Family

It’s been a while since my last blog, life got busy ๐Ÿ™‚

However, today I felt I wanted to write as I have been thinking about the year as it closes and moves onto the next.

So although a lot has happened this year, seeing another part France, visiting Castles, having family visit us in France, getting more recognition at work, going to London and happening across Prince William and Kate (yes I kid you not, I saw them in the flesh outside the BBC!) and Amy winning in her category at a large Cow Convention..I cannot help but say my best thing about this year was May 2018 in Colorado.

It’sย not been easy trying to earn a living or being away from family and holidays were limited to France or the UK; so I never in a million years thought I would have been in Colorado in May visiting my family for a wedding! We were so lucky to have made that trip….. ha ha lucky…. there’s the word – you see my family’s surname is Lucky! I haven’t seen that side of the family in 19 years! We have always been close so as you can imagine – a very emotional time. I got to see my Uncle and Aunty and my cousins’ย  and their families. It was my cousins son Joshua who was tying the knot with Rachel. We met up with my other Aunty from California who we hadn’t seen in decades and her two sons. My brothers and I made it to the wedding along with my husband, my nephew and my Mum.

Unfortunately, Amy couldn’t due to her taking her Finals but her time will come soon I’m sure.

The trip was too short but I am thankful and blessed to have made it and now my cousin’s daughters are coming to the UK in January AND Amy will be there too…..I’m so excited ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s all about Family & Friends!!!! I’ve always said it and I always will… I love my family (every member of it)ย  and I miss them all. xoxoxoxoxo

Until 2019 – I wish you all a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year……..

 

 

 

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Was I dreaming?

Dream : (noun) Imaginary event seen in the mind while sleepingย  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Amy called me the other day and said in a very resolute manner: “remind me to never have kids!” Well, I just laughed and asked why she was so adamant in her statement. She proceeded to tell me that there was a particular cow on the farm where she works that was driving her slightly insane. Now, anyone who knows Amy knows how passionate she is about her cows so it did make me giggle. Apparently, the cow just kept following Amy and every time Amy tried to talk or do something the cow was “mooing” constantly.

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(Picture courtesy of Amy Marshall Photography – I love it!)

Apologies, digressing here! Whilst we were talking on the phone, the cow was making a lot of noise and every time Amy made the same noise back, it was as though the cow had to have the last word. Amy said, “I imagine this is what it’s like having kids and if it is I am sorry Mum!”ย  – the word Karma springs to mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fast forward to Halloween – the first year without Amy at home,ย  so I lit a candle in her little Pumpkin candle holder she made last year and sent her a pic and said we missed her. We had 5 little Trick or Treaters on the door and that was it – a quiet night in front of the tv.

 

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I duly turned in for the night around 11pm and found I couldn’t sleep, I was turning over several times – no reason in my head – just couldn’t rest. Eventually dropped off just after midnight. I was in a lovely deep sleep when I started to dream…….. it went like this:

Brian and Amy were going around the village with Trick or Treaters and a baby brown and white COW!!!! Holy cow – what on earth did I eat before bed???? It didn’t stop there! They came up to our front door and they were all talking at once including the cow and I was trying to tell them I couldn’t hear them over the noise of the cow but they weren’t listening!

Now, have you ever had a dream in which the phone was ringing and when you woke up the actual phone WAS ringing??? Well, there was no phone, just Brian snoring very deeply!

 

Sweet Dreams Everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

C’est Bizarre!

C’estย  Bizarre ! I have learned over the many years here in France that this is a phrase they use for most things unexplained, daft or otherwise – I have a story to tell you ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday I went to visit a friend and to help her sort out some paperwork. Now, as usual, when I visit this particular friend, nothing ever goes smoothly! She won’t mind me saying it either! We have loads of stories to tell you that’ll make you laugh and shout “incroyable” but we’ll save them for another day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanoviฤ‡ on Pexels.com

So, there we are….Me on the telephone yabbering away in French to help sort this problem and we’re awaiting the arrival of a French Artisan to look at her heating system when a French guy turns up at the door. All smiles, She opens the door and says in French “you’re here for the heating?” “No,” he says, “I’m here to look at the car you have for sale!”

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OK? I hear you ask, so what’s the problem there? Well, she hasn’t advertised her car for sale, but it has been sitting there a while and she was thinking of advertising it!ย  Hence, the conversation and inspection of the said car. Nothing abnormal there then I guess?

No, you’re correct in your thinking – the nice Frenchman then progressed to say how polite we were and that he was very happy to make our acquaintance. Hmm, smarmy Frenchman you’re all thinking! Was he trying to get a better price? Nope. He seemed pretty genuine. He was chatting away about how some French people take advantage of the English but that was not his intention and he complimented us on our French. He was happy with the vehicle and left his number for my friend to discuss it with her husband.

