Thursday, 30 April 2009


I've been chatting on Tweetdeck this morning, just finding out what's going on in the world apart from the dreaded Swine Flu. I've been suitably warned by a reliable source, and fellow Twitterer to watch out for a new flu virus going around in Twitterland. It's called "Wine Flu" and at the moment we are on Red wine alert. This of course means that there should be no sharing wine bottles, once opened finish it yourself, and no sharing glasses. Masks, however, are optional as you can't get the glass to your mouth...unless you prefer to use a straw in which case the mask is recommended.

Unlike the other flu, which is causing a near pandemic, Wine Flu sounds pretty good to me so, go on, get Tweeting and spread the wine around!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Meet my family. Actually it's not MY family, but it certainly acts as if it is...excuse the pun. Have you ever watched this sitcom? If not then you're missing out, it's hilarious.
I can relate to this particular family, and I'm sure there are a lot of parents who can. There are 5 members, parents, 2 sons and a daughter, exactly the same as in mine. It is especially apparent in the children. The eldest, Nick, ever the joker, funny, intelligent but not the sharpest tool in the box and, poor thing, always getting it wrong or putting his foot in it. Sounds just like our eldest. Then there's the daughter, Janie, snapping all the time, fashion conscious, not interested in school, shopping all week long if she could and boys, boys, boys...appearance is everything. Sounds like our daughter. And then there's n°2 son, Mikey, very smart, studious, witty, academic, level headed and knows all the answers. Sounds like our n°2 son. Watching this program allows me to sit back and watch everything I've been through already that day, or other days, and laugh about it, rather than pull my hair out. Don't get me wrong I love "My Family", but I love MY family more and wouldn't have it any other way!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


May bank holiday is fast approaching, and lots of you will be planning your long weekend. I wondered where the traditional Maypole Dancing originated from, thinking it was English, but have discovered in actual fact, it is probably Germanic or from ancient Babylon.

I did find an interesting article about it on Wikipedia, it was apparently first created as a pagan fertility rite, many moons ago. I was going to paste the article on here but it was a little saucy, so I decided just to skirt around the finer details.

As you can see from the pictures, it has been celebrated for many years in the UK by children and grown ups alike. I remember being taught how to dance round the Maypole at primary school, and although it is fast fading out of fashion, there are still small villages in England that still carry on the tradition.Well, I hope the weather holds out for your Bank Holiday weekend. Enjoy, and if your dancing round the Maypole...don't get tied up in the ribbons!!

Monday, 27 April 2009


What to do when you don't have a pool and it's hot, (this was before we built the pool).
1. Get a piece of tarpaulin, or something similar.
2. Drag out the hose, and connect to tap.
3. Connect hose to sprinkler system, and turn on tap.
4. Dance through the sprinkler.
And don't forget to tell mum & dad that you're watering the grass.
Then play on the swings as the sun goes down.
The sleeping sun reflecting the moon, it's time for bed!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

THE SWINE FLU AFFAIR, and a cup of tea gives you cancer!

The Swine flu affair, sounds like it could be a film doesn't it? In later years it probably could, along with all the other bird flues and cow diseases. What is it actually and where has it come from, and, most importantly, is there a cure???
I guess we're alright here in France, Mexico and North America are a pretty long way away, but with all these diseases, and deadly ones at that, it looks like we might all have to permanently wear face masks or something, for fear of catching the next batch. And with all these bad things to catch, things that are actually happening in the here and now, In the UK they're being told to stop drinking tea as it causes cancer. Just another in a long line of things that you can't do anymore for fear of getting cancer. I guess my policy was right then, enjoy each day and minute as it comes cos you never know when it'll be your last.

Friday, 24 April 2009


In the shed we found a kitten, had to keep it kids were smitten.
Elephant the hamster found her pretty scary,
A giant puss and oh so hairy.

Kit cat the cat grew to like little Elie, mostly at the thought of him in her belly.

Her favourite toy, our clean socks.

And hide and seek in our box.

Soon she found a little friend, our socks were saved, heaven send.

No this one's not part of our lot, but would he budge?...I think not!!!

Thursday, 23 April 2009


This is our dog, he's called Clyde. The coolest dog in the world, that is when he's not peeing in my slippers!! This is what he looked like as a baby...Awww so cute. The other picture shows a more mature Clyde, as you can see he's a bit more intelligent now, (except for the peeing bit). He chose the hat & glasses himself, said he wanted to look more like Michael Jackson....Well he got the white bit right at least, and fortunately all his extremities are intact. Actually, he's not a bad singer, but his English vocab leaves a lot to be desired, being French and all that. He's just joined Twitter and he's got more followers than me!! Except that I have to type for him as his claws keep scratching the keyboard, and I'm worried that the big balls of white fluff I keep finding behind the computer might catch fire. His hobbies, apart from Michael Jackson and the slipper thing, are sleeping, eating, chasing cats, digging, oh and he does like the Daily Telegraph with his breakfast...Bless...It's a dogs life!!!
PS. If there are any lady Clydes reading he's just said he's looking for a bit of action...OOlala!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

