Articles les plus consultés

vendredi 28 avril 2017



A couple of days ago I was scrolling through my list of blogpost ideas in search of some thrilling content that would kickstart my writing and drum up your enthusiasm, as well, when I came across two topics I had often thought of throwing into the " not-worth publishing " bucket.
I was about to walk the talk, when I had a light-bulb moment.

After all, " Vocabulary " and " Grammar " could be worthwile topics, but which one to choose ?
The clock was ticking, the deadline to publish getting closer and closer, so it was high time to make up my mind.

 "  Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, ..."

Vocabulary ! Yes, the die has been cast, this week I'll tell you about vocabulary.

Hey you, relax ! I won't be hoity-toity, and make a fool of myself. I wager that if I start ' wikipedizing ' and babbling on what is vocabulary, you'll roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders and move on !  No way !

No, when I say I'll tell you about vocabulary, I mean, I'll tell you a story about vocabulary, or I should say , about  a lack of vocabulary, and I hope it will make you crack a smile and help those of you who are learning a foreign language  and still struggling with words, phrases, idioms and whatnot !

But why such an off-puting topic ?
Well, English is not my mother tongue, and I keep quite a few bitter memories of getting into trouble, because I was stumped for words.

The very first time I stayed with an English family for a whole month was nothing but a daily ordeal ! Even to ask for some more bread or some salt, I had butterflies in my stomach !! I could not even recognize my voice ! It sounded as if I were hoarse or bleating like a sheep !
To crown it all, the family had a basset and in those days I was scared stiff of dogs.
That "good boy" (as the lady called him) was over the hill and had a nasty temper (due to rheumatism ! My foot !!)
I guess he felt my fear and tried to increase it by growling at me whenever we were in the same room. Even when his "mum" scolded him ("naughty boy" was the worst humiliation), the cheeky four-legged sausage kept humming his war tune at me !
Well, one evening we were having dinner, and while the lady had gone to the kitchen to fetch a jug of water, I started dealing with my veggies...
A lot has been said about English flashy green peas, but not enough about English boiled potatoes ! They are strong-tempered, and cutting them can sometimes turn into a merciless fight.
So, there I was, when suddenly the blade of my knife slipped on the hot potato and sent it straight into the dog's basket. Immediately the growling went off ! For once, with good reason ! Sure, being hit by a boiling hot potato was painful !
But when the lady came back from the kitchen and heard her little devil, she flared up and said that enough was enough, and that he would spend the night in the kennel outside !!
I wanted to explain it was my fault, but I started to go off road in my thoughts, searching for the words " lame de couteau " and "déraper". Of course, in vain !
I was faced with a tongue-tied feeling of hopelessness !
I let the alleged culprit be dragged outside, whereas I could have said :
" There is one hot potato in his basket" or " A potato has flown into his basket".
A bit weird, but then I could have drawn in the air the flight of the potato from my plate onto the basket tarmac. It would have saved an innocent !

Psychologists would say it was a "subconscious deliberate mistake". To avenge Joan of Arch ?

Maybe, cause the year after, I was nearly charged with first-degree murder on the same four-pawed guy ! No kidding !
To coax him and drive him to bury the hatchet, I had decided to prepare his favourite food bowl and then become his favourite waitress.
Easier said than done ...
I mean, in those days I was already a poor cook, but Dusty was not a finicky guest, and anyway, pouring a dollop of dry pet food into his bowl
was not such a big issue !
No, once more, ' I had a brush ' with vocabulary . That's when I realized that words can play tricks on non-native speakers.
I confused ' to eat ' and ' to feed ', or to be honest, I knew the noun
' food ', but didn't know you just had to change double 'o'  into double
' e ' to turn it into a verb.

So, of course, when I said that that I would eat the dog, everybody
was horrified and so was I !

What a mess  I had got in and what a galoot I was !
In a split second, my imagination ran riot and I could  see the red warning " Revenge is a dish best savoured cold " flashing  in their minds !
Before being sentence to a harsh punishment for dog bullying, I rushed to the kitchen and came back, holding my so-called victim's bowl tight , and looking, I guess, just like a blithering idiot !

