Playing catch-up

Outside of family, there are three people I love above all others; two of them are out of the country at the moment, but I’ve spent the last couple of days with the third, so have been bathing in the feelgood factor. Also had two guests of whom I’m very fond, Mrs Chalk and Mr Cheese, but the closest and most together couple you are likely to find. So all in all, a very pleasant and pleasing week, if rather hectic. Having guests at the same time as trying to cater to a menagerie whose demands run from 7.30 am until 10.00 pm, and who can generally be relied upon to cause havoc to a greater or lesser degree most days, does take it out of a girl. 🙂

It has therefore been several days since I blogged anything, and even longer since I visited my favourites, so I’ve just done a quick scan to see what’s been going on in the lives of some of my fellow bloggers.

Starting with Screamish and her enormous, shiny tummy. Anytime very, very soon, she’s going to notice a stork flying by the window. Simultaneously the tummy is going to vanish, and she’s going to find two little babies under the nearest cabbage. So good luck, Screamish. Will look forward to catching up with you if you ever get time to blog again. 🙂

Jon, over at The Vendee Blog discusses how to get across to the other side of the Channel when the Chunnel service is temporarily restricted due to the fire, and the low-cost airlines are cutting back, leaving the passenger ferries to come into their own. The ferry has always been my preference, and each time I’m aboard, especially is there’s a slight swell on the water, and if I close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears, I can almost imagine myself once again as a small child, when travel was still romantic, and I enjoyed the magic of the sea voyage from England to Kenya, from the bumpy Bay of Biscay, through the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, Red Sea, and into the Indian ocean. Dieppe to Newhaven isn’t quite the same, but it still has a little more romance about it than either train or plane.

At La Vie en Foussais the lively Barley family are as usual all over the place and up to everything, a real bunch of live-wires. On their visit to La Rochelle they came across the same splendid sand dragon that I saw a couple of months ago:

Mya seems to be slowly recovering from her recent and terrifying abduction by aliens, and is now worrying ahead to the time when her son will want a motorbike. He’s five.

Kylee at Bijoux and Banter is not only creating ever more beautiful jewellery, but trying to keep up with Manon Lily who is learning to walk.

A bracelet from Kylee’s Lily series of silver and polymer clay jewellery.

A mysterious plant appeared unannounced at La Vie en Rose: and Sue, her big hat, and spouse are off to England.

Deep down in La France Profonde, I think any mother will be moved by Betty’s recent post about her youngest daughter.

German being one of the many languages I don’t understand, I have no idea what’s happening in Netty’s life, but from the amount of posts on her blog, it looks as if she’s making a good recovery from her kidney transplant – the kidney having been donated by her husband.

Ladies, if you haven’t yet found Second Cherry you are missing a treat. Trish really does know what she’s talking about when it comes to fashion, health, home-making, lifestyle, in fact any kind of women’s issues.

Cat lovers can always find a helping of feline delight at the oddly-named but massively popular http://icanhascheezburger.com/

Gourmets and gluttons alike must visit François-Xavier’s site at http://fxcuisine.com/. FX is a foodie sans pareil, and his site deservedly attracts 150,000 visitors every month. All his recipes are superbly photographed step-by-step, and you can smell and taste the finished result. FX writes with humour and passion, and features cuisines from all over the world. His most recent article is on the world’s most expensive jam, red currant, from Bar-le-Duc, where each red currant HAS ITS SEEDS GOUGED OUT WITH A GOOSE QUILL. 😯 Imagine doing that for a living. If you enjoy cooking, eating, or simply reading about food, do have a look at the site.

Brennig Jones is bravely fighting off a potentially fatal attack of flu. Or maybe he just has a cold. One can never tell with men.

Well, that just about wraps things up for now. I’ll be away on hols. next week, so when I get back there will be a whole load more catching up to do, and who knows what will have happened to all my blogging pals in the interim? One thing I’m pretty certain about is that Screamish will be three people, instead of just one, especially if she resorts to the Italian Method. 🙂

Sancho and Don Quixote

Meet Sancho and Don Quixote, two Spanish greyhounds (galgos) rescued from long-term ritual cruelty in Spain, and hoping to find permanent loving homes.

Sancho’s lumps, bumps and scars are testaments to the numerous war wounds he acquired from Spanish gypsies.

Don Quixote is about 7 years old, and very playful.

Both dogs are loving – despite years of abuse by man – and undemanding, although they do enjoy short walks.  They would not be suitable in homes where there are either children or cats, but get on well with other dogs, both bitches and non-aggressive males.

