The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Viva Italia!

I knew it would only take a couple of decent nights' sleep for me to get the ol' mojo back and it seems it's true. I was so tired last week, what with all the home improvement stuff, but I know myself well enough to know that just slowing down for a couple of days will really get the energy levels back up. It's a pity I wasn't able to do that when I was working though because, as most working mothers know, there is rarely any "free" time when you have kids, a job and a home to run. Now though, that has all changed and I really am starting to realize that I can do bugger all if I want to. Not that I want to do "bugger all" very often, but yep, that's now always a possibility, I'm glad to say!

I'm slowly restoring the downstairs to its new "norm" and sorting stuff to take to the charity shop, hopefully sometime this week. Already it feels easier to breath, even though there is still a lot to be done. The basement can wait till later but that will also have to get sorted at some point too. Still, when you have visitors you don't all sit in the basement do you, so it is, at least, a horror I can hide!

Anyway, on Saturday we had the latest of our jaunts to Italy, this time to an outlet village near Turin. We again went with GAL Voyages as we have been very happy with them every time. That being said, it meant getting up at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. to be ready for the "off" at 6 a.m. I knew there would be a lot of interest in this trip - "shopping", you see - so it was no surprise that they had laid on four buses and each one was full, so over 200 people! We made good time, hitting the Italian border an hour later, and positively waltzing down the Aosta valley with virtually no traffic! It was amazing - the snow held off and Italy seemed to have closed up shop for the day! Once through the valley we always stop for breakfast - a quick 30 minute potty stop and a chance to grab a coffee and croissant - and by 10.30 we were pulling into the parking lot of the outlet village, where ours were the only buses there! There were obviously cars in the parking lot but I was really quite amazed at how empty the place was, bearing in mind this was the weekend of "Black Friday"! There is such a push to introduce Black Friday into Europe and while some places are following like sheep, in my experience many people just can't be arsed, and that certainly seemed to be true of this mall! It was a Saturday morning and I would say it wasn't even as busy as an English high street on a Monday morning! In fact, when my friend and I stopped at the information centre for a map they asked us which travel company we had used because they were obviously keen to encourage more visitors! (I did a quick calculation in my head and if everyone on our buses spent an average of just €200 like we did, our French contingent alone would have spent €40,000 in one day - but many people will have spent more of course! And again - and I always do this - put that into the context of Brexit and the effect reintroducing borders will have on the French markets if/when the Brits can no longer shop freely just across the border in France!). Anyway, back to the plot! The thing is, most of the shops here were all designer and high end fashion shops and there was, indeed, a queue to get in to the Michael Kors shop, not because it was full but because they were only letting a few people in at a time. Other than that, it was extremely uncrowded and pleasant. What's more the sun was shining and the temperature was warm enough to leave our coats behind - now that in itself was heaven after what seems like non-stop rain for the last month!

As I said, it was pretty much high end fashion, although with the Black Friday sales on, so a three inch handkerchief that passed as a skirt went from €350 to maybe €200!! Oh I'll take two then shall I! Anyway we had a wander but the clothes shops were rather lost on us because (a) neither of us are in to "that snobby stuff", (b) we didn't even like most of it, but (c) even if we were, neither of us exactly have the figure for it - and that must be the understatement of the year! I swear most of that stuff was created using a stick of spaghetti as a pattern! In any case, even when I did have a good figure I always looked at that kind of money as "another holiday" rather than a €300 handbag. Some people can and do carry it off well but that was never me. But do you remember my colleague berating me recently about how it was all right for me being able to retire as I was a higher grade than she was (despite the fact that she had over 30 years in the pension fund to my 20), and then telling me in the next breath that she goes down to Italy every weekend during spring and summer to go clothes shopping! Not that she has the figure for Italian clothes either - she's much bigger than I am - but she spends all her money (and then some, I imagine) on clothes. She's what I would call a "blousy blond" (except she's not blond) and spends a ton on make-up, hair products and clothes (or "on with a trowel and off with a blow torch, as my dad would have said) so no wonder she has no money and "can't retire"! Still, each to his/her own in that respect I guess, but don't come complaining to me that you can't retire please!

