dimanche 25 septembre 2016
Have you noticed how commonplace surveys and polls have become ? Now, we are asked to give our " considered " opinion on any kind of stuff !
The choice is boundless : from trivia such as washing-powder or wipes, to more serious matters such as health insurance or banking services, our feelings and personal experience matter. Or, let's say, pollsters pretend they do !!
I won't mention voting intention questionnaires French readers are doomed to be force-fed with over the next few months. That's another kettle of fish, and none of my business !!
I don't need surveys and all that jazz to bet that if I ask you " Have you ever met a ghost ? ", I'll get a clear and straightforward " Of course, not ! " answer.
Hardly anyone believes in ghosts, except maybe in "The Canterville Ghost "thanks to Oscar Wilde.
So, forget about any stories of apparition, today !
No, let's be more cheerful, and talk about " doubles ". You know, when you're quite sure you've met George Clooney round the corner, and then once back home you hear on telly that the star is in L.A. ! Or, when in a bookshop you hand your book shyly to your favourite author for a dedication and the man behind the counter tells you that you must be mistaken and that the only thing he is good at writing is text messages. At least if the guy is not a prankster and doesn't scribble a fake signature on the flyleaf ! It happened to a friend of mine who realized she had been played a practical joke on when the bookseller invited her to a booksigning with the author the day after !!
We have all heard about celebrities hiring doubles either to send paparazzi on a wild-goose chase, or replace them in dangerous film sequences.
Well, what works for famous people could work for any of us, as well !
It is said we all have a double somewhere on this planet,someone who is your exact look-alike.
Believe me or not, I sought mine for over one year, but I must be a lousy tracker, cause I never came across her !
And yet, all this time I knew my spitting image was somewhere around...
Let me explain.
In those days I had been living in the same district for quite some time, when my double played her first trick on me ...
I was expecting some friends for dinner, and as we had not had poultry for long, I decided to cook some Guinea fowl.
So, I went to the nearby poulterer, cause, even though I was not a regular, I knew it was good value for money.
Hardly had I stepped into the shop when he asked me :
" Did you enjoy yesterday's free-range chicken ? ".
First I thought he was speaking to someone else, but when I turned back, I realized I was alone.
He misunderstood my hesitation and continued :
" I mean, if it was not that tasty, don't hesitate to tell me. You see, I've tried a new supplier, but before making a deal with him, I need my regulars'opinion ".
Jeez ! Me ? A regular ?
I had not been to his shop for ages !!
Sure, he was mistaking me for somebody else, but to make sure I would get a prime Guinea fowl, I pretended to be one fo his loyal customers, and answered :
" It was perfect as usual ! ".
I didn't regret my white lie, cause the poultry was soft and tender !
Days went by, and I forgot the free-range chicken episode.
A few weeks later I was reminded that someone in the district was my spitting image ...
I was waiting for my six-year-old son to get out of his primary-school, when a schoolboy came to me, shook my hand and asked me if he could bring his mascot to our lesson the day after.
When I answered " which lesson ? ", he looked a bit taken aback and said : " Religious education, of course ".
Well, I had been baptized, I had made my communion, but since then a lot of water had run under the bridge.
The little boy looked so imploring that I told him everybody was welcome to religious classes !
I would have liked to get to the bottom of that cock-and-bull story, but the day after I was busy and couldn't check if one of the ladies in charge of religious education looked like me !!
To comfort me, Dearhubby said that some people don't have a good memory for faces, so no need to make a big deal out of that !
Unfortunately, a few days later his certainty was shaken ...
A new Thai restaurant had opened in our district, and we decided to test it.
The waiter greeted us very warmly, and led us to what he called " our favourite table " ! A bit weird, wasn't it ?
But that was not over yet, quite the contrary !!
When I asked him about the restroom, he smiled and said :
"Still at the same place since last week ".
Jeez ! Was it a nightmare or what ??
The harder I tried to explain to him it was the first time I had been to his restaurant, the more suspicious he looked.
Then, to refresh my memory, he added :
" You had your credit card ready, but your mother insisted on footing the bill ! Is that ok , now ? ".
