Food, art and chemo

Last Saturday Delia and I were invited to afternoon tea at a couple who go to a language class I attend. Delia’s mum went too. It was a lovely summer day and the cakes were delicious. Very traditional, scones and jam with cream, fruit tarts and even cucumber sandwiches. Quintessentially English.

The next day our social whirl led us to an al fresco lunch at some friends at a French/English discussion group I also attend, again with Delia and her mum. There was more French spoken, there being maybe 10 French people and perhaps 15 English. Food was delicious and the weather fine and sunny.

Monday arrived and Delia’s first chemo session. Up to now we hadn’t availed ourselves of the paid-for taxi to the hospital so this time we decided to do so. The taxi duly arrived around noon and we were transported in air-conditioned luxury to the hospital. Delia had to have a heart scan first, during which the taxi driver took me around to the various desks to do the admin needed for our trip. I think this set things up for the remaining 5 sessions. We had quite a wait in a darkened waiting room, to see a doctor and then finally taken to a room with two beds where Delia was connected up to her drips. Apart from the sharp prick of the needle into her previously surgically inserted port all seemed pretty comfortable for her.

Two hours later we were ready to go home – by then the time was about 7pm. We had a batch of prescriptions for anti-diarrhoea, constipation and vomiting – a veritable smorgasbord! Unfortunately no-one had mentioned out of hours pharmacies to get hold of these and we thought first thing in the morning would be fine. However that night Delia’s nausea got worse and worse. By the time we got her drugs she couldn’t keep any of it down to take effect. Eventually she did manage to calm it down but that first day was enough to convince her she didn’t want to go through this again. The next day was a bit easier and the next even more – until Friday when Delia more or less felt normal. Chocolate doesn’t taste pleasant though coffee is good (which helped rid her of the caffeine headache). We tried to arrange an appointment with the oncologist but she was on holiday until after Delia’s next session.

On a happier note, this Saturday we went to St Yrieix about 30 mins drive away – there was an annual “festival” of watercolour art. Again, it was the three of us and there was a wide range of artistic styles to enjoy, including paintings by Delia’s current art teacher.  An enjoyable couple of hours were enjoyed by all.

A cool change – 21st July 2019

We’ve been having some lovely cooler weather here in our part of France. It’s been a nice change/relief however we are expecting another hot week this week. I have a busy weekend this weekend, this morning I went for coffee and this afternoon, we were invited to afternoon tea with friends of Pat who he has French class with. It was lovely to sit in their wonderful garden this afternoon, drink a glass of elderflower champagne and then have tea, scones, cake & tarts. Pat definitely enjoyed the food! Tomorrow we are heading out for lunch with Pat’s other French language group – which I am thoroughly looking forward to.

Last week we had Bastille day and the usual fireworks happening. This time we could just walk out our front door and watch them. I enjoyed that, Siena (our dog) not so much, though when we were standing outside together she did calm down.

I’ve enjoyed mum being here, we went to the student art exhibition opening last Friday, which was fun. Last weekend we went for a nice walk around St Matthew and yesterday mum and I went into Chalus had a look at all the art exhibitions that are currently open, had a walk through the market, had coffee and then headed off to lunch (with Pat) at a lovely local restaurant where we sat out under the tress and had a wonderful meal. I then headed off to a drop in art class and “finished” a painting of a rooster – I’ve bought him home – picture below – but I’m not quite sure if he is finished.

I’ve bought myself an adult colouring book, which I’m planning on using to distract myself during chemo. We will see if that helps, but at least I will have Pat and my mum with me, which will be really nice. I do hope that I will get some interesting and good pictures out of this – we shall see.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

A Welcome Visit

Last weekend we were graced with our long-time friends from Nottingham – M & S. We managed a good mix of tourism and relaxation including our first bbq of the season (at this house actually) .  The Tour de Chalus-Chabrol from which Richard the Lionheart was fatally wounded by a crossbow (a while back now)  was open to tourists. This is quite a rare event and isn’t all that well publicised, the only clue was a flag flying from the tower. The last time we had visited the tower, or even been aware that it was open to visitors was August in 2014. This time the tower was actually accessible and we were able to climb to the top to enjoy the marvellous vistas across Chalus towards the Dordogne. The interior of the chateau a few metres from the base of the tower had changed somewhat, with some extensive rearrangement of artefacts. Most significantly, the rooms below ground level had been excavated, an outer room and the kitchen now accessible.

The next day we all went to Aubeterre. Delia and I had been a couple of times even before we had moved here.  The church was carved into a limestone cliff and though partly collapsed still retained an impressive interior reaching 17 metres high. Aubeterre is a pretty village with some wonderful restaurants. In one of which M & S treated us to a menu du midi. One of the best I have ever had.

The next day a pleasant picnic at a nearby lake.  Mike and I both took pictures of the Damsel flies.


Yesterday we picked up Delia’s mum for Limoges airport, still rather dumbstruck from nearly three days travelling and layovers. She recovered in time for an outing that evening where Delia exhibited at her art class student “vernissage”.