This is where it went slightly awry. My Friends friendly dog was around our feet and looked like she was paying attention to the Frenchman. He asked was there a problem with the dog because he could sense something! My friend proceeded to explain that unfortunately she has been unwell and a tumour has been discovered and she will be going to the vets for an operation. He asked if she would permit him to try something. She said, “sure go ahead”.

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He didn’t touch the dog. She lay down by his feet and he held his hand over the area that my friend said a tumour was located. He said, ” the dog will start to close her eyes and after she may sleep for a bit”. My friend and I are stood on her driveway watching intently and looking at each other and saying silently to each other “what the hell??”

He sat there for around 3 minutes and then he shuddered, the dog started to close her eyes and lowered her head to the ground. We were astounded! He then threw his hands away from the dog and said he had to “cleanse” his hands but not wash them and proceeded to rub them in the grass. Said he had to discharge of the bad illness into the ground.

Now, you can imagine what we’re thinking! We’re both open to the idea of Reiki and Energy Healing as we’ve both had our experiences in the past but this was just plain bizarre!

He then said he would go and wait for my friend to call about the car. We walked into the house and just stood laughing at each other saying “What the hell just happened?”ย  The dog walked into the house and she normally follows my friend around and sits by us, waiting for attention and moans and chats an awful lot. This picture shows what happened next:

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As I clicked she opened her eyes, but she was soundo for a good ten minutes!

C’est Bizarre!

Oh, and just for the record, the Heating Man never did show up! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Happy Birthday Bella

I was debating on two stories to share with you and then realised today is the day we took in our gorgeous Bella one year ago. So, as we’ve decided today is her birthday I’ll tell you a little bit about Bella.

A little bit of background first as to why we decided to adopt a dog from aย  Rescue in France.ย  We lost our Lulu in 2016 to Rainbow Bridge, very suddenly due to aggressive cancer…Lulu was Mitzy’s Mum. She was such a character (as all our pets have been!)ย  one ear up and one ear down, but Lulu would smile at you everytime you talked to her …..21687717_10155169243044472_6343119018308293177_n

This left us heartbroken as it does to all of us when we lose a special member of the family. It also left Mitzy very very quiet and subdued.ย  We helped to foster a couple of dogs over the next year and each time Mitzy seemed to brighten up. So we decided on 21 October 2017 to go to Passerelles Animal Rescue for a visit.

After a couple of walks up and down the cages looking at the sad faces and waggy tails we were drawn towards a beautiful brown dog who just kept staring at Brian and when he walked away she would almost bend her head around the cage to find him!

We asked her story; apparently, she had been found wandering on the streets of Caen, no chip, no collar. She was young, they thought maybe 10 months old no more, and they believed she was an English Bull Terrier Cross with a Rhodesian Ridgeback!ย  as we have had Bull breeds in the past, we thought why not? Plus she had that Lulu look about her with one ear up and one down and just an adorable face ๐Ÿ™‚

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As you can see by the picture, she came home with us. We decided to call her Bella. Mitzy wasn’t too sure when she came in the house and just kept grumbling at her and hiding behind me! Bella just sat next to Brian watching this strange little white dog and looking to him for assurance.

 

She wasn’t quite house trained…..that was a little tough but she got it quite quickly. She is a very intelligent young lady. She has watched Mitzy when we make her sit and give her paw and Bella was very quick to learn that she got treats doing that! She wasn’t so good at coming to her name, so Brian used a clicker – guess what? She soon caught on and again, that clicker meant treats ๐Ÿ™‚ She could however jump! She cleared the gate once or twice and ran off down the road – we managed to tempt her back each time and that was why the garden fence got higher! We guess that’s probably how she ended up roaming the streets, but why did no-one ever claim her?

She didn’t know how to play, Mitzy soon taught her the hang of that one – so much so that Bella now drags her along the hallway when they share the ragga, or down the garden when they play with the football.ย  Mitzy is very very verbal. She sounds like she’s gonna rip your head off if you play with a ragga or if she chases Bella and they roll around but she’s just being lairy ( British slang for behaving in a loud excitable manner!)ย  Mitzys nickname is Lairy Mary!! They are now inseparable and it feels like Bella has been here forever.

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We bought Bella her own bed to match Mitzys…she loved it…..until she decided she had to kill it ๐Ÿ™‚ This is the Bull Terrier side ๐Ÿ™‚Screenshot_20181021-150542.png

yeah, yeah I know…there was a spider right? It had to die before I came home…she was doing me a favour! lol. So anyway we got them different beds which they loved…..

