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How to keep your family warm in France

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It's sunny, It's warm & the French papers say that spring will be ending on Monday.
I don't care. I sat on the terrace this afteroon, took my jumper off & my brilliant white skin blinded everyone.
No it was a very nice, 18c in the shade & if the French papers are correct that spring is ending on Monday then that means summer is next, or have I missed something.
As a standby, I have lit the wood burner & turned the heating on for the evening.
I have also decided to cook the family Mexican chicken fajitas tonight for a bit of internal central heating.
Normaly anything spicy I cook starts with hot mouth, hot throat, hot stomach & in the morning you melt the toilet.
But I have promissed the kids I will not to go to hot tonight, because normally every time I do chilli for them, the shares for Andrex double the next day.
I'll let you know tomorrow how it went.

Did dinosaurs eat Adam & Eve?

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Heres a question for ya. Last week after we bought a lottery ticket, my wife said "please god let us win". 

Then yesterday I was in the car with my daughter, who suddenly said "I don't believe in god anymore". I asked her why & she told me that she had prayed to god so that we would win the lottery, & we didn't.
Now we are not a religous family, but the kids have just started learning about god  in school & are constanly asking questions.
I told her that if there was a god, praying to him to help you win the lottery wouldn't work, you are meant to pray to help others.
After a short silence she said "dad, what came first then, Adam & Eve or the dinosaurs."
My mind became so overloaded with possible answers, all I could say was "I don't know."

Gmail & NASA

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Both Google & NASA are having a bad day.

Googles Gmail decided to crash, putting millions of people out of touch with each other.
NASA lost contact with it's co2 satellite which will be doomed to crash.

Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) 2009

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It's pancake day  or shrove Tuesday if you prefer tomorrow 24th Feb.

As some of you may know I live in France & although pancake day is celebrated in France they are not called pancakes, they are crepes & pancake day is "mardi gras" which literally translates as "greasy Tuesday" nice. They have for many years in France had restaurants called creperies. These are restaurants that sell unsurprisingly crepes. But with a difference.

The typical menu would be something like: 
Starter- Jambon (ham in a wrapped up pancake)
Main course - BergerCrottin de chèvre chaudsaladetomate (goats cheese, lettuce & tomatoe wrapped in a pancake).
Dessert -Crepe avec confiture au choix Abricotfraisemyrtille, orange, framboise (pancake with choice of jam).

So as you see pancakes shouldn't be a big thing in France, but still the supermarkets are full of frying pans & lemons advertising "greasy Tuesday".
So tomorrow morning spare a thought for me, because at 7:05 the kids will be wanting a pancake breakfast.
As I say "there's nothing like a good crepe first thing in the morning". (please excuse any typos"

Jade Goody the truth

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Many celebrities invite the press & media into their lives when they have something to promote, new single, new film, new program etc. Then when the press & media continue to follow them after the promotion, they get very upset & call it intrusion.

I once heard Will Smith being asked "fame & wealth must be great" he replied "wealth yes, fame not so much".
So what about if you're famous but not so wealthy, should you court the press & media to increase your wealth. Normally I would say no, but in the case of Jade Goody I am going to say "good on ya". The press have had a field day with her in the past, they had reduced her to a figure of hatred. But now she has turned the tables. They want the big story & she knows she has it. So for the financial security of her kids she has courted the press & media & has come out on top. One million pounds is the reported amount for covering her wedding. For many of the major celebrities this would be a drop in the ocean, but for her, shes willing to die publicly for it. The press & the media should club together & raise as much money as they can for making her look as bad as possible in the past & give it to charity, & show they're not as heartless as the public think they are.


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Yes it’s that day again. We all dream of it all week.

The french news today is about Damien Meslot the UMP member of Belfort receiving a 700 euro fine & calling the magistrate a "gaucho de merde" (i’ll let you translate that).

And the second most popular story is, how busy the roads will be this weekend as the schools are be back on Monday.

