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dimanche 26 février 2017




Hello everybody,

Believe me or not, the story I'll tell you this week is absolutely true. A bit mind-blowing, I must admit, but just the truth, nothing but the truth.

Don't get me wrong, it does not mean that all the others were totally made up. Even if they sometimes seem a bit airy-fairy, they are just the sunny side version of my daily grind.So, you can't call me  a serial liar, if I sprinkle them with a bit of thrill to hook you, and, a pinch of humour to make you crack a smile.

But, you already know that looking on the bright side is my favourite gimmick, so no need to harp on that any longer.

Now, before taking you on a weird and mind-boggling journey, just a question :

Do you believe in coincidences, or do you usually take them with a pinch of salt ? I mean, do you believe in fate, or do you think that everything happens for a reason ?

Tricky question, isn't it ?

Well, I guess once you have read this week's story, you will be none the wiser, but at least you'll get food for thought.

We had already been living in the same place in Paris, when one day we realized the children were getting bigger and bigger, and our flat smaller and smaller. So, it was high time to sell it and get something more suitable for two hoarders (Dearhubby and me) and two growing teens.

Well, you know what sort of go-getters we are when it comes to testing new jobs : you have read about our adventures as cow-boys (chapter 6), budding gardeners (chapter 11), bird-rescuers (chapter 14), and more recently, tilers (chapter : Fancy Craftsmen on duty). So, no wonder, then,that, once we had made our decision to put our flat for sale, we immediately ditched the estate agents, and mapped out our DIY selling route.

Good opportunity to tackle our honey-do list !

After tightening the loose door knobs, filling in the hairline cracks, giving a quick coat of paint to the doors and baseboards, and other
touch-ups, we were ready to start our do-it-yourself sellers' training.

The market was  buoyant, and the demand for our district  high, as well, so, as soon as our ad came out, we immediately got quite a few viewings. And that's when things turned out to be more difficult than we thought.

Showing people around our flat was far from being a walk in the park,
dealing with those who had nothing else to do on that day, or those who couldn't afford such a purchase, but wanted to test their bargaining skill (not mine, fortunately : see chapter : I have something up my sleeve) . But to look on the bright side of things, those unwanted
visitors helped us to recognize potential buyers more easily.

Among them a man in his early thirties attracted my attention, to say the least ...

I mean, the first time he came, as soon as I opened the door, he had a weird reaction : he stared at me, turned as white as a sheet and took a few steps back, as if he had seen a ghost !
He looked so bewildered and uncomfortable that first I thought my eye makeup had smeared under my eyes ,just as if I had a black eye, and so, the poor guy didn't feel like witnessing a squabble.
Or, perhaps, still some toothpaste left on my chin after brushing my teeth ? It often happened, then, no wonder the young man looked so baffled .
A quick glance at myself in the mirror of the corridor relieved me : no war paint to be seen !
At last he came in, but he went round the rooms as if a swarm of bees was trying to land on him !
How strange ! First, because I was alone ( no swarm with me),and then because he should have known perky busy bees never sting if you stay calm !

Anyway, hardly a quarter later he had gone. Except " good-bye ", he had not uttered a single word !
Good riddance !

Fortunately the other viewings of the day went on smoothly, otherwise I guess I would have thrown in the towel and asked an estate agent for help !

Days went by, and one morning as I was jotting down a few ideas to improve my sales speech, the phone rang.

Guess what !

My " ghost buyer " was back , asking if he could come for a second viewing !
Well, well !
Of course, I agreed.

I knew the saying " Speech is silver, but silence is golden ", but that time I was secretly hoping my potential buyer would choose the first part of it !
Believe me or not, he made my wish come true !

No sooner had he stepped in than he started his house-hunter's talk.
While I was doing my best to satisfy the running fire of his questions, he was writing down in a pad, but...but keeping a poker face all the time.
It was just as if he was conducting an interrogation. It seemed that whatever the room we were in, I was like in a cell !
One hour later, my plastic smile had frozen, and I was about to crack up, but my ' torturer ' was not done with me !
As he said, " Just a few questions left and I'll get off the floor ".
Was he trying to be funny ? Sorry, but it was a dumb joke ! That man was a real pain in the neck !
Damn it ! Where had he found all those questions ? Some were quite normal, but others were just screwball !!
Was he a kind of mystery shopper, or  was he writing the " House Hunting for dummies " handbook ?
Well, whatever his job, he had definitely ruined my day !
At last, ten minutes later he left, after telling me he would call back !

