Laughter & giggles



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One of biggest things that I love about my husband is that he makes me laugh every day. So this weekend I thought I would share some of this part of our life with you.

I have shared that this winter was difficult, but it didn’t stop us laughing: from Rich mimicking me whenever he could: I now hear myself say oh! Before a sentence or asking for something; because he would mimic me and what I had said whenever I did it: ‘boh! Bring my iPad down babes! Or ‘boh. Turn the water in babes!’ As I hear myself say it now I start giggling, whether he is here or not.

Then there are the times I lift something heavy: I didn’t realise that I puff my face out as I do it, like a determined puffer fish until I looked at Rich the other end of whatever we are lifting pulling the same face back at me. Then I start laughing, nearly always drop what I am lifting and end up calling him a bastard!

But I get my revenge: so here is a recent story of my escapades into trying to teach Rich some French:

We are sat on or respective sofa’s when I say to Rich ‘I was thinking to really get to grips with another language you need to understand verbs, adjectives and nouns.’ (Rich never excelled in English grammar, he couldn’t see the point.)

Rich now looks at me suspiciously, but I carry on: ‘Because the French put their adjective after the noun, where we put our adjective in front of the noun, and I think that confuses you.’ Rich looks at me and says ‘whats an adjective?’

Me:’It’s a word that describes a noun. For example the black table. What’s the adjective?’


Me:’No that’s the noun.’

Rich:’What’s a noun?’

Me:’The name of something: Tree, Fire, Dog’. (I’m looking around the living room for inspiration) ‘So the black table, what’s the noun?’


Me:’Table, table, table, for fucks sake I just told you.’ Rich starts giggling nervously. But I wasn’t giving up (although I think that’s what he wanted)

Me: ‘So the black table: what’s the noun?’

Rich:’Table’ (yey)

Me: So what’s the adjective?

Rich: ‘The’ (Oh for fucks sake!)

Me (I’m starting to stifle a giggle now) ‘The, the the! What does ‘the’ describe?’

Rich:’The table’

Me: ‘If an adjective is a word that describes the noun how can it be the? What is describing the table?’

Rich: (desperately trying to work out what he has not said) ‘black’

Me: By now I am talking in a very high pitched voice trying not to laugh’ Yes! So if we put our adjective before our noun, what is an adjective?’


Me: (rolling up with high pitched laughter) ‘I give up! I haven’t even got to French yet! You can’t speak English you’ve got no hope with French!’

So moving on to Friday night: I’m cooking the ‘Friday Night Kebab’ with my back to the kitchen. We’re jimbied up (got our pyjamas on), hubby’s milling round the kitchen. Suddenly I hear what sounds like a bumble bee on steroids: I turn to look and see my husband spinning round the kitchen, whilst blowing a continuous raspberry, and spinning either end of his dressing gown belt around. I started to giggle:

‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m a helicopter’

‘Are you really!’

He’s 56 this year!

And that’s why I love him.


A house is not a home….



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Sealsea- (2)

Three years ago yesterday i moved out of my beautiful house, by the sea, to start this adventure. I loved this house, have always said it was the most beautiful house I would ever have the privilege  to live in. Edwardian, with so many original features….


I had put my heart and soul into it, worked so hard on it renovating and decorating and making it into our home.

We were so rushed when it came to moving day I do not even remember closing the door for the last time, but I do remember sitting in the pub that night with tears rolling down my face. When my book comes out you will understand why the house,  for Rich (and now, as time has gone by I realise  for me also),  had become contaminated; it could never be the home we thought it would be; and as three years have passed I have come to realise that.

So then we found our house on the pinnacle of the rolling hills that are Ambrieres les Vallees, and we fell in love. For me it was bittersweet, it was not the house I had left, it was not the house that had taken part of my soul. But over the three years, despite the well running dry, the crappy cesspit (literally, all over the cellar floor sometimes!!) and the mold on the walls; it has shown me this …….

I sit in my bedrom and I look out at this my favorite tree and I feel at peace


And over the years I have realised that a home is about love, companionship, laughter, and tears; it is not the house, it is the people in it. I look at my husband, and he is happier here. I know neither of us could go back to a house where you could reach out and touch your neighbour, surrounded by people and noise. We are too used to the peacefulness that surrounds us; and I have finally come to realise that I do not miss my old home, it was ONE of the most beautiful houses I lived in; but this is the most beautiful home. It has not taken my soul it has replenished it.

A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

The late great Luther Vandross..

Have a good Sunday folks.


