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dimanche 26 juin 2016




Hello everybody,

Captain Perky speaking,

Thank you for being here, and sorry if you are packed like sardines on the deck, but you are more and more numerous to embark on " Perky Busy Bee " ocean liner !
Anyway, whatever the number of passengers, our cruise has nothing to do with package tours !
No tight schedule : you can stay as long as you want to in one of the stopovers, or just decide to skip it.
No alloted time ! What matters is to respect each passenger's pace.
Whether you are introverted or outgoing, Perky Busy Bee customized service will meet your expectations : either you enjoy the stopovers on your own ( with the best headphones trademark at your disposal (, or you share the visit with as many people as you feel like with the link !
Oh, sorry, hang on a sec, I can hear Dearhubby shouting !
" Come on, Perky, stop advertising and let your passengers come to the gangway ! ".
OMG, forgive me ! That's right, time is flying, and Dearhubby is waiting for you to help you down into the dinghies.
Yes, actually this week's port of call is way too shallow for our cruise liner.
But, don't worry, our little boats have all modern conveniences, and in case of emergency, is always available and ready to lead you through the meanders of Funny Fishing Net.
We discovered that river when we were living in Charentes.
You remember in chapter " Hunting Season ", I already told you about that little village where people cultivate vineyards and carpe diem, as well !
Whatever the season, they make the most of it. As soon as Winter comes to an end, they get ready to enjoy river fishing.
All the easier as the countryside is criss-crossed with slow-flowing, fairly deep rivers.
Even though during hunting season we had done our best to forget the saying " When in Rome, do as Romans do ", when Spring came, we thought it could be fun to go fishing.
No sooner said than done.
A visit to the outdoors sports shop, and we had the perfect angler equipment : fishing rods, hooks and baits (yuk, those worms nearly made me sick).
Unfortunately, a few fishing parties later, we had to face the facts : we would not take part in the year fishing championship !
The only things we had been able to catch were weeds and water lilies.
Even worse, when lending an ear, we could hear carps and trouts gossiping about an unexpected flow of worms, and harmful hooks and lines entangled in the reeds...
They were not the only ones to make fun of us. One neighbour, who had already laughed at our poor mushroom-picking talents, kept telling us we would stay former city-dwellers for ever, and that with budding anglers like us the nearby fishmonger would never go bankrupt !
Our fake laughter and awkward smiles couldn't stop his constant taunts !
Whenever we met him, he would boast about his secret trick to throw his net across the river, and I must recognize he really had the knack to do that.
Yet, as we were getting more and more suspicious about the size and quantity of fish he caught, one day, he challenged himself.
He said he would fix his net and the day after he would " parade " through the village to show his miraculous catch !
A glance at Dearhubby and I immediately knew a prank was on its way !
After midnight, we tiptoed to the bank of the river. As it was pitch dark, in spite of our torches it took us quite a while to find the net.
Half-an-hour later, we had freed one sturgeon, one eel and one crayfish, and saved them from their frying-pan doomed evil fate. We had replaced them by ...have a guess before reading the rest !
Our prank played, we rushed back to bed to be widely awake to enjoy the next morning " parade "...
When the church clock struck nine, everybody was outside waiting for the " village first-rate boaster " !
Suddenly he burst out of the water-mill he was living in, and shouted :
" Incredible,isn't it ? I'm so good at fishing that fish must have sent the word round, and now get into my net, ready-to-eat ! Look ! ".
And then, he raised his hands and showed two tins of sardines and tuna !
Looking at Dearhubby and me mischievously, he added :
" Would my Parisian friends accept to share my lunch today ? 'Fish just out of the net' is today's special. Sure , you'll enjoy it ! ".
That's when we started wondering who the biter bit really was ! And we still wonder !
To know whether our "fishing-for-compliments neighbour" had seen us that night or if he was just quick on the draw, that's another kettle of fish !!
Dear passengers of Perky Busy Bee ocean liner, enjoy your stopover and don't forget :
Be perky !!

