Winter in Nouvelle Aquitaine

The sun always shines and it only rains at night – blah! It’s been raining for the past month, albeit with a few of the vaunted blue sky days, but way too few.  One of our friends commented that if they’d had a first winter like this they might not have decided to stay. Delia is escaping by looking for building plots in Crete and the cost of winter rents in Spain and Portugal. An acquaintance claims it’s cheaper to rent a place in Spain than to maintain their house through the winter – all I can say is they must have a much bigger !

We had a nice evening out at a quiz at a bar, where we had won before, but not his time. The food was nice though, a veal blanquette with pumpkin mash and a mango cream dessert.

So cosy times indoors then, mac’n’cheese (Delia’s favourite) and baguette and soup for lunch. Siena hates the rain, just sticks her head out of the dog flap to see if it’s stopped. Unless, it’s her morning walk, perhaps she thinks going with me will make it different. I know the cat thinks the weather will be different if he goes out the front rather than the back. Anyway Siena’s morning walk always happens (the lunchtime one less so) – being inspired by my friend Mike and all his family doing triathlons and everything (and Mike, 5 years older than me), I did a bit of jogging, just a few hundred metres, Sienna loved it and encouraged me to speed up… anyway after a few weeks of this, I did so and suddenly got something that felt like bad cramp in my thigh,  it was very painful to walk after though it’s much less so now, but there is now a real “good” bruise on the back of my leg. I reckon its God’s way of telling me I’m fit enough; though Delia says that jogging in wellies is stupid! Since I don’t believe in God…

Not much in the way of photography lately, but the club competition this month is perfect pets so here you are…

Here’s to 2018!

My first blog of 2018. Not on the newly combined deliaandpatblog you may notice but this will be rectified as soon as my host pulls their finger out and fixes the dns blah blah blah).

Retrospect or the future? Well 2017 has been a tough year: healthwise;  whilst I had a tooth abscess, an infected foot, damaged shoulder tendon and a face-plant off a ladder needing 4 stitches – Delia trumped me with having half her thyroid removed! Otherwise: the car being written-off (then progressively less so, using negotiation by argument with the assessor) ending up costing us only 250€ out of 4750€ damage and, of course, totally redoing the living room (literally, below floor to ceiling – the entire floor and supporting beams). Busy, very busy…  but at the end of it all it actually only meant using about 2,000€ of our savings. Delia lost some time convalescing but made up later, as did I with a big website, and we now have a lovely unique living room (with a solid floor!). The downstairs  toilet room is getting matching treatment with the same laminate floor but fortunately it rests on bedrock, so no beams to replace).

That being said we had some good times in 2017, it started foggily with a wonderful visit from Mike and Sandra our friends from Nottingham, a lovely time in Bordeaux to start a visit from Delia’s Dad, our friend Petra from Hamburg visited and we had a blustery autumn weekend on the Atlantic coast – a special treat to see Siena joyously running for all she was worth through the sand. Near the end of the year a couple of Xmas do’s in the UK to get us in the spirit for a quiet holiday season at home.

2018 started, back at work with a broken laptop for me (someone elses!) and a slow start for Delia. We’re looking forward to the coming year – another visit from Mike and Sandra in February (I did consider abbreviating to their initials but… well… M&S or S&M perhaps not), in April I get to walk my daughter Catherine down the aisle to marry her fiancé Chris.  Later in the year we will enjoy another visit from Delia’s mum Francis and Barb Delia’s aunt. At some point; perhaps overlapping, or not, a trip to Portugal is on the cards where we hope to do the zip line that spans the Spanish/Portuguese border. We have since discovered that there is a longer and faster zip line in Wales (perhaps another year).  We’ll try the one that crosses about 500m of lake nearby first, to make sure we don’t bottle out.  We are hoping for a different Xmas next year, if no-one is visiting us, we might perhaps go to Hamburg to visit Petra (if she was serious in her invite and it includes Siena J ).

Happy New Year everyone – here’s to a fantastic 2018.