Anyway, just beyond the designer clothes shops we came to the Lindt chocolate shop and bugger me if you didn't hear a collective orgasm as people walked into that shop! Just the smell of the place was divine and the set-up fabulous. The interesting thing is I counted 28 different flavours of Lindor chocolate balls and yet in Switzerland, the home of Lindt, I have only ever seen three! Go figure! So I bought a few ready-packed bags of mixed chocolates to give as presents, then set about picking out my favourites as I want to scatter them on my dining table at Christmas, they look so pretty!

Turin Outlet Village

On an only slightly related note, I remember many years ago - maybe around 1981 - my mom was taken seriously ill with pleurisy and ended up in hospital. I was living in Switzerland already and couldn't do much from my end except phone every night to see how she was doing. Lindor chocolate balls were not available in England then so I bought a huge box of them and mailed them to her. She said afterwards that she got the equivalent of private treatment on the NHS as the doctors and nurses kept buzzing round her bed to see if she "needed anything"!!

Around 12.30 we stopped and went to a restaurant for lunch. We weren't particularly hungry so I just had a beautiful salad with tuna, mozzarella and so on. Their menus were in Italian, English and French (and everyone spoke at least Italian and English), but it tickled me to see on the English menu that my salad consisted of "fresh tuna salad with tomatoes and a buffalo"! Little things please little minds I guess! But since I was indeed being good and not having any wine I decided to have desert and ended up eating the most delicious meringue glacé I have ever eaten in my life! Seriously! It had chewy meringue on the outside with solid ice cream on the inside and a little jug of hot chocolate sauce to add to the decadence! Honestly, I would have licked my plate if no-one was around!

My friend had the tiramisu and also said it was the best she had ever eaten! When the waitress came to take our plates (with me desperately hoping I didn't have chocolate sauce and icing sugar on my nose), I told her how wonderful it was, so she pointed out the young chef who had made it and I gave him the thumbs up! I've been scouring the internet today for something that might resemble it as I think I might give it a try sometime soon! When we paid we left a generous tip (although tipping over here is not even mandatory), and as we went to leave the girl at the cash register shouted out "mancia" (tip) and all the wait staff shouted back "mancia". Seems that's what they do when someone leaves a good tip! We just laughed and thanked them for a lovely meal!

I managed to choose a couple of nice things for my sons for Christmas and a good quality pair of winter boots for myself - fur lined and with 4 wheel drive tracks on the soles in anticipation of the snow! Ha, and to think I used to wear short skirts and high heels! They were on sale and they were giving an additional 30% for the second pair, so since my friend also bought a pair we put them together and got an extra €20 off, which we split, thus both getting a pair of excellent quality boots each at a very good discount!

I have to say that there is a certain joie de vivre about Italy. Of course it's not all pink clouds and kittens but they do seem to have a lust for life that I find very appealing. Certainly anything relating to food and drink always has flair and since we are all born and we're all gonna die sometime, I think it's lovely to make the bit in the middle as full of joy as possible!

We headed back towards France at 4 p.m. and stopped again at a service station just before the Mont Blanc tunnel in order for people to use the bathrooms and get a coffee and so on. But get this, there then ensued a veritable stampede of our fellow travellers heading for the cigarette section and while we were supposed to be back on the bus in 40 minutes we ended up leaving late because people were still waiting to pay! I have no idea how much cheaper cigarettes are in Italy than in France, but I have to say I'm just so glad I don't smoke as I would have hated to be caught up in that stampede just to buy a few cancer sticks!

With yesterday turning into a really long day, I was glad of a lie-in this morning, but when my friend told me that she was going up to a craft fair at Passy (to support our yoga teacher who was selling hand-made jewellery there) I said I would go with her, despite the renewed rain and mist. But this little fair was also very good - better than I expected actually. I picked up a dream catcher (I've always wanted one), some maple syrup, a Christmas tree ornament, hand-made Christmas cards and bought a pair of earrings from my yoga teacher. There were a few men and women dressed in traditional costume too. On the way out we bought locally-produced goat's cheese and again, it was just fabulous! (As you can see, one of my main interests seems to be food so it's maybe no wonder I can't fit into Italian designer clothes is it)! But tomorrow I'll be back on track with my various classes. Even having missed yoga for only one week, I am really looking forward to it!

They almost look Amish don't they. And you can just begin to see 
the snow line out the window behind them!

Friday, 29 November 2019

Soft as a baby's bottom!

