Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nov 20th post isn’t here.

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Trot on through the SNOW to Fat Dormouse today!

Less is More N°146

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

I could keep this post until tomorrow – after all, I’m blogging every day in November – but having made my LiM card I want to show it off!

Before I do, however, I’m showing off another card I made. I’m quite pleased with this:


even if it does look as though the lighthouse is slowly toppling over!


Happy Birthday – 80 years old

It is marvellous when we still feel as young as you (?)


“Something for someone who likes the ocean, sailing, the wind, lighthouses and shells” was the brief. I think you could say I’ve covered that fairly comprehensively!!!

I am pretty sure that this card can’t be counted as a “Clean & Simple” card, as it doesn’t meet the Less is More guidelines. I’m not sure this next card does, either – perhaps one of the Organisers could advise…How clean and simple does it have to be?

Anyway, the theme this week was Use Designer paper in a CAS way.

So that’s what I tried to do…On another blog, I saw a card made with the tag-line “The Only Way Is Cake”, which reminded me of some designer paper I had with cup cakes on it. Huzzah! I thought, and looked in my paper drawer. No sign of said cup cake paper – I think I must have used it all up. Bother. Still liking the sentiment, I searched for some sugary coloured designer paper, and came up with the fine tissue type paper that I have used:


I’ve used a stamp that I got in a free set, coloured using ordinary felt tip pens. The handwritten sentiment is meant to echo the opening credits for the hit TV series (which, I hasten to add, I have never seen!) The Only Way is Essex


In deference to all the bling that is, I’m sure, on show in TOWIE, the candle flames are little flame-shaped jewels, plus 4 others on the surround to the sentiment, all from my stash.

But is is Clean and Simple enough, or do I have to try again?!

Charity begins with a giant sausage?

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

I didn’t see much of the Children in Need programme last night – Mr D wanted to watch the football, and he doesn’t much like this sort of “variety” programme very much. I usually like bits – I would have liked to have seen the Torville & Dean dancing segment (I’ve since caught up with it elsewhere!) –  but often they consist of groups of people trying rather too hard to be funny or “off-the-wall”. And boy bands of any type don’t appeal to me, so a heady mix of One Direction, JLS and Busted (?) would have been just too much.


However, I was really impressed with the total amount of money raised so far is £31,124,896. Considering that there are so many people struggling to afford food and heating for their families, that unemployment is high and prices of everything keep rising, considering too that people have already given, and given again, for the appeal to eleviate the suffering caused by the typhoon in the Phillippines, considering all this the good old British public gave £31,124,896. That is totally amazing!


What is it about this eclectic (and sometimes tedious!) mixture of entertainment that gets people digging into their pockets and texting the word TEAM to support the One Show’s Team Rickshaw? I don’t know. The emotive short films that explain how the money helps children in the UK? The fact that celebs are willing to make fools of themselves? Or the fact that, even with the hardships being suffered people think “There but for the grace of God…”


It is good to realise that, despite what I generally think, Britain has not completely turned into a nation of individuals who think “I’m alright Jack, and to hell with the rest of you.” There is still a compassionate heart beating – even if it requires Harry Hill battling the Hairy Bikers with a giant sausage to bring it to life!

November 15th

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Blog post is over with Fat Dormouse today. Do go over & see what I’ve been up to!

Blogging in November: 12th November

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

…can be found over at Fat Dormouse today!


See you there!

Mort pour la France (et les autres pays)

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Lots of people blogged about Remembrance Sunday, but I held back as I knew that I’d be going to the ceremony at the war memorial in St Just today.


11th November is a bank holiday in France, and so there is a ceremony on Remembrance Day…unfortunately, in the eight years that we’ve been attending, we have noticed the number of attendees becoming fewer and fewer. Usually there are more children too, but there weren’t so many this year. There were some from the local school who read out the names on the memorial, but, apart from them and Flynn and India, my friends’ children, that was about it.


I made poppies for us to wear


and we walked over to the memorial. As usual, we were early, so we spent 15 minutes or so going round the cemetary righting the pots of flowers from 1st November that had been blown over.




Flynn alerted us to the fact that the “procession” (a rather rag, tag and bobtail affair) was on its way, so we went down to the memorial where people were gathering







The Sapeurs-Pompiers, the veterans (mostly now from the Algerian wars, the Mayor and Chairperson of the Conseil Générale, plus some school teachers & children, gathered at the base of the memorial, where they laid their bouquets – no wreaths of poppies here, but rather bouquets of flowers, dressed in the blue, red and white of France –

An example of the type of flowers laid: not from our ceremony

Speeches from the President were read out, and then the children recited the names of those from St Just who died in WW1 – I recognised many of the surnames as those from around the village today . A minute’s silence and then a recording of the French version of The Last Post. We finished with La Marseillaise and an invitation to drink a toast in the Mairie. We scuttled home for hot chocolate/ coffee and biscuits however (no biccies for me, I’m fasting!)

