Thursday, 20 January 2011


I took part last night in the first round of the Quimper chess tournament! I never cease to amaze you, do I?!! I haven't played chess for at least fifteen years, so I've spent the last few days practising non-stop against my computer to try to look credible at least. In fear and trepidation I took myself down to the CafĂ© des Arts beside the river in Quimper, and was the first to arrive, of course, as usual.  And anyway, to cut a long story short, best of three games,

da-da-daaaa... (that's a trumpet blowing)

I won the first two and so am through to the next round. But destiny has it that I'm playing next against last year's champion, who will certainly not take long to make me look ridiculous.  However, I rediscovered the pleasure of playing chess, and since the club meets regularly, I shall go and try to improve.

My English speaking pub meeting has been cancelled, or rather put forward to next week when I am not free to attend, so too bad, I'll speak English another time. That at least no one can do better than me. No one here that is.

It is lovely and sunny. But very cold again. Ellie has recovered completely and we have started taking walks again. She is having the bandage and her stitches removed tomorrow. The bandage has not bothered her in the least. She doesn't seem to notice it. But I think she will when they try to take it off her, it'll remove all the hair round her middle...

Basket day tomorrow. Last week we had a bag of split peas. I made some lovely soup, and had it... with a poached egg on top, really good!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Well, Ellie is 20grs lighter today and feeling very sorry for herself! I picked her up yesterday evening, all groggy, having been told by the vet that on no account was she to wet her bandage... well the grass in my garden is high and Ellie is low, and it's raining. So I had the brilliant idea of making a pile of leaves on my front terrace, where there are no steps for her to negotiate, since she won't pee on concrete or tile or anything hard. And it worked! She didn't realise that her back end was off the leaves even though her head and fore feet were over them. So for the time being we can keep that bandage dry, but she has to keep it for ten days and I wonder whether we shall manage it for long!

I have tentatively joined a group in Quimper who meet up in a pub from time to time and speak English. They are not English speakers, and they will probably be very surprised to find that I am. And speaking of English lessons, I found this YouTube video of a famous French comedian, Elie Kakou, now "passed on" as the Americans would say, which I find very funny - I hope you have the same sense of humour as me, but it is very French humour. I saw him once live in Châteaudun, and although he was already very ill, he really gave us our money's worth.
Funny that all the really good French comedians die... young. Coluche, Thierry Le Luron, Elie Kakou. The ones that are left are not in the same league at all.

Monday, 10 January 2011


But together with Ellie and Youpee, I do wish you a very happy 2011.  Ellie is starting the year with an operation - she's being spayed tomorrow, which will mean us staying in and taking things gently for a few days.

So we've been exercising a bit more this week. Not today, it's pouring with rain, but we went yesterday and the day before too, very wintery, not cold, but grey and foggy. The sea was very heavy, the heaviest I've ever seen it (which is not saying much, I usually don't go out in nasty weather), though there was little wind. Although it was low tide, a strange freak wave came a good 50 metres up the beach and surprised us.

I undid my Christmas tree yesterday afternoon. The place I bought it from gives a 7€50 voucher if I bring it back this week.  There's something very sad and anticlimactic about taking all the decorations down. When you put them up, you are usually expecting family or friends, taking them down means it's all over and everyone has gone home. Back to normal.

Nicholas took quite a nice picture of me the other day on top of the Montagne St Michel in the snow, it's rare that I put pictures of myself on this blog, but here it is:

and a closer up version:

I bought a couple of amaryllis before Christmas, one just opened the day Nicholas left, now they are both out and look lovely.

And last but not least, because I wore holes in my slipper socks by wearing them over shoes so as not to slip on the ice when it was very cold, I had to knit myself a new indoor pair. Here they are.