Sunday, 16 June 2013

No Place Like Home

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.  Believe me when I say the way we are living at present is humble at best or basic for want of a better word, but we are glad to be back. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it has.  Strangely, calling France 'home' has never tripped off the tongue easily, but this time it does.

Circumstances meant our stay in the UK was much longer than we had first intended.  Our journey back was uneventful.  The LGB disguised as White Van Man was pulled over by customs.   When he got out as requested Mr Customs said ‘I used to have one of those’ The LGB thought he was referring to his trusty VW van.  He was actually referring to the neck cushion the LGB still had hugging his neck like a pet ferret.  Just ten minutes earlier he had walked into the Eurotunnel building with it around his neck and me bent double laughing at him and still a few hours later put diesel in the van with his appendage still attached.  And he accuses me of having ‘blonde’ moments, the cheek of the man.

No great surprises awaited us; the neighbours spied our arrival within seconds, there was nothing nasty lurking in the post box and the grass and weeds were waist high - happy days. We walked around grinning like Cheshire cats, happy to be back – to be home

Tackling the Jungle

The LGB had hardly started strimming before the local farmer called by and offered to cut the grass for us (I think he felt sorry for the LGB!) and the next day Hugh arrived with his strimmer to give us a hand. Our first night back we stayed with The Old Bones On Bikes and Thursday evening ate with the Welsh Contingent; good food, laughter, banter and easy company - back to normal. 

In a Lather

All good things come to an end.  The euphoria lasted all of a day before I discovered a sodding mouse had moved into a chest of drawers in the garage. Obviously thinking I had nothing better to do during these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer he left his mark over seven drawers of clean, ironed clothing. 

Now there is nothing I like better than to spend a few hours in the local launderette where the smell of wet doggy blankets assails the nostrils at a hundred paces and strangers' short and curlies cling to the glass of the washing machine door.  Where is the Levi man in his undies when you need him?  I filled two 18kg machines and a 10kg machine.  I usually like to live and let live with critters but……..

Sadly the other things that had grown were the two of us!  I think our clothing was giving us hints whilst we were in the UK but the scales on our return confirmed the bad news when it squealed in breathless agony as we stepped on and each of us declared they must be wrong or faulty.  

What happens when we return to the UK, I don’t quite know.  We seem to go into famine mode and seek out all the things that aren't readily available to us living in the wilds of woolly.  We indulge in the odd Indian take-away (even though the LGB makes a mean Indian).  We enjoy a portion of fish and chips, especially when they are eaten from the paper on the coast at Seahouses in Northumberland.   Pub grub, a couple of restaurant visits and my Dad’s sweetie drawer all help to expand the waistline. A little helping of will power would solve the problem but will power is on ration when we are in the UK.  So we just get fatter.  I have a feeling the strimming will be a lot easier to tackle than the slimming!

Health and Safety won't allow the newspaper any longer!

Just in passing, I would like to say the Charente is very hilly! I only went for a 4 mile ride and it was tougher than 20 miles in Hampshire!  This could put a spoke in my cycling career!


Monday, 3 June 2013

My Ride in Photos

When I last posted I had no photos so for the last couple of rides I have taken out my trusted little Samsung.  This one behaves and the photos end up where I can upload them.

I usually head straight for the ford for no other reason than loving the route.  It's just down the road and a nice tranquil start to a ride.  This marks the Hampshire/Berkshire border.

I'm not sure how much use the little red box gets in this quiet lane.

I love this entrance.  The big house?  Not really for me, but I would love to have a look around nonetheless.  Nosey?  Me?    

I was dismayed this morning to see a dead swan on the road ahead.
On closer inspection I identified it as a cygnus tesco bagus!  I should have gone to Specsavers.  

This is what you would call a country pub.

St James' Church, Finchampstead is set in a beautiful position within a pretty village with little more than a pub and a few houses.

That's me!

I was having a little gander at the lake when I spied a cyclist heading off down a path.  I took the same route and enjoyed a wonderful ride around the lakes.  I only passed two people who appeared to be bird watching.  I am feeling a lot more comfortable being in secluded places alone.

We return to France on Tuesday.  The hills of the Charente will be a challenge I'm sure.  

Hopefully, some building progress too.