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Everything posted by Spikecollie

  1. Pavements and roads look OK here so far in Keighley. Freezing rain has made our driveway treacherous though. I wouldn't go out unless you have to.
  2. Spikecollie

    Storm Deirdre Atlantic storm 4

    It is sleeting here in Keighley. The pavements and roads are clear but our driveway is impassable without ice grippers due to the freezing rain. Far colder than Limousin but Mylo loved the ice this morning!
  3. Spikecollie

    The world has gone mad...

    Not sure whether this belongs here or in the "Serious Discussion" area, but let's put it here for now. This prompted me to start the thread: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-34759939 Erm, fireworks are based around enough of an explosion to propel and ignite their contents...explosions powerful enough to do this tend to make a bit of noise!
  4. Spikecollie

    Medical issues

    Maybe this should get/will be moved to the the "Serious Discussion" area, but I'm not bothered. Anyway, I had a really bad anxiety episode which made me see my local doctor here in France. For the initial symptoms I was given a two week prescription of a benzodiazépine which quickly settled things and I didn't actually need to finish the course. My doctor, who is a great person, said I should come back for a blood test. I duly did yesterday and had the test with a nurse. It was not easy, I was very panicky and in the end the nurse used a children's "butterfly" needle which I could cope with. It didn't hurt and I didn't faint and feel a lot more confident now. I had the test at 0900 yesterday morning and the results arrived in the post this morning. My doctor called me at 1400 on the phone to discuss them. Everything apart from liver enzymes and eosonophiles is normal. The latter is explained by allergy issues, the former by drinking far too much, which I have now got to stop and have stopped. No diabetes issues and kidney function is way above average. My cholesterol is a conundrum though. I have a higher than normal cholesterol level but it is mostly caused by HDL or good cholesterol. My doctor says he hasn't seen quite such a result before! For the technically minded - LDL below normal, HDL above but overall cholesterol above normal. Ratio of HDL to LDL I think 2:1. I'm a walking weirdness!!!
  5. Spikecollie

    Amazing shopping experiences

    Stop all the criticism of shops and shopping. Concentrate on the good times...in real shops. I have been doing a lot of price comparison research over recent days here in France, regarding our purchase of a woodburner. We have loads of free wood, almost endless amounts, so it is a necessity. We know what model we want, and the price has varied between 600 and 1400 euros. Found a non-mainstream shop that was selling the woodburner at 348 euros. Couldn't buy online, so I went to the shop this afternoon. A long drive, but wasn't it worth it. It's being delivered for 15 euros (50 kilometres) the week after next. I asked if I could have it added to a newly opened free loyalty card, not just YES, but a 10% discount on a first purchase. Not just that, but the guy was very specific with what help would be needed getting it into the house (65kg is a big load). They will unload, bring it in and put it exactly where I want it. I love personal shopping!
  6. Still harvesting and preserving fruit - it just keeps coming! Some nice convection clouds developing here this afternoon where it's still over 30c and has been for days 😁 A little warm for bottling juice and preserving pears!

    1. Katrine Basso

      Katrine Basso

      I remember making blackcurrant jam in the 80's and sometimes it was success and the other times it was a total failure. My Dad made quince jelly.   Congratulations on your bumper harvest and your great successin harvesting and preserving fruit.👏😊

    2. lassie23


      hi spikecollie

  7. I'm nearly up to 100 jars of preserved fruit since the beginning of the week. Last night's storm brought down a lot of pears and applesso in addition to what we had picked there was a serious amount of fruit to get to work on. Lots more on the way too. The peaches are amazing, but they never see the inside of a jar!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Snipper


      Love the harvest but not the frustrations. Freeze some, bottle others and eat a lot. 

      Got a lot of plums. A few with Mr Maggot in but not too many. 

      Nice easy recipe

      Clean and halve plums. Gently fry with butter. Turn gently.  Quite a lot of liquid comes out. Sweeten to taste with a brown sugar. Fry so that liquid thickens. Then shove a slug of brandy in. Stir and eat with cream or ice cream. Yum!

    3. karyo


      Preserved figs and fig jam are the best! 

    4. Snipper


      So when do you start eating your preserves?  Can’t eat them right away but do you end up with 99 just as the new crop is ripening next year. 

      I give a lot away. 

  8. Spikecollie

    European Storm & Convective Discussion

    The electrical activity here in Haute Vienne was distant but intense and very lovely to watch - Mylo and I took a walk at about 2230 and there was 360 flashing over the hills and some great CGs in the distance. It had been an exceptional day, one of those with a hot breeze and teperatures well into the mid-30s and we'd been out for a long and lovely cycle ride late afternoon and we could see the CBs building when we were on our way back. The main event for us was around midnight, just after we had gone to bed. The wind started getting really strong and it sounded like the closed shutters were going to get ripped off the walls - then came an almighty whooshing sound followed by an equally almighty crash. We raced downstairs and then went carefully out the basement doors to find our porch roof lying in the back garden having been literally sucked off by the wind. It is/was a completely enclosed porch so there is no other explanation we can think of. Further down the road there were two or three bins in the fields which would have had to jump hedges and gates to get there!
  9. Spikecollie

    Spain weather

    Exactly! We've had 40c during August in Limousin (France) for the last 3 summers at times. We work, garden, cycle etc. and it's nothing special. The BBC report from Montpellier, where it was 37c, had people saying it was just normal. Hype and silly season as you say, but it's still important for vulnerable people to take care...
  10. An excellent little storm here just now. We all stood out in the garden and got soaked to the skin. Now we're taking turns at inside showers!