dimanche 19 juin 2016



June 12th and the following days' awfully tragic events left your Captain so devastated that holding the hem of your liner was just beyond her strengths. The shock wave was so violent that it took the crew a couple of days to start the engine and reach the cruising speed again.
Anyway, whatever the storms and the winds are, we must get ahead and as a famous singer used to sing :
      " The show must go on "
This week, we won't have a stopover. Instead, we'll drop the anchor offshore, far from the 'madding crowds'.
To change your mind off things, I'll tell you a dog story, because I really do believe that dogs are often better than humans !
So, ready for a kind of happy note ?
You remember in chapter '' The Case of the Biter bit ", I told you how Dearhubby cured my dog phobia and turned me into a doting dog lover.
Well, actually he was not the only one responsible for the job...
When our first four-legged companion arrived in our place, my husband was working in shifts, and as I was alone in the evenings every other week, I had been wondering if I couldn't take advantage of that spare-time by myself to try to get over my pet fear. Yes, I must tell you that in those days I was not in good terms with cats,either !
Yet, my inner voice was advising me to start small.
A Guinea pig ? A bit too smelly,wasn't it ? And anyway, I didn't speak a single word of Guinean, so,out of question !
After hesitating for a while, I made my choice on a goldfish. That would be my first great adventure in the animal kingdom !
I would teach him to recognize my voice and my face, and swim up to the glass of the tank to eat from my hand !
Cleo (in memory of Gepetto's goldfish in Pinocchio) would soon become as smart as a dolphin (the early days of my vivid imagination...).
On the very day I was about to go to the nearby petshop to choose my sweetheart and buy all the supplies (tank,gravel,mini rocks and greenery) to become a perfect goldfish foster mother, my husband came back home with a big wicker basket and said :
" Here is a surprise for you, Perky, come on, lift the lid ! ".
What I discovered inside was simply breathtaking ! An adorable puppy cocker looking at me in that so special cockerlike way ! Just browse through the comic " Bill and Buddy ", and you'll understand !
My fear of dogs ? Gone with the wind !
Between that cute little guy and me, it was love at first sight ! He melted my heart in a split second !
Although Jolux had an aristocratic surname ( du Roquevent), he was none the better-mannered !
Teaching him to do his business outside took me quite a while !
Yet, that was not the worst !
Telling him not to do a puppy cocker housework while I was at work, was useless !
He was just willing to help.
So, every evening on my way back from the office I was wondering what he would have worked on...
He had some tricks up his sleeve and was just unpredictable !
One day he was a hard-working shoe-maker and turned court shoes into flip-flops. At the time, global warming was not a topical issue and November was not that warm in Paris !
Another day, he was a secretary and ' scanread ' the mail our caretaker had slided under the door. Attending the British Chamber of Commerce with a notification torn to pieces was an efficient stress trigger !
His imagination was as vivid as mine ! My life had become a scenic railway : everyday I had my share of scoldings and cuddles !
I had to face the facts : his naughtiness was beginning to get me down !
Then, one day, a colleague of mine offered to come after work to my place and see what she could do with my little rascal.
Her husband was a dog-breeder, so she could show me the ropes.
We left the office and on the way to my place, she already gave me some tricks to help me when Jolux was misbehaving.
That sounded so obvious and easy !
Sure, some waves of her magic wand would turn my little devil into a puppy a good as gold !
Perhaps, my expectations were a bit too high ...
Once on the landing of my flat, it turned out that we were locked out. Whatever the way I turned the key into the keyhole, no use !
Same result with the caretaker's spare set !
And, Jolux, inside, was yipping and whinning as if frightened !
Jeez !! Sure, there were burglars in and a hostage taking was on its way !
The clock was ticking and it was high time to call for a locksmith.
A forty-five minutes' wait and our saver turned up, and after making sure I was the property owner, he tackled the door.
A few tools and a gentle shoulder push later and " open sesame " !
My little odd-jobber had wanted to get rid of the corridor fitted carpet, had rolled it in front of the entrance door and had ended up sueezed under it !
My colleague, I had put all my hopes on to master my tireless "cleaner", just uttered an amazed
" Waow, what a cute puppy ! Come on, buddy, everything's gonna be allright now, Mummy is back ! ".
Great ! Welcome, dear colleague, to the doting dog owners club !!
Anyway, don't get me wrong. That sweethear made our lives for thirteen years and we still miss him, even though Charlie, Indy,Canaille and Ulysse (and all the dogs we have dogsat) have done their best to replace him.
I hope my adventures as a budding dog-trainer have changed your mind off things and that next week you will be fit and ready for a stopover in
" Funny Fishing Net ".
Make the most of each day and don't forget : be perky !!