I just got back from my second visit to the spa in the next village and again I have to say it was a real treat. I didn't grow up having "beauty treatments" and getting my nails done because it just wasn't like that for us. We were poor and when I got my first Saturday job I had better things to spend my money on anyway, so all this "messing about" goes a bit against the grain for me personally. But in the end I just thought "stuff it", if I don't do it now then when - and in any case, there ain't no pockets in shrouds! All that to say that I am still a little uncomfortable being "pampered", although I'm sure I'll get over myself! But ladies, have you seen those disposable knickers they give you to put on, "to protect your modesty" I suspect. Oh man, those things look more like dental floss for the bum (and I'd probably get more coverage out of that). What's more, I never know whether you put the two inch triangle on the back or the one inch triangle!! Again, you can take the girl out the country but ….

Then you have to try "hopping up" onto the bed with some kind of dignity while "the girl" holds up a large towel in front of her, ostensibly for the sake of discretion, but I reckon it's so she can have a good ol' titter behind it! Still, I made it, at which point she proceeded to rub me all over with a body scrub (felt like being sand-blasted), but I have to say she was very professional and it did feel good. After that you have to get into the shower to wash the Sahara desert out of all the weird places before she then rubs chip fat "their mystical beauty oils" all over you. Yeah, I know, I'm a pleb but I have to say my skin feels wonderful so I'm gonna keep going! This ritual humiliation, though, is made all the worse by the fact that most French women are slim and me? Not so much! So I've now decided I'm gonna give up booze at least until Christmas in a bid to try to lose some of my blubber (although since we're heading off to Italy for the day tomorrow I do wonder about my timing sometimes)! Not sure it'll work but if not, I'm still shameless enough to keep going back for more abuse! In reality, I'm sure they've seen it all before and they certainly are very professional so maybe the "humiliation" is all in my mind. Yeah, that's probably it! I do remember many years ago, though, going for my one-and-only fake tan attempt (again in the dental floss disguised as knickers). When we got to the bit where I had to hold my boobs up so she could "get underneath" I swore I'd never go back - and I never did!

But talking of "silly", I saw this joke today and it tickled me so I sent it to my lovely Dutchman.

Paddy and Mick are walking down the road and Paddy has a bag of doughnuts in his hand. Mick says he's starvin' so Paddy says to Mick: "If you can guess how many doughnuts are in my bag, you can have both of  'em."

With all due apolo … nah, sod that! Anyone who's ever seen Dara O'Brien will know that the Irish have the greatest sense of humour! So anyway, my lovely Dutchman wrote back and said that he has just been invited to an open house/drinks do and was asked to bring along "booze and nipples" as his contribution! That shouldn't be too difficult I guess!

On another note, I know I've always been naive, but I think I'm slowly "coming of age". But still, I was somewhat shocked to learn that the RNC had paid out $100,000 to buy copies of Trump Jr.'s book! Way to make it to the best-seller list I guess, but seriously? Which reminds me of the court battle a couple of years ago between the repugnant, to me, Charles Saatchi and his then wife (I think they were still married at the time), the lovely Nigella. The court case had to do with alleged theft by two of their employees, but the trial was quite an eye opener. One of the "highlights" of the case was when a "private" text message between the two of them - in which he referred to her as "High-gella" - oops - and the fact that she had once taken cocaine when her first husband was dying - "accidentally" became public knowledge. Assuming that was indeed a private text message and it was never in her best interests to have it become public knowledge, it makes one wonder who on earth could possibly have leaked it! What came out of that trial for me, though, was that (a) Nigella wasn't exactly the desperately busy single mother dashing home from a hard day's work to effortlessly put together a dinner party for 30, but also that (b) she came over as a very generous and likeable person - quite the opposite of Saatchi! What also came out during that trial, though, was that after his book was published, his two assistants were sent around London in a taxi to buy up all copies of his "best-selling" book! Well colour me gullible but I never realized that happened! And talking of "gullible", someone once told me that the Oxford English Dictionary had decided to delete the word "gullible" from its latest edition because of lack of use! Can you imagine that!

And finally, somewhere in all my travails I seem to have lost one of my lovely wooly slippers. There just might be a suspicious looking "bump" under the new tiling by the front door, but I do hope somebody didn't do a "Jimmy Hoffa" on it!

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Eeewwwww, a creepy thought!

I reckon one more night of decent sleep and I'll be feeling "hot to trot" again soon, rather than this bloody tiredness that's been dogging me for a while! I'm slowly starting to get stuff put back into the living room/dining room/kitchen, but as I'm trying to sort, clean and declutter at the same time it is slow going, although that being said, I'm quite enjoying it!

