Monday, June 16, 2008

Feel The Fear....

For the last 8 years my dogs and I have walked in the woods nearby. We pile in the car whatever the weather and try to get the heart pumping and the blood moving. In fact I was rather pleased to read that doctors are prescribing a stiff walk in amongst the greenery to help overcome mild depression...could have told them that..I always come home with spirits noticeably lighter..until recently that is..
A dog walker posted a warning on a local forum that her dog had gone rushing through the bushes and disturbed a wild boar. The boar not unnaturally irritated had gored the poor dog who survived but needed extensive surgery. Now, of course, I tread very lightly along the paths and shriek hysterically after the dogs should they stray from my side. In one rather dramatic incident I heard a rasping cough and sprinted, for the first time in many years, a brisk 100 metres. H. was a little bemused at first then rather taken aback to discover I was prepared to leave him to the mercy of the wildlife. That took a bit of smoothing over, I can tell you. And the noise? Never did find out but I intend to put bells on my dogs in future..

Friday, November 02, 2007

How Was it For You?

Summer, that is. While not wishing to sound smug ours is still ongoing with the temperatures in the twenties during the day. It cools down at dusk but that's all the better to snuggle down into the warmth of the duvet with a good book...

And how was it for me? Think 18 visitors since Easter. Can you imagine how many sheets, towels and bottles of red wine that represents? How many breakfasts, lunches on the terrace, walks along the seafront. How many hours spent reminiscing, chatting, laughing? Now try to imagine all the corners that never got swept or clearing up that wasn't done, cars that weren't you can guess what I've been doing since the end of September when we waved goodbye to our last visitor...yes, a huge spring clean.

And working too as in paid work!

No sooner had we packed son's bags and delivered him to university in England than I found a job doing some teaching. I've been searching for years for something like this and, lo, just when I needed it I found the perfect job; tailor made doesn't even come close to describing it. I'm doing 10 hours one to one and I've also managed to keep on my private pupils and I'm still running my adults conversation course in the village. I miss my boy dreadfully but between ourselves this is more satisfying intellectually than the school run. (Hush my mouth!)
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Hold

There's something about Spring that I can't resist; I spend my days in the garden centre and my weekends at rose shows and, to tell the truth, I'm more at home here than hobnobbing with the stars at Cannes though I was pretty sick at missing U2's free mini concert on the steps of the Palais des Festivals.

I'm putting my two blogs on hold now till the end of summer when I should be able to write and visit more regularly. I wish you a happy three months.. Be good!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dining with Elizabeth Taylor

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted but time flies particularly when the Film Festival's on.
This is Cannes on Thursday. H. and I went and had breakfast in one of those beach restaurants with all these cool, sophisticated media types wearing shades and talking rapidly into their mobile phones. I tried not to be too wide eyed about it all but there was a definite buzz, a sense of excitement in the air heightened by the motorcades of black limos speeding up and down the Croisette with the police sirens blaring..but, sadly, every one's got tinted windows. And this is all happening at 9 am.
Obviously the stars were also having their breakfasts because we didn't see anyone famous or at least we haven't yet so, failing that, let me boast about the time I dined with Elizabeth Taylor and Roger Moore...yes, really..
It was nearly 20 years ago and H. and I were out for dinner in Valbonne. My Parents in Law should have joined us but they'd exhausted themselves in Cannes alternately sun bathing and hoping to catch sight of someone famous which, of course they didn't.
Just as we were about to order the door of the restaurant opened and in walked Elizabeth Taylor.
Now, there are many, many lovely women on the Cote d'Azur: there are beautiful buildings, sights and views but I have never seen anything before or since, natural or man made that was as beautiful as she was. Her radiance filled the room. Truly. And there was no entourage, no hairdresser, no stylist, no flashing of cameras. Just her posed for a few seconds in the doorway followed by Roger Moore. She would have been in her 50s then, I guess, and if I had had that beauty I would have minded terribly when I lost it.
So better to be ordinary, average, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Can Do What I Ly-cra!

It's been a long time, I know, and the gaps between my posts seem to be getting longer. I've been even more distracted by Son's final exams and I find the more energy I expend elsewhere the less inspiration I have for this. Still...let's get started.

Interesting, isn't it, the impact of other people's choices on our lives. Take this cyclist, one of an ever growing army of lycra-clad, leisure cyclists who are taking to the roads here. It's an innocent enough pastime keeping fit, enjoying the view with, at the end, the exhilaration of a goal achieved and good luck to them, I say. Except that this guy's choice is about to have an impact on my blood pressure.
He's riding well enough, I grant you, nicely positioned but we're going ever sooooo slowly up a long, steep climb that winds up a road frequently used by big trucks heavily laden with stone from the quarries so, no, I'm not going to overtake. With a sign I slide the car into first gear and follow him ever sooooo slowly. The truck behind me isn't laden but even so is having difficulties and his metal grille fills my back window. He'd like me to overtake...
Somewhere behind him a queue is forming while the cyclist, legs pumping, lost in a different world remains oblivious to the frustration and the exhaust fumes( maybe not so good for the health, then.) As the horns start blaring a lesser man might have slid gracefully to the side and let his convoy go past but our hero is made of sterner stuff and perhaps gets a kick out of all this negative energy so he slogs onward and upward.
And then the guy behind the lorry, the one who's tired of living decides to go for it. I swear, my passenger swears more and I don't like to think what the cyclist did but it was a dramatic moment as, truthfully, anything could have come round that bend at speed, hill, remember, and there really was no room for error.
I'd like to say that the driver had the fright of his life but of course he didn't..he swept by and disappeared into the dust, the road straightened up and widened a little allowing us to file past while the cyclist struggled on.
I believe quite strongly that he was having such trouble getting up the hill he should have let us past: even slow drivers will pull over. French friends disagree citing all sorts of stuff about rights and liberty. So where do the cyclist's rights stop and mine start? I was, after all, the one the overtaker would have pulled into should there have been an approaching car?
Would you have pulled over?
Would you have overtaken?