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dimanche 24 avril 2016




Last Thursday morning the strong gusts of wind I could hear through the windows, in spite of the double-glazing, let me think some kind of stormy weather was on its way. So, it was safer to take the dog for a walk immediately.
I skipped breakfast and shower, slipped on a comfy outfit and headed off.
As I was walking along the seashore, I came across a friend of mine I had not seen for ages. She had been jogging and apologized for being in a sweat. I did not dare to apologize for my " just rolled out of bed " look ! Yet, I was feeling awfully ashamed because I knew I was far from looking my best !
Once back home, a glance in the mirror floored me : tousled hair, faded sweater, shapeless sweatpants and misshapen sneakers ! To top it all, a smear of the coffee, I had  swallowed down before leaving, had drawn a kind of thin moustache above my upper lip !!
No hope to advertise for "The Miracle Morning* " !
Anyway, that reminded me of a mishap which happened to my mother-in-law years ago.
In Summer she used to look after her younger grand-daughter (my niece), and indulged her as much as she could.
She would take her to the beach, build sandcastles with her, prepare crêpes whenever the little one wanted to, take her to the movies, the circus, and so on.
Summers went by quietly, till one year the chubby baby turned into a slim teen who wanted to go clubbing !
Suddenly my mother-in-law realized she couldn't turn the clock back, and preserve her baby cake in a glass case any longer !
She knew the nearby disco was a safe venue for teenagers to socialize, make new friends and have fun, and even though a bit reluctant, she decided to let her go.
Yet on one condition !
Strictly forbidden to be given a lift back home by anyone ! At 1.00am my mother-in-law or my niece's best friend's mother would be at the entrance of the club to pick them up.
From then things went on smoothly. The two ladies took turns driving the two dancers back home safe and sound.
Then, one night at a quarter to one my mother-in-law was dragged out of bed by a phone-call from the other 'chauffeur' who could not start her car.
In less than no time my mother-in-law threw a dressing-gown on her pyjamas, hopped into her car, and drove full speed to the disco ( 7kms away in the middle of the countryside !).
And what was to happen happened !
On a narrow winding road she was pulled over by two policemen who asked her for her driving licence, which, of course, she had forgotten to grab when rushing out of the house !
As one of the officers was taking out his book to fine her, she told him she did not care, and urged him to let her go !

" Where are you going ? ", the other policeman asked.
" To the disco ", she blurted out !
" Stop messing about, and get out of your car right now !", the officer ordered angrily.

Now, imagine the rest ...

A 80-year-old lady in dressing-gown and pyjamas on her way to the disco at nearly 1.00 am ...

The two officers exchanged glances as though reading each other's minds.
' Poor little granny ! She must not have all her faculties ! What a drag it is getting old **! '

My mother-in-law was awfully ashamed and in a tizzy ( the clock was ticking), but she managed to calm down and explained the whole matter.

The officers burst out laughing  and let her do her job.

That was a happy end , but anyway remember :

Whatever may happen, make sure you are ready for it !!

* The Miracle Morning -the 6 habits that will transform your life before
   8AM by Hal Elrod

** some will recognize the lyrics of a song by my favourite rock'n' roll band.

A problem ?

