Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Latest news and Christmas wishes

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason.  And I honestly believe that our decision to move to France was because it has put us in the best possible place as far as healthcare is concerned.

Let me tell you about Danny first.  I told you last time that Danny had been suffering from a sore throat for some weeks and that after a second visit to our GP, he was being referred to a specialist and for an ultrasound.  Here then, as testament to the amazing healthcare we have in France, is the timeline of events -

24 November - Initial visit to GP
7 December - Second visit to GP
14 December - Danny saw the ENT specialist who could not find anything untoward but wanted to do a fibroscopy (tube inserted into the nostril and down the throat!)
18 December- Fibroscopy carried out and nothing untoward found
23 December - Ultrasound confirmed no lesions - the thing we were scared of!

The ENT specialist believes Danny may have some acid reflux - possibly caused by stress.  We then told him my situation at which he threw his arms theatrically into the air in an expression that clearly meant "Well! What do you expect? Of course you're stressed!"

As to my own situation, there is good news there too.  I heard yesterday from Bordeaux hospital that I have an appointment there next Wednesday, 30 December. While I won't be seeing the Professor on that day, it seems that I will be taking part in a clinical trial, subject to a general health check which is the purpose of next week's appointment.  I also have to see a cardiologist, for which an appointment has already been arranged for tomorrow! (Thankfully, that will be in a clinic nearer to home!) For those of you who like to read up on things, the trial is of a drug called ramucirumab and you can find out a bit about it by clicking here.  (The more diligent among you may be prepared to dig deeper and find more!)  I get the impression that this drug (which is given intravenously) has been approved for some cancers and that they are trialling it now on my type of liver cancer.  Of course with my very poor grasp of anything remotely scientific, I may be totally wrong!  Anyway, I believe the aim is for me to start the trial early in January.  Let's hope it's a positive start to 2016!

As was the situation when I last posted, we haven't been doing anything much but I did meet up with some lovely friends for a wonderful lunch yesterday.  We each took a plate of food so we had a marvellous selection of different foods - including a red cabbage cake which was incredibly and unexpectedly delicious!  I chose to go for simplicity and made this.....

It's based on a Jamie Oliver recipe and was just slices of smoked salmon on toasted baguette, topped with crème fraîche mixed with horseradish, then sprinkled with dill.  Incredibly simple but really tasty!

Well, that's it for now!  This will be my last post before Christmas so I'll take the opportunity of wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!  And for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, well, enjoy the next few days anyway! (I myself celebrated the Winter Solstice yesterday!!!)

Love & Peace to you all

Sunday, 13 December 2015

An emotional roller-coaster!

The title of this update describes what our lives have become!

I haven't updated the blog lately, partly for that reason but also because Danny and/or I have been trying to keep as many people up to speed as we can by using Facebook or emails.  But I do know that there are many of you who rely on this blog to know what's going on so I decided to write this post today to let those people know.

I'm afraid that I have nothing to tell you about what we've been doing because all we've been doing is trying to keep on top of the regular "chores" of running the house, shopping, cooking, cleaning, chopping wood etc. And none of that is very interesting to read about, never mind write about!

Our lives - and the emotional roller-coaster we're on - have become totally centered on health problems.  So, for those of you who don't already know the situation, here is as brief an update as I can manage......

You may recall that back in October, I had another CT scan which showed that the cancer cells had started to die but that the tumour wasn't shrinking.  The oncologist told me that it could take "several months" to shrink.  Nothing but nothing prepared me for what he told me four weeks later when I went to see him on 18 November.  He said that the drug I had been taking (called Nexavar) was no longer working efficiently and I should stop taking it immediately.  When I asked what was to happen now, he told me there was nothing else they could give me.  It was totally unexpected and it was like a massive slap in the face.  I just dissolved in tears, trying to take this in.

He then said that he would now discuss my case with colleagues in other hospitals to see if they could offer any drugs, currently being trialled - what we call "clinical trials" in the UK.

To cut a long story short(er), a few days later I got a call from Bordeaux hospital with an appointment to see a Professor Blanc there.  It turns out that he is the chief of their gastroenterology department there and he is responsible for drug research for things like liver cancer.  We spent about an hour with him and a doctor from the research department and the upshot was that he wanted a new biopsy and CT scan.  He told us that there are different types of liver cancer and the new biopsy would tell him precisely what type I have.  Even more promising is that he said he had "three or four possible treatments" to choose from, depending on the type of cancer it turns out to be.

