Weekly Round Up

If nothing else, I’ll try to keep up with my weekly round ups of life here at Dormouse Towers – of course, this relies on me being able to remember what I did!

Saturday is our day (well, morning) for cleaning up. Mr FD takes The Beast (a washing/vacuuming the floor hybrid) around while I generally tidy and put things away. Then in the afternon, it rained (I think) so we did our own thing. For me, that was tweaking my sermon, and sorting out the Order of Service, watching Silent Witness, and faffing around in my study; for Mr FD it was watching some sporting event.

On Sunday I was down at Church preaching and leading the service. It’s our last service before the “Summer schedule” – we rent the church building from the Eglise Reformée. They have an architecturally remarkable church in the centre of the city. Unfortunately, it’s not very well ventilated (that’s architects for you!) so in the heat of the summer they prefer to migrate to the little cool chapel. So they take the 10.30 slot, and we move to 17.30 in the evening – which isn’t at all convenient for those of us who live some distance away. As many of our congregation go waay for summer, we only have services every other week.

Our little chapel
Eglise Reformée

There were quite a lot of people there (for our congregation!) so it was good to share some conversation. We had planned a picnic/barbecue in someone’s garden, but unfortunately it was lashing down with rain, so that was put on hold.

On Monday I had a lesson planned, early-ish, at 8.50. After that, I planned the final lessons at school. I sent them off to the teachers, only to receive news that the damage to the school from the hailstorms last week was so bad that the school is closed until next September. So no school for me on Friday! In the afternoon I set to and ironed my pile of ironing. Mr FD is very good and does his every Sunday morning – he’s always been very disciplined about this. I wait until I run out of clothes, or my ironing pile is so dangerously tall that I can’t put another garment on it!

On Tuesday I had a face to face lesson in Montbrison – this is a 2 hour lesson, between 12.00 and 14.00, but it’s a 45 minute drive there, so it takes up more time than I’m paid for…although I am also getting some money for travel from the company that employs me. I planned tomorrow’s lessons, wrote my shopping list for tomorrow and then set off. I usually buy a sandwich for lunch, and eat half before the lesson and then half afterwards!

After the lesson I had to take the car for its Controle Technique (the French equivalent of MOT test) in Noiretable. After leaving the car at the Test Centre I went for a walk around the countryside. Just a couple of kilometres, but still better than nothing.

Wednesday was my kiné session. Today Jean Claude worked on my sciatica with a massage, which was much more relaxing than balancing on rubber cobblestones, but still was quite painful in its way! I had a break of 2 hours before my first lesson, so I got some of the shopping done at Lidl and had a wander round Noz. I also popped into the sopfa factory shop (clearance sale) but there was nothing suitable. We are keeping our eyes open for a corner unit but the necessary measurements are a bit awkward. We’ll probably go made to measure in the end… After my first lesson I had another hour’s gap so went for another shortish walk. But another 2 km or so on the total – every little helps!

After my second lesson I finished the shopping (cool stuff) and went home. I was very hot by now, so after unpacking I collapsed with a cold drink and a fluffy kitten.

On Thursday I had an online lesson with a new student – he’s very nice with a good level of English. I caught up with some admin work and then had another online lesson. Over lunch, I watched the final of The Great British Sewing Bee (a bit disappointed by the winner) before painting some more pebbles for convention and faffing. I played with Lucky Jim as well. He’s still confined to his play pen when we’re not around, mostly for his own safety, as he hasn’t quite worked out that Bib would probably hurt him if he continues to bounce up on her! He’s always happy to come out.

And here we are on Friday – today I have to make a card for a friend’s wedding. Unfortunately I’m not going…It promises to be a splendid affair. As Guy works in the Houses of Parliament the ceremony is in the chapel there, the wedding breakfast in the Member’s dining room and the evening reception on the Terrace.

The chapel
The Terrace
The dining room.

Mr FD can’t get the holiday off work, and neither can my friend A who was going to come. I certainly don’t want to go alone, and anyway, with the chaos that is happening at airports now (and I would have had to fly) I think it’s all for the best. But I am a little disappointed… Anyway, I can at least make a card for the happy couple!

