Posts Tagged ‘cats’

A bit of this and a bit of that…

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Hello Peeps!

Today is St George’s Day – perhaps we should have hung out English Cross of St George flag out of the window! Mr FD sometimes wears a red rose on St George’s Day, but this year he’s not left the house, so had no cause to do so.

But today is also the Very Bad Kittens’ birthday! Happy Birthday, George and Millie! Happy (nominal) Birthday Pomme and Bib! We don’t know when Pomme & Bib were born, but round about now would be a good guess for Bib, and Pomme – well, we have no idea! Perhaps we should have a Happy Adoption Day for Bib – she joined the Dormousehold on 1st June 2013, aged about 5-6 weeks.

We bought cakes to celebrate:

and I’ll go to ShCarrefour later on and buy some yummy cat food for the Cats. I have to buy the ingredients for my cheesecake tomorrow, so I’ll indulge the cats a little as well! Here are pictures (already seen, I know!) of our dear kitties:



I am happy too because I have won a Giveaway. Yay! Ellie over at Silver Scrapper’s Craft Space picked me out of the hat to win a book about crafting ATCs. As I’m trying to create one ATC a month (I’ve made – but not shown – March’s, and still have April’s to do! Maybe tomorrow!) this will give me some inspiration (I hope!)

ATCs 1

The weather has been completely mad recently. Last week was gorgeous, with the thermometer hitting about 26° down in Roanne, then this weekend it was snowing again! Poor Mr D went out with the combined forces of St Just and St Germain Laval Cycle Clubs to do a day’s ride in the Lyonnaise mountains. They didn’t actually do any riding! They holed up for the morning in a Mairie in a small village where our friend Louis’ father was a BigWig, so Louis has some sway in the area. Mr D said he spent the morning failing to understand the rules of Belote. Cathy & I met them (together with other non-cycling members of the club) at a restaurant at the Col de Pavillon

for a set menu meal of salad, chicken in pepper sauce, with pasta & ratatouille, and then chocolate-and-raspberry-mousse-cake. It didn’t stop raining all day, and at some moments, the rain was horizontal, such was the force of the wind. And there was definitely some sleet mixed in!

Despite that, Mr D was (in his words) “vaguely tempted” to ride. But he didn’t!

Not too many lessons today – two cancellations, due to holidays & strikes – and none tomorrow. A bit of a break. Huzzah (not working)! Boo (not earning)! Film night tomorrow up at Cathy’s – I’m taking cheesecake (of the white chocolate and ginger variety) so I’d better trot on down to ShCarrefour to buy the ingredients. And the Sheba!

I had a brilliant idea for a blogpost..

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

…but I’ve forgotten what it was!

I’ve had a practically all-but-wasted weekend as I “did” my back in, awkwardly getting up to answer the phone yesterday morning. Which was annoying, as it was my student phoning to cancel his lesson! I could have done lots of extra crafting – but instead I was limited to sitting in a chair whimpering to myself. Today it’s better, but my movement is still very stiff and I am only able to walk gingerly, moving from holding onto chairs to bookcase to whatever I can grab!

I have to go to work tomorrow as I’m starting a new contract (back with my old company, but this time working as auto entrepreneur) 3 hours a week is not to be sniffed at. Together with another 1 hour from the phone lesson company, I’m probably earning as much as I was before I was made unemployed – and without having to travel to Clermont 4 days a week (which probably cost an average of about 15 – 20€ a day, counting petrol, motorway tolls and wear-&-tear on the car)  But, as tomorrow is the first lesson I don’t really want to have to cry off because of my back. I’ve been taking Volterol painkillers (lovely strong ones left over from my sciatic incident) and Paracetemol, but I’m down to my last ones, with not much time to go to the doctors tomorrow. Let’s hope for miraculous recoveries!


Here’s a picture of Bib up on the beams in MrD’s study. She’s about 8 or 9 months old now and is quite a character! Millie terrorises her quite a lot, chasing her at least once a day, usually into our bedroom, where Bib will hide behind the bed, making quite a lot of noise, hissing and growling. If Millie catches her then there is a spat.

When Bib is totally relaxed, she’ll curl up purring loudly and sucking the end of her tail – you can see it looks a bit thinner at the end than the rest of it. We suspect this is a comfort thing – like babies sucking their thumb or a dummy – because she lost her mum at an early age. Sometimes she’ll sneak under the duvet at night, and we wake to feel a disgustingly soppy tail trailing over us. Which is a bit yucky, even though she is delightfully sweet when she’s doing her sucky/purry thing.

