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dimanche 29 janvier 2017




Hello all of you,

I hope things are going on smoothly for you. What have you been doing since last week ?
Enjoying winter holidays in a snowy resort or sunbathing on a white sand beach ? Yes ! How awesome !
But let's come down to earth. Maybe after Xmas season, a bit short of cash to go away ?
Never mind, after all, a staycation is not that bad, is it ? No rude awakening, no tight schedule,no hustle and bustle, just lazy mornings, idle afternoons and cosy evenings, so ...what else ?

Well, now let's take off our rose-coloured glasses and be a wee bit less upbeat (mind you ! I have said only 'a wee bit').
I guess very few of you live off your private income, and even if you are not a workaholic, the words 'job' and 'office' must ring a bell to you.
Then, even if you have been working very hard, sometimes perhaps, burning the midnight oil to deal with stressful deadlines and bossy people, I hope you have managed to stay perky !

Don't worry, I won't let you down : I'll do my best to change your mind off things, make you crack a smile, and perk up !
Not that difficult ! When I go over your mails, I think you are benevolent and flattering readers.
Come on, don't get me wrong ! No humble bragging !
Ego boost is part of the game, of course, and your mails full of praise always make my days.
So, keep on cramming my inmail box with your comments, your tips and your suggestions, cause they are really the foolproof ways to lift me up and help me go ahead.

Next week is my second blogiversary.
How to celebrate it with you ? All your ideas are welcome.

In the meantime I have to go on a good wardrobe cleaning-out, and check if my bathroom scales have been lying to me over the last few months.
If the numbers I see whenever I step onto that treacherous weight watcher are just nonsense, great then !
But, if ,unfortunately, they turned out to be true and pitiless, I can kiss goodbye to my lovely special occasion dress.

No use crying over spilt milk ! By the way, how much does a tear
weigh ? Well, I'd like to know, cause then I could shed more crocodile ones, and perhaps drop a bit of weight...

Kidding aside, I really need to get a smart outfit, cause, to celebrate the D-Day, Dearhubby has booked in a top-notch restaurant.
So, no way to escape shops, awful trying-on experiences, tiny fitting rooms, and, to crown it all, shop-assistants' smirks or compassionate gaze when you get out of the room, tousled, in a sweat, and with something on ,far from fitting you like a glove !

Well, by now, you must have understood that the shopaholics among you can't count on me to join their community.
Searching through rack after rack, listening to some annoying background music, never finding what I am looking for, and ending up with something I will never wear,or just once not to feel too guilty, well, all that either makes me feel miserable, or drives me nuts !

To cut it short, shopping is my pet peeve. I'm not good at it, let alone haggling ..
I always get green with envy in flea markets or second-hand stores, when I eavesdrop on bargain hunters. They spare no effort to negotiate the seller down in their price. In the offer-conteroffer game they are just like ducks to water. They make faces, they show hesitation or they remain silent, till they get a good deal.
I have watched them so often that I know all their tips and tricks by heart.

So, what ? Let me tell you a secret, but please don't spread the word around ( ...useless request on a blog , isn't it ?).

I'm a real patsy (an old-fashioned word for 'sucker', but I like it).
Overcharging me for cheap tat is child's play.
And yet, believe me or not, I've tried many times to be a sappy and clear-sighted customer, but ...always in vain.
More often than not, I get out of that kind of shops with doodads and stuff not worth the money.

So, let me show you how shy and awkward I am when it comes to haggling.

Years ago, when we were living in Paris, once I decided that our flat needed to be freshened up.
We had been living there for seven years, and the paint had gone dull and the rooms didn't look squeaky-clean any longer. A new coat of paint would brighten up the place.

In those days, Dearhubby was a workaholic, so no use counting on him or his tool-box to start my 'renovation work'.
My list of supplies was as long as my arm : masking tape (for clumsy busy bee), brushes,rollers, an extension pole for the ceiling, a bucket, a paint grid, and, of course, quite a few cans of paint.

Elbow grease was free, but the rest would cost a lot.
That's why I decided I had to take the plunge : once my shopping done, I would negotiate a discount with the nearby paint shop owner.
After all, it would be fair game, cause my bill would be rather high, and, what's more, a DIY shop had just opened not that far away.
Of course, I prefered that small store, cause the staff there had years of experience in finding the right tools and materials for any task.
But a free bonus would be welcome.

