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dimanche 28 août 2016




First of all, let me apologize for "September blues " episode. I don't know what went through my mind, but telling you that an uncomfortable truth is always better than a lie was rather preachy,wasn't it ?
There are enough sermonizers all around to cobble the truth together for what they call " our good ". No need to lay it on thick !

Anyway, today the Pinocchio effect (my nose growing)won't give me away,cause I'll play fair and start with, at least, a nugget of truth :
mapping out my new story and jotting down the funniest details was not as easy as pie !
First, because the end-of-Summer parties is in full swing (chatting and sipping in the last rays of golden sun), and then especially because over the last few days my eyes have been riveted to the calendar.

Come on, don't get me wrong ! I'm not on a tight schedule ! Far from it !
My motto in life is Carpe Diem. I guess it may sound corny, but I try to be present and content in the moment I am !

No, the reason for my sudden calendar addiction is pretty simple :
I'm holding my breath till next Friday, September 2nd, to be fit as a fiddle to blow the candles !!
Guess what ! It will be my birthday !
By the way, don't hesitate to cram my inmail box with a horde of wishes,blessings and sweet messages ! You will make my day !

Every year, as my D-day is coming, I feel like making a fresh start.
Changing figures makes my drive skyrocket.
" The older, the perkier and the busier " has always been my rule and I try to stick to it through thick and thin.

When I say ' a fresh start ', I mean new healthy habits and a better-balanced lifestyle, of course, but first and foremost  new goals, that is to say, as I read on the Net, new dreams with deadlines.

You have browsed through my posts for long enough now, to know how gung-ho I am and how easily I unleash my imagination.
Yet, when it comes to setting goals, I usually make sure they are not wildly unrealistic, but just achievable and relevant !
( flabbergasted, aren't you ?? ).

Up to now my method has been working quite smoothly and successfully ....oops, my inner Pinocchio is tickling me again !!
So, I won't let " the showoff I am about to be " tell you tales and lies !

Among the goals I have failed to achieve, I remember one and I will share my disappointing experience with you.
Don't worry, it won't be sad and you won't be grief-stricken for me, for sure !!

So, one year on my birthday (don(t forget : September 2nd) I decided to commit to making a big change:
giving myself a brand new look and adopting a new clothing style would be my main aim for the months to come .

No sooner said than done. Bye bye denim and cow-boy boots. My fashion makeover was on its way !!

Unfortunately, after purging my closet, I had to face the facts :
either I was doomed to go outside in just my underwear or my see-through nightdress, or it was high time to buy some dresses and skirts.
The last dress I had worn was my wedding one, so I couldn't rely on it to mailorder something fit and suitable.

Fitting-rooms have always been my number one pet-hate. But if I wanted to accomplish my goal, I had to overcome that obstacle.

So, there I was, locked into one of those poorly-lit tiny rooms, stuck between a merciless  mirror and a pile of dresses to try on.
Poor me ! When they fitted me, the colour didn't look great on me, and when they suited me, it was never the right size !

Jeez, I was in a sweat, fed up and eager to be done with that chore !!

I slipped into the last pencil dress left, nervously, and what was to happen, happened ....

I had forgotten to unzip it properly, and in a wink it turned into a straight-jacket.
I was standing there, my head half-stuck in the neckline, and my arms imprisonned in that awful " cigarette-case " !!

After five minutes which seemed an eternity, the shop-assistant knocked at the door and asked :

"Is everything ok, Madam ? "

Phew !! At last  the time of my release had come !

Too good to be true ...

Sure, that dress was good value for money , cause, even though the zip was not that convenient, the fabric was pretty thick, and then muffled my voice quite well !!!

After two vain attempts at making myself understood, I had to give up any clear and intelligible explanations.
So, I started uttering shrieks.

It was just as if I had set off the fire alarm.
Within a few seconds I could hear the jingle of keys and I could feel the shop-assistant's helpful hand zip the ominous dress down !!

Just a glance at myself in the mirror was enough to crown my misfortune :
tousled hair, red cheeks crossed by the marks of the dress neckline and my mouth wide open to take my breath back !
What a sight !!

If it was to be my new style,better forget about it and focus on another goal on that year's list !

Want to know about my goal for this year : more photos and videos on my blog, and why not a hub for English Learning !

That's all for this week, folks !

Make the most of each day and don't forget :

  Be perky !

( and don't forget my birthday, either !)

lundi 22 août 2016



Wakie-wakie ! Time to wake up !

