60 before 60 redux

Thank you to those of you who happily offered their lists of “experiences” or challeges for my perusal – I appreciate the offer…However, that wasn’t quite what I meant. I actually would like you to choose a challenge/thing to do for me…It could be as simple as “Invite French friends for an English afternoon tea” (I quite like that one!!) or a bit more challenging.

I like The Home Place Web’s suggestion of an art exhibition/show…One of my students recently said that a restaurant she goes to has art work for sale on the walls. Perhaps I could explore that possibility.

So those of you who said “You’re welcome to choose from my list” please could YOU choose something from your list…The proviso being that it incurs (if that’s the right word) little or no cost. Sadly, that might put Shazza’s llama trekking out of the picture, but maybe I could visit the llama farm which isn’t too far from here…

So N°1 on the list of A Few Things Before I’m 60 is organise some kind of art show.

What’s going to be N°2?

 

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60 before 60…?

I’m going to be 60 next birthday. Eeep, how did that happen?!

People often plan “35 before I’m 35” things to do…I don’t think I can manage to do , or even think of 60 things!

But – here’s a challenge – I’m going to ask each of those of you who really do read my posts instead of just clicking “like” without reading to suggest one thing that I could do. Preferably nothing that costs a lot of money…for example, I’d love to fly in a hot air balloon over the Chaine des Puys…but it’s way too expensive

But something that might be fun, or interesting, or slightly off-beat, or a challenge (but not too challenging!)

And I’ll try to do them! So get your thinking caps on, and put your suggestions in the Comments.

Mr FD has set in motion our joint 60th Birthday treat – he’s booked tickets to see Big Big Train in Newport, Wales on 1st November. We have friends in South Wales and the south of England, so we’ll try to get to see them. We’re going to set up a virement each month into Mr FD’s Livret A account (savings account) so that the money quietly transfers, and mounts up, without us noticing. Not too much, but enough to help spread the cost. Hopefully we’ll be able to stay with our friends, but it would be nice to maybe have one night in a posh hotel…

Here’s a Big Big Train song for you

Oh, how true!

Last night, I had Bib either taking up most of my pillow, or licking/nibbling my ear so I’d lift the covers to let her in (why can’t she go in by herself?!), Millie sprawled between my feet, and Jasper was taking up more than his fair share of the Napping Quarters on Mr FD’s side of the bed. Only Pomme was absent, and that’s because she’s less and less inclined to climb stairs now. Bless them!

But we know that they would always come to our aid, should we need them!

Yeah,right….

1918 – 2018

Four years ago, when it was Remembrance Day for the commemmoration of the beginning of the First World War, I wrote the following post.

Today, commemmorating the end of the First World War, I am going to duplicate the post. It still sums up what I feel:

PEACE HAS TO BE LEARNED

Apparently that great orator (!) Sylvester Stallone once said:

“I could start a war in 30 seconds. But some countries spend 100 years trying to find peace. Just like good manners, peace has to be learned.
I don’t know if this was in a role for a film, or as Sylvester Stallone, but on today, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, call it what you will, it’s a thought worth thinking about:
Peace has to be learned
And sadly, with its thirst for power – dressed up as patriotism, or as religious fervour, or any other name it is given to justify it – this world (or rather the people within it) needs to learn peace.
I will say no more. I don’t have the skill with words. Many people all over the “blogosphere” will be trying to put into words their thoughts on this portentous day, 100 years after the First World War, the war that was heralded as “the war to end all wars”, but which became the war after which there has never actually been peace throughout the world…
I will simply leave you with this most moving of songs and videos, by the late Clifford T Ward. It is beautiful, and leaves me weeping everytime I listen to it. Please click on the link and take 5 minutes to listen & remember
DAY TO MYSELF
Clifford T Ward
 It’s all so different now
From just a few weeks ago
When April was about to smile on England
And I had to go

So here I am again
Far from where the blackbird sings
And lanes I love to walk along
Lost in my thoughts

And what of you my love
Though you’re so far away
Yet so close to me in all I do and see

And so on my day off
I could have chosen monuments
Historic chateaux, palaces
Or finding ways of improving my French

Instead I wandered out alone
Here where woods and fields abound
And in a quiet corner found the resting place
Of English soldiers killed in war

And what of them my love

Who died so far from home
No last farewell kiss
All that remains is this

It makes me so ashamed to feel alone
Whatever would they think of me
For I shall see my love again

It’s all so different now
From those few years ago
When April smiled so sweetly still
And they had to go

 

 

Interlude

As I’m starting work (a bit) this week, posting might become less regular. But, if I can, I’ll do some scheduled posts when I have time.