You may want to check out my other blog

It may surprise you, and it may give you hope.

As I sit here


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It is just after nine on a Monday morning. Rich aka Danny (I will need to unlink this blog!) has gone off to work, and I am left contemplating.

I just had one of those moments that you get in life, where the sunlight coming through the window, and the silence, and the clocks ticking, the birds singing, and my beautiful Welshie boy asleep on the chair, made me stop and commit this moment to memory.

It is one of those moments where you are reminded that the simple things are the most precious.

Rich and I are back to ‘do we stay, or do we go’. We sat yesterday evening in the garden and we talked about what we want, or that we don’t know what we want, but we do know some of the things we don’t want, and it got me thinking:

I have said many times that we need to write down some of the things we discuss, because being a journal keeper I know that writing something down gives you clarity; and also reminds you how quickly what you thought you wanted can change.

I have been absent quite awhile because I have been concentrating on my book (under the pseudonym of Rosie Joseph) and the blog linked to it has just hit over 72,100 views with over 11,000 visitors. Every day I wake up a voice in my head says ‘you need to get that book out there before you can make any decisions.’ Every day when someone messages me to say how my blog helps them: the lady yesterday who told me she was going to buy a journal, because my blog inspired her; the lady who told me that after reading one of my posts she knew that going back in time was not going to help her; the people who say you have put into words how I feel, at a time I cannot understand, they all inspire me to get that book out there; because I know it will change lives, including ours.

So is now a time to be making decisions? Not yet. I finally got there, the book is going to the publishers today.

Lets see what life shows us.

Rosie (aka Moisy)


Au revoir


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This is Sophie the Sofa Loaf asleep on my shoulder last winter.

When we got up this morning it was a beautiful summers day, our routine was the same: I fed the cats, and prepared Sophie’s dish, but sadly it is still on the counter untouched, because Sophie died in the night last night.

Because it is summer I did not worry when she didn’t come for breakfast; we had our tea in bed and started to get ready to take the Welshies for their haircut. As Rich looked out of the window he saw Sophie lying in the road, just outside our house. He called her, and she didn’t move, and we knew, we knew that our little Nitty Nutty Nora had left us.

I ran out and there she was, with a little bright red blood coming from her nose onto the road. Her tongue was hanging out of the side of her mouth, as it often did when she was happy, but her eyes were open, and sightless. Rich came out and lifted her up so gently, my big gentle husband had tears in his eyes, he loved the pretty little cat who had such a difficult life.

I wrote about Sophie last year when she nearly got run over, and then lost in a derelict house in her panic, you can read about it Here

As I have written before Sophie was a French feral cat, and someone before us had adopted her, prevented kittens and loved her. But somehow Sophie ended up alone, someone found her, and they handed her over to Rich when we moved here.

We believe that she may have been loved by an elderly French person and when they died she was just put out into the wilds to fend for herself.

At first she was a difficult cat, but over the years she knew we would not hurt her, she loved being warm, and she loved us.

One of my favourite things to say to her was ‘are you happy Loaf?’ When she stretched out like this, without a care in the world.

More than anyone she loved her Dad, she would ride around the garden on his shoulders, she would run to greet his van when he come home, and she would hug him, tightly.

Sophie had always had a cough, we asked the vet when she first came to live with us and they did not know what was causing it. We knew it could be anything so we decided to make her comfortable and give her a good life and love. We didn’t know what had happened to her in her life, and we didn’t know how long she would live so we gave her lots of love; and what a difference that love made: She went from a cat who would claw you, to a cat that would let you stroke her and rub her belly; I said to her only the other day ‘what a difference love makes Sophie, look at you now’. And now she has gone, and we are heartbroken.

No more Sophie climbing into bed with us at every opportunity in the winter, no more Sophie meowing as she runs down the kitchen, and tonight she won’t be lying on the garden table with us trying to knock our wine over.

No more Sophie eating my chicken sandwiches, as she did last Thursday! Or taking on the Welshies (she was fearless).

No more shoulder cuddles.

This little cat, who serendipity sent our way, made a bigger impact on our lives than we ever thought, Rich is bereft. I have cried all morning, even in the shops! Being me I have looked up the circumstances of her death (there were no signs of trauma and it happened in the night, we live in a dead end road and no cars have been here in that time), and taking into account her cough, the small amount of blood and that she didn’t eat last night (not like Loafy) I believe she died from a heart attack.