dimanche 17 avril 2016



I don't think I'm a softie, but yet, getting a bad cold sinks my mood in a wink. One sneeze too many turns the Perky Busy Bee into a Sullen Drowsy Bee !
So, whenever I get a scratchy throat, a runny nose and watery eyes, I always try to nip the cold in the bud ! Hey, hey, a good opportunity to treat myself to a hot toddy ( a little brandy, fresh lemon, two cloves and hot water make a better medicine than any over-the-counter ones).
Yet, last week , even one glass too many was not enough !
My husband had been coughing and sneezing for over two weeks, and although I had kept telling him " Sharing is great, but keep your cold to yourself ", I knew I was doomed to be the next host of the sneaky microbes.
So, what was to happen happened ! On Tuesday morning I woke up under the weather. I dragged myself out of bed, picked at my breakfast and unable that time to stop the cold in its track, I wasted the whole morning grabbing tissues every two minutes and sipping hot lemon juice with honey.
I lunched on a healthy chicken soup ( the best recipe to fight a cold) , and as it was safer to stay comfy, I slumped onto the sofa and decided to map out the plot of my next chapter ( this week's chapter).
I read my list of topics all throughout, but I could not set my mind on any. Whatever I jotted down turned out into rambling and go-nowhere stories a few minutes later.
I had to face the facts : I was stuck !
The side effects of my bad cold ? I pretended to think so, but actually I was awfully ashamed !
Millions of bloggers post twice or three times a week, others even on a daily basis, and Perky Busy Bee would not be able to cope with one poor little chapter a week ?? I was cut on the quick !! I needed to make it clear !
I took my laptop, and a few clicks later, I learnt that the blogger's block is a very common disease. Nothing to worry about as there are countless websites to help you overcome that bad patch.
Anyway, to comfort myself, I started reading some bloggers' testimonials, and one caught my attention.
The girl was saying she could not focus on her blog because she was suffering from FOMO. It kept her sidetracked and unable to gather her ideas !
Jeez ! Sure, I had that disease, too ! But how had I caught it ?? FOMO sounded Japanese. Well, I had not seen my friend Yayoi for long .So what ? Food ? Impossible ! The Breton word for sushis is 'crêpes', and crêpes are excellent for health !
A visit to Dr Google's surgery was compulsory ( No need to bribe the secretary to squeeze you in, the doctor receives his patients round the clock). Whatever his diagnosis, sure he would give me the right prescription to get rid of that Far-East virus !
Dr Google was categorical ! FOMO is " a psychological disorder that is considered to be both a phobia and an addiction. It is related to technology and can cause havoc on a person's personal as well as professional life ", and worse " it has gone viral ".
Dear me !! What was that plague ? Were there any remedies ? Any vaccines ?
Oops ! While reading that awful description I had skipped the small prints in brackets, and that made all the difference !
Actually FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out ! Roughly speaking, it means you keep connected to all the social networks, you check your inmail box and your mobile every quarter, just in case you might miss something out !
Well, fortunately I didn't have all the symptoms, but yet, if I was there trawling through the websites just because of my blogger's block, it meant I was an easy prey.
It was high time to react and set myself limits.
Ok, but how ? I needed my computer to blog and keep in touch with all of you , so what could I do ? How could I make sure I would not get totally comtaminated ?
And there I went again ! Browsing the web to get some tips and tricks to fight FOMO.
How fabulous the digital age is !! In next to no time I got two solutions to my little worries !
JOMO and GOMO could change my life ! In addition, if I followed their
' directions for use ', sure I would be able to enjoy YOLO !!
Oh heck ! I was " lost in translation* " again !
Even worse, due to my cold ( or Internet excessive use) I had got sidetracked  and I had not even dropped a single line of my next chapter !
But, wait a minute !! In spite of my runny nose, my watery eyes and my scratchy throat, I guess I have given you food for thought, haven't I ?
Take care of yourselves and have a nice week !
* a very good film by Sofia Coppola

Any comments ? The safest way to get in touch with me :

or a private message on Facebook

dimanche 10 avril 2016


Chapter sixty-one :

Thanks to this blog, week after week, we have kept in touch, and now, nearly one year and a half later, I think we are kind of 'cyber friends'.
Even if you are still a bit shy when it comes to posting comments, your cheerful and friendly mails let me think that you are always up for a good time, quick on the draw, and never short of jokes, and even pranks ! (Come on, L..., I know you are not a chicken, but you, bungee-jumping ? My foot !).
Your encouragements, even over dumb little things, show me that I can keep on sharing big news, funny mishaps, and awfully embrarrassing blunders, with you. And I hope you'll share back. Confessing little secrets and getting that weight off one's shoulders is such a relief !
Yet, don't expect me to turn my blog into a reality show ! There are already way too many on telly ! Sometimes I wonder how long broadcasters will continue flooding the airwaves with garbage !
But that's another topic, and I won't tackle it because you would notice how touchy and narrow-minded I happen to be !
So, this week you'll have to content yourselves with one of my worst school memories.
I'm sure, most of you, looking back through your school years, can recall a misguided teacher disparaging your work, and negative comments carried like a chain and ball for years, not to say , sometimes up to now !
My Mrs Negative Comments was a drawing teacher in primary school. Well, I must confess I was not good at drawing, actually it was my worst subject.
I enjoyed tracing from books ( maps for the geography class, for example), but when it came to sketching, it seemed my right hand did not belong to me any longer !
No matter how hard I strived to apply the teacher's techniques, it always appeared I did not have an inborn talent !
To be honest, I was hopeless !
I even wonder if books such as " drawing for dummies " would have been of any use !
So, one day when Mrs Negative Comments told us that for Mother's Day we would paint a bunch of flowers, I felt petrified. Sure, I was heading for failure !
Anyway, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do !
As we could choose which flowers to paint, I decided on pansies. They were my mum's favorites, and I thought their petals shoudl not be too difficult to draw.
And it proved true !
Then, I took out my tubes of paint, my paintbrush, my palette, and Dany Da Vinci started her masterpiece :
emerald green for the stems, bottle green for the leaves, purple and yellow for the petals and black for the hearts .
For once, the result was quite satisfying. My bunch nearly looked real !
( Self-compliments are excellent self-esteem boosters ).
In those days, I already got gung-ho easily, and as you must have noticed all throughout the different chapters, whenever it happens, most of the time everything goes wrong.
That time was not the exception that proves the rule ...
So, there I was, admiring my painting, when suddenly my inner artist woke up. That bunch was far too common ! My mum deserved something more ! Something more personal, a kind of lucky charm !
A lucky charm ? Bingo ! I had found the idea ! I would paint a ladybird on one of the petals ! A long-time good luck symbol would be a priceless present for Mother's Day !
One spot too many on the ladybird's wings, and budda-bing, budda-boom !!
The spot turned into a blot !!
Never mind ! After all, the bigger, the luckier ! Anyway, I had done my best, and I had poured my heart into it. That was of the essence !!
Then, as the art class time was nearly over, the teacher came around to check what we had done. She stopped close to me, took my work and waving it, said nastily :
" Did you know that tortoises lived on flowers ? Well, now you do ! ".
My schoolmates burst out laughing ( let's face it : children can be cruel toward others !), and the only thing I could do was to sneak out of the room.
I was mortified and on the verge of tears !!
Mrs Negative Comments'remark echoed in my mind for long ,and even now colouring books remind me of her hurtful comments !!
Now, tell me, what about you ? Do you have a Mr or Mrs Negative Comments buried in you memory, too ?
Did you experience school upsetting and confusing incidents remembered for years ?
If so, it's time to let them out ! You'll feel better afterwards !
If not, well, it means either you were the teachers'pet or you were the
top pupil !!
Anyway , let me know quickly  !!!!

