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January 12 Letter
after I put up the last update, cousin Madeline died. (see this month family
Wight and Memories or some of her poems) She will be missed by so many. She was a dear friend to us.
Harry went to the "ancient's" lunch which the village put on for its
pensioners. I did not go because I rarely eat away from home these
days. Either I cannot eat anything or I put people to a lot of trouble
preparing glutin free dishes. Anyway Harry said I didn't miss anything.
We had a very quiet Christmas and New Year. But just before New
Ginger chased the neighbour's car and got hit. Harry and the neighbour
got her to the vet who amputated her leg. Now she is home and almost
recovered. She was a very good patient and let the vet and us poke her
with needles and clean her wounds. After about 6 days she could hop
about every once in a while without help. Shortly after that her
bandages started to sag and slid down and no amount of tape would keep
them in place until we made a duct tape harness. It was two layers
stuck together by their sticky sides, so that it was strong by didn't
have to rely on sticking to her fur - very Red Green-ish Canadian. I
hear that New Zealanders have a contest for what can be made with duct
tape and #8 fencing wire. The photo shows the harress. Ginger also
brings you a linguistic doggie joke (below). We expect her to be
completely healed and as mobile as ever by the end of Jan.
With weather, coughs, and poor dog not much has been done on the house. (see house)
Now that there is a local bread supply, I have started doing the 20 min
walk there and back for Harry's bread in the morning - if I am up
before him and it is not raining. It gets me some exercise now that I
am not taking the dog for a walk.
Here is a link to some of Harry Nicholson's work, Green Linnet: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/113466
February 12 Letter
dog is recovering. We are going to have to make something to help her
walk because she has to use her one back leg awkwardly and we are
afraid she may be putting too much strain on her hips. We want to make
a sort of carrage under her so that she can balance easier. Harry is
looking for junk to construct it out of.
We got our eyes tested locally but the optician suggested we go to a
specialist so we did. My retinas, lens, pressure etc. are OK. I don't
need a new prescription for glasses but I am going to get a new pair
because mine are old and scratched. Harry does not need new glasses but
has AMD and slight cataracts. It is depressing to have to worry about
Very little has been done on the house because of how cold it is. I
don't want Harry to died of pneumonia. (see house) This is the longest
and coldest cold snap we have had since we arrived in France. 14th Feb
was the first day with a high above freezing. In the news: the Danube
has frozen - a once or twice in the life time event.
Zena and Mark came for a visit (see visits). It was nice of them to come down for the day from Paris while they were there.
The photo is of our very last rose of the year. There were a few buds
on one of the bushes. It took ages for each to open. The last one
started to open mid-January. When it was clear that we were going
to have a definite freezing night with more than a few degrees of
frost, I took this picture on Jan 30 when it was still unharmed. On Jan
31 the bud was frozen enough to be brittle.
Web stats for the last two months and back are below. Bye until next month, Janet
March 12 Letter
Hi, Spring is arriving although it has been a colder than
winter. The first blue bell appeared in the garden in the first day or
two in March. Just a few days ago, spring sprung and we are now
getting sunny warm days - even 20C today. The little lambies are
froliching in the back field and the almond tree is in full bloom.
Here are some interesting links. Zena has a record of their Europe trip during which she and Mark visited us: http://zenasnow.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/12-feb-paris-bengy-sur-craon/
Ciara has a video on youtube about her trip to Montreal to give her presentation on arctic foreign policy:
And we have had contact from the Parkers. Daughter Di is doing a silk road trip and has a blog on it, a great one:
I found that I was about to put in a quote that I had used
before (pensioner's memory and all that). So I went through old updates
and found the quotes I have used. As they were not kept on the site, I
made an archive of them which can be reached from the sitemap
The French presidential election campaign is getting nasty.
The right-wing parties are fighting over who is going to make it
to the second ballot so none are courting the center vote yet and all
are crowding to the right. Not a great time for foreigners,
muslims, LGTs etc. Sarkozy has been threatening that France would leave the Schengen passport-free zone. When the election is over we can get back to reasonable politics.
Harry is doing the plumbing. (see house) It is another new code to get a handle on.
Meanwhile we have new neighbours who bought the old house that
had not been modernized. They have gutted it back to the stone on the
inside. All of the insides are now in the front and back yards. They
also bought the attic space above our shower room from our landlady.
The photos are of the new door and windows going in the front and the front yard. Bye for now. Janet
April 12 Letter
Hi, Harry is still dealing with water, electricity, phone and bits of construction that make them easier. (see house)
Early April is flowering trees and bushes time. My favourite is
forsythia (see yellow in photo). It reminds me of spring in Austria. It
was cold with no signs of spring when a friend brought a bunch of
branches and said "put them in water and in the morning it will be
spring in your house". The flowers opened in the night. We have bought
some fruit trees and are planting them in pots until next spring.
Our neighbours moved in during the first week of April. They have a
small child and many friends and relatives helping with the renovation
and the move. Also they seem to have a black cat - Ginger has taken offence to the cat.
I notice that while the rest of the world is suffering, the prairies
are doing OK. The Globe & Mail site says that Regina had the
biggest rise in GDP of all the Canadian cities at 6.1% in 2011.
Saskatchewan's growth was 5.2%. Saskatoon was the second highest city
I have new glasses now and the world is clearer, the old ones were scratched - not big scratches but thousands of tiny ones.
Yesterday (15th) we had company. Ron and Carol stopped for a short time on the
way to the sun - 30 years since we have seen them. (see Visits) Bob follows them in 10 day and
overlaps one day with a visit from Merrilee and Aydon. This is Aydon's first visit.
Ron's other daughter also has a blog http://bigfamilytrip.blogspot.co.uk/ of 10 month round the world trip.
Web stats to end of March are below. Janet
May 12 Letter
Hi, It rained for weeks, but this week it has cleared.
Not a great deal got done on the house (see house) because of rain,
visits from Bob and Merrilee & Aydon (see visits), a robbery and
having to get some replacement tools. Bob helped Harry place the water
heater and get a new compost thingy. The robbery was not too upsettinew
treesng until we found out that the tools were not insured.
Ciara was at a conference in Montreal while the visiters were here and
we were all a bit nervous about the demos there - but all went well.
When Harry took Bob to the train he got a speeding ticket on the way
back from an automatic radar/photo setup. He misread the ticket and
went to the police to say that he could not have been passing through
the local speed trap because he was in Nevers. The police lady put him
straight on where he was speeding - 90 euros and a point on his licence.
The neighbours have more or less moved in. Harry has been over for a
beer. I have been over for a coffee. The lady of the house has brought
us cookies she baked; I didn't have the heart to tell her that I
couldn't eat any.
After all the rain and with the sun coming out, it is keeping up with
the grass time. We brought some trees on sale (2 euros each) and will
plant them in the new yard later. They are a peach, plum and black
current. Regards, Janet
June 12 Letter
Hi, This has been a quiet time with very little to report. Harry did some work on the house but it is going slowly. (see house)
They are going to put the sewer line down our road and have started at
the other end from us. This means we will not need a septic tank but
will need a smaller holding tank, a one way valve and a pump. We will
hire someone to put it in.