(a wheat border, because, so one of my students told me, wheat is sometimes featured in Remembrance Day stickers rather like poppies for the British)

Albert-Paul Grenier (03.09.1888 – 17.08.1917)

One of France’s war poets

FrenchPoetFirst WorldWarWEBa

Par les chemins gluants qui viennent
du fond des plaines,
les gens s’en vont, comme des fous,
comme des fous qui seraient sages
les gens s’en vont vers n’importe où…


Par les ravins crépus, d’horreur échevelés,
où les obus aigus mordent à crocs avides,
des cadavres blêmis crispent leurs poings rigides
sur le Néant obscur près d’eux agenouillé.

blog 2

La mort, soûle et joyeuse, danse,
et gambille et se déhanche,
la mort muette se trémousse,
et joue et jongle avec des crânes,
Comme avec des osselets

Basdly translated (I fear!) through Google Translate (and me!)

By sticky paths coming
from the very ends of the plains,
people go like madmen,
like madmen who would be wiser
 to go anywhere but here …

By wave-like ravines of frenzied horror
where greedy shells  bite with sharp fangs 
blanched corpses clench their rigid fists
on dark nothingness near them kneeling.

Death, drunk and happy, dances,
gambols and sways,
Silent death writhes
and plays and juggles with skulls,
As if playing with five-stones.

Today, you need to go to…

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The Other Side!

(to be said in very portentous tones!)

A favourite song

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Here is a link to a favourite “Elbow” song.


“Lippy Kids” – Guy Garvey trhe lead singer and writer of a lot of the songs says: “It’s quite a nostalgic thing. I’ve got a thing about growing up, Not needing to! But a certain period of your life when – well kids are called ‘hoodies’ these days aren’t they when they reach their teens. I remember it being an amazing important time, so I’ve written a lot about that.”


Someone else writes:

No-one captures childhood nostalgia quite like Elbow. Garvey has an ability simultaneously to summon the carefree child’s thoughts and the reflective adult’s – It’s a classic Garvey lyric, using idiomatic English (has anyone ever used the phrase “simian stroll” in song before?) to find beauty in unremarkable everyday detail.

He’s watching these lippy kids on the street corner, larking about, walking on walls and stealing booze – but to him they’re not chavs or hoodies, they’re “freshly painted angels”. It’s an affectionate portrayal of Northern scallywags that never descends into Hovis ad schmaltz, or ‘Round Are Way’ geezerishness: an impressive lyrical feat.

That sense of restraint is mirrored by the music itself. The song resists the urge to swell to a roaring climax . It’s a mark of Elbow’s maturity as a band that they just let the song work its elegant magic, and then fade out.”

“Don’t they know these days are golden?” – we forget that growing up is a wonderfully scary, yet magical time.


We are going to see them in April at Liverpool’s Echo Arena – that will be a different experience to our last Elbow concert in a small music club in Paris. Mr D is a great fan; I am a moderate fan – but I am very much looking forward to our trip to Liverpool.


If you don’t know the group, they performed at the Olympic opening ceremony and wrote the BBC music for the Olympic coverage.


November 5th blogging..

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

…is over with Fat Dormouse today

Why not pop over to see – there’s soup recipes!

Having a pillow fight.

Monday, November 4th, 2013

No…not one of these…


Instead I am starting to have a nightly pillow fight with Millie-the-cat. She is our “Diva Cat” – what Millie wants, Millie gets. We love her, but she is hard work.

Millie has decided that she likes my pillow:



and that it is a Good and Comfortable place to sleep. That’s okay during the day, as I don’t have need of it then. However night time is a different matter. I settle down to sleep, and turn out the light. Usually I drop off to sleep very quickly, but sometimes Millie arrives before I do. She pads quietly across the bed, and stretches herself along the top of the pillow, purring gently.


That’s fine: in fact, the soft soporific purring of a contented cat is a lovely accompaniment to falling asleep. If only it stayed that way!


Regard the picture above. Is she stretched out? Exactly. At sometime during the night Millie decides she wants to curl up. In the centre of the pillow. Thus leaving very little room for my head. And in order to make sure she’s really comfortable, Millie often feels the need to flex her claws and stretch her paws – into my scalp! We then have a fight for dominance, which sometimes she wins (if I can find a comfortable spot for my head at the edge of the pillow, and drop off again) or sometimes I win (when in desperation I push her off my pillow in the direction of Mr D)


We could shut her out of the bedroom – which would mean she sratched on the door, and the other cats (who are very good nighttime companions) would also be shut out. We could shut her in another room – which would entail nightly moving of litter trays etc etc. So in the end, she and I are going to continue our nightly pillow fights until she decides that she’s had enough and she will find somewhere else to sleep.

Wonderful image from the talented Simon Tofield. See here for more