Have a nice week !

dimanche 3 avril 2016





Ages ago, when the phone rang, I used to enjoy picking it up. First, because I am always in a talkative mood, and also maybe, because the very first summer job I got was as a switchboard operator.Hey you, don't laugh at me ! In the early seventies that's the kind of job students could still apply for.
Anyway, things have changed ...
Now, when I hear the ringing, I usually shuffle my feet to the phone set, because nearly half the time they are cold calls, and they drive me nuts !
Our house has just been done up, so I don't care about double-glazing,
insulation or solar panels !
As for complementary health insurances or whatever other rubbish, I have everything I need ! Period, point-blank !
The only marketing calls that can " tame the shrewd " I am ( just on the phone, of course !) are customer satisfaction surveys.
I think they are great tools for companies to get feedback, to pin down the customers'likes and dislikes, and improve their loyalty.
So, when  being polled, I am usually cheerful and ready to cooperate !
Yet, most of the time the pollsters ask me to rate my satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is ' not at all important ' and 5 is ' utmostly
important '.
How puzzling and frustrating for a chatter-box like me !!
Never mind ! Actually, I think the best way to advertise for something you are entirely satisfied with, is positive word of mouth !
I try to stick to that principle whenever possible, but am I right ??
Let me explain.
A fortnight ago, after dealing with my job as a serial weed-killer ( wild garlic is back and blooming cheekily), I was on my way to my favourite haunt for an invigorating and well-deserved coffee-break.
As I was passing along one of the bakeries of the town, I caught sight of a man trying to push the door. In vain ! The shop was closed !
I always feel sorry for people locked outside a bakery !
Licking one's lips at the thought of treating oneself with a crusty baguette or some fluffly Danish pastries, and then finding the shop closed can ruin a day !

So, I hailed the man and said :
" There is another bakery nearby, and you won't lose out ! ".
" It's just struck 2 o'clock. Is it already open ? ", the man asked.
" Of course, it is ! ", I replied, " it is open non-stop.Fortunately there are
   some shopkeepers who don't think life stops at lunch-time ! ".
" Good ", the man said, " but do you think there'll be still some bread
   left ? Today was market day, so I guess they must have run out of
   baguettes by now ! ".
" Don't worry ! ", I continued, " they bake three batches a day , so you
   will never get stale bread there !  And if I were you, I would taste
   their multigrain loaf ! It's worth it !! Anyway, whatever you buy there,
   you'll be thrilled to bits, and your tastebuds will be grateful to you !
   You can take my word, I am a bread lover !
    A good slice of bread with Breton salted butter ! What else ? " .
I was about to go on with my advertising campaign (I can be inexhaustible !), when  a car screeched to a halt just in front of the shop.
A young girl jumped out and , looking at the man, spluttered out :
" Sorry for being late, boss, but I was stuck behind a tractor, and, as it is a narrow winding road, I couldn't overtake ! ".
Then, she took a key out of her bag, and opened the shop door !
I turned as red as a beetroot , and suddenly felt tongue-tied *. I would have liked the earth to swallow me up !!
Before entering the shop, the man turned back to me and said :
" Thanks for all the information ! Next time I want to launch a new kind of bread, I will hire you ! You are a very good advertiser !! ".
You know what ? I think I should change the meaning of my initials :
PBB stands for Perky Busy Bee
Well, I guess Perky Blundering Bee would be more suitable, wouldn't it ?
* When my hubby read  ' I felt tongue-tied ', his only comment was :
                   If only it could happen more often ! ....