Monday, June 29, 2009


Just three more sleeps and we will be on our holidays!  Getting excited to see family and friends and of course get to the house in France.

With all that has been going on recently, the courses, the revising, the exams, the possibility of new job for GWE, new job for me etc etc I had completely forgotten that Wednesday is Canada Day!!  I.e. all the shops and banks will be closed.  So suddenly I only have two days to get everything I need done, for example, get some euros.  The banks need a bit of warning so that is one of my first jobs this morning.

Youngest son needs some new shorts, I need a manicure and pedicure, we all need travel insurance, and I still have some gifts to buy. I think the next three days are going to fly by.

Also I have been in touch with our neighbour in France who is tiling our bathroom out of the goodness of her heart (yep - I know!!) and she assures me everything should be ready by the time we finally arrive at the house on the 6th.  I have asked her to give me a UK shopping list so I can try and repay her kindness! 

Did I mention we are flying into Nice to see our son and girlfriend and pick up the van?  From their photos on Facebook, it looks gorgeous down there, well we all knew that the south of France was gorgeous, but it makes me even more excited to get there and take a (very quick) look around before we head back to the house.

Once at the house we plan to do as little as possible, apart from taking many, many photos that I can bore you all with on my return!  There may be a little drinking, and possibly some eating, but hopefully mostly just sitting around soaking up the peace and quiet and reading books and chatting with friends.

So Debra at Us In France, look after Misty and I will hopefully see you in Le Dorat sometime next week.

I may find a few minutes to post again before I leave, but if not, a bientot, mes amis!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael

Reeling from the shocking news that Michael Jackson has died at the relatively young age of 50 !  (From one who's now 51 :)  Remembering the good times ...the wonderful 80's - fabulously talented, strange yes, but fascinating.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Are you ready for your close-up?

It's been pretty hectic this week doing the course and doing a deal at the same time (whoopee!), actually it is my first referral so that was exciting.  Someone I previously worked with passed along my name, so very gratifying.

I really enjoyed the course although as usual a lot of information to take on board, and manage to retain until the exam next Saturday (and beyond, of course!!).

It has also been a very rainy muggy week so I had to take another walk around my garden to check on everything and couldn't resist a few close-ups.   The peonies are gorgeous, these are my second clump, you can see the lighter pink ones in my previous post, those have now go over and got trampled by the rain. 

The lupins are pretty splendid too.  Check out these enormous, almost rain-forest-like proportioned hostas.  I think we have had a longer spring than usual and this has had an impact.  I put the pool broom in the picture to give you a perspective.  The broom is probably more than a foot wide!

What else has been happening?  Well we have been trying to work out how we will retrieve the van from our son who is now down in Antibes working in a bar but not sure of their next move.  We might fly into Nice rather than Limoges and drive back up and get to see some of the south of France but of course this all reduces the days at the house.

Debra over at Us In France and I have made contact and hope to try and get together while we are there, even if just for a coffee and put a face to a name :)

Oh and I start my part-time job tomorrow so we will see how that goes, perfect timing as now the weather has decided to change and it is predicted to be up in the high 30's this week.

School is almost out, youngest son has one more exam and then is lined up to do some volunteer hours this week. As part of the graduation requirements here students have to do forty hours over their four years in high school, son moves into his last year in September and has about three under his belt!!  

That pretty much cover all the exciting news from this part of the world.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

So soon...?

I know two blogs in three days, you're getting spoiled.

Anyway I thought it was time for a walk around the garden again, I will miss this garden. It is almost all of my own making....and I have the blisters and bad back as a result. When we moved into the house four years ago, the previous owners who had lived here 23 years had a deck that was more like a fort, only one measly little set of steps down into a field of grass with one or two variegated euonymous and that was it.
We opened up the deck the first roasting summer, temperatures verging on 40 degrees C, I remember we had to move the patio umbrella around the work area to keep the midday sun off, because of course us Brits were out there!! The following year we had the pool installed, it is not a deep pool, just 4.5 feet at its deepest, but as long as I can float around on the air bed, we can sit around it drinking a glass or two with friends, or just look at it, it cools me down on the hottest day. Definitely something we want to repeat en France.