It took me several years  and several misundertandings and blunders to realize that building your vocabulary is a ceaseless job, but so exhilarating that it is worth it !

Well , this week I had promised not to be hoity-toity, but I can't help ending this post by quoting Evelyn Waugh ( 1903-1966):

" One forgets words as one forgets names.
   One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die. "

So, whatever the language you are learning, just remember that the more words you know, the easier it will be not to get into a pretty pickle .

That's all for this weeks, folks !


Getting stuck on some words or phrases of this post, cause English is not your mother tongue ? Drop me a mail, and I'll help you through this tricky text.



dimanche 23 avril 2017



Hi everybody,


I don't want to brag, but I think that with my last week post I really hit the head on the nail and got quite a good rise out of everybody.
To my great relief, I could realize that list-makers are a dime a dozen, and even better, not about to give up that comforting scribbling.
Phew ! It feels good to know you are not the only one who needs those precious pieces of paper to keep on the straight and narrow.
As for my dream of speaking Spanish fluently, all your useful links, tips and tricks will definitely make it come true. But, whatever the online language learning platform I choose, I must keep in mind that ' slow and steady wins the race '.


Well, time has come to get down to brass tacks, or, to be in a simpler and perkier mood, to embark on another adventure.
As I have noticed that questions usually let your imagination run riot, maybe you're raring for more...

No, not really ? A wee bit fed up with being asked for feedback whatever you buy or wherever you go ?
Great then, cause, this week, no need to rack your brains to post a comment. No praise or criticism wanted !
Just put your feet up, scroll down gently, and see why , just like you, I feel bored, uncomfortable and even muddled up when it comes to writing an opinion post about this or that.

Don't get me wrong ! I won't be pesky and tell you about current opinion polls flooding the media and the social networks all over the world !
First, because I have never been questioned, and then, because I think most of you are getting sick and tired of them.
Enough is enough ! And anyway, rather hard to look on the bright side of those deadly boring surveys, isn't it ?
So, nothing to do with this blog !

No, actually, when I say, I feel awkward to write an opinion post, I mean, writing a review about a product or a service often makes me uneasy and wordless. Hard to believe , but unfortunately true.
So, let me give you two examples and you'll see what a silly goose I can be.

Some years ago, eager to strengthen my abs,or, to be honest, to build some, I bought a sit-up bench online. You know that kind of sneaky slant board which turns sitting up into a painful nightmare that your rolls of fat will remember for ever.
Well, well, as we say ' A new broom sweep clean '...
After two weeks' daily workout, I was sore all over, still as stiff as a poker, a bit less gung-ho, and to top it all, not even one of the six pack abs in view !
For a while I strove to my fitness mantra  "The more I exercise, the less my muscles will hurt in the weeks to come ". I even begged my abs , not on bended knees, cause too painful :


But, my enthusiasm melted like snow in the sun, and the weeks to come never came !
The bench was left aside, till, one month later, I received a mail to remind me that I had not yet left a review about my purchase.

What to do ? Delete the mail ? It wouldn't have been fair ! Pretend I was a hardcore trainer, and write down a pack of lies ? Not fair, either, and even worse, misleading for any wanabee athlete who would read my review ! Tell the truth and write that it was my dog's favourite hangout, and that having a nap on or under the bench was his guilty pleasure ? No way !!
So what ?
I must confess that, for once, I was stumped.
The day after, I put my pride aside (yes, with the bench !), and just wrote :

"Must be good value for money, but not for lazy slobs like me ! ".

That first step into the review-writing consumers community left me a bitter aftertaste, but, as time went by, I forgot those embarrassing lines left on the Net.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was gently asked to write a few lines about a kettle I had bought online.
Jeez ! A few lines !!
Once I had typed " It boils well  ", I got stuck.
What a poor and useless description !
A bigger font didn't make things better !
I erased those three meaningless words and rushed to the kitchen to gaze at my brand-new kettle.
It looked great on the countertop, but writing that I was excstatic over it would have been going too far.
Heck ! How could I know that, when I flicked the kettle switch, I would go through a thrilling experience !
Yet, before fixing my choice on that common kitchen appliance, I had browsed through countless reviews . None mentioned that when pouring water out of it, I would have a mad tea party.
After all, that was just a perky busy bee's kettle and there was no more to be said.