The weather in France at the moment is sunny & warm. Not hot, but nice sat on the terrace with a glass of something. The evenings are still cold, but the log fire is alight & it’s nice & warm indoors. I feel a visit to the beach this weekend with the kids & dog might be coming up.

Blogging all over the world

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How many times have you sat there in front of your computer after checking your blog & seen the "next blog" button. You hit it & then you hit it again & again & again until eventually you hit upon a blog written in English. You read it & then you're back to the next blog button. I do it all the time. Sometimes I start clicking it at 6pm & before I know it it's 8pm. Addictive?, maybe.

But if I see a blog that I like, I leave a comment. I always look at the "blog of note" each day & if I like it I will leave another comment.
But today on the news it was reported that social networks are inhibiting social interaction.
I don't think so.
Without these sites would you ever of left or received comments from people from other countries.
When I was young we had pen pals. You wrote a letter, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it & posted it.
Today, posting is what i'm doing now. It's just spelt "blogging".
These people who have been paid to do this survey of social inhibition due to the internet today, should get a life.
I can think of lots of better things the money could of been spent on.
What about.............actually let me know with the poll on the right.

Classic English Breakfast

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After watching the old videos yesterday & watching some old comedy programs. I found a piece of classic British comedy on youtube "Morecambe and Wise breakfast". It's been years since i've seen it, but still made me laugh out loud. Today on UK television there is an advert for PG Tips tea bags, which is an up to date version of this classic. But will never be as good as the original.

Getting old too quick

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I've been transferring some old videos from cassette onto DVD today. Mainly videos of the kids when they were young. It's amazing what you forget you recorded all those years ago. Watching them back, you realise just how young they once were. & if the camera happens to swing around onto you, then you think "my god where did that person go".

I have also just put our wedding video onto DVD, & when you look closely at the bridesmaids & page boy, you notice that although they were tiny then, they now have kids of their own, & it scares the life out of me.
My kids have sat for hours this afternoon watching old videos of themselves, & have laughed all the way through. I However walked into the bathroom after watching my wedding video again, looked in the mirror & nearly cried. Because the man who married my wife isn't here any more.
Then I watched the video of the kids when they were little & I did cry.
Because I was sure it was only a year or two ago. But now I've worked it out it was over 10.

barn to gite

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I forgot to say that I think I have nearly finished the
barn to gite blog. If you can leave any comments or ask any questions, that would be great.

There is a photo album on the left, if hover your mouse over it you can view all the pics.

Funny piano playing by Dudley Moore

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I had forgotten about this video I had on the computer. It's from "An audience with Dudley Moore" sorry about the quality, but I had to rip it from a video cassette. For those of you under 15 years old, look up video cassette on Wikipedia here. You might also try looking up Dudley Moore here.

Dancing on ice falling to learn

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Why was Melinda Messenger in the bottom two again. She's not a great skater I agree, but apart from Ray Quinn non of the others are either. But they're not supposed to be are they. They are "celebs" who are doing this for entertainment, our entertainment. They all began as novices, & as far as I can see, they are now good skaters. (I don't include Todd Carty in this group by the way). He brought a whole different kind of entertainment to us. As far as I can see, Melinda seems like a very nice, bubbly, down to earth type of person who is trying hard to entertain us & is always smiling & up for a challenge. There are others on the show that burst into tears as soon as the camera is pointed at them. When you are a novice, falling over is part of learning. If you don't fall you don't learn.

So if you haven't been voting for her you should. 

Broadband meltdown

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It's Sunday, the kids have got their friends here for the afternoon. I think they've invited everyone they know. My eldest is online with his xbox & ipod, his friend is online with his psp. My youngest son & his friends are online in the office upstairs & my daughter is online in her bedroom to all of her friends. I am now online on the laptop. If for any reason the broadband to the west of France melts down then it's because it's Sunday & it's the school holidays, not anything to do with me. I'm just glad that we haven't got a download limit for broadband or it would cost thousands.

