Sunday, October 31, 2010

I wonder?

This reminds me of someone but I can't for the life of me remember who.

I'm sure you know who you are!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Home again

Back home on what might be the last Leeds - Montpellier flight this year. As usual they arrive early and without fuss. Many folks don't like Ryanair but they always come up trumps for us. The major difference between them and any other airline is that you don't have an assigned seat and the cabin staff have such thick accents that they are difficult to understand but seeing as I always figure out where the toilets and exits are then I don't see that as much of an issue. On the positive side their flights are cheap, on-time and safe. That suits me just fine.

Probably needing to make another trip in December, I have got to find another route to Leeds. It makes the journey so much easier getting as close as possible to Harrogate. Shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Despite it being only a short break, the dogs were pleased to see us, probably because of all the recent disruption. Bless.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The most stupid

I've just seen a post on a French expat forum where a woman asked if they celebrated Bonfire Night in France. Gotta say that that ranks as one of the most stupid things I have ever read.

This is one very confused person.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting ready

We went over to look at the new house in Ripon this morning and then over to the solicitors to sign contracts.

What an incredibly simple process compared to our recent house sale. Fifty signatures in France, from all parties, three in England from one party. France has got its head up its bureaucratic, Napoleonic arse as usual.

Whilst we won't actually take possession until next week, all the necessary papers are now complete and ready for the go. This afternoon I called all the utilities and set them up on the phone. No problem.

Compare this to my bank in France, Credit Agricole, who after I had gone to the trouble of informing them, wanted an affidavit from the mayor and copies of our passports, just to change the address on our account. Looking online, the address still hasn't been changed a week after they finally agreed to change it. What a bunch of wankers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't shout

What is it about women and decisions?

We arrived at mum’s last night to the sound of machine gun fire. I kid you not. A noise so loud that it was impossible to make conversation or make yourself heard. It was the fridge.

Now I’m no genius (agreed - Ed) but as there are very few moving parts to a fridge freezer I surmised that it must be either the door swinging wildly in the storm force winds in the kitchen, or the compressor.

"Turn the bloody thing off,” I shouted.

“Everything will defrost,” mum shouted.

“How long has been like this?” I shouted.

“Two days,” mum, who’s pretty deaf, shouted back.

I turned off the fridge.

“Nothing will defrost for about twelve hours if you keep the door shut,” I whispered.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Working through the night for you

So I'm sitting here at 05.45 because a gale force wind is blowing and I can't sleep. It's funny how neither of us can settle when the wind lets rip.

On arriving downstairs for a cup of tea it's immediately apparent that the wind doesn't sound so vicious and the dogs barely stir. What's with that? It's not as if we're living at the top of a light house.

Anyway, now that I'm awake I decide to fire up the 'puter to see what the forecast is for the day and then I drifted into reading all my usual rubbish only to find that many sites haven't been updated since yesterday. Doesn't anybody work through the night any more?

What I did establish (don't ask) is that if you go onto the 'la poste' site you can print your own stamps. How cool is that?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And the score is?

Friends arrived yesterday from the UK and mentioned how warm it was. And there I was thinking that it was about time to add another layer.

When we first arrived here in 2002 it was shorts and t-shirts at every opportunity and it just shows how we have become very French and now dress differently. No more Bermuda shorts for me mes braves

Anyway, it's raining today so warm, or no warm, an afternoon watching football in front of the TV beckons.

Friday, October 22, 2010

One for English football fans

I'm glad to see that Wayne listens to his mother-in-law.

Revolting 2

Following yesterday's rant about kids on the rampage, I found this interesting.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I read this recently on a Languedoc forum. It's a genuine comment, made just the other day, from an English parent here in France.

Just tried to take my kids to school at Collège Magame de Sevigné in Perpignan. The school was open but the pupils were rioting outside, building a barricade and throwing stones. Police were watching....for our safety I just brought them home again. I don't know if this is happening everywhere or if it is just a group of kids out of control. Certainly was surprised to see 11-15 year olds taking action....

Is it any wonder that children behave like this, mimicking the behaviour of adults, and parents and police just stand there and watch them do it?

Public misbehaviour is endemic in France, and this from a public who are arguably the most state pampered in the world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wayne Rooney

Followers of English football might like this.


Assuming that they are not being paid to do so, if so many people can afford to keep going on strike isn't there an argument that they have too much time on their hands and are being paid too much? I say this because I was told at the weekend, by (a very left leaning) someone who I felt should know, that there are dockworkers in Marseilles who are paid €4000 per month for an 18 hour week.

As I write this, I hear in the background that they are going to use 'kick ass special forces' to unblock some petrol depots and open up petrol stations. Bloody hell, as if the CRS, riot police aren't tough enough.

It just goes to show that under French law a man has the right to his daily dose of Ginsters, Spicy Chicken Slice. Ahh, memories. 

This could get interesting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thinking again

Wherever you live around here, unless of course in the middle of a large town which has public transport, you need a car. For us it takes twenty minutes (ish) to get to the nearest decent supermarket. There is no public transport in the sticks (for hicks - Ed) so a car is essential.

With the recent problems we are now having to think carefully about what we do and where we go. It's a real pain in the arse. Having said all that we went to the market in Sommieres on Saturday and we both noted that there were lots of cars around and none of them seemed to be moving more slowly to conserve fuel.

I managed to get some unleaded from a local petrol station yesterday but they were rationing cars to twenty litres each and charging 1.45 euros per litre for all petrol. A real rip off but some might say they are very smart.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take care

A recent event has made us both much more safety conscious.

