Monday, October 24, 2016


Anyone who has ever experienced sleeplessness can verify it to be one life's most frustrating maladies. At least it's not painful...

At the moment the main culprit is Christmas! Now I know by many standards having nine people around the table is no big deal at all. I have friends who regularly share the yuletide season with as many as 25 or 30. I wouldn't even want to be a guest with so many family members -- not that there are 30 in my extended family -- but then I haven't ever counted!

Anyway, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and start making lists or planning menus. People start arriving on the 23rd and leave the 29th. Seven will be staying here -- two in a hotel. I think I'm getting a headache ...

And when it's not Christmas, it's my boys and their lives and hopes and so on. Not to mention then thoughts about visiting South Korea and Italy. Andrew in Italy is starting his own school teaching English -- oh my goodness Italian bureaucracy and new locations. Keeps a mother awake at night, I can tell you.

And there is my son at home who has just bought a Victorian house -- which he is in the process of gutting and renovating with the help of The Man. That is is one interesting dynamic -- the ideas of one versus the advice of the other! (My mouth kept shut...) The two of them are working on the fireplace, getting it ready for a word burning stove. Then after that there is the bathroom that has been gutted and the kitchen that has been gutted. Not to mention the worm ridden two by fours in the ceiling/floor above! Thoughts that run through my head in the middle of the night!

Finally, I still await the completion of the kitchen. And in the middle of the night I find that the cabinets start reorganizing themselves and I start to imagine throwing this paraphernalia out and wondering if I have chosen the right colour for the walls and before you know it I'm wondering what the hell I'm going to cook for Christmas. And then after everyone leaves -- what about New Year?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Light at the End of the Tunnel -- If not in the Cabinet!

The upper cupboards of the above cabinets were supposed to have been glazed. Apparently, the manufacturer does not do these particular cabinets glazed, because they are too large.  They claim that they sent an email when the order was placed, but not being suspicious at all, I suspect they just sent the non-glazed doors without explanation...There is a way to work around this by removing the centre panels from the present doors, routing the inside and fitting glass -- this would be done by our kitchen people.

We have decided that  we will only have the cabinet on the left glazed and will leave the one over the television as it is. I have had confirmation of this plan and await work to begin . Then all that is left is to choose the colour of the paint for the walls, which we hope will be a very pale shade of salmony apricot. Whew! What a palaver!

Friday, October 14, 2016


This side of the room was just right...

Several months ago I wrote a post about my plans for a new kitchen! The idea was that it had been planned with my son and the work would be done when The Man and I were in Portugal last February. My son agreed to be the project manager. For one good reason and another we had to delay the implementation of  the plan until we left for France in early August.

The kitchen is installed. There are a few glitches to be taken care of, but otherwise it looks great and will look even better in the not too distant future. But ...

I wish I had been here... on the one hand...

On the other hand, it was best The Man was not!

Instead of our usual 36 hour trek back to the North of England, The Man decided to take the overnight ferry from Caen to Plymouth. From Plymouth it is about 5 hours to get home. The drive from our house to Caen was 8 hours. We were not able to get a cabin and so had to sleep -- or in my case try to sleep -- in reclining chairs for the 6 hour sail across the channel. The Man slept like a log.

By the time we arrived home we were both exhausted.

We headed for the new kitchen -- it was more or less a tip.

The Man looked around, "It's rather stark."

I looked around noting first of all that cupboards that were supposed to have been glazed were not -- leading to a feeling of personal dismay. "You don't like it, do you?"

"No, I'm afraid I don't," came an equally stark reply. He made a cup of tea and went for a sleep.

Suddenly wide awake, I went to work cleaning and clearing up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Time to Wind-up the Lot!

It's a lovely morning in the Lot today. On Friday we begin the long trek back to Southport and while I am ready for returning, still it's so pretty here and so pleasant that I don't exactly relish saying goodbye to summer.

There are few places, if any, in the world that could be described as prettier than the Lot. There may be places that are more majestic, with towering mountains and tremendous waterfalls -- but for just downright pretty I have yet to visit anywhere that can beat it here. Ranked 92nd in terms of population, this department has an impressive range of scenery -- from rugged, scrubby limestone plateaus to lush rolling countryside and dramatic limestone cliffs there is no place better to relax and unwind and to enjoy the best food. But it is definitely a place for outdoor living. winter is cold and wet and indoors.

And now I have procrastinated long enough, it's time to get on with packing up ... but first there is the matter of catching a few more rays of warm sunshine ...

Will try to ad pictures when I once again have an Internet connection that is not quite so slow!