We have buried her in the garden, near to where we sit, and planted a rambling rose on top of her. It seemed fitting that Sophie will make the flowers grow, and they will ramble freely just as she has.

I have found myself singing this to her, because she is no longer in pain, and she will make the flowers grow.

Don’t you fret, M’sieur Marius
I don’t feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You’re here, that’s all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow.

‘A little drop of rain’. From Les Mis

I like to think that the person who had before, was waiting to greet her and take her home. We were just her guardians for a short time.

There will be more tears, for the little French rescue cat; poor Rich, it’s his birthday on Monday.

Farewell my nutty little cat, I am glad you had four years of happiness and love. We will miss you so. But I know if you could you would tell us this.

We will miss you just the same.


Mummy and daddy.

My favourite time of year


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This time of year has always been my favourite time of year, with warm weather and Wimbledon, for me it has always epitomised summer because of the fond memories that it brings back.

I don’t remember when I really got into tennnis, but I do know that Bjorn Borg was a major factor in converting me, and I became an avid tennis fan when I was fourteen. I can especially remember the summer of ’77, when the weather had been hot (something to be treasured in England) and the championships had been thrilling: with Borg constantly taking us through five set matches whilst we sat on the edge of our seats.

One particular evening my mum and dad had gone ‘up the club’ as we used to say, to have an evening out, leaving my eighteen year old sister and I indoors watching the tennis. It was a hot evening and Borg was playing Vitas Gerulaitis, I lay on the sofa periodically jumping up whenever Borg scored a point. The match was a thrilling five set match that played late into the balmy evening.

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My dear Dad had left us with some money because the ‘Ice Cream Man’ normally came to our lane on a Thursday evening, and as we watched the match we could hear his chimes as he came up our lane. I can remember my sister pulling rank on me and insisting that I went out and queued for the ice creams whilst she watched the match.

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Running out as fast as I could I beat all the young kids and getting to the front to the queue so that I could get back to the match,  and decadently buying us both an Oyster Ice Cream each , considered the queen of ice creams back in the 70’s.

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I just remember that time to be such a happy time: my mum and dad were getting on and not arguing, my school life was going well and I had started to gain the confidence that I would take with me for the rest of my life; the weather was good and the tennis was better. Borg went on to win that year.

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It’s funny how particular things resonate with you; I watchWimbledon every year but if you ask me to think of a match it will always take me back to that balmy Thursday evening in Essex when life was innocent and good.

I never thought at that time that one day I would be watching the tennis in my house in France. I suppose it goes to show that if you believe, and face your fears,  life really can be an adventure; and your memories go with you wherever you are.

Have a good day.

PS: A song to make you smile



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Hot weather, Welsh Terriers, and contentment


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France has been on high alert this week, for extreme temperatures, and they weren’t kidding! On Tuesday the temperature started to rise and by Friday it was thirty six degrees, with humidity of over forty percent. I kid you not I felt as if I was melting as I unloaded the shopping, our patio was recording temperatures of over fifty degrees.

Our poor Welshies have been our main concern, they are due another cut in 2 weeks so in the meantime I have stripped the excess fur out if them, after chasing them around the garden!

And much splashing has been had by the pool, even Wiglet (who hates water) joined in.

But yesterday when the temperatures hit thirty nine, with fifty seven humidity we had to dunk her fat little bum in the pool! She was so hot she didn’t complain and merely waddled off, finally cool for a short respite of time.

Over this week I have thanked God for our shutters! When I used to holiday in France (I can’t afford to holiday now, but then I am on an adventure instead) I would think that nobody was in when the shutters were down; now I know that is not the case, the shutters are down to keep the heat out! So I have had the dogs laying on our bed in a darkened room with the fans working overtime.

The humidity at night has been unbearable but last night, finally the temperatures started to drop and a cool (twenty four degrees) a breeze started to blow; and this is what I woke up to this morning

Bless him, he is smiling, and I am blessed.

As we lay in the pool on Friday evening, after Rich had git home from work, I was reminded that I live here, and whilst I am here I will cherish every moment, good or bad.

I looked at Rich (also known as Danny) and said ‘beats living in Herne Bay’ and it does.

Counting my blessings.


Thunderbolts and lightening


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Image result for pictures of lightningIt has been warm here in France, but not as hot as last year (yet!) It appears that we have a red alert for hot weather for the rest of the week with temparatures in the high thirties. Me-thinks my shutters will be down and the fan will be on in our bedroom for the Welshies. They are not due another cut until next month.