The photo is our new neighbours' cat. Ginger finds her very suspicious,
like in the picture where she is blocking the path. But she seems a
nice cat to me.
I had a colonoscopy - sort of. They had to abandon it because of a
narrow place in my colon that the scope would not go past. So I have
be booked for some sort of scan (MRI, I think) to see what the block is. The
French health system has so far been good. No problem getting the referral
to a specialist even though I did not have that many symptoms and
previous tests were clear. I had only two periods of pain, each a
couple of days and a month apart. It didn't sound like much to me but I
didn't have to say much except that I was worried and wanted a
specialist. There was no long wait to see him, no long wait for the
procedure and a very nice hospital. They phoned the day before to make
sure that I was doing the preparation right, and phoned the day after to make
sure I had no problems in the night. The scan will be in about 10 days.
Ciara has a place in Law School in Saskatoon which is convenient for
her and Ryan. And she should soon have her Masters from UofR as she has
just finished her thesis on Arctic Governance. Everyone is proud of her. Cheers Janet
July 12 Letter
Hi, There are three photos this time. Harry made himself a cane
a while back from a bit of old ivy vine. A number of people have been
taken by it. A friend's parents were asking Harry about it and he
pointed out that it was the same shape as he was. The machine pictured
just outside our gate is putting in the sewer. They have been using a
number of BIG machines. The picture of clouds has its own caption.
I have had my scan and it seems I have a hairpin turn in my gut and
damage to the large intestine in the area of the turn
(diverticles) but no polyps. I can live with the occasional flare
ups of the diverticles so no treatment necessary. However during the
scan the doctors became worried about one of my adrenal glands so I had
another scan about 10 days later just to look at it. The verdict is
that it is 'bizarre but not evil' - probably OK. I will have another
scan later in the year to see if it is stable or changing. The
good news is that everything else is good and there is no cancer
Harry has been fine working on the ceiling. We were pleasantly
surprised at how well his body was taking it. Until ... about a week
ago he hurt his neck and shoulders with some movement and now is in
real pain for much of the time. Doc says it will pass eventually.
Compared to what we see the TV, we are having a good summer in central
France, neither too wet or too dry, neither too hot or too cold. Cheers Janet
Mammatus cloud over Regina June 12
Saskatchewan people will have seen the cloud or pictures of it
and it will be old news, but those that do not reside under the 'Living
Sky' may be interested in these odd clouds. They are rare and form on
the underside of the anvil of the thunder cloud. They are sinking air
peeping out of the cloud. The photographer was Craig Lindsay.
Aug 12 Letter
Hi, More on Harry's weird canes (photo last month): He lost one some time
ago. The other day, someone in a store asked if he had lost a cane like
that because they had found one. So he got it back just because it was
so unusual. His neck took its time getting better but it has
healed and he is back working on the kitchen.
I have had to stop taking Ibupofen because of my intestine problem and I sure do miss it.
Ginger seems to like the hot weather and moves easier. We have had a
hot dry spell and it looks like it is not yet ready to rain.
The sewers are now in the road and there is a point for us to hook into
at the road side. Because the road is higher than the house we will
have to have a pump affair.
We have been enjoying the Olympics. I always think I'm not going to
enjoy it, but in the end I love watching a lot of it. There is
something about watching real skill that is entertaining.
Ryan is quitting his job up north and starting a business. It is still
repairing heavy equipment but in a mobile, 'we come to the equipment'
There is no photo but a cartoon ( by Rajay Mahtani I think) this month. It is so sweet and sad and true, all at the same time.
Updated webstats are below.
September 12 Letter
Hi, We had a very hot spell in mid-late August. The trees took damage from
the heat with no rain. The mail lady told all her old people to take
great care because the heat is bad for the old. Very nice that the
Republic is watching over us. The weather was on orange alert for a few
days because of the heat.
Photo is the crazy roof line across the way from our bank in Bourges. I
guess it is safe - it has been there a very long time. There is some
humour on this page below Ginger's spot.
Not only do I have to get by without one on my medicines but now I find
out that I have to give up my large raw veg salad. No more ground up
carrot, cabbage, tomato, pepper and anything else I find - not good for
me 'cause my veg must be cooked. Damn.
There is some house progress - follow the house link. But also, I am
going to share an email Harry sent to the DIY forum he visits. "I
needed to install a floor covering in a new kitchen. The area is 4m x
6.5m, the material is a pvc surface with a felt-like fibre backing, and
very heavy. The problem: 1. Only a 2cm clearance between the room width
and the covering material. 2. The rolled up lino was not a perfect
cylinder, that is, it was very slightly spiralled, so that the width of
the roll was greater than the width of the room. 3. The end was not cut
perfectly square. The effect of all this was that in unrolling the
material it wound up climbing up the walls, some kinks in it, and total
exasperation. The material weighed as much as I do, and even on a
smooth MDF under-layer, completely unbudgeable. And then a light came
on. I connected the hose of the shop vac to the blowing end instead of
the sucking end, and with one extension tube on it, pushed it under the
lino towards the centre of the room, and turned it on. It didn't float
the whole thing like a magic carpet, (my imagined outcome), but it did
create a pretty big bubble in the middle of the floor. With a big push
broom, (I used a yard broom), I could move this bubble around, and with
a little perseverance it all came flat, even borders at the sides, and
just the ends to trim. I expect that this is an old trick, used by
floor covering guys for years, but if it isn't, I pass it on."
A few years ago we tried to buy the neighbouring lot (not the pretty
orchard but the empty one on the other side). We were told it was not
for sale. But now it is and we bought it at a good price. Janet
Some things could only happen in Canada! The Globe and Mail reports,
"Quebec police are on the hunt for a sticky-fingered thief after
millions of dollars of maple syrup vanished from a Quebec warehouse."
And it was part of "the global stategic maple syrup reserve."
Some things could only happen in Scotland! The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven,
Aberdeenshire, which advertises itself as the "birthplace of the
world-famous deep-fried Mars bar", has been warned by Mars
against claiming special status for the fatty treat, because it goes
against the company's commitment to promote healthy lifestyles. So no
application for a protected geographical indication will be filed.
The deep-fried Mars bar has been said to be the second most famous
October 12 Letter
photo is of the neighbours' cat looking in the window and facing off
with Ginger. Ginger wants to get out and get her. But that cat is no
push over. And we want good relations with the neighbours. He has been
showing me how a prune roses - a great help with the overgrown bushes
Harry is currently fitting the kitchen. (see house)
We are going to change our health care top-up to a different supplier. We
don't need insurance for our ordinary care - the amount above that the
government pays is not much. But we do want a top-up for serious
illness and so we are looking at a mutual for just that at about half the
cost of our present insurance.
After the heat of summer, it is now cold and damp - more wet then damp.
The webstats are updated below. Janet
November 12 Letter
Hi, This has been a quiet month with not much happening.
is much more spry than she used to be - getting used to being three
legged. Below Ginger's joke is an interesting look at hurricane paths.
Harry has been doing kitchen stuff, plumbing and sewer (see house). We are really hoping we can move in a month or two.
Winter is getting closer with fewer warm and dry days and more cool and
wet ones. (No snow or floods like some of our friends in other places
so I guess we are doing OK.)