I gave up, but the day after I went back to the restaurant with my mum.
" Let me introduce you to my mother ", I said.
" How naughty of you to make fun of me ! I do know that lady is not your mummy !! ".
That was the last straw ! I was stunned and I left the place at the double !!
I could never solve the mystery of my " body double ", but things went back to normal when we moved ...
That's all for this week, folks !
Have a nice week , and don't forget : be perky !!
dimanche 18 septembre 2016
CHAPTER EIGHTY-FOUR :
I guess I may sound rather sexist if I tell you that this week's chapter ,or at least a part of it, is mainly for girls.
Come on, no general outcry !
I don't want to tackle any touchy topical issue ! Far from me !!
Yet,I think that when it comes to hairdo,haircare and all thatjazz, girls are really much more talkative than boys. Even though the latter pay more and more attention to their haircut styles, girls are really unbeatable on hair matters : we can talk for hours about that ' highly important issue ' !
Yes,we all have experienced that 'hair-raising ' moment when you get out of the hairdresser's salon, and you just feel like being an ostrich (to bury your head into the sand) or an English judge (sure,even with a curly white wig you would look smarter!).So,to sum up, a hairdresser appointment is, in most cases, either a bad memory or a stress-trigger !
But, hang on a sec ! A hair appointment means you have found the right hairstylist : hats off, then !
You're still on a nerve-racking and seemingly endless quest for a kind of magician who, with a magic wand, would keep changing your hairdo till you get what suits your faceshape and your mood, as well ?
That's another kettle of fish, and I can just wish you good luck !
By the way, keep me posted, cause I am on the same boat with you !
I spent years wandering from simple and a bit old-fashioned salons to showy and uber-trendy ones. In vain !!
Wherever I went, the cutters, talented or not, couldn't help letting out some disparaging remarks about my thin straight hair !
" Jeez, how thin it is ! Looks like baby's hair !".
" Does it ? Well, it makes me look younger,then ? ", I usually replied,
"does it imply I'll get the special fare for kids ? ".
They never answered !!
Well, as you must have already noticed, I'm a die-hard optimist, and I always try to look on the bright side.
So, tired of the hairdressers' honey-tongued smooth talk, some time ago I decided to face the fact : no matter how straight and thin my hair was, I had to make do with it !
Let me tell you that keeping "a sparrow's nest " , I mean my hair, in good condition is no picnic !
Fluffing your hair and putting down rebellous tufts demand time and patience of a saint !
And to crown it all, there is the cherry choice of the right shampoo !
A mammoth task, cause when you walk down the shampoo aisle of supermarkets, all the brands boast that they can give you the perfect bouncy and shiny hair you dream of !!
Anyway, two weeks ago, I thought I was done with that point.
The product was clear and mild (neither too thick nor too creamy), it did not weigh my hair down, quite the contrary ! It added volume to my scalp !
Yippee !! At last I could wash my hair and do it successfully !
It was no longer one of my main concerns !
No, last week my number one concern was to chase away bees ,wasps and bumblebees flying around me !
One window open and they would rush to me. Walking the dog along the country lanes and they would escort me !
I was getting fed up with their permanent buzz, and I must confess, a bit afraid, too !
A tiny mosquito bite turns into a huge blister on me, so what about a bee sting ?
Dearhubby was making fun of me and kept saying that it was one side effect of my sugar-free challenge (see chapter 82) ! I had so much sugar to sweat out that I attracted all the honey-gathering insects !!
I didn't bother his jokes till one day the word " honey-gathering " struck me like lightning ...
I had done without sugar for quite a few days, but I was still sweetening my tea with a spoonful of heather honey !
No, come on, that could not be that, of course !!
Honey, honey,...I had seen that word somewhere else at home, but where ?
I strived to find it out, and a few minutes later I rushed to the bathroom, grasped the bottle of shampoo and a magnifying glass
(small prints deserve their name, they are smaller and smaller, on purpose , I guess...) and then bingo !
" Nutrient rich organic honey and beer " were the flagship ingredients of my insects' favourite shampoo !