Maybe I should train the cats to make their contribution

Ooh-er, missus, that’s a big one!

Goodness – how do people who have big vegetable plots process everything that they grow?! We only get gifted stuff and I get bored, or uninspired, by what we have! Which, I realise, makes me sound like an extremely ungrateful so-and-so, but what I mean is, I haven’t exactly chosen to grow this produce, but it seems mean to turn it away.

As many people know, we’re coming to the end of the courgette/zucchini season: we were given a monster courgette by our neighbour yesterday. It’s sitting on the worktop, glaring at me balefully. It knows that I know that its skin will be tough and the flesh watery, so it won’t exactly be very nice when cooked. It knows that I know that all the recipes I can think of that use marrow/courgette (courgette cake, muffins, bread…) are not very Slimming World friendly.

 

But what it doesn’t know is that, having also been gifted an enormous bag of apples (already cooked some up to have with yoghurt for breakfast), I have found a recipe for marrow-and-apple chutney and I have lots of clean jam jars.

It will be used tomorrow…and although chutney isn’t exactly SW friendly, it certainly stretches out the “syns” so it isn’t so bad as a muffin! We’ve also run out of chutney too.

Mind you, I have got very bored of peeling apples already!

The fun is finally over.

Judy had two wishes: to see St Roch and to do a wine tasting – so that’s what we did!

On Saturday morning we went to Cervieres, which is a local Medieval village, where we went first to the church to see the stained glass window of our feted Saint

Here is St Roch, showing off his blue knickers, and Spot, the dog, with the Jammie Dodger

After a short walk around the village we headed off to Notre Dame l’Hermitage where there’s another St Roch, which I’ve shown before.

We climbed up to the viewpoint, and looked across to our village and beyond

before heading back home for a lunch of cheese (still lots left to eat ) and salad (and still eating the lettuces from my anti-wastage box too!).

Friend Alison had recommended a Wine maker to visit – they had been with friends earlier in the summer – so on Saturday afternoon, we headed over to la Domaine Vial.

We were greeted by a very barky dog, who, having alerted his master to our presence, followedus into the Cave and then promptly fell asleep. Monsieur Vial was charming – he took time to explain all the wines that they make, to help us taste them, describing what flavours we could expect, and generally chatting away. I was very gratified to actually understand everything he said, and to be able to translate where necessary. Here is M. Vial with the 9 wines we tried – two whites, two rosé, and four red, plus a sparkling wine, which was a tad too sweet for my tastes.

We each bought some wine – Mr FD and I have been entrusted with Judy & mum’s, and have to deliver it next time we go to the UK. It was a really pleasant afternoon.

A blurry photo of the barky dog.

We drove home by a different route to usual, just to give them a different view of the area, and there was time for a snooze, before going to Louis and Odette’s for an apero. Sparkling wine and delicious snacks were followed by a meal at the Hotel de la Poste, just round the corner. Another good meal – rabbit-and-prune terrine, steak (for me. Mum had duck again!), and then the splendid cheese trolley and dessert trolley. I find that after a meal I’m too full to really appreciate either, and they really are so good one could just go to the restaurant just for them!

               

It was a very pleasant meal, made even better by the fact that we didn’t have to pay for Mr FD & my meals, due to the bartering system where Mr FD’s infomatique help and advice is paid for in food!!

On Sunday it was time for mum & Judy to leave, so we decided to go over to Lyon and visit another Medieval village, this one called Perouges. It’s about 30 minutes from the airport, so it’s quite a good place to visit if you have a bit of time to kill.

We didn’t have quite as much time to kill as we could have done, so really only had time for lunch in a very pleasant restaurant courtyard, under the spreading not-sure-but-possibly-a-lime tree.

After our meal, we took Judy and mum to the airport, and dropped them off.

It was lovely to see them both, and to spend time with them. Mind you, after a week in Italy, where I walked quite some distance, and this week, when I walked another 30-odd kilometres I’ve been glad of a somewhat more restful week this week!