We had some cranes come past. It is nice to hear and watch. They don't
fly as high as the Sand Hill cranes but fly a lot like them and sound
am another year old and Harry almost is too. I for one feel a little
older this year unlike the previous few years. I became noticably
wrinkled this year. Bye bye Janet
December 12 Letter
photo is Dec 7, a snowy night. It has been cold or wet or both. See the
house for Harry's progress. We have our Christmas box from the commune for pensioners so we are all set for Christmas dinner.
My doctor is on holiday and is replaced by a just qualified and eager
young doctor who has arranged a specialist for cardiac function and
blood tests for most everything.
Below is our
Christmas letter (in case you have not received one) and below the letter is the web stats graph. Janet
January 13 Letter
Hi, This morning it snowed! We are trying to get the house to a point where we can
move in but it is slower than we thought. Our notice is in for the end
of March. I had started to help more, but then I had a little accident
(not serious) and pulled a muscle. I had to take a couple of weeks off,
with no bending and stretching. In any case we really want to be there
in April when we expect visitors from Canada. Harry is getting on with
the bathroom. (see house) Although it is cold, we have a heater in that
Harry had arranged to have the telephone hooked up in the new house
with the same number as the old house. He thought the order was to have
book phones working. The man came and was going to hook up the new
house and disconnect the old. We sent him away and then had more
discussions with Orange. Apparently it will be done on the day we
move - fingers crossed.
I am taking a holiday from my blog for a month, but I still did this website for Jan although it is a bit thin. Sorry.
I saw a replacement doctor when mine was on holiday. He had only just
graduated and was extremely thorough and up on all the guide lines. He
decided I should go to a cardiologist and I will in March.
This is not news, but I just heard about it at Chrismas. Dorothy
Irvine, Mel's cousin in the Stordahl side, died in Weyburn at the end
of September, aged 76 and was buried in Lang.
The picture is by Australian cartoonist Michael Leung. I found it on
Facebook. So real! I know them all: Secret happiness which is
steady but beautifully delicate, Three minutes of happimess borrowed
from a dog, Traditional lying down happiness, The happiness which comes
from staring at a rock, Happiness blended with mysterious sadness, The
strange happiness assiciated with seeing a meteorite or shooting stat,
Diffuse, residual happiness resulting from shythmic domestic tasks such
as washing the dishes. Janet
February 13 Letter
Greetings, We thought we would be moving in Jan
but it turned out that we would have to pay rent until the end of
March and that we would really be making life difficult for ourselves
by moving in the cold and snow in Jan with the house as far from done
as it was. So it is March. I had thought I would leave the internet
alone during Jan because of the move. I sort of did but not that
strictly – only the holiday from posting to Thoughts on Thoughts
happened but it still passed the million mark. (see webstats below) I
was not able to help Harry as much as I intended because of my
painful muscle in the chest which is now better. (see house progress)
The road in front of our house is
terrible. We have a collection of hubcaps and bolts & little bits
of trucks. In the last year the road was dug up by the electricity
people, then the phone, then the sewer and now the water (photo
below). Each time the road was patched but it settled under traffic.
Every once in a while, the commune comes with some asphalt and men
with shovels and they fill the holes. The road is scheduled to be
completely repaved this year.
In the Jan sales we bought a ride-on
mower (which we would need with the bigger lot) and an exercise bike
for Harry and maybe me.
France had a census recently, so we are
now recorded in French historic records. We had a sweet and helpful
young girl collecting our information.
It has been a very wet and cool winter.
But not as bad as it was in Canada, US, and UK. The early bulbs have
stuck their leaves above the soil in the last week. But we can still
complain a bit.
March 13 Letter
Greetings, Well, the water people have finally got the work done
after weeks of disruption (we hope). We thought they were done twice
before. The last time we found one day that we had no water. It was off
for hours and hours, we and our neighbours were not prepare and
scrambling for bottled, well and rain water. The workmen were not
concerned which made our neighbour very mad. At one point one of them
said that we had been notified and we said no we hadn't. We got the
notification the next day - a notification that the water would be off
for 8 hours on the 7th arrived on the 8th. And then some time after the
water was back on, the neighbour came to see if we knew when the water
would be back. The next two days the workmen were back fix him up. What
I think happened was that they missed him and another team came to fill
in the holes and the take away the barriers and they assumed everyone
done. So they had to redig the hole, wait for the pipe to arrive and
then hook him up and make good. The man driving the digger put the
digger bucket through the windshield of their van. This is not the sort
of thing we expect from the utility crews.
The move is going slowly, but we are committed come what may. Ready or not, we must be caught.
The cardiac doctor upped my medicine and said cut the salt. But he says I am 'OK', don't worry - so I won't.
Spring is springing and one daffodil is trying to bloom ahead of the
other bulbs, the ones that are supposed to be earlier but have no buds yet. This
lone flower is having a hard, slow time. I noticed the bud more than 2
weeks ago and it is a little closer to blooming every day, but s-l-o-w.
It has been snowed on, in freezing nights and yet it continues to look like it intends to bloom. Photo
The software that runs my blog has been changed. I was warned but not
given a date and then a few days ago I logged in to write a post and
found myself in a new place. I had to find a manual for the new
software and am now reading it.
Best to all Janet
April 13 Notice:
News - I cannot do an update for April - the move is too hectic.
I will just notify you of change of address. We have moved across the
street. The phone/email etc. are the same and so is most of the mailing
address except the street number has changed from 11 to 10. .... And
also tell you that Mel Quale has died.The tentative burial date is 8
June in Lang. (if snow and flood is over). I will come in from France
then. I will put more in this site about Mel when I am able.
May 13 Letter
Hi, I am sorry for the ragged communication
this spring. This is another skimpy update. I found some things I had
collected/written months back and not used - so there are some articles
in the view section. Things will improve in late June.
We are now installed in our partially built house. Things are not
perfect but it is liveable at least when the weather is warm. We are
working hard to get more of the house finished. When conditions get me
down, I just think of all the money we are saving (rent, and one rather
than two sets of utility and insurance bills). I also think about how
well things work in the new house compared to the rental: the shower,
the drains, the frig etc. The kitchen is starting
to look great. (see house progress) I worked so hard during the move
that I lost 8 kg or 17 and a half pounds. Right now Harry is clearing
some elms that are diseased and in the way of a workshop. You can't
take the lumberjack out of a Canadian. We still have not found all the
little things in daily use, but most have surfaced.
I first thing I had to do when we moved was to sit on the bed and do the taxes.
We had a visit from Ciara and Ryan. (see visits) It was so good to see
them after a long gap. Ciara now has her MA in Political Science and
Ryan's startup business is going OK. Photo is of Ciara. I read her thesis and it look real good to me.
I am going to Canada 4-19 June. Bob McIlwaine did his usual magic
finding a good flight plan. Mel Quale is being buried on June 8 in Lang
and that is the main reason for the trip but I also hope to do some
visiting, shopping and business. There is a piece on Mel in the Family
My blog has been acting oddly since it has been 'upgraded'. I don't know if it is good news or bad. (see stats below).
Regards from a very disorganised Janet
June 2013 letter
Hi everyone, I am a little late this month but may stay near the end of the month with updates for a while.
