Lundi 8th 2014

We’ve been quietly pottering along here so forgive the gap between updates.

Saturday saw a wee trip to Jumilhac-le-Grand via an inspired if initially completely wrong route.  Occasionally it’s good to practise shaking off future stalkers, he lied…  There was a Fete Noel where some items were purchased but as recipients may be reading this I’ll say no more for now.  It still sounds odd to us hearing British people talking English here, then talking French when you buy stuff off them!  It was right by the fitba so I had a look at their wee local ground.

Much of the rest of the day was fitba with the Rovers meandered past Stirling Albion in the Cup.

Then there was the top of the League clash for SYlP.  They lined up with the third goalkeeper I’ve seen start for them and their rather useful captain hobbling around the technical area.  Despite that and the lack of at least one other home stalwart the game was decent in front of the largest home support I’ve been part of so far.  There were quite a few of them was even some shouting/crowd noise!

SYlP lost a goal cheaply and then equalised when a free kick went in low past the rotund Occitane keeper.  Late on a dive from a winger saw a free kick wrongly awarded out wide.  The dipping ball in was blocked away well by the young home keeper but his defence didn’t track back to help him and a visitor managed to stab home what turned out to be the winner, 1:2.

At full time a boisterous visiting fan who was either pissed, thick or both ran on the confront for reasons only obvious to him the SYlP stand-in Captain and things nearly kicked off.  Which was a surprise…  The Visitors celebrations were akin to that of a rather larger win like the World Cup or something – I was probably alone in having a flashback to Ayr being well chuffed with beating the Rovers the year the Rovers won the title and Ayr didn’t…  Oh how we laughed at the Ayrshire numpties.

Things where calmed down again but there was much discussion between fans little of which I followed.  Afterwards my fitba pal and I discussed how poor Occitane were I made the point that from what I’d seen both Sussac and SYlP (without injuries) were better sides.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              End of fitba


Sunday despite it being the 30th of November was lovely and sunny.  We headed for a walk via the recycling, me in a short sleeved t-shirt (& trousers obs).  Susan braved the footbridge for her first time over the Isle.  The Isle river gets pretty big joining the Gironde north of Bordeaux but by us is only about eight or nine feet wide.  The term footbridge is loose, it’s a couple of old concrete electricity poles and some additional concrete.  Rather smaller than last week’s bridge I hear you cry.


Monday saw the weather change to chilly rather than properly cold.  As was Tuesday with all the domestic bits and bobs being done.  Cold weather means more work tending to the wood burner for me.  S was visited by a mobile hairdresser, an English woman and they chatted about life over here.  I’d received a cheery Bonjour of the chap who’d done my hair the day before while S and I had a coffee in town.


On Thursday we went on a trip to Limoges – by train – for Xmas type things and stuff.  S bought some gifts and other things which again I won’t mention for fear of ruining surprises as we meandered around the centre of the city.  Pleasingly S’s back and leg problems didn’t limit things – a sign of improvement we hope.  We ate across from the Halles (Market) and I Plat de Jour’ed (veal) while Susan removed a little goats cheese from her lunch which didn’t stop it being good.  We forgot to take pictures of the Xmas decorations…  Sorry.

As we are becoming regulars in Limoges we stopped for a drink on the way to the station at Cafe Jourdain where we’d eaten back in March.  Then toddled along to the station for the return trip.  Despite the train being at the back of five it didn’t bring back any horrible Scotrail commute memories for Susan.  It was on time and everyone got a seat…  How do they do it?!?


Friday was another quiet day and our extensive wanderings the previous day had less impact on S than feared.  After sorting out some bits and bobs we had an impromptu lunch at an Italian in SYlP which was nice.  We’d found another route from where we’d parked following a path along the burn that runs thru town.  How local are we becoming!  Also I willingly laid down my midriff while S tested her planned Xmas dinner.  It was nice and I am alive so all looks good for Xmas din-dins…


Who is this?!?

Who is this?!?

