Archive for August, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

August 29, 2009

Today is LOM s seventeenth wedding anniversary and reading about it made me think about the looming 25th anniversry for Bear and me.

It’s wonderful to hear that for LOM and her husband the second time round  is a success. Also Pat and her True Love had to wait many years for their happy reunion.

But if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll realise that not all second marriages are bliss – not by any means . . . .

It’s true, if I’d  listened to my head, and my mother, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it but, at the time, we had been living together for nearly a year, and the thought of a ‘split’ was just too bleak to handle. It was not long after Bear’s divorce was finalised in 1984 that he announced casually that if there wasn’t anything ‘on’ for 13th October  we could get married because he had booked the Registry Office.

I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or worried by the lack of ‘romance’. I was due to play at concert given by the choir I accompanied in the evening – but that didn’t seem to make any difference. Any celebration would be well and truly over by then and there certainly wouldn’t be a honeymoon: it was school as usual on Monday. I should have taken the warning when, a week before the ‘big day’ I told Bear I was feeling a bit ‘unsure’ – ‘uncertain’  – hoping for  some reassurance – but he snapped back with something like “Well, if you don’t want to get married you know what you can do, don’t you.”

The wedding was a very low-key affair – my sister and Bear’s brother were to be witnesses,  my daughter came but my son didn’t want to –  and just a few close friends  made the total party about a dozen. Bear had bought sandwiches and nibbles from the local pub and we all went back to his old house (he had bought his first wife’s share) which was to be our ‘home.’  But it didn’t feel remotely like a home to me. He  deliberately avoided putting beds in the children’s rooms for well over a month so they had to stay with their dad (Whale) and when they did move in they were made to feel most unwelcome.

However, the very worst thing about my wedding day, the thing that made me realise I’d made an enormous mistake was when my daughter, who had accompanied me to the Register office, tried to get into the back seat of the car that Bear and I were in.

“Your mum belongs to me now”. he snarled, “You’ll have to go back with someone else.”

I took her to our friends car saying they’d need someone to show them the house, but inwardly I was devastated and I’ve not been able to talk about that incident  with my daughter either.

To say the last 25 years have all been bad would certainly not be true – but I can’t honestly say it’s been a ‘marriage made in heaven’.

Neither would it be fair to lay the blame entirely at Bear’s door. I should have realised and accepted that he was jealous of my children and that he couldn’t be happy sharing my love.

He claims that he “still loves me as much as ever despite the fact that I’m not the girl I used to be”   – and he wants to go away for a holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding.

Unfortuately I can’t summon up any enthusiasm .

Is the World going mad – or am I?

August 26, 2009

It was LOM who published a video about the coming of Nibiru (planet X) recently and it seems that more and more people are reading about 2012 predictions and various conspiracy theories but dismissing them immediately.

So, am I insane  to look more carefully and try to fathom what’s going on?

This video  is by an Argentinian who claims that the ‘Powers that Be’ – in other words a group of  mega-rich people – are looking out for themselves at the expense of ‘ordinary mortals’, who, in their eyes, are useless and expendable.

His claims relate to Argentina and how people obsessed with money and power have stripped the country of its democracy and the people of their rights and even their liberty.


Think about it – couldn’t that apply to other countries – to the UK for example? How could any government worth its salt have  failed to see a financial crisis looming? Were they really taken by surprise when the banks collapsed – or did they know about it – or even plan it . . . . .?

Then there’s their response;  to borrow yet more billions to solve the problem of  debt from too much borrowing. Isn’t  that madness? Then they give billions in taxpayers money to bail out these greedy bankers so that they can lend to small businesses to get the economy going again – but the banks hang on to OUR money and refuse to lend!

Do you believe them when they try to tell us the recession is nearly over when, at the same time, experts are saying it’s a much deeper depression than at first feared  and will take years  before we see signs of recovery. In fact, our descendents are lumbered with a huge debt thanks to the government’s ‘solution.’

Then consider the  reaction to ‘Swine Flu’ . It would appear that this ‘flu is no worse than normal seasonal flu and it has not spread as fast as was predicted. Yet pharmaceutical companies are working full out to produce a vaccine which is to be issued untried and untested on we poor unsuspecting souls.