Following our move we were really trying the get comfortable as a full
time job (see House). The big thing then was my trip to Canada (see
Visits). One thing I noticed in Regina was that Dutch Elm disease seems
to have got a good hold on the street trees in the city. That is a
shame. I can picture the city being windy, hot and dusty in the summer
if the trees are gone. The photo is of one of the oldest elms in Regina
which is right by Merrilee and Aydon's house. The trip out was a little
over 26 hours awake and the trip back almost 29 hours awake. I
enjoyed the comfort of both Merrilee and Aydon's place and Marcia and
Ken's - could not ask for better places to stay. I didn't gain weight,
Melvin is now buried in a plot adjacent to my mothers and with a shared
headstone. His obituary from the Leader Post is below. It was not a
great day to be out in with a fair amount of rain. I was a little
suprised that I was expected to conduct the burial but all went well.
The dog is learning a new skill - how to deal with things on the
street. She is to bark a bit but then stop, sit and watch the action.
She is not to run up to the road or going on barking forever. She is
learning and is very comfortable in the new yard.
We are having a cold spring but we cannot complain when we look at what others have been putting up with. Janet
July 2013 letter
Greetings, We have had some bad weather and some very hot weather, even one bad storm - but mostly good.
cars stop for a short time along our street - a favourite place to
change drivers, look at maps and the like. They usually stop for a
short time and then are gone. The dog has learned (pretty well) to not
go after people who park along
the road, neighbours or the mail lady but Ginger does bark and then
when whoever the intruder goes on their way, she sits there proud that
she has chased them off - another notch for the dog. Ginger sits up
straight, wags her tail and looks about for the applause.
Harry is getting a carpal tunnel operation soon on his other wrist.
The picture shows the stones on the mail box. Harry told the post lady
that it was a Canadian thing - a method of signing. So when she puts
something in the box for us, she puts the one stone on top of the
other. When we empty the box they put them back separately. She loves
it and you can see her smile to herself when she does it.
I have ordered a Twizy for delivery in Sept. It is a tiny one person
car for which you do not need a driving license. It is electric.
We have just finished the cherries from our tree. We had some every day
for about two weeks. The blackberries are a good bunch and they will be
ripening soon. I can also see some walnuts coming along.
We now know what to call ourselves - residents of Bengy are to be called Bengyciennes et Bengyciens.
Have a good summer. Janet
August 13 letter
is August and nothing happens in France in August. Our Doctor says
'never get sick in August'. Don't have any sort of problem. Harry's carpal tunnel has to wait until September.
Now we are
near the end of the month, people are returning with their suntans.
Years ago we were camping at the beach at Rochelle and it was extremely
crowded. One morning we got up and the beach was empty, just us there.
It was the last day of August and everyone had packed up in the night
and started home.
Our soldier neighbour is safely back from his posting in Africa save and sound.
We have been having beautiful weather. We have black berries now. There
are more than usual but not very juicy and hardly worth picking - probably due to the dry spell
The photo is of three swans that decided to swan through Bengy on foot
one day. This is a street parellel but south of ours. Harry saw them
earlier nearer the center of town.
read that the speed with which you loss weight can have a big effect on
how much good it does you (see weight loss below) for my progress. One
of the side-effects of losing weight at my age is that I suddenly have
lots of wrinkles. It's good thing I'm not vain. The webstats are also below.
We are expecting a visit from the Parkers at the end of the month and from Bob, Aydon and Dave in October.
There has been some house progress. Lately, in the good weather Harry has been working towards the garage/workshop. (see house)
Here is a link to a interesting site,
The Project Twins, with their graphic designs illustrating weird
words. (Thanks to Judith on Facebook)
It's half way through the CFL season and the Riders have only
lost one game - maybe they will be playing in the final in Regina. Janet
September 13 Letter
Greetings, What a month - I'll start with little things: Yorkshire won the European destination
2013 at the World Travel Awards and the Roughriders had a great start to the year (but they may still disappoint).
The Parkers visited on the very last day of last month (see visits).
Harry has made progress on the house but I have very few pictures to
show for it (see house). We have had pretty good weather and we are
both in good health. We are expecting to see Bob, Aydon and Dave next
Big news: I bought a car! It is a single seater, electric car that is
set so that it can be driven without a licence (see Views-other bits
for details). The photo is of me proudly pointing to my Twizy. I drove
it the 20 or so kilometers home from the dealers. It was great. Harry
followed behind and worried.
I got a new hosting service (also keeping the old one for now), a new
domain and a new blog. I am busy getting the blog ready. I'll give the links next month. I was tearing
my hair out with the mechanics of the old blog. And I intend to get a
I had blood tests and am very happy about it. (see below) And I have
not mellowed in my old age according to an attitude test. (also below) Janet
October 13 letter
a month! In the early part of the month I was working on the new blog
and Harry was clearing enough space to sleep one of the visitors. We
were also trying to get things ready for Harry's operation. All was
busy, busy, busy but not much to show for it. The rest of the month was
a write off, so house progress was slim except for what the visitors
helped with. (see house).
Our neighbour who is in the army has been told he will have to go back to Mali soon.
Bob, Aydon and Dave visited mid-month (see visits). It was a good
visit. In the middle of it I turned 74 - drank some bubbly and eat some
chocolates to celebrate.
Right after visit, Harry had the operation on his wrist. Last time it
was a very easy recovery but he had a different type of operation this
time and has had a lot of pain and discomfort, in his shoulder and back
as well as his wrist and hand.
While he was having his operation, the crew arrived to put in storm
drains along our road (see picture). We have had a lot of noise and
disruption for about a week. But they are doing an excellent job. In
the end they will redo the road.
My new blog is at http://dyslectern.info. I am so happy with the
service from the new provider. But it will take time to build a
readership. The webstats are not falling very fast on the old blog or
rising very fast on the new one. (see webstats below).
We have just had what has been called the St. Jude storm. We were just
on the edge of it and got plenty of rain and some strong winds. But it
was very bad in England, the north French coast and up to Northern
Germany and Scandinavia. More than a dozen people died. We were glad to
hear that Bob and Aydon got their flight back to Canada just before it
hit Holland because there was mess with the airports, trains, ferries
and electricity supplies all over the area. Our friends Don and Kath
are on a trip to Wales so we hope it was not a disaster. The trip was
booked some time ago and they decided to go despite the weather
forcasts saying "we are off to see a hurricane". We hear that
surfing was great along the south French coast, Spain and Portugal -
big, big waves. Someone surfed a 30 meter wave - the largest ever
November 13 letter
Harry had his operation for carpal
tunnel last month, a few days after Dave left. It was a more
complicated operation then the last one and he is still recovering.
The problem is the old one from his shoulder as well as the op. He
can't sleep well. I have been doing the cooking – would you believe
(and doing it well). A nurse came several times in the first two
weeks to redress, clean, take out stitches etc. He is now seeing a
masseur about the shoulder. Nov 28 was the first good night's sleep
he has had since the op. A small amount of light work has been done
but it is really a small amount – mostly putting up barriers
between the warm and the cold part of the house. There are no
pictures of the house progress this time 'cause ... wait, there was
no progress. But we are warm and comfortable.
Harry has also had a birthday and is
now 83 but he looks the same.