Our menus this week have been/will be

MondayStuffed peppers – Mexican rice, kidney beans, chicken – avocado & tomato salad
TuesdayChicken & courgette quiche, left over Mexican rice, salad
WednesdayBrochettes, salad, tabouleh
ThursdayPasta with a red pepper and pesto sauce, mushrooms & lardons
FridayPizza & salad
SaturdayChicken & sweet potato curry
SundayCreamy steak fettucine Recipe here

And at the end of all that, here’s a Sleepy Time Jim

What a total Cutie!

AWOL

Again, I’ve been away from my blog without leave, as it were…I haven’t known what to write about, although Lucky Jim has been keeping us entertained. Since you last saw him he has really grown up, and is now much more like a kitten than a hamster…

Yes, I am remarkably cute
I am helping Meowma with her work.

So I thought I’d just update you on what I’ve done this week and maybe at least try to do a newsy post once a week…

On Saturday ansd Sunday it was H-O-T far too hot for my liking – up in the high 30s – and so we stayed at home in “Hot Weather Protocol” as Mr FD calls it: open shutters and windows early on, to let in cooler air, then close both to keep out hot air. If the evening cools down, then open everything up again. I ventiured out to feed the poor cats but that was about it.

On Monday I had to go into school – usually I work there on Friday, but Friday had been their Fete de l’Ecole so they were rehearsing all day for an evening performance. So I was in on Monday instead. So HOT!! I was dripping by the end of the day (TMI) so I called in at a supermarket on the way home to pick up some more drinks. Yes, water is fine, but we do like something different occasionally. As I was there I saw in the clothes section a really nice dress. Now, I am not a dress person, as I have “chub rub” (top of the thighs rubbing together) and I can never find pretty sandals to wear with my inner soles. But two teachers at school had been wearing similar loose fitting dresses with plimsolls and looked really cool. So on the spur of the moment, I bought it. I love it! I have a pair of anti-chub-rub tight-material knickers, which are a bit old and holey, but would do the job until I bought some more.

Here is my dress. On a slimmer model!!!

I wore the dress on Tuesday and it was much admired. And it was cool. Huzzah! I had two lessons on Tuesday, one face to face, the other online. They were relatively easy. Although I did “lie down on the sofa to rest my eyes” and despite setting my alarm, woke up later than planned (with my alarm peeping to itself) so I was late for my face to face. Happily, Magalie is very laid back and it wasn’t a problem. I also had a quick look at the Lectionary for Sunday, and chose hymns that I think will fit the theme that I think I will be preaching on. Of course, everything might change and the hymns are completely wrong for the theme, but if that’s the case, I don’t suppose anyone will notice!!

On Wednesday I was in Roanne all day – I have a kiné session first thing to help strengthen my ankles. Jean Claude had me balancing on strange squishy cobble-like things, which is quite tricky. When he asked me to balance on one foot it was even harder. I had to have one finger touching the wall, but if I took that finger off, I immediately overbalanced! Then I went to Lidl to get as much non-chilled shopping as possible. A quick whiz round Noz then time for lunch – a salad in the car (Still really HOT!!) and on to a lesson. Then Carrefour for the other non-chilled stuff I couldn’t get in Lidl, and another lesson. This is with Aya, who is in 4ème: she has a good level of English for this year group. She’s a pleasure to teach. Then off to “teach” two children (usually three, but Charline was at a dance rehearsal) who are French, but have lived in the US and Singapore, so their english is good. It’s just to continue speaking. So today we did a craft activity making mobiles.

Just before I was going to leave, there was a mighty wind and the rain, and then hail swept in. The hailstones were the size of marbles. Of course, I lost the children’s attention, as grandparents hurried round the house to close windows etc. It was a short sharp burst, ending after about 15 minutes. However, we caught the edge of the storm – only a kilometre or so down the road, cars had their windscreen smashed to pieces, sheds and patio furniture were battered to pieces, houses were damaged…Mr FD’s car is now pitted with pock marks from the hail (he was at work not far from where I was) but it wasn’t too bad for him. I left the lesson and drove home (through sunshine!) calling in at the supermarket Intermarché to buy the chilled items – I can’t buy them any earlier in the day as they would go “off” with the heat. Glad to get home after a busy day!

On Thursday I was about to start sorting out my stuff for school today (Friday) when I got a message saying that school had been so damaged by the storms it was closed on Thursday & Friday. I don’t exactly know what had happened but I was told that some classrooms were unusable! Happily though, the children don’t go to school on Wednesday, so nobody was injured. I had been expecting an email with links to an online course in Safeguarding that I have to take, due to take place on Thursday lunchtime, but I got nothing….I don’t know if I missed a previous email, or what, but I couldn’t connect to something I had no info for….So my Thursday was suddenly freer than I expected. Instead of using my time wisely, I faffed around and did very little. Partly because Jim was wandering round my study and disturbing me (previous photo) and biting my ankles. Bless him!

