Jump to content
Holidays
Local
Radar
Windy?
  • entries
    9
  • comments
    4
  • views
    9,027

About this blog

living in France & still working in London

Entries in this blog

 

Back After A While

[font="Arial"]Hello folks

Not had a chance to blog for a long while as we have been up to our eyes in getting our B&B ready for the summer season, and still 2 more weeks of work to go before the current phase is finished.

The weather in SW France has been strange so far this year, the winter was very long and it was not until April that any warmer weather made it to our area around Cognac. The summer has been a real mixed bag with vicious hail storms as we moved from Spring to summer damaging the vines around a large area of our region, though not in our village!! The sun has not been able to shine for more that 2 or 3 days at a time, but the temps have remained pretty constant in the high 20s with peaks shooting into the high 30s before summer storms come along and peg them back again.

The B&B is getting busy now as the summer season gets into full swing, so plenty of work for us to be getting on with looking after guests

Take care everyone and I hope you can enjoy the summer

Cheers

FC [/font]

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

A Lovely Weekend.....

[font="Arial"][size=3]Well after a horrible week of weather in the UK it was great to be able to see the sun again. Some folks in the north of the UK had between 10 and 20cms of snow where as in London we just had 4 days of dreary rain and cloud. It was lovely to touch down in bright sunshine at Limoges airport on Friday morning after having got up at 4:30am to catch the 8:00am flight out of Stansted. Not so nice this morning to be delayed by 2 hours following a protest at Stansted airport which meant our out bound flight was delayed leaving Stansted.[/size]

[size=3] [/size]

[size=3]The weekend however was great, we managed to spend almost all the daylight hours in the garden. On Saturday we put up the external Christmas lights on the house which took quiet a long time because I had to run a new electrical supply to the outside of the house to power them. We got all the Christmas decorations out the cottage so we could sort them out in preparation for putting them out next weekend. [/size]

[size=3] [/size]

[size=3]Sunday was spent doing a lot of tree surgery, I removed one tree that was not really growing, I was able to lift it straight out of the ground, so for the three years it had stood there it had failed to take root, so that went onto the bonfire. I started work on another much older tree that want to chop down as it mostly hangs over the neighbours garden and just produces those helicopter seeds that readily take root and spring up every where. We will replace these trees with fruit trees when we have worked out our new garden layout, and it will take me a couple more weekends before I have completely cut down the helicopter seed tree (I can’t remember the real name), and it will give us some nice logs for next winter.[/size]

[size=3] [/size]

[size=3]So I’m finally on the plane to London, 2 hours late, some of the team I work with are going for a Christmas lunch today, which I have now missed, but maybe I’ll go for a drink with them afterwards depending upon what I find when I get to the office.[/size]

[size=3] [/size]

[/font]

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

With So Many Jobs Being Lost In London Why Is There No Space On The Trains

[font="Arial"]I can't help wondering...... if thousands of people in London are loosing their jobs at the moment... why can't you notice it if you are in and around the City of London. Have ALL the jobs been lost in Canary Warf? my job never takes me there so I would not know. My train is just as full as it ever was, the 6:19 from Lee to Charing Cross is so full you cannot read a newspaper, you still cannot get on a tube in rush hour unless you live close to the end of a line and the huge commuter army marching over London Bridge in the morning and evening rush does not appear to have diminished either.[/font]



[font="Arial"]Yet when I go to my usual sandwich bar Paulo and Claudio, the owners say business is terrible. I have to admit here and now to taking sandwiches for my lunch at the moment, but that is because in the West End of London, where I end up most lunch times, it is so expensive to buy a sandwich, and the queues are still very long that it is easier to take sandwiches, as well as the need to save money. A contractor taking sandwiches to work, times must be hard, but we all need to save money. With the exchange rate between the Euro and the Pound approaching equilibrium I have to make savings where ever I can. For the average man in the street it is inflation that is the problem, I don't care what government stats say prices have been rising rapidly on the everyday items leaving less and less left over.
[/font]



[font="Arial"]Anyway enough of that, I must be thankful I am still working, and my sympathies go out to anyone who is unemployed, I've been there too and it is not a nice experience. I still can’t help wondering if there are thousands of Clives out there, still going to work even though they have been made redundant. Clive is the side kick of Alex in the cartoons of the same name published in the Daily Telegraph.[/font]



[font="Arial"]Well since I am employed I had better get on with some work….[/font]



[font="Arial"]Cheers[/font]

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

We Survived The Birthday Party....

This weekend was the weekend of my daughter's sixth birthday and we had the obligatory bithrday party on Saturday afternoon, she was actually six on Friday. It is one thing looking after ten 6 year olds in your own language but trying to control 10 six year olds in a foreign language, at least for me, was hard work, languages do not come naturally to me, even English at times deserts me. Luckily for me my wife is an excellent French speaker and managed to keep control for the three hours of the party, during which the children played all sorts of old fashioned games, some of which I had never heard of. Musical chairs and musical statues, and blind mans buff were easy enough to understand but we had other games which I really did not know, such as a game with sweets in six bowls and a dice and something different happens on each number of the dice, but as they say you learn something new everyday.

I will be up at 4:00am Monday morning to drive back to the UK so it will be early to bed after a day of chopping logs for the fire, and for an autumn weekend the weather has not been bad, cloudy but not cold and after lunchtime on Saturday the rain went away.

Enough rambling from me for now...

Cheers

FC

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

Will The Obama Bubble Be Burst By The State Of The Economy

I've seen so much support for Obama both before and after the election, though when people ask me what I think I am really not sure. The USA was in need of a change of direction, and he was the only option, after two terms of Bush & Co. But what sort of a USA are we going to get now, with a world in recession, I for one am not going to make any predictions one way or the other. Obama could become a great world leader or things could all go horribly wrong the USA. To be honest it would not be all his own doing if it did go wrong, he does not have the greatest inheritance, rather like the Tories or who ever wins the next election here in the UK, it is all going to take time and pain to unravel.



