Monday, 24 July 2017

Day 1: The fun begins.



Other than having a break-down near Brive, their journey went according to plan (ahem!).

The big German car is now at a specialist garage having its gearbox looked-at, and Kimbo is driving a courtesy Renault Clio. He's not happy with it, although to me it looks perfect. 

Above, Harvey J helping Uncle Claude.


The Fire Brigade made an appearance.


Unwanted boarders were given fair warning.


And so to lunch.....

Yup, it's all aboard HMS Dangerous Fun for the next two weeks.




Sunday, 23 July 2017

Doppelganger No 7¾.



                                   mummy-portrait-of-a-young-woman-3rd-century-louvre-paris

Picasso portrait of Jacqueline 1962.


                                              Résultat de recherche d'images pour "picasso portraits de femmes"

2000 year old Egyptian portrait of a woman.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Dangerous Fun.



New for the boys this year is the Dangerous Fun Caravan (Pirate's Lair), complete with their original (now tattered) flag, which has been framed. I have also built a simple outdoor fire pit for cooking sausages, marshmallows, etc.

The caravan now has two 'beds' and two comfortable mattresses, so I'm hoping they'll spend at least a couple of nights in there.

There's a picnic table and benches, a couple of bikes with flat tyres, a frying pan, and not much else.

Let the Dangerous Fun commence!




Thursday, 20 July 2017

Building.



Given my time again, I would have done more building. It's a very satisfying amateur occupation.

You don't need a diploma to throw up walls in either stone, brick or concrete blocks; it's not difficult. It requires a radio (to relieve brain-numbing boredom), a string with a weight tied to one end, and a £2 level.

The fun bit is trying to make whatever one is building, blend in with what's around it. My Pump House certainly wouldn't have been the same without its cut stone window, hand thrown pinnacles, and greenery.

Much of the appeal of the area in which I live, are its ancient buildings. Many of our towns date from the late 13th century; the era of The Hundred Years War. Beautiful old arched shaded walkways, wood or stone pillared central market places, and decorative carved stonework openings, are commonplace. 

It must be said that traditionally the most conscientious restorers of our local buildings have always been the Brits or the Dutch. They tend to have a natural respect for the integrity of an ancient building; far more than the natives. Not always the case, but in general this is so.

Inappropriate industrial roofing tiles are now very common. Bizarrely shaped window openings and plastic doors are incorporated into otherwise beautiful old stone-built cottages. No horror is too far-fetched.  There seem to be few restrictions when it comes to modernising ancient farmhouses or cottages.

Nowadays 'buildings' come in various unusual forms. One of our neighbours (and friend) is building a Holiday Village. He already has a 7 person 'Gite', and has been given permission to install several ready-to-go Shipping Containers which will be semi-buried beneath the ground in his field. I hear that the containers come complete with kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc, and apparently all they need is to be positioned, made as invisible as possible, then have the pipes and wires connected. That's it.

Both Lady Magnon and myself have surprised ourselves by our joint lack of concern about the project; there's no holding back progress!  Anyway, it would have been hypocritical of us to think otherwise, in light of the conversion of our Séchoir. 

The entrance to his new 'Village' will be opposite an empty semi-ruined house on the 'main' road, so none of us will be directly affected.

Another friend who previously lived in a fabulous Yurt wanted to install several more as holiday accommodation, but was refused permission, which we've never really understood. I can't see why they would say 'yes' to Shipping Containers, yet 'no' to Yurts; there doesn't seem to be a great deal of logic in the authority's choice of holiday housing.

C'est la vie. Hey ho!



The months ahead.



I love Summer, Sunshine, and Sunflowers.

At this time of year, I get up at 5.30 am (as I do every day of the year), pull on a T shirt, a pair of shorts, and my old pumps, and I'm ready to face the day.

As we approach full-on Summer, we have suddenly realised that our diary is much fuller than we'd anticipated. 

Kimbo and the boys arrive any day, we have a big wedding to attend, and we have more parties and dinner-parties on the horizon than is decent.

On top of all that there are village fêtes, boot sales, and al-fresco meals to be attended; not to mention several other visitors.

We also plan to visit various restaurants that we have ignored for the past few years, although when we'll get time to do so, I'm not sure.


We have a field of Sunflowers in front of the house this year, so the above is now what we look out upon. It looks like the next couple of months will be non-stop misery.

Now, where are my swimming things?




Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dring...dring...


                            Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Ringing telephone"

I very rarely answer my home telephone; either because I'm not there to hear it ring, or if it's at lunchtime I'm 99% sure it'll be some infuriating foreign twat (probably a Nigerian idiot pretending to be from Microsoft). I don't have a mobile (well, I do, but I don't use it).

My true friends all know to leave a very short message on the answerphone, and I phone them back at once.

I am sick to death of bloody cold calls from scammers, salesmen, opportunists, and the like.

It's always the same. The phone rings four times, then silence, then the answerphone switches off. It happens about ten times a day.

Most French nuisance callers understand the traditional English greeting of 'Fuck off', but a few are persistent.

I would never, never, never, buy anything from someone over the phone; nor (I hope) would I fall for some idiotic scam. If I need something I go to the relevant shop.

I really don't know why they bother. The telephone Co must be making plenty of money from these people, but it also makes people like me want to do away with a land line.

Yesterday I did answer a call, and it was an astrologer! Heaven help me!





Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Growing older (me and them).



My only regret about growing older, is the prospect of not knowing what will become of my six grandsons.

Those of us who are lucky enough to have grandchildren usually study their development from Day 1. We keep a discreet eye on them, and our fingers are permanently crossed for their futures.

I'm not one to hope for great things, I would rather see a natural talent developed, than expect them to shine academically. We've already had one genius in our family in the past 70 years (sadly, not me), so I'm not expecting another one too soon.

I've always imagined the one above (Finn) as a future actor. I have no idea if he has any plans for his eventual career, but I would like to see him in at least one school play (if they have such things in Oz), just to see how he reacts. I have a feeling he'd like it; he has a natural theatrical flair.

The others are just being the scampish boys that they are (and should be); none of them shows any particular leaning, other than one who is a gifted Cricketer.

Career choices for the future will take a lot of careful thought. The most important thing is that they gain satisfaction from their eventual occupations (and hopefully earn a decent crust).





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