Thursday, 20 July 2017

Return To Sender

Just over two weeks ago we ordered a new dog harness for Rick from Amazon France.  They quoted a week for delivery.  Rick was getting very excited at the prospect of a brand new harness but then we were notified by La Poste that the package had been damaged in transit and returned to sender.  Amazon France were apologetic but, as it had been sent by a third party, they could only refund the money and we would have to re-order the item.  Paul duly re-ordered the harness.  It was supposed to be delivered this morning.  It hasn’t arrived.  Quelle surprise.

In the meantime Rick still gets his exercise.  Philippe’s dogs are in the background looking enviously at Rick’s fun.  Rick just wants to know when he will get his lycra shorts.

Pan-fried green chillies for lunch today.  Thanks for the recipe Cro!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


On Monday we took Rick back to the Nordic forest trails at Prats du Perigord; this time we managed to follow the correct signs and had a pleasant circular 6 km walk.  As we walked back towards the car we passed an elderly gentleman working in his potager.  The conversation went something like this...

“Good morning, have you had a good walk?”
“Hello there, yes we’ve had a very nice walk.”
“What type of boat (bateau) is that?”
Boat?  He can’t mean boat.  Perhaps he’s talking about the dog.
“He’s a Labrit.”
“Yes, he’s a fine dog but what is that (baton) stick your wife is carrying?  You are not using the Nordic poles then?
“Oh, the stick.  Yes, it’s very old.  Over thirty years.”

We continued to the car shaking our heads in frustration at failing to understand the French language better.

The stick I use is just a random piece of wood that Paul found in the garage decades ago.  He varnished it and I like it because it’s just the right height for me and the top is shaped so my hand can easily grip it.  I shall never part with it.

New Forest 1983
Mill Gill Force, Askrigg 1984 with big Afro hair.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A Broken Heart

Thirteen years ago a handsome boy came by and captured my young daughter’s heart.  She was just nineteen years old.  Nine years ago she followed him out to Australia with his dreams and promises.  They had so many plans. Today those dreams and promises are in tatters; the bearded one has abandoned my daughter.  She is heart-broken and distraught.

My heart is breaking too when I see how unhappy she is.  The other side of the world so I can’t even give her hug.  I have been too sad and angry to write my blog but tales of Rick and life in France will resume shortly.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Sharing His Space

We had a good ride out this morning but I felt guilty leaving Rick at home although he does give us a wonderful welcome when we get home.  He gets an hour’s walk morning and evening and I always accompany him and Paul for the evening walk.  I just find walking so much more difficult than cycling, my hip and knees suffer as soon as we start to climb (there are a lot of hills around here).  It’s so slow and I really miss feeling the wind in my hair.  I shall persevere and hopefully get fitter.  It’s a pity Rick can’t ride a bike.

When we adopted Rick the refuge warned us that he can be territorial and aggressive in the car.  This goes entirely against his normal docile and loving character.  He has his own duvet in the back of our estate car and was initially quite nervous and growly if anyone approached him when he was in the car.  Paul has been working with him and spends time every day sitting in the boot (trunk), getting Rick to share his space.  It might look crazy but it has worked really well and he is a much happier dog now and seems perfectly relaxed about his place in the car.  Now we just have to try and train him not to bark at white vans.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Flying Dutchman

This morning we left Rick at home and went for an hour’s cycle ride.  Through the forest track, down donkey valley, out by the wood yard and then the long climb into Villefranche.  We stopped for a quick breather in town and watched as a gentleman shot past on his bike.  He was clearly Dutch, easily identifiable from his upright style of bicycle.

“I think he’s staying with Annie and Bert,” said Paul.  Annie and Bert are our Dutch neighbours.  “Let’s see if we can get back before him.”

I pedalled like fury, huffing and puffing, until I realised the absurdity of a 61 year old woman giving chase to a Dutchman at least a decade older than me.  Needless to say that by the time we got back to the hamlet the gentleman was sitting in his garden drinking coffee and eating raw herrings.  

I am suffering from itchy feet at the moment, probably due to poor circulation.  It drives me crazy.  Love is when your husband fetches you a bowl of icy cold water to dip your feet in.  Bliss!