The road works are going on along our
road, right by our house. We have a new side walk, storm drain and
curb. When everything else is done, the road will be re-surfaced. It
should be done soon.
The Riders won the Grey Cup so Sask
friends are happy. I wrote something about it that you can find in
Views. Also Kwasniak relatives and Ukrainian friends may enjoy a
piece on Sniatyn in Views. Michelle and her friends may want to see
her photo of junk in Views.
I am still losing weight even though I
have not been very active in the recent cold. I have been doing the
cooking while Harry is recovering. There is still a lot of traffic to
old posts on my old blog but the traffic to the new blog is
increasing very slowly.
The photo is one I like but I cannot find the original source of
it or where/when it came to be on my computer - anyone know it? Janet
December 13 letter
The UK and northern Europe had a very bad storm recently
while we had very calm weather. It was hard to believe that we were so
close and yet completely unaffected. The tidal surges were the highest
in 60 years. We have been having fairly cold weather for this time of
year and this place. It is way too cold to be outside doing any work.
But we have been watching the road gang remaking the sidewalks - I
wouldn't want to be out there working. (see photo) The final white
gravel layer is not down yet but already it is not muddy but firm. We
are going to have
a bed for flowers and shrubs long our stretch it seems - nice. There is
no work on the house to
report. We are getting warnings of icy roads and there was a fatality
in the neighbouring village of Avord on a icy patch by a somewhat blind
corner. The Twizzy is staying in the yard. And I am not getting enough
Harry is now sleeping through the night and has been for more than a
week. It has
improved his mood immensely. We think his wrist is on the mend but it
is weak from lack of use. He is going to take his slumped walk
seriously and try to find some method to treat it. Ginger and I are in
good health, atleast good enough.
again got a small 'hamper' that the village gives its 'ancients' to
Christmas - or you can go to a meal they put on, but I am afraid to go
because I never know what has gluten init. I have been too disorganized
to get a Christmas letter together
and sent. There is a little review of the year at the bottom of
the page (it seems a bit silly as a replacement for a Xmas letter
because if you read this site then you know what our year has been and
those that don't read this site will not find the substitute - oh
well). I am putting this update out in mid-Dec rather then end-Dec
because there is no Xmas letter. Maybe I'll send out a Jan letter by
mail to some folks who don't do the
on-line stuff. We do wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Janet
January 14 letter
The last update was before Christmas. We had our usual quiet day
(except no TV). On the morning of the solstice I took a picture of the
dawn (see ploto). We ate well on all three 'big days'. Harry got his
new sax delivered just before Xmas and I got a camcorder as my new Xmas
thing. In to Jan, we noted Ukrainian Xmas but did nothing for it
We have done practically nothing on the house (rain, cold, aches and
pains, laziness). But while we have been inactive, we got a nice new
sidewalk (see house). The new neighbour decided to put up a proper
fence and we said we would not put in any work but would help with the
cost. Also we have decided how to do the first year of gardening here
and I have ordered the seed from the place Ciara found for me.
I decided to eat whatever I felt like until I started to gain and then
go back on the diet. For 3 months my weight was absolutely stable but
now I have put on half a kilo - so I am back on diet and also more
exercise, We finally got our flu shots - we almost forgot entirely. We
should have had them in Oct. Yours, Janet
February 14 letter
seem to be in the only part of the world with fairly good weather. We get
some wind and heavy rain from the tail end of the English and French
coast storms, but it is nothing serious. If I was a worrier (I'm not) I
would be looking out for when we had pay-back for our fortunate weather.
They are still doing the road. What a production! They started in late
Oct. and are only doing a little over a quarter mile. They might be
done by the end of March, maybe. It is going to look great.
I have started walking for the bread again, now that the road works
have got to the Cheval Blanc where I get the bread and I don't have to
walk through barriers, holes, mud, heavy equipment etc. Walking for
bread Feb 14, I noticed the first flowers of the year, snowbells in one
of the yards. That is the photo but I could not get very near because
of the fence so it is a bit fuzzy.
Below is the webstats (new graph) and a silly personality test result.
I order seed from a company that Ciara arranged a catalog from, they
have arrived and we are starting to built a bed. If it works well, they
will build others. I think next month with be taxes and garden for me.
There is a picture of the start of the garden in the house progress but no progress on the house in Feb. Janet
March 14 letter
It feels like spring now. The air is warm and the trees
are starting to bloom. Photo is of a hawthorn bush at the top of our yard. End of March is the time for the clocks to go
ahead. I have started a garden and hope to add more later from the
seeds I bought. So far the onions and carrots are in and showing.
Harry is still hoping to recover more feeling in his hand but it has
been almost 6 months so the likelihood is that it will not improve much. My
hand has now been diagnosed with carpel tunnel now so I will be getting
the op soon. I am hoping that my recovery is like Harry's first op and
not his second one. We also worry about Harry's eyes.
The saga of the road works took another turn. The current
contractor has worked his way from our end of the sidewalk to the
another end across the village. It really looked like they were done
when they came back with a digger and starting in on the sidewalk in
front of our house. Now, we had wondered why our driveway didn't look
like the others. We thought maybe we missed some opportunity to put our
address down for a fancy approach. But no it was their mistake so now
they are work on our drive. The gardeners have put in the shrubs along
the street. We are still expecting another crew to re-pave the road
proper and put in a sleeping policeman.
This month was the big computer move. I started a new blog with a new
domain and hosting company when I could not deal with the old setup. I
liked the new people and so finally decided to move this website, the
genealogical one, the old domain, the email adresses and the old blog
over to the new hosting side (called SiteGround if you are looking for
a good host). It went fairly well although I worried the whole time. It
will be a little while before I have good stats to look at and there
are a few little things I have to do, but it is good and working much
better than it was before the move.
I have the taxes done, hurray. Unfortunately there is no house progress to report.
Harry order a tiny bobcat with digger direct from China. We are hoping
it arrives soon but it has not left China yet. This is the second order
from China - Harry got a sax from there and it seemed like an adventure
to be dealing with the manufacturers in China. "Where are you come
from?" was the first reply.
There is another quiz result below and a note on Ciara's paper.
Hope everyone is having a nice spring. Janet
April 14 letter
Well we have spring - the trees are all
green, the grass is growing so fast you can see the difference from day
to day. We are getting lots of sun and quite a bit of rain. It is not
hot yet but it is nice and warm.
We started another garden bed, a little bigger. I was putting a layer
of stone on the bottom before putting in top soil. I fell and did not
break anything but have not been working on it since. Harry also fell
doing some work on a platform when a plank broke. He did not break
anything either. Both accidents could have been far worse. We were lucky but also feeling sorry for ourselves.
Our work has almost ground to a halt but will start again when we feel
a bit better and the bobcat and the shed we ordered arrive. (see
house) The shed is to hold the tools in so that we can finish the walls
in the living room. Currently it is too crowded to work in. The bobcat
will by used for the garage and garden stuff to start with.
I have a new mouse that is easier on my wrist and carpal tunnel.