And so here we are on Friday – the weather has broken, at least for now, and it is rainy and cool, which is a relief for everyone, I imagine. Certainly for me. I am writing this, and then I’m going to take advantage of a free day to try to craft my sermon for Sunday. I also need to go for a walk and to pop to the local supermarket, as I had planned to go to Lidl for various meat related items on the way home from school, but that’s not to be, so I’ll see what I can get in our local Carrefour. Tomorrow will probably include some cleaning, and on Sunday we have our church picnic. So I need to make a banana cake and some coleslaw to take (There’ll be a barbecue, so I’ll be taking some meat bought today!)

There we are. That’s my week. And should you be interested, here’s what we ate

MondayPizza & salad
TuesdaySalmon, simply steamed and flaked into sweet chilli sauce, new potatoes, salad
WednesdayBacon & spinach omelette, fried potatoes, salad
ThursdayVegetable & cheese pasta bake
FridaySteak, fried potatoes, salad
Saturday(planned) Pulled pork, salad, coleslaw and flatbreads
Sunday(planned) BBQ at church picnic for me; same for Mr FD but not BBQed

I’m getting a bit predictable in the cooking now: Wednesday (after shopping) is always omelette, Thursday is always pasta bake (because I take leftovers to school for lunch) and Friday is always pizza & salad as I’m too knackered after school for much else! Except we had it on Monday this week! Still I can be a bit more creative the other days. If I can be arsed…

Jubilee Schmoobilee

The UK is in the midst of the weekend of bank holidays for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Here in France, we are in the midst of nothing! I’m not planning on watching any of the coverage on TV, nor organising a street party here in St Just.

I admire the Queen in a vague way, but am certainly no Monarchist. Generally, I think the Royal Family needs to be modernised, streamlined and perhaps less wealthy. But I do admire the Queen for her fortitude, her dedication to her job and her country, and her quietly overt faith. So still, God Bless You, Ma’am.

I bedecked the house for one Jubilee weekend, in 2012

I’m not doing it again!

In Other News:

Lucky Jim is growing well – he’s practically tripled in weight since he joined us. He’s been to school where I teach – Mr FD was in the office yesterday and I was in school all day. Lucky Jim would need feeding during the day – so I took him to school, and he spent all day in an empty classroom in his play pen. As I didn’t have permission, I smuggled him in inside a sports bag. He was actually very discreet and didn’t meep once! He’s not weaned yet, nor does he use a litter tray, but he’ll get there. He certainly looks like a kitten instead of a hamster – and he went through the night without a feed last night! (Only because I set my alarm incorrectly and it didn’t go off!!)

Tonight Mr FD and I are going to Clermont Ferrand for a meal and a concert. Someone from Church is partner in a restaurant/bar and is also organising what he calls “Concerts with a Conscience” to raise money for charity. Tonight’s concert is by a group called Heartless Bastards, and is to support Ukrainian refugees in Clermont. I don’t know what the music will be like, but hopefully we’ll enjoy it!

St Just Saturday

I gave myself a treat – because Lucky Jim required a 12.00, and a 4.00 feed (we’d somehow got out of sync) Mr FD did the 8.00 feed and I stayed in bed until gone 9.00. Lucky Jim had an “activity time” with me in bed – I made an arena with me and the bed clothes, so he could wander round and climb and exercise. He’s getting quite mobile now, and lifts himself up onto his front paws, like he’s doing mini press ups!

By the time I roused myself Mr FD was vaccuuming the living room…and then went on through the house. He’s a star like this. His “reward” is that I do the washing up and putting away all weekend. No problem. I put out the washing and tidied the kitchen a bit, and then we both relaxed. Mr Fd with the Giro d’Italia on TV, and me footling round in the study. And feeding Lucky Jim (WOT? Again?!)

Lunch was a chicken pate and salad sandwich (made with wild garlic mayonnaise – yum!) and some tortilla chips, a mini Babybel and a biscuit. I think an apple featured too. Then more footling.

