Archive for June, 2009


June 28, 2009

I love my cats but this morning my affections are wearing a bit thin.

Now that it’s light so much earlier one or two of them wake me up to open the door before six o’clock but this morning Willow was jumping on my head before daylight.

“No, it’s not light yet,” I mumbled and turned over,  but minutes later there was an awful smell and rustling sound because she had pooed on the floor and then emptied the wastepaper basket in an attempt to cover it up.

OK, I gave up, opened the door ( a bit too late) and then cleaned up the mess.

It was after eight when I woke up the next time to the sound of the nurse’s voice (she has a key to get in). There was much “Oooh la la-ing” and shrill complaining mixed with the deeper tones of Whale.

I got up and went through to his bedroom, still in my nightie.

“There’s ‘caca’ everywhere” complained Vero but I’ve dealt with the worst of it.

“B****y cats,” explained Whale. “It was all over the bed and the floor”.

Looking at the remaining evidence I could see that it was sick not poo and, anyway, there certainly wasn’t the same smell I’d had in the bedroom earlier. However, Vero insisted that it was ‘caca’ and she’s always right.

So much for a relaxing Sunday morning. I hastily showered and dressed and then set to to change the bed and get the washing machine going.

Fortunately it looks as though it’s a good day for drying.

Tea Party at the Library

June 24, 2009

The end of the ‘school year’ came a week early for our English class as next Tuesday CC will be in England for a friend’s wedding and I’ll be at the Club des Anciens lunch.

We asked Isabelle, the librarian, if we could finish with a tea-party for both classes together and she readily agreed. (Can you see that happening in an English Library?).

CC and I made scones (cheese and fruit), flapjacks, chocolate cake, iced buns and cornflakes in chocolate. Jay made a music compilation and we wrapped two ‘Pass the Parcels’ as the French didn’t seem familiar with this game.

As it was warm and only slightly breezy the ladies put up a table outside, at the back of the library, and we brought out the CD player with an extension lead. Most people opted for herbal teas even though I had taken ‘proper’ English tea but as we didn’t have a teapot everyone was free to choose their favourite  flavour. Inevitably, no-one had milk or sugar.

After everyone had tasted a bit of everything we played Pass the Parcel. The children were excited and the  grown-ups were highly amused.

“This would be good to do at a wedding” one lady remarked. The forfeits were in English, of course, so they had to do a bit of work, but  they all enjoyed having a ‘piece of paper’  instead of a sweet.

Isabelle had time to join in some of the games and she daintily tasted each kind of cake. However, I can now see how she stays so incredibly slim as she cut small pieces to eat and saved the rest to take home for later.

We went on half an hour after ‘closing ‘  but she didn’t mind and then eveyone mucked in to clear up and it was all done and dusted in no time.

Classses are due to begin again on the last Tuesday in September so  we have a long break during which they can forget most of what they’ve learned and we can go over it all once more.

Should be easier second time round.

Hello again

June 11, 2009

Well, hello. I’ve ‘come out of the cupboard’ to try my hand at posting again.

One of the main things that emerged from my sister’s visit is that it’s not me being paranoid when I feel uneasy about Bear’s driving. Both my sister and her husband were pretty stressed out when Bear drove us to Maredsous one day. Wendy said she was NEVER going in a car with him again and Roger said ‘You can’t let him drive. He’s going to kill you one of these days.”

So it was left to me to find the right time, place and words to break it to him as tactfully as I could. He has always prided himself on being a good driver – and indeed he was – but a combination of poor eyesight and lack of concentration have resulted in a noticeable deterioration during the past year.

I picked a time when we were out having lunch at the local restaurant in the hopes that he wouldn’t throw a wobbly in public and i tried to put it to him as gently as possible that I was very worried about his eyesight and his driving.

He took it surprisingly well at the time. Too well.

Last night we went to our favourite restaurant half an hour away for his birthday meal. It’s the furthest I’ve driven for a very long time and it was raining virtually non-stop on the way back with oncoming headlights dazzling me from time to time. I felt quite relieved but pleased with myself when we arrived home.

“You made me feel really nervous with your driving.” was his verdict.

Another bone of contention between us is the question of a holiday. The last time we went away was a disaster and I’m most reluctant to go through that again.

During the birthday meal he was all sweet and pleasant one minute and growling (not always) under his breath at me the next.

“You know you can have anything you want.” he proclaimed,”Just tell me where you’d like to go on holiday and I’ll take you.”

Oh dear, my heart sank as I relived the last tme.

“Come on.” he urged – getting a bit nasty now, “Make up your mind – I’d like a really good holiday before I die.”  This last remark was intended to be overheard by Leotine as she brought our main course. She and her husband own the restaurant and, being Dutch, they speak excellent English.

When she was out of earshot I had my revenge.

“Well, if you remembr, you promised we’d have the holiday of a lifetime when I retired but we couldn’t agree where to go so it all fell through. I think it’s a bit too late now bearing in mind your state of health.”