Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole……





Being a firm believer that life show’s us the way, and that when we don’t listen life pours it over our head in buckets to make us see what we need to see,  that has done that to us over the last three weeks.

As you know from previous posts things had been hard, we worried about money, work, bills all the things that you can overcome, that are not insurmountable but at times you let that little spin doctor in your head think they are!!; So we worried just the same and did not remember life’s lessons, that it will all come good in the end if you believe it and, do you know what, it can be worse, get a perspective!!

Therefore, because we did not listen, just after my last post on the 19th of November Harley our beautiful Welsh Terrier became ill. He became so ill that he was, quite literally, screaming in pain one minute and running around the garden the next. But as the days drew on the running around the garden became less and he just lay in his bed. Then one day he went out in the garden and just started to scream in pain. We had no money, and did not know what to do; but we did have a guardian angel who helped us and loves Harley theytold us to “just take him to the vet and do what needs to be done.”

We saw our vet in Ambrieres, who are really mainly agricultural vets, but they were lovely, gave him a thorough examination and found a bite where the skin had become necrotic and at this point he was not crying in pain at all. In fact he just wanted to get the hell out of there. So we were sent away with anti-inflammatory drugs and had to keep our eye on him. At this point our tinky tiny Tilly cat also went missing; so for four days we had a poorly dog and a missing cat and believe me we did not think about money once!! To say we were stressed to the max and crying in the kitchen without the other knowing was probably an understatement!

Our animals are our furry family,we love them all dearly and now our family was starting to fall apart.

On the Saturday Tilly came home and we rejoiced and thought good things are coming; but Harley got worse; and in the end I was putting a hot compress on his neck where the pain seemed to be. I had also looked up on the internet what the possibilities could be and knew it was likely that it was a ruptured disc or meningitis.

On the Monday we were back at the vets because our boy was in a lot of pain now and his neck was solid and hard. The vet again gave a thorough examination and called another vet to arrange an x ray; at that point, and being able to speak some French, I knew that they were discussing a ‘mass’ and were suggesting that they should refer him to what can only be described as a French supervet over an hours drive away. Being the type of girl who needs to know because if I don’t know I cannot deal with it, I looked at the vet and asked do you think it is cancer? He nodded and said it may be. And so it all came flooding back to me, the memories of when I was faced with losing someone I loved, and the reminder that NOW I was faced with something that was not insurmountable and something that I had no control over and that all the worrying over the last few weeks had been just a complete waste of time.

The vet gave Harley a massive dose of painkiller and I took him out whilst Rich paid the very small bill and got the details of the animal hospital. I did not care that I looked like a mad woman as I walked around the town with this beautiful little dog with his tail up, not looking as if there was a thing wrong with him, bawling my eyes out; praying that he would be okay.

We bought him home in a state of shock, Harley  is only six years old.  We prayed that it was not cancer but the alternatives were equally as scary and that night I lay on the floor with tears falling onto the mat as I told him how much I loved him. We did not want to go to bed, did not want the next day to come because it may mean that we would not have Harley any more. But it is one of the things in life you have to do, face the inevitable, and keep moving forward.

That night as Rich and I lay in bed I just continuously said a mantra “please let Harley get better, I have so much more love to give him.” I just did not stop saying it over and over again.

The next day in the dark of a very cold and damp morning, we left at 7.15am with Harley wrapped in a blanket on my lap and the Wiglet in the back of the Smart car; because she was getting stressed now given her history. I continued with my mantra all the way to Alencon.

When we arrived at this fantastic animal hospital it was a place to behold. The reception was huge and as we waited Wiglet entertained us as she barked at every dog that came in, set them all off barking, tried to get to the cats and got stopped in her tracks by an Airedale – seriously her mouth fell open when this huuuuuuuge dog that looked just like her walked through the door, and if she could have spoken she would have said “What the Fuck!!!” Despite our fear that Little Miss made us all laugh.

