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dimanche 31 janvier 2016



Last week after countless rainy days and stormy weather (I love that jazz standard song), the TV frogs at last forecast a lull !

Great ! First because my cute little bear ( chapter 46 : a bear in Brittany) had swallowed so many mouthfuls of water that he was threatening to give his notice and flee to a less turbulent place *, secondly because poor Ulysse had had to make do with
" do-your-business -and-rush-back-home "walks, and was about to turn into a couch potato ! What a disgrace fo guy named Ulysse !

The next morning the weather was rather chilly, but a cold spell doesn't matter if you wrap up warm.
So, I put on a windbreaker, a wooly scarf, gloves and lined boots ( the perfect equipement to keep away sorethroat and a bunged-up nose) and off I went to my favourite dogwalking place : a lovely path running along The Goyen river.
There Ulysse can frolic off leash, sniff the ground and get news from his pals, and whatever the time you stroll along the banks, the landscape is always breathtaking.

There I was, treading slowly and daydreaming. Suddenly dark clouds gathered overhead and a heavy gust of wind swept over the river and shook the trees.
High time to turn back before the shower !
Uysse didn't really agree, but prevention is better than cure, isn't it ?

On my way back I passed quite a lot of sullen hikers bitching and complaining about either the unreliable weather forecast, or, worse, about Breton climate !!
It seemed all those grouchy people had just decided to ruin my good mood.
I tried to melt away their grumps, but soon I caught myself cursing opticians for not fixing windscreen wipers on glasses !
A fog of bad mood was rising and blurring my cheerfulness !

I was about to give in to that fit of temper when I caught sight of an elderly man coming towards me. He was wearing a sailcloth Breton smock and trousers, and a navy blue cap.
When he came close to me, he lifted his cap a little and greeted me with a warm smile !
Have you noticed how contagious smiles are ???

In a split second, my bad mood had faded away.
That man's smile had made my day !!

Then he walked away ignoring the downpour and I said to myself  :

"What a wonderful world !" ( thanks Mr Armstrong for such a beautiful song !!).

You see, life is enjoyable, and anyway, it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown, so, BE LAZY AND SMILE !l

*Dear Mimi, don't worry, dear Teddy sang " Gimme shelter " so well that I let him in .

dimanche 24 janvier 2016


                                                   CHAPTER FIFTY :  PARTY TIME !

    Sorry to bother you with a spoof question, but if I want to change your mind off things, I really need to ask it !
    So, what's your favourite month ?

    I'd bet my head January doesn't win general approval.Even worse, I guess it brings up the rear !
    No surprise ! January is a dreary month : the weather is dull and the sky is grey. Xmas festive season is just a memory of bygone days, and Spring seems lightyears ahead of us. To crown it all, TV figureheads( you know I happen to speak bluntly so I think they can't be called
"newscasters", can they ?) all round the clock utter a stream of disasters to entice us to give in to gloom and doom.
Doom-watch is their business !

    So, what's left ? A fat belly ( New Year binge is sprawling cheekily around our waists) and a flat purse ( Xmas spending spree is an awfully greedy money sucker).

    Depressing, isn't it ? Feel like burying your head in the pillows and wallowing in your misery ?


    Even if it is not party everyday, in January there are plenty of opportunities to let yourself go and have a whale of time !

                                   JANUARY 3rd

     Ok, you din't get the bean, but the frangipane Twelfth Night cake was delicious, wasn't it ?

                                   JANUARY 11th

    It was " Clean off your desk Day ".Have you skipped it ? Well,it's never too late to do the right thing. You can celebrate that day a couple of weeks later. Fight back the flood on your desk. Don't wear a frown ! Purging the paper can be fun ! You can play trashcan paper toss game. Don't tear old paperwork, junk mail and memos ! Crumple them up instead and count how many times you can make it in your trashcan ! Maybe you'll discover your inner NBA basketball player. Ready, steady,go !!

