Gone but not forgotten

Today, I was going to write a factual report of my day but have scrubbed it out, OK woke about 6am feeling tense and sad waited till 9 to phone a friend whose husband was very ill and dying, my friend phoned at 8-40 her husband had died. The sorrow is not mine nor anyone else’s it belongs to his daughter,son and mainly his wife. The good thing about life is that we do not just touch the people in our immediate family the wife,son, daughter in laws and grandchildren but the people into whose lives we have introduced laughter a good meal, lots of anecdotes from our lives and a pleasant time of unity. A great deal more has happened in my day today but the farewell to a good friend transcends that. Farewell Ray thank you for the best ever Lamb Tagine  say Hello to Brian for me. You were a good friend and one we both treasured.

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Daily Prompt: Silence

via Daily Prompt: Silence,

There is nothing quite like the silence in a library, it is a hushed silence not just of reverence but of people entering another world, a world not always of fiction but of knowledge, travel, adventure and then there is the fiction the historical fiction, present day and futuristic fiction. I have become a fan of kindle but there is no joy of walking down the aisles to see if new books have arrived there is not the smell of paper turned by years of people absorbing the same story. We are an electronic age but books as books and the silence needed to inspect, enjoy and read them is sometimes lost – the odd whisper of I have read that it is a really good read.

I now live in France so have no access to our wonderful English libraries but a Dutch friend gifted a book to me for my birthday The Dalai Lama’s byDavid Michie and another friend who is Irish gave to me a book Colm Toibin by Nora Webster. Impossible to leave out a book that I have just read ( Kindle ) Love in Exile by Ayse Kulin.

Silence is – I think – lack of noise but it does not impede the workings of the mind, it is also extremely calming in some ways but in others it could be planning for things to come. So interesting how many opportunities silence offers.

 

Houdini the stray cat !!!!

We have a stray cat who I feed and ET my cat tries to chase off, it could be a beautiful cat if it was treated but it is sick and only has 3 paws 4 legs but 3 paws. When I say I feed it, it is not in full view of ET I have found myself going out of the front door and sneaking round the back locking ET inside and hurrying to put the food out before she sees me. I am being bullied by a CAT it is ridiculous !!

Today a very good friend, David , came with 2 traps to catch this Long John Silver of the cat world and he carefully showed me how to use the trap, yes, yes that’s fine I can do that so he set it Lo and behold in the cat went and ate some of the food but was outside when the door closed – pretty nifty – yes ! So bigheaded Brenda went to reset the trap OOPS just did not work,  message to David sorry not very efficient with the trap. ! Cancelled the vet ! David, bless him returned and showed me once again and this time I mastered it BUT LJS decided enough was enough and would not go in. At the moment LJS is being tempted into the small trap to eat and food will also be put in the big trap to eventually coax her in – how many of you are betting that I catch ET and not LJS>

Also as my comedy of errors continue I will admit that yesterday visiting my friends Ray who is in hospital ( geriatric ward ) and Audrey his wife I bought a gateau and some sparkly candle things but decided after reading the back that they may have thought that the terrorists had reached M de M as these candles threw forth sparks and Ray is on OXYGEN.

A huge double OOPS there. It is not my upbringing believe I have a Basil Fawlty ability to cause chaos when I least mean to

Today was different tomorrow I need to cook which should calm the soul and Thursday off out for lunch to my favourite restaurant The Hotel de France St. Justin. Excellent food and good company  – who ever thought growing old was boring !

Be happy, enjoy what you have and if there is sorrow in your life I hope you have the strength to survive it.

Goodnight and God Bless

 

A day of reflection

Today I realised my  age and for no other reason that I am now a geriatric it seems that once you reach that age when you are in hospital you are considered imbecilic and deaf, I was lucky in my treatment in hospital here because it was surgical and I recovered quickly but there are times when a person who is old is nervous and demanding and the nurses who look after these patients should be trained to listen, to think about their discomforts these people who are now in their 70’s and 80’s are the people who pulled all our countries through after the war no one applauded them for going through the sparse times of their youth no one said well done you managed to support yourself and your family and didn’t take a penny from the state no one gave them a knighthood – which would have been more appreciated than those that received them. The people in geriatric wards did not go to gaol for tax evasion. Nor did they ever get Golden Handshakes.

