A piano and a cello

Firstly a quick update on Siena. She is fine, thankfully a couple of days rest and some pain killers did her the world of good, though it drove us slightly nuts as she needs her walks as an energy release.

As Pat mentioned last week, we had guests last weekend, which was lovely. M&S timed their visit well, as on Sunday our neighbour (who owns the chestnut grove, but also works with pianos) had a concert in his fantastically converted barn as an opening of his new piano showroom. The concert was a pianist and a cellist. The concert was arranged around the “theme” of Lisa Cristiani – who was a famous cellist and her last tour, which was through Siberia, in-between musical pieces there were readings from some of her personal letters. While I couldn’t understand the readings, as they were in French, the concert was great and we all really enjoyed it. One bit I did understand from the readings was the part about it snowing and snowing and snowing! Something we apparently are going to have more of this week! I think the cranes which have started the migration north may be regretting this early decision as it is very cold now (-2 at the moment) and we have more snow forecast.

With the cold but sunny weather we are planning a long walk today with Siena, and I’m also hoping to finish my Philip Pullman book at I received for Christmas. I’ve got to a good bit and put it down as I know I’m not going to finish reading it until I reach the end. So not conducive to the 30 minute read before I go to sleep at night. I have done some downloading of other books the past few weeks:

The Angry Chef by Anthony Warner – which is about bad science creeping into healthy eating – I’m loving it.
The Memory Illusion by Dr Julia Shaw – a fascinating book about how our memory works (and false memories).
The Year of Less by Cait Flanders – an interesting book about one women’s year of trying to simplify her life, started with an idea of not shopping for a year but expanded into a lot more (this one I’ve finished).

I’ve downloaded a couple more books as well, but haven’t started to read them yet. However I did go into my Amazon history and add up how much I spent on books last year and was horrified at the amount. I guess it comes from not having a library around me (or more to the point a library with English books, lots of French library’s around). So one thing I do have to do is be a bit more aware of how much I’m spending on books.
One downloaded book that has made an impact has been the CSIRO total wellbeing diet book. Yes I have done many a diet, but this time I went looking for a diet with some science behind it (this one was on a UK tv program which I found interesting as for all my non-Australian friends the CSIRO is an Australian scientific research institute). But mostly the reasoning is actually to try and find a healthy eating plan that Pat and I can stick to permanently and this looks like this could be it. We will see how things go over the next few weeks.

So on that note, I most likely should get myself out of bed and get my day started. Until next week, à bientôt – Delia

Snow doubt

As promised I have some snow scenes. It didn’t last long. Well there were two separate snow events. The day of our apero (our “party” to celebrate our the completion of our living room) coincided with snow. That morning I stopped to take some shots and found it difficult to get started again, reverse and third gear. The photos were good though.

Our apero lost 4 people because of the snow but we still had 15 people who admired and complimented our living room and like a good apero should be everyone went home at 8.30 and we finished off the nibbles by way of supper.

This weekend our two Nottingham friends Mike and Sandra are with us on their journey south to Spain so this is a brief missive. So far we have learnt that Brantome is closed in February and that Lac de Massignac is a lovely walk.

And last night we heard our first skein of cranes as they flew north from sunnier climes. Sping is coming.

Snow and blue skies, 10th February 2018

Hello all. Well today we have blue skies which is lovely with all the snow we have had. It has been snowing most of the week though on Thursday it did stop and started to clear. However on Friday, it all started again and settled, it is a very pretty day outside. We are holding an apero (short drinks party) this evening so it will be interesting to see if everyone can make it. I think we may find a few people won’t be able, but of course that totally depends on what happens today with the weather. It is freezing (literally it’s minus 6 outside). Here are some photos for you.

In my last blog I mentioned getting the photo’s changed on the downstairs toilet door, this has been accomplished, along with painting the back of the door, which is good, I’m happy with the result. All the photos are of France and a couple are even the old photos of this house.

If only all toilet doors were this interesting 🙂

I’ve also got a few more of my paintings up in the house this week.  I got out some old paintings which had been framed and put in new paintings.  They are near my desk so I’m really pleased that I have done this, as I like having some of my art work around.

So what else has happened? Well we did have to do a trip to the vet’s yesterday after Siena hurt her leg. She just started limping and then not putting her foot down, we are not sure what happened but when Siena didn’t get off the couch to greet us when we returned home from the shopping we knew it was serious and/or causing a lot of pain. So off to the vet’s we go. He thinks she has either just sprained it (unlikely) or done her cruciate ligament – which in French is ligament croisé – didn’t have to look that one up. So Siena is on pain killers for a few days, she isn’t allowed to be walked, she is only allowed into the back yard. We have learnt already that she needs to be on lead, because with feeling better she is trying to run around the back yard. She is however not jumping up. After 3 days we can walk her further (around the hamlet if she can do it). We have to stop the pain killers after 5 days and see what is then happening. If she is back to limping she will have to go off for an operation – to a specialist. Which will not be cheap, so we are hoping that she will be ok after some rest, which to be honest with Siena isn’t an easy thing to do.

Until next week, à bientôt – Delia


Last weekend, especially Sunday the weather was lovely and sunny, the temperature reached the dizzy heights of 14°C. OK you aussies would probably still be wearing gloves and balaclava’s (not baklavas, that a totally different issue) but for us Europeans (just) its a warm day. Siena didn’t care anyway, getting two good long walks was heavenly for her. I suggested to Delia that we could go on a walking holiday, perhaps follow the pilgrim’s way towards Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. But then she can’t carry much on her back so it’d be me carrying for both of us – perhaps a trolley pulled by Siena I suggested, but that would kind of spoil things for her. Back to the drawing board then.

We are still unsure where we will have our holidays this year. “Sun, sea and sand” seem to be the main drivers, winter is certainly getting to Delia. Southern Portugal seems possible with a visit to the trans-border zip-line, Delai’s mum and aunt fancy Porto I think but whilst we have enough rurality and isolation all the time here, neither of us really fancy a city break. So that decision is still in the air.

I keep meaning to ring and book the gite on the coast we stayed at for Delia’s birthday weekend last year, not much sun then but plenty of sea and sand. In fact… I have just this minute booked for our anniversary weekend!

The forecast keeps threatening snow. Delia’s looking out of the window in the middle of the night to see if its happened. Back in the UK, I remember traipsing to the station in snow and slush, standing on the exposed platform with snow flurries blowing around me. The same the following evening except in the dark. I do not miss that, now I can look out at the snow covered ground, or perhaps walk out with the dog and camera (sounds like the name of a pub) and take a photo like the one at the top of this blog (though that was early December).

Well not much else to say so its goodbye from me… and don’t forget to read delia’s blog next week, same time same place (perhaps with pictures of snow).