So, I just rated my purchase, cause knocking up a few lines would have been another kettle of fish !

That was my second and last experience as a " review-writer ".
Since then, I leave it to Dearhubby. He is a first rate " reviewer "...
Jeez !! I hope it  will never occurred to him to review this blog !!!

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 !

For any questions , feel free to drop a mail on :





dimanche 16 avril 2017




Hello everybody,

I have three things for you this week . A story about addictions, a lesson that, I hope, will serve you well, and a quick request.
Are you hooked and ready to scroll down ?
Great !

Then, let's start with my story about addictions.
Come on, don't worry ! I won't harp on my sugar addiction again. You've had enough of it in last week post, and, anyway, my rehab is getting on smoothly. I guess by next summer I'll have tamed my tastebuds to clear any sugary attack !
No, the addiction I suffer from is far less dangerous for health, but yet to be taken seriously.
For, of course, to make things clear and to know how dependent I am, I have tested myself on the Net. The diagnosis is merciless : I am a genuine list addict ! But, to look on the bright side (as usual), I am borderline between being a master of time and a slave to time. Still a shade of hope for recovery, then !
Usually I don't trust psy tests and quizzes that much, but I must recognize that, for once, I got a very insightful analysis of my obsession.
Yes, quite true, it is not a passing fad, cause, as far as I can remember, I've always been a die-hard fan of lists whatever they are : shopping list, to-do list, wish list and so on ...
The list is endless and never leaves me listless (oops, sorry for that dumb pun !).
Being a list-maker helps me to keep on the straight and narrow and get stuff done.

Don't get me wrong ! I'm not priding myself in being efficient and making the world go round. Far from it !

. My sneaky shopping lists often manage to stay comfy at home , or to
  get lost on a display ! So, a lot of hand-to-the forehead moments !


. My to-do lists ? Full of no brainers, just for the pleasure to mark them
  off and see them dwindling. But more often than not, hard and tricky
  stuff left undone and postponed indefinitely. Then, a lot of
  " never in a month of Sundays ".


. For my wish list, things are a wee bit different. First, because that list
  is so long that nine lives wouldn't be enough to make all my wishes
  come true. Then, because some are so wacky that achieving them is
  highly unlikely. Except if, within the next few years, time travel to past
  and future turns possible and ...affordable. Wishful thinking ? Well,
  perhaps, but miracles happen every day, don't they ?
  Don't laugh at me ! My list is not just made of La La Land wishes !
  Some of them are already checked off.
  For example, sharing a few heavenly hours with the Rolling Stones. To
  be honest, there were over 20.000 guests, but it was as if the boys
  were playing just for me.
  Other wishes are on the right track . The proof is right here on your
  screen. Yes, actually, writing a blog in English had ranked number one 
  on The Frenchy Perky Busy Bee 's wish list for long, till, two years ago,
  I decided it was high time to make things happen.
  113 blog posts later, have I made my wish come true ? I think so, but
  the adventure has turned out to be so thrilling that, now, posting once
  a week is a kind of addiction ( another one !). I just hope you are
  raring for more ...


Now, you know about my addictions, so here comes the lesson I told you about at the very beginning of this post.
Come on, relax, I won't be the backseat driver ! Not savvy enough for that ! And not uppity, either ! But, Im quite sure you already know I'm far from being preachy. So, before getting sidetracked once more, let's get down to brass tacks, that is to say, the lesson you can learn from my ' list-making obsession '.
Here it is :

Whatever the smallest and loftiest thing you want to achieve, don't listen to nay-sayers, of course, but don't rush headlong into action, either ! Just take baby steps, and things will carry on their own sweet way.

Easier said than done for all the go-getters and gung-ho list makers like me. Let me tell you how I realized how the saying " Slow and steady wins the race " always proves true.