Captain Perky's naughty today, and she will twist the knife. But just the once will not hurt, will it ?

So, let me remind you that the countdown is on !

Come on, don't play dumb ! You all know that reverse count invented by Fritz Lang in 1929 to give more thrill to a rocket launch sequence in his film " Woman in the Moon ".

Anyway,today I'm not talking about any spaceship launch ! No, no Space Odyssey in my post !

Just the kick-off of back-to-work season ! Bye,bye the carefree days of July and August : September is fast approaching.
It's time to shelve swimsuits,straw hats and flip-flops, to throw away unfinished suncream lotion, even though you are reluctant, cause next year they'll be out-of-date and then risky.
The postcards you bought at the very beginning of your holidays ?
Just a few days left to drop a line to your friends !

Yes,time has come to bid farewell to 2016 so long-awaited vacation !
All good things must come to an end.

Mind you ! The landing can be hard,cause September blues sometimes makes the tarmac slippery.
But, I know that you are as keen as mustard to make a fresh start, aren't you ?

Don't get me wrong ! I'm not made of stone, either !
When Summer parties and BBQ treats are over, getting back to everyday routine sometimes makes me gloomy, but my perky busy inner self usually manages to take over.

Yet, things have not always been going on that way...

When I was a student and working part-time to get some extra pocket money, when my Summer holidays were coming to an end, I used to feel like calling in sick.
I never had the guts to.
Once, I nearly took the plunge, but at the very last minute, I behaved like those people at the swimming-pool standing on the dinving board, and unable to step off : I just shied away !

Let me tell you :

That Summer had been absolutely gorgeous : going to parties, making bonfires on the beach and staying up all night. You know, that kind of holidays you'll remember for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, it was just a  kind of no-brainer that after August, September would turn up, and that year was no exception to the rule.

I didn't want to go back to work, all the more as my friends had still one week off left.

But what could I do ??

. Sprain my ankle to get a sick leave ?
  Ouch , too painful for a softie like me !

. Catch a sunstroke ?
  No way ! The weather had been rather wet over the last few days !

. Lose my train ticket ?
  My boss would think I was scatterbrained, and then not really cut out
  for the job I had in his company !

The more I racked my brain, the less I was  able to find a plausible excuse. All were bogus and totally wacky !

I had to face it : I couldn't escape my fate. I was doomed to go back to Paris, and carry out my ' harsh work '.

On my departure day, to cheer me up, my friends decided to come to the station to see me off. We arrived there two hours before my train pulled out.
One of the jolly fellows of our group suggested having dinner in a nearby eatery, instead of pacing up and down the ominous platform.
It would change my mind off things and avoid long tearful goodbyes.

The meal went on so cheerfully that when the waiter brought the dessert, I had already made up my mind :
one very last clubbing, and I would take the morning train, and go straight to the office. I wouldn't be fired for half-a-day late.

We danced through the night, and on the train journey back to Paris I slept like a log.

I guess I was not widely awake when I stepped into the boss's office, otherwise I would have given a better excuse, such as oversleeping for example.
Instead, I said that the night before I had not been able to get on the train, cause it was overcrowded.
An apology that could have worked as in those days you didn't need to book a seat to take the train.

I thought I was out of the woods, but then the boss asked me :

" Which train was it ? "
" The 11pm train from Quimper, sir ", I answered.
" Funny ", he replied, " I took the train at the first stop after Quimper, and it was nearly empty !

Jeez ! I got red all over and felt so ashamed of my poor lie that I could feel my nose growing  like Pinocchio's !

Fortunately that was not the only common point I shared with Disney's famous puppet !

He had a Blue Fairy, and I realized I had one, too, when I heard my boss say :

" Come on, I have been young, too, and I know the side effects of September blues ! But remember that an uncomfortable truth is always better than a lie ! ".

That taught me a lesson, and I hope those of you who were about to call in sick will think twice !!

In the meantime, wherever you are, enjoy yourselves and don't forget :

       Be perky !!

lundi 15 août 2016




Last Hump Day while I was mapping out our next call to enhance it and make it as funny as possible, I suddenly realized it was already mid-August.
Summer time has gone by so quickly that within a couple of weeks our maiden voyage will already come to an end.
Perky Busy Bee ocean liner will head for its port of registry, , to enjoy a fully-deserved wintering.To run the gamut of amenities and facilities for the next hassle-free sailing season, all the shipyard staff will work relentlessly.
A little bird even told me that 2017 cruise should offer special features such as a photo-video gallery, and, for non-speaking English passengers, an English-Learning hub ! The sky is the limit ...
In the meantime, your captain (that is to say, myself) will shelve her navy-blue uniform and white-peaked cap till next Spring break.