We had both been invited to a Leaving Party for friends from church who were going back to the UK, but Mr FD doesn’t know them well so he opted to stay home and have some Boy Time with Lucky Jim and the other cats. I cooked a frozen Flammekeuke to take (that is, it was frozen before I cooked it!) and then set off for the party

The route is quite a windy one, taking about 30 minutes. However a short section of road through one of the villages on the way was closed necessitating a 15km detour, which was really annoying. I vowed that on the way back I’d risk coming back through the village, as there would be likely to be a route through the roadworks for residents. And no work would be being done on Saturday evening.

The party was fun, and it was good to see our friends, and say Goodbye to them. My dinner was a lot of nibbley things which suits me fine. I love nibbly things!! I left at about 8.30, (it started early, as there were lots of kids there) and set off home on the route I knew, but I had my Sat Nav on, just in case. But somewhere between my friends and the blocked off village I had a crisis of confidence, and decided to put my faith in the Sat Nav. Well that was a mistake!

I have always mentally mocked those people who follow their Sat Nav slaveishly even though it takes them a ridiculous route…I turned into one of them. I was directed to follow a narrow road, which quickly turned into a very rutted track. I followed it thinking “This will only be a short bit of track and then it will be road again”. By the time I realised I was wrong, there was no possibility of turning round. I had to keep going.

OK, not QUITE this bad (and not muddy) but fairly like this. And I have a Nissan Micra!

I followed this mad route for about 3 km, at a snail’s pace – hearing a few ominous clunks as I hit a rock or two – until coming out onto a country road ; tarmacked, thankfully! I followed the Sat Nav’s instructions (but no longer with any trust in it!) and came across the village with the road closure! Yes, the road was closed, but yes, there was a route through. I could have gone the way I knew without the need to traverse a rally cross trail! I hope I will be forgiven for my extremely fruity language! Finally, I got home, having taken an hour instead of 30 minutes. Even if I’d taken the diversion I’d’ve been home quicker!!

Lucky Jim had a feed and then I went to bed. A 2 am and a 6 am feed.

Fur-less Friday

Today my maternity leave was over! I had to leave Lucky Jim in the capable hands of Mr FD as I went off to teach at school. LJ had a feed at 2.00 am and another at 6.00. Then I had breakfast and got ready for school.

Here’s school

I arrived at 8.00 as usual (when I’m on my own. If Mr FD is working in the office we travel together, and I get there earlier) and got my resources ready for the classes. My first, 8.30 – 9.50, was abut school subjects, and used adjectives. “I think science is —” I like teaching this class as the teacher is also very engaged in the lesson and joins in. This is a great help for me. We watched a video and discussed school uniform. I showed them pictures of myself in school uniform which caused hilarity.

Then it was CM2 – these are 10/11 years old. They are a tricky class, and while the teacher intervenes if behaviour gets too rowdy, she usually just sits at her desk. They had an evaluation on comparative & superlative adjectives (supposedly learned for homework) – I’ve not marked them yet, but those I saw weren’t great…This lesson is from 10.00 to 11.00, and is followed by a lesson with a mixed class of CE1 ( 7-8 years) and CE2 (8-9 years). They have a split lesson, 11.00 – 11.30, when school stops for lunch, and 1.45 – 2.15. Their teacher is a little more engaged, but not much, but they’re a good group.

We are talking about houses at the moment so we looked at vocabulary for the bedroom. We watched a video (really weird singing which had the children in hysterics) and used flash cards.

Usually at lunch time I plan two or three lessons for the following Friday, but as next week is the day after a bank holiday, the school is closed. This is called “taking le pont” (the bridge) It is common, if abank holiday is on a Thursday or a Tuesday for people to take the intervening day between the bank holiday and the weekend as well. So, there was no urgency to plan, and also it was so very hot!! I just sat in the empty classroom and caught up on FB. And asked Mr FD how Lucky Jim was doing, of course!

I had yesterday’s leftover pasta, an apple and a couple of biscuits for lunch, and then put my head down on a desk for thirty minutes shut-eye: not exactly sleeping but certainly not exactly awake!

Back to work at 1.45. The children drew and labelled a bedroom and coloured it in, while I went round and asked “What colour is the lamp…the bed…the rug…etc”

Then it was CE2, with another teacher who works hard on English during the week. Consequently, the children mostly have a good range of vocabulary & can answer questions well. They had an evaluation test, which I haven’t marked yet, and then I taught them “Old MacDonald had a Farm” The verdict was “génial!” (brilliant)

A break of 15 minutes – I drank lots of water – and then the last lesson, 3.30 – 4.30. This lesson is with another CE1 group. The teacher, I fear, does not enjoy her job, and is often complaining about the class. She’s not very engaged with the lesson, and usually wanders around doing other jobs in the classroom. Again, I did similar work with the class as the other CE1/CE2 class: vocabulary for the bedroom. However, this group don’t know their colours very well, so it was a bit harder to ask questions.

