Quietly sitting on the loo, contemplating on the problems of the world, and 3 across, 7 letters and no clues. When JS shouts ”Don’t do anything and don’t flush the loo!”
“Too late” I shout. After a long silence, JS appears covered in I can only describe as totally undesirable!!!!!! Apparently, he was inspecting the “casse” septic tank. When whoosh, his dearly beloved shot past him (materialistically that is!)
It’s been a bad week here at St Blaise, the pool is leaking, the septic tank is broken and Tash has got a spot on her chin….then we had mice!!!
Gill and I thought it high time we tackled the garage, removed some of JS’s redundant garden equipment down to the skip before he woke up.
Sweeping away in the farthest corner I obviously disturbed a complete generation of mice also having a Sunday lie in. I screamed, Gilly screamed. Hudson (the adopted spaniel) decided to take over and herded the entire family in my direction. I looked as though I was auditioning for River dance, Hudson had a chance of catching one of a hundred mice and failed and Gilly went to wake JS!!!
“They are only field mice” explained JS from a discreet distance!
The cooker has broken down as well (you might as well get it all now!) so my mate Chantal arranges for End Zwickert (now there’s a good honest French name!) to seek us out and give us his diagnosis. After complaining bitterly about the 2km dirt track that he had trumbled up to locate us, the damage to the tyres of his white van, the condition of our oven, and when asked by JS if he knew what was wrong he told him that any fool would know it was the thermostat and if we thought he was coming up here again to fit a new one we would be very much mistaken.
We are still giving English conversation classes to the French swots at the college, and Richard Patching came to support me whilst JS was in the UK broadcasting on saga radio! Informing the listeners what good pets mice make. Richard decided to explain the finer art of cricket in English of course, to the eager 13 year old boys. Except that he thought a practical lesson was far more fun! I bowled, Patching batted, Pierre missed the ball but the window did’nt. It was tremendously good fun though!
Our great friends Pip and June came to see us for a few days. Having only just settled in when along came the Vindange Fosse Septique (a huge tank which sucks up the contents!) and only minutes after they left, along came Dennis to fill our water tanks! Pip did mention that the two tanks looked remarkably similar to each other and he hoped that they had at least filtered the septic tank contents before putting it back into his shower.
When JS and Michel built our terrace last year we planted a new olive tree to mark this historic, or rather astronomically expensive occasion. Well it has never thrived, despite advice from every French electrician, plumber mason etc. ”Cut the lower branches, feed it, cut the top branches, talk to it!” despite all this expert local advice, we decided to bin it and buy a new fitter looking specimen. Now every time the same artisans arrive they take one look at the olive tree and say ”There. I told you if you did as I advised she would blossom forth!”
Bought a flat pack chest of draws the other day. Always cheap to buy, impossible to erect and minus the critical screw. AND INSTRUCTIONS IN FRENCH. Luigi to the rescue. One hour later, no swearing, found the missing screw he had done the job. I love this chap. He can cook as well; I don’t suppose he wants to marry me instead of Tash!
Last swim of the season in the Med. at Frejus last weekend. Gilly decided to swim to the farthest buoy, good exercise she is always telling me. However JS thought he would accompany her, he didn’t need the exercise of course! But felt he should be near his sister just in case she got into trouble. You guessed it, after demonstrating his “old English backstroke” to Gill, he promptly gets cramp and has to be rescued by two Germans, who he insisted on telling them that his great uncle was Albert Speer the right hand man of Hitler! ” I knew they wouldn’ try and drown me then Nessie!”
When last in the UK JS bought an Ipod, and downloaded hours and hours of classical music and various popular (for 61 year olds!) artists. Extremely pleased with himself we set off to Nice on an airport run and he sets it all up for me to listen to Beethoven’s 5th. I do my dutiful bit ”oh,how clever you are darling” and all that rubbish! When, on full volume, out comes Beethoven’s 5th in heavy rap! Tash had inadvertently removed all JS’s recordings when she was trying to download her music, then panicked, stayed up all night rerecording what she thought was classical stuff!
The hunters are back, sangliar dobe for supper tonight. Have you ever seen a piece of sangliar? Well it is looks quite disgusting. It has to be the hairiest leg I have ever seen; no amount of waxing would remove this lot! It smells and has to be put in the freezer for several weeks to kill the bacteria and tenderize the fibres. Then, after all this preparation you have to casserole it for the entire day in red wine(what a waste)and finally you can eat it, along with a good Beaujolais, strong teeth and some antibiotics!
Sol technique arrived to create an enormous mess in and outside the house for a week. Actually they came to repair our fissures on the outside walls and try and resolve the inside cracks. We have waited three years for their arrival, not bad really in these parts. Well, the outside of the house now looks like abstract art, and has to remain like this for a year to see if the fissures get any bigger, and when they attempted to repair the inside wall, the whole wall fell in and they said it wasn’t their fault! (I told you it was a bad week!)
Finally, I was tidying up after this lot in my usual attire, bikini bottoms, cursing sol technique, when the Jehovah witnesses arrived to offer some godly advice, but when faced with me topless and swearing badly, wondered if they should come back another day!
We had two pairs of golden eagles flying high in the sky this last week, with a wing span of 6feet, a magnificent golden chest, and a rare site, this made up for all the problems,
However, you will be pleased to know that End Zwickert is to deliver our thermostat, the insurance will pay for the wall, the septic tank needs a new pipe and JS hasn’t died yet after eating the sangliar!The one question that does remain, will Tash’s spot disappear before she see’s Luigi???
And by the way my spot has gone, and I am going to marry Luigi not you mum.
All my Love OLIF xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Buzz. You are going to do the catering for July 7th aren’t you darrrrrrling?
Pip and June. So lovely to see you but far too short a time, mind you it was probably good timing considering the septic tank problems! How about Thursday oct.26th for coffee and ginger cake?
Joe. Did Val allow you a nibble of the violet white chocolate?
Cad. Are you ever coming over to see your best mate?
TJ.LOVE YOU xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Rinku. Love you tooooooooo
Janet. Can’t wait to see you, it will be like our holiday in the canaries? Non stop chatting, eating.and no phone calls to JS or watching those other strange lot trying to watch the cabaret (remember?)
Les. A BIG KISS xxxxx
Em Ges and Ozzie. Ok, enough is enough, Hudson has now rolled in the.………!
Mary. Lovely letter, and have a good holiday in Brixham
Mummy. The peg bags are holding up magnificently
Anna. Charlie, Hugo and Narla are missing you both.xxxx
July 7th 2007. BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS NOW.