I had a nice surprise this morning when my mobile rang though. I normally don't answer it unless I recognize the number (telemarketers?) but lately I've been answering a few just to make sure that I really don't want to speak to them (if that makes sense) - I mean, if there is a delay on the line before someone speaks then I know it's a computer dial-up and not someone I want to speak to - and then I block the number. But today, for some reason, I answered and it turned out to be Ginette, the lady I got chatting to at the market about a month ago and we had talked about going walking/cycling (????) together! She said she had found my number after misplacing it and as she hadn't seen me at the market since, she felt it was better to call late rather than never! Fine by me! Anyway, we arranged to meet at the small ice rink in town next Friday for lunch and a chinwag and I'm quite looking forward to it. It's kinda nice to meet new people and do different things!

Also this week, I got a text message from my Irish friend asking if I "wanted to come over and see her donkeys"?? That wasn't a euphemism - she's actually got donkeys! She's got quite a bit of land and had donkeys previously (as well as dogs and cats) and has just now got new donkeys to replace the ones that died a few years ago. I explained that I was up to my eyeballs in workmen but would definitely set up something with her next week if possible to see both the donkeys and her new dog! She retired one month before me and is loving it just as much as I am - but then that was never in doubt!  Then, another friend sent me a message to say that she had just had her interview for French citizenship (and yes it was indeed a one-year wait) and while she forgot a few "facts", when the interviewer found out that she did painting on silk the conversation went off on a completely different tangent and she felt she did all right! So now we're also going to set up a time to meet up for dinner and a chat so she can give me the lowdown!!

I also went into Geneva the other week to "show willing" and attend the retirees' ex-com meeting, having been nobbled to join the committee by my previous boss. And guess what? Despite allowing plenty of time it again took me 90 minutes to get there because of traffic jams! I sent them a message to explain I would be late "because of the bloody traffic", but I guess I didn't miss much up to that point - probably just the coffee and croissants! They actually do very good work, following the comings and goings of the UN pension fund (we still have some retirees in the UN pension fund), our own pension fund, the medical insurance and so on and they seem to be a pretty coherent group and work well together. Well that is, all except one, who we used to call "Happy H" who is, and frankly always has been, such a pain in the butt! Disagrees constantly with everything - or just complaining for complaining's sake, I reckon, but then he's always been like that! Unfortunately, I ended up sitting next to him (the only time in over 30 years) and for the first time ever I noticed that he seems to have the same dubious sense of personal hygiene as one of my previous bosses - the one we used to call "Batshit Crazy" (although we had other names for her as well, of course)! Yuck! What was interesting though was when they were talking more specifically about the pension funds I learned that both these funds use Swiss life expectancy rates in their assumptions, as the Swiss population can generally be expected to reflect that of our own staff! And interestingly enough, life expectancy assumptions for retirees would now seem to have gone up from 15 years after retirement to 18 years - which makes the recent death of my former colleague all the sadder I guess!

And going off on a completely different tangent, when I was getting ready for the new floor to be laid, I had moved some stuff from my garage out under my external balcony, so as I was putting back the crowbar, the lump hammer, the drill, the foot stool and the step ladder it suddenly occurred to me that I might just as well have put a sign on my front door saying "break in if you want to, all tools provided by owner"! All the more so since both the front and back doors of my garage, and the side gate have been open all week! An even more creepy thought though is that I read in the Geneva news yesterday that a guy wanted for attempted murder in Geneva had just this week been apprehended in my small, local town of La Roche! Of course my mind went immediately to creepy "homeless" guy with the bad leg (not) who was bothering me at sewing the other night and who I saw again as we were leaving the fair on Sunday! I suspect my imagination is running away with me but either way I'm glad I didn't give him a lift!

On the good news side, I got a text message from my electric supply company today saying that in view of the "prolonged power outtage" on 1 July (you know, the one that filled me with so much joy just before my son's wedding), they would be knocking €96 off my next electric bill! Since I'm off to Turin (again) on Saturday that will be very welcome, on top of the fact that they are finally forecasting decent weather after three weeks of almost constant rain. This is more important than it sounds as we have to go through the Mont Blanc tunnel to get there and I would rather the snow held off if possible on the way up to the tunnel, even though I won't be the one driving!

