Monday, 14 December 2015

Working hard

I know.  I am terrible at updating my blog.  It is just that life keeps getting in the way and so I have no time to sit at the computer.

A short time after my last post I received an urgent request from someone I know to take over from her at her job.  After a lot of discussion and deliberation, I have taken it on and am now even more busy than before.  But you can't really knock back paid work when on offer can you.

So I spend my weekday mornings working in garden, looking after the poultry and cats and doing all the usual household tasks.  Then the afternoons are spent teaching english at a local school and tutoring kidlets in english.  We have had a good giggle thinking about the fact that there is going to be a whole generation of French children who grow up speaking english with an Australian accent.....

As it is more academic than what I was doing before, I need to prepare lesson plans and do a lot more prep work.  A lot of fun though and the kidlets are mostly really good.  A few challenges, but nothing I can't handle.

Guy is not coping well with my working afternoons.  He is such a stress boy and spends all the time I am away from home ripping his fur out.  He looks very moth eaten and scruffy.  Have tried everything to calm him down, but he is so attached to me that he can't cope with me being gone for any amount of time.  At least when working in the garden he can see me, but when I drive off he falls apart.

Eric.  Well he is his usual self and really doesn't care much so long as food bowl is full and he has a warm spot to sleep.

Poor Sophie is getting very old and starting to show her age.  I have a feeling she will not last the winter.  It will be sad, but at least the last few years of her life have been very comfortable and she has had a good quality of life with us. 

McKinnell is growing up and turning into a very handsome young cat.  He is starting to fill out and keep some weight on now, which is a good thing.  Still an absolute sook and cries for cuddles and attention, but with a lovely nature and personality.  A real talker too.  He loves to follow me around "helping" outside and meowling the whole time.

The hens are doing really well and all my chicks from this year are at the layer stage, so we have plenty of eggs.  Nougat still hates Garlic, some things never change.  Garlic is still my sooky boy and loves his cuddles, but is getting way too big to pick up for very long.  He is magnificent and much bigger than Nougat.  I keep telling Nougat to stop picking on Garlic.  Someday soon Garlic is going to realise he is the bigger rooster and put Nougat in his place.

My duckling is growing well.  Not big enough for Christmas dinner, so it will live a while longer.  It is best friends with the dwarf/legbar hen and they spend all their time together.  Really cute to watch them.

In september I visited a Chateau that is famous for its gardens with the garden club.  The Chateau de la Bourdaisière.  Absolutely fabulous!  Incredible gardens with all sorts of flowers, but specialising in tomatoes and dahlias.  We had the special lunch menu where everything was tomato based which was really good and very interesting.  You normally don't think of tomatoes as a dessert fruit, but the tomato sorbet we had was lovely.

I am loving the glossy black tomatoes, and am going to try and grow them next year.  Will also be trialling a new way of staking the plants.  They had them attached to tripods, which were much more sturdy than the single stake that most people use.  Shall see what happens next year.

The school I am working at is only 15minutes away, but most of the kids did not know me beforehand.  Now I am known by all of them, to the point of not being able to go anywhere without one of them coming up to me and trying to talk in english.  Cute, but some days you really want to remain  The stories I could tell after such a short time.... there are NO secrets when children are involved.  I should be writing them down so I can write a book afterwards.  The secret life of French families, or somesuch title.

All the staff are really nice and have been very welcoming and helpful.  I think I am very lucky to have such a lovely group of people to work with.  It really does make a huge difference.  We always have a nice chat and quite often a good laugh over something.  Helping my french enormously as well.

We are spending Christmas here this year.  Our roof is being replaced and work is due to start at any time after 25th december, so we need to be onsite ready.  It will be good to not have to worry when we get storms.  Normally we are frozen in place each time the wind gusts, waiting to hear the insidious drip drip of leaks, or the crack and clatter of another tile breaking/turning to dust - or mud during heavy rain.

Personally, I am fine with staying home and curling up in front of the fire with the cats and a good book.  I also have 2 really nice teas to enjoy, so I am quite content.

Speaking of books, my kindle has died.  I was devastated!  Mind you, as Wayne said, it has seen A LOT of use over the years that I have owned it.  It has also travelled all over and is probably more well travelled than most people.  Luckily all my books are archived so I can access them still on my new kindle.  After a month, I received a new one for my birthday which was wonderful.  It is already bulging with titles and getting a good workout.  Still trying to get used to the new way of using it though.  No buttons like the old one, just touch screen controls.  Sometimes I am wondering why it won't go to next page, only to realise that no matter how many times I press the side it won't work... you need to touch the screen. Sigh.


  1. Hello my dear! Lovely to read your update-you are busy indeed! Glad you're enjoying it so much. Hope both of you are doing well. We are! In january I will travel to San Francisco and the wine country and will finally meet up with Erin. That will be a lovely day! She told us you are the only one of the forums she actually met. Lovely, right, how we all kind-a keep in touch, even when it's just a little! I've had the chance to meet 'madame'Joan too in the mean time. Next time J.and I are in France we'll try again to come over for hugs and a tour of your beautiful place. In the mean time: cuddle to the pets, happy holidays and XO to mr W. and you!

  2. Thank you my dear. We are both well. Was thinking about you both yesterday whilst writing my Christmas cards..... very late for me! lol
    Erin is gorgeous! Please give her my love. Madame is wonderful. She is the life of any party! Have spent some fabulous hours with her.
    Look forward to seeing you next year!

  3. Debbie! You're pretty fantastic yourself! I have been lamenting our losing touch, until Mickey reminded me about your blog. Life has been crazy the last couple of years. We moved to the East Coast and back and moved magazines. I hope you are doing well. My email is still the same, and I'm on Facebook . . . which you should totally be. ;-) Take care and say hello to Wayne. XO

  4. How lovely to hear from you! Yes, I agree that life has been crazy last few years. Not on facebook, but will email during the school hols for a catch up.
    Love to you both and Barney

  5. I know, Facebook is the worst. I only stay on to stay connected to people who won't email (cue my best friend). Can't wait to hear from you! <3