When the time came for Harley’s examination the Vet found his problem straight away, and Harley was truly screaming in pain. He had ruptured a disc in his spine near to his skull and needed an MRI and emergency operation to prevent paralysis or death. My poor big husband sobbed after having to hold him while they administered the unaesthetic for the MRI.  After speaking to the vet we knew the best thing would be to leave him there but we were both relieved and terrified as we said our goodbyes to him, be was so vulnerable,  like Bambi with his front legs buckling because of the amount of drugs he was on. The vet explained that despite all the drugs  he was still in an incredible amount of pain and we had no choice, surgery was the only option with a ten per cent risk of death or paralysis.

The next day was so hard and boy did we hit the wine when at 6pm we finally found out the operation had been a success and we could pick him up the next day. I spent over two hours calling and messaging all of the people that were so worried about him.

He is now home with mummy,daddy and Wiglet, has just had his morphine patch removed and is now a frustrated Welshie who wants to chase the cats and doesn’t want to be an invalid any more. Mummy is providing drugs and physio and daddy is carrying him up and down the stairs, much to his disgust.

I always say that I try to live each day and enjoy each day, and that my dogs remind me of this because their lives are so short. Yet I think I had started to forget this and this was a wake up call for us both.



Now people tell us we have been unlucky with what has happened to us since moving here,  but have we? I don’t focus on the negatives because here are the good:

We have a love for each other that some people search for all their lives, and for that we are blessed.

We have friends who will help us in our hour of need without question, because our dog would not be here today if it were not for them.

We have the love of good friends, our mini bus has come around and these people have got back on at a time when they need support also.

We have our beautiful animals and never least our beautiful Harley survived.

We are surrounded by beauty all around us.

Money cannot buy any of that.

We are not worrying about money or work any more, it will come good; and our little fledgling business is starting to expand, and work has come our way. Life has given us a slap around the head and told us to buck up because life can ALWAYS get worse!!!

But if you let it, it can get better too. Life taught us to remember what is important.

I love all my animals but there is nothing like a dog’s love, and boy have I been reminded of that over the last few weeks.

I am back now, sorry for my absence, I know you will understand….




Sweet Chilli Sauce and Mexican Chicken


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Hi to all

As promised here is my recipe for this wonderful sweet chilli sauce – and, yes, I did make the one in the picture! There has been a delay because I made another batch using cider vinegar instead – as recommended on a FB site, to see if that worked as well as Rice Wine Vinegar  which can be more expensive. Sadly it did not and I have tweaked it again today so that I can use it in some of my recipes. Anyhoooo here we go ……..




So let’s Witchy poo….

You will need

At least 5 cloves of garlic chopped finely (I use a food processor and always have a stock in the fridge – I do live in France!!)

1 cup of water

3 teaspoons of cornflour – or cornstarch for those in the USA and Canada

4 tablespoons (perhaps more after tasting) of sugar

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

soya sauce

Ginger – again about a teaspoon but you may add more after tasting


Paste of Piment (or red chilli peppers) – the paste you can buy is better because if you chop the chilli’s you do have the skin to contend with but I have made some today doing just that and it is good!!

You may want some garlic powder as well again up to you I add some though.

Put the water and the vinegar in the pan and add the sugar and obviously put the heat on.

Stir until he sugar has dissolved to make sure that it does not burn.

Add the soya sauce, the ginger, the garlic and the chilli paste and stir away……..until it starts to come to the boil.

Then put a small amount of water in to cool slightly and add the cornflour mixed with a small amount of cold water and add to the mix and stir away. Now it should start to clear as it thickens if it doesn’t add some more water and you may need some more sugar. Hey presto you have chilli sauce the Witchy poo way.


Mexican Chicken

One of our favourites – cheap and tasty…

You will need

A to cook bag (although you can cook in a pot or tagine)

Onions – as many as you want to bulk it out with


Chilli sauce – see above

BBQ sauce

Hot pepper sauce (if you like hot stuff like me!)

Put the chicken breasts – or legs or whatever you want – into the bag with some chilli sauce, hot pepper sauce, onions, peppers, bbq sauce – basically everything!!

Then put it it in the oven on about 180 Gas mark 6 and let it cook for at least 45 mins. Serve with rice, chips, whatever and some Doritoes (other tortilla chips are available)


Also folks for those who like Indian Chutneys – which are hard to get or expensive in France – get some rhubarb jam, or some fig jam and add some piment de cayenne to it – *red chilli paste for my other readers not in France* and seriously you have a good chutney man!!!