dimanche 12 juin 2016


Chapter seventy :

Hello everybody,
Captain Perky speaking.
I hope last shore excursion in ' The Biter bit ' was up to your expectations and that you had fun.
What have you been doing since then ?
Sailing in calm waters and making the most of each day ? Lucky you !!
Let the party continue, then !
You've fallen overboard with no lifejacket on, and now you're just swimming desesperately to head out of those murky waters ? Don't panick, catch this week lifebuoy and cling to it ! Just let the wave of carefreeness lull you for a while ! Every cloud has a silver lining ...
We'll soon drop the anchor in ' Whatsthatboard '.
Dearhubby and myself will show you round that secluded spot nestled in the Decluttering Bay.
We discovered it some years ago thanks to ' The Cheerful Removal
Men ' Company who hired us as first rate packing assistants ( we had already had five job trainings and we had gone through them quite well). Even though the job was a bit of a drag, the experience was worth living and remembering ( you'll see by yourselves...).
A fortnight ago, as I was maping out our voyage for the weeks to come, the name ' Whatsthatboard ' suddenly flashed across my mind !
Jeez ! That stopover was not scheduled ! Never mind !
Even if it meant skipping ' Funny Fishing Nets ' or ' Snail Farming ',
' Whatsthatboard ' was really worth sightseeing !
For cruising newcomers ( and for cruise veterans,as well) the brochure  is at your disposal in the computer lounge. Feel free to help yourselves !
Ready now ? Let's get off, then !!
Some years ago, we had to empty my parents' flat.
They had been living there for nearly 50 years, and I think I can say they were kind of hoarders.
Imagine the mammoth task we had to tackle !!
Anyway, we explored every nook and cranny with the  Cheerful Removal Men, and after agreeing on the D-day, the guys left us in the middle of an ocean of empty carboard boxes.
Before filling them, first thing was to sort out things to keep, give or throw away.
As I have told you, we had already moved five times, so nothing much to be afraid of.
We rolled up our sleeves and started packing, sellotaping and labelling in a perky busy bee way.
The higher the carboard boxes were piling up, the more hoarder line
(sorry, I could resist to that pun) I was feeling !
Six strenuous and nerve-racking weeks later, the day before the crucial date came.
We were done with the job and the only thing left on our list was to take out all the stuff for the bulky waste collection :
two stools so rickety that they couldn't stand up straight up on their legs, a suitcase that too many sommersaults on conveyor belts had left battered, and a scatterbrained shopping trolley which had lost one of its wheels on its weekly shopping journeys.
Phew ! It was over ! We were worn out, but before slumping into bed, we shuffled our feet around for a last inspection tour.
Dearhubby opened a hanging wardrobe and asked :
" Hey, Perky, what's that board ? ".
" Quite huge, isn't it ? ", I answered, " must be the board Mum used to put on the box spring when she had a backache. Let's add it to the items for tomorrow morning collection.
No sooner said than done !
The day after,at 9 sharp, the removal men were there to wrap the furniture.
To let the professionals do their job, we moved from one room to another, saying a bittersweet good-bye to a place where we had had so many cheereful family gatherings.
Our ' sentimental ' journey was interrupted by one of the guys :
" It'd be better to pack the dining room table with its extension. Could you show me where it is, please ? ".
OMG !! The huge board we had put on the pavement to be taken away !!
My husband hurtled down the stairs, but the only thing he could do was to wave good-bye to the collection van !!
So, now you understand why ' Whatsthatboard ' is a place dear to our hearts.
Anyway, no regret, cause even with a tremendously huge extension, the Captain's table  could not have seated all the passengers of
' The Perky Busy Bee ' ocean liner !!
Enjoy your stopover and don't forget : be perky !