                                   JANUARY 21st

It was Hugging Day ! I hope you haven't dared to overlook it ! A comforting cuddle to those you care about is priceless.So, as soon as you have read my post , turn off your computer and make up for lost time ! Nobody around ? Never mind ! Hug yourself ! Sure, it will cheer you up, at least it will warm you up !

                                   JANUARY 24th

It was Compliments Day . I guess some of you knew about it because I got plenty of sweet words and praises on
Thanks a milllion. For my part let me pay you the compliment of being loyal, lenient and hard-working readers*.

                                    JANUARY 26th

Put your thinking caps on and ponder about the meaning of that day !
Come on, rack your brain a little !
Chocolate Cake Day ?? Wrong !! Chocolate Cake Day is on January 27th, a red-letter day for chocolate lovers.
Do you want a clue ? Look at the photo !!
No idea ? You give up ?

It is my first blogiversary !!

I'm so excited ! Blogging is an awesome experience and it's all the more thrilling as you keep showing support !



By the way, do you know where I will celebrate ? Have a guess ....

* a good and free online dictionary :

dimanche 17 janvier 2016



Monday January 25  is my one-year blogiversary. That's a good opportunity to have fun, an ,of course, I'll jump on it.You remember, being perky means being buoyant, upbeat, chirpy, whatever you want as long as it means cheerful and lively ! So, it would be a shame to tarnish my penname, wouldn't it ?

Of course, I do know the saying " don't count your chickens before they're hatched ", and it is true there is still one week left before D-day, but, anyway, I can't help being satisfied with myself !

Since I took the plunge, I have stuck to my first key motto : Keep consistent in blogging.
Except once ( I was then too grief-stricken by November 13 slaughter), I have never failed to post. I have always kept to the meeting and so have you !
Then, why not pat each other on the back ? It does good from time to time, doesn't it ?

The second watchword from blogging experts to newbies was " have your blog show what your real personality is ".
Bingo ! I think I have followed the tip strictly !
Um... maybe a bit too strictly ! I think I have been somehow " too squared " with you ! I tend to get carried away easily, so over the chapters I have let myself go, and now, it's too late to backpedal.
You know all my flaws, don't you ? Well, at least a part of them because to name all of them would be nearly impossible !
Come on, don't wear a frown ! I'll spare you any buttering-up !

Just one request ! Forgive Perky for being daydreaming (chapter six), greedy
(chapter eight) or naive (chapter thirteen) !

My thoughtlessness is the only shortcoming you should remember
because my mishap in chapter forty-seven has made you laugh a lot and has boosted your comments !!
I have noticed that there are plenty of car-jackers among you, and even better, some of you push it to be upgraded to shopping-trolley jackers !!

To see the funny side of it, let me tell you my latest ( unfortunately , not my last, I fear) careless mistake : that's the full monty !!

To flush away my Xmas sins (and my spare tyre, as well) and to reverse the side effects of the antibiotics, I decided to go on a detox diet and prepared  a vegetable stew in my too long neglected slow-cooker ( the handiest tool for poor cooks like me). In next to no time I had washed, peeled, chopped  and sliced all the veggies.
I was about to lock my magic cooker, when, on an impulse, I felt like adding a personal touch to my stew.
Sure, some curry would make it heartier ! I sprinkled the mouth-watering vegetables with three large pinches of the fragrant spice, and let the cooker do its job ! Yummy !!

In the meantime I cleaned the sink and the counter top, and tidied away the salt, the pepper and the ...cinnamon !!!
Jeez !! I had misread the label and had put cinnamon instead of curry. What a goof !! I would have kicked myself !!

Before tossing my efforts in the trash, I tasted it. Well, it was not as bad as I thought. It was "special"...

That evening, my only guest was my hubby. Never mind ! He would be my Guinea pig !

The first mouthful left him a little puzzled, the second one was a kind of blind test, at the third one his verdict was in :

" tasty, squidgy with a delicious Far-East hint !".

Simply awesome !!

