Articles les plus consultés

lundi 25 mai 2015


I guess you have already noticed how much I enjoy writing? What you may not know is that I also love speaking. To say I am talkative is an 
understatement. It seems that runs in the family : men are doomed to listen to women around the clock !
Who's responsible for that scourge ? Could be my grand-mother ( may she rest in peace !). Let me explain it to you.

When my mum was a toddler, she was bright, affectionate, easy-going but she was slow to speak. Of course, she could say a few words but compared to her peers, she was way behind. It must have been somehow hard on my grand-mother's self esteem. I can't put the blame on her, even Einstein's parents thought he was retarded because he was 4 or 5 before he spoke !
Anyway, her daughter's stammerings upset her so much that one day she decided to take the bull by the horns.She was not a believer, but just that once she took my mum to a nearby church ( on the sly because she didn't want to be laughed at) where there was a " wish wheel ". That Carillon Wheel had 12 bells ( of different notes) which were rung formerly on special occasions but were also activated by believers or non-believers to make a wish come true. You guess my grand-mother's wish, don't you ? 
That's how it all began and that's why I am a chatterbox !!

Fortunately I have often read that instead of hiding our flaws, we should learn how to use them to our advantage. That's what I put into practice not long ago..Read on to find out how.

After hanging up on an umpteenth cold caller, I was just thoroughly browned off.Although being on a ' stop cold calls list ',over the past months I had been hassled by cold callers at any time of the day, offering their services for solar panels, life insurance and even funeral insurance ( gosh ! already ?).
As usual I had asked Mr Google for help, but among the tactics suggested, none suited me :

. Hanging up didn't work anymore. I was called back later on.
. Keeping a whistle by the phone and then blowing it loudly as close to the 
  earpiece as possible when the person asked me a question was unfair and
  unhealthy !
. Pretending I was hard of hearing to make them repeat themselves was
  exhausting for me, as well.
. Making pig noises : after a few rehearsals it turned out I didn't sound 

What could I do ?? I was brassed off ! Then it crossed my mind that I could
use my chattering power to tire out the next cold caller.It worked perfectly !

When I lifted the receiver and heard a voice mispronounce my name, I knew time had come to practise my oratory ..

I introduced myself and explained the different ways to pronounce my surname, its origin and its meaning. On the other end of the line the boy tried to interrupt me, in vain. 
When he could get a word in edgeways and asked me if I had double glazing, I started telling him the story of the wonder squeegee ( see chapter 14).
No comma, no full stop, no pause, just a flow of words ( well, after that I thought I could be a barker).

Suddenly the line went dead. Yippee !! I had won the fight by a K.O.

That just proves that being very talkative can be a serious advantage !

Now I have to prove it to my half and that will be another kettle of fish !!

mercredi 20 mai 2015

The Adventures of Dany the Perky Busy Bee in the Far-West: SOS POST ! ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE WONDER SQUEEGEE ...

The Adventures of Dany the Perky Busy Bee in the Far-West: SOS POST !

: SOS POST ! ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE WONDER SQUEEGEE ( see chapter fourteen) Today at lunch-time another poor birdie banged its head againts...


Today at lunch-time another poor birdie banged its head againts one of our French windows ! It is still alive and just needs a pamper break to compose
itself. I would like to know what you call that bird :

Flycatcher or Tree Pipit ?

Thanks in advance 


lundi 18 mai 2015


Since the beginning of Spring, every afternoon, weather permitting, I
have been out in the garden, clearing the undergrowth,weeding, digging,
and so on.Needless to say that all those activities mean being sore all over the days after ! But never mind ! No pain, no gain, and after all Rome
wasn't built in a day. The tiniest nook cleared of brambles and nettles
makes me a happy camper. And remember ! I am a perky busy bee.
It's all the easier to cultivate my image as I have read somewhere that
just exercising your green thumb can whittle your waist ! Weeding helps
you tone your legs, arms, shoulders and back. The more resistant your weeds,
the better your workout is. Great ! Given such useful information, it is easy
to jump to the conclusion that " hard work deserves fair reward ". That saying suited me perfectly and I strived to follow it literally. Breton teatime was just what I needed to restore my flagging energy level.
As you know, Brittany is home to lots of tasty treats : Kouign Aman, a rich
sugary butter cake, or, Far Breton, a flan style eggs-and-milk custard with 
flour added and prunes or raisins, not to mention some delicious salted
butter spread on a crêpe ! Breton teatime really delighted my taste-buds !
But, there is always a 'but'..
Exercising has never meant bingeing on desserts, and I experienced it
last week in the bathroom...
After giving a wary look at the scales, I mustered up my energy and hopped
onto them ! The number that flashed up in front of me floored me !!!
If I didn't pull myself together, I would be stripped of my title of
" Perky Busy Bee ". Even worse : I would be given the consolation prize :
the '' Greedy Lazy Bee " medal !
No time to spare ! I rushed out of the bathroom, slipped into my 
tracksuit ( Geez ! A bit too tight !), grabbed my sports bag and off to
the swimming pool.
Halfway from the ' redeeming ' pool I bumped into a friend of mine. When
I told him I was going to take some swimming laps, he said there was 
no more water, but I didn't pay attention because he is a prankster !
I quickened my pace, instead. The car-park in front of the swimming-pool
was nearly empty. Good ! I don't like when the pool is crowded, especially
with children frolicking, yelling, splashing, jumping, etc. Don't get me
wrong : I am not a grumpy girl , I am just a peace-seeker !
I took out my membership card ( its cost will never be recouped but that is another story ) and as I was about to push the entrance door, I noticed a
sign on the side. It said :
Pool area closed for maintenance 
Gosh ! For once I should have taken my friend in earnest !
I went back home and guess what....
On my way I stopped at the baker's and went on a Danish Pastry binge
to forget my dry swimming costume and my membership card expiring
quite soon !