We raise our individual standards to those who died for us and so we should we lost the cream of the crop of all our countries during that war caused by a maniacal egomaniac BUT we need to raise our standards to those who survived and who now are drawing to a close of their lives. We lived in our time as we thought our forbears would have wished us to live and we have fought our own battles to be independent and free, so if we are unfortunate enough that we have to go into hospital and cannot afford private care is it not right that we should be treated with dignity and respect and not like a child that has wet itself accidentally.

This is not for me, it is for my friends and the people across the world who need help the time of families taking in their aged relatives is over, the time of the aged relatives wanting to be taken in by relatives is over, Their is an enormous aged population out their and they will need caring for somebody has to set to and start it happening!

Days of Wine, Paella and geraniums.

Always thought that geriatric was a horrible word perhaps because it is often used in a derogatory manner, much prefer the ” troisieme age “which  is the title given to the older people.

On Saturday last week there were couple of 50 years olds French and then the rest of us ranged from 60 to the granny of the bunch, me. All was quite sedate though we did ooh and aah quite a lot at the wonderful Paella that was delivered to us which was absolutely delicious, could quite possibly have fed another 6 people  it was huge. In between cheese and dessert there was a game of petanque, played by Noel’s rules which totally confused everyone else and caused a huge amount of hilarity  especially as one boule that he tossed looked as though it might end up in the pool. Mike looked extremely fetching sitting scoring with a hat of mine on to protect from the sun and the remainder of the crowd were having lots of laughs trying to work out which boule belonged to which person as all ours were twinned up not in 3’s. Needless to say Noel’s side won.  He tried to teach Brian a French card game once but everytime Brian started to win he changed the rules amazing what you can get away with when you speak different languages !!!!

Have had fun on the computer this afternoon as I seem to be entertaining more and as J, J, G and Lolly are coming in August with Jack their spaniel I have bought a BBQ. The next challenge will be trying to assemble it – very much a woman when it comes to instruction booklets.

My friend  is a person who likes routine so every day has a use and if I go shopping with her it is always on a Tuesday as there were other R.D.V,s yesterday we went today so when I saw another friend who always eats in Roquefort on a Wednesday I asked him what he was doing eating there on a Tuesday – I am not really going round the twist – just that my brain is getting a little careless !

From a very happy troisieme ager who is living in a wonderful country and surrounded by plenty of friends of different nationalities, I wish the world could be more like the communities of people happily living side by side not always agreeing but allowing another person their opinion. If we could find a medicine to cure anger, hate, distrust and malice that would really be a miracle drug.

Le Gassion

This is a first for me writing about my life in this wonderful part of France, we have the wonderful beaches of the Cote D’Argent but further inland there we have St. Justin where my home is  Roquefort,  La Bastide, Mauvezin d’Armagnac, Barbotan, Mauleon d’Armagnac and Barbotan are the places that I will mention but my life revolves mainly around our Landaise Farmhouse Le Gassion.

This year Le Gassion has seen lots of my friends arriving for various reasons mainly to mix have a drink and eat.

Last Saturday I was 78 – haven’t a clue how I got that old but there you go there is no stopping it so my first treat was at the Pizzeria in La Bastide absolutely wonderful Pizza courtesy of Christoff  and his lovely wife Manu is front of house. Bartje and Sue were waiting for me with my presents ( a trip to a beauty parlour ! God help me, I will need Bartje’s support there never been to one before – mind you looking in the mirroe proves what I have just said. Manu came out with my armagnac creme brulee and 2 sparklers and everyone sang happy birthday. A great Lunch with good friends.

Then home to prepare for 11 friends  for aperitifs (Hearty aperitifs ) 1 person knew it was my birthday and I thought that was all but as they arrived with gifts and cards and flowers that 1 person I realised had talked !!! We had a wonderful evening of laughter and then  a game of Boules where some of us were far to strong in the arm so needed retrievers at either end .

The ages of all the people involved is between 60 and 92 and each one of us enjoyed ourselves, next Saturday is Paella, have been taking recipes for Sangria from cuisineactuelle.fr and from spanishsabores for a tarte de Santiago ( Spanish Almond Cake )

Will let you know how it goes, goodness knows how my 1st blog went but even if it was rubbish I enjoyed saying how happy my friends make me feel.

Le Gassion First Blog

Yesterday I went for lunch to Veronique and Noel’s for lunch, Vernon and Angela picked me up en route, we had a delicious lunch and then went for a walk round the lakes that they have nearby, saw a lot of ducks with the baby ducklings, really really lovely day.