94kmph winds, rain and long nights – it could be worse!

A brief moment enjoying afternoon sunshine

So February has arrived. The sun is shinning through my kitchen window and the time is 5.25pm on the first day of the month. It’s hard to imagine how awful the weather has been while sitting in the glow of the evening sunshine.

Life here manages to surprise me from time to time. It’s over a year since I paid for this house. It took the usual period of 2-3 months for the legal aspect to be processed albeit I was living in it days after the payment was made. Last week I received a telephone message from the notaire who dealt with the legal aspects requesting my bank details in connection with a credit. Needless to say I supplied the information without hesitation. Within a couple of days a large envelope arrived containing a lengthy document of 159 pages. I am pretty sure that I’ve already seen these, but they accompanied a letter and financial statement which showed the amount I was in credit by (or over paid as I prefer). I am now looking forward to a refund appearing in my account soon.

My poor Bertie is so painfully thin now with his skeleton apparent when you stroke him. He is agile and able to jump up on his chair and until last night my bed. Having lost so much weight he must feel the cold so I’m trying to keep him warm with small heater. Feeding him has become a drawn out event. Somedays he eats better and needs little encouragement and others he needs a lot of fuss, stroking him before he will eat the smallest of amounts. It can be stressful and upsetting when I allow myself to dwell on his eventual demise.

During the recent dreadful weather life has become a somewhat hermit-like exsistance and can be a tough time of the year when you live alone. Thankfully I have my two lovely cats to keep me company who are always so pleased to see me no matter what. Like many of the articles I write, this one is written in short bursts of my time over the course of days and weeks. I have managed to do a few DIY jobs which keeps me occupied along with cooking nice meals for myself. Bread making is not my forte but I have almost got a bread technique I am happy with. I will be trying a modified batch tonight that I will make into some rolls. Not something I can easily buy here and hope I’m successful. Bad news, it was only a partial success. They didn’t work out quite as hoped – back to the drawing board.

Homemade pizza with hot chili’s – eaten with a nice salad

I enjoy playing my guitar and often write lyrics. Lately I have been struggling with a song which has a couple of verses that flow quite well, but I need to spend more time on my scribblings to finish it. I think it could be quite good if I can find the inspiration. It’s a little more rocky too for a nice change. I have been trying to extend my vocal range at the higher end but it’s quite a task, but I still try. I would love to have a reason to get my electric guitars out to record another song. My enthusiasm needs a lot of work when rooms are cold and gloomy at this time of the year. Parts of the house are not heated as much as the rooms I use daily, this makes them less inviring. So, two pairs of winter leggings are on their way and a long winter cardigan with a furry collar. A little shopping therapy always helps to lift your spirits even if it’s online.

The daily battle to motivate myself is getting slightly easier. Partly due to my exercise sessions which reached 45 minutes today with my goal of one hour by the end of the month – 16 days from now. If all goes to plan, at that point I will split the sessions between the bike and the cross trainer. I’m not sure if it’s purely the physical exercise that helps or the thought process that happens during the session. Perhaps a combination of the two – there I go over analysing again. Maybe the simple answer is the fact that it’s a positive action which natually gives me a feel good factor. It certainly gives me a better appetite, digestion and weight control.

Miss Crumpet – the feminine snack

A treat from a local supermarket that I couldn’t help but be amused by the wording on the packing. They are made in the UK for sale in France, but feel the French may not get the humour of ‘Miss Crumpet’, a rather 60’s ‘Carry On’ film style of humour. Perhaps they may not have used the same in the UK – political correctness.

I have decided it’s time to spend some money to improve the playability of my acoustic guitar. Perhaps the most obvious choice is some new strings. New string have now arrived and fitted with a spruce up with oils and polish to restore th ewood to a beautiful luster. I have ordered a set of bridge pegs made from bone with abalone insets. They should improve tonality by replacing the old plastic ones and look very cool too.

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