That is it from the Witchy poo cook today – hope you enjoyed…..

As always please share




Never under-estimate the power of positivity


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imageFirstly I want to thank each and every person who took the time to comment on my last post, both directly to my blog, and on Facebook. The positive comments that I received were overwhelming and your positivity then generated a sale of an item on my Etsy shop – I truly believe that.

But it did not stop there, yesterday a lady posted an adapted poem onto a Facebook site over here called ‘living and renovating in France’  and it was truly brilliant; so much so that it made me cry because it highlighted how hard it can be; and right now Rich and I are finding it hard. Our work has all but completely dried up and we are looking at a winter where we do not know where income will come from. As most of you know I believe in the Tao and that if you keep your mind open things will come your way; but right now, after working so hard all summer we are again faced with the prospect of little or no income; and we are, now, seriously considering the way forward if we are to remain here.

But one of the things we do know is that however much we need money we are no longer prepared to sell our souls. We have realised our worth (finally) and are not prepared to put up with an ounce of crap any longer!

So when I read this ladies poem here is an excerpt

“If you can get the tiles upon the concrete floor,
And spend your hours, playing round with grout,
Or face the fact the bank account looks poor,
And never grudge the will to do without.
If you can stand knee deep in all the brambles,
And tame the weeds and learn to use a strimmer,
Your life might sometimes seem to be in shambles,
But you love the sunsets when the light gets dimmer.
Then you can truly look back on your trouble,
And share your sense of humour while you rest,
The pleasure that you gain is truly double,
And you will know that you have done your best.”

Rachelle Writer – the living and renovating in France FB page

It reminded me that we are not alone, that we have to keep fighting to survive and that we should never give up. But more than that, I said how it had made me cry, in a good way, the response was, again, overwhelming with one person telling me how this blog helps them to carry on at times.

So I am being honest, and I know that some will disapprove, but do you know what? I don’t care! I always said I would be honest on here and I will continue to be so.

The situation we have found ourselves in has made us consider whether being self employed over here is the way to go. With the nastiness and cattiness of some (and I hasten to add ‘some’) of the people over here, and with most of the work being ‘seasonal we have now questioned out choices and are considering some changes and options for next year.

But this poem touched me with the lines……..

“But you love the sunsets when the light gets dimmer.
Then you can truly look back on your trouble,
And share your sense of humour while you rest,
The pleasure that you gain is truly double,”

It reminded me why I moved out here, for the tranquility, for the simpler life, to be surrounded but the most breathtaking countryside, and to continue to strive and not just ‘wait for God.’ It reminded me of all the people who have supported us all the way, including our little group on messenger who all support each other as we watch TV programmes together,although miles apart. The kindness and support I have had from people from all over the world who I have never met has re-enforced my faith in mankind; and what was the outcome of this positivity I received – I made another sale on my fledgling Etsy shop!

So whilst there may be, sadly, some vicious people out here, they don’t phase me. I have always had the ability to tell people to f**k off! Sometimes in more cutting ways than that.

So thank you one and all – keep the positivity coming; that way we can shut the ‘Dementors’ in the world up – those who just want to suck the life out of people – (thanks for that character J K Rowling!)

As for the chilli sauce recipe – it is coming later today just for you Carol Barrass!!



As always please share and get the word out there.




You always need to believe if you are going on an adventure, believe you are a star.


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twinkle stars


So this week the same person (I would say bitch but I don’t want to give their sex away!!) who told me my Etsy shop was ‘crap’ told me that I was delusional and should stop writing my blog because it doesn’t make me money! Should I?

I want to write; I  have been told by many that I am a good writer, that I  have a way with words, that my words are ‘beautiful’; and having sent my book off to one publisher I know that I need to have a media presence, and that is what I have been working on over the past few weeks, relentlessly.

I have also been building a media presence for my shop, mainly because I need to build it and raise it’s profile, so as a result I did not do as many blogs last week as I should have done. But now I have been told that I am ‘delusional’ and ‘need to focus on what makes money’ my strong personality kicks in and I think f**k you!