And finally, I seem to be getting my cooking mojo back and since I'm happy to "cook once and eat twice" (or even three times) I'm really starting to enjoy myself again without the pressure of having to get "all enthusiastic" about it every day! Happy days then!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Christmas crackered!

That's "knackered" in Cockney rhyming slang, just FYI! Well my new floor is all done and I have to say I'm very pleased with Saint Maclou yet again. They show up when they say they will, I stayed out of their hair as much as possible and they did a very good job. There has been a slight problem with my "generic" skirting boards in the living room though because my original tile skirting boards were larger than standard so they had to put the generic on top, and they're not really deep enough! I actually don't mind too much but in some places there is a gap at the top of the skirting board where the new ones don't meet the wall completely, so I will have to put some kind of foam down there to fill the gap. For the time being though, I just want to get everything cleaned up and back into some kind of order! But otherwise, I'm very happy with them again. What with getting the new heating put in, then emptying and cleaning out the kitchen and now this, I don't think I'll be getting any more home improvements done before the spring (bathrooms, I'm looking at you). And this week I've given my exercise classes a miss as I wanted to be here on site and I'm just too tired anyway. Next week I'll be back at it though! All I want to do right now though is sleep!

The kitchen is actually very nice - but it still needs painting and decluttering (again)!
Glad I chose the mosaic style though!
As I mentioned previously, my friend and I went down to the local "old fogies" fair in town on Sunday as we wanted to pick up the latest prospectus from GAL Voyages. Next year they are putting on quite a few trips, Norway/Denmark being of big interest, Holland in the spring (in time for the tulips), Slovenia in autumn (that's a maybe), Brittany …. plus loads of day trips. Right at the moment I haven't got the energy to start figuring out what I want to do but a couple of days of no hassle and I'll be back bouncing around like a kid on too many "E" numbers I expect!

There was another fair going on at the same time with fancy wine, cheeses and sausages (from Italy), organic stuff and the the ubiquitous salesmen trying to "invest" my pension money (sorry mate, I've just spent it all - you can stop by and see my new floor though if you like)! My friend and I just headed out of Dodge once we got to that end of the fair. But on our way back home I saw the "homeless" guy who was hassling me the other night and his "poor leg" that required that I drive him in to town and give him money looked pretty good to me - in fact I don't think I could have kept up with him if I tried. My friend said she'd seen him around quite a lot and he can be a pain, although I would say that was an understatement!

Moving on, I was saddened today to hear of the premature death of popular British chef, Gary Rhodes, at the young age of only 59. As far as I know he wasn't ill so at the moment it's a bit of a mystery what happened, but still, 59 is way too young as far as I'm concerned. I have a couple of his cook books but to me they were probably a bit too "intricate", particularly when I was working. Having a 12-hour working day/commute I just didn't have the time or the inclination to put more hours into cooking, but the few recipes I did try turned out very well. But still, very sad all the same!

Gary Rhodes
And then just yesterday we heard of the death of a colleague, also 59, who died on Saturday of cancer of the liver!!! Bloody hell! He was a nice guy and a "health nut" - didn't drink or smoke, clean living, a runner, and here he is gone in just four months start to finish! I tell you, T's death hit a little too close to home. He will be missed as he genuinely was a nice guy!

And finally, on a more pleasant note, to all my US friends out there, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and get to enjoy being with your loved ones. I know I'm probably a grinch but as I get older I enjoy "formal" celebrations less and less and informal, spontaneous get-togethers all the more. I guess there's less pressure for everything to be perfect isn't there! But still, enjoy that turkey (yumm), pumpkin pie (berk, sorry, just can't do it), and enjoy the company of those you love!

Friday, 22 November 2019

Walled in!

St. Maclou (the flooring people) showed up at 8.15 a.m. this morning so they were off to a good start. The main guy was French and I'm not sure if he's done work for me before - I seem to vaguely remember him. Turns out he lives in St. Jeoire so when I told him that Jordan and Jen had just bought there he said he might know him, being as these trades often end up working together. Said he would look out for him! He bought "Mr. Muscle" with him, who had been contracted to help with the heavy lifting and getting what was left of my stuff into the garage, and guess what! It all fit!! I'm delighted as I really didn't want to have any of my stuff left outside over the next four days (even if it was covered up) as it is cold and damp at the moment. Mr. Muscle was from Kosovo and I think he might be just starting to learn the trade. Either way, they worked very well together, were polite and efficient, and four hours later they were done for the day!