Don't get me wrong ! It does not mean that the crew will be laid off ! They have always stood by me through thick and thin, and, once on dry land, things won't change. I know I can rely on their unfailing loyalty to turn the hazards of life into funny twists and turns !
So, quite sure, as soon as September comes, Perky Busy Bee will be eager to gather the nectar of everyday life and share it with you !!

Anyway, I must confess I loved my Summer job. Being the shipmaster of a virtual cruise liner was a wonderful and enriching experience. Exchanging with passengers from all over the world was just awesome. Actually, I think we've all become true shipmates, haven't we ?
I'm far from being a braggart, otherwise I would say that I was cut out for the job !

Anyway, holding the helm and paying attention to the reefs suited me much better than standing on a stage and keeping an eye at my score !!

Let me explain...

Ages ago, in France when you put up at a hotel, on your arrival day, even if you were French, you had to fill in a form with all sorts of information : name, date and place of birth,address, phone-number, and, as surprising as it may seem, your job !!
I still wonder what the hell they cared about that last point.
Who could have been such a moron to write down as an answer: catburglar or hotel thief ??
Well, such were the rules, and as we were everything but outlaws, we used to comply with them.

So, once, when going on Winter holidays, as the ski-resort was rather far, we stopped halfway to have dinner and spend  the night in a charming little inn.
Dearhubby took the famous forms and said he would fill in mine.
Phew ! How nice of him ! My vision was blurry cause I was ravenously hungry, so answering all those silly questions was beyond me !
I just sat down in the lounge and waited for my ' knight in shining ' to do the job.
What a huge mistake !!
For a split second, I had forgotten Dearhubby was a prankster, and just a while later I got a strong reminder...

When he came back from the reception desk, he was smiling in a way which immediately made me fear the worst !!
Then he hugged and whispered in my ear :

"Congratulations for your new job ! "

I stepped back suspiciously and asked :

" What do you mean ? "

" Well ", he replied, "in the job box I have written down : opera singer !
The hotel manager said all the guests would appreciate if you could sing one ot two opera aria at the end of the meal. There is a stage in the dinning-room, and while we are having dinner, he'll manage to get a micro, a rostrum and some scores !

Fear and trembling !! The only things I had in common with  the famous Mrs Butterfly were the butterflies in my stomach !
All throughout the meal I was in a kind of haze. I had always been bad at reading music, singing in tune and all that jazz, and at that very moment, even my heart was not able to beat time properly !
I was in dire straits !
Dearhubby had played a practical joke on me, and I was doomed to face the music !

By the time the hotel manager's ominous " And now,ladies and gentlemen, ... " chimed in, I was just the shadow of my former self !
Heart pounding, legs shaking and eyes blinking ? Sure I was going to split off from myself !!
I bade farewell to my earthly life and stood up.
As I was about to take off for Heaven or Hell (who knows...), I suddenly felt Dearhubby grasp my hand and force me back down onto my chair.

" Hey Perky ", he whispered, "take it easy, it was just a joke ! ".

The drum rolls in my ears faded away and I could catch the last words of the hotel manager's announcement : "....the famous conjurer ! ", and then a thunder of applause !

Yes, that night there was a performance, but Perky Busy Bee was not in the limelight.
My personal conjurer had played a trick on me,but not a magic one !

Hang on a sec, revenge is a dish best served cold ...

You'll hear about that in another episode !

Have a nice week and don't forget : be perky !!

lundi 8 août 2016




Hello August passengers,

Your captain speaking.

How are you ?
Perky and as keen as mustard because your holidays are in full swing ? Great ! Then you are all set to embark on a new funny adventure !
Feeling blue because your fully-deserved Summer break is over or nearly over ? Don't worry ! Captain Perky and her crew will stand by you through thick and thin. We will do our best to add some cheer to your humdrum routine, lift your spirit ,and let's hope, get you to crack a smile ! Sure,raising the corners of your lips, lighting a spark in your eyes and showing your pearly whites will help you bounce back from stress and gloom. So,let yourself go !

