Good Morning Mr Lithter

Posted by on November 19, 2013

Round Robin October 2013.

A lisp, roof installation, massive explosion, the post box and more.

Bonjour All,

Good Morning Mr Lithter, my name is Tether Lancathire, I am your thpeech and language therapitht!

“Sorry?”Said Mr Lister

Tess repeats the whole sentence once again, with the slightest hint of a dribble!

“Goodness, I thought it was me who had had the stroke, not my speech and language therapist, I can speak better than you can!”

Poor TJ, having had a dental device in hope of making room for her larger than life molars (that’s her father’s genes) she has developed a terrible lisp, not good for a S.L.T!

Never mind Tess, it’s only in for 6months, and then you will still have to have the wisdom teeth out like the rest of us oldies!


Jean Pierre, our good Belgium friend, and golfing partner, is recovering well from his C.A.B.G. (coronary arterial bypass graft), so much so that after a week in the specialist heart hospital near Nice, followed by just two weeks rehabilitation (not four) in a lovely purpose built chateau in the beautiful Var countryside, Jean Pierre is bored and has asked (actually told) the doctors, physio’s and nurses that he has had quite enough exercise from the physioterrorists, and wants to go home.

So, JS, Tiny (JP’s wife) and I are summoned to collect this impatient patient. It’s a beautiful day; I am wearing the usual, far too short shorts for a sixty year old, and Tasha’s T shirt (it’s nice and small and tight, so it lifts and definitely improves the overall effect of the chest! One has to try anything these days to try and deprive gravity! ) I arrive first in reception, where JP is already packed and stomping at the bit, a big kiss on the lips, a hug, then I am introduced to this enormous hairy woman (I think she is a woman!)

“This is my Physio Vanessa,

(My, God, no wonder you want to leave)

He then introduces me as his private domiciliary physio, who is to take daily care of him!

“Really???” says the he/she from Colditz! “No wonder you have had a heart problem!”

Since then, JP has played golf, walks 10 miles a day, exercises every morning, and has completed a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle. He has never been so fit, and I have never been so exhausted!


Our friends Colin and Val continue to create wonderful true stories for my R.R.

This time, JS and Olif were involved; extra hands were needed to connect a combi boiler to the hot water system to avoid using the electricity meter on a Red Day (The most expensive EDF days, ten times more expensive than blue days the cheapest days).
22 days are chosen by EDF during October through to February, normally when it’s absolutely freezing, and they hope to kill off a few of the expat O.A.P’s. However, we are seriously more intelligent and ingenious than our native friends in saving precious KWh’s during such times. So then we can spend this money on visits to our home country, buy proper English cheddar, marmite, ginger biscuits, Asda knickers, M&S take-aways and the occasional Caribbean holidays, understandable really!

So we arrive at the Crawford house, Val greets us with an excellent frothy cappuccino, and says she has lost Colin. After some shouting we locate him high up on top of the roof dressed in, I can only describe  as a Guantanamo Bay bright orange onesie! .”Had no idea he had been an inmate there, best not to say anything” said JS.

JS, who is not good at heights, suggests I go up first and join Colin, and he would act as the runner, collecting the tools as and when required!

“Come on up, I need your hands!” Shouts Guatemala boy.

Our Colin is wedged between two rafters, stuck I think, I don’t mention the obvious, but just offer my help.

Lying prone across the roof, trying to adjust the tits between the roof tiles, (in Provence the roof tiles are those gorgeous full semi circular ones, the tiles not my tits!)  Holding the soldering iron in one hand and Colin with his 16mm pipe! I heat it gently and he bends it. Boss white is used for the compression fitting, flux attached, V shaped pipe successfully formed, now we need JS to hold it all for the insertion into the existing piping.  After some encouragement from Colin, a push upwards on the bottom by Val, we have JS on the roof.

Not good…..gentle panic sets in, JS hangs on for dear life to the ex-prisoner from Guatemala bay, I can feel my tits losing their hold, Colin has his hands full with the piping and JS is staring blankly into space, white as a sheet.

Now, our Colin regularly instructs hugely successful companies on methods of improving their profits, and organizing their staff to work as efficiently as possible, now we have the scenario, on top of a roof, one worker has her anatomy stuck, and the other is frozen with fear.

“Anyone for homemade chocolate cake up there?” Shouts Val.

“We have a particularly critical state of affairs at the moment darling” shouts Colin, “we may need the Pompiers any minute now, not chocolate cake!”

“OK, I’ll save the cake for the Pompiers!” says Val

Calmly, and with directiveness, Col glides on top of JS, holds him gently by the hips, and attempts to guide him towards the ladder. Meanwhile, I have a fit of the giggles. Terribly difficult not to actually, completely inappropriate I know, JS gets really mad, Col who has the same sad sense of humour as me, also starts to laugh, then, thankfully JS starts to laugh.

Almost as quickly as the panic situation developed, it was resolved. All three of us finished the job, replaced the tiles, a successful mornings work by the over 60’s, and “up yours E.D.F.!”


Apart from her lisp, Tess is a very happy newly married lady, especially when Keith asks her to go for a drink in their local pub and as she parks her car next to a brand new Mercedes convertible, complains to Keith that her small fiesta looks a little sad against this beast, and with one click of his right hand, the lights flashed on the beast and he said it was all hers!! How romantic is that!

I did mention it was his mother in laws birthday this last week as well, so fingers crossed.


JS has just finished making the Christmas pudding, and regularly feeds both him and the pudding with copious amounts of whiskey.


Tash and Franklin are blissfully happy, who wouldn’t be if you man looked like a beautifully toned 007. Tash has applied to work for a prestigious vineyard near St Maxim. She would be responsible for the sales department to market their wine to top restaurants on the Cote d’Azure, (and Js and Olif!) and deal with their American customers, the MD only too pleased to have an English lady on their force. So we will see.