You see, thoughtlessness doesn't always lead to mishaps ! So, never say die !
Anyway, a leopard can't change its spots !!

dimanche 10 janvier 2016



Every year, when January rolls around, I feel like a fresh start, a better lifestyle, a better leisure management, a better way  to go about things, in short a better me !

Of course, after a festive season ends, getting back into my daily routine and effective working is sometimes a kind of uphill struggle !

Yet, if I want to go on calling myself  Dany The Perky Busy Bee, I must be an eager beaver, a live wire, and I must be chirpy, as well !

So, last Monday I mustered up my energy and decided to apply one of the decluttering lessons from " The Life-changing Magic of tidyin up  " by Marie Kondo ( a Japanese organizing consultant whose book has been selling like hot cakes since it came out in 2014), a present from my so-far-away darling daughter.

I thought an organized clean kitchen was the way to kick-start New Year. I cleared the drawers, the shelves, the spice racks, the fridge.I checked the use-by dates on jars. I tossed out all the left-overs ( they had overstayed my welcome). The afternoon flashed by !

Just before dinner, I was standing in the middle of my kitchen, gazing proudly at the fruits of my labour, when, in a split second and without a warning, all the signs were there :
a scratchy throat, watery eyes and a runny nose...damn it, I was coming down with a cold !!

I was not to give in to such a trivial illness ! A toddy ( rum, lemon juice, hot water, cinamon and a clove) and a good night sleep would ward off that pesky cold !

Unfortunately, the next morning I had breathing difficulties and a chest pain, so I brought myself to phone my GP. His appointment book was pretty full, but, as I often have asthma attacks, he managed to squeeze me in.

By the time I got into his surgery, I was wheezing and a pounding headache was already nagging at me. To avoid risks of complications, the doctor put me on antibiotics.

Once I had maxed my " green card " at the chemist's, I went to my favorite haunt to swallow the first tablets prescribed to ease the symptoms.

Do you remember Jean ? I told you about that bonesetter in chapter 42 , " Is Perky Busy Bee a Barfly ? ".
Well, he was standing at the bar, and, as soon as I stepped in, he shouted at me :

" Hi, Dany ! You're a bit off colour ! What's wrong with you ? ".

When I told him about my awful cold and showed him my prescription, he shrugged his shoulders and exclaimed :

" Just bullshit ! come along, I'll cure that damned thing in no time !".

He asked me to stand very straight, to pull my chin up and the back of my head down a little, to pull my shoulder blades together, and to close my eyes tight.
Then he threw a punch right in the middle of my forehead !
The hit was so strong that I saw stars !! I was knocked out and felt like a boxer against the ropes. I was just praying for the referee to blow the final whistle !

It took me a while to dare to open my eyes. Jeez !! My nose was no longer runny, no more feeling of crumbs in my throat, and my headache had gone away !!

The only snag was that, even though I stared wide-eyed, I couldn't see anything : the bar was just like a blurred screen !!
Jean's blow had cured my cold, but had left me blind for the rest of my life !!

Suddenly the referee's so long-awaited whistle rang out. Somebody was tapping my cheek. I strained to see who had come to my rescue.

My husband was holding the car door open and said :

" Hardly had you got out of the chemist's when you sat in the car and sank into a deep sleep. All the way back home you were as good as gold. You didn't make a move. Yet, you were wheezing* so much that Canaille was at his wit's ends ! ".

Phew !! What a weird nightmare !

* Actually the referee's whistle I had heard just when I was about to wake up was my own wheezing !

Poor Jean ! I could imagine his face when I told him about the boxing match he had won by a KO ! A " One-hit wonder " !

By the way do you know what the phrase " a one-hit wonder " that I appropriated really means ?

Hope you have enjoyed this new adventure. Have a nice week and don't forget to share !