It is wireless so and can hold in anyway like on my lap. It just fits
into my hand has a roller ball, a scroll wheel, an action trigger, a
left and right button and two other buttons that I don't use. It has
done wonders for my hand but I am still getting the operation. It is a tiny light handy miracle. I
just slip my finger through the loop and onto the trigger and move my
thumb between the green roller bar to move the mouse and the wheel to
scroll up and down. I can also use my thumb on the right button. Slick.
We expect to see Ciara in early May as she returns from Thailand. We are looking forward to seeing her.
I am now getting consistent stats for the web (see below) and like the new setup and host.
May 14 letter
in France is holiday month. Holidays are not well spread around the
calendar in the spring; the only holiday in the first 4 months is
Easter, then there are 3 in May. May 1 (May Day/Labour Day), May 8 (VE
Day) and May 29 this year but always on a Thursday (Ascension Day).
It has been a fairly cool and sometimes rainy month. We had a visit
from Ciara in early May (see visits). We really appreciated seeing her.
I saw the surgeon while she was here - I will have an operation on my
wrist in a couple of months. My Twizy would not start but we left it
until Ciara was gone and the road work over. They came and got it on a
transporter, fixed it and I drove it back from Bourges. The drive when
well - only no nervous moment. It was not charging its small battery
(the biggy traction battery was fine).
The road works are finally done. Over three years they have upgraded
every service (electric, phone, water, sewer, storm sewer) along the
road and extended them if they did not come as far as us and our
neighbours, redid the sidewalks with a bit of style and now resurfaced
the road with added slowing bumps. All done! It must have cost a
fortune all in. We have done no real work on the house this month.
We voted for the first time in France. We can vote in local (residents
qualify) and European elections (EU citizens qualify) but not national
ones (only French citizens can). It was an odd way of voting. We were
given an envelop instead of a ballot. There were slips of paper for
each party on a long table and you took the slip you wanted to vote for
and put it in the envelop and then it went in the ballot box. A few
days before we got a set of these slips in the mail. I think people who
want to be very secret use a slip they have brought from home.
(election joke below)
Everything is growing fast and we are having to keep up with the grass.
There were a lot of wild orchids this year. The photo is the false
acacias blooming. They have a beautiful scent of sweetpea.
Everything else waits for June - bobcat (it is in France but not with
us yet) and shed arrive early June, Harry sees the doctor for his eyes
June 14 letter
Greetings. This has been a very good month for weather - warm to hot with enough rain but much sun.
Harry got his eye check-up. No real change but he has to keep taking
the drops. We are a bit confused about how things are going to develop.
He had slight catarats but they are just ignored now, he has age-related
macrodegeneration but apparently it is the sort with no treatment just
vitamin supplements and glaucoma which is being treated with drops. The
Dr. says he is responding to the drops. We worry about his sight.
electric car has a big (for traction) and a small (for lights etc.)
battery. The small battery stopped working and so the Twizy had a trip
to the garage to fix it.
Harry's baby bobcat arrived (photo below). It spent more time on French
soil that on the boat from China. It arrived in LeHavre, then it was
trucked to Marseilles going right passed out place but it couldn't be
off loaded. Then had to wait in Marseilles until missing papers arrived
from China. After being clear in customs and the taxes paid, we had to
find another company to ship it to our address. Delays with all that
and finally the truck gets here. Would you believe that the road people
(who were finished and gone) came back to put some more markings on the
ground and had one way traffic going. So the truck was on the sidewalk,
the driver's mover thingy would not work properly on our crate (welded
iron frame with little legs) and he was in a temper. Anyway it was
finally on the ground. A couple of neighbours help with getting in out
of the crate affair - two heavy for just a couple of people. It had oil and a little fuel in it, and with a jumper cable it started and it was driven into our yard from the sidewalk.
The neighbour is about to start putting in the fence between us - we
are paying for some of the materials but not doing any of the labour.
The blocks to go under the shed are in place and level. Now we have to
build it. (see house for what little progress has happened).
The only thing added to the garden is a box with potatoes growing in it.
It has not been long since Glen Wight died and now his
widow has also died. Loretta's obit is below. She was a sweet lady.
Also below are some quizzes, the EU election result for our area, and
the web stats for my sites.
Have a good July 1, July 4 and July 14 depending on your country. Janet
July 14 letter
Hello, All is well and it is great to be in summer. The shed is almost
ready to move things in. (see house for shed, bobcat and hedge
pictures) The baby bobcat is becoming comfortable for Harry to use and
he has used it for a bit of earth moving type jobs. We now have 4
working mowers: the little electric one that I use, a normal sort now
made to work properly by a repair shop, the cutter-bar mower which
Harry has put a new engine on, and the riding mower. We now have a
mower for all the bits of ground we have.
We have moved as much earth as we are going to into the potatoe box -
about 2 feet. Here is a explanation of how it works - click to enlarge.
We had lots of cherries earlier and it looked like we would have lots
of black berries but putting in the fence by the neighbour has rooted
them all up along with the old hedge. The work started on the 28th with
the hedge removal. That was the day I had to go see the
anesthetist so we missed the first part of the work. The new fence will
keep the dog at home but between taken out the hedge and putting up the
fence, there isn't any sort of barrier!
My operation will be on the 13th. I will not have a general anesthetic and I'm happy about that.
I have taken a holiday from blogging for part of the summer. I usually
do a posting every 3 days and that routine take a lot of my time. I
want to catch up on some other things and get past my carpal tunnel
We was the video clip of Didcot power station cooling towers coming
down. Harry worked at Didcot before it was finished, writing
maintenance manuals - that was over 40 years ago. Anyway they came down
August 14 letter
have had a fairly rainy and stormy month. The bamboo is usually yellow
and losing leaves by the end of August, but all the rain has kept it
spring green. (see photo)
We now have a substantial fence on our west side and we can see into
what was an old orchard and is now the domain of sheep and childred. We
were looking forward to not having to get Ginger back from the
neighbours lot. The day after the fence went up, we walk along its
length with the neighbours - them on their side and us on ours - a
discussed whether there were any problems. We got to the bottom end and
I spied Ginger sitting happily on the other side of the neighbours lot.
Everyone was shouting and pointing at her and she got all nervous and
running frantical about. The neighbour figured out how she got in, he
and Harry got her out, they fixed the gap, and Ginger now seems to know
that that is not her territory anymore. It was probably a good thing
that she got a little scared and learned that it really was a no-no.
The shed is almost done. We are putting in shelves and starting to clear the front room. (See house link for pictures.)
I had my carpal tunnel operation on the 13th and the stitches out on
the 27th. It all went well. Getting there was the most scaring part. It
was early morning and black, extremely heavy rain and wind so we could
hardly see the road and the road is very windy in places and in other
places it is forested and so deer can be on the road. My heart was in
my throat most of the way.
The local pub had another robbery. This time the police came chatting
up and down the road. They wanted to know what was seen and heard, if
people had any suspicions, had the dogs barked in the night, were that
other robberies. Nice young guys spent about 20 mins at each house.
They gave the pub some survalence equipment. It probably won't help;
nothing has so far. It is so obvious when the pub is empty and there is
lots to steal.
We thought we would have visitors this month from England, but both
visits fell though. It is a disappointment as we were looking forward
to them in a big way. And the reasons for not coming are also worrying.
Maybe later when people and circumstances are healthier.