lundi 6 juin 2016



Hello all of you,
How are you today ? Perky and gung-ho ? Great, you are in the mood for fun, then. A bit grumpy and high-strung ? Well, this week my challenge will be to shake off your bad mood.
For the newbies (from India, Russia, South Africa, Serbia, Somalia and Emirates), Captain Perky and her crew, Dearhubby,Canaille and Ulysse are happy to welcome you onboard 'Perky Busy Bee ' ocean liner.
Every Monday we drop the anchor at and have a good laugh.
For non-speaking English passengers afraid not to catch everything, onboard service offers quick and convenient access to lifejackets and lifeboats on where a translator is available all round the clock.

Now that the safety instructions have been given, let's cast off !

This week we'll ride again the wave of laughter and humour at cruising speed.

You have already had many opportunities to make fun of me : you have laughed at my poor cooking, gardening,sailing and bird plucking skills, so now we'll change direction and head for Dearhubby.

Don't get me wrong. When you laugh at my expenses, I'm thrilled to the bits. But it would not be fair to leave my hubby out of our voyage.
He is the most trustworthy and reliable member of the crew.
When the sea is choppy or stormy (we all have ups and downs, don't we ?), he always stands by me and cheers me up !
So, he really deserves to be the hero of one of the stopovers of our cruise.

You see, Admiral Jacky, I pay attention to your remarks, and I hope this week story with Alain at the helm will meet your expectations !

So now, dear passengers, sit comfy in your reading nook, or curl up with your laptop on a sofa and get ready for a good laugh.

Let me tell you the story of " The Case of The Biter Bit ".

My hubby is a prankster. He has always been. When I met him, he already enjoyed playing tricks. I thinl that's one of the reasons why I immediately got a crush on him : girls like guys who make them laugh.
When he was around, anything funny could happen and even if
April Fools' Day was far away, hoaxes and practical jokes were in the air.
Don't get me wrong. He always played safe pranks, I mean, they were hilarious but totally harmless physically or emotionally !
Well, maybe except once at university.
He hid in a huge paperbin and waited there patiently,cause he knew one of his pals was about to come and empty the lecture hall waste paper basket.
When the poor guy lifted the lift, my husband popped out like a jack-in-the box.
When he saw his victim as white as a sheet, he immediately regretted his spooky prank.
Fortunately it ended up with roars of laughter.

Anyway, I married that first rate prankster, and we moved in a flat on the fifth floor. No lift but it didn't matter. We were young and we had no children and of course, no dog, either ! You remember I was scared stiff of dogs, whatever their size was.
A tiny dog walking quietly on the same pavement and I would gallop across the street. And what's more, in those days, dogs often found me worthy of further inspection. I remember once letting out horrified shrieks when an Alsatian dog started sniffing my calves !
My husband, who had been brought up with a four-legged companion, could not understand that 'phobia'.He thought it was playacting.
So, getting a dog was a knotty question we hardly ever tackled.

Then, one day, while I had gone out to fetch some bread, he decided to play a practical joke on me and to pretend he had brought a dog back home.
The smallest and quickest prank requires a minimum planning, so to make sure to pull it off, he wrote the word 'SURPRISE' in huge letters on a sheet of paper, and stuck it on the door.
As he knew approximately when I would be back, he half-opened our entrance door, and whe he heard footsteps climbing upstairs, he got down on all fours and waited ...
As soon as the landing floor creaked, he started barking in a puppylike way.
The door opened slightly, and my hubby kept acting the barking and squeaking puppy part !

Then, he realized something was going wrong ...

Still on his fours, he glanced up and discovered our caretaker looking absolutely appalled !

He stood up in a wink, but he was so abashed that the only thing he could splutter out was :

" Sorry, I tought it was my wife " !

The caretaker handed him a parcel addressed to us and hurtled down the stairs as if she had the devil on her heels !

No need to tell you, it took her long not to look upon us as ' bizarre ' people, but it took ' my biter bit ' some time, too, to feel at ease when walking past her lodge !!

For the record, one year later we took a dog, and since then we have had quite a lot, and I am a doting dogowner !!