I must apologise for not updating you all (both) more recently since the New Year. You’ve not missed much but I’ll fill in the gaps for you now. We’ve been a bit dull of late in the short days and with S struggling a bit with her back/legs issues.
There are two specific periods of Sales in France one of which began on the 7th of January. How DFS and various other well known sofa retailers would survive on this side of La Manche goodness only knows… The opportunity for a bargain may have prompted more activity from S but I wouldn’t dare link these two events… Firstly we kept things local going to Saint Yrieix la Perche where we pottered around the shops. We are adjusting nicely to the two hour lunch break and in that you can’t beat them we join them for lunch. This time we went to Chez Bernedettes where S realised she was the only female customer in the busy restaurant. There were five courses on the Menu de Jour for carnivores like me, they did a good salad for S. I passed on the soup not having been working all morning like most of the other patrons. The main course was a Boudin which is a blood sausage – not unlike black pudding but smoother in texture. It was complimented by some stewed apples which worked really well. I just managed chocolate mousse for pudding underlining the wisdom of not having the soup. As I said most of the other customers were workers who were presented with a pot of soup/plate of Boudin’s and helped themselves.
Having refuelled successfully we continued to potter about with two aims S trying to avoid adding to her scarf collection and me looking at options for a hat. Taking advantage of the opportunity we – with only limited difficulty – established with the help of a shop assistant that I have a size 63 head. This is why most hats perch daftly on top of my large if empty noggin. We established that even some of the XXL’s were too neat for me and the only one that fitted perfectly was not very nice. This quest will continue!
Next we went to Limoges or rather a retail park type place en route observing the minutes silence which the local radio station introduced by saying simply Je suis Charlie. We were not alone in having gone along and pottered about without managing to spend too much cash. We went to Flunch for lunch. Flunch is a chain which is a sort of self service buffet style set up, you help yourself to whatever which somehow included a 2e50 bottle of Cote de Provence which S claimed was medicinal! On the way home I chose not to take the main road or the large road and meandered about the countryside more or less in the direction we wanted. S’s map reading is really coming on tested as it is by my at times random routes. On the less than direct route home I slowed to take a blind bend at an appropriate speed and like the F1 drivers we watch kept close to the apex. An on-coming driver took none of those steps and flashed past us as I swung away from the pillock who was more on our side of the road than theirs! S was of course on the side that got a rather closer view of the other car than anyone would want. The rest of the trip home was rather less exciting discussing how much more of a fright the other guy must have got than we did.
S had tasked herself with finding somewhere to live after La Porcherie. Our time here ends in early April though Jan and Keith had kindly made clear that there could be some flexibility if need be. Anyhoo after checking out a few options we set off on a scouting trip westward towards Mount Gargan and a place up that way. There was low cloud and as we climbed it stayed in place to meet us as we found and assessed the option. We’ve promised our nervous wee cat as nice a place for her as we can find. We went on to the nearby village of Chamberet which was doing a very good impression of being deserted. This trip re-enforced our early thoughts about not going too far from SYlP.
We paid 26e for a visit to a GP (we’re insured) who has a surgery at her house and after seeing the parking stowed out one day returned the next. S is now armed with stronger tablets which means she can exercise more and hopefully make more progress towards getting better. We have been doing some gentle walks hereabouts to help with that.
We visited another option for April onwards, saw the wee place and met the hosts. Despite having a lengthy blether with us they seem happy to have us live ‘with’ them for three months. It turns out that S had met out next host when she went to the ballet but neither of them had realised! The next place is cat and dog free so Mitzy should be happier there too without having to watch out for unwanted amorous approaches as she does here. The new abode isn’t actually very far away from where we are now and was easy to find after the traditional U-turn at a farm with a very enthusiastic Alsatian dog.
Another road trip took us up to Limoges to Family Village for more Sales shopping. The place is a very well laid out retail park that was much smarter and better presented than any we’ve been to before and despite France’s economic problems it had no empty units. Another quest of mine continued but more on that when it has been completed… On the way back we got some stuff for the cat but didn’t spend 499e on an eight foot high cat bed/scratchpost/climbing frame thing which she’d have loved but would have been, erm, difficult to bring home in/on the Fiesta!
On Thursday we took advantage of the sunshine and went to Arnac Pompadour a nearby large village. It’s famous for equestrian events having a race course and centre for the dressage and all that Harvey Smith fancy-dan stuff… It also has a rather impressive Chateau. Most places do have some sort of chateau to be honest. We had lunch in a place where it became clear the chap spoke good English despite coming from Sheffield! They’d been busy the day before but it was quiet when we arrived – my reputation must be preceding me even here – so we were able to have a good blether with the chap. Ex-pats seem interested in others who are here and the impression we get is that trying it for a while as we are is seen by them as a very good idea.
Generally the weather has been rather better than up north were you lot remain. We had about four minutes of snow the other day which S noticed. There have been some frosty mornings but it’s generally been chilly rather than really cold. One difference has been that the skies are clear a lot more than we are used too, instead of grumpy grey cloud plonked over you all day there are often days of huge blue skies with a gentle and pleasing warmth in the sun. When the sun sets it gets colder. Our wee hoose is not bad at keeping warm so we’re fine tho the cat is finding my lap more alluring than it would be if we had central heating! One other thing of interest (well to me anyway) is that there are already lambs and a few baby donkey’s in the fields. Lambing is a March activity in Jockoland so that was a surprise to me tho I’m no expert.
The local fitba re-starts this weekend with an away game which may not see me attend as it’s trying to snow as I type. Oddly the Rovers have won three in a row, mainly against teams they should be beating but that’s been a pleasant surprise all the same…
Also Spiral is back on BBC4 – it’s a brilliant French Cop drama. It’s now on series 5 but we’d recommend it to anyone via one of those demand box set things they advertise so you can start at the beginning. It has subtitles but we recognise bits and bobs more this time than any of the previous series’ which isn’t a great shock.
Bye for noo!