We sometimes call her “squeaky toy” as she often makes little squeaks and chirrups as she moves, like a squeaky bouncy ball. When I was taking the photo, she was trotting along the beam, chirruping and squeaking as if talking to me, and earlier today she was playing with flat-mouse (one of her toys) and pouncing on it, all the time making these funny little sounds. She used to have a toy-basket with all her toys in it, so she could go and choose what she wanted to play with, but sadly she disgraced herself by peeing in it, so we had to take it away. Now they’re kept in a bag, which isn’t so convenient for her, as we choose the toys for her; she doesn’t always approve of our choice! But she found flat-mouse somewhere other than the bag, so she’s happy at the moment.

Pause in Lent post may happen tomorrow, but I’m not feeling very inspired at the moment.


Internet down!

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

This morning, for some reason best known to itself, my computer dongle wasn’t picking up the WiFi signal. So I had to find other things to do rather than spend vast amounts of time reading blogs, the Ship etc.

So I planned all next week’s lessons, wrote loads of emails (to send when the internet connection was back up), wrote a letter to my mum, sorted out some overdue paperwork, and did a bit of job research. I made a delicious Chorizo and vegetable clafoutis for lunch, and cleared the kitchen.

Then Mr D came home from work. We had lunch, and I swear that the computer knows when its Master is in the house, as I tried (for the umpteenth time) to connect to the internet, and, why lookee here, I’m connected! So I immediately spend the rest of the afternoon wasting time reading blogs, the Ship etc. And fighting off Bib-the-evil-kitten, and (let’s be fair) applying for a job (or rather, asking a company if they have any jobs.)

I really think I should stop turning on the computer as a matter of course in the morning. I find all those lovely, interesting bookmarked blogs too irresistable! I might find I get other things done if I leave the screen blank!

Oh well. Thanks to my IT technician: Mr D, psychically mending computers since 2005

Here’s a photo of Bib when she was tiny, so everone can go “Aaaaaah!”

“My cat’s breath…

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

…smells of cat food” So says Ralph Wiggum on The Simpsons.

Today, I feel like I smell of cat litter!!!

  • I’ve gone over to Agri Sud Est and bought 30litres of litter (I took my suitcase on wheels to carry it back! I must have looked a bit of a twerp!)
  • I have emptied, cleaned and refilled five litter trays (FIVE! And still the little b@*µ%^# pooh on the cellar floor!),
  • I’ve washed the toilet floor where one little darling decided to pee out of the tray,
  • I’ve disinfected and washed the bin in which a binbag full of cat litter had spilt and emptied,
  • I’ve taken two binbags full of litter over to the big communal bin, rather than put them in our bin (where they split!)
  • and I’ve vacuumed the floor where one of the bags I was taking to the bin split and left a trail of litter!

(not one of our cats)

Quite frankly I think I’ve done with cat litter for today!!! I’m going to have a shower and get changed, because even if I really don’t smell of cat litter (and all the other odours attached to litter!) I feel as though I do!!

with five litter trays to change…Yes, I DID have to get the cheap litter!!!

Various photos

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

First of all, let me share a picture of the birthday card I’ve made for Gilles’ birthday (see earlier post) (Click on it for a better view – my photos aren’t very good, I’m afraid!) It says “Being one year older, Gilles needed a little more help to reach the top of Mont Ventoux”. To explain, he climbed Mont Ventoux (by bike) last year, and plans on doing the same this year – only three times! –  so I thought he might need some mountain goats to help him! (I’ve just thought, a better caption might have been “By the time he was climbing Mont Ventoux for the third time, Gilles needed a little help” Oh well, too late now!

Other photos are from when Mum was here.

This is the Puy de Dome, which we were unable to ascend as they are building a railway to the summit at the moment. It should be ready for Summer 2012.

But we did climb the Puy de Pariou (as you can see, the weather was, er, a little bracing, to say the least!!!) I forget my mum is 83 next month! She was quicker than me getting up there!

We visited the picturesque village of St Jean-St Maurice, not far from here, which is on one of the routes through Le Puy En Velay to the pilgrim trail to Santiago de CompostelaHere’s a view of the tower, from which I took the previous picture, and here’s some of the stained glass in the church(sorry the photos are so rubbish!)And here’s a picture of Pomme. We were having dinner, the night mum arrived, and Pomme was quietly sitting on the chair while we ate. After the meal we sat chatting, and suddenly Pomme hopped onto the table, into the (empty) bread basket and settled down!!! Not to be outdone, when we carried Pomme (+ basket!) into the living room, George decided he wanted a piece of the Basket Action

Don’t worry, we washed and Anti-Bac-Sprayed the basket before using it again!

Those Bad, Bad Kittens!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Two Very Bad Kitten tales today.

1) Mr D got home from skiing with friends yesterday, just as I got home from work. He went upsatairs.

