Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Visit to the Doctor; French Style.


Pre visit. Blood test; Phlebotomist's charge €9

At Doctor's. Wait over an hour, then 10 minute consultation; €23

Pharmacy; A few pills, €113.62

Blood test bill; €50.22

Total; €195.84

Repeat every 3 months, if not insolvent.

If I had followed the exact same procedure in England (and this applies to any visiting Frenchmen/woman) it would all have been FREE. That's equality Europe for you.

It's a good thing my paintings sell for thousands!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sparky and the bloody JCB man.

Most modern homes require mains electricity, unless of course one can afford an extensive (and expensive) all-singing solar system; we can't.

I can't remember when we actually asked our local man to take the electricity cable from that light beige plastic thingy up to the barn; it must have been about two years ago! We have heard an awful lot of excuses since then. 

French regulations insist that the cables are capable of taking 2 million volts, could be used to lift a 10 tonne lorry, and must be surrounded by a hefty plastic 'conduit' that could stand the weight of five elephants. All this must be buried at least a metre deep; two metres to be safe. 

Anyway, the guys arrived yesterday afternoon. One started digging with a mini-digger, then when he hit rock continued with the bloody JCB.

So now that we have buried cable, I wonder how long it'll be before the cable gets taken through the barn wall and the sparks begin to flow. Don't hold your breaths.

p.s. The little round bit, on the light beige plastic thingy, is for 'meter reading'. The man comes along, points his zapper at the circle, and bingo. Maybe they're like that everywhere now; I have no idea!.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Damaged finger.

Since Lady Magnon presented me with this ring (above), it has not been off my finger.

The ring itself is based on a symbol that I have left (carved or otherwise) in every home I've owned.

Recently the skin underneath the ring has started to itch, and today I could no longer stand it. It's now gone very red.

As you might be able to see (second finger from right), the skin has become irritated by something, and I shall not be replacing the ring until it has completely healed up. A few days maybe.

Below is the symbol in our current home. If you should find something similar in your own home... it might well have once been owned by Cro.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Apple growing in England.


We've all heard about Kent apple growers grubbing-up their orchards. In fact between 1985 and today, land devoted to England's EATING-apple-growing has reduced from 13,000 hectares to just 5,000.

By contrast, the amount of land devoted to the growing of CIDER apples, during the same period, has increased from 4,000 hectares to 7,000.

So what does this say about apple growing in England? The simple, and most obvious, answer is that the healing qualities of the 'apple a day keeping the doctor away' has largely been exchanged for an increased consumption of alcohol.

I have nothing against people drinking alcoholic drinks (I myself do my bit to preserve our French vineyards), but the decline in home-grown fruit means huge imports of (usually) tasteless apples.

Would it be cynical of me to suggest that the government also makes a lot more money from the tax on alcohol, than it ever would on the sale of fruit?

I feel a 'conspiracy theory' approaching.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

M and M (for which I apologise in advance).

7.15am. Mists.

And Mellow Fruits.

Keats had it right!

Friday, 12 September 2014

For Quince Tree owners only!

Just a thought, but I can almost imagine this 'dish' having had its place in the medieval kitchen.

Fry thin slivers of Quince in oil and butter until softened, sprinkle with a little sugar and ground cinnamon, and serve with either cream/yoghurt/fromage frais etc.

It may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it uses up a few more of those wretched Quinces, and it tastes pretty good too. Enough reason to try it methinks.

I'll have a go at anything to save all those beautiful fruits from going on the compost.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The UK's New Flag.

I've been busy painting out all the blue bits on our Union Flags, in anticipation of Scotland finally going her own way.

England has generously bailed-out Scotland for the last few hundred years (currently to the tune of £17.6 billion annually), and yon wee caber-tossers are now stumbling towards an uncertain, un-bankrolled, financial future. Hopefully she will be able to stand on her own two feet for a while without having to run cap-in-hand to the IMF, but who knows!.

I do pity an independent Scotland. They would have to apply to join the EU, and if accepted would be obliged to adopt the wretched Euro as their currency; as all new members are obliged to do. As temporary non-EU members, they would also no longer have right of abode in other EU countries. What a prospect!

I find it all very amusing. It's a bit like watching kilted Lemmings teetering on a precipice.

Och aye the noo Jimmy. Vote YES (I can't stop laughing).

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