This week I had the new biopsy and scan and as I write, I am back in limbo-land, waiting to hear the results and what they will mean for me.  I am doing my best to put the whole thing to one side of my mind but of course, every so often, a stray thought snakes its way into my head!

For those of you interested, this is a link to the hospital's web site and if you look in the list of Médecins on the left hand side, you should be able to find Professor Blanc listed there.

So, that is an update of the facts.  There are positives...In a general way, I feel more confident with the Professor looking after my case.  He told me that my liver is otherwise healthy (primary liver cancer normally occurs in people who have cirrhosis and I haven't) and he seemed to suggest that there would be a drug suitable.  We have to keep our feet on the ground though - any drug I may be given is only in a trial stage and as much as I tell myself that all drugs were trialled at some point in their existence, it is very hard not to wonder about the future.

Now on top of all that, we have another worry!  Danny has had a sore throat for several weeks and despite a bag full of medicines prescribed by our GP, it refuses to go away.  Now the GP has referred him for an ultrasound and to see an Ears, Nose and Throat specialist.  We are waiting to hear when he will see the specialist but he is having the ultrasound on 23 December.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you that we are both feeling rather nervous - even while we try to convince ourselves that it is 'only' a sore throat.

Having now brought you up to date, I shall endeavour to do so more regularly again and I apologise for keeping many of you in the dark.

I'm going to leave you with a picture that one of my friends put together for me.  How she did it, I have no idea but she was inspired to do so when I used the expression "Ah well, onwards and upwards" in a conversation we had.  I think it's fabulous and it always makes me smile to see it!

So from "Super Roz", until next time, à bientôt!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A winter project done and dusted - literally!

I mentioned last time that one of our "winter projects" was to reorganise Danny's hobby room and the study. Well, Danny was so keen to make a start on it that we haven't waited for the winter!  Before I knew where we were, Danny had worked out what materials he needed and we did a tour of local DIY-type stores to round it all up! Over the few years that we've used these rooms, they have become rather untidy and I'm almost - but not quite - too embarrassed to show you these 'before' photos...

The truth is that we never really had enough room for all the books we have and while we both know we could probably get rid of some of them, neither of us can quite bring ourselves to do so.  So the study had ended up like this.....

Danny's hobby room, while not exactly tidy, also had too much in it and not enough work space for him to work on his models.  In particular, there are times when he wants to work on more than one model and the original layout of the room made that nearly impossible.  This is what it looked like before he started to reorganise it....

Danny started off, in the study, by emptying and removing the chest of drawers and then unloading the bookcase.  Our friends, Dave and Donna, then helped Danny to move the bookcase round to the wall vacated by the chest of drawers - even without books it was far too heavy for him to move on his own and I'm afraid I cannot even think of doing something like that now! (If ever I could!)  Danny then put up shelves to house his magazine collections and the rest of the books that had been hanging around "homeless". The contents of the drawers are now in dedicated plastic tubs.  They are either photographs (which took quite a while to repack as it was just too tempting not to look through them!) or needlework, craft and knitting supplies.

So this is what the study looks like now....

Having done this, Danny was then in a position to build a new work area, with appropriate lighting above, in his hobby room.  Although we consider this job now done, it's probably more likely a work in progress because it's only going to be by using it that Danny will find out if the new layout needs tweaking at all.  

This is the new layout of the two hobby areas......

And this is where he uses the computer and does all his flight simulation....

If you look carefully at the first two photos, you'll see that Danny does have two models on the go. On the original work area is the London bus and on the new worktop, he has started another replica VW Beetle, this time it's his son, Paul's car.  Here is a closer picture of it, with the shell newly painted........

So that's one project out of the way!

Health Update 
With no scans or doctors' visits until I see the oncologist next week, there's not much to say.  I have been having my blood pressure checked twice a week and it's much higher than normal.  This is another side effect of the drug and we shall see if it means being put on more tablets!  My appetite - and along with it my weight - have decreased.  Never in my life have I experienced such a loss of appetite! I am suffering with terrible nausea and sometimes I simply can't face cooking, never mind eating.  Talk about cancer being life-changing!  These are things I never could have envisaged.  All I can do, is eat whatever I can, whenever I can.  

And finally.....
I'm going to leave you with this lovely photo of our Finn.  Although we've been having some wonderful sunny, warm days, the evenings are often quite chilly and we usually have the wood burner going in the evenings.  We do plan on looking for a nice hearth rug and we think Finn might be suggesting that it wouldn't be a bad idea!

