Monday, December 21, 2009

Crusoe The Chicken Rustler Strikes Again!

This was the last thing I needed this morning, I have been a bit manic the last couple of days (uh weeks)  preparing for the Christmas onslaught. 

I let Crusoe out this morning at around 9 am, for his morning abloutions, but half an hour later he had not returned, this is always a worrying sign, if he is not back within 10 mins it can only mean he is up to no good.

Now Crusoe has a long history of chicken rustling in the village it started with sheep worrying, not good, especially as the mayor of the village is also the local shepherd we soon knocked that on the head with the aid of an electric shock collar, sounds cruel I know but you don't mess with shepherds in the Pyrenees, it's either serious measures or he will be shot.

That worked, but every so often he get's the urge to chase chickens, he has not done this for around 18 months so I have been lulled into a false sense of security, our land is impossible to fence off and even if it was fenced, Crusoe who is the Houdini of dogs would find a way out, it always amazes our dog owning friends, when we visit with Crusoe "No,  don't worry he can't get out, our land is secure"
Crusoe ALWAYS find a way out!

So, this morning, after he had not returned I went to look for him and take out the rubbish to the recycling bins at the end of the lane, at the same moment Leon, very grumpy old peasant (Peasant is not a dirty word in France) was coming up the lane, walking his dog, now Leon is not a big fan of Crusoe.
He has a beagle, who looks very ill and has been tied up all his life!  At that moment Crusoe chose to appear out of nowhere with a chicken in his mouth, he dropped it at my feet, still alive, but in shock, Leon, who had unfortunately witnessed the whole thing, started having a go at me, dog should be tied up etc. etc.
 First priority for me was to find Crusoe, before the villagers, in case they shoot him, Crusoe had run off and gone into hiding.

Second priority find chicken return to owner.  I eventually found Crusoe after much whistling, stomping around ice, snow and mud, cowering in the bottom field (he knew he had been a bad boy) and has been sulking in his basket for the rest of the day, I eventually found the petrified chicken and returned the chicken to it's owner, but she told me there was another missing chicken, MG informed me much later (after Crusoe had been found, and was safely in his basket)  he saw a chicken in the garden, but was too busy to do anything about it, Oh joy, all I can say is, Crusoe, for the forseeable future is under house arrest and will be supervised at all times outside!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nail Polish.

I am a nail polishoholic, I have a cupboard full of them, I have tried nearly all the makes from beauty counters and specialist salons and in my view I think the best is Revlon Nail Enamel. They are highly chip resistant, have a good shine and Revlon don't have the annoying habit of discontinuing favourite shades. Not a lot of places stock Revlon in France, so I was delighted to discover that Galleries Lafayette do.

For ages I have been searching for the perfect sheer nail polish, as sheers go with everything. some makes tend to be very matt and can look grubby after a couple of day's wear, but Revlons sheer collection has proved to be perfect I am now wearing Revlons 007 nail enamel in sheer blossom, a lovely, subtle shade of light pink.

Talking of nails, I am using this opportunity to attach this clip from The Thomas Crown Affair, it is one of my favourite nail moments!  I don't think it would have been quite as sexy had Miss Dunaway not been so beautifully manicured!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A little bit of movie magic

I just had to put this on my blog, when I'm feeling a bit down I like to watch films like singing in the rain or breakfast at Tiffany's, with a very large box of chocolates and a snuggly blanket, they always make me feel better, this is probably my favourite dance routine ever.

Feeling flat in Toulouse

I had to pick MG up from Toulouse station on Monday night, as his train did not get in until 7.45pm, I thought I would spend a few hours shopping.

Toulouse is the fastest growing city in France mainly due to the fact that it is the home base of the European aerospace industry, the A380 Airbus is built here, it is also a major university town, the university of Toulouse is the oldest in Europe.

Now as I live in the middle of nowhere a day out in the city is a very exciting prospect, Toulouse is an hour and quarter's drive from us, so I don't go very often, I prefer to go to Pau which is nearer and a town I love.

I love the buzz of cities at Christmas, especially Paris and London, twinkling lights, loads of people milling about, lovely merchandising, stopping off in a café or pub with loads of goodies in shopping bags.

