal the other day but it didn't stop them running and trying hard. OK, so they were probably playing for their lives (literally) or for the well being of all their families, but try hard they did.
Lets see how France perform this afternoon.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
And if you thought that I was joking about mozzarella in my previous post look at this article.
This woman took it so seriously, that when she opened the packet and didn't like the colour, she called the police.
Italians take food very seriously!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I walked past the television this morning which was showing Saturday Kitchen. The guest of the day was Cherie Lunghi who admitted that one of her all time favourite foods is buffalo mozzarella.
"I like her," I said, "I think she's pretty, she's got a nice body and she's always getting her kit off on television."
Jan, looked amused as she said, " so that's it, a woman who likes buffalo mozzarella and gets her kit off, gets your vote." Very perceptive is our Jan.
Anyway, shortly after, I got a call from Bryan. "I'm in a hurry," he said, "what's the French for oats?" After I told him he rang off.
I guessed that he was talking to the nice lady that plies her trade in a lay-by not too far from here.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It's the middle of June and it's so cold and miserable that we haven't even used the pool yet. For all of you considering putting one in, let this be a lesson. Despite the cold the pool still needs cleaning (even more so when it's windy) and the pump still has to turn over for about 10 hours a day. That's a lot of electricity for nothing. What's going on?
I wonder what it would look like as a flower bed? Quite pretty actually. Just a thought.
J&P, who came out for a relaxing week, have had crap weather, although they think nothing of taking the dogs for a walk in the pouring rain. Not me bro!
Craig, you're missing nothing.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Our family is very European. I'm half English, half Italian because I have an Italian mother. Jan is English.
Jan's eldest, Ben, is married to a Spaniard and my son James (they are staying with us at the moment) is married to a German.
That means mes braves that for the first time ever I will be supporting Germany when they play Australia this evening. Family solidarity and all that.
This also raises some other interesting permutations. I will support England against any team except Italy, because Italy will kick their collective arses, my mother will send the boys round at the hint of betrayal (son or no son, it's an Italian thing) and I really do like to be on the winning side. I will also support Spain or Germany against any side except England and Italy.
Got that clear? Must lie down now cos I'm confused and I've got a headache.
I thought that maybe wearing my new 'lucky' England shirt (thanks AJ) would 'do the job' and at half time I was beginning to think that I should take it off.
By full-time I knew that it wasn't going to help. I wasn't watching a world beating side here.
Still, I'm told that France started like this a few years back and eventually made the final. I'm not sure how much comfort I get from that last piece of information .
Saturday, June 12, 2010
After a picnic lunch at Elie's in Sommieres today, with James and Pauline, it was off for a little wine tasting over in Pic Saint Loup.
This was instigated after drinking a wonderful bottle of Domaine de L'Hortus (Grand Cuvee 2007) last night. I'm talking a seriously good red here, the best I've had in a long time. So we set off trying to find something nice at one of the other vineyards that we hadn't yet visited.
First was Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup above St Mathieu de Treviers followed by Chateau de Lancyre. Interestingly, I wasn't massively enamoured by the reds, not that they weren't good they just didn't ring my bell, but I loved both their top end whites.
From Ermitage it was a Roussanne, Clairette, Marsanne, Grenache mix and in the case of Lancyre a lovely Roussanne Marsanne mix. Both excellent and highly recommended.
And, before you start complaining, just remember that all this information is for free.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Rejoice, mes braves, rejoice, a full month of football to tickle the taste buds but having just watched the first game I know that those bloody horns are going to drive me mad.
As a matter of interest (or not) if you put 'world cup' into Google it shows the next few matches with the live scores. That's pretty neat.
One down and sixty three to go.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
My son James, who I used to think was quite smart, is visiting at the moment and just had to show me his new iPhone. It was like a rag to a bull, so I went off on one but I knew that the conversation was hopeless when he said, 'it's not a phone, it's a computer.'
As well as being attacked by Chris in the previous post, I've just read that Craig's got one as well.
Bloody hell, am I the only sane person left in this world? (That's what Napoleon said, n'est ce pas? - Ed)
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Oysters, in the market in Sommieres, are sooo cheap (four euros a dozen for the big ones). I've tried them in the past but I can't see the attraction.
'I stopped eating snot when I was two,' is my standard reply to anyone who offers me one.
Anyway, Jan was sitting next to a female friend, G, at the market on Saturday and G was eating oysters. They were whispering in an animated way when they both burst out laughing and couldn't stop.
I asked what was funny and Jan said, 'oh, just girly stuff.'
Being a nosey sod I asked her again later. It transpired that Jan, who has never eaten an oyster, because she just doesn't fancy them, had asked G if the rumour that oysters are an aphrodisiac is true.
Quick as flash, G glanced up at her husband, who was also eating oysters and said, 'God I hope not.'
Why do women find this sort of stuff so funny?
(We'll sit down for a chat some day soon - Ed)
Monday, June 07, 2010
My first reaction was that she wanted to go out but, as the back door was open, I dismissed that thought.
I looked around for Max. He wasn't in any of his preferred places and I wondered where he was. Jan, who was obviously feeling very lazy, wouldn't get up to check it out but eventually she did and then returned, interrupting my viewing, to say that he'd 'gone.'
Reluctantly I got up from the settee realising that to find him would need an expert touch. Needless to say I was first to see him, outside, at the front of the house.
How on earth had he got there? We'll never know. The house is literally ring fenced to keep the dogs in and others out. None of the doors or gates were open.
It has to be said that Max never fails to surprise us. We consider him to be the brighter of the two of them. When on a walk he always walks in the shade. In fact he walks from shady spot to shady spot. Minnie, the very amiable but dopier of the two, runs around in full sun.
I was reminded of how clever animals can be when I saw this video courtesy of Will.
Friday, June 04, 2010
You know you are getting old when you start falling to bits. Over the weekend, whilst eating a piece of bread, I noticed that I had a mouthful of tooth. I'm quick like that. Half a tooth had sheared off leaving behind the central core which comprised mostly old filling.
That's the second tooth to break within twelve months. It's quite dispiriting really. I had my first crown last year and it looks like the second is coming up.
But, on a brighter note, I was in Occitane last week with my mate AJ buying a soap on a rope (one of the few places that does it) when the sales assistant gave me a free sample of 'energising moisturiser' (you obviously look like a mug! - Ed). Well, I spread a little on my face this morning and you know what, it did absolutely nothing.
Still, as I leave for the dentist this morning I feel very energised and moisturised.
It's all very expensive and dead posh but you know I'm worth it!
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
'Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl'.
The priest asks, 'Is that you, Joey Pagano ?
'Yes, Father, it is.'
'And who was the girl you were with?'
'I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation'.
"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?
'I cannot say.'
'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?'
'I'll never tell.'
'Was it Nina Capelli?'
'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'
'Was it Cathy Piriano?'
'My lips are sealed.'
'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'
'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'
The priest sighs in frustration.
'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.'
Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers,
'What'd you get?'
'Four months vacation and five good leads.'