Until next time, then, à bientôt!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Back from the UK

I'm a bit naughty because we have been back from the UK for about 10 days now and I've only just got round to telling you all about it!

For some reason, I found the traffic and crowds particularly bad this time but the best part of going back is always being able to spend time with family and friends.  While I'm very happy to be back in the peace, quiet and beauty of our corner of France, it took me a while to adjust to not being able to see those we love.  Plus, I'm always reminded of the availability and choice over there and we did make the most of the shops when we could!

We travelled overnight from Caen to Portsmouth then drove in to Kent to meet up with our friends Andy and Yuliya, who stayed with us earlier in the year.  That evening, they took us to a fabulous restaurant in Sandwich.  If ever you have the chance, I recommend you visit it and in the meantime you can check it out by clicking this link The Fisherman's Wharf

The following day, we went on into Essex, stopping for some retail therapy at the Lakeside shopping mall!  Later we met up for dinner with all of Danny's sons, their wives/partners and children.  During the next couple of days Danny and I each spent time with "special friends" and before we knew it, Saturday - and the day of Mark and Kelly's wedding - arrived.  It was a lovely wedding but I'm afraid I don't have many photos to share with you.  Nonetheless, here are the happy couple.....

....and here's one of us with Mark, Kelly and Danny's cousin and his wife.....

Having had to tie in our travel dates with the lovely lady who house-sat for us, we set off back to France the very next day, again travelling overnight but to Saint Malo this time.


One of the things we bought in the UK were some throws for our sofas, the purpose being to reduce the amount of dog hair removal we have to do.  Now, when anyone comes round, we can quickly whip off the throw to reveal a hair-free sofa!  So this is what the lounge looks like now....

Well, that's about all the news I have for you this time.  Other than the following update on my health for those who want to read it.


The day after our return to France I had to go and have a CT scan.  Danny and I were both very nervous, I think because this would be the first scan since before I was diagnosed.  Since then, the oncologist has relied on whatever the blood test results show, so the CT scan would tell him (and us) exactly what is happening.  It would also show whether the cancer has spread to other organs.  Over here, having been scanned, you wait to see a doctor and he goes through the results with you.  Also here, you keep the pictures and the doctor's written report. Luckily the doctor spoke very good English as I hadn't taken a translator with me! He had the good - and very unexpected - news for us that, while the tumour has not decreased in size from the previous scan, the cancerous cells within it are dying.  And there is no cancer in any other organ.  This was confirmed by the oncologist who I saw yesterday.  We asked him if the tumour itself would eventually shrink and he said it would do so but that it could take "several months".  We also finally asked the question as to why it couldn't be operated on (several people have asked us that question so we thought we'd get a definitive answer!)  We were shocked to learn that the reason is the sheer size of the tumour which is 60% of the liver.  

The upshot of these two visits is that I will continue to take the same drug and I will probably have another scan in a few months' time.

I told you about side effects last time, one of the worst being the soreness of my feet.  Well!  Our house-sitter, who has a problem with her heels, which makes walking difficult and painful, had discovered some shoes that had eased her problems considerably.  She recommended them to me and, to cut a long story short, I found a stockist in Essex and bought a pair for myself.  Every time I tell this story, it seems that everyone but me had heard of this brand of shoe - they are Skechers.  And what a difference they have made!  I can walk about easily and free of pain now.

One thing I didn't mention last time was my loss of appetite which has been getting worse as the weeks go on.  This, of course, affects my weight and I have now lost over 3 kg since going on the drug in July.  The tablets have to be taken morning and evening and 12 hours apart.  You can't eat for two hours before and an hour after taking them.  The times that I've been taking them up to now has meant that after dinner I couldn't eat all evening.  While my appetite for "proper"  meals has all but disappeared, I believe I could quite easily nibble on snacks while watching TV.  I checked with the oncologist yesterday and he agreed I could change the times when I take the pills.  So now, from today, I'm hoping that being able to eat bits and pieces during the evening will provide enough sustenance to stop the weight loss.  I think this is the first time in my life when I've actually wanted to gain weight!


The weather here is cooling right off now although we are still getting sunny days.  The central heating has been turned on and Danny's back to his wood-burning duties!  I still have quite a lot of work to do in the garden but can only do little bits and pieces at a time.  With the nights drawing in and November around the corner, we have turned our minds towards our winter "projects".  The first of these is going to be redoing Danny's hobby room (or "cave" as he calls it!) to enable him to have more space to do his models.  Naturally, this cannot be done in isolation so my little study is also in for some rearranging!  