Technology is great, & it's getting better by the day. I owned my first PC in 1982, it was the Sinclair ZX81, & I had the 16K ram. My friend also had the printer which I think was thermal, & printed on special grey paper.
We spent hours typing in lines of code, just to play breakout. Then came the ZX Spectrum. My god it was the mutt's nuts. It had rubber keys, & to save or load programs all you needed was a tape recorder & a double ended jack lead. But more about that in another post.

Now back to the broadband problem in the west of France

Falling on ice

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Today we have been ice skating, the first time. The picture you see on the left is the only one that we took that had all the family in, & all the rest were blurred due to the high speed of the kids on the ice. After half an hour the twins were skating backwards & doing spins, the eldest was happy to skate around with me & keep out of trouble (good idea). After an hour the twins were doing double axels & triple toe loops, & after two hours they were asked to leave. "There is a time & place for that sort of thing" the man explained. "It's a public ice rink during the school holidays, you shouldn't be surprised if theres a little blood on the ice" the twins said in protest. It was cold & I don't think we will be allowed back, now as I type this I ache in places that I didn't know I had, but it was good fun. The next time we are going to try roller skating as this doesn't require any ice & therefore must be warmer, unless of course the rink is outside. Lets hope the people that run it are more forgiving.

14 Feb


OK OK it,s the 13th of February, & that means that tomorrow is the 14th. You all know what that means, holy shit I forgot (again). Sorry for any spelling mistakes but i'm in a rush.

The weather girls

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It was as predicted cold & frosty this morning but it soon melted away when the sun came up. It's been sunny & almost warm. Sat on the terrace this afternoon in the sun felt like it was spring time.

At bloody last.
I'm fed up with the weather girl coming on in the morning telling you that there's been a months worth of rain in 24 hours or that there's so much snow you can ski to work. & the whole time she's wearing a mini skirt & a skimpy t-shirt. Don't get me wrong, theres nothing wrong with that. But not when she's telling you how bloody cold or wet it is outside. They should have Francis Wilson there in his suit with his tie all skewiff almost sober wearing a pair of ski's or big yellow mac. Then you might take it more seriously. Or you could move to France & sit on your terrace in February & wonder what all the fuss is about.

Wind, wind go away

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The sound of the wind rose & fell like a the rantings of a mad man. There was no rhythm to it, one moment it was silent the next battering the doors & the windows. Then. Then silence again. But for how long? The pause between each gust seemed like an eternity. Would the mad wind outside batter the house harder the next time, or would it now be passing & reducing in it's ferocity. Would it be starting to tire, & turn on it's heels. Leave us alone, in a once again silent house. After a few minutes we started to think it had. The pause became longer & longer. & then we would hear it in the distance, as if it was building it's energy for one last attack. Would the house stand it, would we stand it. The noises outside were changing from crashes into groaning. Could the house be crying. It has stood all these years, but was this was to be it's final battle.
No it was stronger than that & it was still standing in the morning. A little blood trickled from the corner of it's mouth. But it was still standing, triumphant, ready to do battle once more.
The house, guardian of our lives.

Marijuana Gives You Balls

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I read with interest today that scientists have discovered that people who have smoked marijuana have a higher risk of testicular cancer than those who have not smoked it.

They asked 369 men aged 18 to 44, who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer if they had ever smoked marijuana.
Their replies were compared to those from almost 1,000 apparently healthy control subjects.
Now I'm sure that when they were looking for their 1000 healthy control subjects, the question of illegal drugs must of come up, & I think to make sure that they received their payment they said they had never touched the stuff.
But on the flip side of the coin, the subjects with cancer who were asked the same question probably thought "what the hell, I've got cancer I might as well tell the truth". For that reason "smoking marijuana gives you balls".

All new pools & Gites

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I haven't blogged for a couple of days as I've been creating a new blog about building your own swimming pool from a kit that we bought online.

