Sunshine!!!

At last, we’ve had actual, golden, gorgeous sunshine for several days in a row! Everyone is walking around smiling again, even the dogs seem happier.

I know that we will be having more yucky weather, but for now it is a true joy to feel those rays on my face when I take Shmoo for his walks.

It’s even more appreciated after the last few weeks of flu that hit us here Chez Possum. I try not to use the “flu” word lightly, because most of the time it’s not really flu, just a cold. But this time I’m about 99% convinced that what hit me first, then JM was the actual big kahuna.

I think the last time I had real flu was around 15 years ago, and what I noticed is that you forget how truly awful you feel with it. Even after it’s gone, you still feel drained and exhausted for days. Right now I’m thinking that maybe next year I’ll break down and get the damned flu shot to avoid gong through this again.

The flu peak has been passed here in France, but I understand that it’s just starting in the States, so to all of you who read me across the water, stay healthy and if you run into someone coughing and looking green around the gills: RUN FAST! Just keep away from them no matter what you have to do.

Ciao for now.

Randy

The Spear of Destiny

I haven’t been posting too much lately for a couple of reasons. One is that I have been caught by the evil that is Facebook. Sure, it’s cool to get back in touch with people you haven’t seen/heard from in ages, but MAN can that thing suck time! I am going to have to limit myself in the future.

The other reason is that I haven’t been able to think because of all the pounding and disturbance caused by renovating the attic. I really think that house renovation is like childbirth: you forget the horror of the pain, because if you didn’t you would NEVER go through it again!

To be fair, we always knew that we were going to have to do something about the attic someday. This winter being as cold as it has been convinced us that sooner was better than later. Part of it was that we had done so much to the rest of the house to insulate that we started to realize how much of an energy blackhole the attic really was.

The wall on the back street is a case in point: up in the attic, it was just a thin layer of brick and not stone like lower down. When you were up there you could actually see daylight between the mortar and the bricks. That was sending a glacial cold current of air down into the rest of the house, making it almost impossible for the heater to be efficient.

Once you decide to do these things, you might as well do it well, so we figured we would not only insulate, but fix up the attic so that it makes a nice guest room as well. This started just over 2 weeks ago and has gone on from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. We ARE in the last stages though, except for a couple of things that will need different workmen to come and finish them, but those will only take a few days, hopefully.

Now, this being an old house, one is always expecting to come across surprises, both good an bad. In our case we have had an astonishing surprise! While our builder was doing some work on the walls near a beam, he discovered a SPEAR hidden up in the eaves! It appears to be very old.

M. LaCroix says it is a boar hunting spear, probably from the 17th or 18th Century. However, JM has an entirely different theory. Apparently, Louis IX had what was said to be the spear. Now, we know that he was in the area in his crusade against the Cathares. That spear has disappeared, so who is to say that it isn’t now OUR spear?

At any rate, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it!

Ciao for now.

Randy

Baker Update

Day 2 with our new baker, and I am happy to report that the quality that we’ve come to expect is being maintained! I’m embarrassed to say that even though we’ve been introduced and have chatted a bit, I can’t remember their name (bad me)! I’m sure eventually I will though.

Both JM and I are relieved, because good bread is so important, and we’ve always felt lucky to have it on our doorstep. We do not take it for granted, as we have tried plenty of bread from other bakeries that has not been up to our local bread.

Ciao for now.

Randy

Change in Store

I’ve known for quite some time that our wonderful baker, Philippe Corlet, wanted to sell the bakery and move on to other pastures. However, “village wisdom” was that it would be difficult to do for various, complicated reasons.

However, yesterday we all learned that Philippe has, indeed, managed to sell and that we are getting a new baker TOMORROW!!!

As you can well imagine, this is big news in a village like ours. We do have another bakery, but it is much smaller than the Corlet’s and doesn’t do much in the way of pastries, etc. We have no idea if our new baker will make the same things as Philippe or different ones; it’s all a bit of a mystery.

I do hope he is as wonderful a baker as Philippe, because we have always felt extremely lucky to have him here. I guarantee that tomorrow will be a busy day in the new bakery, as everyone goes to check out what is happening and taste the new product. I’m hoping to be able to say that we have been very lucky another time…

Ciao for now.

Randy