0
Search
  • Philip Dunn

My Post-Christmas Post (Part 4)

Updated: Mar 13


Greetings fellow Earthlings,


At least we haven't actually voted yet on whether we should go and live on another planet, even if many of my countrymen and women might just as well have done so, in my humble and yet unapologetically deeply-held opinion. While the plucky little Englanders were celebrating B-Day, (pronounced bidet in French), by waving their Union Jacks and sticking two fingers up at the rest of us, (respectfully, of course, like Nigel Farage et al. saying adieu to their colleagues in the democratically elected but somehow totally undemocratic European Parliament, and even though they were disappointed that they had not been able to hear Big Ben's Brexit Bong nor every church bell's chime), I was remembering that Friday 31 January 2020 would also have been Carole's 66th birthday and the day she would have finally been able to claim her state pension, a full 6 years after women born only a couple or so years earlier than her started collecting theirs. However, most of these gloating isolationist Brexiteers voted to be ruled by a government led by our Prime Misrepresenter, Alexander Boris de Pfaffer Johnson, whose levels of tolerant compassion, sensitive empathy and level-headed sense of justice are well known to all. So there is still hope that this large group of women will eventually receive fair treatment or at least a reasonable compromise by way of compensation.


Just not a lot.


Anyway, my friend, Nigel the blacksmith, and I picked up a takeaway from the Tim Fai in Hassocks, on our way back from the Friday Tap Room Opening at the Hairy Dog Brewery, which is located on a farm towards Haywards Heath and, while watching The Last Leg Brexit Special on Channel 4, we shared a commemorative but tiny, iced Christmas cake, which had a silver pentangle on top and a Best Before End date precisely commensurate with proceedings.


Nigel sang Happy Birthday but, then, he'd had a few. I cried but, then, so had I.


Anyway, back at New Year, in those heady days when we still belonged to and thus had influence in Europe...

...Arty and I were staying here at my friends, Harry and Melinda's dog-friendly maison de vacances à la campagne avec 3 gîtes and this is what the main house looks like on a sunny day (photo, and next 2, courtesy of Melinda Braaksma). There is an external staircase on the right, at the back of the house, that leads to a spacious and comfortable gîte in the roof space...

and here in the garden is le Chalet...

...and this is la Bergerie...

...but there's also Harry's "Man Cave" ...

...the odd tableau...

...friendly wildlife...

...places for quiet reflection...

...or for just lying around...

...taking the waters...

...or just being yourself...

...and, even in winter...

there's plenty of colour in the garden...

...or you can take a walk in the surrounding countryside, like Harry and Melinda, seen here going off hand in hand like Babes in the Wood...

...far into the distance...

...faster than a speeding dachshund...

...but he is 15 years old now and he can't even keep up with me.


Anyway, I highly recommend this holiday location, set at the edge of the tiny village of Montfiquet in the Normandy countryside, between Caen and Saint-Lô. For more information, visit:

www.gite-omahabeach.com


or contact Harry & Melinda at:

info@gite-normandie.nl

Tel: +31 (0) 24 647 648


Arty and I had a wonderful time thanks to Harry and Melinda's wonderful hospitality but, on Thursday 2 January, we had to leave, so that I could drive us to Dieppe for the evening ferry over to Newhaven, have an overnight stay at home and then set off the next morning for my brother-in-law, Alec's place in Llandrinio, the other side of Shrewsbury, near Welshpool. Unfortunately, Melinda and I had partaken of a couple of oysters each the night before and Melinda definitely did not look her usual colour, and I was beginning to harbour doubts about my own digestive system, particularly in view of the somewhat arduous journey I had planned.


Fortunately, however, I only had stomach cramps on the way to Dieppe and, for once, ours was one of the first cars off the ferry and therefore we were home by 10pm with little inconvenience, if you get my drift, (which I wouldn't have recommended at the time). A quick switch of bags, (already packed), contents of used bag washed and hung to dry, a welcome breakfast (as I'd hardly eaten the day before), and we were on our way again by 10am. Despite the continuing stomach cramps, Arty and I arrived at about 2.30pm, having only stopped to give Arty a quick break. All this because Alec, his wife, Veronica, and I had tickets for that evening to see...

...in Shrewsbury. I hadn't been to a pantomime for years and...

...despite still feeling queasy, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, which was full of the usual clichés and dad jokes, (eg. Why can't you use "beef stew" as a password? Because it's not stroganoff). Anyway, here's Widow Twanky flying over the stalls...

...the next night we went with friends, Steve and Sue, all the way to Bishop's Castle for a kayleigh in this ancient hall, that was decorated with a very eclectic collection of weird pictures. I joined in as enthusiastically as my gut would allow in three or four of the dances, but I still wasn't feeling quite right. Or, at least, that was my excuse.


Sorry, but the dull, miserable weather discouraged me from taking any further photos of my travels but Sunday 5 January found us lunching at one of Alec and Veronica's daughters, Olivia's house near Shrewsbury, and we spent the afternoon hacking down overgrown shrubbery, with her husband, Major Nick, in order to help get their garden under control. Suffice it to say that I got really stuck in but did my back no favours at all and, by the time I got to the obviously scenic, (if it wasn't for the drizzle and the mud), Riverside Inn, Aymestrey, the overnight stop on my way home, the onset of a rather nasty cold in the form of an excruciating sore throat just added insult to injury. And Arty and I were both very pleased late afternoon on Wednesday 8 January to have arrived home at last


I hope you all agree, though, that we had a very entertaining and memorable start to the year and I hope you've enjoyed coming along for the ride. Please look out for my next blog, which I hope won't just be about rain and mud, or mud and rain, but about occasional sunshine, developing warmth, regrowth, and much more besides.


Look out! Spring is on its way!


Love,


Philip Xx
































































































74 views

© 2019 Philip Dunn  |  Website by Tanjo.uk