Saturday we tried to do more Xmas shopping which included a moment which stopped me in my tracks outside a hat shop!  See the photograph above.  Who does this remind former and current North Office people of I wonder???  Or is it just me…  First commenter to correctly identify the look-a-likey may get a prize or may not…

There have been sheds set up on the wide avenue in town for Xmas Market type activities and a couple of rides for the kids have arrived.  There is quite a program of events locally but they haven’t turned on the lights yet.  More news on this to follow.

Also on Saturday in the place there was the macaroons/chocolate event there was a Grand The Dansant – A Big Tea Dance – which we didn’t go too.  It somehow seemed less alluring to us than the previous event.


More Fitba (also stuff about social norms, just so you know…)

In the afternoon I had the increasingly regular misery of updates about another cack handed Rovers game from Chris who has at least the, erm, pleasure of suffering with others while I struggle to cope alone.  L

In the evening I drove over to the ground and just after arriving realised it was actually a SYlP 2nd team match.  This was due to my not noticing it was Division 5 not 4 on the posters in town.  Feeling a bit daft I was considering heading for home when my regular associate appeared.  The Seconds were wearing a less than fetching yellow and green striped kit and the vocal fans of the visiting Limoges side were singing…  All four of them!  The home support was not much larger and as the cold took hold I wandered off just after the hour knowing the hoose would be warm.  The home side were 1 up at the time.  I’d realised that the guy who played in goal the first time I saw SYlP was playing up front for the Seconds which made his performance all those weeks ago even more admirable.

It was the first time a player had been into the stand to shake hands with the fans, me, my mate and another regular at half time.  The others having disappeared looking for heat.  This I thought was rather civilised.  The big defender concerned is normally in the stand for first team games but made a couple of appearances off the bench at my first two games.  There are lots of Bonjours and handshakes and often kisses on either cheek here at all sorts of events not just the fitba, in the street, supermarket, at events, etc..  Mainly us blokes just shake hands with each other…  I like it now I’m getting the hang of it and as a regular at the fitba I’m now included in the gloves off hand shaking process.  It would all take ages at Starks Park but for wee teams with no fans like Cowdengelly and Hamilton it’d not take long to get around everyone…

Once on a narrow pavement I indicated with my hand to an older guy coming the other way he could have the pavement and I’d step onto the road to let him past.   He thrust forward his hand to shake mine before realising he didn’t know me and what I meant!

Anyhoo this was the first time I’ve left a proper match before the end, ever.  I hope you’ll forgive me as I was there by accident and I reckon below Haute Vienne Division Four is perhaps not as proper as it could be…

Scores wise this weekend SYlP drew away at Eymoutiers on Sunday and as a result have dropped to fourth.  Sussac went to Occitane and won 3:0 proving my credentials as a Haute Vienne Division 4 pundit are building.  I won’t however expect a call from Match of the Day soon.

End of Fitba


Sunday was rather cooler than last weeks but much more appropriate for this time of year.  We’ve not had the snow and ice some of you are getting so be careful over there guys and gals.

Mercredi 19th 2014

On Friday past the haircut went well.  Perhaps my lack of a difficult and or fashionable style helped but the chatty barber spoke no English and we managed to blether away without too many problems.  The hair cut was good too.  It turned out he had been involved in releasing the pigeons at Tuesdays Armistice event.  He asked me what pigeon was in English and was a little disappointed with it being the same as in French.  Perhaps his work with them helped him with my pigeon French…

Accordingly there no embarrassing pics for you to guffaw at, sorry.

Fitba bit!

On Saturday it was a Cup Game for SYlP and it kicked off late after a very wet evening which had included an isolated flash of lighting and rumble of thunder.  SYlP opened the scoring then a Vayres US sub put a free kick over the wall.  Rather than stoop to catch it the home keeper tried to kick it away and missed completely… 1:1.  He is keen to kick rather than catch but normally not bad.  Despite a penalty which was saved by the visitor’s keeper normal time ended level.  As rolling subs are allowed there were two fifteen minute periods of extra time.  More chances were created and squandered by both sides until a late free kick which the home keeper blocked.  As he tried to recover the ball his foot slipped and he fell forward giving the incoming striker the easiest of tasks to score the winner.

