Dave and the EU

dave the dogNo, not Dave Cameron, but Dave the handsome miniature schnauzer with the incredible eyebrows. He came to stay for a few days, and was left with us for a weekend whilst Lyn and Richard (my brother) went to a friend’s wedding in the Dordogne. He and Siena had a grand time though I think Dave got a bit tired of Siena’s perpetual bouncing. He was also well-behaved off-lead. The two would be off romping and it was more successful recalling Dave because Siena followed whereas she will usually stand still but not always return when on her own.

So I have just taken off my shower cap, goggles and mask. The weather here has been pretty patchy, some sunny days but usually rainy with sunny periods. I had started the repointing of the back wall of our house two weeks ago but, what with visitors and the rain, it wasn’t until this morning that I restarted the job. 3 hours later with a break for tea and I’m knackered so its good to have the excuse of writing this blog.

Its baffling how many UK ex-pats here in France who cite “immigrants” as the main reason to Brexit – they just don’t seem to see the irony – heads in the UK, bodies in France! Yes, next week, the UK will vote in or out of the EU (so strictly Brexit, is inaccurate since Britain excludes Northern Ireland but I guess UKexit doesn’t scan so well).

“Sovereignty and independence” is the cry of many Brexiters in an ex-pat newsgroup I have been reading. My response to one of these nationalistic idiots on the blog was: “I see your “sovereignty and independence” and raise you jingoism and isolation. I’ve seen the BNP in action and if such nationalism is being British I want none of it. Membership of the EU enables the whole continent to step away from the brink of nationalistic division, the curse of a millenium and more. I’m not (necessarily) British and proud of it, an accident of birth in an, albeit, beautiful country with a proud heritage does not make me want to circle the waggons against a hostile continent – I want to be part of the future, not a remnant of the past.”

In short I voted “In” by post.  The effect of a Brexit is unknown, despite the various claims. And there are bigots on both sides so I don’t feel much affinity with any of the arguments.  Working and paying tax in France, as we do, means that health care isn’t an issue (unlike those retirees relying on the EU reciprocal agreement), pensions are a separate non EU agreement. It’s residency really that is the issue, and whilst we might be able to stay, it might become much harder for us and even more so for retirees. If there is a mass return to the UK we won’t join it, the UK can float off into the Atlantic. The only problem will be the glut of UK owned property making it impossible to sell ours if we had to. Fingers crossed that it won’t be an issue.

Whatever… this time next week it will all be over and we can go back to enjoying a glass of sparkling wine in the sunshine.

Repointing and rain

Not like Paris though, rain that is. Not often that not being like Paris is a good thing. Its been waders and inflatable dinghies down the Champs Elyssées I read but not much here. Enough though to loosen tree roots, my favourite dog walk now involves clambering over two fallen trees. There have been some lovely days interspersing the grey rainy ones but not predicable enough – though we have eaten dinner outside a couple of times. Tonight I expect too, we’ll have the company of the cement mixer though since I have finally started the repointing. It’s a messy business, I have already broke the bearings on an angle grinder and we’re only a fraction into the work. I’m not up to chiselling the old mortar out and a cheap angle grinder costs less than a replacement bearing would. Delia thinks it might be a false economy but the cheap brand (Go/On it is called) has done me well enough for a belt sander and a SDS drill, its not as if I am a professional (builder that is).

Anyway, Friday saw the start of the repointing, on a test area in an easily accessible area. The squeezy thing I had to squirt the mortar into the gaps was a waste of time, either jamming up or the mortar was so slack that it didn’t hold its shape enough to fill the gaps properly. The protective goggles were not protective enough and I needed a small “hawk” to hold the mortar. The colour seemed too grey but lightens as it sets.

So a Saturday afternoon trip to Bricomarche to buy some extras. And “une filme moins fine que ca?” when holding a painting sheet but looking for a tarpaulin wasn’t enough to get an answer (it’s une bâche apparently). Lunettes de travail?. (work glasses) worked for lunettes de protection.  DIY terminology is somewhat specialised and difficult to look up so I am often playing charades in order to find a garden sieve or a luggage strap (I remembered that last one because its “sangle” which sounds like sangliers (wild boar). Oh how we laughed.

Our photo competition this month is “Exteriors” which seemed a bit vague but here’s  one of my entries which was a lovely garden in Bellac.

secret garden

Repointing and rain

Not like Paris though! Not often that that is a good thing. Its been waders and inflatable dinghies down the Champs Elyssées but not much here. Enough though to loosen tree roots, my favourite dog walk now involves clambering over two fallen trees. There have been some lovely days interspersing the grey rainy ones but not predicable enough – though we have eaten dinner outside a couple of times. Tonight I expect too, we’ll have the company of the cement mixer though since I have finally started the repointing. It’s a messy business, I have already broke the bearings on an angle grinder and we’re only a fraction into the work. I’m not up to chiselling the old mortar out and a cheap angle grinder costs less than a replacement bearing would. Delia thinks it might be a false economy but the cheap brand (Go/On it is called) has done me well enough for a belt sander and a SDS drill, its not as if I am a professional (builder that is).

Anyway, Friday saw the start of the repointing, on a test area in an easily accessible area. The squeezy thing I had to squirt the mortar into the gaps was a waste of time, either jamming up or the mortar was so slack that it didn’t hold its shape enough to fill the gaps properly. The protective goggles were not protective enough and I needed a small “hawk” to hold the mortar. The colour seemed too grey but lightens as it sets.

So a Saturday afternoon trip to Bricomarche to buy some extras. And “une filme moins fine que ca?” when holding a painting sheet but looking for a tarpaulin wasn’t enough to get an answer (it une bâche apparently). Lunettes de travail?. (work glasses) worked for lunettes de protection.  DIY terminology is somewhat specialised and difficult to look up so I am often playing charades in order to find a garden sieve or a luggage strap (I remembered that last one because its “sangle” which sounds like sangliers (wild boar). Oh how we laughed.

Our photo competition this month is “Exteriors” which seemed a bit vague but here’s  one of my entries which was a lovely garden in Bellac.

secret garden