Sunday, 28 June 2009


Summer has definitely arrived in our part of Brittany (at least for the moment!) with temperatures in the low 30s C (85 - 90 F), and it is certainly hot! Hot! Hot! It's a full time job trying to keep the garden watered and I am so glad I took photos last weekend, as some of the blooms are looking really sorry for themselves in this heat, but at least the cherries are doing well this year!

During the week we managed to replace our driving licences, and it really was a very painless experience! Still reeling from the amount of paperwork we've been through in the last few weeks, I was prepared for yet another tussle with the Authorities but - it wasn't to be!

Our departmental 'Prefecture' is situated in Vannes, some 45 minutes drive away, but it was certainly worth the bother of going there as we only spent 15 minutes processing the documents!

The clerk who dealt with us was extremely helpful and sympathetic, took possession of our (zombie!) photos and our temp driving permit issued by the Gendarmerie, rattled a few keys on her PC, printed the licence, trimmed the photos, encapsulated the whole thing and Voila !! Job Done!! I commented on the speed of the whole operation, after all, when we first changed to French driving licences 8 years ago, we had to wait 2 weeks for them to be issued - don't think this went down too well as I was promptly (and rightly!) put in my place with ' But Madame, we have improved in those years !!' - Ain't technology grand!!

As it was too beautiful a day to waste , and because I don't think I've shown you Vannes
before, a few photos of this very picturesque city!

That's it for now as I am off for a very cold shower - phew!!!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Pink and Green, Purple and ........

I can sing a Rainbow.........

...........In my garden!

Three Cheers.........

.........for the Red, White & Blue !

In my garden!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Happy Smiley Faces !

In my garden!!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Crime Scene!

Isn't it lovely !!!

Like many others, we've been having so many problems with IE the last couple of months that it's been driving me mad ! The latest one was that I couldn't upload Google Reader and that is certainly not acceptable (!) so we've taken the plunge and changed over to Firefox, and guess what - it's great, everything is working properly again (for the moment !) and even the photos are 'clickable' - I think !!!!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Branching Out!

It's is ages since I blogged (!) and it certainly hasn't been a case of 'doesn't time fly when you're having fun' as the days seem to have been filled with constant telephone calls, form filling, insurance assessment on the damage to our car....and so it goes on!! Today hopefully has seen the end to it now that we have sorted our final replacement document - driving licences!!! As I said previously, most officials have been very helpful, but I have to mention the Gendarme dealing with our case, who has been an absolute gem in helping us get all the necessary reports etc dealt with, and it just goes to proove that you mustn't believe everything the neighbours tell you about 'Les Flics'!!

The only place there has been a little sanity is in my sewing room, but even there I've not been able to settle and have been switching from one thing to another and achieving nothing, then I remembered a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd try something a little different and enrolled on a course with Quilt University .

Having no ambition to do any quilting, I thought it might be useful to print out the lessons instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself ,and at least have a look at what I'd let myself in for, as I'd choosen ' Miniature Landscapes' with Sue Brittingham and anything further from my comfort zone is hard to imagine ! After getting over the initial feeling of 'what have I done this time???' there was nothing to loose by having a go, so here's my first attempt at a mountain scene.

At this stage is was only fused ready to start quilting- and that's where it all went
wrong and ended up in the bin, which was a shame really as it did look quite good !! Not to worry, I had also started a beach scene - and this one made it to the finishing line !!!

Not the best pic in the world, but it does look quite good in real life! No where near perfect, even I can see the mistakes (!) but overall I'm very pleased with it and am determined to redo the mountains and get that finished too - who knows I might even be tempted to try some 'original' scenes !! I've had so much fun making these little quilts, I found the lessons from Susan very clear and well laid out and all her comments constructive and helpful - certainly money well spent!

Something else I've always wanted to try and have been playing with

Haven't been able to find a Dresden Plate ruler locally, but what I did find was Eleanor Burn's pattern from her book 'Egg Money Quilts' in the form of a (free) PDF complete with templates!
Another fun project which is now a cushion cover ready and waiting for my new sewing room to be finished , but who knows when that will be as it is well on the back burner at present - shame !!!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Silver Linings!

