Sunday 31 December 2006

This just doesn't seem right

OK, I'm not a mother and I'm not presently consumed by the burning desire to become one, so maybe I don't understand why these women are so desperate to have children. But surely this is not right?

The house is so quiet

Just the three of us since Friday afternoon. I tried so very hard to get Mum and Dad to stay on for longer but they weren't having it. I suppose they couldn't change their boat tickets and it would have been a bit OTT to just lose them.

We went to Auchan in the morning and got cheese and odds and ends, then I sorted out their wine while Dad walked the dog and went to get Hubby. Off to the Maison Commune for a leisurely lunch, then they were gone. The dog has really been missing them and has looked for them the last two nights. We've been missing them too!

Still, tonight Hélène, Stéph and Jean-Charles are coming round are we're going to watch DVDs, and eat and drink too much. Hurrah.

In other news:

The car is fixed, it doesn't make a whirring noise anymore.

The dishwasher is a wonderful modern appliance that makes dirty dishes clean by magic.

My feet are cold.

Tuesday 26 December 2006

That's it for another 364 days

So Christmas is over now for another year. It's been different for us this year. First off, we weren't in Scotland as is the custom. Because of Hubby's lack of holiday days we had to stay in France. Fortunately Mum and Dad came to us instead :) Less fortunately, Hubby's mum did too. I know that sounds very unkind but if you have any knowledge of past goings on you'll understand.

So, for the second year running we haven't been able to enjoy Christmas as we had been becoming accustomed to. However, I think that we were starting to have rather high expectations of it all, so possibly a couple of dud years will do no harm. But next year we better: 1/ be in Scotland; 2/ be able to get drunk like usual; 3/ be able to relax!!

Belle-mère (French for mother in law) arrived Friday. We had already planned to have Stéph, Hélène and Jean Charles round that night so we decided not to change our plans following the last minute arrival of belle-mère. Hélène has now named her schöne muti! Mum and Dad got here on Sunday morning. In the evening we went to the Anglican church in Lille, which was really nice. Mum and I had our imaginary assessment sheets out and they scored quite highly so maybe Hubby and I will go in the new year. He and his mum went to the church in the village, but we didn't because we can't take communion there. And anyway, Catholics are strange because they only take the bread and not the wine. Can anyone explain why?

On Christmas day I gained new respect for Mum. I scurried around and tore my hair out to make Christmas dinner (pheasant with assorted vegetables). And with Mum and everyone else's help I managed to cobble together something more or less hot and edible. But Mum seems to create a marvellous Christmas feast with everything ready at the same time, without forgetting to prepare the fruit salad, and without getting in a flap. Hubby says she succeeds in this because she makes the same thing every year so she knows it inside out. Mum says she just ensures we're all slightly sozzled so we don't notice whether it's any good or not! I don't agree, but hey.

Apart from a couple of heckle-raising incidents, yesterday didn't go too badly. Parents and I are a bit disappointed as schöne muti will be here until Friday, which is also when parents go, but I suppose these things are sent to try us.

Now Dad and Hubby are at the DIY store buying things to plumb the washing machine in with. The washing machine will then be able to go and live in its new home in the larder and we shall be dishwasher-enabled! Hurrah, much rejoicing.

Wednesday 20 December 2006

One day to go!!

And then I won't have to go to work for ... oh, quite a few days. Hurrah.

Have progressed no further with Christmas preparation. The house, which I did attempt to tidy and clean at the weekend, is back in its usual state. Hey ho. I have all day Friday to run around in circles I suppose.

My Amazon order has arrived already. One less Christmas gift to worry about. That reminds me - silly Hubby ordered books off some obscure French website, because he had a 10% discount and free delivery. He ordered them over a week ago and they still haven't shipped. Why he didn't go to Amazon I really don't know... Plus he got fleeced to the tune of 10 euros per book too!! Tsk. A word of advice - never buy books in France unless you really can't do otherwise. Or be prepared to pay well over the odds.

No sign of Dad's chicken. I hope at least the mouse mat will arrive on time.

In other news:

The car is making a funny noise. I think it needs a bearing in one of the rear wheels. I'm fairly sure it has already had the bearing in that same wheel replaced (it got one for the other wheel too at the same time because we're kind like that). Dad says I should take it to Renault and not Euromaster (kwik fit type people) because they'll fit a proper Renault part and it won't wear out as fast. True.

Just watching news 24. Some mean-spirited primary school teacher in Devon has told pupils that Santa doesn't exist so there's no point writing to him. I think that's really mean. Think I will switch channels now though because they're on about Shane Warne. Cricket is a sore point in this house! Still, Shane Warne is one heck of a bowler.

Ooh, talking of sport - we should check out if our trip to Scotland coincides with any 5 nations er 6 nations fixtures. Hmmm. I'll get my brother on to it.

I can hear Hubby upstairs sounding like he's tidying. It's making me feel a bit bad. I should maybe go and help. Ciao bye.

Sunday 17 December 2006

Christmas Eve is just a week away

In fact, in a week, Christmas Eve will soon become Christmas Day. That's a frightening thought. At least I've managed to post most of my cards. I even bought some presents. And I ordered the pheasants yesterday.

Still feeling very un-Chritsmassy. Almost certainly because we're not going to be in Scotland, which is a thought that makes me feel quite miserable so I won't talk about it.