Did you know that these same companies are immune from any claims for damages due to death or disability caused by their vaccine? If the results of being vaccinated are likely to cause worse problems than the flu itself why is the government planning to push for everyone to be injected with a substance containing lethal ingredients like mercury – squalene etc. Don’t take my word for it – look it up on the net.

So can you see why I’m puzzled that so many of my friends and family seem willing to accept all this as ‘normal’ when, to me, it looks decidedly fishy – to put it mildly?


August 18, 2009

Sometime ago  I may have mentioned that  CC, Jay and I were planning to continue redecorating downstairs to remove all the wallpaper (badly scratched by the cats) and paint the walls instead.

The job was started  well over a year ago when my brother-in-law replaced the dark purple walls in the living room with nice fresh off white paint, and then continued by Pascal who took over a month to redo our bedroom, despite the fact that we had stripped the wallpaper ourselves!

The children first tackled Whale’s room and then, as there was plenty of paint over we carried on with the dining area. the breakfast bar had to be removed and we put it back along the wall instead of sticking out into the room. It will take a bit of getting used to but I think I prefer it. What do you think?



It makes the kitchen-diner look much more open but you have to walk a long way to the worktop and it’s a bit high for making pastry.


There was still a good supply of paint left so we moved on to the library where the cats had scratched the paper off in the places where there were no bookcases. libB4 


It’s not very noticeable in this picture, but, believe me there were bare patches either side of the window and behind the table and armchair.

Also, you may find it hard to see that the wallpaper was  green.


Anyway, the room is now much lighter library2 and fresher. We have painted the window ledges with white gloss paint which we had to buy in England as it’s banned here!


Let’s hope it’s claw proof!




By the way, in case you’re wondering,  Bear is still being good . . . . . .

Bear comes home

August 13, 2009

We were planning a ‘last celebratory meal’ on Tuesday evening but while Jay was out shopping for the wherewithall to make one of his delicious vegetable lasagnes the phone rang.

It was Bear with the news that they were  letting him out that same afternoon. The atmophere  deflated immediately: the holiday was over.

I collected him  at three and the nurse gave us a whole pile of letters, prescriptions and further appointments before seeing us off. He seemed almost sad to be going as it had been quite a novelty for them to have an Englishman in their care and he had behaved with charm and good humour – for a whole week!!!!

Since  coming home it has to be said that  he has been very good, apart from last night when he refused to wait for the nurse to oversee his insulin injection and did it himself. CC and I have tried to carry on with the type of menus he had in hospital and we have insisted that we eat ‘en famille’  at the table for every meal.  So far he hasn’t objected.

He is eating foods he  has previously refused to try, like yoghurt and fromage frais,  and doesn’t moan when he is offered salad and vegetables. He even said he liked  the cabbage and bacon soup I made.

However, he seems to have aged and is visibly slowing down – perhaps due to a week of inactivity – so it seems more than ever like looking after two elderly invalids. On top of that I’m looking after my neighbour’s  house, dog, fish and budgies this week.

That’s why I’ve only just got around to posting.

Whale misses Bear

August 8, 2009

It’s strange that although they dislike one another, Whale has been eager for news of  Bear  and keeps asking how he’s getting on.

When Whale was in hospital Bear wasn’t remotely interested in his progress except to moan when he was due home.

Whale even said he kept expecting Bear to appear in the  mornings with his customary grunt of   ”   ‘morning”  before burying himself in a book or turning on the TV.

However, he is enjoying the freedom as much of the rest of us.

The downside is that his own little idiosyncracies can be more noticeable.

For example; he has his teamaking tray on a table in his bedroom, but while I was making mirabelle jam this morning there was a frantic cry;

“The wire on the kettle has been made shorter! I can’t plug it in.”

“I think you’ll find the table has been moved.”



I ask you. This is a man who has a Ph.D but was obviously at the back of  the queue when commonsense was given out.

Bear goes into hospital

August 6, 2009

Bear has not been careful with his diet for a long time. He refuses to eat many of the meals we make because they include salad or vegetables and so I often have to make him something separate that he  does like – and it’s usually very high in carbohydrate.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that his diabetes is not well stabilised. The medication he takes is very bad for his kidneys so the doctor decided he must spend a few days in hospital for tests and to be put on insulin.