We are still worried about Harry's eyes. One eye seems to have improved a bit lately, so it is not all bad news.
I took a holiday from blogging and I intent to start again to the start
of Sept. I took a different look at the stats to see what repeat
visitors I had to various sites. (see below) Best wishes to all. Janet
September 14 letter
The road works are finally completely finished. We know
this two ways. First, the street lights started going out at night of
the 22nd Sept. This was a special arrangement to have the lights on at
night during the road works and so they have been for a couple of
years. Second, we got an invitation to the inauguration ceremony on Oct
6. Would you believe the list of people who are going to do the
inauguration: the prefect of the Cher (the rep of the Ministry of the
Interior in the Cher), the president of the Cher departmental assembly,
the president of the Centre regional assembly, the senator for the Cher
in the national parliament and ditto the deputy for the Cher, and of
course the mayor and the town councilors.
We have had some very nice vegetable from the neighbours - really
tasted good. They are harvesting now that it is cooling down and the
trees are starting to turn.
My hand is now well enough that I have to do dishes - no problems.
We hope to see the Parkers next month, when Ron has recovered from his
heart 'repair'. Looking forward to that! and to the Hinson-Parsons if
they can sneak away.
We were getting annoyed at not being able to get Vitamin D from the
pharmacy without a prescription from the doctor. It turns out that
France has decided to give Vit D in a liquid form with a swallow
lasting 3 months. It is not a bother because I have to go to the doctor
for heart med prescription every 3 months anyway.
The slab for the garage was poured on the 30th so the pictures are here. There are some others in the house link. Quizzes and
web stats are below along with one of the best drawn cartoons I have
seen in the long time.
The photo is of the walnut trees dropping nuts and starting to turn brown.
I hope you all have a pleasant autumn. Janet
October 14 letter
making his rash promise to have the garage done by 15th Dec. Harry is
trying to get enough done that he will not be too embarrassed. After
the slab was poured and set, it took 4 days to get the formwork off,
one day for each side and the last side took the help of a pair of
neighbours. Now Harry is moving earth for the rest of the foundation.
It is great garden soil. A piece broke on the Hysoon and so earth
moving stopped for a few days while Harry made a difficult repair (but
a good one). (see link to House for pics) (Although we were expecting
visitors - we have had none)
Our Internet suppliers sent us a new box to bring in the net, phone
(and would be TV too but we didn't contract for that). The equipment
papers said they had sent the passwords etc. separately. We realized
that the address was wrong - it was for the old house across the
street. The post office has been doing its re-direction well but not
for this letter. We got the password by phone and it all worked fine.
We are going to have to watch who else has the wrong address.
The last haircut I had was in Canada over a year ago. The length was
driving me mad so I talked Harry into a cut even though he has trouble
seeing and didn't want to do it. It turned out OK. So my birthday was a
haircut, an extending handle duster, a kitchen scale, a new elegood
boyctric kettle, chocolates and some fancy meat paste. I got some nice
cards and emails.
We are enjoying the time change off of daylight saving in the morning;
the evenings were getting dark quickly. There were other signs of fall.
Some trees are losing leaves or turning and the walnuts have fallen.
Cranes came over starting on the 24th and for days after. They always
cheer Harry up. A wasp came after me and bit me twice before we killed
it - that did not cheer me up. The photo this time is a joke in the
form of a philosophical dog. Quizzes and Webstats below.
I hope you all have a fun Halloween. Janet
November 14 letters
Hi, During Nov. we have had runs of sunny and of rainy weather. With
all the earth that Harry has disturbed and uncovered in making the
level patch beside the garage slab for a workshop, we have discovered
what the mud is like around here. It is almost as bad as Saskatchewan
mud. Harry's shoes were getting tall but (unlike Sask) when he got to
an inch and a half-ish platforms they started to curl over the sides
of the shoes. It is practically impossible to get off. But the top
soil was more than we need right now and the neighbour was coveting
it and so a piece of the fence came down temporarily so that the last
couple of bucket holds went in their yard. We had a lovely bunch of
fresh figs from them. Figs do not get more ripe or keep well after
they are picked. We were not eating them fast enough so I froze a lot
When they finished the road works a while back, the Mayor and some
others walked the length of the new road (maybe it was an
inspection). Anyway the Mayor said to Harry that our trees that
overhand the sideway should be trimmed back. Don't worry – no hurry
– but get it done sometime. Well we look at it and decided that we
could not do it. Some lower branches near the phone line had been cut
back by Ryan a few years back. They were high and these were much
higher. The neighbour said he could do it, but when he went to borrow
the equipment from his friend, the friend said it was too dangerous.
We were looking at a few hundred euros to get a specialist to do it.
One day this month, Harry heard a noise he couldn't identify and so
when looking and a couple of streets away there was a gang with a
tree trimming machine (ie a huge circular saw on a long articulated
arm on a big track vehicle). Harry made a deal with them to do our
trees for 50 euros. So they came, buzzed around and leave trimmed
trees and a pile of branches. The photo is Harry having led the
trimming crew to us. They made a nice bonfire on Harry's birthday
We saw the mayor again (but it was before the tree trimming) when
he brought our 'ancient's' hamper. We didn't go the the dinner they
have every year around this time for the old folks. I can't eat the
meal because of my gluten thing and Harry doesn't want to go alone.
Those who don't go get a hamper.
A few days ago, my internet supplier notified me that I was almost
over the limit for server use on my contract. I went to the highest
level of contract, which doesn't have a limit. It was painless and
took about 2 days to upgrade during which I could not make changes to
anything. People may have had trouble getting to my sites at times
during the 2 days. Sorry.
Our neighbours have a new pup. Harry took Ginger over to meet and
There was a bit of progress on the house (see house link). We had
no visitors. There is a cartoon, quiz result, and
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS below on this page. I will be mailing and emailing this Christmas Letter also. It will be after Xmas before
I am updating this site again.
December 2014 letter
Hello, We have had some nice weather in December but just before Christmas it
started to get cold. Up until then there had only been 2 nights when it
froze. Since Christmas it is even freezing in the day time. Work on the
garage has stopped until we get some warmer weather. (see house link).
The plasma cutter torch worked very well.
We are both well and ready to start a new year with the same
resolutions we have failed to keep in previous years. There is always
next year. We had our usual very quiet Christmas. Our various
neighbours have been away a lot during this season. One of the nice
things about Christmas is that I get to hear from a lot of people.
Our neighbours have got a pup and the group of pup, little daughter and mother
have brought the pup into our yard a few times when they have been
walking back from the village so that Ginger and the pup can make
friends. This appears to be happening.
I am still trying to figure out what happened with my blog. The
visiters dropped when I was moved to a different server in late
November and have not come back to normal. The company that looks after
my domains has checked the setup twice and can find nothing
wrong. I cannot tell over the holidays what is happening because
it is always weird, but into January I am hoping it cures itself or I
will have to do some studying on SEOs. Stats and map of visiters is below. In honour of Christmas and my
computer problem, I have a nerdy Linux-Xmas cartoon below. Click to
Have a good New Year's start to the New Year. Janet
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
2012 Christmas Letter
(I was going to put in the original on the Christmas paper but it did
not seem to work. I can't find the problem so here it is in text.)