Well, that's the pep talk I gave to myself all the way to the paint store.

I handed my list to the shopkeeper and followed him all along the aisles.
No need to tell you that I was only half listening to his advice.
While he was explaining  step by step how to paint a room, I was just rehearsing my haggling speech silently.

By the time he piled up all my supplies near the till, my heart was in my mouth !
Then, I think, I could understand what stage fright means.

But, it was now or never !

I cleared out my throat, and all shaking inside, I spluttered out :

     " H'm,...Wow, such a bill just half-an-hour after opening time ! I
       made your day,for sure ! It is well worth something,isn't it ? ".

My heart was pumping, and to make it worse, the man smiled and asked :

     " What do you mean ? ".

Grr ! Sure he was doing it on purpose ! Anyway, I had to go through with it, so I explained :

     " Well, a discount of 5 percent, for example ! ".

     " Oh, I see ", he replied, " don't worry about that. I usually give
        10 percent, but if you prefer just 5, no problem ! ".

That was the first and last time I bargained for Something !

That's all for this week, folks !
Enjoy your reading, share it with all the fun lovers you know, and don't forget :

           BE PERKY !

PS : here is the link to my email address :


dimanche 22 janvier 2017

A TRUE OYSTER-LOVER ( not for the weak-hearted)



Hello everybody,

Ready for a new adventure ? Ready to put on your rose-coloured glasses and look on the bright side ? Great, then !

You haven't got those miracle specs yet ? Don't worry, it's never too late to jump on Perky's bandwagon .
Onboard you'll get all the tips and tricks to turn your scowls and sighs into smiles and laughs.

So, ready, steady, go !

Come on, don't be a joy-killer, stop moaning ! I know after Christmas and New Year swirl and Wonder, life is not always a bowl of cherries (fortunately,cause,sometimes, some are rotten ...), but take it easy : the clock is ticking, and within about one week, we'll bid farewell to January,and shake off some of the winter gloom.

And then what ? Then, it will be February,of course, naughty you !
The perfect month to let yourself go and treat your tastebuds ! After the early year crash diet, you deserve it, don't you ?

What's better than to indulge yourself with chocolates on Valentine
Day ? No sweetheart ? Never mind ! Just pretend to ! Rush to the nearest chocolate-maker, and, to make the most of the day, ask the
shop-assistant to giftwrap your box of heart-shaped sweets and tie a pink ribbon bow on it !
Some delicate,sweet and chic bubbles to mark the occasion, and Bob's your uncle !

After that binge, you'll have just a fortnight left to train to become the perfect pancake tosser !
Yes, Pancake Day is on February 28 ! Fortunately, cause, as 2017 is not a leap year, we would have had to do without those tastebuds delights, and, even worse, to champ at the bit till 2020 !

Now , you realize that, before you can Jack Robinson, you'll be treating yourself with all sorts of delicacies.

In the meantime, to make sure that on D-Day you get all your ducks in a row, pamper your liver and your figure, and keep your spirits high.
Outsmart winter, and, whatever the weather is , don't stay cooped up, go out and grab the shyest ray of sunlight.
You see how caring I am ! Mother hen syndrom ?
Not at all ! I just want my readers aboslutely fit and well to follow me through the twists and turns of my adventures.

I keep my fingers crossed, I have been blogging for nearly two years now, and your enthusiasm has not waned an inch !
Then, I try to do my best not disappoint your loyalty and your benevolence.

So, let's skip that sappy sugar-coated talk, otherwise you'll put an end-click to my chit-chat !

A few lines above, I told you about Pancake Day and how mastering the art of the perfect pancake toss requires a bit of practice.
As you already know, I'm a poor cook. You remember how I ill-treated a sweet innocent pumkin and turned my oven into a stake ( "The squeaky-clean pumpkin ").
Well, when it comes to flipping pancakes, I'm not better : it's just a kind of " catch me if you can " game.

I guess you must think that it doesn't matter : as I live in Brittany, to avoid ruining that day , it is easy for me to celebrate it outside.
Right you are !
In Brittany, there are crêperies nearly on every street corner, and they are the hot spots of holiday-makers.