I was washed out and edgy. You know, that kind of feeling you have after taking an oral exam : you have given all your all, and then it is over, and you are drained, but yet, still a bit stressed out.

Anyway, as the saying goes, " the labourer is worthy of his hire "...

The day after, my patience was rewarded : the man phoned and said he was ready to sign a sales agreement !
Before hanging up, he dared to ask me ' a tiebreaker ' as he called it !

" Doesn't my name ring a bell ? ", he asked.

" I'm afraid not ", I answered.

" Quite normal ", he continued, " you test so many students ! Five years
   ago I was one of your victims. I was studying international law, and
   you were my examiner for the English oral exam. You asked me so
   many questions that the first time I visited your flat and recognized
   you, I decided to get back at you. That's why I pepped you with
   questions , just as you did five years ago ! No hard feelings ? ".

" Of course, not", I answered, " but, by the way, did I give you a good
   mark ? ".

" As good as the one I gave to your flat after my first viewing", he said.

Phew !!  I must not have been such an awfully harsh teacher, then !

Now, what do you think of coincidences ? Let me know about your own experience on my mail :


Have a nice week and don't forget : BE PERKY !

For the record : some years later, my former student moved and bought a flat ....close to my mother's !

dimanche 19 février 2017




Hello everybody,

First of all, thanks for all your insanely helpful work-out tips. From warm-ups to stamina boosters, let alone treadmill, you really had a field day !

I think I should be less bashful, and pepper you with questions more often, but I don't want to poke the bear. I guess too many questions could turn me into a frightful bore, so ...

Anyway, your peppy answers were just fab, and helped me to jump back onto the daily exercise bandwagon. I'm already on my way to be a real live wire. But, to be honest, it's a long way to Tipperary,, sorry, I mean, it's a long way to go to the treadmill. Fortunately, Tipperary Connaught rangers were better trained than me !

You see, when I jump out of bed (yes, I do !), I am always full of beans and eager to warm up through exercise. I ride my stationary bike for ten minutes, then a little jump rope, a good memory of the happy days in the schoolyard.
That's all, cause I don't master push-ups yet : I've just managed to scratch my chin when trying to perform some, so I'll wait before a second attempt, otherwise I may end up with stitches.
I don't push myself hard, I just follow your advice : " fair and soflty goes far in a day ".

And yet, after a few days' training, I'm still sore all over. Even climbing onto my bathroom scales is an awful pain-trigger.
I mean,usually to cheer me up and to smuggle a couple grams, I just stand tiptoe on that brutally frank weight-controller.
Now, no way !
Heels flat demanded, otherwise my calves and thighs blow the whistle !

Anyway, I know that taking baby steps is the mainstay to reap the rewards, so I won't flag !

But, you know how easily I can get gung-ho, so, of course, when I browsed through all your clever and energy-boosting tips, I decided it was high time to clean up my diet,as well.

By the way, thanks a lot for all the links to fitness and  health websites. I'm really spoilt for choice !

So, after signing up for some healthy food newsletters, to do everything to give myself a good start,I undertook to overhaul my pantry.

Jeez ! All my salt and sweet cravings were sprawling inside, and when lending an ear, I could even hear their sirens' song.
The fight was hard, but I was merciless, and one hour later all my guilty pleasures were crammed on the top shelf.
For one moment, I thought that climbing onto my stepladder to grab some of them could be a kind of work-out, but it quickly slipped my mind.
Don't get me wrong ! I was not suddenly stricken with remorse, I just remembered my stepladder was rickety, and the 'ascent' would be risky business. Falling off and breaking my wrist would put an end to " The Adventures of Dany the Perky Busy Bee ", at least for a while. Too bad !
So, I forgot about it.

Once I was done with the convenience foods, it was time to go green, I mean, it was high time to nip off to the nearby greengrocer's.

I held my head up while walking along the deli, I turned up my nose at the cake shop display, and the chocolate smell escaping from the sweetmaker's left me indifferent (well, to be honest, I pretended to...).

Let bygones be bygones !

I was on the road to fitness, or let's say, I was on my way to a fruits and veggies binge. No junk food would make me wander from the straight and narrow !
I was full of beans (how suitable for a new veggie-lover !).

Unfortunately, the holiday closing notice on the organic shop door upset the apple cart.
What a bummer !
What to do, then ?
Shopping at the supermarket ? Well,sorry for sounding a bit prissy, but its too shiny fruits and veggies, and the mist sprayed over them, meant it didn't really have my health at heart.
If only last Spring I had grown my own kitchen garden...
Too late to dwell on 'shoulda coulda woulda ' !