The main guy had told me that I had to chose whether I wanted to be "cemented in" or "cemented out" because once they had put down the agréage - aggregate? (the best translation I can think for that is "cement patching" - you know, what they put down to level the surface off), I had to leave it to set for about seven hours. At first I thought I might go in to Geneva for the day but in the end decided I would just stay home, so they cemented me upstairs with a baguette, a chunk of cheese (and a bottle of wine if I'm being perfectly honest) and that's where I stayed from noon to 7 p.m.!! It wasn't even that bad actually as my TV room is upstairs and I also had my sewing machine, computer and books so it was actually rather nice to have an excuse to do absolutely nothing for a few hours!

I sent my lovely Dutchman a photo of my living room and he said "damn, you could have set up camp at my place"! Nice timing dingbat! It would have been nice to see him but I wasn't going anywhere after mid-day was I! It turned out ok in the end, but my neighbour had told me that when they laid their new floor about 35 years ago they had to leave the cement to set for 48 hours so they ended up putting a ladder up against their external balcony and climbed in and out their bedroom window that way!!! I kinda hoped the products they would be using had improved since then and thankfully they have. Can you imagine me climbing in and out of my house over the bedroom balcony at my age!! That'd be a picture for Facebook!

So the workmen knocked off for the day at noon and the fitter called me this afternoon to confirm that he will be back to start laying the floor at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Uurgghh! I'm really not a morning person, so I told him if I was still in my PJs to just let himself in (he burst out laughing so I guess the French might be starting to get my sense of humour)!

It's weird though because it's amazing how big downstairs looks with no furniture in it. And that, I think, is all the more reason not to put some of the stuff back once the new floor is down isn't it! A good time to declutter methinks. And, with all my stuff pulled out and stored, I don't think my place has ever been so clean, nor will it ever be again I suppose! That being said, I'll be glad when it's done and life can get back to normal - just in time to start thinking about decorating for Christmas eh!

Tomorrow my friend and I are off into town to the exhibition centre as I received two free tickets for the "Cap Senior" fair. GAL Voyages sent me the tickets (this is the bus company we do many of our trips with) and they will be there and handing out their new programme for 2020. I know Norway and Denmark are on their agenda but I don't know about the rest so we'll see if anything sparks our interest. It is a bit weird, though, to be getting invitations to "senior" events!!! Crikey I don't feel that old but then I guess, technically, I am a "senior". Apparently when I'm 65 I'll start getting invitations to the free "seniors" Christmas lunch in the village too! I imagine it's a lunch because everyone has to be in bed by 6.30 p.m.! Oh well! I wonder if they provide someone to chew your food for you if it's tough!

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Raging boar!

I had my Italian class last night and was almost home, just reaching the outskirts of my village, when I ran into a wild boar! Well five of them actually. There are no street lights on that road so everything was pitch black, but I was driving slowly enough that I actually saw them crossing the road ahead of me and was able to swerve enough to just miss them - well four of 'em! Turns out there was a fifth one clambering his way up out of the field and I hit the bugger - or more exactly, he hit me with an almighty thump! He wasn't that big and wasn't even moving that quickly but the impact was pretty impressive, although I didn't stop to chat! There was a car coming the other way and he must have seen what happened so I pulled over but by that time they had already disappeared into the field on the other side of the road. Oddly enough, in 30 years of living here, this is only the second time I've seen wild boar, and it was also on this very spot that I saw deer last year, but only once! Weird that, considering how rural it is! I didn't get out of my car as I didn't want to try and get friendly with a wild boar with a bad shoulder and a grudge, but when I got home the damage didn't seem too bad - that is, until I looked at it again this morning. He must have hit towards my passenger side door and has indeed dented the body work as well as the front bumper. I suppose I'll stop in at Ford to see what they think and then decide if I want to put in a claim on my insurance. I intend to run this car into the ground so I'm not that bothered about a few dents but if the insurance will pay up I may get it fixed if my car won't be off the road too long. If not, since I don't consider my car a status symbol or a "reflection of my virility", I'll probably just leave it. It could have been a lot worse I suppose!

Ugly, bad tempered buggers - but can you imagine running into five of them!