So today I will be finishing my book for my ‘friend in the  know’ to read in it’s entirety, and then I will be sending it off to other publishers, because do you know what? Delusional or not, I do know that if I don’t do it I will never ‘make money’ from it! But more importantly, for me, I will not help people who are finding themselves in a situation we were in ten years ago, and who just don’t know what to do. Contrary to some people I do not believe that life is ‘all about making money.’

In addition I will continue with my blog because my reader content is going up all the time, and I love that people all over the world from Canada and America to Australia and Malaysia read my blog; I adore it when people react to it, when it touches a nerve for them, when it makes them cry because they can relate. What better compliment can a writer have to have touched an emotion?

I will look into advertising on it (or perhaps I won’t) and I will write because I want to. Good old ‘Delusional me’!!

Why am I writing this? Because when you go on an adventure like this, unless you have a massive pension, or pot of savings to take with you, you have to believe that things will work out. If you don’t you are lost. This negative person, is like J.K. Rowling’s characters in Harry Potter;  a Dementor, in that they suck all of the life out of you because they are not happy so they do not want anyone else to be.

If you are on an adventure take my advice, stay away from that crap because they will have you stop believing in a heartbeat. Do they read this, ‘no’ they advised me, they ‘do not read my blog,’ so how would they know or understand what it is about?

Do I feel better for saying this? Yes I do! I bit my tongue for too long, f**k i!! t I am not doing it any longer. If they read this post my message to them is that you said it, if you are offended ‘Suck it up!’

This morning I got up and my best friend had sent me a message through messenger saying ‘Believe’ with this underneath


She know’s me well, I am stubborn when you push me. So here I am writing my blog, being delusional!

But really folks, especially those who want the adventure, my message to you is that you will never do it if you think about all the ‘what ifs’, and trust me all the people who too afraid to do the adventure will have  you believing the ‘what ifs’ in a heartbeat to keep you in your place.

For those on the adventure with us, and I know there are many who are finding it hard for whatever reasonm the same friend sent me this later today…….


And I will.

So here are some pictures of our new venture – I have always loved interior design and rustic, and original, so we are now making wooden ornaments for the home and garden #made with  love in our barn in France # a star is for life not just for Christmas.

*(Oops apologies for those I traumatised when I missed the ‘with’ out and implied we had been making love in our barn!! Have corrected now!!)*

We have our first order already, it is currently drying in my kitchen waiting for more decoration…..


If you would like to visit my shop petiteFrenchfancies I have included a link just click on the word …….petiteFrenchfancies

Then just now, as I always believe that ‘life show’s you the way’, a message popped up in messenger from an old friend in England who used to be my boss, and always believed in me, and in the message she said ‘how are you? Still fabulous I see.’ Wonderful!!

It is the small things, always better to be positive than negative (although the same person told me once that I was ‘too positive’! And as I am writing this I realise that I have to step away from that crap!!!) a positive word can do so much more, a negative word is only said to destroy something, there can be no other outcome.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, because, trust me, I enjoyed writing it! Rich’s new name for me is ‘Delusional Moisy’ !!! Let’s all be delusional together and ignore the others!!!

Another post tomorrow folks – no stopping me now – a witchy poo cook recipe as requested for my Sweet Chillie Sauce and Mexican Chicken.


Moisy xxxx


Where have all the Cheese and Onion Crisps gone? And whilst I think of it the bloody chilli sauce!!!

When Rich and I first started coming to France hot things were off the menu – unless you cooked them yourself. So we would come with our car loaded with curry sauces, and chilli powder for our Mexican’s, and don’t forget the Cayenne pepper! But over time it has got better and the French seem to have got the taste for ‘something hotter’.

In addition the crisps (or potato chips for my American and Canadian readers) were weird flavours (In fact they still are!) You could get bolognaise flavour, and creme flavour, and paprika, and then just onion! But could you get good old cheese and onion (a favourite with the English) could you bugger!!

So imagine our surprise when we ‘found’ a packet of cheese and onion crisps in a tiny little mini mart the year we first moved over here; sadly we were so excited and nommed them as we drove along in the car nom, nom, nom. Then, before you knew it, they were everywhere, ridged varieties, non-ridged varieties, ‘yey’! We thought we can have them with our cheese sandwiches.