PS : Thanks a lot  for your comments on the previous chapter ! A special thank to Jacky for the funny picture , and a special thank also to Carole for telling me supermarkets often make her scatterbrained ...

dimanche 3 janvier 2016



Late September I told you about my smoothly-running method to keep consistent in blogging.So, you remember ( You don't ? Come on, you're faithful and lenient readers,so pretend you do !) the only snag was not to tell my short stories but how to start them, I mean, how to pull the trigger. Well, I don't freeze up at the sight of my blank page any longer, but hooking you right off the bat is till my main concern.
This time I thought I would get away with that hands down. Thanks to the tradition of season's greetings, I would get into the very heart of the matter in a wink. Indeed, early January was the perfect moment to buck up your spirits with some confidence-boosting sentences, some inspirational quotes, or something in the same line.So, I started browsing on the Net to get the most peaceful and cheerful phrase for you.
Is it just to be awkward or is it the " feel good thoughts " websites glut, I really don't know, but the fact remains that after a while I got grumpy ! Cloud Cuckoo Land and its
over-optimistic fantasy were getting on my nerves ! I was sick of all those soppy
do-gooders ! It was high time to let off the steam. That's the dark side of Dany The Perky Busy Bee ...

Xmas and New Year spending sprees have washed me out, and feeding the fridge ( no, it is not a typing mistake, I do mean " feeding " that greedy monster) is a fatigue party that has drawn me to the following conclusion :


Don't get me wrong ! I don't mind household shopping as long as it is in small shops where shopkeepers greet you with a smile and advise you on what to choose. Unfortunately such places are increasingly rare.
No, when I say I hate supermarkets, I mean those self-service shops located on the outskirts of the towns, in the middle of huge car-parks, and offering an outrageous variety of food and household products, organized into aisles where suckers and milch cows get lost ! ( Sorry for that slip-up, but when it comes to giving my opinion on some subjects, I happen to speak bluntly ! ). Their deeply oppressive buying environment puts me in a serial killer mood !
Everything is impersonal, except the shopping trolleys. Have you noticed those evil vehicles have a mind of their own ? You push them straight, they go left, you try to pull them left, they go right ! I have known for long that anything that has four wheels is not for me, but why the heck can't I steer at least a shopping cart ?? Should I be doomed to drive just a wheelbarrow ? ( Can you picture me loading the barrow with all my shopping, lifting the handles, moving off and trying to keep the momentum to help balance ? Of course, you can't, and I can't either ! ). Anyway, let's face it : even if trolleys are sometimes stubborn as a mule,  they are the key players of supermarkets.
One more thing, if you don't mind : supermarket music . I know all the talk about the reason for loud music in shopping areas, but as far as I am concerned, whatever the time, it is always too early to stomach the season latest hit !

Well, after my indictment of supermarkets ( strongly biased, I must admit), I guess you will be a bit suprised if I tell you that my last visit to one of those dens of iniquity "
 gave me a fit of giggles !

As I don' have my driving license ( for pedestrians' sake), my hubby was in charge of steering the overfilled trolley out of the shop and I was to press the button on the car key remote to unlock the boot. I pressed once, twice, three times, in vain : my finger joints got white with my strong pressure, but the boot remained desperately locked, and the front and rear doors, as well !
Ten kilometres on foot to fetch the set of spare keys and come back was doable, but it was getting dark and it was not the best solution. Hitchhiking ? It seemed it was not our lucky day, so we were likely to be given a lift by a reckless driver or a squiffy one ( quite common between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve).
So, there we were, hatching plans to break into our car, when someone behind us gave a slight cough and said : " Anything wrong ?".
We both turned round, shrugged our shoulders, showed the keyless remote and sputtered : " Out of battery !".
The man burst out laughing and told us we could use our remote just to unlock our own car, and for the moment we were standing in front of his car !
We were in such a  hurry to go back home that we had gone to the wrong car without paying attention to the number plate !
Suddenly, quite sheepish, we caught sight of our car parked a little farther ! Canaille who had been indulging himself with a nap on the rear seat, had woken up and was rolling his eyes at us !

Phew !! For once a happy end !

Yet, I hope my little mishap will help you to realize how brainwashing supermarkets can be !!

Dany, a well-wisher !