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).


Finally the sun is out, 27th January 2018

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening. A lot of you will have seen about the flooding in Paris, unfortunately though we are a number of hours from Paris we have also been having the same type of winter – extremely wet and with very little sunshine. However today the sun is out and the sky is blue – it’s lovely. It should also be this way tomorrow, so hopefully the ground will dry out a little bit, which would be really good.

The rain has meant that it hasn’t been that cold and my bulbs are all starting to come out of the ground. Which to be honest is something that I’m not happy about as it is too early and of course they can get caught by frost, and I like the display the bulbs give when spring actually comes. Because of the rain I haven’t been able to do some of the pruning that I should be doing at this time of year. Hopefully this is the start of some dryer weather and then I can get out and about into the garden.

So what have the last couple of weeks been like (apart from wet)? I’ve been busy at work – which is a good thing. I finished painting Pat’s wardrobe which I’m pleased with. This weekend however it will be the door to the toilet under the stairs. It needs to come off the hinges, the frame needs to be painted and the back of the door painted. I will also be changing some of the photos so that we can include the one’s we have of the house from 60-70 years ago.

Before (with a test patch)


We have had a minor issue this week, with me noticing that the washing machine was leaking. Thankfully it’s actually not the washing machine itself but the pipework which leads to the drains and this is located under the kitchen sink, however we have had to pull apart that cupboard to get to everything and of course have the horrible realisation that the leak has most likely been happening for a while. We have a temporary fix so that we can at least use the washing machine, but the cupboard is still without its doors and shelves!

I had a very relaxing day yesterday, coffee with friends in the morning (no French class) and art class in the afternoon. I’m attempting a very different type of picture this time, lots of drawing to start, which is good since I’ve been doing a drawing course. One thing I would like to do is to try and make sure that I do more art each week. It is something that I love but interestingly don’t make enough time for. I’m hoping that all I will need to do is change my routine a little and I will get into the habit of drawing every day. Today has started as a bit of a relaxing day too, with coffee in bed while reading my book. That is always a nice way to start a day.

So for now I better get my act together and get outside while we have the sunshine.

Until next week, à bientôt.


Winter in Nouvelle Aquitaine

The sun always shines and it only rains at night – blah! It’s been raining for the past month, albeit with a few of the vaunted blue sky days, but way too few.  One of our friends commented that if they’d had a first winter like this they might not have decided to stay. Delia is escaping by looking for building plots in Crete and the cost of winter rents in Spain and Portugal. An acquaintance claims it’s cheaper to rent a place in Spain than to maintain their house through the winter – all I can say is they must have a much bigger !

We had a nice evening out at a quiz at a bar, where we had won before, but not his time. The food was nice though, a veal blanquette with pumpkin mash and a mango cream dessert.

So cosy times indoors then, mac’n’cheese (Delia’s favourite) and baguette and soup for lunch. Siena hates the rain, just sticks her head out of the dog flap to see if it’s stopped. Unless, it’s her morning walk, perhaps she thinks going with me will make it different. I know the cat thinks the weather will be different if he goes out the front rather than the back. Anyway Siena’s morning walk always happens (the lunchtime one less so) – being inspired by my friend Mike and all his family doing triathlons and everything (and Mike, 5 years older than me), I did a bit of jogging, just a few hundred metres, Sienna loved it and encouraged me to speed up… anyway after a few weeks of this, I did so and suddenly got something that felt like bad cramp in my thigh,  it was very painful to walk after though it’s much less so now, but there is now a real “good” bruise on the back of my leg. I reckon its God’s way of telling me I’m fit enough; though Delia says that jogging in wellies is stupid! Since I don’t believe in God…

Not much in the way of photography lately, but the club competition this month is perfect pets so here you are…

So, so tired. 13th January 2018

Why so tired, well I’ve been busy. With paid work but also doing things, such as painting wardrobes, and the downstairs toilet (well the room not the actual toilet). Yep, the toilet painting happened over two nights this week – before I sat down to watch TV – but after I had finished my paid work. Part of what I mentioned in my last blog – the idea of getting a few more things done in the house. It also enabled us to use a paint that we had bought cheaply thinking it was one colour and discovering it wasn’t. It was a lighter version of the colour we wanted, but it has worked and it does mean that all it took was time and no extra money.

The wardrobe, well that has been on my To Do list, pretty much since we moved into the house. I actually like the wardrobes we have, we purchased them as part of the house purchase when we bought it nearly 4 years ago. I even like the colour of the wood, but there is sooooooo much wood in this house and very little of it matching that something had to be done.

Last weekend I sanded, painted and waxed my wardrobe. I really like the way it has turned out. Today I started on Pat’s wardrobe, realising that it would take me a bit more work as he has drawers in his wardrobe, but not quite realising how much more work. But at the end of today, I have sanded it all and got the first coat of paint on, tomorrow the final paint and the wax. Why the wax, basically because I started out using what paint we had, and that paint was matt and I didn’t like the feel of it and I had a big pot of wax from when I had used some chalk paint on a furniture item and the with the wax on it just feels so much nicer. I did have to add a bit of bling with the silver handles on the doors.
My apologies about the before photo didn’t get one before I started and had to dig one out from when we had a look at the house back in 2013!


Needless to say at the end of today, I’m looking forward to a glass of wine and my dinner, I have very sore shoulders and I feel somewhat shattered. I think tonight might be spent in front of the TV.

Until next week, a bientot.