But for those who don't have a sweet tooth, there's another Breton specialty which can be ranked first,as well : oysters !
The perfect food ! An oyster binge will never trigger any dieters'guilty feelings.
Unlike pancakes, they are low in calories and fat, and what's more, time-saving : eating them raw is the most common way to enjoy them.

So you see, breathtaking landscapes, delicious seafood,and mouthwatering sweets, Brittany is definitely the place to be !
Believe me or not, it is not deceptive advertising.

And then, guess what !

I can be a good cicerone and wax eloquent about my region's attractions, but when it comes to praising the virtues of oysters, I am not so speechful.
I have to make an effort, be unbiased, and pull myself together, cause...
I don't like oysters !

But , as the saying goes, " When in Brittany, do as the Bretons do "!
So, the first time I was invited at my in-laws', I managed to put a brave face on the huge platter of glittering, grey and briny oysters lying on their half shells on a bed of crushed ice.
After all, a good sprinkle of lemon juice and a hearty bite of brown bread should ' jazz up my ordeal '.

I was about to swallow the third one, hoping it would take the quickest slide down to my poor stomach, when the six-year-old cousin sitting just in front of me , asked me if I liked oysters.
When introduced to your future family-in-law,white lies are ok, aren't they ?

" Of course ", I answered, " don't you ? ".

" Oh no ! ", he said, " I can't stand them. You know why ? A buddy at school has told me that when you eat them, they are still alive, so, once in your tummy, to escape the slaughter, the strongest ones creep up back to your throat ! ".

Yuk ! I nearly chocked. I stared at the three  victims left in my plate.
Fortunately, if scallops have weak eyes, oysters don't have any !
Otherwise ,I think I would not have been able to bear their imploring gaze !
A bit hypocritical, isn't it ?

I looked at the little boy and said it was just nonsense.

Then, to put an end to my so-called treat, I tipped the shell up, let the oyster shouting for help slide along the death row, I mean, my throat .

What was the conversation about at that very moment ?
Not the slightest idea !
I was just praying for the oysters' fatal slip and fall.
If they survived, there would be soon an oyster bed in my stomach !

Fortunately, some time later, when I got more at ease with my mother-in-law, I told her I was a die-hard animal lover, and I could not hurt any living creature, even if it doesn't look that brainy.

" Come on, Perky ", she said, " don't beat around the bush ! A little bird told me you don't like oysters. Right ? ".

Phew ! I immediately guessed who the little bird was ...

Anyway, don't get me wrong. I am not a finicky eater : except oysters and tripes, I like everything.
So, if some day you want to invite me for brunch, lunch or dinner, you won't have to rack your brain. Whatever you have in the fridge will do !

That's al for this week, folks.

Enjoy your reading, share it with all the fun lovers you know, and don't forget : be perky !

PS : Need to improve your articulation ? Train for fun on the tongue-twister :

          She sells seashells by the seashore


dimanche 15 janvier 2017




Hello everybody,

How are you today ? I hope fighting fit and perky !

Of course, I know that being full of beans and cheerful is not always a walk in the park, especially when dull grey winter days chill you to the bones and dampen your spirits.

Yes, waking up when it's still dark, going out, commuting, shopping, well, actually all our humdrum routine often turns into a real pain, then.

Don't count on me to give you sure-fire tips and tricks to get through the cold and dreary days to come, but keep living funny adventures with me, and before you can say Jack Robinson, the early mild days of Spring will be on their way !

In the meantime, wrap up warm, because big freeze is forecast.
Temperatures should plummet,so before plunging into the 'freezer', play the thick layer game.
Don't get caught off guard : long-sleeved tee, a warm wooly, thick tights or leggings, corduroy trousers, gloves, a knit headband, and of course a comfy coat, and you'll be ready to brave the elements !*

Hang on a sec ! I guess that by now you must be thinking that Perky has had no light bulb moment since last week, and that she is just padding her new story with small talks ! Right ?

Come on, let me continue, all things come to him who waits !

