Friday, November 28, 2014

Sisterly misbehaviour.

Yesterday it was autumn. Today it's high summer. There's a band of dark cloud shrouding the horizon to the West but up here on the ridge it's bright and sunny. 

Bob and Sophie are in fine form. Bob chases something in a hedgerow. He thinks he's being stealthy but he makes a noise like a small rhinoceros. Whatever he's chasing quickly goes. Sophie stands by me and watches a lapis lazuli Kingfisher search for pollen in the brambles. Bob reappears. He's wearing his " nothing for you to worry about " look. I laugh. When they get home they spend half an hour savaging each other.

Sophie has finally had enough. It's time to finish the game and go inside. She signals her change of mood by grabbing the end of Bobs tail and holding on tight. Bob, who is a remarkably happy dog, accepts this sisterly misbehaviour with resigned good grace. 

This is an interesting article on dogs drinking habits:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Greetings.

Last night was a three hedgehog night. Each of them prodded with sensitive noses. You'd have thought the PON's might have learnt by now that hedgehogs are prickly. Sophie's dying diva squeals are quite something. The angelic duo send Thanksgiving Greetings. They've been up since first light telling all and sundry it's a great day.

And here, beautifully sung, is an old Dutch Thanksgiving song complete with clogs and smiling people. Wish I could explain why the choir is dressed for the 16th century while the congregation are dressed in zoot suits - but I can't : 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Autumn arrives.

Autumn arrives and with it thick mist. 'The font' heads back to London to see the thumb surgeon. Angus works in the garden planting Mahonias - the only thing that seems to thrive on this thick clay soil. Sophie looks for acorns under the oak trees. She eats them. Bob does his glum '' I've lost a sheep " routine.

Spirits pick up at lunchtime when the angelic duo smell a bacon sandwich cooking. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Swedes and the stray dog.

An ode to the power of the Swedish meatball.

Who's calling ?

A table outside the bakers with what appears to be a cake on it. Closer inspection shows that it's a very fancy loaf. '' I made a batch. They're €8.50. That's the last of them " says the baker. Why he's chosen today of all days to add fancy loaves to his repertoire goes unexplained. We settle for our usual croissants and baguette.

The plumbers arrive. They'd promised to come in the afternoon. They show up in the morning while we're out. Caroline, the unhappy cleaning lady, wears headphones while hoovering. The plumbers call us to say they can't get in. Caroline has bolted all the doors and is oblivious to their knocking and shouting. We try calling her on the land line and her mobile. No response. The plumbers leave.

The plumbers return in the afternoon. Seems the electricians disconnected the sensor that tells the radiators how cold it is. This is why they don't work. I ask the head plumber if he can reconnect it. '' I'm not an electrician "  the all too predictable reply. 

The fancy lighting company in Paris refuse to answer e-mails. When I call them the line mysteriously goes dead. This is the 'ignore the client' model of after sales service.

Bob and Sophie dig.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Multiple sounds.

Outside the church the the mayor can be seen operating a large green caterpillar tractor with an extendable arm. On the other end of the extendable arm is the man in the yellow day-glo jacket. He's being lifted onto the roof by the belfry. Angus decides to keep well away. Come five it's clear that this attempt to deal with the errant church bells has failed. They're still ringing merrily away . 

A change in the weather. A strong wind blows up. Branches litter the lawn. Bob and Sophie spend their evening savaging twigs. This is something they are happy to do for hours on end. PON's it must be said are not a quiet breed. This is particularly true of Sophie. She can simultaneously yelp, growl and squeal while twig savaging. 

And here's a Finnish Golden Retriever in an obedience competition. Guess he doesn't win.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Someone has  'tinkered' with the new electronic bell system in the church. The bells now peeling away triumphantly on the hour , every hour, twice. It's as if a royal wedding is taking place. At three in the morning the novelty of the bells has worn thin. A Sunday morning call to the mayor is on the cards. I'll go round to see the Very Old Farmer to make sure he's managed to get some sleep. We are at least 50 metres from the church. He is directly opposite. 

In the afternoon 'The font' sits at the wooden table in the garden and works on the Mandarin course. This is proving to be a difficult language to get to grips with. Bob settles down on the table and is keen to help. Having been firmly told not to chew the textbook he finally falls asleep. Not even the bells disturb him.

In the evening two attentive PONs pay close attention as dinner is prepared. We're at that happy stage where both know their daily routine . Lunch and dinner play a large part in it. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Maybe next week ?

Up here on the ridge the skies are blue and it's sunny and warm. A balmy 70 degrees. Maybe opening a Haagen-Dazs store in November isn't so daft after all.

We stop off for our copy of Le Figaro. The newsagent has a new selection of postcards. The one of the leisure centre is particularly attractive.

Loic the gardener blows leaves. The PON duo leap in and out of the piles, heads buried deep, rumps in the air, tails waving. They manage to spend three hours at this before coming indoors and falling into a deep sleep. In the evening we play touch rugby. This works well until Sophie disappears with the ball. This marks the end of the game.

No sign of the electricians.  Maybe next week ?