Till next time then, à bientôt!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

A brief catch-up (and a bit about my health!)

This is brief only because there's not a great deal to tell you! We are off to the UK tomorrow for a week (for Danny's son Mark's wedding) and I didn't want to leave it that long before updating the blog.

So, what is there to tell you?  Well, to start with, we had a large delivery of logs a couple of weeks ago.  We now get them from a local farmer who delivered them in a large trailer on his big red tractor.....

Normally, Danny and I put away the logs together but this year, unfortunately, it is a bit too much for me, especially as it was a larger load than usual.  Danny did some of it himself and luckily friends of ours, Donna & Dave, came round and helped too meaning that over half of it was put away pretty quickly.

The following week, our ex-neighbours from the UK, Ron and Barbara, came for their annual visit! They always help us with jobs that need doing outside and this year was no exception.  Both have their 80th birthdays in the next couple of years but their energy and enthusiasm are to be envied.  I happened to have a hospital appointment on their second day here and they got stuck into log-shifting while we were out.  Danny and I were astounded when we saw what they had done in a little over three hours!

Such is my dedication to this blog that I have just popped outside - in the rain - to take this next couple of photos!  The first is to show you just what Ron and Barbara achieved that morning.  This then is our new log store....

Ron used several pallets to make a floor, back and sides but before he could do that, the hedge you see behind the logs, needed a brutal trimming (you can see roughly what it was like to the left of the logs).  That hedge, a very prickly pyracantha. extends to the right of the photo for about another couple of metres and Ron had trimmed all of that, both sides and the top, as well as the part behind the log store. Then he and Barbara had moved all the logs from the front garden round to this new log store!

This second photo shows the original wood store and serves to demonstrate the work that Danny, Donna and Dave achieved.  The pile on the right is double width stacked!  The green bin is full of odd bits of wood that we'll use as kindling.

There are rumours that we are in for a bad winter this year so I won't be surprised if we need more than all of this before the year's out!  Hard to believe, isn't it!

You may remember that back in August, we had our guests, Martin, Richard and Adam, cutting down the hedge between our garden and our immediate neighbours' garden. Well, between Danny, Ron and Barbara, the line of stumps has now been drilled, each filled with salt (our neighbour assures us the salt will kill the stumps!) and the area cleared of the remaining weeds and leaves.  This is what it looks like today...

I know it's not everyone's taste to have no separating hedge or solid fence but we actually like it.  We may eventually put up some sort of free-standing screen around the area where we eat  outside but other than that, we are happy with this "open-plan" look.  As you can see, our neighbour's potager (kitchen garden) is positively a work of art to behold!

Ron did a couple of other jobs for us, for example, lifting a couple of old plants and moving a pile of stones but he and Barbara did also have plenty of resting time.  Of course, we had some trips to the boulangerie for some cakes for our afternoon tea and a visit to the Vue du Chateau restaurant for an English Sunday lunch for a change!

Ron and Barbara love the dogs and as you can see, the dogs love them....oh no, wait!  Ron and Barbara have food!

I mentioned that Ron moved some stones for us.  This is ready for our next project!

Mind you, although Danny will be helping, most of the work will be done by John, who did the pool and terracing.  We now plan to improve this side of the back garden and the stones you see piled up here in the photo above, will be transformed into a barbecue.  You can see from the photo that this side of the garden is a bit tatty compared to the pool "end" of the garden!  John is expecting to start this next month so watch this space!!

We have been gradually letting the kittens go outside over the last month or so but we still keep them in at night.  At first we let them go in the back garden only but eventually gave in and let them out the front too.  To be honest, Micky (the ginger tom-kitten) had already worked out how to get around the whole perimeter of the house!  Within hours of letting them play out the front, they had discovered a great tree to climb!  Here they are up high in that tree...


Now, some of you have told me that you'd like me to include an update on my health and how I am feeling.  I have been in two minds about it because on the one hand, I didn't want to turn this blog into being about my illness while on the other hand, I know how many of you care about me and want to know.  Please feel free to let me have your views!

And here is an honest piece about how I feel!