Chapter 101 is a winter story, and, as you know, sneaky winter chill triggers all sorts of discomfort : runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezes, coughing spells, and sometimes, to crown it all, the flu !

Have you noticed how every year the media thrive on the first outbreak of that 'disease' wherever it strikes ?
Yes, in winter, flu hits the headlines and fight-flu campaigns are launched to raise public awareness.

So, forget about begging a GP to squeeze you in for a common cold.
Anyway, quite sure that it usually gets better within a week, so no need to make fuss about it !

All the better, cause I must confess that I don't trust doctors that much.
I have never been really at ease with them. Perhaps my inner rebellious streak...
You know, all those orders you have to obey as soon as you step into a surgery :

     " Take off your clothes, lie down on the couch, say aahh, breathe in
        breathe out, ...", and all that jazz !!

That has always made me nervous. Even so edgy sometimes that I remember once telling a gruff doctor that he was looking under the weather, and that I wouldn't mind giving him a few grandmas home remedies to shake off his gloom and get perky again.
No need to tell you that he didn't appreciate my kidding !

Now you know how reluctant I am to visit a doctor.

But for the little ones, I do agree that things are quite different. Parents can't help worrying, and, when my children were young, I was far from being an exception !

One winter, my son (he was, like, 4 years old) came down with a bad cold. A couple of days and countless medical drops and spoonfuls of cough mixture later, things were not getting better. So, I called the paediatrician. Unfortunately he turned out to be on holidays, or at least on an extra weekend (it was Friday).

In those days I was already crossed with many GPs around, so I called for the doctor on duty, who said he had lots of appointments, but he would manage to come in the late afternoon.

By the time he knocked at the door, I had had enough time to prepare myself for his visit : I would be patient (quite normal, he was a doctor), I would listen to his diagnosis instead of questioning it. I would be as good as gold !

Hardly had I let him in when I realized that my son was no longer holding my hand. I turned back, looked around, ...jeez, he had vanished .
I called him, and we could hear a muffled ' yes' coming through the bathroom door.
He was locked in, and didn't want to go out !

The doctor told me that he was used to children being scared stiff of him, and that he would talk to him gently through the door and make him go out.

    " Come on, take it easy, I won't hurt you, I'm just here to check
       everything will be ok within a few days. What do you think of that
       buddy ? ".

A few minutes of silence, I would have liked them to be longer, cause  what I  heard, put the shame on me ...

     " No ", my son cried, " I won't get out ! I know you won't cure me,
        cause once my mum said that most doctors are quacks ! ".

I turned as red as a beetroot, and could not even splutter any apologies .

The doctor smiled, and replied gently to my son :

     " I know, but, you see, I've failed my exam, so I am not a quack, but
        just a healing magician ! ".

He had hit the head of the nail ! That was the magic formula ! The door opened and at last my son got out !

All was well that ended well !

That winter taught me two lessons .
Lesson number one : some doctors are thankworthy !
Lesson number two : hold my tongue when children around !

That's all, folks !

Hope you will enjoy this new adventure and share it with all the fun lovers you know ( and I hope you know quite a few ) !

By the way, don't forget , whatever the weather is : be perky !

* For those who are basking in the sun, jot down all this advice, cause sooner or later the weather will change ...

dimanche 8 janvier 2017





No need to be a fortune teller and read my crystal ball or coffee grounds
to know what the days to come will be like for you, for me, well actually for most of us.

Christmas has come and gone once again, wreaths and sparkling garlands are back in their boxes till next year, the fridge shelves are on a detox diet, and you have picked up the last crumbs of Twelfth Night Cake.

So, what's left ?

Hang on a sec, let me guess !

...Yes, that's it ! After whooping it up for nearly a fortnight, there's nothing likely to sweep you away, you've lost your " get up and go ", and to crown it all, you are caught up again in the humdrum routine !
Right ?

Come on, don't let January gloom and doom dampen your spirits ! As soon as you feel a fit of the blues is on its way, pore through " The Adventures of Dany the Perky Busy Bee " ! An excellent antidote to Winter sullenness !

Don't get me wrong ! Even if I am a perky busy bee, I sometimes happen to feel low-spirited,too.

