Monday, 30 June 2014

French thoughts from home

Last holiday comments. Smooth journey back on Saturday. Night at Lil's and back to QISMA yesterday. Oscar the car was glad to see the back of LJ. Mind you he had silver service on his meals. Delivered to his hiding cave in the bedroom.

We've set off for a month out on the boat. Only 45 minutes today to the Lazy Otter so very little to report so a couple of things that amused me on the hols.

First, the young Frenchman from the market, with the most perfect Sheffield accent. Not a trace of French in his English.

I'm tempted to say only in France would you find a chain of shops entirely stocked with four varieties of tinned fish . Very posh shops at that. 

 and it's jam and preserves cousin

 My favourite market stall - Pk my favourite non food market stall

Rain threatened but didn't arrive

 And our Bois boat

Friday, 27 June 2014

Just a starfish on the beach ... NO!! In my head all day now

Yesterday ... Just a fab day. Early news was that LJ who had a funny turn on Wednesday seems recovered with no adverse effect. Our flight was showing on the system and then there was even better news... The strike was cancelled.

We began the day early, with a wander round the market at Bois. No surprise to those who know me that there was a bit of a shoe frenzy .. At €10 a pair .... Silly not to. There would have been regrets later. As it is ... Je ne regret  etc etc

It had been cloudy, though without the rain or thunderstorms that had been forecast.mLate afternoon the sun came out and we wandered on our bikes through the old section of town and down to the beach. We love it down there at that time of day. 

Every time I come here I say ... One day I'll come for a month. Plus ca change! 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Vive le difference?

..... Or not! The ipad slipped off the bed on Monday and the charger  connection got bent. I have no idea about the French mainland but I do know not a phone shop to be had on the island. Not a one. So  use of the ipad has been kept to emergencies eg: checking disputed words for Scrabble and not frivolous blog type things. Oh yes and reading up on French traffic controllers industrial action! Had to wait until this morning but thankfully our flight isn't cancelled. Contingency plans not required.

A cycle ride over to St Martin including a visit to the 'big' supermarkets and et voila the required connection lead is mine! Back in business.

So, playing catch up on the photos

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Thrifty pensioners

I know most of you aren't reading the blog to hear about my French hols so sorry. But that's it for the next week. Alistair is in Midhurst and I'm with Marion aka Lil in Bois Plage en Re. One,of our favourite spots on the planet.

When we booked the flight times were dreadful so we came vi Brittany's Ferries from Portsmouth to St Malo and then by 3 trains from St Malo to La Rochelle. With a taxi from,the is,and booked to collect us at La Rochelle station. Did it work? Like a dream. The trains so impressive on time, clean, comfortable and our driver waiting for us as we emerged from the station.

I am the world's worst sailor  but ferry crossing so calm I could walk about and eat!! And we had a view of what was our previous working lives? Happy days for me if not so for Marion.

The villa is a dream. If only etc etc. 28 steps,from my bed to the pool!!

We are,last night at the Hotel L'Ocean. When we first came to the island we used to stay there. We are a week later than we were last time. We, thriftily booked the last week of mid season rates. (Well we ARE pensioners). To our surprise,this meant all the markets were open and buzzing this morning. We can buy complete meals from a fabulous charcuterie. What could be better??  We are going,to try and restrict ourselves to one,loaf of bread each per day..... I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

It COULD have been worse.....

At least we managed to get off the M25 which is behind the boards.

 We didn't think we would put Greenflag to the test quite so soon in our acquaintance.and there would have been better ways to find out that I'd pressed the wrong button and we has Rescue Plus NOT Recovery Plus ... ouch said the wallet!

How did they do? Not good. 2 hours for the first mechanic to tell us alternator had gone.  Then 2+ hours for the recovery truck. The driver asks did they tell you what was going to happen you're recovering us to Midhurst. Well, yes but my hours are up, so not until we've added 90 minutes to the recovery by driving up the M49 to our depot to change drivers then driving back, stopping to fill up at Morrisons garage in High Wycombe not because it's on our route but because we have account there. So, 7 hours later than scheduled we arrive in Midhurst. Fortunately, there is a garage we've used before close to Marion's. She came out to swop our luggage into her car and we walked back through the woods to give LJ an outing.

He'd been a dream and actually got a couple of lovely walks in during the wait. We were next to Salisbury Hall, home of the de Haviland Museum... Known as the Mosquito Museum

A fox was strolling around like a domestic cat. Not phased by us at all.

LJ loved the truck. He was bill throughout the adventure!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Just a bit flat

The car battery not us!

Car wouldn't start on Sunday. Charged the battery and it worked. I didn't think we had a good enough run though so Monday, when LJ booked in for a haircut, I suggested going over and checking it. Seemed that not necessary ..... I know you are all ahead of me at this point! After briefest charge we made it to the groomers but when we got back in .........  the owner of the kennels were the heros of the hour and got out the jump leads. Off into Ely for new battery.

Still, it did let us discover that, after 10 or so years of rolling over on our breakdown with Brittania Rescue for some reason, this February, it didn't and we no longer had cover. One of those things when the mail goes elsewhere and we only collect it or have a mail drop when we are expecting something vital. Something can slip by. Any road up, we are now covered with Green Flag at 50% less for the same cover so no harm done.

Then there was my haircut, a Drs,appointment,firmAlistairmbecausemwe've registered,in Ely,so had, to discuss his meds. Fortunately he was,impressed by the medic...phew

Today we will be 'OTB' off the boat. Heading to Midhurst where Alistair will take up dog/cat sitting duties whilst I abandon them for a trip to the Il de Re with my friend Marion aka known as Auntie Lil. The trip is part of her 60th birthday year of celebrations. I know Max will be excited and there will be a fair bit of this,going on

And now it's just started to rain which will be great,for,loading the car and we'll have a wet dog in here for hours! Hey Ho.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Busy doing nothing

And doing it in sunshine! No excuse for the lack of a blog. We 'did' Ely Market. Best buys were the plants to top up our pots and  the cherry scones.

Then after much discussion on where to go for the weekend we headed back to the Lodes. With the weather as great as it was we didn't have them quite to ourselves but you couldn't call it busy!!

 We changed our routine slightly to give LJ a,later walk in the afternoon. He was very worried about this on Day 1 ... Thought his dinner might be late. Once,he was sure there was no danger,of that,he seemed content. Devoted himself to his favourite hobby ... swimming.,the sun,comes out and really that is all he wants to do.

I'd say he was just a tad on the smelly side now but he's off for his haircut tomorrow so will be 'foo fooed'.

We've just arrived back at our mooring,on themOld West River. The boats going past, about one every 20 minutes, suddenly seem like heavy traffic. It actually feels as if we just got back from a holiday!!

The week ahead sees us head by road to Midhurst. My friend Lil and I are off to France next weekend. Alistair and LJ staying behind, from choice ..... well, on Alistair's part, to look after LJ's pal Max and Oscar the cat. There are superb walks, that include a swim,yards from the front door so no hardship.