Thursday, August 23, 2012


Georgie's over for a nine day break. Been lucky with the weather so far. Sunny and hot. Almost too hot. Reached a sweltering 35° a couple of days back. So, the next day, we decided to go for a swim up Lake Marie (as I call it - named after a John Prine song). Took the dogs and had a pleasant hour or two in the late afternoon, just being on holiday. Trouble is, a storm is forecast and that will probably mark the end of summer. Was meant to arrive yesterday, but it didn't, so we went back up the lake for a second time. Arrived there at about 6.30pm, just as people were leaving. Had the place to ourselves, apart from a few others across the bay on the other beach. Very peaceful and calm. It's a fab place to be on a sunny evening when no-one else is around. Storm could arrive later this afternoon, but, if it doesn't, we may well go up the lake for a third time. Or maybe not.

P.S. - Storm didn't arrive so we went up the lake again, but this time on the Honda 1300S motorbike. Left the dogs at home, of course, and arrived up there at about seven-ish. Georgie's first spin on the bike and she said it was very comfy. As we didn't have the dogs we were able to swim together instead of taking it in turns which made a pleasant change. Stopped off on the way back at a bar for a Coke and Orangina. Arrived home at nine and spent the evening watching a lightning show in distant thunder clouds down south. Storm passed us by. Looked a big 'un.


Thursday, August 16, 2012


Brilliant rainbow last night. And a welcome spot of rain. Not a lot though. Lawn (well, I use that word imaginatively) is still a delicate shade of beige. Might have to change my header photo again.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


So, yesterday...

Jock had to be at the poodle parlour at 9am, then collected again at mid-day. Gave the dogs a quick run up the granite cross at 8.10 with the intention of setting off at 8.30. However, 8.10 happened to be the same time that the son of the neighbour at the back (Parisiennes on August vacance) was just leaving to give his dog a run (yes, a run, not a walk). Sprock was on his lead so didn't give chase, but Jock did. Eventually found him again about half an hour later slowly panting his way up from the hillside path beyond the cross. So we didn't leave 'til 9. Had to offer a grovelling apology to the haircutter who'd been patiently waiting for 25 mins. Very embarrassing.

With a couple of hours to kill, I thought I'd nip down to Aubusson market (Saturday's market day), have a look round, swig a couple of coffees and generally take it easy. But..., I had Sprocket with me. Wouldn't be fair to leave the blighter in the back of the car (seemed quite hot even though it wasn't yet 10am) so I set off from the car park being towed by a dog that had only once before been in a bustling town and that was so long ago he probably can't remember. Poor lad, there was so much to take in: cars, people, sniffs at every lamp post and when we hit the market he'd never seen anything like it. The place was packed. Luckily no dogs. Felt a prod in my back - Isabelle, returning to her market stall. Bonjours done, Sprock and I headed for the caff down in the centre, taking the backstreets route. Passed a wall-mounted dog-poo bag dispenser and grabbed one, just in case. Couple of minutes later, Sprock did a little dump in a deserted back alley. Used the bag, chucked it in a bin and strolled on. Arrived at the sunny caff, sat at a table in its cobbled frontage, checked for dogs and watched the traffic cruise slowly past.

Five minutes later with no sign of being served, I ambled into the caff doorway where an old lady said the madame had just popped out for a few minutes. So I ambled up to the caff opposite the mairie. Parked myself outside at an end table and ordered a coffee. Normally this would be an extremely relaxing way of passing the time, but with an aggressive (only towards other dogs) terrier in tow it's far from being relaxing. I kept looking left and right, checking for people with dogs. Spotted one on a lead coming along the pavement opposite. And so did Sprock. His ears pricked and I heard a slight growl. Yanked his lead, grabbed the scruff of his neck and said "no". The dog passed by.

Minutes later, a van parked opposite in the mairie car park. Noticed a poodle-type terrier in the passenger seat. The driver got out, covered in tattoos, followed by the dog without a lead. Uh-oh. Joined his mates sitting at an outside table at the caff, luckily at the far end. Sprock, of course, had squeaked out a warning to the dog (not a bark). Next thing I know, the dog's under my table with Sprock going ballistic. Stood up and dragged Sprock off. Luckily, the tattooed git noticed and called his mutt away.

Legged it back to the car, drove home, had a tea, drove back to pick up Jock, drove back, grabbed a quick snack, got changed into my rags and prepared for an afternoon's hard graft - emptying the trailer of logs, wheelbarrowing them into the shed and stacking. Sounds easy enough, but by now the temperature was well into the thirties, with bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and not a breath of wind. Great weather for swimming but not for logging. But the logging had to be done because Christian was turning up at 5.30 to take the trailer away and refill it with another load. By around 3pm the temperature had reached a sweltering 34° so I had a quick rest. Trailer was now half empty. Still a long way to go. At 5.30 the trailer was finally empty, just as Christian turned up. Phew!

Dogs had spent the afternoon panting in the shade and were ready for their late afternoon stroll. Wished I could have said the same myself but it had to be done. Had a quick wash, donned a dry teeshirt and headed off to the cool of the valley stream. Took a few snaps because I had a funny feeling the weather was about to change. Sure enough, this morning dawned cloudy and noticeably cooler. Thermometer read just 14° at 8am. Amazing difference from yesterday. Must have been the hottest day of the year.

P.S. - Just spotted a fab pic of my nephew on Facebook. Their wee Westie has been windsurfing for over ten years and is now quite an expert.


Friday, August 10, 2012


Phew! The last three or four days have been scorchers. Lovely weather for going swimming. But, instead, I've been lending a hand to neighbour Christian, cutting wood, then loading it into his trailer and unloading at his place, ready for winter heating. And yesterday evening we unhitched a trailer load at my place. Today I spent about three hours at the hottest part of the day (after I'd returned from the market to buy much-needed milk, bread and bottles of water) stacking the logs in the garage while Christian was off elsewhere - probably cutting more logs. Being a nancy-boy, I use tough gloves to handle the logs, but Christian doesn't. I keep telling him to wear gloves, but will he listen? Nah. Mind you, after a lifetime of manual labouring, his hands look like leather. But, despite this, Isabelle spent about ten minutes yesterday evening digging splinters out of his fingers while five of us sat in the evening sun swigging aperitifs. Anyways, thought I'd rattle off a quick posting before Christian turns up and I get whisked off again to the log-cutting field. With gloves. Ooh, it's all go.

 P.S. - Did another couple of hours lifting logs and passing them to Christian to be cut (exhausting stuff), then assisting with loading and unloading (at Christian's place). Then, just as I thought the day was done, we potter off back to the cutting field to load up again and deliver a second load to my place. Full trailer now parked outside ready for moi to unload and stack in the shed tomorrow. More exhausting stuff. Finally had a dogwalk and a quick shower at around 7.30pm up the back lane (see cow photies), then ambled off for a soirée aperitif and outdoor dinner in the setting sun avec Christian, Isabelle et Hadrien. Très agréeable. Am now back chez moi feeling a tad wobblay. Tomorrow, les chiens et moi have to report at the poodle parlour at 9am so wee Jocky can have a much needed trim. Wandering around in a thick winter coat can't be much fun for the poor blighter. Gosh, it's been hot. And rather sweaty.