4.30 arrived and I went back to the classroom where my things were. I drank more water and packed up. I had a kiné appointment (physiotherapy) at 5.30, so I drove to where it was, and then sat in the shade of a nearby park and watched the kids playing. My appointment is to help strengthen my ankles, and improve my balance, so I don’t fall over as much, so the kiné had me balancing on boards and balls. I’ve been to him before when my back was constantly bad, but I’d not seen him since before my cancer, and before I started walking more, because my back problems have diminished. It was nice to catch up with him. He’s a keen motor cyclist and is going to the IoM TT races in a couple of weeks, so while I was trying to balance he was asking me loads of questions about where in the UK they should visit, and where he could get good food. I suggested Winchester, Chester, Ludlow and Liverpool (they are sailing to the IoM from Heysham, just up the coast from Liverpool) and getting a copy of The Good Pub Guide!

Home at last (calling in via The Poor Cats, to feed them ) to pizza and salad, and a cuddle with Lucky Jim. Mr FD said he’d not really peed or poohed, but he performed for me. Lucky Jim then had an Adventure half hour, when, hemmed in my a wall of cushions, he explored the sofa and climbed all over me.

We watched (or rather, I dozed through) TaskMaster and an episode of Chicago Med, and then I went up to bed. And promptly fell asleep. (Until two hours later, when Jim needed his feed. And then four hours after that when he needed another feed!!)

Thursday with Lucky Jim

I woke at 8.00 and went into feeding the cat mode – how do people with babies do this?! I know it will be over in a few weeks, but it goes on for months with children! Once Lucky Jim was fed, I could have breakfast and catch up with Wordle and the news. After half an hour footling in my study it was time to load Jasper into his basket. He’s a weight!

I’m not big; just perfectly formed.

We got to the vets, and Jasper had his vaccinations and weighed in at 8 kg something – he’s lost 2 kg since last year, but he still needs to lose more weight. The problem is, he’s relatively lazy and relatively greedy! We’ll keep on what we’re doing, so hopefully he’ll continue to lose. Lucky Jim was checked over, and as the vet showed me how to stimulate him to pee/poo, he let out a relatively enormous fart and then oh boy, did he poo!!!! Well done, Lucky Jim! The vet did say he was a bit cool, so when we got home I put a hot water bottle under his sleeping pad.

I also exchanged the rabbit I bought on Wednesday and was in his carrier, for the sheep that had been in his cage originally. I thought he’d prefer the rabbit, because it was squashy, but the sheep is definitely preferred. Maybe because it was in his carrier first – it was the only soft toy I had to put in with him. He’s been cuddling up to it and sleeping peacefully since his last feed at 14.00.

After I got back from the Vets I started to do some work – happily, Alizée, the student who had been abandoned for Lucky Jim on Monday, had cancelled her re-scheduled lesson on Thursday, as I was worried about how I’d fit everything in thatI had to do! So I was able to complete the preparation for school tomorrow. I was thinking LJ would have to come to school, but in fact Mr FD is working from home, so he’ll be on Mama duties!

I was feeding Lucky Jim in the bedroom on Thursday morning, and Mr FD wandered in.

-How’s he doing? he asked

– OK. He’s certainly eating well, I replied.

– We’ll have to give him away, Mr FD said.

– What?! I yelped. I’m not giving him away.

There was a pause. Mr FD thought about what he’d said…

– No, no, he clarified. I meant give him a weigh. He’s not going anywhere.

Relief all round.

Pasta bake for dinner, using spinach and leeks, and long cabbage from the veggie box. Lucky Jim just got formula, but he seemed happy with that!!.

Wednesday’s wanderings

Today was Big Adventure time for LJ. Mr FD was at work, and I had to go to Roanne for the shopping and to teach. So Lucky Jim was coming with me.

It was a bit of a rush to get ready, as I had to collect my vegetable box first (young leeks, spinach, potatoes, spring onions, salad leaves and baby turnips) and then plan the meals for the week, taking this into account. Then I had to prepare the shopping list, feed Jim and get ready to go before 9.15. As I was leaving, the women from next door asked if one of the cats was ill (as LJ was in the carrier) I explained his story, and so they wanted to meet him.