I digress – this is my impromptu story:

Last night we had one humdinger of a thunderstorm. It had been warm and cloudy all day, but not particularly humid. Thunderstorms are often predicted for this region, it is so open and vast; so we have come to take the warning with a pinch of salt! But last night just as we sat down for our tea (I come from Essex you have tea not dinner!) ensconced in front of the TV with all our favourite soaps to watch,  good old Eastenders started to pixelate. You could see an eye and a hand, or a leg and and a window and they were all speaking like daleks! We  looked out of our huge window and whilst it was cloudy the clouds were not ominous; but on closer inspection the monsoon rains that were tipping water into our garden were!

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So we resigned ourselves to eating our tea without TV, but watched in amusement as the satellite battled on trying to provide a service. Then we heard the thunder…

Now since living here in amongst all of the other things that have happened to us including the roof and the tornado  ,we also got hit by lightening which took out our internet and phone over two years ago.

It was a lesson learnt and when a storm hits we know to unplug the internet. But the storm last night was probably the biggest storm that we had seen to date. After the satellite struggled it was put out of it’s misery by the electric tripping out and we sat in darkness (even though it was only 9.30pm and should have been sunny). As all of the lights burst back into life we decided that we needed to batten down the hatches (literally!)

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We ran around the house closing all of our shutters and unplugging all of our appliances except for the fridges. We know that if lightening were to hit it could literally blow all appliances that were plugged in. As I went to close the shutters I was mesemerised by the lightening: it was quite literally all around us. Not just one bolt, but four or five at a time, hitting the fields outside. But as four simultaneously hit our garden just feet away from the house I realised that I needed to close those shutters fast as I was in a precarious position.

I have never seen anything llke it before, not from the position of a solitary house on top of a hill.  I moved down to the kitchen and stood at our double glass doors mesmerised by the show in front of me: it was as if a wizard battle was going on above us, and I half expected Dumbledore to land in my garden!!

The rain was torrential as if the angels had hoses above our house and were trying to wash it away. But bless her – she stood firm as she always does.  Danny(remember the name changes read here told me to move away from the doors as the lightening was so close; and we decided to call it a night and go to bed.

As I lay in bed, with the Welshie’s snoring beside me and the fan buzzing away I could hear the thunder making it’s way back to us for a second onslaught. I heard the fan go off as the electric disconnected, and then I heard it buzz back into life as the storm finally moved on.

But as I sit here this morning the sun is shining, the swimming pool has overflowed in the night and the birds are singing again. Danny (formerly known as Rich) has checked the house and garden and there are not visible signs of damage – the house on the hill stood firm again.

But I have learnt living here that nature will never be beaten, and when she gives me sunsets like this I hope that she isn’t- she always knows best.


Other stories you may want to read

Other stories you may want to read

and more

So much to say, so little time, so much change


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I cannot believe that I have not blogged for over seventeen days, so much has happened but time has truly run away with me.

At the end of May I signed up to self-publish my book. There have been so many people asking where they can buy it, the blog is just about to have it’s ten thousandth visitor and has just hit fifty nine thousand views. I couldn’t wait anymore, I am confident of it’s success and life will show me the way where a publisher is concerned. But….

Due to the nature of the book I have had to use a pseudonym I didn’t want to, but after a weekend prevaricating I came to realise that it is the right thing to do You can read about my decision here and as a result Rosie Joseph was born. It is an homage to my mum and dad, using their second names, hopefully I will immortalise them forever, as a big thank you to my dad, who taught me to read. So now when you look on this blog it will be RJ who is posting but I have kept the title the same.

Due to all of this I now have to re-edit my book, but now I have a deadline of the end of July! In addition I have nearly 100 blog posts on the blog of the same name to edit, so that it can be linked with the book, but sadly I will have to unlink the blogs. To say that I am busy is an understatement! Add to that new social media accounts, rebuilding followers, and continuing promotion, including Danny’s business (yep another name change my husband is called Danny now!), and doing admin for the business and I am now having to remind myself to switch off!

The French bureaucracy is driving me nuts! (Another story that must be told) and some additional galavanting and I have lots to tell.

So tomorrow I will be sitting in the sunshine of my beautiful garden, surrounded by the ever changing fields of gold, editing, editing, editing. We will also be pulling together some lists for some life changing decisions we may make in the future.

Please bear with me as I change my name, my adventures will be the same, but perhaps in Spain!

Rosie ❤️

He’s a keeper


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You can read about Claudy’s adventure here

Here is Claudy, with his new girlfriend. The boy don’t take long!