On my wish list, some years ago, 'Learning Spanish' was bullet point number two.
I had dodged it for too long, so one day I decided to take the bull by the horns.
Don't worry, nothing to do with bullfighting, one of the most controversial Spanish customs !
No, without asking for any Spanish teachers' advice, I just rushed to the local bookshop and bought ,on an impulse, a so-called miracle method to master basic communication skills in a wink.
Then, a few weeks later, Dearhubby and I went on a few days'trip to Barcelona : a good opportunity to check my " fluency " in Spanish !

That's  when I realized that I was so eager to speak Spanish like a Spaniard that I had put the cart before the horse...
Apart from greeting people, asking for directions and for prices, the only question I could use to start small talk was :

     " Donde esta Pepe ? ", that is to say, " Where is Pepe ? "
         ( lesson 4 of my wonder method )

Of course, nobody could answer, cause there are loads of people named Pepe in Spain, so looking for that Pepe was just like looking for a needle in a hay stack !
And, even worse, after all, I didn't care about that mysterious guy, either !
Jeez , I had been repeating that silly phrase day after day, doing my best to sound Spanish, and what for ??
Just to hear my children ask me with a gently mocking smile, as soon as I came back home :

     " Mum, were you lucky enough to meet Pepe ? ".

That's how I shelved my method for chumps with Pepe trapped in it, and never checked off " Learning Spanish " from my wish list.

So now, before parting till next week, here is my request :

Could you send me links* to good sites to learn Spanish online. Thanks in advance.
Links to be sent to :

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

A special thanks to my daughter who, some years ago, offered me the book " my future listography " by Lisa Nola. It has been on my bedside table since then, and leafing through it and jotting things down in it helps me to get ahead and look on the bright side !

dimanche 9 avril 2017




No waffly introduction this week. First, because I might get sidetracked and never get down to brass tacks, and then, more important I want to pump you up to celebrate ' Reach as High as You Can ' Day.
Never heard about that ?

Well, don't worry ! I won't ask you to jump on a trampoline and catch some rays of golden sun : you would burn your fingers and I would be awfully sorry. I won't ask you, either, to climb up the highest ladder you can get at the local DIY shop and touch up the Sistine Chapel ceiling : you might get big-headed and no longer read my blog, then. Poor me !

Relax ! Nothing neckbreaking or wacky ! Far from it ! On ' Reach as High as You Can ' Day, the only thing you have to do when you wake up is to think that the sky is the limit and stick to it all day long.
You'll see that once you've tried, you'll be looking forward to next year to celebrate it again !
It is on April 14th, but after all, if you really enjoy it, why not forget the exact date and celebrate it every day !

Still wallowing in self-pity and not that enthusiastic ?
Here is a prescription I found out on the Web. It doesn't have side effects, so it can be renewed as many times as you want to.
Here it is :

Let the good times outshine the bad times
Let the laughter drown out the tears
Let the light chase away the darkness including all your fears
Turn your pain into strength and smile for you are alive,
Making all things possible, but only possible if you try !

Don't get me wrong ! It's not a prescription to live in La La Land, it's just to make the most of each day, be at ease with yourself, and, of course, ready to follow my adventures (charity begins at home 😊 ).

So now, to help you cross the street and walk with me on the sunny side, let me tell you something.

Do you remember the sugar-free diet I challenged myself with last September ?
No ?
Well, have a look at the post ' Sugar-free Birthday ', and you'll see what a brave girl I was !
Brave and  a wee bit unconscious, too, cause giving up my sweet cravings was far from being a walk in the park. I should even say it was an everyday battle.
Come on, don't laugh at me !
Let me remind you that I live in Brittany, the Kouign-amann and pancake country, which means temptations on every street corner !
Anyway, I managed to turn up my nose at the local bakers and pastry-makers trying to 'bribe' me with special offers and free samples.