Then, I had a light bulb moment. Come on, don't be flabbergasted,I happen to get some, and , believe me or not, sometimes I wish I had fewer...
Let me explain, and you'll see how those light bulb moments are anything but small potatoes.
No kidding ! They sometimes turn me  into a pea-brained idiot !

The organic shop had let me down, but ,about twenty kilometres away, there was a good frozen food shop : veggies, there, were as healthy as fresh ones.
No sooner said than done.

While getting my fill of French beans, cabbage, garden peas and all sorts of vegs, I thought that, as household shopping was my pet peeve, once the  local organic shop reopened, I could buy veggies in bulk, and freeze them myself.
Even better,I could freeze them in portion-controlled servings : a foolproof way to put the brakes on overeating !
I had a deep freeze, a vacuum sealer, what else did I need ? ...Uh,...oh yes, the freezing know-how, of course !
Just a step by step method, and I would get rid of my weekly queueing at the greengrocer's.

So, before paying the bill, I asked the man at the cash-desk :

" By the way, would you, by chance, have 'Freeze Yourself ' booklets ? "

The guy looked stunned, gaped at me for a few seconds, then pulled himself together, and managed to utter as politely as possible :

 " Everyone to his trade, Madam ! ".

Jeez ! I suddenly realized my blunder, and went as red as a beetroot. As red as a beetroot ? Undoubtedly, I was not done with veggies.

I ate humble pie, and before going bananas, I rushed out of the shop.

That's the way the cookie crumbled, folks !

Enjoy your reading, share it , and don't forget : BE PERKY !

BTW : in spite of that adventure, I have not given up the fight, I'm still on a healthy diet.


dimanche 12 février 2017





Hi everybody,

What's up ?

All kinds of stuff ? Oh, gosh, thanks a million, then, for squeezing me in your spare-time.

Just the same old same old ? Well, quite true that life is not always full of twists and turns, and, that the humdrum routine is sometimes deadly boring,but after all, it also helps to stay on track (especially for
side-tracked people like me).

Stop fuming over your daily chores, and just keep scrolling down this week's story. Once you have finished reading, if you still feel like moaning and whining, just let me know, and I'll try to do better next week !

But, if you have shaken off your gloom, don't hesitate to drop me a mail. I'm always happy to hear from perky readers.

In the meantime, let's set off on a new adventure.

It has been long since I last asked you a question.
Can you remember when ?
No ? Well, that's a good opportunity to go back to the previous chapters.
Come on, lazy you, wipe the scowl off your face !
I am not asking you to pore through the 104 chapters. I'm not that heartless !
Let me give you a clue.
The title of the story has something to do with spies, but with shelters, as well ...
That's enough !
I'm expecting all your answers within the next few days.

Oops, you see, one more time I have got sidetracked.So, before it slips my mind again, let me ask you this week's question.

Are you the sporty type or a couch potato ?

Sorry for being a bit straightforward, but I need to know.

As Spring is on its way (first primroses along Brittany paths), I'm thinking about getting out of the Winter rut, and exercising again.

So,if you are a die-hard fan of push-ups, crunches, squats and all that jazz, I hope that after reading this story, you'll flood my inmail box with your wised advice, and your energy-boosting tips.
Up for anything outdoors ? You're welcome, too !

But,roll up your sleeves, cause coaching me won't be a walk in the park.

For example, when it comes to jogging, I am never reluctant, I even happen to be hearty.
Unfortunately, no sooner have I mapped out my route than things go wrong : one knot too many and my sneaker laces break, one cookie too many and my muffin top refuses to fit into my sweatpants, one dark cloud too many and's too late ! I don't have any spare pair of laces, my other tracksuit has shrunk (how come ?), and what's worse, the sun has vanished and it looks like rain.

What can I do , then, except slump onto the couch, curl up among the comfy cushions, and just daydream about being an athlete ?

Unfortunately, I must confess, I have nothing to do with medal-winners.
I'm just the prime example of an armchair athlete, not to say a couch potato.

Don't get me wrong. Unlike couch potatoes, my main aim when crashing on the sofa is not to watch TV ( I told you about its side effects in the chapter '' Sleep Hypnosis " ), but to browse through magazines and books, sip some green tea with honey, and munch on cashew nuts and walnuts, and idle the time away.

