Time flies like an arrow…

…fruit flies like a banana.

I don’t know where it’s going!! I’ve certainly been a bit busier at work than in September (thank goodness!!) but I still should have blogged.

I’ve been taken on by another company too, so I will have a bit more work – only an extra 4 hours a week at the moment, but it may increase. I will have to juggle hours carefully between two companies now (and not get my students mixed up!!)

Next Thursday will be my 60th birthday (how did that happen?!). We’re celebrating by having a few days in the UK – we’ll be there for Brexshit Day (the day when the shit hits the fan!!) – so we hope France will let us back in!!

We were away last weekend at a friends’. Daniele and Paul used to live in the village, but when Paul died, Daniele moved away to be closer to her children. We visited her in her new(ish) flat in St Paul Trois Chateaux down in the Drome region.

It’s a very picturesque place. She is well situated, within walking distance of the town centre, with shops and restaurants, and also near to her grandchildrens’ schools. It was lovely to see her and catch up on her news.

If I don’t blog for a bit, don’t worry.


Don’t say the C-word!!

Oh my golly gosh!

I’ve done my Christmas shopping!!

We’re going to the UK soon, and we’ll be seeing both sides of the family…so I have bought some nice things on the Eden Project site, and on Namaste Fair Trade and we’ll have them delivered to my MiL’s house. I can wrap them up, and then deliver them directly (or leave them with MiL)!! That will save on postage costs and awkwardness of wrapping things up to post.

All the nephews and nieces are getting Christmas decorations – I’d usually buy these at the Christmas markets, but Jane & I aren’t going this year (for various reasons) Some books for the great nephews and great nieces (save those in Malaysia…) to be purchased in the UK and we’re done!

I think my Christmas present will be money for a new laptop – I need one for work, and mine died back in February-ish. I’ve been using my phone for downloading audio and videos but it’s not very good, really.

How organised am I?!

Who let the dogs out?

A few months ago, Julie, one of my Dear Readers, asked me if I could draw a zentangle of her mum’s dog as a gift for said mother. I agreed (not knowing what kind of dog it was) and Julie sent me a photo of the dog.

I can’t find it now, but it was a terrier of some kind (Sorry, Julie! I can’t remember what breed now!)  I think it might have been a Border Terrier

the most famous of which is Eccles, from “Coronation Street” as pictured above

Anyway, I searched t’Internet and found a drawing of said terrier breed. And I started my Zentangle….But it was difficult. I was worried I was getting too much Zentangle and not enough dog (if you see what I mean…) So, discouraged, I put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Then last week, I was looking through my old blog posts for something, and came across my offer to draw a zentangle for anyone, and Julie’s request for a dog for her mum. So, rather guiltily, I dug out the half finished drawing and searched t’Internet for some inspiration…which I found in this Zentangle Shih Tzu

So off I went, Zentangling mojo back, and I finished the terrier in a matter of days. Julie has it, and will be giving it to her mum, so I can show you the finished article (click on the picture to biggify it):

Finally I was pleased with how he turned out. I hope Julie’s mum likes him too!

If I’ve promised anyone else a Zentangle please do remind me in the comments…Or if you’d like one doing. Please say – I seem to be ready to do another…

Support a new kid on the blogging block

Some of us have been blogging for ages – I started in 2009 OOOH! I’ve just realised I passed my 10 years’ Blogiversary on 24th August. What a shame I didn’t realise on the day. It would have made for a blog post!!

Anyway…some of us have been blogging for a long time, some of us not so long.

My nephew-in-law has started his blog “The Stay Abroad Dad” He & my niece, Ruth, and their two Littlies are living in Malaysia at the moment. Ruth is working in a new school, and Dave is the Stay At Home Abroad Dad. He writes quite engagingly, so please trot over to say Hello and encourage him in his blogging efforts. I look forward to reading more about their adventures.


I’m here! I’m fine! But just uninspired about what to post about!

But I’m fine.

Here’s a recipe I’m going to try this weekend – Mr FD is trying to lose weight but is missing biscuits and sweet treats a bit. This sounded like a reasonable substitute…



  • 175g dried apricots, chopped
  • 100g light muscovado sugar 
  • 420g tin apricot halves in juice, puréed in a blender
  • 30g low-fat spread
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 125g self-raising flour


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the apricots, sugar, apricot purée and low-fat spread in a medium pan and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients to the cooled apricot mixture, spoon into the tin and bake for 40–50 min until a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 min, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.


We will see. I also have to re-boil (and maybe add pectin to) my Tomato and Chilli jam. It’s more like tomato and chilli gloopy liquid at the moment.

And if you are of the praying nature, please remember a “virtual” friend of mine, who goes by the moniker Piglet. Her husband suffered a stroke after surgery for bowel cancer, and has died. Another person who a fortnight before was reasonably fit and healthy, but who succumbed quickly to cancer and its related evils. May D rest in peace and rise in glory, and may God hold Piglet in the palm of his hand.



Way back in April I went to Paris for a truly joyous occasion: the consecration of Mark Edington as Bishop in charge of the Convocation of the Episcopal Church in Europe (that’s a mouthful!)

I was lucky enough to hear Bishop Michael Curry (he of the wedding of Maghan and Prince Harry fame) It was a privelege. In the Spring edition of “Trinité” the parish magazine of the Episcopal Cathedral in Paris, there were some excerpts of Michael Curry’s sermon published. I thought you might like to read them.



I have looked for the asterisk behind ‘love your neighbor’ limiting who the neighbor was. I have tried my best.

I was on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and I said, I might be wrong, but I don’t think it’s ‘Republicans, love your Republican neighbors; Democrats, love your Democratic neighbors; capitalists, love your capitalist neighbors; communists, love your communist neighbors’.

No, it says: Love Your Neighbor. And who’s your neighbor? It’s everybody else. I mean to tell you, that’s a game-changer. That’s a game-changer in our personal lives, and in the life of this world: to live by love.”

“Now if you don’t believe Jesus, maybe you’ll believe Prime Minister William Gladstone. Actually I didn’t hear him say it, he was in the 19th century, but if you don’t believe Jesus, and you don’t believe William Gladstone, maybe you’ll believe Jimi Hendrix. Because Jimi’s quoting William Gladstone in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, to say it this way:

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace.”

“Love is going the extra mile, love is actually turning the other cheek, love is seeking the good and the welfare and the well-being of others.

The truth is, I used to think the opposite of love was hatred. It dawned on me that the opposite of love is selfishness, self-centeredness, and hatred is a derivative of self-centeredness.

Love is the way of unselfish living, love is the way of selfless service, and I’m here to tell you that if we dare to live by love, we will know a very different world.”

If you would like to read more, this link takes you to the PDF of the magazine. You can read about the consecration in much more detail, should you wish to.