Oh, and I see that ol' "Air Miles" has seemingly spoken to mummy and she graciously accepted for him to withdraw from royal duties for the foreseeable future" (and thus give up his £250,000 royal income). Ha ha, about bloody time too, particularly with all his charities' sponsors dropping him like a hot turd! Not that I think he, the parasite or the offspring will be getting real jobs any time soon though, but I suppose we could always start a "gofundme" page just in case. Wouldn't want them to have to rough it like we mere plebs would we!

Wednesday, 20 November 2019


Well the never-ending news headline at the moment is the ongoing story of Prince Andrew, his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and whether or not he had sex with underage girls! Of course the story isn't exactly going to fade gently into history any time soon (nor should it be allowed to), but his car crash "reveal all" interview the other night did him no favours at all! By all accounts, not only did it do him "no favours", but showed him to be what he apparently is - an entitled, boorish, arrogant, unempathetic dick!!! His ex-wife, "the lovely Fergie", as always stands resolutely behind her ongoing meal ticket ex-husband and was, apparently, the one who told him to "go for it and get the truth out there"! Yeah, well anyone who listens to Fergie for advice on how to be media savvy probably deserves each and every flying cow pat coming their way! And this is the same Fergie who, when caught a few years back trying to flog access to Andrew for £500,000 to a fake Sheikh (undercover journalist), eventually went on "Oprah" for a "tell-all" interview which ended up about as "grueling" as being savaged by a toothless kitten! Even more of a joke was that when they finally got down to the so-called nitty gritty, Fergie then started to refer to herself in the third person - "she didn't realize what she was doing, she made a big mistake". I guess if you refer to yourself in the third person that means it wasn't really you then right????

One of the things that really jumped out at me in this whole Prince Andrew debacle though was that "mummy" apparently provides him with "pocket money" to the tune of £250,000 per year, on top of his £20,000/year military pension (and also, I imagine, on top of any money/advantages/living accommodation he receives in addition to the freebie junkets "Air Miles Andy" used to enjoy). So no shortage of money there - well not to my eyes at least, but then I guess we have different ideas of what it means to be "rich" don't we! Anyway, as I was saying, what jumped out at me was that Andrew apparently went to Epstein a few years back to ask him for money for Fergie in order to get her debts restructured! The Epstein bail out turned out to be in the amount of £15,000! That's all! £15,000!!! Now don't you think if you had your fingers in as many pies as Andrew seemingly has that you wouldn't have to go to an Epstein to beg for £15,000 for your parasitic ex-wife?? Beats me! He could have come to me - I would have been able to rustle up a little something for "poor Fergie" - you know, the one who would show up to the opening of an envelope if there was a free buffet!!! Gawd, how the other half live!

And then there was the recent brooha over a cosmetic surgery clinic trying to suggest that if you got plastic surgery chez eux you too could end up looking as fresh as Kate Middleton! The media (the Palace?) immediately jumped all over them for trying to infer that Kate had used their services but the clinic did turn out to be where Fergie had had a facelift and other "rejuvenating" treatments. Crikey, if I was managing that clinic Sarah Ferguson would be the last person I'd want advertising my clinic!

Fergie - aged 60!
And talking of aging badly, I saw pictures of the celebrations for Monaco's national day and blimey, haven't they aged badly too! Now this isn't just me being bitchy because I'm certainly no oil painting, but these women have had access to the top stylists/make-up artists/hairdressers and so on all their lives and haven't exactly worked their fingers down to the bone in the local factory before catching the number 25 bus home have they! As they say, "fine feathers make fine birds"! But seriously, if they aren't an advert for staying out of the sun I don't know what is (although a lifetime spent smoking probably doesn't help either)!

Caroline - aged 62

Stephanie - aged 54
Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking getting older, but what shocked me was the state of their skin - the wrinkles! Maybe it's just my fat face but those wrinkles really jumped out at me. I think Princess Caroline has always been a beautiful woman (as is her daughter, Charlotte) and certainly the others have looked good (with the right help) but wow, stay out of the sun ladies. It's a killer!

And finally, there's Princess Charlene, who has to be the unhappiest looking princess I've ever seen! You know, the same Charlene who was apparently prevented from boarding a plane out of the country at Nice airport just before her wedding to Albert - that Charlene! Now I have a theory that the reason why she (and Victoria Beckham) never smile is because they have diddy little teeth that no amount of cosmetic surgery can alter. But poor Charlene's eyes just never seem to smile, and as they say, a smile that doesn't reach the eyes will never be a real smile will it!