Sancho and Don Quixote are in long-term foster care in a very loving environment in south-west France, but would love to find a family and home of their very own.

Anybody who would be interested in learning more about them can leave me a comment with their contact details, which will be forwarded to the foster mummy.

Thank to the efforts of animal welfare groups throughout Europe, many galgos are being rehomed all over the world, including in the United States. To learn more about these gentle and elegant dogs and those who work so hard to help them, this is a good site: http://progalgoenglish.wordpress.com/

Beryl Brennan’s Galgo News blog provides the latest stories on what’s happening in the world of the galgos.

Rewards

I don’t know about you, but when I categorise people I sort them into two types: “Givers – positive people” and “Takers – negative people”. Colour, gender or social status don’t interest me.

One of my special friends is a lady is going through a very difficult time emotionally and financially. As well as her children and family pets, she provides shelter, food and love for a number of abandoned and abused dogs which she is fostering. Being a Giver, she copes by simply taking on more work than one person should be able to manage, and continues providing the love and care that is asked of her by those around her. Although she would deny it, she is a very remarkable person, not only stunning to look at, but with the most outstanding bosoms this side of Dolly Parton, and if she reads this, she’ll recognise herself.

Joanna, this rose is just for you

As well as her spirit, I love her sense of humour. Today, she sends me a lesson in female multiplication:

Whatever you give a woman, she’s going to multiply.

If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.

If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home.

If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal.

If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.’

So – if you give her crap, you will receive more shit than any one human being can handle.

🙂

One last thing: if you have room in your heart and hearth for two elderly Spanish greyhounds, currently fostered by Joanna, they may just be prepared to surrender their place on her sofa to come and fill your life with love and joy. Leave a comment if you would like more information about Sancho and Quixote.

Double treat

The postman has recently been delivering mainly envelopes with window panes in them, but today none of those. Instead, great excitement! A large manila envelope, and a compact little jiffy bag.

In the manila envelope was a signed colour photograph of Andrew Johnston, the young boy with the sublime voice from “Britain’s Got Talent”. I wrote to him a while ago congratulating him and saying how much pleasure he had given to millions of people, and he enclosed a charming hand-written letter of thanks (not many people seem to bother these days), and saying that his record “One Voice” will be released on 29th September.

And for anybody who hasn’t seen this before – or even if you have, here’s another chance. And no goosebumps, no shivering, and no tears, please. 🙂

So Andrew’s photo and letter were the first treat, but what was in the jiffy bag?

Lo and behold, The Meaning of Liff, a present from lovely new neighbours Richard and Linda, and described by them as “the antidote to daily merde.” From my first exploration of a random page, I learn the meaning of “Low Eggborough”. A noun: a quiet little unregarded man in glasses who is building a new kind of atomic bomb in his garden shed.

It crosses my mind that there could be an opening for a Low Eggborough at CERN if their particle collider amounts to nothing. 🙂

Thank you Andrew, and thank you Linda and Richard. Happy Friday to you.

Bad manners

The particles haven’t blown away this part of the world yet, so I thought I’d put in a grumble. (How big are these particles? Are they visible to the naked eye? If not, how does anybody know they exist? It isn’t all an elaborate hoax, is it? Like the Emperor’s new clothes?)

Monday evening saw the official opening of La Grande Galerie in Civray. This was a very classy event, believe me.  Champers and really excellent canapés, an opera singer, and the sun shone upon us – a small miracle as both the previous day and the following day it rained almost continually.

Two local dignitaries made speeches in French, which were then translated into English for the benefit of  British guests. As French inaugural speeches go, they were mercifully brief, and ended with a gentle suggestion that as the British were now in such numbers and contributing in so many ways to local life, it would be a good idea if some more among them made an attempt to learn a little French.

What shocked me, and many other guests, was that during these speeches a small group of people talked and laughed so loudly that the speaker became inaudible. There was much “sssshhhhing” and glaring, which seemed to have little effect on the noisy group, at least one of whom was an exhibiting artist. Possibly it was caused by an overdose of bubbles, but really ……. it was so embarrassing.

It reminded me of a concert at Leeds Castle many years ago, when we went to see Pavarotti, and where during the entire performance a drunken group of Henriettas and Digbys shrieked and gibbered. If the great man had walked off the stage, nobody would have been surprised. Thankfully he was able to rise above the morons and ignore them.

La Grande Galerie was officially declared open by a heroine of the Civraisien Résistance, 85-year-old Odette Gaucher-Meunier (whose married name is Odette Pantaléon), who cut the ribbon. An account of her daring wartime actions, in French, can be found here.

Odette Gaucher-Meunier (Madame Pantaléon)