For those who don't already know, I have been on my treatment for about three months now.  Taken orally in tablet form, the drug is designed to target the tumour by cutting its oxygen and blood supply. The oncologist told me the objective of my treatment is to shrink the tumour then maintain it. It is measured by the level of alpha fetoprotein in my blood - and I have a blood test every four weeks before seeing the oncologist. (I absolutely HATE blood tests!!!)  After the first month, the reading decreased by a third and Danny and I were elated.  However, since then it's stayed about the same.  Of course that's a good thing and I appreciate that it means the cancer is stable.  But, the drug gives me various side effects, some of which are most unpleasant!  The worst is probably the effect it has on the soles of my feet, making the simple act of walking very painful and sometimes just unbearable.  I have said that I don't care what I have to go through to get rid of the "blighter" but I can't deny that the side effects do bring me down and it's not always easy to pull myself up.

Then there's the fatigue! I have always had bags of energy and although that has decreased with age, I still had plenty!  But now, it doesn't take much to bring on awful fatigue so I have to limit myself to doing only what I think has priority on any given day.  It means that much of the time I am just sitting about - something I've never done - and that in turn makes me lethargic and apathetic. (Gosh!  I've just read that last bit back and realise how negative that sounds!  Perhaps writing it down is going to be cathartic for me!)

Anyway, going forward, the oncologist has now booked me in for a CT scan on 13 October and I will see him again on 16 October.  He has said that the treatment may be changed and he may also need to refer me to a specialist hospital.  So again, we wait and see!


All that aside, as I said at the outset, we are off to the UK tomorrow and now I need to do some packing.  With the amount of stuff I plan to take, it's as well we decided to drive back rather than fly. And just as well we have a big car!!

Take care everyone and I'll be back to let you know all about our trip before you know it!

À bientôt

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

At long last.....!!

Have you all been waiting with baited breath?  No, I don't suppose you have!  But given that we started refurbishing the lounge back in February, it has been a long wait!  In a way, you need to go back even further as the first thing we did was to have a fireplace installed and change the wood burner.  We did that in June 2013!  Then the next step was to open up the staircase which we did in December 2014!

So let me remind you of what was......

The photo above shows the old wood burner which stood in front of the wall, behind which must have been the original fireplace that had obviously been removed some years before.

And the next photo shows the blocked in staircase and panelled wall (taken minutes before Les began dismantling it!)

And just to remind you of the rest of the lounge as it was, here is this panoramic photo taken in February 2013.  (Don't forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them)

And here is a panoramic photo taken this afternoon!

Needless to say, Danny and I are very pleased with our handiwork and it was well worth the wait.  In particular, I am so pleased with how the curtains look, so much so that I followed them up with a sewing spree of making four scatter cushion covers and a table runner, which can be seen more closely in the photos below...

And just a couple of other close-ups; the "decal" on the wall with John Lennon's wonderful sentiments from the song Imagine and the new wall lights on the walls adjacent to the fireplace.

There are still things to do but we will do them in good time.  For example, we want to find proper throws for the sofas that will stop them from being covered in dog hair that I have to vacuum up pretty much on a daily basis!  And we want curtains to cover the doors leading to the study and to the hallway.  (My curtain-making days are not over yet!) And not forgetting, there are loads of photos and pictures that still need to be put up on the walls!

I am going to leave you with one final picture.  It is of a corner of the lounge taken in the evening, with the lights subdued and the curtains drawn.  We love the cosiness of it!

So there you have it!  After all these months, we finally have a lounge that is "ours".

Until next time, à bientôt!

Friday, 4 September 2015

A brief - explanatory - update!

When I last posted, back on 17 August, I genuinely believed another week - okay, maybe two at the outside - would see the lounge finished and this blog full of photos to prove it!  How wrong can you be?  To be fair, I didn't realise quite how much there was still for Danny to do, not just in terms of the wall painting, which was a big enough job in itself, but there was a door that needed going over plus lots of bits and pieces of "tidying up".  Anyway, the long and short of it is that the room is now painted!

I finally got the last pair of curtains finished and was pleased to have done so!  Although I am left with a good sense of achievement and I have learnt a lot about curtain making that I didn't know before, it was a job I could have done without!  You can imagine how excited I was when Danny announced that we were now ready for the curtains to be hung!  I'm sure you can imagine equally how deflated I was when the first pair that Danny hung didn't pull properly across the pole.  And as I investigated, I realised I had made a schoolgirl error!  Now, I did think I'd measured the diameter of the poles way back at the outset of this project but obviously I hadn't because our poles measure 34mm in diameter and the eyelet rings I'd used are for poles of up to 28mm!  Oops!  Thankfully it's not the end of the world and I have managed to order some new and thinner poles which are due to be delivered next week.  So I'm afraid I'm going to make you wait another week to see the finished lounge!