Foolproof ways to pig out and put on weight (elastic waist pants demanded, then !), but can't be seen as energy-booster,can they ?

No,really the only thing that could make me roll down the couch, squeeze into my jogging pants (even if they look like a pantie girdle), put on my hook and loop sneakers (laces not needed any longer), and head out to the door, would be a running buddy !

My dogs ? Come on, are you kidding ?

Those two lazy guys don't mind walking me, cause they know I need some fresh air before writing my blog, and especially before preparing their meals.
But as couch potatoes, they are second to none.
Snuggling down in their baskets after a cheerful ' fetch the ball ', or,
'find the treat ' game is their guilty pleasure.
But running for running's sake, no way !

Having a cushy time is their motto, and it has always been the motto of all the dogs I have had !
Actually, it must 'run in the family',cause the very first dog we had, set the mood immediately...

Jolux (yes, the naughty housebreaker of chapter  ' Love at first sight ')was a cheerful, loyal, playful and energetic little dog.
So, one day I thought I could start a running program with him.

We were on holidays in a hilly place in the middle of nowhere and far from the madding crowd, so a good opportunity to work out together.

I leashed him to leave our rental, but once on the quiet path I had spotted before, I let him go free.
WhenI started jogging, he thought I was playing, so he ran in front of me, barked, pushed me, and so on...
He knew the ' heel ' command when walking, but when running, he pretended to be deaf !

Then, little by little, he calmed down, and trotted behind me, letting out some heavy sighs, cause I didn't leave him any break to read the latest news, I mean, to sniff the blades, the clods, and all his fellows' messages.
Although I was running at the same, steady, moderate pace, a quarter later I was in a sweat, and not so full of beans.
As for Jolux, I was amazed at his stamina , I could not even hear him panting or even sniffing !
I turned back to congratulate him and stroke him around the ears, his favourite cuddle, but... no dog to be seen , even in the far distance !
I called him, I whistled (badly, but I did ), I clapped, I shouted all the words he knew, but my 'treats,good boy and ball 'got no barking
reply !

All the way back home, I kept screaming my head off, in vain.
When I arrived near the house, I was out of breath,scared stiff and
First thing was to contact the local animal shelters, and then, to comb the neighbourhood again.

I opened the gate of the garden, and was looking for the keys in my bumbag, when I caught sight of Jolux having a nap on the door-mat !

The lady nextdoor came out, and asked me if it was my dog.
When I answered that she was right, the couch potato sprawling over there was mine, she uttered a sigh of relief.
She said that he had been lying on the door-mat for nearly half-an-hour, but she was puzzled because he didn't look like a stray dog at all.
Jeez ! And all that time, I had been jogging, then searching desesperately my so-called partner !!

Now you see that turning me into a sporty type won't be as easy as ABC, but I think you won't give up.
So, I'm expecting a lot of energy-boosting tips and tricks in my inmail box.

Thanks in advance !

That's all for this week, folks.
Have a good reading, share it and don't forget : BE PERKY !

BTW : Sporty doggies' owners' advice is welcome, too, of course !

dimanche 5 février 2017




Hello all of you,

Have you noticed the number above ?
No ? Have a look, then !
Yes, that's it, chapter 104 !
So what ?

Well, as I post once a week, it means I have been blogging for 104 weeks. I have never been good at calculus, even at school, my marks rarely rose above freezing point. When they did, I was thrilled to bits, but my teacher and my parents were not. Lack of understanding ? I think so. Ah, you mean, on both sides ? Sorry, that's a point of view I totally missed at the time.

Anyway, after spending endless school terms racking my brain on leaking tubs or, crossing trains, one day I decided to take it easy, and live by the phrase " everyone to his trade ", whenever I stepped into the maths classroom. After all, there were enough plumbers and station masters all over the world to put an end to those awful mindbreakers !

I was doomed to be bottom of the class, and actually it was a kind of comfort and relief for my schoolmates. I mean, they knew that it was my maths class rank, and that I would never let anyone take it .
Is that the reason why, one year, I was awarded  'the best schoolfriend prize '? Who knows...

Now, don't get me wrong ! Even if the words ' mental arithmetics ' still make me sick (I have a friend who suffers from the same allergy), yet, when it comes to simple operations, I don't need to whip out my calculator to do them.
That takes your breath away ?
Hey, come on, I'm not such a dunce !
I am like duck to water with short additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions. I never forget the carried numbers, and casting out the nines is not a mystery to me, even though I find it a wee bit magical...