But the leopard can't change its spots, and since last September, as I have a sweet tooth,I have fallen off that diet wagon every now and then.
How many relapses ?
...I'd prefer to keep that close to the vest, but, let's say that their number left me a bitter aftertaste. A sweet one would have suited my tastebuds better, but guilt never tastes nice, does it ?
Even worse, I think it weighed me down, cause, little by little, hopping onto my diet bandwagon again seemed just wishful thinking.
Why the heck do minute candies, tiny cookies and mini scoops of ice-cream weigh much more than hearty chicken breasts, huge portions of French beans and enormous apples ??

I was about to sink into that sugary rut, when, a couple of week ago, I was thrown a kind of lifeline ...

I was leafing through a magazine in the dentist's waiting-room, when I came across an article about the damage of sugar on your body. The list was endless, and fortunately the dentist called me before I had finished reading about that sneaky health-killer, otherwise I would have needed a stretcher to get back home !
Anyway, one milk tooth out later*, I thought that that article was a warning, of course, but a blessing, as well : somebody somewhere was taking care of my health and I had to show how grateful I was.

So, once more I have hauled myself up onto the sugar-free diet bandwagon.
My tastebuds are still longing for some sweet stuff, but I stay tough.
Since I started that sugar rehab, Dearhubby has stood by me and done his best to rock my detox and fire my sweet tooth. I think he will master the art of spotting hidden sugar before I really bid farewell to that straight-up poison.
Don't get me wrong ! I know I have made the right decision, but the road is paved with temptations...

First, within a few days Easter will be in full swing, and I think we are never too old to go on an Easter egg hunting, are we ?
Then, trickier than the rest : yesterday I received a mail from the local supermarket that said that, by drawing lots, I had been awarded a prize to be fetched on Friday April 14th. Guess what !!!


Hardly had I read that mouth-watering mail when my tastebuds started getting ready to melt chocolate and slide it gently down my throat.
Suddenly,the date to fetch my sweet prize rang a bell.

April 14th was  ' Reach as High as You Can ' Day !!

Heck, when for once I had won something, I was doomed to turn it down !

But just a glance at the sunny side and I realized that I was offered a foolproof way to check that if I try hard, almost anything is possible : even refusing to wolf down a chocolate rabbit !

Don't get me wrong : I am not a happy bunny, but :


That's all for this week !

Enjoy ' Reach as High as You Can ' Day !

BTW : I am always thrilled to bits to read your comments on :

dimanche 2 avril 2017




Hi everybody,

When I decided to start a blog and share a part of my everyday life with you, I think I didn't really know what it meant. It was just a kind of challenge. After all, zillions of bloggers all over the world were flooding the web with exciting, trendy or wacky topics, so why not me ?
As far as I could remember, I had always enjoyed writing : school essays, holiday postcards, teen journal, keep-in-touch letters, and so on.
Actually, I had never spent a single day without jotting down a few lines, so it was high time to take the plunge and see if my adventures resonated with anyone in the cyberspace. And they did !

How could my mawkish and awkward early posts get visitors ?
Two years after I still wonder...
Perhaps the Chinese horoscope was right, and 2015, the year of the Sheep , was my Lucky year ?
Yes, but a western astrologist said that virgos (that's my sign), whatever they did, were doomed to be the black sheep all throughout that year !
Better forget about all those sheep and gullibilities.

No, what I think is that I would not be sitting in front of my computer today, ready to share some cheerful moments with you, if you had not stood by me so faithfully, chapter after chapter.
Thanking you for your encouraging support is something I won't keep harping on !
I'm not joking ! Without you, I guess that, instead of invading your screen with my adventures once a week, I would still be scribbling them in a notebook.

Come on, don't get me wrong !
Even if my fingertips are somehow ' attached ' to my laptop keyboard, my heart still belongs to the ' pen generation '.
I mean, the hard clicking of the keys doesn't trigger the same peaceful and intimate feeling as the gentle sliding of my pen on a sheet of paper.
Actually, I think I suffer from a kind of ' fetishism ', cause whenever I step into a stationery, I can't help buying a new notebook. Then, I'm thrilled to bits and eager to get back home to introduce my favourite pen to the new comer.
Facing the blank page and then jotting down the very first lines of the chapter I mapped out while walking Ulysse ( see chapter : Walking for health and for the rest ...) is just like a hopeful promise of more fun and laughter  to share with you.