In the meantime though, to whet your appetite, here's a couple of photos.  The first is Danny embarking on the hole cutting of the first curtain...note that I can't be trusted with this job as the likelihood is that I'd cut off the tips of my fingers in the process!

We have had a couple of large wooden cat ornaments for many years and they find themselves in various places.  Now we have them positioned on a couple of stair rungs but they were recently joined by our very real kittens..... least those don't need dusting!

Well, that's it for this brief update.  I sincerely hope that next time I update the blog I'll be able to reveal our new refurbished lounge - I just hope it's not a big let down by then!!!

I'm going to leave you with this photo which Danny calls "Listen with Mother".  He was getting the dogs' dinners ready in their bowls and I was in my "umpire" position, ready to ensure that they all stick to their own food (feeding time is generally pandemonium!).  The dogs were gathered around me and Danny thought it looked like they were getting ready to listen to a story!

On that note, I shall love and leave you and I hope to be back soon!

À bientôt!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Painting, curtain making and visitors!

In my last post I mentioned that Danny had started to paint the walls in the lounge.  I neglected to say that while he cracked on with that, I started work on making the curtains.  I'd like to be able to tell you that both jobs are now finished but I'm afraid that's not the case.  The painting itself is a massive job; a coat of undercoat and then two topcoats of paint on walls the size of ours is no quick or easy task.  Plus, as he finished each wall, Danny did all the work to install new electric sockets on them. You always imagine these are going to be straightforward jobs but somehow there's nearly always a hitch!

As I write, I have now finished making the third of four pairs of curtains.  As each one is lined and 2.5 metres long, making them is quite a job!  If nothing else, they have been a challenge and I'm learning a lot as I go along.  I've got to admit that one thing I have learned is that I should have found a professional to do them!!!

But the real reason that these jobs are unfinished is that we had more visitors and we made the conscious decision to stop what we were doing so that we could get the house ready for them.  This included changing our sofa covers to the new ones we'd been saving to match the new colour scheme and putting down a new rug.  I'm going to leave you all in suspense and contrary to what I normally do, i.e. post pictures of how it's coming along, I'm going to wait until I can show you pretty much the complete transformation of our lounge!

And so to our visitors!  Tony, my "little" brother, celebrated his 60th birthday on 8th August and he chose to come to France with his wife, Alyth, his two sons, Martin and Richard and Richard's partner Adam so we could all be together on his special day.  (Unfortunately Martin's partner, Joanne, wasn't able to make it but we're hoping they'll come another time).

Tony is a good photographer so he took most of the photos while they were all here.  I don't think I can do any better than show you a selection of those photos which I think capture the whole holiday...

Water polo (I think)

The boys went out and bought a selection of meats and cheeses for lunch one day.  And they bought a bunch of flowers for me!

Alyth relaxing in the pool

The farmers' market at Pescalis

Barbecue night

Afternoon tea....cake selection for Tony's birthday

The boys did an amazing job of cutting down an unwanted hedge for us

Look no hands?

Martin & Liam....and a sneak preview of the new colour scheme in the lounge!

Martin having his turn on the mower

Believe it or not, this was us having pastries for breakfast!

Fab pic of Richard and Adam

Serious business this sit-on mower

One night the boys cooked a three-course dinner for us

A surprise birthday treat at the restaurant 

Birthday dinner at the Vue du Chateau restaurant with the birthday boy at the head of the table!

So, another visit sadly came to an end.  But it won't be long till the next ones week!  We must get on with that lounge!!!

Before I go, I want to share these few photos with you.  Tony took them while he was here and they're ones I never would have thought of taking.  Yet I think they capture some of the spirit of our life here.  The first is the main street of the town of Moncoutant, which is our nearest town, about 3 kilometres from our house.

It was taken on a Sunday but even so, it's  not a lot busier than this at the best of times!

The next two were taken inside our favourite boulangerie. There are actually three in the town but this is the best one in our opinion.  It's the one we always take our visitors to and we've yet to have a visitor who didn't like it!

Here's the other end of the shop...the cake end!

The worst bit is having to choose!!

On that note, I'll say goodbye until the next time!  (Hopefully with photos of a painted lounge and finished curtains!)

À bientôt!