So, when life's cobwebs get a bit too thick, as corny and sappy as it may seem, I usually give myself a pep talk.
That's quite efficient to break out of the rut, and gear up for January boring chores. You know , all the things we've kept putting off, because, of course we had other fish to fry, or, at least, we claimed we had ...

Let's be honest : Christmas break is the perfect fake excuse to get off the treadmill !

But now January is in full swing, and things have to be done.

So, a few days ago I thought it was high time to jump on the bandwagon again .

I swapped my gloomy lazy bee costume (nearly brand-new, cause I hardly ever wear it) for my perky busy bee one.

A quick energy-boosting pep talk to myself, and I was back on track !

Whithin a couple of hours boring but compulsory appointments were made, shelves, drawers and stomach decluttering was launched !

I was again full of beans and the sky was the limit !

When I am in such a frenzy, Dearhubby never fails to make fun of me.

So, as I was on my way to clean the car windows, once more I could hear his mocking " tornado warning " to our dogs :

     " Watch out guys, Perky is going on a new clutter-free adventure,
        better watch out, otherwise we may end up at the waste reception
        center ! ".

I just shrugged my shoulders, grabbed the window cleaner, the squeegee, and some paper towels, and I let the door slam and lock his gentle mockery in .

Once I was done with my spray-wipe-buff work, I went back in, and told Dearhubby that, while cleaning the windshield, I had heard kinds of slight squeaking sounds under the hood.

I should have thought twice before speaking ...

Dearhubby looked at Canaille, our English Springer Spaniel, and said :

     " You see, boy, how lucky we are ! First the tornado seems to have
        calmed down, and then, even better, now we can go on a safe trip
        to the supermarket, cause our front seat passenger is a top-notch
        mechanic ! So, in case of a breakdown, we've got the right man in
        the right place ! ".

I just pretended I had not heard anything, took my 2017 first healthy food shopping list, 'jailed' it in my pocket, not to repeat the experience of chapter " I could not cut the mustard ", and off we went .

The revigorating drizzle we had been expecting for so long in Brittany, had at last started falling !
As soon as Dearhubby turned the windshield wipers on, the little noise went off again. It could hardly be heard, but I have already told you in a previous chapter what a nerve-racking passenger I am, so I couldn't help attracting my favourite driver's attention on it !
I added a bit shyly that, even though the wipers had not worked for long (2016 exceptional draught in Brittany), perhaps they needed changing.
" Oh ", Dearhubby said, " letting faulty wiper blades smear the windshield of Perky's squeaky clean car, no way ! Let's stop at the car spare -parts shop to buy some, fix them immediately and stop Perky's harping on weird noises ! ".

A touch of irony ? Never mind !

If I had to rate the shop we went to, I would definitely give it five stars . The shop-assistant was pretty helpful and honest, and, before showing us the wide range of wipers he had in store, he offered first to check ours were really worn-out.
When he told us they were just like brand-new, I replied that they made a weird noise when on.
Dearhubby smiled , winked at the man and said :

     " You see, one of my wife's far ancestors is Joan of Arc, so hearing
        voices run in the family ! ".

The shop-assistant laughed, but said he could check (now you understand the reason for my five starts review).
He turned on the wipers, and the squeaking noise went off again !

"Actually ", he said, " it comes from under the hood ! ".

I threw a meaningful glance at Dearhubby. Being proven wrong left him speechless.
Then, the mechanic pulled up the hood, bent over it, and burst out laughing !

" I have found the troublemaker ! Look ! ", he said, holding a  squeaking tiny fieldmouse by its tail, " it must have sneaked between the hood and the bottom of the windshield, got trapped there and scared stiff when the wipers were on ! ".

Dearhubby, always quick on the draw, exclaimed :

     " That's why the car seller had told me that thanks to the newest
        technics, that car model was as quiet as a mouse ! ".

We put our stowaway into a box and gave it a lift to a nearby meadow.
As soon as we put the box down, Mickey's distant cousin ran away without a word of thanks !
I bade farewell to my hope of keeping it as a pet, and I rushed back home, clicked on the only mouse I have managed to tame up to now, and started typing this story !

That's all for this week, folks !

Enjoy your reading, share it with whoever enjoys looking on the bright side , and don't forget: be perky !

