Tuesday, 18 December 2012

J'ai eu un rhume!

(To view the actual blog, click on "Danny & Roz" above)

My title today means "I've had a cold" and that is the reason I've not been on here for some days now.  I woke up with the cold on Friday and have been knocked for six by it.  Those of you who know me better will be astounded to learn that it affected my appetite and I've not been able to eat much.  (For the rest of you, suffice to say that normally very little ever affects my appetite!)

Anyway, this afternoon I feel more or less back to my normal self so I thought I'd do a quick catch up on the blog.

Well, Danny and I are ready for Christmas now having made sure we bought and sent all of our cards and presents off in good time for the big day.  We sent boxes of gifts for each of Danny's sons, my brother and all of  their families and I hope it was fun for them to open a large cardboard box to find lots of individually wrapped presents inside.  Doing the Christmas shopping highlighted not just something we miss about the UK but another difference in living here.  I can't say that there are no shopping malls or even small shops in the towns here.  But the concept of say, wandering down the High Street and browsing around, in and out of the various stores, finding the right gift for the right person seems to have eluded us.  We ended up doing most of our Christmas shopping online from Next, Marks & Spencer and Amazon!)  I have decided that one of my New Year resolutions should be to "find" more shops so that by next Christmas I will have a better idea of where to look for certain items.  On this subject (and sorry to digress) but a good example of a shopping difficulty was that I recently needed some buttons to finish a cardigan I'd knitted for one of our grandsons.  Earlier in the year I had found a wonderful store that sells all sorts of goodies for people like me who love needlework and crafts but that store is about 60 kilometres away and I figured there must be a nearer place to buy buttons!  However, I couldn't find a shop in our nearest town of Moncoutant that sold them and even our local supermarket didn't have any.  I eventually found some in another supermarket some 15 kilometres away!  (Actually, a funny aside to this whole saga, is that my mum "saved" buttons and I now have her collection, which pretty much fills a large biscuit tin.  In addition, I inherited her penchant for saving buttons so I have quite a collection of my own.  Needless to say, however, there were no buttons suitable for the cardigan I'd just knitted!!)

The only other bit of news is that I  was invited out last night for "aperitifs".  The French lessons I have are run by a local association and in addition to my class, there is a class of French people learning English and a conversation class open to both French and English people.   All were invited to last night's "aperitifs".   The association provided the drinks and the rest of us brought "nibbles".   The concept of aperitifs is very common in France.  It is usually held early in the evening and the suggestion is that it will last for maybe a couple of hours (as ours did last night).  However, I have heard of people being invited for aperitifs which has turned into a dinner party and they've ended up being out until the wee small hours!  Anyway, as I say, mine lasted a couple of hours last night and it was good (if not challenging!) to speak with some French people who are trying to learn English.


  1. Glad you are feeling better Roz. Shopping problems are not just in your area. It is difficult to find many things here. In the US the high streets don't exist as shopping is done in malls as 'strip malls' which replaced downtown shops. 60km from you in Niort ther is a HUGE shopping area but all the stores are in separate buildings. I wish I could find a group of French/English speakers around here. What a excellent idea. My gran had a button collection in a lovely tin and I have my own now. Nice story. Merry Christmas xx

  2. Hi Jo... yes I know about the shops in Niort..that's where my needlework etc shop is (Tissus Renard) but like you say it's just a collection of shops in separate buildings and, I don't know about you but I find it's hard to judge them from the outside sometimes (particularly the clothes shops)! I think I need to make a point of going in to them and getting used to what they're really like and what sort of clothes etc they sell.
    Joyeaux fĂȘtes!