 

But, now they are inseparable ….Mitzy and her Sister from another Mista! They go everywhere together. If I move Mitzy follows me, Bella follows Mitzy. If we go to take the washing out to the garden to hang it out, they are there like little robots without fail. They like to charge around the garden but only when we’re with them. If we sit in the garden they just wanna sit too….

Bella loves the cat – obviously, we didn’t know if she’d even seen one let alone like one. Her and Skittles are best buddies, Mitzy still gives Skittles the Elvis curled lip when he passes but Bella likes to lick him to death.

 

And now they all share a bed..even though they all have separate beds. And I love that. I love the fact they all feel comfortable enough around each other. I love watching Bella roll on her back in her sleep with all four feet in the air – she feels secure. She loves everybody, children and animals alike (and she loves the sun on her face). And I know she feels loved because she absolutely adores cuddles….. everybody loves Bella too.

 

I have hundreds of pictures – so I won’t bore you but I wanted to share this happy dog story…Happy Birthday Bella, may you have many many more.ย IMG_20180506_231715_576.jpg

Reflection

It’s Sunday… just felt I should write something to maybe get people to reflect a little.

We have had a nice couple of days, talking, laughing and reminiscing with family. And I got to thinking quite deeply about life after seeing someone who has been diagnosed with Vascular dementia –ย  don’t worry I’m not gonna scare you all off with some deep and meaningful “What’s the meaning of life” speech ๐Ÿ™‚

I put myself in their shoes and looked at the world differently and it made me sad to think how people are treated when people don’t take the time to stop and listen and look at things from a different perspective, that’s all.

I have had my own Mental Health demons in the past but I am lucky, and I know I am lucky. But I could not imagine the pain of trying to fight with the mind trying to remember things and people …it’s bad enough when I have a brain block (and yes I can hear my friend saying -“it’s your hormones! we’re at THAT time of life! – she knows who she is!)

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Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

Be Kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about”

 

Quite a powerful statement don’t you think?ย  Enjoy the rest of your weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Say Hello to Haroun

I’m dedicating this one to Amy :

Amy attended a Lycee Agricole (Agricultural University) for several years. She chose this particular Lycee as it had Stables and had Horse Husbandry and Riding etc as part of the curriculum and ever since she was little she has had a passion for the four-legged House …sorry – Horse ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lycee would put “old”ย  horses out to retirement to their students if they felt they would give them a great retirement home. You know what’s coming next, don’t you?… You guessed it….”Mum, Dad, the horse I ride at Lycee needs a retirement home and they’ve said, as he adores me I’d be a good choice!”

Now, the brief history on H (his nickname) was that he was a champion French Trotter in his field (no pun intended) and after an unfortunate accident with his back legs couldn’t carry on. So he was nursed back to health and put into the Lycee Riding school for an easier life.

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Amy’s first time on him was, in fact, a mistake! She was told to go and saddle up a particular horse and the description was the same as H as in colour and size but wasn’t H.

He wasn’t a good idea for anyone without serious horse experience. Amy saddled up the horse she thought she’d been told to get and was happily riding along with the group when the tutor suddenly looked at Amy and asked was she ok. Amy said she was fine. The tutor said is the horse behaving? Amy said yes why? She was then told that Haroun was a stubborn old boy who was unpredictable. The short version is, he adored Amy – their love was sealed from that day.

 

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So, back to the question – “Can he come home?”. I said no, Dad said yes! I said I’d have nothing to do with him as I know nothing of horses except they are all shapes and sizes (Amy had had a couple of horses at Bel Air over the years but nothing as big as H) and I don’t ride them. My thing is cats and dogs. Haroun was the size of a house in my eyes.

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Even if you’re not a horse person, you can see he was a stunning horse. And yes they were best buddies. He had such a character. He loved Amy taking selfies with him – it was hilarious, I swear that horse would actually pose with her ๐Ÿ™‚ He was her confidant, when life got at her she’d go and talk to him. She always said she was better when she was with him.

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He was obstinate in my eyes! Amy would board at Lycee Monday to Friday and Brian and I would feed him. Would he come to see me? No. Would he move when told to so we could clean his stable? No. Would he come to the fence when called? No. So I nicknamed The Donkey. Amy said that wasn’t fair he was an ex-French Trotter, not a donkey – I said he behaves like a donkey, therefore, he must be one! It was all in jest of course. I actually fell in love with him – it was hard not to, and I too miss him.

Haroun led a charmed life with us and he moved to a friends field for a while when we moved house and no longer had a field for him. He lived with another horse called Jo for a while, and when it came time for him to move when Amy’s work and commitments didn’t allow her the time with him, he moved in with Cherie. Cherie looked like him and they bonded well and I was told he brought out the best in her and she finally came to her owner when called! Haroun must’ve learned in his old age ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Haroun crossed to Rainbow Bridge November 2017, he was 22 years old. He had a fantastic life with us and with Jo and Cherie.