So everything else you see is pretty much the result of a lot of hard work on my part, and I have enjoyed every minute. I find when I am on my hands and knees, up to my elbows in dirt and weeds, these are some of the few times in my day to day life when I am actually right in the moment, it is so calming and relaxing, and of course, rewarding. 

As you might imagine, I am already making my lists of plants for the garden in France and lavender is up there are the top of the list, all varieties, I just love it. A lot of the plants you see are what my gardening mentor in England would call "orphans", off the sad 50% off as I am about to die shelf, or cuttings begged and kindly bequeathed by friends and neighbours, free plants always grow the best, don't you find.

I have a few garden accessories, of course, my stone lady near the lilac, my milk churn on the deck (actually bought by my garden mentor when she came to the wedding last year - we found it in an antique shop and she said I must have it), also I just bought a wrought iron obelisk for a clematis ( which I must remember to whip out next spring to take with me, before the clematis gets going (note to self)) but my favourite and absolutely essential garden accessory is the big soppy black hairy thing below, Ralph.

Click on any of the pictures for a better view.

Also as a footnote, very relieved to report that I passed my Property Law exam, just, 76% and I needed 75% to pass ....phew!! Glad that is behind me. On Monday I start the final requirement of my articling period, I have been told it is one of the harder courses, typical, so wish me luck, I can also see the light at the end of the tunnel.....or wait a minute, I see what it is reward.

Friday, June 12, 2009

And so..

Sorry to have been so lax at blogging recently but quite honestly I have been waiting for something interesting to happen for me to blog about. It really is the same old, same old here. GWE is back in Wichita and life is a little easier now as he is house-sharing and they have wireless internet.....well maybe I should say they have "access" to wireless internet!! He says it is sad how much better that makes life but it does, it also is a little easier on the phone bills as we can Skype each other. Still waiting for the job god to wave his magic wand or whatever and whisk GWE off to somewhere (ideally) the other side of the pond. Only ideally from the point of view that that is where we want to be long term, not so ideal when it comes to trips home but hey can't have everything.

Also, the BIG news is we have finally booked tickets to France and we leave early July, a couple of days in the UK at the beginning of the trip and the end, but then a week in France the house....yes in the house...eeek. Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for wonderful warm and dry weather. Son and girlfriend have taken themselves off to the south of France, Nice and Antibes (very nice) looking for summer work. All of the work on the house (in this year's budget) has pretty much been completed and they felt they were just killing time towards the end. I don't blame them for moving on....three months without showering facilities..I know I would have gone much sooner. Anyway as I write the bathroom is being tiled (by a very nice neighbour!!!) and then the plumber will come back in and finish off the plumbing and hey presto, we should have showering facilities when we are there in July. Very excited as you can imagine.

The real estate market here is very active unfortunately I am not managing to take advantage of that this year, this time last year was very hectic for me, but I have a challenging listing which is in a neighbourhood a little off the beaten track and it is taking a while to sell. There nothing wrong with the house, it is a very nice four year old bungalow in great condition, it seems to be the location and as you know....location is everything. Anyway I do have a couple of buyers I am working with but nothing on the scale of last year. Also I have been busy finishing up my articling courses, and am awaiting the result of the last one and start the next one on Monday.

I have been offered a little part-time job, 20 hours a week, made up however I want, so that is ideal. It will allow me to continue to do the real estate as well, without leaving me with so much time on my hands, and a nice little "regular" amount of money coming in.

Also been keeping busy helping my daughter getting the nursery bedding and soft furnishings made. We spent most of last Saturday making a crib dust ruffle. It is so strange to see what a domesticated little lady she has become from the scary wild teenager that gave me many sleepless nights and grey hairs!! Quilt making and paint chip toting as she is now, I had moments when I didn't think we would ever get here. We joke about karma, and how she is banking on her husband's good karma (he was a good child/teenager) canceling out hers. She was a challenging baby too so I have my fingers crossed for her :)

So before I start the next course on Monday followed by the start of the little part-time job and then our trip to France, I have a roman blind and rocking chair cushions to run up for the nursery, that should keep me out of mischief.

We did have a couple of people interested in the boat but no firm sale yet. However season is definitely getting under way so hopefully there will be a few more bites and we will be able to get it sold before our holiday.

Blimey this seems like a really boring post with no interesting photos ....sorry will try to do better next time...if you can bear to come back.