Friday, 20 March 2015


By far the biggest achievement was the completion last weekend of My Peak Challenge.  There are more details on the page My Peak Challenge Diary (see tab above) but suffice to say I even smashed the 7.5kms I'd hoped to do.  I had taken Finn with me and he and I seemed to be in total harmony that day, walking further and faster than ever.  We did 7.91kms in total.  Danny took this picture of us when we got back home....

Then, there was the achievement (if you can call it that!) of my first taste of "aqua-gym" here.  Let me say first of all that, given this was at a public swimming pool, I was most impressed with how nice and clean everything was.  But it was still a far cry from what I'd been used to at the Virgin Active club I belonged to in the UK!  I arrived ridiculously early but it gave me a chance to look around a bit and get a feel for the place.  Surprisingly, you have to leave your shoes in the reception area but I guess it does help to keep the place clean.  Having done that, you walk through a foot bath to get to the changing rooms - thankfully separate ones for men and women, unlike some public toilets of which you still occasionally meet unisex ones here!  And while on this subject, Danny tells the story of the time he was using a French public urinal only to have a female cleaner come along and mop the area around him!  But I digress!  So in the female changing room there are a few cubicles for those who are modest, a communal changing area and loads and loads of lockers.  After worrying ahead about whether I'd need a Euro coin for these, it turns out you can use the little jetons or tokens we use in supermarket trolleys.  From the changing/lockers area you go into another area where there are communal showers.  Thinking about what it had been like at the Virgin Active club, I had taken all my showering paraphernalia - shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, sponge, comb - but as there are no "proper" showers it was all pointless!

I found the class itself much, much slower than what I had been used to.  This was a morning class and not surprisingly was attended by women who were mostly older than me - or at least they looked older!  (I wonder if I looked old to them?)  I did wonder if it was because it was the first class of the season and I have to admit, when I went for the second time yesterday morning (without all the accoutrements for showering!) it was a bit more energetic than the previous week!

This is my other achievement!  (By the way, Danny thought I was completely nuts when I asked him to take a photo of my ear!)

Those of you who know me well may remember that I used to wear very bold, colourful earrings! What a lot of you may not know is that, some time ago now, one such particularly heavy earring caused one of my earlobes to split.  Since then, I stopped wearing earrings but although I have always missed them, with long hair it hasn't mattered too much. Suddenly, with short hair, my ears were exposed again and I decided to bite the bullet and see if they could be re-pierced!  They could and they have been!  I had intended to run through with my French teacher how I would ask about it in the jewellers but we happened to be in there last Friday so I just had a go!  Luckily the lady who owns the shop does speak a bit of English and between us, we managed to get what I wanted.  There was an interesting thing that came out of the experience and that is the French word "piercing" is used to mean a piercing anywhere on the body other than the ear!  It seems the word used for an ear piercing is simply un trou, meaning 'hole'.  This serves to demonstrate the pitfalls one can encounter trying to speak a foreign language!  Anyway, I am very pleased with my new 'holes' and am looking forward to wearing some nice earrings again, although I'll have to have non-heavy ones and ones that hide the original split!

Now, on the subject of achievements, not all of them have been mine!  After months of struggling with his manual log splitter, we decided to invest in an electric one and Danny whiled away many hours researching the pros and cons of various machines.  We also had to make a couple of trips to different DIY stores to see what was available.  To cut a long story short, he ended up getting one via Amazon France and here he is with his new toy.  It slices through logs as if they were butter!!!

Another of Danny's achievements has been to wire the piggeries for power and light and we even have an outside light there now! This is something that isn't easy to photograph but here he was at the start of the operation, threading cable through conduit (called gaine here).

Apologies for the shadows of my washing hanging on the line!!!!

As you may have gathered, we have had a run of very nice weather.  Some days have even been hot but certainly we can't complain about the amount of sunshine we've had for the last couple of weeks! The trouble is that, as soon as the weather is good, you can't help but want to get out and start on the list of outdoor jobs you want to get done.  And that has meant that the lounge refurbishment has taken a bit of a back seat.  Regardless of the weather though, we are going to have to get back to it as we now have the plumber lined up to remove/replace radiators and a plasterer, ready to plaster the walls in a couple of weeks' time!    Also on the subject of the lounge, I ordered - and have now received - the fabric for the new curtains so I really need to knuckle down and make a start on those!  However did I have time to work?

So that's about all of our achievement news!  I shall just leave you with a few "feel good" photos from my walk with Bertie at Pescalis, a local nature and fishing centre near us.  This was an extra little walk I did this week, while Danny was mowing the lawn - we have come to realise that Bertie is terrified of the mower so we now have an arrangement whereby I take him out for a walk while Danny mows!

Until next time then, à bientôt

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