Sunday, February 27, 2011

The last day in Languedoc

That's it. The final day. I'm exhausted.
It's so tiring watching Jan pack boxes but I'll soldier on bravely. She is working so hard and doing such a good job that I'll postpone today's performance appraisal and the usual resultant corrective interview. All I've got left to do is tell her where to put all the boxes and how to pack the cars. That shouldn't take long!
We leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow, OK, 8.30 feels like the crack of dawn to me, to get the dogs to the vet for their final jabs and then wend our way to the first stop near Troyes.
Under normal circumstances we'd drive further but the restrictions imposed on pet movement into the UK means that we can't cross until 24 hours have passed after the dogs jabs and not more than 48 hours. What's all that about?
Stupid English rules are already getting to me and I haven't even got there yet. I guess there'll be lots to rant about in the coming months but I suspect that 'the rules' will be minor in comparison to the rubbish that French citizens have to put up with.
Anyway, to follow the story you will now need to click on this link.
Thanks for reading and see you again soon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Is there any truth in the rumour that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has asked to be moved out of Libya and back to prison in Scotland for his safety?


Below is the best chat-up line ever and always, always works.

'Excuse me love, could I ask your opinion. Does this damp cloth smell like chloroform to you?'

Friday, February 25, 2011

What an excellent idea

What a great idea. I even get a mention in the penultimate paragraph,  'old blokes who are bored with ranting.' 
The final paragraph refers to a great many people. You know who you are.

Confused of France

I consider myself a climate change heretic but I'm the first to admit that this is a knee-jerk reaction and not based on anything other than a gut feel.
With this in mind, I found this article interesting.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Proud dad

Max was sitting outside today soaking up some rays before he moves to Yarkshire on Monday. Clever dog!
I thought he looked particularly imposing and I couldn't resist this photo.

Getting there

The removal men arrived today and took the last of our stuff. A truck load.
I really like this company and I thoroughly recommend them if you want anything moving anywhere in Europe.
They make regular weekly trips between the UK, France and Spain and all points in between.

Anyway, Mark, one of the removers, who is based in Spain, told me this story.
He was assigned to a new lad who had just started with the firm and who had never travelled abroad before. Mark told the young man that they were going to Madrid for a job.
The lad asked 'which Madrid are we going to?'
Mark replied 'what are you talking about, there's only one Madrid?'
The lad who thought he was being smart said, 'no there isn't, there's Madrid and there's real Madrid.' Bless.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is that a ferret in your trousers?

Having got up at the crack of dawn we're sitting here twiddling our thumbs waiting for the removal men and we start to get twitchy. We're not sure why.
Anyway, I decided to call their head office in England only to find that they won't actually arrive until tomorrow. Bum. That meant that we had to cancel a whole lot of stuff for Wednesday and reorganise.
Added to that Max has been very 'quiet' recently. We reckon that he knows that 'something's up', he's a fairly intuitive dog much more so that Min, and is worried about the move.
So he should be. The next move will be to Yarkshire but at least he will have ferrets to chase.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

You'll need deep pockets

When you are stumped as to what to buy your patriotic friend, partner or bit on the side, here's the perfect gift.

DEPEM (I don't know what it means either)

The other day a door shelf in the fridge broke so I looked for a replacement on the internet. I found exactly what I was looking for at DEPEM and nearly fell off my chair when I saw the price, €49.
It did however arrive with a personal bodyguard in a sedan chair without fuss about four days later.
Jan moaned about the price, and I can't say that I was happy, but when you consider that items like this are being stocked in their thousands for a whole range of new and elderly white goods in huge warehouses with no guarantee that they will be sold then it kind of makes some sense.
Compare this to foam shoe insoles. Whilst waiting at the checkout in Carrefour the other day I noted that the cheapest, simple foam shoe insoles cost €5. Now to me, that's expensive. And the prices went up to €17 for the super dooper ones that help you walk on water.
Given that these products are sold in their thousands in supermarkets and are simply stamped out from huge sheets then in my mind that makes them very, very expensive.
There's a job going for a latter day Ralph Nader.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Jan accused me of having more than a touch of OCD this morning.
As she rolled over for her morning cuddle, you know the sort where she lies on your left arm and sticks her hair in your face, I have to continue reading until I reach a certain point.
I can't put in my bookmark until one of two things happen. I have to stop reading at the end of a paragraph on the top left hand page or the end of a chapter.
This morning I could see the end of the chapter so I couldn't give her my full attention for about four minutes.
Jan, on the other hand, has a much more disorganised mind and can stop reading anywhere. To my horror she said that it doesn't matter if she reads a bit twice. I'd hate that.
She has a similar take on the packing that she is doing for the move. We tend to fall out because we can't agree on how to do things and, as she always gets her way, I just leave her to it.
There are boxes all over the house in a seemingly random fashion. Me, I'd finish one room at at time and boxes would be stacked neatly that would avoid double handling. I hate double handling anything. Do it right first time is my motto. Which does lead to me to spending a bit too much time thinking about things and not getting as much done as Jan.
Anyway, my fingers have been in contact with this keyboard for far too long so I need to go and wash my hands. Again.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A little tear ran down her cheek

We made our last visit to the hairdresser yesterday. Alain, who cuts our hair, seemed to take extra care and gave us both a good cut.
Jan in particular is getting used to her mohican and has grown quite fond of it. I, on the other hand, favour what I can only describe as a flat top. A sort of French gangster look but without the body to go with it.

Between us we look a real pair of prats dandies and departed walking on air but not before lots of kisses and saying our fond farewells. I swear there was a tear or two in Jan's eye.
We have let this guy loose on our hair for over eight years now so it was a moment of hirsute sadness.

Note: Someone has complained and I have removed the two pictures that I originally posted in this post.

You haven't stopped groaning yet

And if you thought the last one was bad, here's another from Nigel. This one's for you Serge.

I found a tiny half frozen bird as I walked to my girlfriend's house, so I put it in my pocket to give it a chance of survival.

When I showed it to her, she told me how much she loved me for being so kind and sensitive, so I thought I'd try for a bit of sex.

She said "Please, not in front of the chilled wren".

A nice thought

Jan still isn't talking to me.

I booked a table for Valentines Day but she got really fed up and angry.

I didn't realise she's no good at snooker.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Memory lane (again)

You know you can rely on me for excellent culinary tips. This one's a beaut.
We rarely cook chips at home because I can't stand the smell of frying lingering in the house and, even worse, covering my clothes.

Jan, in a rare fit of nostalgia, suggested that we had egg and chips for lunch. Now, whilst I hate the smell of chip fat everywhere, I love to eat 'em, so Jan sent me out (again) for the next best thing. In fact I think that they're better.

In the freezer cabinet look out for pommes rissolées. Tiny cubes of potato that fry up in a jiffy, minimising the smell, but making tiny golden, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, 'chips'. Sprinkle with salt and serve with a fried egg. If you want to make it even more exotic and oriental have a bottle of HP Sauce on the side. A pan full of rissolées and two eggs serves one. Excellent.