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mardi 24 novembre 2015



First of all, I do apologize for not updating my blog last week, but like all of you I was shattered and unable to pull myself together. I was numb with shock and grief, and writing something funny was way beyond me !

Anyway, this week, fed up with the newscasters repeating over and over again the same minute ( and sometimes meaningless) details, I have decided to have a screen-free week.

Today, I'll try to deal with tragedy through humor and I hope I'll change your mind off things.

So, what about starting with a short quiz to find out if you are likely to win the tactlessness world champion title. 
Why such a quiz ? Well, you'll understand afterwards...
Do not think about the questions too long. This test is not based on any scientific study whatsoever. It is intended for fun only ! So, just give straightforward answers.


. Have you ever made a blunder ?
. When asked to keep a secret, have you spilled the beans inadvertently ?
. Have you ever wished you had thought twice before speaking ?
. Have you ever wanted the earth to swallow you up ?


. O/1 yes answers : you are thoughtful and tactful, perhaps a bit demure 
                                   and shy, as well.Forget about winning the title !

. 2 yes answers      : you happen to let go, but so rarely that the title will
                                    never be yours.

. 3 yes answers      : you have found the golden mean, but you can tip the 
                                    balance and take the biscuit ! It's up to you ...

. 4 yes answers      : congratulations ! I was looking for the perfect 
                                    blunderer and you fit the bill !!

Now let me tell you about an awful blunder of mine and we'll see if we can be placed equal first.

You remember I am just a budding  gardener, plus let's be honest, a fair weather gardener,as well, and I have not proven myself very reliable when it comes to upkeep. Anyway, my fruit trees are the apple of my eye, and I wanted to learn how to properly prune them. One snip of shears  too many and I can kiss good-bye to 2016 harvest.
So, when I heard there was a pruning demonstration in the nearby nursery garden, I decided to attend it.

The demonstration went on smoothly and I took down notes to make sure to use my tools properly.
Then questions were encouraged from the audience, and the use of pesticides was brougth up.As most people were against, everyone gave their own tips and tricks. Dear me, why did I stick my oar in ?? I must have been in a daze, that's the only reason I can find.
I raised my hand and said :

" I have been told that spreading hair on the grass around the trunk keeps pest away."

There was an awkward silence, then a huge roar of laughter rang out !
All eyes were on me !I glanced at the man in charge of the demonstration, he was pointing at his skull : he was BALD !!

Why hadn't I thought twice before speaking ? Because I am a first-class blunderer.I am not about to give up my world champion title , unless the results of the quiz show that you are within a hair's breadth of standing on the podium beside me !

mardi 10 novembre 2015



" The Undergrowth Chronicles " season 1 is over.Mrs Deer and her little darling are safe and sound in the very depths of the undergrowth. I guess we won't see them again till the end of the works, which means...Dear me, I really don't know what the phrase "the end of the works " mean !
Breton craftsmen do have all the qualities but one : reliability !
Whatever you ask them for, quite sure you'll get a straightforward " yes ".
Then, you can feel quite satisfied, as long as you are not expecting a tight schedule.Calendars and deadlines are their pet hates.
Those skilled people are the stuff divas are made of ! They can keep you cool your heels, and then, once you have kissed them goodbye, come out tof the blue. Once you know that, you are immune !
So, I just keep my fingers crossed, and hope there won't be any more trenches in the garden by Xmas. Otherwise, I wonder how Santa Claus's reindeers will pull their sleigh to my place ... Time will tell.

Last week I told you there would be still plenty of twists and turns ( and fun, as well) in the chapters to come, and I swear I'll stick to my words !
But today, I'd like to attract your attention on something special.

While I was leafing through Mrs Deer's precious notebook, it crossed my mind that you could follow her example. I mean, keeping a diary ( in English,of course !). It is another way to improve your vocabulary and consolidate it.
You write your thoughts in spoken-English style, but you have time to think about the language you are using.So, a diary is a good link between accuracy and fluency.
Don't rack you brain to get a leading thread. Just jot down everyday facts. Even if you think you have nothing worth to say,you'll see that just pottering about means learning a good deal of new words and phrases.

For example, look at my diary entry for last Wednesday :


Today I got up early, and, fortunately, I was full of beans, because Wednesday is my anti-procrastination day.
I had to deal with all the things I had kept putting off !

So, in the morning I got rid of all the red tape cluttering nearly two thirds of my desk : I checked my bank settlement, cancelled a subscription to a monthly ( I have not even read the one but last issue), tore the junk mail, updated some files and dropped a few lines to Domi ( a longlife friend).

Then, it was lunch-time. Quite satisfied with myself** for being able to deal with the left-overs crammed in the fridge. The left-over boiled chickpeas made a perfect hummus for the chicken salad !

In the afternoon we went for our daily ten kilometres' power walk. The weather was gorgeous and exercising was pure bliss ! We came back home frazzled but happy to have stuck to our self-imposed schedule.

For dinner I tested a coconut red lentil soup recipe. My coriander powder was a bit old, so, not as tasty as it should have been, but as a whole it is a recipe worth keeping.

As there was nothing much on telly (as usual), I decided to take the giant shoebox filled with loose photos out of the closet where it had been tucked in since we moved in. I've started putting them in some kind of order.


You see, keeping a diary does not mean writing a masterpiece, or competing for Pullitzer Prize, but just being factual and trying to use the most accurate words.

Anyway, advice is cheap, so take it easy and have it your own way !

Next week we'll set off on new adventures and I bet you'll laugh heartily when I tell you what happened to me some days ago ...

** getting too big for my boots again !!!

mardi 3 novembre 2015



I guess by now you must have read the few lines I dropped last Friday. Have they tickled your curiosity ? Are you eager to know more about " The Undergrowth Chronicles" ? Are you striving to solve the riddle ? Or, are you just daydreaming of a world where all of us 
( deers, foxes and birdies included) would speak the same language ? In that case, forget about it ! Even if English is not number one on the list of the most spoken languages in the world, it still has a bright future ahead. So, either you face the facts and improve your English by reading this blog, or you find skilful craftsmen ready to build a new Tower of Babel ! And that's another kettle of fish ....

Well, let's stop joking ! What matters today is Mrs Deer's message.

You remember that what I deciphered, blew my socks off. It really did !  I couldn't get over it !  I mean, I had to pinch myself to make sure it was true-to-life ! So, I won't keep you waiting any longer. Here is Mrs Deer's message, word for word.

" Dear Perky Busy Bee,

That's your name , isn't it ? I heard it on the grapevine. Yet, when I saw you steal my precious notebook, I thought " Nosy Cheeky Bee " would have suited you better !
But, little by little, watching you on the sly made me change my mind and realize you were harmless and caring, as well. By the way, thanks a million for the salt licks, and my deepest apologies for the rosebuds , the figs, and all the temptations I shouldn't have yielded to !

I have received your warning loud and clear. How nice of you !!

Anyway, don't worry ! Deers are demure, but clear-sighted, as well. Some time ago, when I caught sight of a man wearing rubber boots and overalls, and striding across your garden and along the edge of the undergrowth, I smelled a rat ! I was high time to bid farewell to our piece of Eden. With the help of Dear, I emptied our pantry and lugged our stock to the very depths of the undergrowth. Where ?? I won't tell you, for fear an intruder should force you to let the cat out of the bag !!
A soon as you sound the all clear, I'll come over with Dear. "

Flabbergasted,aren't you ? Now I will leave Mrs Deer quiet, but in next episodes, a lot of twists and turns ...