Any questions , send me a mail and I will answer :

dimanche 1 janvier 2017





Hello everybody,

First of all, welcome onboard year 2017. May it be sparkling, cheerful and stress-free for all of you !
Now the brand new year lies ahead with plenty of perky adventures to be led, read and shared.
So, are you ready to take your first walk through it with me ?

Considering all the season greetings I have already received on , I guess most of you are !

But,maybe some New Year's Eve party-goers still feel a little too queasy and lifeless to browse through my blog ...

Quite normal ! No need to be a medical pundit to know that painting the town red on New Year's Eve often leaves that kind of side effects.
Don't worry ! Getting as fit as a fiddle again after a boozy night won't take long. Soon you'll bid farewell to woolly-headed ideas and splitting headache !
What you will remember is just how much fun you had !

At least, that's what I have experienced.
Don't get me wrong ! I used to be a die-hard clubber, and jumping from parties to parties all throughout December 31st night was a must.
As years went by, ringing in the New Year with hundreds of strangers turned out to be,not really a chore, it would be exaggerated, but, yet, a kind of compulsory.
I had to face the facts : counting down to the New Year among the madding crowd was no longer my cup of tea.

That's when I decided to throw a house-party to celebrate the turning of the year with two couples of friends.

In those days, hosting a party was not yet stress-triggering for me ( see The Squeaky Pumpkin -chapter 90). I had plenty of tips and tricks to put on a spread without being washed out : dazzling ' Happy New Year ' banner, lovely tablescape, sparkling drinks and delicious treats would make it awesome !

Well, did my guests think they could not really rely on my talent for treating their tastebuds, or did they want to spare me time and work ?
I don't know and I don't want to know, but it turns out that a fortnight before the D-Day ( I should say the D-Night, but it doesn't exist), one of my friends phoned and said that she had managed to get six tickets for a successful light comedy which had been running for over two years. The tickets were valid only on New Year's Eve, so why not go , and then book a table in a good restaurant ?

No sooner said than done !

The six of us still remember that night, and whenever we meet, we never fail to mention some funny details of what should have been our big night. Just for fun, and not to forget that going out that night often means overpriced drinks and meals, and scuffles for cabs at the end of the evening.

Let me tell you how on that december 31st we jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire...

The theatre play ,we were to see, had captivated reviewers and audience for months, so we arrived at the theatre all excited at the prospect of seeing two legend actors on stage !

Unfortunately we had to make do with their voices, and from time to time their figures ...
When she had bought the tickets, my friend had not paid attention to the warning ' obstructed view ' printed on them.
Well, as we had to make the best of things, we squeezed into our tiny box seats, and spent the whole performance doubled up, not with laughter, but with pain !
I am not kidding !! First , no room at all to stretch our legs (and our husbands are quite tall), and then the sight lines were so poor that we had to break our necks to snatch a glimpse of the actors.

We left the theatre sore all over , and doomed to get a stiff neck the day after.
What a flop !

Not enough anyway to dishearten the jolly fellows we were !
We hopped into a cab and set off to enjoy a fine dinner in the top-notch spot we had selected : a snazzy new venue we should have missed when making our choice ...
Exhausted waiters (it was the second service),our favourite dishes reported missing on the menu, and to crown it all incredibly uncomfortable chairs !!

Have you ever felt like skipping dinner and going straight to dessert ?
Yes ? Well, then you can easily imagine our state of mind.
Unfortunately, after enduring the requisite meal, the baked Alaska which had made our six mouths water all along the starter and the main course, was missing .
That took the biscuit !!

Once out, we realized that the cabs were reported missing, too, cause of ice !!
A quick glance at our watches : it was already  1pm.
Our first steps into the New Year were unsteady and graceless ( no champion ice-skater among us ), but we managed to kiss each other without performing any unexpected triple loops !

That put an end to any New Year's Eve out !

That was a funny mishap the six of us kept secret for years till...I decided to share it with you !

So, a special thank to Jocelyne, Nancy,Patrice , Ron and Dearhubby (of course !) for their generous contribution which made this chapter possible . (showing off a bit, aren't I ?)

Have a nice week, get your tastebuds ready for the Twelfth Night Cake, and don't forget : be perky !