A disappointing home loss for SYlP in a game where they had rested a few regulars.  It was a nightmare for the home keeper and I got home later and colder than planned…  The old guy still talks to me and I’m now on handshaking “Bon soir” terms with a number of the other fans – not that there are many…                                                                                                                                                                                  End of Fitba bit

Lubersac r'aboot.  There are lots of apples in these parts...

Lubersac r’aboot. There are lots of apples in these parts…

On Sunday we popped to Lubersac who have a cool roundabout and a number of other more interesting places including another chateau which seems to be the home of some rather well off folks house – obviously they avoided the guillotine!  On that trip I did my weekly U turn as we realised our (often my) choice of route ends in some ones farmyard…

Monday was quiet with another trip to the cinema for another Jacques Tati film – Parade which is some way short of his best but it was cheaper than we expected so not an issue… (This country hasn’t changed me that much!)  Horrifyingly one of the Brits we spoke to at the event last week didn’t know there was a cinema despite it being twenty yards from where we were at the time!  Most places over here still have their own cinema’s some of which seem independent, which is cool.  We aim to try a film in French this week – not my idea BTW!

Tuesday saw a shorter and more efficient trip to the bank.  The Advisor having put up with us before survived another session.  We got a hefty chunk of a pumpkin from Jan and Ken (they’d got it from the farmer next door).   We had soup for tea.  Yummy and no food miles.

Medival Perigueux

Medieval Perigueux

Today Wednesday we were up early to catch a train to Periguex from Nexon a few K’s up the road.  The TGV’s here are superb more local services are more limited so having checked timetables we’d realised we could get up early and go direct or arrive at lunchtime.  We were up at six and on the train at just after half seven – which as it turns out was like our old routine.  The tickets seemed a bit pricey but as we watched the sun coming up and the morning mist lift we realised it was cheaper than the shorter commute to Embra and we both had seats so S much preferred it here.

Many aged building

Many aged building

Arriving early we loitered outside the Vesunna Museum built over some rather impressive Roman ruins.  Time Team would self combust with joy in a place like that…  There used to be city walls, towers, temples, two bath houses and the amphitheatre seated twenty thousand and was one of the largest in France.  Numerous bits and bobs remain two thousand years later.  The Medieval part of the city is pretty impressive too.  The cathedral is similar to Mont Matre’s Sacre Ceour in Paris.

Temple Tower - Roman of course...

Temple Tower – Roman of course…

It was market day and we managed to find the normal market, clothing market and the specific duck and goose market – which S didn’t enjoy as much as me.  We lunched at a place called La Salamandre where I was able to have a duck starter, duck main course and a duck free pudding.  S enjoyed having a small range to choose from but options all the same.

By now the sky was blue and the sun very not Scottish November, namely warmish.  We went to the Art and Archaeology museum which claims to be 1st for Beaux-Art in the Dordogyne, 4th in France for Prehistoric and 7th for its collection of non-European ethnology stuff.  Rarely do I think a place could benefit from a Marketing Consultant but perhaps they could…

We successfully caught the train back and polished of the pumpkin soup.  A good day tho we’ll not be getting up so early tomorrow.

Happy B’Day Dr M btw!

Welcome… 2014


This Blog is so people can keep up to date with Susan and I as we embark on our Time Out in France.

It’s Sunday morning and we set off on Thursday (the 2nd).  Almost everything is ready and our house is full of boxes and nearly ready for the vast majority going into storage.  We are now in the latter stages of preparation (aka The Underwear Counting stage).

Various steps have been taken over the last few years – saving up, Susan sorting out career break, me leaving the Council, Mitzy getting her Pet Passport, etc., etc – all is we hope nearly ready.  I don’t think we’ve forgotten anything but we’ll soon find out!


PS – This is my first tentative step into the Blogosphere so bare with me.