Archive for May, 2011

Brussels Sprouts

May 17, 2011

As I may have mentioned, Bear and I like to have lunch at the local bar/restaurant once or twwice a week but over the last few months we’ve noticed a gradual lowering of quality in the meals offered.

It always used to be excellent value for money and I suppose the ‘patron’ doesn’t want to put up his prices in the present financial climate so his only choice is to cut costs.

Today’s menu really brought it home as the choice of plats du jour was:

Entrecote (at extra cost)

langue de boeuf

choux de bruxelles (!!!!)

I thought I had misread the third option so asked Fabienne what it was.

“Yes, it’s Brussels sprouts” she explained, “and he’s added some pieces of bacon.”

Bear wouldn’t eat steak or tongue and I was intrigued so we both had the sprouts.

The plates arrived with a large quantity of very overcooked (from frozen) sprouts laced with lardons (small pieces of bacon) , some boiled potatoes and one thick slice of streaky bacon.

It was edible – just.

What a shame that our favourite eating place is reduced to this. It’s no longer somewhere we could happily take friends and family when they come to visit and I’m not sure I really want to eat there more than once a week – if that – but it would be a shame to abandon Hugue when he’s only trying to make a living.

Le Magnétiseur

May 10, 2011

Bear has been suffering more and more with pain in his legs recently. The only tablets that give any relief are anti-inflammatories which are forbidden because he already has some kidney damage.

Our GP says he should take six  100omg paracetamol tablets a day but there doesn’t seem much point if they don’t help the pain.

Philippe at La Fontaine suggested we went to see a Magnétiseur. He had seen one in Deauville and it had done him good. Unfortunately he didn’t know any local practitioners but Arlette knew a customer who might be able to help and, sure enough, a couple of days later she rang me with details of someone nearby who was a magnétiseur.

I made an appointment and we went this morning at 10 o’clock.

Bruno is in the throes of moving from a modern house in a beautiful village south west of Charleville to a tiny hamlet further away so the rooms were pretty bare apart from some chairs and ‘medical bed’.

He made us feel at ease immediately but explained that curing arthritis would be impossible. He couldn’t even promise that he could relieve the pain but he would do his best. Then he sat down opposite Bear and tried to persuade him to relax. He used a kind of small pendulum and checked his chakras one by one. Then he asked him to lie on the bed and continued the treatment by passing his hands over Bear’s body from his head to his toes,  pausing at each chakra and sometimes making gestures as though he were throwing something away.

This might seem crazy but Bear said he could feel his hands moving over him even though he never touched him and both he and the Magnétiseur had their eyes shut. He described a sensation like bubbles moving and bursting and at the end of the session he said that although the pain was still there it didn’t hurt in the same way.

Bruno apologised for not being able to offer us a drink but said Bear should have a large glass of water as soon as he got home. He might feel a bit dopey for a day or two but this was normal. He said that if Bear felt the treatment was beneficial he would need another couple of sessions. If, on the other hand, he felt it hadn’t worked then maybe he’d like to try another Magnétiseur as they all have their own methods.

I asked him how he had become a Magnétiseur and he explained that he only started a couple of years a go and felt it was an ‘obligation’ – I suppose he meant a kind of calling. Training is free if you have the ‘gift’ and ongoing in that you spend time with more experienced practitioners every so often to learn from them.

He said that he didn’t look what he was doing because his hands were guided. He asked if I believed in God and when I replied  ‘not the God of religion’ he went on to say he was guided by a ‘higher power’ –  whatever you believe in.

It was also interesting when he said that sometimes he is ‘not allowed’ to alleviate suffering because it is part of the lesson to be learned by the person concerned and if he took away the pain the lesson would not be effective.

When I reached for the chequebook he asked if we had cash.

“How much is it?” I asked.

“You give me what you think.” was the reply.

We had no idea of a suitable amount so Bear asked him to make a suggestion.

“Would 20 euros be alright?” he asked.

So that’s what Bear gave him and it seems to be well worth it.


May 5, 2011

I have been told that there is a measles epidemic at the moment, although I’m not aware of any cases in our neck of the woods.

Of course, people will blame Dr Andrew Wakefield for warning parents off the MMR vaccine but there is evidence that he was right all along. Dosing babies with more and more chemicals at shorter and shorter intervals must cause some sort of overload and may even inhibit the development of their immune system instead of boosting it and in certain cases it would seem, it has lead to autism.

All the same, measles is not a pleasant experience and can be a serious illness for some children.  My mother always maintained that it was measles that caused my very bad short sightedness and she may well be right.

There will soon be an ebook available free from this website . Beau Carrel produced an excellent book for treating ‘flu homeopathically some time ago and I found it very useful for warding off the dreaded lurgy last winter.

Although homeopaths are wary of the overuse of antibiotics he does not advise people to dispense with allopathic treatment and like all serious homeopaths he advocates working with your doctor to alleviate the symptoms.

It’s a shame that so many doctors throw their hands up in horror at the very mention of alternative remedies   and refuse to work with complementary therapists   but it’s good to see that many  GPs in France are more than happy to use a combination of  treatments.

If any children in your family catch measles (or any other childhood illness) I do hope it will be a mild version and they will soon be back to normal health.

There are cases of shingles among the adult  population here and this could be due to vaccination against chicken pox. The immunity from the vaccine doesn’t last forever (but immunity from having chicken pox itself is usually for life) and this makes people more susceptiple to the more serious version of chicken pox. This makes me question the wisdom  of suppressing a pretty harmless childhood illness if it leads to a more serious problem later on.

But then, they are bound to come up with another vaccination against shingles sooner or later aren’t they? And I’m not getting involved in the pros and cons of that. . . . . .

In need of a rest

May 4, 2011

Rosemary’s visit was a bit of a mixed bag.

I was really worried that she would be bored by the fact that we couldn’t go out much for various reasons including Bear and his painful knees plus moodiness and the fact that Jay’s car broke down and was only just ready in time to take Rosemary to Paris to catch her train.

On the plus side, we had ample time to talk and relax and also enjoyed a few good family meals, especially CC’s birthday, but also the delicious dinners Jay produced for Rosemary’s first and penultimate nights with us.

The few outings we had into town were mainly necessary ones because CC  found that her card had been used fraudulently and this meant reporting the fact to the police ( not once but twice!) and waiting on a very hard seat for well over an hour to speak to the officer concerned.  Rosemary also accompanied us in waiting in  queues at the bank. It wasn’t that there were lots of people in front of us, it’s just that it took ages to deal with one or two customers.

When the car broke down there was a frantic call from Jay but I was glad Rosemary opted to stay at home with a good book as it meant waiting around in the hot sun in a busy road until the police came to push us into a safe position. The chap from the local garage went with Jay to tow it back to the garage after lunch but they couldn’t deal with the fault because it was electrical.

They had to take it back to town to the electronic specialists who reported that it was a ‘vicious short circuit’ which took a very long time to track down.

We were on the point of buying train tickets to Paris when they announced it would be ready on time – just!

Whale has finally been taken into the Centre for Re-Education for some intensive physio. Apparently he will be there for a few weeks but can come home at weekends. It would have been an opportunity to go away for a few days if Bear were more mobile and painfree but it just isn’t worth it in his state of health.

Did I hear you suggest that I might go away on my own?  Fat chance; he wouldn’t like that.