I was a bit late but had time to get the first shopping tranche in Lidl. I had planned to park in the shade and leave Jim in the car, but it was too hot. So he was in the trolley instead. Not a peep from him. Then we got to the carpark where I park for my town centre lesson – time to prepare his second feed of the day. He really is getting the hang of this now; he recognises his “Feeding Towel” and nows what is coming next!

I arrived at my student’s office but she was not there. Hmm. There’s a nice Italian deli/café a few doors down, so I sent Yvalda a text and went there to have a very enjoyable lemonade. Lucky Jim was admired.

A cat about town!

No word from Yvalda, so I abandoned that lesson and called in at Action to buy a few bits, including a squishy rabbit for Jim. Again, Lucky Jim sat in the cat carrier and was unremarked upon. Then we went to a shady spot for a picnic lunch. I usually have another student at 12.45 – 13.30 but she wasn’t available today, so I had time to be more relaxed.

I had a yummy salad, and some fruit-and-nuts, and a cookie. Lucky Jim had nothing, as it wasn’t feeding time yet.

Then off to Carrefour, where once more he travelled around the supermarket in the trolley. This time the checkout assistent did raise her eyebrow as we went through the till, but nothing was actually said. It was time for a feed, so I used the baby changing area, and then sat in the air conditioned foyer to Carrefour for 15 minutes before my next lesson. A little girl was most taken with Lucky Jim, and wanted to see him, so out he came to be admired.

It was time for my lesson with Aya; she’s in 4ème, so she’s fourteen years old and has quite a good level of English. Probably much better than some of her school mates. She admired LJ, and then we continued her lesson, reading and talking about slavery in the days before Martin Luther King.

From her house, it’s a bit of a dash to the next lesson, with three children. They are aged between 5 and 10 years old, and have lived in the US and Singapore before coming back to France. Their parents don’t want them to lose their English so I go to talk and write with them. Sadly, they are moving to Paris in the summer, so I won’t teach them after that, which is a shame, as it’s good fun (and good money!) I arrived at the appartment, and rang the bell: no reply. They weren’t there. Cursing I searched for the phone number of mum, but couldn’t find it (I’d written it on paper but not put it into my phone) so another abandoned lesson. Grr! I found out today that Mum had sent me an email, asking me to go the grandparents’ house instead – sometimes I do this – but my teaching email account seems to be playing up, and I didn’t receive it!

On the way home I called into Intermarché to get the chilled goods – Mr Fd was going to do this, but as I had time, I did it instead. Lucky Jim was loaded into a shopping trolley for the 4th time and went around the store. No sound from him. He was fast asleep…as was I after I’d unloaded and put the shopping away at home!

Feeding at 18.00 for Jim; feeding at 19.00 for us – bacon-and-mushroom omelette, fried potatoes, salad and a cheeky Coconut Lion bar for dessert. An episode of Bake Off, and one of Chicago Med before I fell into bed (after a 22.00 feed for the Kitten). Lucky Jim is taking over my life, a bit like a baby!! Feeds at 2.00 and 5.30 am.

Tiny Cat Tuesday

Lucky Jim and I survived the night! I woke up at two-and-a-half hourly intervals and he took almost two full doses of formula. I’ve still not been able to get him to pee/poo so I’m going to the Vet later this morning to get advice. Lots of people on a FB group have been helpful & supportive, and I have friends who live in Lyon, but come to their farmhouse near here most weekends. They are true cat lovers and will help me out with Lucky Jim, I’m sure. Marie Odile will help too, so I feel supported.

He is going to have to be a travelling cat though, as I have lessons in Roanne tomorrow – he’ll have to come with me so I can feed him. Some Fridays he may even have to come to school with me, unless Mr FD is working from home! Or maybe Mr FD can take him to the office, which may be a better solution.

More later…

But there wasn’t more later!! I forgot to catch up.

So it’s now Thursday, but Tuesday went well. Lucky Jim is getting used to the bottle now.

I spent the morning getting prepared for Wednesday’s lessons, and looking after LJ. I watched an episode of Silent Witness over lunch, and then I had a lesson at 14.00. José is a sweetheart, but he hasn’t progressed enormously in his 35 hours of lessons. However, he is now able to have a conversation (if a little stilted, and with smatterings of French thrown in) so that is encouraging.

