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10th November

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Edited by Cathy Winsor, Sunday, 13 Nov 2011, 11:46

Every Thursday we have lunch out with friends. I had tried to book a favourite restaurant in Samatan, but was told by the chef that it wasn’t possible as they had a group booking. I do have this small worry at the back of my mind that our booking was refused because of the behaviour of our friends’ guest on our last visit. In fact he wasn’t being an awkward customer, just old and forgetful. He didn’t like duck, but after being told it was a fixed lunch menu he agreed to have it, but then sent it back when it arrived, much to the confusion of the waiter.  Then we had all the restaurant staff offering him various forms of eggs, which he didn’t want ether, he finally settled for a plate of chips. I think the staff were a bit put out. I sensed his abrupt Dutch manners were perceived as rudeness. Oh well, I’ll use a pseudonym next time I try and book a table and see what happens. In the end it worked out well, we went to another restaurant in the Gers and today their menu was just wonderful. Smoked fish & salad starter, pork medallion with assorted vegetables for main course and the most delicious chocolately desert with crème anglaise, (interestingly the cold custard so popular in France and sold in cartons is ascribed to the English.) It was Philip’s turn to drive, so I was able to enjoy a bottle of red wine with our friends and their house guests who had flown from the UK to stay for just a few days. It was a couple David knew well 45 years ago, but hadn’t seen since. I was amazed that anyone could keep in touch with old friends for so long, especially as he doesn’t use email, they had regularly corresponded with hand written letters for all those years.  It is probably something to do with the Jewish connection; they attended the same synagogue all those years ago. Shirley, an actress and her husband Tony, an accountant, were both very chatty & articulate. I felt David’s wife was feeling left out, they were friends when he was married to wife number 1 so she hadn’t met them before.

Now back at Blanquette and faced with the realisation that despite the double glazing, and having all the windows back in place, lighting a fire the wood burning stove in the sitting room isn’t going to heat the whole house. Another discovery I made when taking the basket to collect logs from the wood pile was that one of the cats has been using it as a loo. We know the culprit. We installed a high tech cat door a few months ago that recognises the magnetic chips in each of the first batch of kittens. The two unchipped ones look so confused as they paw away at the cat flap and push it with their noses after a cat has just gone through ahead of them.  It was never our intention to keep the second litter, but somehow, two kittens stayed on, unchipped. One of them has moved in and is loathe to go outside as she has realised that unless she finds an open door she isn’t able to get back into the house, so evidently has decided a log basket makes a good loo. I suppose we’ll have to get her chipped, unfortunately her sister kitten isn’t tame enough to catch yet, so that will be a second expensive trip to the vet at a later date. We should have had them chipped and neutered at the same time.

I really should be working on my Open University activities, there always seems to be a distraction, or some domestic task that has to be done first.

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