Thursday, 15 July 2010

Bastille Day

Last night we went to the annual Bastille Day dinner under the Halle (a sort of covered market square). The maire hosts a dinner for about 500 people on long tables served by local people and there is a band for dancing. They manage to serve soup, melon, foie gras, confit de canard and peas, cheese, salad, ice cream and coffee with unlimited wine/water/bread with smiles and jokes.

(Him Outdoors was grumping because on the new regime he was paying 19 euros for soup, melon, peas, lettuce and coffee. Which as it turned out was quite right :-). But we had already bought the tickets and were going with friends. And we had a lovely time.)

You sit where you like and we chose a spot quite far from the music - for us deaf old gits - and quite near where they were serving so that we might get our dinner first. Didn't work out like that of course but hey. That left 12 places next to me which were filled by a group of lads. They were 18 year olds from Ruislip that were holidaying in the house of one of them having just finished their A levels. Oh bloody hell, here for the unlimited wine (and already well oiled by the glazed looks). Him Outdoors and I who were sitting next to them exchanged a look.

We couldn't have been more wrong. They were delightful. Yes they were drinking and yes they were noisy and singing. But they chatted to us happily. One was a trainer for Kangos? a sort of bouncy trainer and waxed lyrical about how wonderful they were and how 'even old people could enjoy them' :-). Another was enthusiastic about his future university plans. They happily ate all Him Outdoors' cast off food and were really upset for him that he couldn't eat it.

When the dancing started they all leapt up and were doing their best to follow the local line dancing and charming the nearest single older women to dance - which of course delighted them.
(One came back to us for the next course with fists raised shouting 'I win, I got 6 ladies to dance'.) Endless energy and enthusiasm. Lovely.

Monday, 12 July 2010

New regime

Sounds like something from Eastern Europe.

Him Outdoors has been told by the doctor that unless his cholesterol levels are reduced significantly within 8 weeks, he will need medication.

After an initial 'but we don't eat that badly do we?' and major Googling we are now on a concerted effort to get him (and hopefully me too) healthier.

No more saturated fats (olive oil only and less of that) and loads of oats/oilyfish/walnuts/avocados. The doctor mentioned drinking more water (which incidentally we haven't read anywhere else) and we might as well stop alcohol while we're at it.

He never stops doing stuff outside and is physically fit but not aerobically fit. As it's so hot he's up when he wakes up and walking briskly around the block which has enough steep hills to provide him with half an hour of out of breathness.

I have decided that rather than walk with him I would go back to yoga which I had a go at about 10 years ago. OMG how stiff am I. Shockingly, scarily, disappointingly unbendy. In theory yoga is a good way to start the day but there is a huge 'I am soooooo old'. It can only get easier.

And it is lovely to be so pleased to hear him crunch up the drive and be able to stop bending :-)

One week later (16 July)

Well, all good so far. We have done a week with no problem (except the Bastille Day meal). Not missing anything. Both lost 3 or 4 pounds (but not enough to be able to say for sure what the difference is on the scale dial - failing eyesight had us falling off the scales laughing trying to see the numbers).

Interesting how much alcohol/cake wanting is in your head. Done something exhausting in the garden....... lets sit in the shade with a beer. Been out in the morning........ lets have a nice cold glass of white wine under the tree. I've been busy this morning........ lets call in at the patisserie on the way home. We deserve it.

Exercised 6 days out of 7 and can now touch my toes- yay. Him Outdoors tried cycling this morning and was outraged at how wobbly his legs were, how he couldn't cycle up the hill, how much his arse hurt on the saddle..........

Not sure we feel healthier but certainly virtuous and proud of ourselves for cutting out so much crap.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I am content.

It is a beautiful sunny evening, just beginning to cool off after a very hot day. We have had a very peaceful day after a sociable day yesterday entertaining people for lunch.

I was lying on the settee with a glass of cold white wine, gobbling a Rosamunde Pilcher novel that I haven't read. It is old enough to refer to a 40 minute taxi ride in London as being expensive when she had to give the driver a pound note. There is something very gentle about RP novels. Beautiful places, happy endings.

Our 8 month old delightful grandson is asleep upstairs whilst his parents are in the beautiful local town. There is a food court under the halle and hopefully they are finding tasty things to eat, somewhere to sit and enjoying the people watching. They will be back fairly soon because it is a semi final of the World Cup which Elder Son is keen to watch. I did notice that the last match was on in a bar in the square so maybe they will manage to find somewhere to watch it there.

Him Outdoors is stretched out on the hammock with his book. I think he is reading an ancient Bernard Cornwell. What a pleasure it is to visit old reliable authors.

Nobody needs supper, HO thought he might get himself a bacon and egg baguette later, it's too hot for me to be hungry and we had a good lunch of yesterday's leftovers.

Back to the story.......................

Friday, 2 July 2010


'Being twinnies' is a phrase that has surfaced from the deep this morning.

I have a twin brother and as small children we must sometimes have been dressed in matching clothes (I remember we each had a pair of black watch tartan trousers when we were about 8 or so). I'm sure that as babies we must have had matching stuff but I don't remember. There was no money and most of the clothes were hand me downs or home made. Twin brother got his two elder brothers' cast offs and I got some from a cousin but must have got a lot of new - did that cause resentment? Mum made all my dresses and a school blouse that was always slightly the wrong colour and shape but fortunately didn't venture into making coats or trousers.

At one house there was an old trunk full of shoes which had to be investigated whenever we had grown out of the current ones to make sure there wasn't something that would fit. Startrite clodhoppers - winter shoes with a horseshoe shaped raised seam on the front, or Clarks sandals with petals cut out of the front, seemed to be the only options. (A picture comes to mind of Mum's face in a shoe shop when we just had to have new shoes and where was the money coming from.)

This morning we were going shopping so had to put on something presentable rather than the same shorts and top as yesterday. I got dressed and went down to put the coffee on, only to find that Him Outdoors appears in the same colours. (Since I chose most of his clothes I guess this isn't as rare as it might be.)

I found I HAD to go back and change tops so that we wouldn't be twinnies.

PS I also have a huge aversion to older couples that appear in matching anoraks - usually beige - or matching wet weather gear in our sailing days. But I think that may be more normal! (What is it with older people - obviously much older than me :-) - and beige...................