The end of another year is near. What is there to report?
First we are in pretty good health (for our ages), comfortable and
content. We do not live an exciting life but it is satisfying. The same
is true of our dog who is doing well on three legs and is an extremely
The house is coming along. We will move in as soon as we can so that we
stop paying rent. That means having a working kitchen, bathroom,
bedroom and computer desk. I hope we will get to that point in January.
Harry is working hard on getting there. The neighbouring lot came up
for sale and we bought it at a good price. We do not have plans for it
yet. It was more an investment and a way to have some control what is
next to our little place.
Note that when we move our address with be the same except that the street number will be #10. We are moving across the street.
I have been having a good run with my blog and personal website. I have
ignored the genealogical site for some time, unfortunately –
maybe I'll do something with it next year. I should reach a total of a
million hits on the blog just into the new year and that is a milestone
that I didn't expect when I started the blog four and a half years ago.
We have done no traveling this year although we had thought that we
might make it to the UK. We still have it in mind. But we did have
visitors, all in the spring. First Zena and Mark from Regina. I think
it was the best chats we have ever had with them. Then Ron and Carol
stopped over night on their drive from England to the south of France.
We had no seen them for many, many years so there was a lot of catching
up to do. And finally we had Merrilee and Aydon with Bob overlapping
with them. Again a great time. We had no visit from Ciara (just her
sister, mother and father) and Ryan but they have come every year we
have been in France and they are very, very busy this year. Ciara is
starting law school and Ryan is starting a business.
I have found out that I have some faults in my gut that will not be
fixed and I will learn to live with. But on the other hand after four
looks at my insides, I am assured that I have nothing serious wrong.
'No cancer' is a lovely thing to know. Harry also has some problems
that he has to live with, but his eyes are slowly getting worse with
My French is still embarrassingly poor. Maybe some work on it will be a next year's resolution.
We hope that you have a great holiday and that next year is a great one for you and yours.
Harry and Janet
2013 Xmas letter
Sorry but I am too disorganized this year to do a proper Christmas
letter. It has been a hectic year. In the early part of the year I was
having trouble with my health and got looked at by a cardiac specialist
who changed my medication and my diet. Then we had a traumatic move to
the new house which was not finished - and still isn't. It was cold and
disorganized. (New address is 10 Route
de Nevers - just across the street.) But we got a visit from Ciara and
Ryan even though it was cold and
messy which was great to cheer us up and a help. My step father Mel
died in the spring and I
went to Canada for his burial in June. Mel is buried beside Mother in
Lang. It was a good trip (really a great
trip), but took a lot of energy - flying is fast but it is not
pleasant. I stay about 2 weeks and I was very comfortable with Merrilee
and Aydon as hosts, Bob as my planning assistant. We had an overnight
visit from the
Parkers which was fun. Harry had to buy a new computer & got one
on-line from Germany. During the move and trip, my blog was made
impossible for me to manage and I was not getting help with the
problems - tears and rages happened. Finally in desperation I just gave
up the started a new blog
with a different host who does give me help. I bought a little electric
car that does not need a drivers license and has a restricted speed.
Still in chaos we had a visit from Ciara's father and step father plus
friend Dave. They were great fun and helpful. We just managed to get
some protection from cold for the winter before Harry had to go for his
carpal tunnel operation. His recovery was terrible because of an old
shoulder repair and he didn't get a good night's sleep for over a
month. Now he is mending. My computer packed in in Nov and I got a new
one the same as Harry's and a new printer. But I still don't have my
scanner scanning. I also bought a mobile
phone. Harry bought a plasma torch just before his operation and hasn't
had a chance to use it yet. During the year I lost a lot of weight and
I am very happy with that. The dog has had a great year in the new
yard. Harry and I are now getting our health back. From the time we
moved we have not had TV so other things should be happening, but we
still can waste time doing Killer
Sudoku puzzles. The house is messy
and unfinished by we are now warm and fairly comfortable and we are
happy. Harry and I
wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Love to all.
Merry Christmas Xmas letter 2014
Time for an end of year letter. Merry Christmas and Happy New
Year. I hope you have had a good year.
Our year has been quiet. We are both feeling older but on the
other hand, we get up each morning and do things, sometimes with some
discomfort but almost never with pain. Harry eyesight is slowly going
downhill and it causes him some frustration. I lost weight last year
but not this year. This year I did not gain either, my blood pressure
is down some, and blood sugar is no longer borderline diabetic. I had
my carpal tunnel fixed this fall. Harry's hand doesn't have all its
feeling – he was too late with his second carpal tunnel operation
so we got mine done as soon as there were any symptoms. We are doing
pretty well for our ages. All in all, we are contented.
We expected a number of visitors this year but it didn't turn out
that way. Our only visitor was Ciara in the spring. She is now
divorced from Ryan; is very near finishing Law School; works part
time for her mother; and has a new partner that she will be living
with in the future.
Our house is still unfinished but we live in it and it is
comfortable enough. Currently Harry is trying to finish the garage.
The slab is in place and a lot of earth has been rearranged. Work
goes slowly – Harry is 84 and no longer can put in a full day's
work. We constructed a little building so that there was a safe place
for things close to where Harry is building the garage. It is a nice
looking little shed. In the current work on the garage Harry has been
using his new 'toy', a baby bobcat. We bought it direct from China,
the Hysoon company. That is the third thing we have bought directly
from a Chinese firm. The bobcat has no cab but you stand on a little
platform at the back to drive it.
Although we have not done that much, things still happen around
us. The road and sidewalks have been done along our street (cum
highway). It is now quite nice looking and the path in front of our
place is no longer a group of holes and puddles when it rains. Trucks
can't park overnight in front of us either. That is the change to the
front. To the west, our new neighbours have removed the thick hedge
and put in a fence. It is a nice fence for which we put in half the
money but none of the work. On the east, our other neighbour has put
in a fence, too. We will not have to worry so much about our dog
perhaps wandering. We did have a small garden this year and will have
a bigger one next year. We had a great crop of wild cherries this
year, and some walnuts even though we were slow and the squirrels
We got to vote this year in the European elections. It is odd how
everyone does their elections differently. We were supplied by mail
with a slip for each candidate-list/party and at the polling station
we were given an envelope each to put the slip we wanted to vote for
in the envelope. There were also extras of all the slips on a long
table in case you didn't bring one with you. The whole thing was very
fast and clean. There was also a little drill we had to do when
putting the envelope in the box so that they could see there was only
one envelope and we could see that ours was the envelope that went
in. I forget exactly how it went, but I think I had to put it in the
empty slot and the officer had to push it through. The slot was too
narrow to take two envelops. There was a curtained off little area in
case you wanted more privacy putting the slip in the envelop.
I got very angry with my internet supplier and so changed to
another. Thus I ended up with two blogs, an old one that I don't post
to any more but which still gets many visitors, and a new blog that
is still being found by visitors. I still have the two other sites,
my personal one and the genealogical one. The 4 sites and the 2 email
addresses are all with the new company and I am happy with their
service and price. Just lately I was near the limit of traffic for
the contract I had and so I changed to a different contact with the
Have a lovely holiday and a good 2015. Janet and Harry Kwasniak