I received a lovely message from the lady who had re-homed him to say that he is utterly charming and that he is a keeper.

Claude has found his forever home, and he deserves it.

Life really does show you the way.


And we all want chickens…..Goodbye Claudy


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This is Claudy our cockerel. It turns out he is a Creole Pekin Bantam, and what a handsome boy he is.

Sadly the last of our girlies died on Wednesday night, leaving Claude all alone, and he crowed and cried all Thursday and Friday. I was so worried for him, not many people want cockerels and I didn’t want someone to take him to kill and eat him (although it turns out there would be no meat on him anyway so that would just be cruel). So how could I get him a home?

I went onto a FB site called chicken keepers in France and explained the situation and a lovely lady told me exactly what he was and said how beautiful he was. Then the haters joined the party (well one silly cow anyway) but that did me a favour and the lovely lady came back to say she would have him.

So today we boxed him up and said goodbye, and took him to the ladies chicken farm, full of chickens, ducks and young geese who shout at you and any bush they take exception to!

It was as if Claude knew he was in a good place. He started to cluck in his box, and then chirrup and then he just wanted to get out. At the moment he is in quarantine, but a new lady will be joining him to keep him company.

The lovely lady who had him said she may not keep him, although she took a shine to him as soon as she saw him and said ‘oh you never know, I might start breeding Bantams!’ She promised to send me pictures if she does.

So that is the end of our chicken keeping days. Welshies and chickens don’t mix! Another chapter of the adventure closes, but a knew one has just opened.

Au revoir Claude have a wonderful life.


Partying Francais style


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Some of my readers may remember the big birthday party that we went to last year: it lasted two days!

You can read about it here

So really when we were invited to our friends and neighbours house yesterday we should have known better than to think we would only be there the two hours that etiquette dictates for aperitifs. We left our doors open, the Welshies bounding around the garden, didn’t feed any of the cats, and off we went. We don’t know what time we got home!

The evening started sedately with dainty morsels to eat, whisky for Richard and a fruity drink for the ladies. We had taken over some prawn cocktail crisps for Manon, Marc’s niece, she love fish & chips so we thought she would like to try a flavour of crisps that is popular in the UK. (Just an aside: in England chips are called crisps and fries are called chips, but if they are thin then they are called fries. Confused, you will be!)

Anyhow back to my story of how we are slowly introducing our French friends to English food: we took two packets and then Rich went back for more. With the exception of about three people there they were a resounding success. So we upped the anti: If you look in the photo above you will see a black and yellow jar which is a jar of marmite. Rich bought that back over with him as well and proceeded to spread it on the prawn cocktail crisps and feed them to our French friends, They loved them, well some loved them, some pulled the face so many pull when they try marmite for the first time! The marmite fest was under way, they spread it on cheese, various types and it was a success. All this time Marc was constantly topping up everyone’s glasses: rose wine for me and whisky for Rich.

A marmite eating contest ensued, which Rich obviously won because he is used to it. The poor Frenchman put too much in his mouth in one go and ended up with marmite all over his beard. (We’re still giggling about that this morning).

As the drink flowed music was found and I found myself in a surreal moment as I danced to YMCA with a room full of French people, with my husband standing the other side of the table leading the dance moves. It’s fair to say we were pretty pissed by then!

It is one of the things of this adventure that we are so blessed with our friends and neighbours that we have: all French, all supportive, they have welcomed us into their lives and family parties and we know that it is an honour that they have. Just another reason for taking that chance and having that adventure.




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When we were planning to move to France I had a little dream in my head: I pictured myself sitting in my garden writing. I had some pretty clothes on and a jaunty French scarf around my neck, and the sun was shining. So as I sit here in my garden today, writing this blog, the sun is shining, and I am in paint spattered clothes (hey you can’t have everything!) and I realised that my dream has come true.

I am editing my book, surrounded by tranquility and birdsong, with two sleeping Welshies at my feet and 3 sleeping cats around me.

I realise again that my dream has come true.

My book is half way edited from the printed version (so much you cannot see when it is on the laptop!) and I will be contacting a publisher on Friday. My blogYou can read it here just hit 50,000 views, with over 8,000 visitors.

I always knew our story would help others, and from the interaction and feedback from the people who read it I was right. Someone once told me to ceremoniously burn my journal one day; but I always knew I couldn’t because it is part if me: keeping that journal made me the person that I am today.

It brought a tear to my eye today. Dreams can come true, you just have to believe in them.