“Do not mourn my passing,

For if you could only see,

By slipping all my earthly bonds, I’m young again and free.

By Day I run the heavenly fields,

My body well and strong

At night I sleep at angels feet, lulled by celestial song.

So do not mourn my passing,

Just close your eyes, you’ll see,

I’m once again that gallant horse,

As you remember me.”

Author unknown.

 

 

 

 

Driving Donkeys

Today I found myself reminiscing over our donkey…I was reading something about events in France and a show is being held at the Haras du Pin here in France where normally its horses on show, but they are doing one on donkeys.

As I mentioned before, we started out here with a large property with land and lots of animals so this is an introduction to Maxou, our adolescent donkey. We knew nothing about donkeys but decided to give him a home when we went to see some Alpine goats..as you do! ๐Ÿ™‚

We went to collect the Mummy goat and her two kids ( Poppet and Pumpkin – yep I was responsible for those names!) in our large van. Whilst there we were persuaded to give Maxou a home too but we weren’t sure how to transport him. The people we took him off said: “do what the French do, take him in the van and we’ll follow with the three goats in our van!” So, we did.

Driving along the D34, Maxou was fine in the back with Brian driving and Amy and I sat alongside. Five minutes from home, Mr Gendarme happened to be on the road. You need to picture this in your minds eye: We pulled over as instructed and Brian wound down the window to talk to said Gendarme, “Bonjour!” said Brian, Mr Gendarme stood close to the window and was about to say Bonjour back when Maxou decided to put his head over Brians’ shoulder and arrive face to face with Mr Gendarme! You can imagine the surprise on his face cant you!

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“Monsieur! you ‘ave a donkeee in your camion!” (that was his best English accent!) Amy and I just sat giggling and Brian said: “Oh, where did he come from!”ย  After Mr Gendarme had recovered himself with Maxou still staring him out over Brians’ shoulder, he said: “you cannot transport animals in a camion like this, you must go ‘ome on the back roads”ย  At which point Maxou let out a very load eeyore noise! We said ok to Mr Gendarme and drove away very carefully watching him stand on the side of the road shaking his head.ย  I would love to have been a fly on his wall that night over his family dinner! “Crazy Engleesh people driving donkeees around in vans!” ๐Ÿ™‚

The people in the other little van with the three goats got away without being stopped – can you imagine if he had stopped them too – he’d have thought he was on candid camera!

So, Maxou arrived along with the goats and Bel Air was alive with animal sounds. The goats were ok in with the sheep and Maxou had his own space in the field next to them.

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It wasn’t long before Mummy goat got bored with the sheep and decided she wanted to torment Maxou! She would jump the fence, leaving Poppet and Pumpkin in with the sheep and get Maxou to chase her then pretend she was stuck in his field and needed rescuing! Poppet and Pumpkin would cry out to their Mummy and she would hide in Maxou’s stable – not sure if she was trying to get a break from them but she would never jump back immediately. Then one-day Poppet and Pumpkin decided to jump with mummy!

It came to a head when we thought Maxou was going to hurt her, he didn’t like sharing and would kick the stable. So we decided to intervene and help them out. Well, all I can say is Benny Hill would’ve have been proud of our little performance because that’s all it needed was the Benny Hill music…you know the one…..

Brian was trying to catch Maxou to hold him back whilst I got in to help Mummy goat back with the babies. Maxou didn’t want to be caught. So he went on the run. After several attempts and with me trying to coax the goats out with food, Brian had him. As soon as he saw the goats leave the stable he was off again – wanted to play chase. I stood back by the stable and Mum decided she was going to pick up the food bucket from the middle of the field and try and help. At the same time, Maxou ran past mum and kicked out – I swear he missed her head by inches….I’m shouting at Mum to leave the field and Amys outside the field shouting “catch him, dad!”ย  At this point, Maxou turned into Buckaroo, running around and kicking out – I too left the field. Brian decided to try then to tempt him with the food bucket as the goats appeared really stressed and we wanted to help them.

Maxou edged up to Brian with the food bucket and turned around and kicked out just missing Brian and started running. So in all the frustration, Brian threw the food bucket in the direction of Maxou (who had his back to him at that point) and Maxou just kicked out and hit the bucket straight back at Brian!!! OMG I was crying with laughter as was Amy. At that point, the goats jumped the fence back into their own field!!!!! Would you believe it! I can’t repeat what Brian said but you can imagine cant you?

From that day on, whenever the goats jumped out, they were left to their own devices, and do you know what? They survived! So much for us soppy idiots trying to help them!

There’ll be more stories to come but that sprung to mind today – I hope I’ve made you smile today ๐Ÿ™‚