So what happened to Toulouse?  It's got all the right ingredients, it's a beautiful city, with fabulous shops, but something was missing, yes, it had the Christmas market in the main square and twinkling lights, but the buzz just seemed to be missing, was it because it was a Monday?  Monday is a quiet day in France, a lot of the shops are closed, in many respects Monday feels like a Sunday, was it me? Maybe I just wasn't in the mood.  I can't put my finger on exactly what was missing, but something was.

I plan to go to Pau next week, so I hope I can get my fix of Christmas buzz.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Paperblanks, wonderful Christmas present idea

Even in this technological age where we all use laptops, mobiles and electronic organisers to store our information, we still need paper and the hand written word. Last Christmas Belle Mere bought me the most beautiful journal from the Paperblanks collection, it has a beautiful design on the cover, 144 unlined pages, high quality paper (sourced environmentally), ribbon page marker and a memento pouch on the inside of the back cover, useful for storing receipts, cards etc. I am using mine as a travel diary.

They do journals, lined and unlined, address books, visitors books and day planners all in a huge choice of beautiful designs. They would make an excellent Christmas present, anyone would be thrilled to recieve, although on their website you can only purchase if you are a retailer you can get them here at WH Smiths, Amazon and in France they are available from France Loisirs.

They have so many beautiful designs I could have added them all to this post, but here are a few of my favourites.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just me and the dog!

It's just me and Crusoe for four days, MG has gone off to Belle Mères, in Provence, to help her negotiate her house sale. I dropped him off yesterday at Toulouse train station, Crusoe was in the back and as we drove away he looked forlornly out of the window, thank God for the Tom Tom, without it, I would have never found my way out of Toulouse city centre, I even managed to go wrong twice with the aid of the Tom Tom, it's crazy the Tom Tom says turn left, I think, that's not right, so I ignore it, only to get lost, fortunately the Tom Tom re-routes me, I must learn to trust it.

After negotiating my way out of the centre, I decided to stop off at Ikea, to buy some fairy lights for the Christmas tree, as is the way of Ikea I didn't buy the fairy lights and instead bought a new rug/throw for Crusoe, as his sheepskin rug, (see picture) is now totally disgusting and being sheepskin is unwashable, the rug/throw is so nice I have decided to keep it for ourselves, Crusoe is not happy about this, as I have already shown it to him, in a it's yours kind of a way. I also bought a light thingy, official Ikea name, Stranne, I have friends who already own this and have coveted it for a long time and now I own one, it's totally useless, but looks pretty and I can hang baubles off it for that Christmas look.

I have four days on my own, and I am supposed to be cleaning and tidying the house ready for
the Christmas onslaught. I have Belle Mère, Belle soeur and Beau frère staying chez nous for the festive season and friends joining us for Christmas day lunch, I thought I was super organised as I have bought all the presents and have also got some boxes of cards delivered from M & S waiting to be written and sent, now I need to sort the house out, not just normal cleaning but the polishing floors and cleaning windows type of cleaning, eek.

I started off well, when I got back yesterday I took all the rubbish and bottles to the recycling bins at the bottom of the road, emptied the hoover and cleaned it's filter, which is a mean feet for me as I am as allergic to dust as it is possible to be, (does that make sense?).

This morning I woke up with good intentions, to start on the serious stuff, but after jumping out of bed and having about three or four leisurely cups of tea in front of the computer, nothing has been achieved, except ordering a huge amount of books from Amazon. I blame India Knight, as I read her Christmas book guide and now have ordered practically all of her recommendations. Belle Mere and Belle Sœur are big readers, so I had the idea of putting lovely stacks of new books on their bedside tables to go with the flowers, but I think I will end up keeping them all myself!

I cannot maintain housework avoidance for much longer, MG will go mad if nothing has been achieved by Monday night, so I will now have to galvanise myself, or I could just make another cuppa.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Listening to FIP

Just messing around on the PC, whilst listening to France Inter Paris, I got into this radio station whilst living in Paris, they play a very eclectic, cool, mix of musical genres and it's a great way to discover interesting music, they don't have any advertising and just occasional bulletins of news, traffic and local events delivered by "Fipettes" with beautiful french voices. FIP now also broadcasts in several other major French cities, including Toulouse, Lyon, Marseilles and so forth, sadly I am out of range to pick up the station, but I can tune in anytime I want via the PC.