It froze last night. It's only the second frost there has been this winter so far. I'm expecting it to be pretty cold in the new year. I know it's sort of old wives' tales, but it's been so mild I'm sure we're in for some pretty tough weather in another eight weeks or so!

We went to the flicks this afternoon. The Disappeared. Let's just say we didn't pay for the tickets and the car park was free so no regrets. Not the best film I've seen.

I finished The Adventure of English at long last. It's hard for me to read clever books late at night, so it took some time. It was interesting, very interesting.

Hubby worked very hard yesterday and sorted out a load of stuff in the larder. He's preparing the way for the washing machine. The washing machine is going to live in the larder so the dishwasher can enter into service and wash our dishes. Hurrah.

We went and got a tree. It is smaller than last year's. Which is more sensible. I cursed and swore as I untangled the lights but it's looking pretty good now. I don't understand the thing with the tree lights. Each year, when we take all the decorations down, I take care to put the lights away properly. But then during the year something happens and they tangle themselves up.

Right, 'm'off to eat my tea. Bye.

Friday 15 December 2006

Dear Santa...

I have been mostly good all year and for Christmas I would like a new job for Hubby in Edinburgh so we can go and live in Scotland. That may seem an odd thing to want, given that I live in a country full of fine wine and cheese and with a slightly more clement climate than Scotland's. But that is what I want more than anything in fact.

Monday 11 December 2006

The cleaner that doesn't lose suction

I'm going to become a domestic goddess and vacuum with my Dyson every day!!!!

Ha ha ha.

Tuesday 5 December 2006

New links

Have added my brother's blog to my links. He never updates it but I suppose Natty-spratty uses up rather a lot of his time. I'll miss seeing them this Christmas :(

Have also added Willie's blog. Willie is a mine of music trivia and thoughts. He can also recommend some good books.

129 all out

A dire 2nd innings in the 2nd test - a classic England collapse. Am starting to believe last summer's Ashes win was in fact a hoax.

In other news:
It's been another wild and windy day here. Somehow a few trees here and there are managing to clutch on to their last leaves, but another couple of days like today and all will be on the ground and naked trees abound until spring. At least it will keep the water tables replenished! Except it probably won't because of all the tarmac and no proper drainage... Hey-ho.

Hubby is at the supermarket (extra loyalty points on Tuesday). I gave him a list tonight, thought it was wiser. We don't need much stuff actually because we're away at the weekend, and round at Stéphan's on Thursday, so just for tomorrow in fact. Oh, and tonight.

The dog is curled up on my lap. She was angling for a stick but I think she's forgotten about it for just now.

Mum is having fun in Poland. She says there are lots of good shops. I think I need to go there. Or maybe not.

Have not progressed with Christmas shopping, except gifts for Super nephew and Carmen, which I'm having sent to parents' because Early Learning Centre only delivers to the UK. I did post a grand total of 3 Christmas cards today. I really must finish the rest of them and get myself to the post office. We also have all the French thank you cards to post. Hubby printed them last night.

Oh, Hubby has just appeared with two new electric toothbrushes. We are having to replace the current ones as it is impossible to get new brush heads for them. Which makes them a bit redundant.

Oh I know, I know: we ordered the dishwasher on Saturday! Did I already post this? Maybe. Anyway, it should get delivered next week sometime. Hurrah! An electronic maid. A new place to put dirty dishes.

Before I opened up the laptop to do this post I was thinking of lots of stuff to write, but I've forgotten it all now. It was clearly not at all important.

Right, 'm off, the dog wants to play. She has just brought her squeaky hippo toy and dropped it right in front of me. Bye-eee.

Sunday 3 December 2006

Not been a good blogger lately

So what's been going on?

Well, work is quiet. Very quiet. It's the calm before the storm. So much so I had Friday off, which was nice. Doggy and I took Hubby to work then went for a walk in the park. Then I went to that nice butcher and bought braising steak and mince. Then I went to the supermarket (braving some weapons grade plonkers out on the roads!) and bought proper bread-making flour for the bread machine. And some other stuff.

Then I made a loaf of bread (read put the stuff in the bread machine and pressed the button). And some stew, some shepherd's pie mince, and some bol sauce, all of which is now in the freezer. Much to Hubby's disgust I might add.

Yesterday we went and closed our French gift list (about time). We have ordered the dishwasher but right now it has nowhere to live! They said delivery would take about 5 to 7 days so that gives us a bit of time. We also got a new kettle and toaster. But the main thing is the dishwasher. Oh joy!!

We also went and got stationary to do our French thank you cards with. Need to get them done. My Christmas cards came yesterday too so I should write them today. Actually, the weather is really foul, so what better to do than write my Christmas cards? I think Cléo would like to go for a walk, but I also know that if I take her outside, she'll look at me like I've lost the plot. Doggy doesn't really do wind and rain! Right now she is pawing at me because I have the laptop on my lap, and she thinks she should be there!

I also could use today to sort out my Christmas gifts. Haven't really given them much thought actually...

Today is Grandad's 90th birthday. I mustn't forget to call him!!

Next weekend we are going to Reims to see Charlene and Jean-Paul and Chantal. Should be fun. All the more reason to do my cards this weekend, as if I don't I really will run out of time.

Right, I'm off to make another loaf and give this desperate dog some love.