It's located at the moment on The Newbie Page , click that & it should take you there. When I've got some more time I want to do a blog about the creation of our Gite . I have hundreds of photos of all the work from start to finish but I need to get them in some sought of order before starting or I will just confuse myself & you.

By the way, it's a very popular time in France at the moment to buy moth balls. But I always wonder how they get their little legs apart?

Please paint my house

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OK this week I was going to paint the house, but the weather has been so bad that I haven't been able to get out there. It's been cold, cold, cold.

Anything below 10c is cold. So instead I have getting on with other things. But every time I drove up the drive I saw the house & my mind was drawn back to painting it. Next week house I promise. But for the time being.

A guy meets a hooker in a bar. She says "This is your lucky night. I've got a special game for you. I'll do absolutely anything you want for three hundred dollars, as long as you can say it in three words."
The guy replies "hey, why not?" He pulls his wallet out of his pocket, & one at a time lays three hundred dollar bills on the bar, & says slowly "Paint...............my....................house."

Snow is falling, still

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Snow is fallingkids in snow
all around me
children playing
having fun
it's the season
love and understanding
merry February everyone


Yes it’s February & it’s still snowing. The kids are off school, the teachers are off work & the UK has got a few days holiday, if they want it or not.

How long will it last for ? , will it be a repeat of 1963 ?.

Who knows.

The government doesn't that’s for sure. They’re running out of salt for the gritters, & you all know why, they tell us often enough. We all eat to much salt in our food. This is why they have run out. This is why they can’t grit the roads. This is why all the schools are shut. This is why there’s a recession. This is why we have ended up with Tony Brown or is it Gordon Blair, this is why we have Coronation Farm 3 times a week. We should all be cutting down on the Saxa.

So everyone please do as you're told or we will end up with the Easter bunny looking like this.

easter bunny

Thanx to Shaky for the little bit of poetic licence.

Overnight blog success

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Yes you all know what this sign is. It's all about airing your dirty laundry isn't it. Or is it about having your own anonymous diary on the net where you can make yourself sound like the best thing since sliced bread. Or maybe you are not Mr. or Mrs. ordinary & you want to tell the world all about yourself & how well your life is going. Which ever one of the above you are, you will be disappointed, well to start with anyway. When you first start your blog you will have very few people reading it except friends & family. But over time it will increase. But slowly. There is no such thing as an over night success. It takes a lot of work, well a lot of thinking to come up with the idea for a successful site. That's because the most successful sites are things that you would never of thought of or are so simple that you would never of thought of. But occasionally, just occasionally some blogger out there who has been tapping away for months or years types something that Mr. or Mrs. anonymous or ordinary likes & they send it to their friend & they send it to their friend, & all of a sudden, they have a very popular site. People are clicking their ads & they're making money from their online diary. They have become an overnight success. But has it really taken them just overnight?

Getting Busted

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The picture on the left is of a large "bust". As you read on you will find out more about the bust I found in a local supermarket.

I must start though by taking back everything I said about my son coming to work with me for the week. He turned out to be very helpful, never complained, did as he was told & finished each day with blisters on his hands. For his next work experience in May he has decided to try working in a restaurant kitchen.
So well done son.
Now lets get back to the bust.

My wife & I were recently shopping in the local supermarket. When we came to the check out I couldn't help but notice the size of the bust of the woman on the till (& it was not only me that noticed). This was mainly because her blouse was half undone. Or half done up, which ever you prefer.
My wife refused to even discuss the matter but I'm sure they were surgically enhanced in someway. They were not huge because the word doesn't begin to describe how big they were. They were what the plastic surgeons of the world call "oh my god they're moving towards us". It was, I must admit slightly warmer at her till, this I think was because she was creating her own micro climate under her bust. I don't know why I felt it necessary to share this with you today. But given how cold it is, I couldn't help but think that maybe the bust would give that woman (& perhaps her partner) a certain amount of built in heating.

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