English friends, an elderly couple (A & B) who live nearby, were returning from their morning coffee in their local bar and were driving up the narrow lane to their house. Coming down the lane in the opposite direction was (A&B's) other car followed by another.

After getting out of the car to find out what was going on. Bandit C threw A into the ditch at the side of the road and the same thing happened to B. The bandits then pushed (A&B's) second car (that was coming down the lane) into the ditch on top of them and escaped in their own car and the car that was being driven from the coffee bar. The latter was later found burnt out nearby.

The gendarmes established that their house had been ransacked and the bandits filled two cars with their possessions and were attempting to escape when stopped. Neither A or B was seriously hurt.

They are treating the crimes as robbery and attempted murder. This was a bit too close to home. Makes you think. Take care.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chile (again)

And now, the clearing up operation. Take a look here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kylie and the bear

It's no wonder she looks excited!


So that's two things they do well in Chile. Make wine and dig holes.

But then there's always someone prepared to spoil the party.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A good idea

In 1872 New Zealanders invented the condom using a sheep's bladder.

In 1873 the English somewhat refined the idea by taking the bladder out of the sheep first.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A sensitive pair

We've been a bit worried as to how Max and Min would settle into their new surroundings.

When all is said and done they have only ever known 'one home' and as they've appeared to be disturbed as we emptied the old house we have been treating them sensitively.

Having said that, we left them for a short time today and apart from pulling down some net curtains at the front door, they were fine. I think the curtain coming down ties in with Max having already worked out how to open both the front and rear doors by rearing up and pulling down the door handle with his front paw.

Bloody smart dog, it's taken me ages to work it out! Min just stands and admires, which some would say is even smarter. Bless.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Keith Eckstein

We're in the new house (in France) and I've finally got the internet up and running.

One of the reasons for choosing this house was not only is it very comfortable, with a great view from the terrace, but it also comes with internet access. You've no idea how cut off I feel without access to Gmail and Google Calendar. Sad to say it's my lifeblood. It all started many years back when, instead of trying to memorise stuff, I made lists and I've made Calendar my daily list. Apart from breathing, which just about comes naturally, I have to look at my calendar to know what I've got planned for the day. Sad, I know.

Anyway, with patient help from Keith Eckstein, I managed to get my IP addresses sorted out (wake up at the back) for which I am forever grateful. Thanks Keith you're a star.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Au revoir

Just a garage full of boxes to move and that's it, we're out of the house. Jan and I have been together for 14 years and we've spent the majority of that time together here. What next? Life's little adventures continue.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Towards the end of the removal men's stay they dropped a bombshell by announcing that they couldn't fit any more onto the trucks (a huge truck and a huge trailer). They had already loaded 75 cubic meters of stuff and still had a lot to go.

When we arrived in France we camped in the house because we brought very little with us and have acquired the vast majority of what we are going back with. As he looked at the mountain of boxes that weren't going to make the trip Removal Man No 1 said, "is the house you're moving into smaller than this one?" I said, "yes," and as a chucker I laughed out loud whilst Jan, as a saver, hung her head in shame.

The good news is that the house were moving into here in France has a huge, empty garage, the bad news, we've got to move all the boxes.

I know I'll get the blame but even Jan can't quite figure out how she's going to blame me for this one.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

David Dale Removals

The removal men were very impressive. Despite a 04.30 start and very full day yesterday they were back at the house at 06.30 this morning.

That's fine for them because they have lots to do but what does anybody else do at this ungodly hour? (You're updating this blog - Ed)

Still, Jan baked croissants when they arrived and they eventually left for their next stop after lunch. After dropping off a scooter in London, nipping over to Kidderminster and then heading on up to Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, their company base, to get their lorry checked out and serviced, they get a rest.

They are then due to leave for home, Alicante in Spain, next Monday morning and, depending on workload, might get back to their loved ones a week on Saturday.

Now that's what I call hard work, and there I was feeling tired watching Jan move boxes all day.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Two beers please!

Despite having to live in a very, very empty house that echoes, this made me laugh.

A technical pause

The removal men arrive today so I might be out of action for a short while. Fear not.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Golf goes downhill

I haven't seen or heard any comments about this, but has anybody else noticed the crowd booing during the golf?

It seems to happen every time the Europe team hits a good shot or similar. 

You never hear it the other way round. Is the game being followed by a bunch of yobs now? I thought it was bad enough hearing booing on football terraces but at least that's usually associated with one footballer shagging another footballers wife, so it's somewhat understandable.

In tennis you quite often hear the crowd clapping when someone hits a bad shot but I can't ever remember anything like this.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Is that a gun in your pocket?

So we're lying in bed this morning (do we really want to know this? - Ed), I'm watching the BBC news and Jan has got her head buried in a book.

One of the news items was about terrorism and how the US Sate Department is warning its tourists to avoid crowded places if they travel to England.

'Well that rules out London, Stratford and a few other places that I could think of,' I said to myself.

Anyway, as part of this item they happened to show a very attractive female police officer, with all her armour, holding a big mean automatic rifle. Me, I quite like this bizarre combination and said out load. 'Hmmmm, a good looking woman with a big gun.'

Without lifting her head from her book and without skipping a beat, Jan whispered, 'I'm sure that can be arranged!'

And there I was thinking that women can't multi-task?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Yorkshire Airlines

I've posted this one before but it's worth watching again. Excellent.

Friday, October 01, 2010

A useful new addition

At last. And there you were wondering how you were going to get around!