In the same way Mexican has taken off in a big way and you can buy Chilli powder and Cayenne powder and curry powder and even Tandoori chicken powder. On top of that you could find sweet chilli sauce (which I adore) just about anywhere in varying heats. You could even find it in Lidl when they had asian week. We was happy!!!

But suddenly this year the Cheese and Onion crisps started to disappear off the shelves and where they could once be found everywhere now they cannot be found anywhere. We have searched – “Don’t worry I told Karen when she visited in August – you can get Cheese and Onion crisps just like English crisps.”

MI lied, literally, or as it seemed. overnight they had gone. Nada, nothing none!! We are back to looking at dodgy salt and vinegar and weird pizza flavour.

But on top of that, at about the same time, the Sweet Chilli Sauce also started to disappear. In our small mini mart to start with, then the nearest supermarket, then the hyper-market and finally LeClerc, the Supermarket that  I thought that I could always rely on. Where Action (a Belgian Shop) sold it last year in the BBQ season it did not appear this year; and Lidl no longer have it as part of their Asian week. I was distraught as I have it with my Mexican’s as a sauce and I also use it to cook one particular dish. Have the French taken exception to it? Do they think we should not be eating eat. It is just plain Weird!

That is part of living in France, you find something, you like something and suddenly it ain’t here no more. Perhaps the Cheese and Onion crisps are something to do with Brexit and they’re not allowed in the country anymore!!

But I will not be beaten. I made my own!!!

It is so easy I don’t know why I didn’t do it before!! Sod French Bureaucracy if you want to stop people eating sweet Chilli sauce some people will make their own!! Shame about the Cheese and Onion Crisps though!

I am not called the Witchy Poo Cook for nothing; look out for my recipe – coming soon with my recipe for Mexican Chicken.

Have a good Saturday and look out for my post tomorrow – it is all about our new venture, we are going with Dad’s advice.


Stars and Moons


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I may have said it before but I love my surroundings, love where I live.

As I sit here in a fleece, body warmer and I think (given the temperature, and the fact that old stone houses love to absorb the cold ) soon to be added scarf and finger-less gloves to my ensemble, I look out at the farmer tilling the field outside, and the cacophony of colour from the fallen leaves, and I am, still, grateful.

But despite my love for it there have been times in the last week when the surrounding countryside has looked really really creepy.  What with autumn, and autumn mists, the full moon and Halloween it has been enough to spook anyone – not least my husband.

So the other night he was letting the dogs out and I caught him peering out of the door (picture the scene he is six one and he was in his shorts and pyjama top  and his old mans’s dressing gown, as he is peeking around the edge of the curtain as if he is afraid something will be looking back in on him.) “It is really spooky out there tonight” he said “Come and look.”

When I looked out it did look like something from a Stephen King novel. The full moon was shining and the mist was rolling in off the  hills and fields; but the weird thing was it  stopped just on the edge of our garden; lurking on the peripheries of the garden fence – as if waiting to be invited in. The full moon was shining between the trees and you felt as if you were being watched.

I love to experience it all, and said “I am going out out there.” At which point my tall husband with the fifty inch chest said “Oh yeah, I will come with you.” He said it as if he was coming out to keep me safe when in fact he was going out in the garden because I was going to be with him!!

But it was weird, completely still the fog not moving, as if it was holding it’s breadth. The moon had a shroud of mist around it and I had to take a photo – just a shame that it did not come out as well as I hoped! I wanted to show you the mist but it just came out as a blob of black!! It was chilly and silent and still.


Despite all the hard things about living in France in the late autumn and winter I still love it, love the rawness of nature. Love understanding that ‘Do you know what? ‘We are not as important as we think we are!

So after my last post I was spurred on and we are now venturing out into something new. We are both practical and I am arty and we are going to start to design and sell wooden stars, moons, garlands, hearts we have so many ideas! We are busy getting them started and watch out for future posts – inspired by nature we are at last moving forward.

Just one other thing – a massive, huge thank you to you all. The support after my last post was overwhelming and repaired my faith in mankind after becoming so disillusioned.

One of my all time sayings is that “Life will show you the way.” And it has, and it will.

If you like this post please let me know and feel free to share with others.

Back again on Thursday – I promised I will blog every other day.