The world is going to have to face up to some hard times, those of us approaching our 50[sup]th[/sup] birthdays will remember the 70s and 80s, power cuts, the miners strikes, the 4 day week and every other week another big business closing down. I am not saying we are going back to those dark days but it is time some reality set in to our spend spend spend money we do not have economy.



The mini recession of the early 90s taught me most of my economic lessons, and I chopped up all but one of my credit cards, and that is paid off each month. I moved house to have a smaller mortgage and now live generally within my means, if I can't pay cash for it I can't have it, I think this will be a lesson may thousands of people are about to learn and probably a few countries too...



I hope Obama can make a go of it but I for one am going to wait and see




Good luck to everyone over the next 18 months we are going to need it...

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

Mistakes, I've Made A Few, But This Was A Big One...

I have to come clean here and admit to the howler of a mistake I made last week.

It is probably one of your worst nightmares, next to loosing your passport in a foreign country. I flew back to the UK last Monday from my home in France as usual with no problems went to work and then at the end of the day headed back to S.E. London for a well earned early night. However when I got to the front door of the house I could not find the keys, and then the sudden horror dawned on me that they could still be in France, so I phoned the wife and yes they were on the bedside table. Franca phoned the house owners in the hopes that they had left a spare key somewhere and indeed they had, a neighbour had a key, trouble is you need two keys to get into the house. So I had no choice but to go back to London and then to my parents in Southend, going via Next (it was the only shop open at that time in the evening) & Boots on the way to buy some clothes and toiletries. Luckily I had somewhere to go otherwise it would have been London hotels and it would have cost even more, just when we are trying to save as much money as possible for the house.

Such is life, I still do not know what the keys were doing on the bedside table, I never take them out of my jacket pocket in France, the departure checking before leaving the house will be even more rigorous, and I will get a spare second key cut to leave with the neighbour, I don't think I'll forget keys ever again...

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

So Did You See Any Snow...

I thought I would be on to a winner this week with a pretty high chance of seeing snow, but alas not.

On Tuesday I had to go to Harrogate and due to a bit of poor planning on my part I had to go there and back in a day, so at 6:00am I set off from S E London, then got called into the office just as I was passing it, so was delayed by 2 hours, so much for getting clear of London by 7:00am. So, having paid the congestion charge which I was trying to avoid by setting off early, I headed off from London Bridge at 8:00am to drive up to Harrogate, arriving just in time for my appointment at 1:00. On the way up there was bright sunshine until the river Trent then it started to cloud over and get very cold, time to shut the windows. I thought yes bound to see some snow on the way back.

So having done what I have to do, I got back into the car at 5:00pm to head back to SE London, there was nothing falling in Yorkshire, but 5 live were giving out snow warnings for Birmingham and Northamptonshire and saying the snow moving east. All the way back down the A1 the warnings were coming thick and fast on the radio but absolutely nothing was falling on my windscreen. Finally when I got to Peterborough it started to rain! and it rained all the way to SE London. So having covered the best part of 500 miles all I had see was rain, having allegedy driven right through the frontal system that was delivering the snow, well thats the fickle British weather for you, perhaps I would have seen something if I looked behind me!

However I am pleased that it has got cold and ground temps are reducing quite nicely now, you can always tell when the ground temps are dropping away when you have to turn up the temp gauge on the shower to maintain the same level of heat in water, as the cold water gets even colder..

Enough from me for now I'm off to lok at a few of my favourite snow cams

FC

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

The Last Warm Weekend Of 2008?

Hello one and all

Back again in Blighty after a fabulous weekend at home in the Charente, wall to wall sunshine and temps around 22 degrees once the sun climbed high enough. The start and end of the day are chilly and we have had our first frost. We still managed to have lunch outside in shorts & tee shirts and it is wonderful walking and cycling weather. Pity then at the moment I have to be inside carry on with the building work, but needs must as they say. I did mange to get outside to help my daughter sweep up the first large pile of autumn leaves, and talking of autumn, the display of colour has been amazing this year both in France and the UK.

Just to make me feel a bit better about coming back to the UK to work, we got the rain that was over the UK for the weekend, and it poured down all the way driving from Jarnac to Poitiers airport. Landing in Stansted came as a bit of a shock to the system, it was freezing... in comparision to France, though looking at the Meteo and from what my wife is saying, after the rain and associated cold front moved through the temparatures tumbled so its quite chilly there too.

So the big question is, was that the last warm weekend of the year, I think it probably was especially now we have turned the clocks back, so I think it will be away with the garden furniture until March next year.

Cheers

FC

frozencanals

frozencanals

 

Found My Way Into My Own Blog....

Well after setting up a blog, having been a member for nearly 3 years and not previously discovered the blogging area I'd thought I'd give it a go. My main browse is Internet Explorer 6 and that does strange things to the text entry box, so having downloaded Firefox I am finally in business.

So who am I, as I have said I have been a member of NW since 2005, when I first joined I was commuting between London and Rotterdam, and now I am commuting between South West France and London.

My family live in France and I am continuing to work in London until I have paid for all the building work that has to be done to convert our farmhouse into a Bed & Breakfast, so a little plug for our business www.aubellefleur.com, which I hope to move over to full time late 2009 early 2010. In the mean time I commute each week from various airports in SW France to various airports across SE England, as do a surprising large number of folk I have become friends with since starting this part of my life 18 months ago.

Well thats a bit of me, now I know how to put things onto my blog no doubt there will be more ramblings to come..

Cheers

FC

frozencanals

frozencanals

×