Monday, 15 July 2013

Busy.........doing nothing

Aah the joys of being “retired” albeit not through choice, but more because of a knackered body, drugged up mind(due to knackered body), and a husband who got there first, and wanted me to keep him company,…..silly old sap, after 32 years of putting up with me, you would have thought he’d be trying to keep me at arm’s length.

Still on the subject of dear other half (who deserves a MEDAL for this one) He understands me, he doesn't always like what he sees, but he knows what ultimately makes me happy, often at his expense. After all, a bit like the “anonymous benefactor” in Great Expectations, a great deal of my acquaintances in agility over the last 22,(or so) years, don’t even know he exists, yet he has funded all of it, lived with SEVEN collies in my heyday, and puts up with me rabbiting on about my passion at any given moment,since the start of my involvement with the sport.  

So why, in a Blog about Le Tardis, do I feel the need to extol the virtues of my husband ?.  Because, he has in effect, done it again !!. It was never my intention to have a puppy in the foreseeable future, indeed the whole idea was, that I was “giving up” on that part of my life, my body can’t stand the pace, and the whole idea was to wind down gradually, and sink me teeth into this retirement lark.
Truth of the matter is, that although my body is “problematic” shall we say, my mind just can’t let it go. I am a dog trainer first and foremost, and a “mad collie lady” too, it sort of “defines me”. I have had more and more of an urge to “re-offend” and get a collie pup, a blank canvas, and despite his reservations, which I hasten to add, he has had for every single dog that has come into our house over the years, he has agreed. I am going to get one. !!!  His name is Boq, he is Voodoo’s cousin and he will be a “regular” in this blog no doubt.

So back to my French adventures.

What’s been occurring ?? Well, I have had a visit from my brother Mark, he of the recipe guru fame. He tasted my jam, and I made him take a pot home. He planned to come for a few days, but this was somewhat scuppered by him finding out his Passport was out of date. But true to his word, he came anyway, having taken two days and umpteen Ministry hours to get a new one, and although we only had one clear day to “get it done” what a time we had !! I gave him options of where he would like to go and bless him, he choose “La Vallee des Singes” near Poiters, my favourite day out, 16 Hectares with over 400 monkeys and apes, and not a cage in sight ! We stayed from around opening time (10.30) until tea-time. Having monkey’s all around you and in the trees over your head is quite an experience, we couldn’t leave until we had spotted every variety. Sitting on a bench and having two monkeys come up to chat is even stranger.

And as for the Lemurs.................. too darn cute.

Mark also was responsible for taking us out to “La Cheval Blanc”  a very local (five minutes walk) restaurant serving Cordon Bleu food (at a price), his treat. I was feeling very spoilt at that point. It was a shame the visit was short lived,but hopefully now his Passport is up to date,he can come back whenever he wants !!

One of our unexpected treats recently was the night of the local randonnée(hike), although we didn't know that at the time. We were in the garden looking over the wall, when we heard a commotion in the small Car Park that furnishes our local well ,it was our neighbours Rose-Marie and Jacky struggling with a bundle of twenty foot bamboo poles. We popped out to assist, and found out that they were erecting a Tee-pee. Along with another neighbour, Kevin, we managed to fashion a pretty acceptable facsimile, but like I said had no idea what it was for. After we had constructed said teepee, we were invited back for an aperitif at 8pm. So, we cleaned ourselves up, and went along, after all it would be rude not to. When we arrived we found out that we were a “stage” on a 9km night walk. We represented “aperitifs” and we were the 2nd stop on the route. The third fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh went: Entrees, Plat (Main Course) desserts, fromage and café. There were 160 people taking part in teams, and being typically French, each course was going to come with wine included. We didn't participate ,but I would have loved to have been there at the finish (if they made it!!) They had some super costumes, the Bee’s were a great bunch.(swarm)

The wildlife continues to surprise and amaze me. As our time here increases the birds in the garden are becoming increasingly happy to have us out in the garden with them when they feed. We have one fledgling sparrow that is convinced we (including the dogs) are his best friends, and he doesn't alight from the ground until you have practically stood on him. Let’s hope he doesn't have the same attitude with next doors cat.!! We have regular Spotted Woodpecker visitors but I have been scouring the trees over the last week trying to identify a bird that (to me)had a similar call to a toad croaking, colour me amazed that this bird finally showed itself, it was a Green Woodpecker, who has now taken to feeding off the ants on our lawn. I know they aren’t particularly rare but it’s another 1st for Le Tardis.

Yesterday on our morning walk (I have to get up earlier and earlier to avoid the heat) I saw five hares in the nearby meadow. I have seen two hares fighting before, but have never seen five in one place. They were, it seems, a family, parents and three offspring, as upon closer inspection, two were keeping watch, while the three youngsters played. Again I was amazed that even with 3 dogs in tow,(I was walking with a neighbour and her dog) they refused to be interrupted by us and didn't depart until we were virtually on top of them. Joyous sight. 

Summer is now truly here, the sunflowers are blooming, and there is a wall to wall array of Brocantes, Bric a Bracs and Vide-greniers at weekends, and this is where my husband loves to ferret about, he just loves his French junk. We try and make one each week, usually on a Sunday, and set off with a limited budget to have a good nosey. Although it’s not my favourite pastime,I have to say that I have had some good bargains, there are always local produce stalls, and if I fail on the Antiques Roadshow side of it, at a least I dabble in taste testing, cheese(goats) cured sausages(of many flavours) and of course honey and jams. No wonder I’m not losing weight !! On the junk side,I did manage to pick up a couple of rather nice iron “pots” the other day. I will be planting them up with something pretty in the fullness of time.

So........ in answer to all the folk who asked me “What are you going to do with your time?”  The answer at the moment seems to be, “and what time is that ???”  It’s funny how you always adjust to new circumstances. Just standing still to watch life going by, seems so time consuming, when there is so much to see.

And on that note, I’m off to re-fill my bird bath,it's bath time 

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