  11. Back in Yorkshire for 2 weeks and it looks like we picked a fine time to be here. I'm enjoying the building convection clouds and the humidity is just like home! A nice evening/night time storm would be nice...

  12. Spikecollie


    I would always recommend the Promenade Plantée: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jun/07/paris-promenade-plantee-free-elevated-park-walkway-bastille-bois-de-vincennes and the Petite Ceinture (Little Belt) which is less well known than the above but utterly beguiling: https://worldinparis.com/walking-on-railroad-tracks-la-petite-ceinture-paris On a hot day, the Grand Mosquée de Paris is also very well worth a visit. It is in the lovely 5th arrondissement and offers a chance for a nice refreshment break. The surrounding streets are fascinating also. Again one for the heat, which you will almost certainly have - take a Bateau Bus ride along the Seine. This is a scheduled bus service, not one of the touristy ones, and you can pop on and off when you like with a day ticket visiting most of the main attractions, but also with the ability to get off the beaten track if you want to. Oops - forgot about the "basic French" question you asked. You'll get around just fine, but do try to use your basic French. People really appreciate it. Whatever you do, have a wonderful time - it's difficult not to 😊
  13. Thunderstorms forecast here for this afternoon/evening - could be an interesting backdrop to the WC Final party. Loads of fireworks last night after a beautiful afternoon walk in the hills with OH and Mylo.

    Mylo and I love our runs in the warm rain, so bring it on...

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. lassie23


      you won spikey:shok:

    3. NUT


      How spot on was spikey!

    4. Spikecollie


      We're all sharing a big BBQ with the neighbours - I've provided the courgettes! Could be a long night 😁

      No storms yet, but nice Cumulonimbus backdrop...deadly hot today, too hot to run so we took a nice shady walk instead 😊

  14. Spikecollie

    World Cup 2018

    As some of you know I'm not a big football fan, but whatever way this goes there's going to be one heck of a party in our village on Sunday 😀 I'm staying entirely neutral after tonight but here's hoping for a 🇫🇷🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 final 😁
  15. Spikecollie

    France weather

    We've just had a cracker with marble sized hail, incredibly gusty winds and some great CG strikes. Sunday night was amazing too, constant flickering lightning from the storms in Charente. Say safe out there, Our next batch is on approach!
  16. Spikecollie

    France weather

    Hi Ed Right now he's helping my other half pull some cut branches out of the lake. He's very wise and cools off in the shade and the water. We run together almost every day and provided he has a good soak down before we go it's always me who's flagging and never him! He's maturing very nicely and is very bonded to us now - a lovely little 18 month bundle of love and joy. He loves his storms too, he just watches quietly with me.
  17. Spikecollie

    France weather

    You've picked a great time to come to France. I'm by our lake and it's mid 30s, very humid with rapidly developing TCU now. It's progged to kick off after 2300 here, so a great night in prospect camping under the stars (or rather lightning flashes!). Enjoy any storms you might get, you seem to be well placed in the Loire valley...
  18. Nothing nicer than to to wait until it cools down a little bit and go out for a run with Mylo dog. A nice stream half way round that he can go into and probably drag me in as well.

    The slightly blustery wind is actually quite welcome but I guess this is what we are sharing with the UK and what is such a factor in the Saddleworth Moor fire.

  19. Better late than never, as many others are saying, but we got our first 30c here today in Limousin. Happy days, still sitting outside watching the sun gently setting. The mosquitoes are being a literal pain though 😬

    1. lassie23


      hi spikey, hope you are well

  20. Spikecollie

    France weather

    I agree Nick. Folks don't understand what happens when you live in the depth of the countryside! If storms are forecast I always keep my devices charged and we have a generator on standby. We had to stay in the car the other day when we went to our land, there were CG strikes coming down all over the place, some way too close for comfort. Lovely to watch from a safe place though. Today looks like it will end with a few rumbles...
  21. A nice thunderstorm here yesterday afternoon just to start the season off. The non-electrified showers are annoying me, though, as they're stopping me getting on with the gardening - I tried continuing in a wet t-shirt and shorts job but I just ended up looking like mud woman and had to go into the shower 😁

  22. Spikecollie

    France weather

    Excellent growing weather. We're just getting the garden going again after waiting for any reasonable risk of frost to subside, not wanting to get caught out like last year. Yes, our car was pretty dusty after a few afternoon showers yesterday. Nice and warm today but with quite a strong wind. I notice the t-storms have already started over western Poitou Charente...
  23. Nice and warm and humid here in Haute Vienne, 26c the maximum today. Just wondering whether we'll see any storms this evening/tonight. On with the gardening for now...☺️

  24. Mylo dog and I have just come back in from a run - the lad is showing quite a talent for Canicross and we're entering our first little event in a short while. We got soaked and hailed on but it was good as it was our first run after me (and hubby) having just got over a flu which rather ruined our Easter. Still, storm and warm season is upon us even if no T&L yet and that Limousin sunshine is waiting for us in May - by then we'll have finally got the rendering done on the house over here and the new kitchen in and it'll be ready to let :)

    1. lassie23


      get well soon

    2. Ed Stone

      Ed Stone

      Welcome back, Spike!:good:

    3. Mokidugway


      Hellooooo spike :)

  25. Look North forecast just said there is potential for further significant snow tomorrow evening...