Getting the hang of how the bottle works…

15.00 saw time for another LJ feed, and then I lay on the sofa “for a little nap”. Two hours later I woke up as Mr FD walked through the door!! Another feeding time for LJ and then feeding time for us!! Tonight we had pan fried salmon, with fried potatoes and mushrooms, and a big salad. Fairly quick and easy.

We watched the first episode of “Ten Per Cent” (Or “Call My Agent” ) – I know we’re way behind many people with this, but we’ve only been able to get the French version before now, which we didn’t understand! Mr FD found the UK version, so at last…! We watched one episode and then I started to fall asleep!

Are you my Mummy? ( Doctor Who fans will understand!)

Just another Manic Monday

I was (as predicted) woken by Mr FD slamming the front door. I lingered in bed until my alarm rang, 15 minutes later, by which time cats had been galumphing around the house with ever increasing urgency!

So shower, cat feeding, putting washing in the machine and breakfast followed in swift succession. Coffee, orange juice, toast-and-marmalade: almost always the same (with a variation of toast-and-banana from time to time). Over breakfast I completed Wordle, checked FB and read The Guardian online. I hung out the washing and then scoted upstairs for my online lesson.

This student is a pleasure to teach: a good level (though with a strong Venezualan accent) and happy to talk and eager to learn. The hour just whizzes by. Then, with a fresh cup of coffee, I wrote up her lesson summary to send, and found an article on the British higher education system for her – she’d requested it. Next it was sending the school planning to the teachers…and also writing to the training organisation with whom I’m working to ask if they would pay travel costs for the lessons with my new student. They’ve agreed a fixed amount, which, although it doesn’t cover all the costs, is much better than a poke in the eye.

Lunch was a sandwich, tortilla chips, a nut bar and an apple. I’ll take some dried fruit and a banana with me when I go to Montbrison, just in case I get hungry later on. I watched an episode of “Silent Witness” over lunch, and then prepared the beanburgers for tonight’s meal. We’re going to have them with coleslaw and salad and wraps, so there’s not too much cooking for Mr FD to do. He’s perfectly capable, but will have worked a full day, so I want to make it relatively easy for him.

I forgot to say that yesterday I fed the Poor Cats of the village too. Here are two of them. The first I’ve called Bi-bi (Pronounced Bee-Bee) after the ginger cat someone I knew had. This one appears occasionally; we’re not sure if he’s a stray or an opportunist. He’s in quite good nick. The other I’ve called Benni. She’s ever so friendly. Again in quite good condition, but Marie Odile, who feeds them with me & knows more about the cats than I do, is sure she’s a stray. I’d like to take Benni in, but Mr FD and Three Cats say “Non”.

Bi-bi tucks in. Shortly after, a regular visitor, called Toute Noire, because she is all black, arrived to share the food.
Benni plays at being aloof – for a second or two!
I insist you stroke me NOW!

So, all was going well and I set off for my lesson…about 5 minutes from home, I saw a dead cat in the road. As I swerved around the body, I saw it move! The cat was alive! I stopped the car and went to pick it up…and saw next to the cat a tiny kitten! I loaded both into the car, abandoned my lesson (I did contact the student, I hasten to add) and drove to the Vets. Sadly by the time I got there, Mama cat had died. The vet gave me some kitten formula and voila! Unless I found the owner, I had gained a kitten.

I went back to the place where I’d found them and asked at the houses. Fairly quickly I found the owner who couldn’t care less about the dead mother. He didn’t want the kitten, and said “I’ll give it to you”. I thought that it wouldn’t have a chance if I left it there, so the kitten came home with me. I’m only sorry that I know that somewhere there are probably Lucky Jim’s siblings who won’t have survived, but I can’t do anything about them. Very sad face.

During the evening both Mr FD and I tried to get Lucky Jim (it’s a boy) to feed but he wasn’t really interested. The other cats kept their distance, except Bib who came and hissed some very rude words. But we brushed him with a toothbrush, to simulate his mum’s tongue, which he seemed to like, and gave him lots of love. Though I’m trying hard not to get too attached, as I’m only too aware there’s a long way to go.

We did watch some TV but quite frankly I can’t remember what! Set my alarm for two hourly intervals – I’ve not had children, but I suspect I may get an idea of what nightly feeds are all about!

Meet Lucky Jim