I was disenchanted … for a while

For those who have read my blog for a while you will know that I always try and look at the positive side of life. In fact I was once told by someone that the ‘trouble’ with me is that I am too positive!? Don’t you just love miserable f*****s who always try to put you down?!!

It has taken me a while to write this post as I deliberated whether to write it or not. But, as always, I have to stay true to myself and be honest, and so write it I must.

This week I had a blip. We had worked hard all summer but now, as always in France where the work is so seasonal, the work had started to dry up; and you realise that no matter how hard you work, or how conscientious you are (and I am conscientious, too much sometimes and my integrity then bites me on the arse!!) you are just a number and actually your conscientiousness counts for jack shit when it comes down to it.

I suppose it hit me because I had not learnt my lesson; I had gone forward and done it again, given my all and realised that it doesn’t matter if you give your all, for most people you are just the same as the person who doesn’t give a shit and only gives what they have to; and I realised that I had to stop. I became disenchanted with people and that hit me hard.

So last Tuesday I found myself driving through the painting that is the French countryside, surrounded by beautiful scenery, and autumn colours, bawling my eyes out. I had tried to hold it off, told myself not to give in to it, but then another voice said ‘You are allowed to have a f*****g off day you know. Go on cry.’ So I did, and although it did make me feel better I still felt disillusioned and down.

But then my best friend called me and gave me a talking to, she cared, she did not want me to change – although did want me to know my worth. Then ‘Dad’ (see another poignant goodbye) came to see us and I won’t call R mum because she would kill me, she is the same age, but they both listened and she hugged me numerous times; she understood and believe me, that helped. (I have tears in my eyes now.)

‘Dad’ told us to know our worth, and not sell ourselves short. He knew that he could always rely on us, that we could always be trusted (and that is worth a lot out here!) and he told us to get another sideline. They both spurred us on.

So my Etsy shop is up and running and I have made three sales already, my lights are in Paris and a Chateau in Southern France and my Vintage Sky Hook now lives in New York!! So life is showing me that the stuff I have in my shop is well chosen and will sell, contrary to the negative f****r who said otherwise. I also received five star ratings from my customers, so much so that one emailed me again to say thank you personally. So we have decided to build on that.

Add to that this blog, and a big thank you to all who read and support it, as it grows bigger every day; and now I have a media profile that is also growing bigger every day.

But more than anything although I found myself back on the edge of that black hole I stopped and focused on the positive people that we have in our lives and the support that they give, and it brought me back from the edge. I wrote a list of all of those people and the support they give and I would like to say a big thank you to you all, because your belief in my writing was one of the things that I wrote down.

I am back now and I promise I will be blogging every other day this week so keep reading and please share.

And if any of you are interested in Vintage French items, with a little bit of shabby chic and rustic thrown, in then please visit my Etsy shop petiteFrenchfancies and let me know what you think.




Oh serendipity! My beloved friend

Another one of my favourites from this time last year .. enjoy


For those who have not read my blog before yes, it is about my move to France and all that it entails, but I also started this blog for those people out there who are thinking to themselves “Is this it?!” To, hopefully, provide encouragement to them to make change in their life, to understand that it is not impossible, but also to give a true picture of what it entails, it is not just “a move!” When you move countries you are , in fact, starting a new life, total!  But the opportunity that offers. …..

It enables you to become a different person, by reflecting on your previous life and deciding where,and if , you want to change things; (although for most I would hope that there would always be something they may change, I also know that sadly  for some that will not be true.)

Now as most…

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The hooley

As I know I have new readers I thought I would share some of my favourite posts with you over the next few days.Enjoy….


So for the last three days it has been blowing a hooley; and I mean, A HOOLEY.

A storm and strong winds were forecast for Saturday, but there was no mention of it carrying through until the early hours of Tuesday!

My poor little house is on top of a very large hill, and the wind has been crashing and bashing around it for the past three days. “Just to warn you, you are on a hill and it can get quite windy up here.” Said my lovely Immoblier (estate agent) ; she was not kidding!!

Since living here we have been hit by hurricane Katie in March, which took half of the kitchen roof off, a tornado in September, which finished a massive part of the kitchen roof off, which  is now covered in tarp (you all know the story, seriously, don’t get insured with Allianz!) And now The…

View original post 927 more words