The day after I washed my hair with another brand and I had a bee-free day, but no volume !!
To comfort me, Dearhubby said :
" Honey, you can't have it both ways ".
I did not even turn a hair and just thought it was a bad hair day !!
That's all for this week, folks !
Have a nice week , and don't forget : be perky !
Dany the Perky
dimanche 11 septembre 2016
CHAPTER EIGHTY-THREE :
In the early days of the adventures of Dany the Perky Busy Bee, I told you about our gruelling quest for the Holy Grail, I mean, our Breton house-hunting.
I guess I also told you that we were so picky about homes that in less than no time we had become the local real estate agents' worst nightmares.
Were we too exacting or too stuck with ou ' must-haves 'priorities ?
I really don't know ...
Anyway, after touring more than two dozen houses, what should have been a fun,leisure -time activity turned into a messy,time-consuming and seemingly endless expedition !
We were about to give up , and agreed that that day's click on our favourite real estate website would be the ultimate one.
And there it was, spreading on the screen : our dream home !
Even before scrolling through the photos in the slideshow, we already knew it was the place we had been looking for !
To be really up to our expectations, our home, sweet home needed renovating, but never mind, it screamed potential !
After dealing with dodgy craftsmen and outrageous estimâtes, we were lucky enough to be introduced to a reliable and experienced contractor.
It took him no time to pull down some partitions, take up the old stained tiled floor, and dig the foundations for an extension.
Works were making good progress and we were thrilled to bits !
How naive of us !!
We had skipped the fact that being 500 kms away, we couldn't keep a close eye on the project, but that had not escaped our so-called trustworthy guy ...
Relatives and friends sent to spy on him couldn't do anything but tell us the works looked at a standstill !
At that rate, timelines agreed beforehand were doomed to be delayed indefinitely !
His ' don't sweat it and take it easy ' and his ever-changing explanations on the phone did not cheer us up at all, quite the contrary .
So, to prevent our renovation from becoming a 'never-again ' experience, and to protect our sanity, as well, we decided we would come to our home-to-be every fortnight to check the progress of the works.
On the way back from our third ' inspection ', we had to admit that living in a dirty construction zone with drywall dust on our pillows, deafening hammer-drillers instead of the gentle buzzer of our alarm-clock, and water turned off at 8am sharp , all that stuff did not make us happy campers !
If we wanted to keep a clear head and control, we couldn't skimp on sleep !
Then, for our fourth round of inspection, we booked in a nearby hotel, and as it was Spring time, we asked for a room with terrace and seaview.
After breathing rubbles dust, coating, plaster and cement, our lungs did deserve a good breath of fresh sea air, didn't they ?
While Dearhubby was discussing about the number of plugs and their places with the electricians, I was just looking forward to being a few hours older and slipping into a comfy bed !
At 10.30 pm , after a quick and light dinner, and a cold shower (two ingredients for a better sleep), I was lying in bed , ready to sleep like a log !
Hardly had we switched off the light when I started sneezing !
The rubbles dust side effects ? Well, our building site was not that dusty, so what ?
After turning and tossing, I suddenly realized my head was on a puffy feather pillow, and feathers and me have never been in good terms...
So, I got rid of the pillow, turned on the left side, knees pulled up high and chin tucked into my chest, my favourite position to sleep tight and have pleasant dreams(for example, moving in our new house the day after ! ).
Heck, what was that muffled noise ? Was I cursed for ever ?
I was about to whistle to stop Dearhubby's snores, when a glance at him stopped me dead !
My favourite works foreman was sleeping silently !
The air-conditionning, then ? In Spring, in Brittany ? Forget about it !
Jeez, I had been craving for some restorative sleep in a cosy room with a seaview, and there I was, sitting in my bed, eyes wide open and doomed to spend a sleepless night !
Hang on a sec ! A room with a seaview ? You know what it means in Brittany ? A room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and ...its backlash !
What was advertised in the glossy leaflet of the hotel as a romantic lullaby turned my night into a night in hell !
The next morning after a brain-boosting breakfast (to recover from lost sleep), I rushed to the nearby chemist to get earplugs !