His appointment to present himself in ‘diabetologie’ was three 0’clock on Tuesday. Despite being very worried and having an attack of the runs he insisted on going for  lunch at the local hotel on Monday and Tuesday – the condemned man’s last meals – as he put it.

When you are admitted to hospital you have to report to the ‘Bureau d’admissions’  to present your Carte Vitale and insurance cover before going to the ward. When the paperwork was completed I asked the young lady how to find the diabetic department. She didn’t know and said we’d have to ask the man at the information desk.

There was no-one at the desk so Bear waited with his suitcase while I went to look for someone to ask. I was just being given very vague directions when the chap on the desk turned up so I hurried back but didn’t make it quickly enough to beat another couple.

He dealt with their enquiry and then asked what we wanted.

“Diabetologie?” he pursed his lips. “That’s a long way  – in the old hospital – and it’s not easy to find.” He paused to see what the other people waiting wanted. It was something quick so he said he’d be back to show us the way.

The suitcase was heavy so, much to Bear’s annoyance, I borrowed a wheelchair and made him sit in it with the case on his lap. We followed the man down the corridor  to the old building. Then it was down one floor in the lift and into the bowels of the hospital  – a dark corridor festooned with pipes  of various sizes.

Then  he turned left and we came to a door which, surprisingly led outside into the sunshine, across a coutyard and into the department we were looking for. I couldn’t help wondering if I’d be able to find the way out, but, looking backwards from time to time I had seen ‘sortie’ signs.

We were greeted by a very pleasant young nurse who told us the room wasn’t ready yet and we’d have to wait. There was no waiting room as such, just an area with a few chairs at one end of the corridor.

Eventually we were taken to Chambre 8, a single room (thank goodness) small but bright and airy, containing an electric bed with pristine white sheets, a bedside table with telephone, a small but highly polished wardrobe, a television, an armchair on wheels, a table and two ordinary chairs. The ‘en suite’ contained a toilet and washbasin and we were told there was a  shower further down the corridor.

They gave us a few minutes to unpack and settle in and then it was a nonstop succession of people – the nurse filling in more paperwork;  forms to sign for ‘next of kin’, glasses, dentures etc. and also a very important one to keep in the single room. She told us that meals are served in the diningroom, breakfast at 8, lunch round about  12.15 and dinner at 7. Then there’s ‘gouter’  about 4 o’clock when they wheel in a trolley with hot water and coffee powder and people help themselves.

Then came the dietician, a tall chap with glasses, who seemed a bit stiff and formal at first but was, actually, very friendly. First  he wanted to ascertain Bear’s eating habits at home but, amazingly, didn’t seem at all concerned about the bad diet. Then he wanted to make a note of his likes and dislikes for the hospital meals.  It looks as though Bear will be catered for quite well because they will let him have potatoes instead of pasta or rice – but he will have to compromise and try to eat more vegetables and salads –  and soup every evening!  Desserts often include yoghurt or fromage frais but he can have a sugarfree  fruit compote.

The nurse came back to take his bloodpressure, temperature and bloodsugar reading and then we saw a young intern who went through his medical history and gave him a thorough examination including an ECG. She discovered a lack of sensation in his feet and said that some of the pain he has may be due to his diabetes.

The nurse came back in to look at Bear’s blood meter and check his sugar levels again as the first reading had been high. This tme it was better. I asked her when the admissions office closed as I wanted to arrange a telephone for him.

“Oh dear, it’s too late” she said. “but if you leave some money in an envelope I’ll get someone to do it for him in the morning.”

That was a relief because he wouldn’t have to wait until my next visit. To have your own private line you have to take the form given by the ward down to the admissions office and pay a minimum of 3 euros to be connected. Unused money is not refunded so it’s better not to pay too much as you can always top it up. Bear decided to start with 10 euros, and he phoned me at 9.30 next day to say they had kindly organised it for him and to let me have his number.

The television is rather expensive – 4 euros a day – but he has decided to have it. He can watch some programmes with subtitles when he gets fed up with reading.

So far, I think the experience is much better than he had feared and he seems quite cheerful.

As for the rest of us, we are taking advantage of his absence to enjoy family meals at the table accompanied by music instead of the telly and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. . . . . . . .