“What have you done with my bedside rug?” he yelled to me.

“Nothing. Why?”

“Where is it then?!”

Sure enough the bedside rug had completely disappeared. We groped under the bed (there’s a gap of approximately 5cm from floor to bottom of the bed. ) but no sign of it. We considered a very discerning burglar (?), we wondered if the VBK had somehow dragged it downstairs to the cellar. We had no idea what had happened.

Here you can see a similar bed to ours.                     Finally, Mr D took out the drawer that is under the mattress, and lo! Somehow the VBK had folded the rug up enough to drag it under the bed – note the fact that there are “feet” midway along the side of the bed, so they had to somehow manouvre the rug past them too! We still don’t know whether it was a game, or whether the rug had got caught in claws, but as Millie has learned how to open the drawers, I guess she was under-and-inside the bed, and George was outside, and as they played patapaw with each other the rug got dragged under.

But you should have seen us, scratching our heads, totally mystified about where the rug had gone!

2) As just mentioned, Millie has learned how to open the drawers, and so, on cold nights, will open the drawer, hop in, and nestle among the cycling clothes that we keep there, or, if she fancies a change, she goes under-and-inside the bed to the other drawer, where we keep our tatty DIY/painting clothes. She drives Mr D wild with tiny scratchy noises in the middle of the night, while I snore my way, undisturbed, through till morning.

Now, we are not saying that what happened next was deliberate, but I have my suspicions… Yesterday evening, at bedtime, we couldn’t find Pomme. We went all around, calling “Pomme! Pomme!” No sign of her. Finally, Mr D heard a plaintive little mew coming from under the bed: somehow she’d got trapped under-and-inside the bed. I can’t help but imagine the two Very Bad Kittens ganging up on Pomme: Millie opening the drawer, George luring Pomme into it, and then the two of them leaping out and slamming the drawer shut, with Pomme inside!

Perhaps they should be renamed the Evil Kittens!

Tee Hee!

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

This morning Mr D spent several minutes wandering around the house muttering darkly about “the little bugger…” George, one of the Very Bad Kittens, has become obsessed by the sheepskin inner soles in Mr D’s slippers. Whenever MrD takes off his slippers, George is there in a flash, stealing the inner sole and running off with it. He knows he’s doing A Bad Thing, because he looks very guilty (is that possible, I wonder) and he will not let us catch him to retrieve the furry delight. It now appears that George has learned that when Mr D isn’t here, he will have taken off his slippers and hidden them in the wardrobe downstairs – because Georg opened the door to the wardrobe (Mr D, learn to lock it!) and sneaked in to steal the inner sole after MrD had gone out!The furry delight (that’s the inner sole, not George!) was eventually found stashed under the armchair in the living room.

I’m just off now to Margaret’s. She’s going to attempt to teach me to crochet. I think she may have her work cut out!


Two Great Weekends

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I had good intentions of blogging more frequently, but somehow work and general laziness always get in the way! When I get home from teaching, I usually spend half-an-hour reading emails and catching up on the Ship of Fools and blogs that I follow, but I don’t have the inclination or time to blog myself. Well,today is a free day. I could do some preparation work, but I’ve decided to mostly spend today doing “me” stuff – reading blogs, blogging, visiting friends, maybe cooking, and doing a little bit of paperwork too.

When I’ve written this post, I’ll probaly go for a wander around the market as well. It’s not the most interesting of markets, with Big Knicker Stalls being popular, but from time to time there is an interesting stall – melons from Cavaillon (although it’s a bit late for them now), the olive and spice man, or local saucissons. Usually I will treat us to a pain au praline as well – a brioche with lurid pink praline and stickiness galore! The baker’s van maybe sold out of these when I get there, but I’ll take that risk.

So, about our great weekends. The first was at the beginning of the month. Our good friends from the UK, Gary & Carlo, came to stay. Mr D and I have known Gary for quite some time (can it really be almost 20 years?!) and Carlo for a little less. Carlo used to be my hairdresser in the UK, and so I was thrilled to find he’d brought his scissors with him! They arrived on Saturday evening: we met them at Vichy station and we’d planned to go out for a meal there, but Gary wasn’t feeling well, so we came straight home. On Sunday we went for a tour of the local region, having lunch in a great little restaurant I’d not been to before, but will definitely go to again. It serves traditional Lyonnaise food – andouillettes, quennelles, sausages – and it was delicious!

