Friday, November 18, 2016


As we head out of the gate we hear The Old Farmers smoke alarm blaring away - an annoying high pitched beep-beep-beep - a sound not unlike a mosquito on steroids. Thick black oily smoke is pouring out of his chimney. I ring the bell and bang on the door. Bob barks. Finally, The Old Farmer opens the shutters and peers out. The boiler, serviced on Tuesday, has gone wrong and is burning too hot. It has set fire to his chimney. 

On learning this piece of news 'The Font' remembers the new repairmans parting words  " Sorry it took so long. Everything's alright now " and reschedules our regular ( and trusted ) engineer to come and service the boiler next week. It was lucky we banged on our neighbours door. He was sound asleep and oblivious to the alarm and the smoke that was filling his bedroom.

Sophie spends half an hour in the sunshine with 'The Font' for her daily grooming . Having the the harness on all day does nothing for her coat but a good brush through and she feels as silky as she's ever been. Bob loathes being groomed. Sophie adores it. She lies on her back, waves her paws in the air and squeals and squeals with delight.

The Christmas marzipan ordered from Lubeck arrives in an enormous brown cardboard box. Once unpacked it looks less impressive. For once we are doing everything for Christmas ahead of time rather than leaving it until the week before. This is nothing to do with being organized but rather more to do with having lots of time to get things done while the family 'diva' recuperates.

Angus finishes this book on Roosevelt's last days. He was a very sick man in the final months. Will power and self belief kept him going. A good, well written book if rather an esoteric and narrow subject.

Meteo France says its going to pour with rain. Accuweather says it's going to be fine. Accuweather gets it right. The little farmhouse in the valley, surrounded by freshly tilled fields, still looks as if its in the Sahara Desert.

Pheasant elect. Never let it be said the Chinese don't have a sense of humour. 


  1. Who could not love your dogs. Photos and commentary are inspired. Thanks for the daily dose

  2. Lovely photos of the PON's.
    Lucky for the Old Farmer that you and Bob are early risers - it doesn't do to dwell on the consequences had you not been.

  3. It's a good thing the Old Farmer had a smoke alarm, or you never would have known.
    Thank you for the pheasant elect. I appreciated the insightful comments, as well as the amazing photo.

  4. You probably saved the man's life.
    Love the pheasant elect link!

  5. Mostly, I'm finding it hard just now to laugh at jokes about Donald Trump, but the sheer absurdity of the 'Pheasant Elect' is hilarious.
    Thanks! Gail.

  6. Thank Heaven you and Bob were there to awaken the Old Farmer. That is much too close for comfort.

    I just finished Geoffrey C. Ward’s excellent book “A First Class Temperament” about Roosevelt. I highly recommend it.

    With all the early Christmas preparations, I hope that you’ve begun the search for the lights.

  7. My husband has a saying " a good neighbour is better than a faraway friend". So very true, thank goodness you and Bob were there.

  8. Such a good thing you were out and about!! I shudder to think....

  9. It does look desert-ish! Glad you woke the O.F. in time.

  10. Thank goodness for you and Pompier Bob. Hope the Old Farmer's house is OK, too.
    There is a family story about folks listening to one of FDR's radio chats toward the end, and a doctor present said, "That man has had a stroke." At that point, his health issues had not been reported, and presidents lived much less in the glare of 24/7 publicity.

  11. The Old Farmer must be a very sound sleeper indeed if he was able to slumber on with a smoke alarm going off. Wise decision to have your furnace rechecked methinks.
    Some alarms going off over here as each new appointment is announced by the in-coming administration. Wonder what FDR would think. And how odd that daughter Ivanka would attend the meeting between her father and Prime Minister Abe yesterday. Interesting days ahead, that's for sure.