Friday, 24 July 2015

Normal service, part two.....July so far

The month of July started with my initial appointment with the oncologist - literally, as it was the first day of July!  I have nothing but praise for the French healthcare system.  As well as the oncologist, in the room with Danny and I were a junior doctor, a nurse and the lady who had come with me to help translate.  Yet I didn't feel overwhelmed by that; they made me feel like they had no other patients to see, giving me all the time I needed to go through the long list of questions I had without making me feel like I was taking away their valuable time.

Anyway, the next few days were spent in a flurry of visitor preparation as our first guests of the summer were coming on the 5th!  The guests were a friend of Danny's and his wife, neither of whom I'd met before.  That is so hard to believe now because we parted a week later with me feeling like they'd been my friends for years!  They had planned a road trip holiday, staying with us for a while then travelling on to the South of France.  Obviously this had been planned some time ago before I was ill but they had been prepared to change plans at the last minute if necessary.  Of course, after my visit to the oncologist, knowing that I would be taking tablets at home, we were able, luckily, to go ahead with the original plans.

For the first evening that any guests are here, I usually prepare a meal that I can just stick in the oven and serve whenever they are ready.  This time I made a slow roasted shoulder of lamb, with roasted vegetables, served with hunks of fresh baguette.  The weather was glorious so we ate outside; the food was set out on plates for everyone to dig in and help themselves.  When we were all stuffed to the gills, Danny and Andy set up this photo to make it look as if Andy had had the lamb dish all to himself!

We had a fabulous week during which I started to feel as if were on holiday as Andy and his wife, Yuliya, made life incredibly easy for me!  The animals thoroughly enjoyed their visit too as they were given a lot of attention!  As you can see here, Finn has made a new friend....

Andy & Yuliya's last night with us happened also to be our wedding anniversary so I think we can be forgiven for going out for a slap up meal at our favourite restaurant, À La Bonne Vie!  Andy took this fabulous photo of Danny and I....

And here's one of the four of us, outside the restaurant....

With an interval of about four weeks until our next guests are due to arrive, we thought it was time to knuckle down and try to get on with some of the jobs we've neglected.  High on that list is, of course, redecorating the lounge.  But even that had to take a back seat as some new shutters, made by our friend Les, had to be painted to stop any potential warping (although we've barely seen a drop of rain in the last four or five weeks!)  We do intend to change the colour of all of our shutters to this beautiful blue, but the kitchen door shutters are a great start....

While I'm talking about the kitchen door, some of you may remember that I'd intended to have a herb garden in the old trough that was moved into position last year.  I did eventually sow some herb seeds and here is the herb garden flourishing.......

I have to admit, I love just popping outside to cut fresh herbs and I think it makes a big difference to the taste of a meal.

But back to the lounge, Danny had already managed to get some of the woodwork painted but that had still to be finished.  Then, at last, it was on to the walls!  Here he is, just starting on the undercoat...notice the tiny grey onlooker by his side!

I'll let you know how it's progressed in the next update!

Finally, I should have mentioned that a few months ago, my friend Anne and I joined a Patchwork Group.  We were both interested in doing patchwork projects as a hobby so we went along, liked it and decided to join.  We meet a couple of times a month and it's always a good excuse for Anne and I to go out for lunch first!  But the reason I'm telling you this is that last week I completed my first patchwork project.  It's not perfect but I'm happy with it.  The lady who taught us how to do it is called Edith - a lovely lady, who seems to have a limitless amount of patience!  But her name led me to calling the bag an "Edith Bag".  What do you think of it?

That's about it for now but I'll be back with more news soon.

À bientôt


  1. Another lovely blog Roz, you have been very busy and I LOVE the colour you have chosen for your shutters.
    Also love your Enid bag. I used to do a lot of patchwork when my babes were born and made them all a cot quilt which I think they still have. I used to go to Laura Ashley and buy bags of square remnants.
    I hope you are feeling stronger and that you have a wonderful fun filled Summer. x

  2. You sound busy and happy which is good. The bag is great well done. Take care Diane