Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Postcard from Normandy

Amazingly it’s already a week since we arrived in France and I simply don’t know where the time has gone. We have unpacked, cleaned, chased out spiders, bought groceries, dodged the rain and enjoyed a little sunshine and today I even managed to mow the first chunk of our big and overgrown garden. We have met up with friends, are enjoying having DH’s mother staying with us and have gradually relaxed after all the preparation and travelling.

Occasionally I’ve fired up the laptop and caught up with a few blogs, but the days have gone by at dizzying speed and it’s only now I’ve found enough time and brain power simultaneously to sit down and write. So what is the state of play here in the far south of Normandy?

Weather – mostly cool and damp, but starting to warm up a bit now. Summer may actually be on the point of appearing, so please don’t scare it away.

Fruit – after a dreadful spring, there are very few cherries and hardly any other fruit to come. I pity the poor cider makers when autumn arrives.

Flowers – the flower border doggedly dug last year by my indomitable mother-in-law has survived the winter and is responding well to my ministrations.

Most importantly for me and the cat-lovers out there, three out of four of last year’s kittens have called in to say hello and we again have kittens in thewoodshed. J In fact two of last year’s litter appear to have adopted us and we rarely go out of doors without one or other coming to investigate what we’re up to.

As I start to yawn and think longingly of my bed after all today’s mowing exercise, here are a few images of this year’s kittens, taken from a short video shot by DH through the bathroom window.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flying south

Well, not actually flying, as DH resolutely refuses to set foot in a plane, and the very small campervan hasn’t yet sprouted wings. But we are in a last-minute maelstrom of preparation and packing, prior to heading a couple of hundred miles south to our little cottage in Normandy for the summer.  

First thing tomorrow we will head off, at a slow but stately pace, thanks to the weight that we’re asking the campervan to carry, to visit DS and family for the weekend. From there we will detour to the Cotswolds to pick up my darling mother-in-law, who is coming with us for the first two weeks, then head south to Portsmouth and the ferry to Caen.

The weather forecast for our journey is almost unrelievedly miserable and it looks like we could be unpacking in the rain when we arrive late on Tuesday. After that we shall have to trust that the weather gods remember that it’s supposed to be June and summer and relent enough to send us some sunshine. In the meantime, this is likely to be our theme song. Thank goodness it’s one of my all-time favourites. J


Thursday, June 07, 2012

A day in the life….

Grandparent Cartoon #4037 by Andertoons

…of a Grandma of visiting grandsons.

  • Breakfast on yet another grey and rainy morning - cereal, juice and lots of chatter.

  • A trip into town to Grandma’s sister’s house for some piano practice. Grandsons are both due to play in their teacher’s pupil concert next week and Grandma and Grandpa don’t have a piano.

  • An early lunch because Grandma is due to take a service for the local Mothers’ Union branch 8 miles away at 1.30pm., leaving Grandpa to supervise half-term homework and play pool, snooker and various other indoor games with grandsons.

  • A welcome cup of tea with chocolate biscuits as Grandma and grandsons  resume yesterday’s unfinished game of Killer Bunnies. Grandson#2 is eventually declared the winner, while Grandma is still vainly trying to learn the rules.

  • Grandma, having recklessly promised pancakes for supper on their last evening, spends the next hour chained to the stove, feeding Grandpa and grandsons (and occasionally herself) with an endless succession of pancakes with cheese, pancakes with grated chocolate, pancakes with apricot jam, pancakes with the traditional lemon juice and sugar…. In the meantime Grandpa and grandsons are chained to the TV, watching an endless succession of episodes of Star Wars: the Clone Wars. Grandma has no idea who won, but everyone seems happy.
Image via Google

  • Finally Grandma, having tucked the grandsons into bed, crawls to her computer, only to find that the router is malfunctioning yet again and she can’t access any of her favourite blogs. She can read them in Google Reader, but can’t then go to them to comment. Grandma hopes her friends will forgive her silence and keep posting. The reading is fun, though the links and the photos don’t always load. Sigh…. Grandma really, really hopes Grandpa will agree that a new router is needed - NOW!