Every cloud, so the saying goes , has a silver lining but I must admit it hasn't felt as though this was true in the last couple of days! It has been just so stressful trying to unravel the red tape generated by this car theft, more so because I am not working in my own language !

My French on the whole is pretty good, but because I was so pressured at times ( DH doesn't 'do' French very well !), my mind kept blanking out and I knew I was just looking at people as though they were alliens and couldn't understand a word that was being spoken let alone get any words out ! I did eventually get a grip (!!) and we seem to have got most things under control now - thank goodness! All the necessary forms have been filled in, telephone calls made to put temporary health cover etc in hand and now all we can do is wait for the wheels of officialdom to grind through it all!! What I still find very upsetting are the things that can't be replaced, like the keyring my grand-daughter made me, photos of the grandchildren and other little items that we girls like to keep close to us.

Our home now has more security than Fort Knox - we are still waiting for the insurance to get their people in to sort out our locks, but in the meantime DH has put BIG deadlock bolts on the doors that have missing keys, our car gets parked under the bedroom window with a crooklock as thick as a tree trunk attached to the steering column(they got the spare car keys too!)and before going to bed he parks our ancient 8 seater lump of a Landrover, also immobilised, across our access road - get passed that if you can !!! If ever there was a case of shutting the stable door..........but we do feel a lot safer for taking these precautions for the moment!

Now for the silver linings that did happen - and there have been quite a few really !

Firstly, thanks to everyone who left messages on the Blog or e-mail, they were so very welcome. I have tried to answer all of them, and hope I haven't missed anyone. These were great moral boosters as well as silver linings !

We have also met some very lovely, kind & helpful people during our visits to banks, insurance offices, police station etc, all showing us so much sympathy for what has happened and being most apologetic as though it was their fault - they made things so much easier for us! There have also been a few not so helpful it must be said, but I guess that's life!

Then there is the fact that we forgot to pick up our mobile phone when we left home, so that's safe and the camera had already been used that day and was still in its case on DH's trouser belt, so another silver lining I think - one day I might show you the photos I took!

A special 'silver lining ' from Jo in Tas - a wonderful surprise that arrived today! Back in February I was so upset by the plight of the Victoria Bush Fires Victims that I asked Jo to donate my Pay It Forward gift to this cause . Today I got an unexpected package from Jo which contained a pretty pink parcel

with this inside !

Jo decided to send me something in spite of already donating a gift to the Bush Fire Victims - how nice is that!! Thank you Jo, it is a lovely thought, the bag is beautiful and couldn't have arrived at a better time!!! (click on the photo for a better look!)

Finally, a bunch of flowers from DH, to cheer me up !

So at the moment I think the Good Guys have it over the Baddies and I can come out from my dark room !!!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Resigning from the Human Race!!

Don't you just hate your fellow human beings sometimes? Today was to have been an 'away day' discovering more of the lovely Brittany coastline, but instead it turned into an absolute nightmare when someone broke into our car, ransacked it and stole my handbag out of the boot complete with credit cards, driving licence and many other documents essential to living in France!!

We had only stopped to find a toilet and of course I rushed off without thinking about the bag, I mean the car was locked with nothing in sight! We were gone for 12 minutes exactly and the car was in sight of a small cafe - well there you have it - unbelievable !!

The police where it happened firstly refused to come to the scene and then refused to take our complaint for almost 2 hours whilst they had their lunch!! Their attitude was 'oh it happens all the time at that car park!' DUH!!

Needless to say we didn't take up their invitation to call later but headed straight home so's that we could alert the banks etc of the theft. I have just spent hours at the local police station with a very kind Gendarme sorting out the details, but I suspect that the only thing that will come out of it all is a piece of paper for the insurance company - other than a pounding headache that is and an extra long French language practice!!!

The cards have been cancelled, the cheque numbers recorded so that's no longer a problem - but what is a problem is all the inconvinience caused by having our documents stolen! They are no use to anyone as they all carry photos. They have all been issued to Foreign nationals, so can't be used by anyone else, so why bother taking them when all they can do is dump them !

There's also the small problem of our address and house keys being in my bag, so whether we'll sleep tonight or not is debatable!

So now you'll understand why I am thinking of resigning from the human race and spending more time with my cat - well, for today at least!!