A marriage and babies

Posted by on June 8, 2016

May 2016

Bonjour mes amies.

A marriage, babies, the spa, chickens, a veterinary reunion. A busy 2016!

Apologies to all for such a long delay since the last round robin, but one has had a rather busy few months, what with holidays, engagements, pregnancies and finding it harder to keep fit, mind you cutting French baguettes everyday beats any personal trainer, the right triceps and biceps look like Popeye the sailor man!




At long last I can reveal to all, except Facebook, who already found out a week or so ago, that I shall officially be a grandma in about a month, not to one, but two!!!

A boy and a girl, how clever is that?

Keith and Tess are expecting twins late June or so, and as with all babies, we are not certain who and when will arrive first, all I can say that with a waist measurement of 48 inches, and the bits above waist level better than any page three girl, she is quite a sight.

She has regular visits to the women’s Hospital in Birmingham, almost daily international calls from Mum and JS, and as expected is advised, comforted, calmed and reassured by our man in Edg; who else but Joe.

Keith has had to give up his Range Rover to the ever expanding whale, and now has to drive around in his companies’ white van!!

Designer Baby clothes are arriving from Monaco.

The latest ultra-efficient and naturally chic state of the art machines that can sterilize, mix the feed and warm to the perfect temperature in seconds, and even a device that can be pre-set, to rock your darlings to sleep in moments.

Gone are the days when JS would regularly tip boiling water over his hands at 2am in an attempt to make up a feed, try to calm Tash at night by taking her up welly road, or even ring Carole at any time of the day to sort out a nappy disaster!

All I can say to Keith and Tess is that I hope there is never a power cut!!


St Endreol Spa. 

A Christmas present from JS…

A month’s entry to the spa swimming pool.

Not sure if it’s a hint to get the body into shape, but very gratefully accepted.

The time for one’s daily visit must be very carefully judged; definitely miss the aqua gym, there are too many ladies trying to jam into a relatively small pool with some skinny super fit lycred pool trainer shouting commands in French as well, wouldn’t have a clue what to do!

Mondays are hell as it is a day off for most of France, and 5pm onwards all the exhausted golf players arrive to discuss their birdies, eagles and perhaps that hole in one, all monopolize the Jacuzzi.

So, if I arrive to do my lengths at midday, the pool is always empty, it’s the French lunchtime. Today, it was perfect for the first 20 lengths, then in came 2 ladies with their floats and swimwear that probably haven’t ever fitted, and start bouncing around doing their own gym class, this involves nattering to each other whilst remaining stationary in the middle of the pool with the odd spring into the air; this was closely followed by an elderly gentleman in his 1940’s minute black swim trunks, goggles, and a sort of breathing apparatus attached to his nose and mouth.

Honestly, we have boobs elevating out of the costumes on the “up” movement, goggled man enjoying the best view ever, and a fifth swimmer deciding to do the old fashioned back stroke diagonally across the pool (it wasn’t you Colin was it?) What we need here, is Tess plunging in with her 48inch waist and her fenders to clear the pool, of both water and swimmers.


Poulets /Chickens

Franklin and Tash decide to buy some chickens, house them where the donkeys and goats used to live, and then wait for the eggs to arrive.

The first 24-hour inspection reveals no eggs but no poulets! After a few desperate minutes JS notices them all up the tree!

“Bugger, I forgot to clip the wings” explains the Vet!

“Call them down Nessie and I will deal with the clipping!”

Call the chickens down from the tree, how do you suppose I do that? Tash had named them of course, so I reluctantly try to persuade Esmerelda, Georgina and Tess to come down from the tree! How ridiculous is this, why should they fly down, they are very happy where they are!

“Throw some food on the ground Ness”

Please, JS, do not let the neighbours hear me calling chickens down from a tree, they already think Les Anglais are mad, this will only confirm their suspicions! After what seems forever, the “girls” descend on the food and the vet’s assistant is then told to grab one at a time so his royal highness can give each one a grade 1 haircut.

Well, all I can say is that this early experience at St Blaise put the fear of God up their bottoms and no eggs appeared for about a month! The fox then ate all the girls!


Royal Veterinary College reunion

Whilst in London a few months ago to have a quick check up on JS’s SUNCT syndrome, we attended a veterinary reunion at the Royal Veterinary College at Potters Bar.