Don't get me wrong ! It was not to turn a deaf ear to our contractor's smooth talk, but just to listen to the sound of silence the next night !
That's all for this week, folks !
Don't worry, I won't bend your ears anymore with the twists and turns of our renovation adventures ! You have heard enough of that !
Have a nice week and don't forget : be perky !!
FOR SHARING WITH WHOEVER YOU WANT TO !
dimanche 4 septembre 2016
CHAPTER EIGHTY-TWO :
Hello you, all my dear well-wishers,
Thanks a million for sending me so sweet birthday messages. You really made my day!
Even though Dearhubby thinks it was rather cheeky of me to insist on my B-day, I must confess I don't have the least shred of shame !!
I was brought up not to ask for anything, but once cut loose in the wild world, far from the family nest, I quickly realized that if you don't ask you don't get. I paid the price for it more often than not !
So, now, every time my B-day comes around, I usually let myself go !
Bye bye the good girl, let the naughty one come in !
Don't get me wrong ! Even if I have often lived it up, I have never danced on the table (at least up to now) or shown up in diapers or footed pajamas, just to pretend I was getting younger and younger !
No, nothing wacky or offbeat ! As years go by,I am getting more and more conventional, and to squeeze every second of happiness out of that special day, I just need a few basic ingredients :
. birthday cards, phone-calls and emails.
. a super yummy dinner out with Dearhubby.
. a birthday cake at home to blow the candles far from prying eyes
(have you noticed how quick people are at counting the flickering
flames ? ).
Should I say September 2, 2016 was up to my expectations " because "
or " even though " ???
Well, I guess I'd better explain and let you judge by yourselves.
. birhday wishes ? My letter,inmail and voicemail boxes were crammed
with genuine and heartfelt words and blessing, so what more could I
ask for ?
. birthday dinner ? Dearhubby had booked my favourite table in my
favourite restaurant, so facing the sea and treating my tastebuds
with fabulous seafood just flew me up to cloud nine.
. birthday cake ? Most of you already know I have a sweet tooth.
For those who don't, just read chapter 53 " Always for a good cause,
of course ", and you will see how thrilled to bits I get whenever I
step into the " sweet temptations palace "(the local cake shop).
Then, believe me or not, but the night before my birthday, just when
about to fall asleep, I suddenly realized I had forgotten to order my
favourite cake : a black forest !
Jeez !! In the early days of September the pastry chef is usually pretty busy, dealing with the orders of the holiday-makers willing to take back home his inimitable kouign-amann (as a present or for themselves , or both !).
Would he be able to spare some time to prepare my favourite palate delight ?
I had an awfully restless night : whenever I closed my eyes, chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream and cherries kept whirling around my bed.
The next morning at 8 sharp I was in the sweets sanctuary, crossing my fingers and hoping for good luck.
When it was my turn to order, I did my best to sound self-confident and said :
" A black forest for tonight, please ! ".
Well, actually, I guess my voice was just low and quavering, cause the shop-assistant replied :
" You don't mean tonight, do you ? ".
" Yes, I do ", I spluttered out shakily.
" Let me see, it is 8.15 am and you'd like it for 7.30pm ! That's a real challenge !! ".
A challenge !! The word struck me like lighting !
I stammered some silly excuses and rushed out of the shop.
I had just remembered that a while before I had joined FOOD FREEDOM - Bite into health -group on Internet and taken on a one-month sugar-free challenge !!
The early days of that sugar-free journey had been rather tough, but little by little I was feeling healthier and ' lighter '.
So, falling off the bandwagon for a chocolate craving would make me go back to square one !
And even worse, I would disappoint all the friendly supporting members , and myself, as well !!
What a shame !
That's how on September 2,2016, I blew candles floating on an absolutely fabulous home-made fruit salad.
Blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, kiwis, oranges and pineapple chunks, turned my birthday into a colourful milestone in Perky Busy Bee's sugar-free adventures !
So now, what do you think ?
Should I say " my birthday lived it up to my expectations " because " or " even though " ?
Let me know !
That's all for this week.
Enjoy yourselves and don't forget : be perky !!