In September we had an English tea party at St Blaise, all was going well until the rain came and inside we went. However, as you are all aware, St Blaise is situated 450 metres up from sea level, and often the first to be struck by lightning. Just as JS was amusing 14month old William with a marigold glove on his hand, the loudest explosion ever went off just beyond the patio, William’s eyes nearly came out of his head and will no doubt have a lifetime’s phobia of rubber gloves.

A lightning bolt had hit the forage (our equivalent to a well). It’s a deep bore hole over 100 metres long dipping at the end into an underground stream and our only method of receiving water, we have no mains water). This bolt managed to zip through our entire electrical system in one hit. Totally dysfunctioning St Blaise. Frightening, but no fires, and our man Col got us up and running as far as the water and house lights were concerned. Obviously working through the night, I did leave him a small sherry and some homemade shortbread, whilst JS and I slept peacefully knowing all our problems were being resolved.

After two months, we are almost sorted with the insurance company, but all thanks go to our friends and neighbours for their support and perseverance, but a big kiss definitely goes to Luc, our insurance man, who has battled endlessly for us with AVIVA, and with fingers crossed, and the same bolt never hits us again, we will survive up here on top of the hill!


We were taken up in a Cessna 182 RG by our rich neighbours. A magnificent experience. The plane is based at Cannes Mandelieu, so we took off for an hour or so into the bluest of skies, circled St Blaise, St Endreol golf course and St Tropez. My Dad used to take me up in his Tiger Moth from Halfpenny Green, until he got a little excited one day, into his Dam Busters days, and tried to see how low he could fly it over the Staffordshire hedges, until he missed one and ended up upside down in a field full of cows!! Those magnificent men in their flying machines that was my Dad for you.


JS and I were asked recently to retrieve a letter from a letter box without the assistance of a key! In France, we have those metal boxes on long metal sticks, which are usually embedded in concrete. “No trouble “says JS, armed himself with a long piece of wire, with a bend in the end and poked it through the letterbox hole. Successfully managed to slide it towards the gap in the bottom of the box. “Grab hold of it Nessie”. I got the fingers in, nearly there, and then the gap closed up, with my fingers in the box! Meanwhile, the German neighbours passed by in their Audi, and stopped and stared. “Leave this to me Nessie; I can speak a smattering of the old German lingo.”

How is he going to explain why my hand is in someone else’s letterbox, thankfully not theirs! Both bruised fingers and letter are finally released, but the Germans are not amused.


We went to the UK for a couple of weeks to give the Discovery her usual yearly maintenance check, Olif’s session with Mr J. a teeth inspection, and finally a quick sight test! All of which can be done in France, but, it’s a very substandard car maintenance, the French hate dentists so a good one is hard to find. Could get Mr come and stay with me here (wow, what a thought!), and to book an eye test with as qualified optician as Dolland and Aitchinson can take six months to book!!!

En route to the UK, we visited Chateauneuf du Pape, stayed the night at Nuit St George, and bought loads of wine. Magnificent scenery and well worth any of you to do the same trip, far more exciting than flying to Nice, B.A. only serve a measly 18ml bottle of wine on board, we had almost 100 in our boot, along with my birthday present from Joe and Val, top of the range Screw fix bottle opener, what more could a girl ask for?

Golf at Edg, Mosley and Olton, the necessary curry, Chinese, fish and chips and a whistle stop M&S visit, you guys would be positively amazed how much a determined Olif can spend in 30minutes, just  don’t tell JS.


Monday evening was spent in Frejus accident and emergency unit, all resolved now but poor JS was in his nightmare situation. He took over from me at midnight to calm and support the patient, but I am not sure if you are all aware but this veterinary surgeon cannot stand the sight of human blood, in fact anything medical to do with humans. He fainted when Tash was born and had to be dragged out by Joe to recover! So picture this. A very active A&E, the largest hospital in the Var, night time, and in they come. Drug addicts, fractured limbs, bleeding wounds, and finally a man lying on a stretcher prone, holding his bottom! JS covers his eyes most of the time, but then asks his patient what that particular person is admitted for? Sadistic or what.

Finally he has to take a break and sits in the visitor’s waiting room, desperately in need of a whiskey. His prayers are answered, in tumbles a particular smelly tramp, whiskey bottle in hand, who promptly switches all the lights off, and settles down for the night in front of JS, as though he didn’t exist! Desperate as JS was, a swig from this characters whiskey was just a stage too far! John had no choice but to return to the active hell inside.
Knowing a short cut around the garden, rather than facing the fierce reception lady, he managed to lock himself out of the hospital, but in the enclosed garden. Ring Tash, she knows this place backwards, get her to ring and tell them to release him! Tash obeys, at 4am in the morning and the same fierce reception lady unlocks the door finally and mutters something very unpleasant under her breath, which did include les anglais!!
Back in A&E, The scene had much improved, the druggy was demanding a “fix”, the open bleeding wounds were bandaged up, and the man lying prone had taken his knickers off and was wandering around the ward seemingly unaware of his appearance.

Thankfully, JS’s charge was well enough to go home, so he collected the medication, said au revoir to the tramp, and whisked her back to the car.


Finally, on a lighter note, a few witty quotes from Gyles Brandreth.

If you give up drink and sex, you don’t live longer. It just seems longer-Clement Freud.

Being president is like running a cemetery, you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening- Bill Clinton.

An atheist is a man who has no visible means of support- novelist John Buchan.

The transition from Who’s Who to who’s he-former bank of England governor Eddie George on retirement.


So love to all. Olif. xxxxxxxxxxxxx


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