OUR KIDS LIFE IN FRANCE, AND OURS - finishing touches and open for business

We had a lot of shingle left over so I came up with an idea to use it up..We built a boule court!! Turned out to be a good idea, and has been used by all of our customers young and old alike. This didn't take long to do and our kids had great fun testing it out. We also put in a table tennis table and a see-saw for the mini-kids, and, of course we had already put in the swings.
We put a few finishing touches in the gite; a basket of essentials which we call a "welcome pack", some fresh flowers, a list of all local markets, restaurants, supermarkets and lots of tourist information.
Our first customers were here, they were great two couples with 2 children...Our kids were happy, new friends to play with. We were delighted with the end product, and so were our customers!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

OUR KIDS LIFE IN FRANCE, AND OURS - driveway home improvements

As you can see from the pictures there was a lot of shingle to spread around. Fortunately the kids were off school that day so everyone was handed a rake or shovel and all five of us pitched in. We dumped piles of the shingle in strategic places around the driveway and all placed ourselves in circle like positions to move inwards and meet in the middle. At least that was the plan....Turned out it was a bit like icing a cake, you always end up with more on one side than the other, so you have to keep going over and over to get it level. This was especially noticeable on the twins sides as they were young and not as strong as us, and believe me, it takes some heaving.
it was worth the effort though, even if the kids did give up half way through, but I was secretly hoping the weeds wouldn't grow through it...Time would tell. It was July by then and incredibly hot, how glad were we that, after all that effort, we had a nice cool pool to jump into..........Had to make the most of it before the first customers arrived!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

OUR KIDS LIFE IN FRANCE, AND OURS - I'm back in the pool

Hi, I'm back!! The holiday was great, but as usual it goes too quickly :( :(. So back to the pool. I managed to get a week off work just before the first customers arrived, so I was able to help get the last finishing touches in place in the garden. The next step with the pool was to make the surrounds look good. We had loads of large rocks piled up round the back from where the digger had excavated for the pool, so we decided to make use of them and form a rockery with plants, and fill in the gaps with dark cork to stop the weeds coming through. Whilst the kids were at home, they helped me to barrow the rocks over to the pool and I spent the first half of the week arranging them around the pool. My hubby was busy putting the bamboo wind breaker round the outside of the fence and planting grass in front of the gate, where the digger had been. As you can see from the photos, the finished product was pretty good once the pool furniture was in place. All we had left to buy were the parasols.

The next stage of the garden, however, was going to be a little more tricky and a lot more hard work....We had already laid shingle around the gite drive, but now it was time to tackle our driveway, it's huge, so with two rakes and a lot of motivation, the spreading began...

Friday, 10 April 2009


For those of you who follow, I'm sorry but I'm away for the week for a short Easter break. As I will not be in a place where I can log on, I will have to interrupt my story for a short time. The kids are very excited, just hope we don't get too many "are we there yet?" 's. For those of you fortunate enough to have an Easter holiday...HAVE FUN and hope the weather is good for you. Sorry for those who don't and don't work too hard. Be back soon......

Thursday, 9 April 2009


It took us hours to drag the kids out of the pool, and in the end we had to bribe them with promises of sweeties as it was getting too dark. We sat out on the terrace and had a lovely barb-b-cue in the evening sun and admired the work done so far. It was rare that I had an evening off so I wanted to make the most of it.
The next day back to work, it was tiling again!! As if the men hadn't seen enough tiles already. First the steps were put in the pool and then the large surrounding tiles. We ummed and ahhed about the type of tiles for the rest of the plage, as we were on a tight budget and they aren't cheap. As you can see from the photos we opted for a sort of crazy paving, it was more difficult to lay, and longer, but sooo much cheaper. They turned out to be a good choice, neat and not slippery as so many other pool tiles are when you get out with wet feet.
My parents-in-law had to go back to the UK at this point, so the final works were up to us to get finished, we already had several weeks booked...beginning the next month....I needed to ask for some time off work to get finished in time.....

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

OUR KIDS LIFE IN FRANCE, AND OURS - twittering into the pool

Things were moving fast now with the pool, and the surrounds were filled with the earth that was dug out for the pool, or at least some of it. This would later be tiled to make the "Plage", to put the sun loungers on. But first the liner had to be fitted. This was less complicated than we had first thought, probably due to the clear as mud instructions, you just had to be sure that there were no creases in it and this was done by vacuum, literally.

The kids were besides themselves when they got home to find blue in the pool, so as soon as the liner was fitted we decided to fill it with water for a test drive. As predicted, the kids were too impatient to wait for it to fill, this takes an absolute age, so it was shoes & socks off and in paddling as soon as there was a cm of water. And like twittering birds in a bath, boy did they have fun!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

OUR KIDS LIFE IN FRANCE, AND OURS - skimmers and pool house

The next step was to cement the bottom of the pool, which was real precision work. Difficult to tell from the photos, but the base had to slope down from the shallow end into a kind of upside down pyramid at the deep end. This had to be done in stages to get it just right, so whilst the cement was drying out, (which didn't take long in the heat), in went the skimmers and the pool house went up. It was beginning to look more like a pool now.
The children got bored with the blow up pool we bought them and decided it was far more fun running in and out of the hose, occasionally spraying the men accidentally on purpose, but they didn't mind at all their backs were toasted by then and the cold water cooled them off. When on long journeys their frequently asked question is always; "Are we there yet?", this was altered at this time to; "Is it ready yet?", referring to the pool, and was asked every day when they got home from school. I ended up guestimating the due by date, buying them all a calendar, marking out D Day, (or J Day as they say here in France!), and getting them all to tick off the days one by one until they got to the chosen date.....There would be hell to pay if it wasn't finished......