On a clear day, you can see Mont Blanc

Mr D shows Carlo the sights from the tower at the Chateau d’Urfé

Three Great Guys

Mr D, Carlo and Gary



On Monday Gary, Carlo and I went shopping! Actually we didn’t buy much, but it was great fun. Mr D is not a Shopper, so he stayed at home to work. We’d planned to go to the Casino, but by the time Carlo had coloured and cut my hair, done a “Gok Wan” on my wardrobe and thrown out half of my clothes, it was too late! Mr D was a bit grumpy with me, but I think I was forgiven…we had a raclette, and salad instead and drank quite a lot and got squiffy.

We went for a walk in the morning (and Carlo cut my friend’s hair too!) This is the view of the chateau at St Just from the hill above the village.

I dropped them off very early in Clermont Ferrand when I went to work. It was too short a time and I hope they’ll be back soon. I need Carlo to advise me on my wardrobe!!!

Our second great weekend was last weekend. The Divine Comedy was playing at Montpellier International Guitar Festival, and Mr D (who has missed live music since we moved here) had splashed out on a couple of tickets for us. He and two friends had planned to cycle to Montpellier, while me and the WAGs drove the Support Car, stopping at B&Bs on the way and staying at another friend’s B&B (see link on sidebar) near Montpellier. Unfortunately Steve’s dad became seriously ill, so he had to go back to the UK, and so the plan came to nought. However, we were going to the concert, so we drove down on Friday, stayed with Louise & Razaq as planned, and went to the concert on Saturday evening.

So on Saturday, Mr D and I went out on our bikes. He’d planned a long 80 km ride to the sea and back, while I planned a less ambitious route. However, my map was too small a scale and I got lost amidst the vineyards in the area. I had a lovely ride, but at times I had to get off and push, as the tracks were too rough and/or stony and I risked punctures. I came across some sculptures, and some of the crosses that litter the French countryside.

The Sea! The sea!


After the ride we went into Pezanas, a pretty little town – but quite busy. I can imagine that in the height of summer it would be horrendous. We found an English bookshop (I bought 3 second hand novels and a jar of mincemeat!) and I could have been tempted in other shops, with such things as earrings, soap and wildly impractical clothing…but all were fripperies and unnecessary. I suppose mincemeat and books aren’t strictly necessary either, but cut me some slack!

Mr D has found a friend!


A number 10 for Les Stylos!


After an enormous late lunch (duck and creme fraiche pizza for Mr D and a mixed grill of beef, duck and lamb for me – we drove to Montpellier, stopping to see the oyster beds in the Etang.

When we arrived in Montpellier, we had a wander and then sat in the shade a drank orange juice, and then moved onto a large glass of red! No food though, we were still stuffed from lunch! The concert was great, even though Neil Hannon had a cold and had to stop to sneeze or cough occasionally! I really enjoyed myself.

On Sunday, we drove to the coast – but didn’t quite get there! We stopped in Agde to get bread for tea, and were seduced by the market, the folklorique display…

…and the fish restaurants on boats moored at the quai of the Herault River. We finally chose the restaurant run by the only remaining fisherman/restauranteur in the village (or so the lady said!) and had a very enjoyable meal. I had fish soup, (which I adore!) with aioli and croutons, followed by a white fish with a Languedoc sauce – tomatoes, garlic and bits of seafood such as cuttlefish, tiny squiddy things etc. I finished with fresh fruit salad.

On our stroll around the village I came across these amazing murals/ trompes d’oeil

If you look really carefully, you can see that what looks like a cluster of buildings, one behind the other, is really painted on a flat wall. It is fabulous – it is just a shame that some **** seemed to think it was a good idea to graffiti it! Why?! I can understand “tagging” on a bare wall (just!) but on a piece of art work that brightens a dull corner? It is beyond me!

Anyway, after lunch we meandered back home, stopping at St Flour for a stroll and a coffee. We got home to our kitties around 7.00. And here is a kitty from Louise & Razaq’s. Marnie was a very insistent cat: he shared our room one night, but wasn’t the best companion, as he wanted loving all the time. So we were quite relieved when he didn’t make an appearance on Saturday night! But here he is wanting to come home with us:

Look! I could fit in your handbag!


Mr D took a picture of me with Marnie. The cat looks cute, but I look blobby and unattractive. So you’re not seeing that!!!

They may be getting used to each other…

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Mr D snapped this shot of our three dear Kitties. They may finally be getting towards tolerating each other now!

From left to right Millie(tabby), George (marmalade) and Pomme (grey-and-white)

George, Milly and La Petite Bretonne

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

George asleep on top of maman

I “popped” round to M’s to see George. An hour and a half later I left, having snapped photos of the kittens. I love these kittens!!! I don’t know how M gets any work done…I could sit and watch them for hours. I do have to say that I have some “war wounds” courtesy of Milly…she has very sharp claws.

George climbs the tree

Playing together...ah,bless!

Milly stalks the hens