Anyway,whatever your mood and your activities, thanks for sparing some time for our weekly appointment. Well, maybe ,' appointment ' is a bit too formal, isn't it ? It sounds as if you were sitting in the waiting room of a GP's or dentist's surgery, and I hope heading to the gangway of Perky Busy Bee ocean liner is everything but stress-triggering !
So, forget about ' appointment ', and let me quote Susan, one of our regular passengers :

" I always look forward to Monday morning, and as a die-hard fan I have never missed that perky hour break. I usually end up feeling happier, and, as a result,acting perkier ! ".

Dear Susan, I do feel honoured, and I hope I'll always manage to help you look on the bright side of life !

Enough small talks now, otherwise you'll get bored to death, and avoid Perky Busy Bee like the plague, won't you ?

Well, as a matter of fact, today I wanted to ask you a question, but, to be honest, I didn't know ho to phrase it . I didn't want to be too straightforward, but after unsuccessful attempts to 'preface' that  question, it turned out it was no use beating around the bush, so here it goes :

" In the place where you live, are there regional stereotypes that have ever ruined or made your day ? ".

Come on, no general outcry ! I am not tackling any topical issue ! That's the journalists' job to keep harping on about that kind of stuff !!
No, I mean, for example, in France some stereotypes die hard :
the inhabitants of Auvergne are said to be mean, the Northeners are seen as welcoming, the Normans indecisive (maybe yes, maybe no), and the people of the South as liars.

Is there any truth to them ? I'll let you decide ...

Anyway, there are some images you are stuck with, and once, Dearhubby and myself paid the price for it ...

Let me tell you.

When we were living in Paris, on Saturday morning we enjoyed going to the nearby open-air market. Amongst the fruits-and-vegs, meat, fish ,and cheese stalls, there was a delightful friendly eatery where we used to have lunch after our weekly household shopping. Everything was fresh and tasty, and the staff brisk and discreet.
So,the place soon became a kind of ' Saturday second home ', and as regulars we got better treatment. It does not mean first-time guests or occasional visitors were treated badly,of course, but from the moment we walked through the door till the moment we left, we were given special attentions (favourite table, favourite dish, and so on ...).
That Saturday lunch routine was a kind of weekly top-notch experience, till one day, the chef came to our table to know if we had enjoyed his special.
In those days I was already pretty talkative (Dearhubby says it runs in the family), and soon we were talking about this and that.

When he learned that we were from Brittany, I guess the stereotype about the Bretons immediately crossed his mind : sure his two regulars were stubborn, but he didn't care about that at all ! No, what mattered was that the Bretons are said to be good drinkers (not to say 'heavy' ones...).

" Hang on a sec ", he said and then rushed behind the bar and came back with a dusty bottle of hooch !!

Before we had time to tell him we were not keen on spirits, he had served the hard stuff (and not just one drop, unfortunately), raised his glass and said :

       " The drinks are on the house ! "

Jeez ! In a wink (or I should say, in a gulp) my stomach turned into a blast furnace or an erupting volcano !!

We thanked him with tears in our eyes (not tears of sorrow, as you can imagine) and left the restaurant with the chef on the threshold telling us :

      "Next time I'll treat you with a home-made spirit ! "

The next Saturday we lingered a while before entering our favourite haunt, but the list of dishes on the big slate outside made our mouths water so much that we stepped in.
When coffee time came, once more the chef walked to our table with his ominous bottle !

Before he had time to uncork it, we told him we were awfully sorry, but we were just trying to become teetotallers.
He stared at us suspiciously and asked :

"How long have you been living in Paris ? ".
" About 30 years ", Dearhubby answered.
" No wonder then ! ", the chef exclaimed, "you have been contaminated by the Parisians ! Most of them were not born in Paris, but sooner or later they surrender their regional heritage and ancestry, and behave as if they were Parisian through and through ! They don't eat, they peck,they don't drink, they sip ! ".

He was on his way for an endless list of stereotypes, when Dearhubby interrupted him and said :

" Come on, we were just joking ! ".

I managed to give him a kick under the table,but too late !
Our glasses were already full up and I could hear my stomach begging for mercy !!

Fortunately the nearby chemist was not Breton, and the bottle she took out from behind the counter turned my heartburn into a dormant volcano ...until the next eruption , that is to say, the next Saturday !

Don't worry, we moved before becoming drunkards !

So, now it is oyur turn to tell me about the regional stereotypes in your country !

Make the most of each day and don't forget : be perky !