Well,  I guess for most of you, typing is second nature, and the word
' handwriting ' mustn't ring a bell, except perhaps birthday cards from your grand-parents or comments by teachers on your homework.
So, sorry for telling you about the 'arty-crafty- ' side of my blog, but that's the way I tinker with it behind the scenes. Why keep that close to the vest ?

Come on, be honest , don't you think all that sounds a shade old-fashioned, and that before rubbing shoulders with highly sought-after bloggers, I should first shelve my notebooks and pens ?

Right you are, then ! Unfortunately, even though my rose-coloured glasses let me expect each coming day to be a positive and worthwhile experience, I sometimes look back on times gone with a kind of nostalgic longing for the good old days, or, let's say, the ' so-called ' good old days.
Just a glance in the rear view mirror and then back in the here and now . Nothing to be ashamed of ! Even go-getters do that!
Quite natural and healthy, but,on gloomy days (yes, I have some), I happen to confuse ' glance ' and ' gaze ', and that's when things get out of control.

Either the rear view mirror gets blurred and I can only see a photoshopped picture of the girl (me) in the far distance, or the " you can't turn back the hands of time " warning light starts clinking on the dashboard, I mean, in my mind.
Before blubbing, I usually brake hard, park on the emergency lane, turn on the hazard warning lights, and rush to the bathroom.
What a bummer ! No more magic mirror there !
I just feel like Snow White 's evil step-mother who knew mirrors never lie . Mine isn't an exception to the rule : no mist, no moisture, no black spots, just sparkling clean and reflecting the glaring truth : my exact age !
Hey, nosy you, you can whistle for it, I won't tell you !

What to do then ?
Bury my head in a pillow and wallow in self-pity ? No way ! Sure, I would get the pillow creases on my face ! No need to add more to the impending disaster !
Throw away my glasses and buy a white cane and a guide-dog ? My two four-pawed buddies would turn green with envy !
Break the mirror ? Seven years of bad luck ! I'm too busy with myself to waste time breaking the spell of misfortune !

So what ?
Well, behave as the  naughty and gullible girl I've always been, raid the nearby beauty shop and clutter the bathroom shelves and cabinet with all sorts of anti-aging contraptions : exfoliating masks, moisturizers, skin repair cream, and all that jazz !
When it comes to trying to get back to the good old days, any beautician can turn me into a chump in a snap of a finger !
And then, guess what ?
Weeks after, the bottom line is : money squandered and my mirror is as rough around the edges as ever !
You see what I mean, no need to draw a picture( anyway, the lead of my pencil would get blunt before I could reproduce all the fine and deep lines on my face ).

No use seeking comfort from Dearhubby.
Whenever I complain about the sneaky signs of aging, he just smiles and dodges any comments by saying that he can't see any, cause love is blind !
Even worse, a while ago he managed to make fun of my craze for miracle beauty products ...

Some weeks ago, while chewing a bite of apple, I suddenly felt a kind of discomfort in myl lower gum. Not a real pain, but prevention is better than cure, and an apple a day doesn't keep the dentist away .
My dentist is a nice and efficient guy, but his surgery is not my number one hangout.
Yet, as it was Friday, and eveybody knows that ragging toothache often occurs at weekends, I made an appointment in emergency.
One hour later, when I came back home and told Dearhubby that the dentist had pulled out a chip of milk tooth abandonned ages ago by its
' sibblings ' deep inside my jaw, he exclaimed :

" Hey Perky, you must absolutely post a review about the last anti-, aging cream you bought, to say it is so efficient that after only two weeks' use , your milk teeth are coming back ! ".

I just rolled my eyes and shrugged my shouders, but before I could say Jack Robinson , he added :

" I'll make some tea. Would you like it in a mug or in a feeding bottle ?
 ...Come on Perky,I'm joking .Make a nice little smile. Let bygones be bygones."

He was right: let bygones be bygones, and let's head off for new adventures !

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

A special thanks this week to Dearhubby whose witty remarks have triggered this post and will definitely trigger others !