JS hates these affairs, never recognizes anyone, assumes most have died by now, (he qualified in 1966) and he will by far be the oldest vet there! However, one lady recognized him; and the college is quite spectacular. A top private London hospital couldn’t compete with the facilities here. In your next life folks, come back as an animal, live near Potters bar and have a very rich well insured owner!



The above came to visit us recently, a lovely name for a rather horrible job.

All French properties are having their Fosse septic’s checked for size and efficiency (it sounds like one of those ghastly poo tests we all have to do periodically!) The number of rooms, possible inhabitants and I suppose loo’s must all be relative to your septic tank, otherwise you don’t get your little red stamp on your form and a gigantic bill later arrives to replace your tank.

This is indeed a time to serve up a chocolate cake and a nice cup of earl grey to Monsieur SPANK, to charm the Government inspector and take his mind off the obvious! Whatever, it worked and our sewage is flushing away nicely down the track and far away! Poo test incidentally was NAD!


Pedigree dog

Not concerned by the fact that the fox got all the chickens, Tash and her fiancé Franklin, arrived one evening with Jackson.  “He’s a pedigree Mum, a Chihuahua”

“Really!” says a rather unbelieving vet.

“Small problem Mum though, he can’t sit down properly”

Straight to the point, JS tells her that not only is Jackson far from a pedigree, his testicles are too big relative to his size (is this a diagnosis?) “And they need to be whipped off!!!

He sits really well now! That’s Jackson not JS.



Johns Harmonica

JS was given a harmonica recently, a strange present but sadly one he absolutely adores. Once, when he was in short trousers and braces (holding the shorts up not the teeth back!), he attempted to play the flute, he loved it but his Mother told him to bin it and concentrate more on perfecting his chemistry experiments.

After far too many hours listening to the best blues, country and rock harmonica player, Little Walter playing, I can honestly say that if there is a talent there, we haven’t found it yet! So, it’s back to building his 00-gauge train set, with guidance and huge patience from Jean Pierre, who only wishes JS would return to his harmonica!


The Wedding

Tash Invite

Three months to go until the big day. Now, as you all know I do like to organize a party, but I have been well and truly demoted to, well I am not sure what actually. I was assuming I would be the director, choreographer, fashion designer, cuisine and wine expert, in other words the Wedding Organizer. Absolutely not, “Mum, you have enough to do” (I’m not doing anything Tash!). “Franklin and I have it all sorted” (I realize that!!).  “You just relax and enjoy life” I’m not that old yet!  So I am back to building walls, Annoying JS, AND other such mundane jobbies.



All fine, JS’s facial problem is now 100% controlled with lamotrigine, no side effects except a deafness when listening to his wife, and I’m continuing to apply every facial cream available to combat whatever may appear in the mirror the next day.

Had a little hiccup a month or so ago. A tick bit me on the forehead. I think it was a gruesome spider but the vet was convinced it had jumped from Jackson onto my head! (I bet he thought I was the one that did his castration, and it was payback time). This lump was spotted by Tess, who immediately buggered off as quickly as her gigantic tummy would allow, and her stepson Jordan took numerous photos of my bite on his new iPhone 6. He googled it and calmly told me that Lymes disease usually attacks the liver and that’s it! I thought it would be the alcohol that did this, not a tick! This problem took an age to go away, including a truly embarrassing moment when Tess decided to announce in front of my man Joe and HIS family, that Mum has a tick on her head!



So, all is relatively well south of the channel, the bats are back in the garage, along with tons of bat poo descending satisfyingly onto his 00 Hornby R1167, which only worked intermittingly, but not at all now!

The whole of May has been one big wind, not JS but the mistral ,lost the washing line, all of my knickers, no internet for a week, I was sure we saw Jackson sail past the roof at some stage and the forage has become prostatic .

JS’s baby gooseberries have been eaten by the sangliers, but he hasn’t noticed this yet, and we have another wine tasting tonight for the wedding; the champagne chilled ready to celebrate the arrival of the maltezers, and you lot think my stress level will rise!!

All my love  Olif. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


M&M. Time for some grammar correction Mike!! xxx

H,C,R,and J. thank you all so much for babysitting TJ whilst Grandma Tick is far away. Xx

JJ. your support is endless. Xxxxxx

Mathias. Be brave

Pepe.xxx 0091/2.  Magnificent work comrade in the last few years. Thank you. Xxx

TJ. Can I have the Range Rover when you get slim again?

Big man and Darling. We miss you but are really enjoying your Asda shopping run for the expats.


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