lundi 11 mai 2015


As you already know, we have two dogs : Canaille, a 7-year-old Springer
and Ulysse, a 12-year-old Coton de Tuléar. Those two guys are real
sweethearts, but unfortunately there seems to be no common ground
between them.They fought so fiercely to demonstrate it that we had to
rush to the vet for bandages,stitches and injections more often than not !
When we were sick of making our vet rich, we decided to separate the
two tireless fighters. The cease-fire has been on since then, but for extra
safety our two warmongers live apart !
So, you see, when I say no common ground, I really use my words thoughtfully. Those two furry babies are totally different, even when it
comes to food. Canaille is always a little peckish and is easily satisfied whereas Ulysse often turns up his nose at his bowl. Except when the special
is fish. He is crazy about it ! Fresh or tinned is his treat !! Even though 
Audierne is a fishing port, seafood products are nearly as expensive as in big cities. And when school holidays come,fishmongers send the word round and prices soar.
So, I am always on the look-out for special offers on tinned fish in the nearby
supermarkets.Early May I noticed a " buy two and get a third one for free "
bargain on tinned mackerel. A chop-licking meal for Ulysse ! The price per
tin was unbeatable,so I decided to clear out the stock,which meant ...
81 tins ! Don' fall head over heels, we have huge pantries in the basement !
Ulysse could sleep soundly : he was guaranteed board and lodging till
the end of July.
When I came back home with my load, I thought it would be better to store
the tins according to their expiry dates.
Reading the small print on the lids put me in a cold sweat :

June 27/2015, June 27/2015, June 27/2015 ...the same evil date down to the
81st tin ! 

I was down in the dumps. Every time I closed my eyes, I could not see
the stars, but shoals of shiny-scaled mackerels frowning at me resentfully.
What could I do ?

Double helpings for Ulysse would turn him into a four-legged sausage !!
After mulling things over, I came to the conclusion that we would have to share the task with Ulysse !

Out of ideas, once more I called Mr Google for help and once more he took a
weight off my shoulders :

. Firstly, there are a lot of recipes with tinned mackerels ( some even made
  my mouth water).
. Secondly, you can consume canned goods past the date up to four more 
  years as long as they are kept in a cool, dry spot.
. Last but not least, research shows that dogs can look at a human face
  and tell a smile from a frown, but up to now none can read (let alone
  small print on tinned food !).

Phew !! I can manage my fish canning factory light-heartedly and delight
Ulysse's taste buds !!

lundi 4 mai 2015


When I was a little girl, I used to spend Easter holidays ( renamed Spring
holidays now) at my grand-parents', here in Audierne. Most of the time
Winter in Paris had been cold, dull and grey, so when I arrived here, I was dying to enjoy outdoor games.Yet, my grand-mother would never let me
go out without checking I had wrapped up warm and saying :
" Till April's dead, change not a thread ".
Are weather proverbs fact or fiction ? I really don't know, but when
April comes, the sound of my grand-mother's warning still echoes in 
my mind and I pay attention not to shelf my winter clothes too early.
Anyway,I think April 2015 was the exception that proves the rule.
The weather was simply gorgeous. The temperatures skyrocketed
overnight and some days a scorching sun stuck me on my deckchair,
unable to lift a finger ! Believe me, I don't over-egg the pudding !
April 2015 was just summerlike.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end !
Rain has broken into and even called on wind for help !

So, I am back inside and I have to face the facts : my one month
gardening has left the house neglected. The brooms, mops, rags, feather dusters, and other instruments of torture I had abandonned to their
fate, are eager to get back into action.
Well, even if household chores are not really my cup of tea, when
things have to be done, I don't balk. Except when it comes to cleaning
the windows. It's my pet peeve !! It's tiresome and the windows streakings 
after washing leave me rather dissatisfied.
Considering the number of wonder products I have tested, I guess
I can be awarded the ' best sucker' medal.
Anyway, a few days ago, after watching an umpteenth " how to clean
windows like a pro " video, I decided to invest in a good quality squeegee
and follow the method step by step.
The results surprised me : my windows were as sparkling as ever !
Of course, the day after my elbow and my shoulder hurt, but no gain, no
The windows were so clean that it was as if there were none.
And that's the snag ...
A poor birdie did not see one of our picture windows and banged its head against it. Knocked-Out  !! We even thought it was dead, but from
time to time it nodded its head gently, so we sprayed some water
on its beak, gave some itty-bitty- crumbs, then we put it on one
pillar of the terrace ( we thought it would be the perfect tarmac).
It stayed there for one solid half-an-hour. in the meantime we had
fetched our " all about birds " book and identified it :
Hypolais Polyglotte . Polyglot !! I searched on the web how to say
tweet tweet in different languages ( German birds say 'peep peep',
whereas Spanish ones say ' pio pio ').
When our survivor flapped its wings and flew away, I thought I 
should never have cleaned my window so thoroughly. If they had not 
been squeaky clean, Hypolais would have changed its flight and would 
not have been scared stiff !