Let's see if you are as quick-witted as me, and if you can solve the problem below in a split second.
Here is the formulation :

Every week Perky writes out a blogpost in which she looks on the sunny side of things. Since she launched her blog, Perky has always stayed consistent in her blogging schedule : once a week readers from all over the world can pore through a mood-boosting story, always based on a true one, but sprinkled with a dollop of self-mockery and a pinch of humour. This week Perky has posted chapter 104, and hopes to change your mind off things and make you crack a smile
So now, my honeybunches, find out how many years ago Perky started fluttering her wings and buzzing over your humdrum routine.

Ready, steady, go !

Ticktock, ticktock....Time is over !

Who has guessed that this week we celebrate Perky's second blogiversary ?
Yes, two years since I decided to share my adventures with you !
When I browse through the first posts, I realize how corny they were.
So, thanks a million to the early readers who, in spite of the mawkish posts about Mrs Deer and her fawn ,or,my first steps as a budding gardener, have stood by me through thick and thin.
Thanks for sharing,too, cause you are more and more numerous to come here and spend a part of your spare time with me.
I'm really overwhelmed with gratitude !
Your loyalty, your benevolence, your messages, your tips and tricks, well, all that motivates me to continue on this blogging journey !

So, this week, let me tell you my second blogiversary adventure.

You remember, last week I told you that, to celebrate that special date, Dearhubby had booked a table in a top-notch restaurant.
I had read quite a few mouth-watering reviews about it, and I knew our tastebuds would go through an unforgettable experience.
But I had also seen some photos of the restaurant dining-room, the snowy linen, the sparkling glasses and china, the bright silverware, and to top it all, the stylish-looking headwaiters (a bit too starchy for my liking, but the game was worth the candle).
Well, all that had thrown me on a nerve-racking shopping journey to get the right outfit.

You know what a poor shopper I am, so no need to tell you that I had come back home, empty-handed, washed-out, and edgy .
I had three days left before D-day, so before going on a crash diet, or I should say, before fasting, I decided to have a second, but more careful wardrobe cleaning-out time.

Bingo ! Still wrapped in the dry-cleaner's plastic cover, a dark grey suit was waiting patiently to be worn a second time ! I guess I had bought it after a pancake binge, cause the pants were a bit tight, but let me breathe gently.
Matching a top with that suit was as easy as ABC, cause I am a blouse lover. Actually I hardly ever wear them : gardening and walking the dogs require more casual and weatherproof tops.

Three days later the big day was finally there.

I was about to hop into the car, when I  suddenly realized that, perhaps we woud not be able to park just in front of the restaurant, so I'd better take a coat.
Jeez ! I had plenty of fleeces and down jackets, but only one coat I had not worn for ages.
No time to ponder about it, Dearhubby was champing at the bit behind the wheel.
I threw the coat on the back seat, and off we went.

The restaurant car park was quite big, and we could park not too far from the restaurant entrance door, so I just drapped my coat over my shoulders, and once inside, handed it to the cloakroom lady.

Our dinner went on perfectly. The chef was really worth his stars,and the staff, even though a bit too ceremonious as I had feared, waited on us hand and foot.

When we were about to leave, the restaurant manager, himself, came to our table to ask us if we had enjoyed our meal.
We congratulated him and thanked him for the fabulous dinner we had had.
He followed us to the cloakroom, took my coat, and helped me put it on.

OMG ! Once my arms in the armholes, I realized my right hand was stuck at the bottom of the sleeve. I suddenly remembered that the right sleeve had come unstitched the very first time I had put that coat on ! My hand was trapped between the lining and the sleeve itself !

What to do ?

Well, I just pretended everything was ok, and I kept smiling, while struggling to free my hand. In vain !

And then, what was to happen happened ...

The manager led us to the door, and one second later I saw his thumb extended upwards, and his fingers pressed together coming at full speed towards my right hand (or at least towards where it should have been).

Jeez, he wanted to shake hands !

Pretending I was one-armed ? No way to deceive that first-class observer !

You know what ?

I could have held out my left hand, but no ! Instead I spluttered out :

 " Sorry, I never shake hands " !

Dearhubby stared at me, wide-eyed, shook hands with the manager, and we left.

When I told him the reason for my sudden germ phobia, he made fun of me, calling me ' his sweet one-armed bandit ', and all the way back home, he laughed in his sleeve !

That's all for this week, folks.

Enjoy your reading, share it, and don't forget : BE PERKY !


                                        FOR BEING HERE !

Expecting mails from all of you on :