Sunday, 25 June 2017



These two individuals, Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello (above), claim never to eat. They occasionally sip a thimble-full of diluted fruit juice (once a year) but otherwise (apparently) they live on air.

Looking at their photo, he seems to be struggling slightly with her weight. I wonder where all that came from? She claims to have gone through a whole pregnancy without eating.

The good news must be that we can send them to arid parts of Africa, where they could teach the natives not to worry about starvation; and just breathe instead. That'll soon have them fattened-up.

Another world problem solved?

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Carers, caring, and couldn't care less.

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Caring for the sick, disabled, and elderly is a subject about which much has been written recently. Carers think they aren't appreciated, are underpaid, and are much maligned. They are right!

This is work often undertaken by immigrants who will do almost anything to earn some money; however paltry.

Most carers work for independent, private, companies, who pay their workers peanuts whilst charging their clients a fortune. I recently heard of a man paying £1,000 per week for two hours attention, seven days a week; that works out at over £71 an hour, for which the carers themselves were paid about £8 an hour (if that). £100-ish for the carer, and £900 for the company, and that's just for ONE person's care. Someone somewhere is earning a bloody fortune on the backs of the incapacitated.

Back in the early 1980's my people asked if I would return to the UK to look after them. They were both in 'terminal' ill health, and I was happy to be in a position where I could be of assistance. My mother died a couple of years later, and father soon became a double amputee. I was in shock, to say the least.

When told he would be returning home (with no legs), I remember asking the people at the hospital how I was supposed to cope. 'Oh, don't worry' they assured me 'you will have an army of carers coming to look after him'. I took him home and waited.

Of course no-one came, no-one phoned, and frankly no-one cared. I was left to cope alone. I shall leave the daily chores to your imagination.

So, I know something of what carers have to deal with; I've been there.

Personally I think the 'caring profession' should be State, NHS, managed. This should not be a money making scheme for eager cost-cutting businessmen. The Care Home racket is bad enough; the Visiting Carer racket is becoming even worse.

Friday, 23 June 2017

We eat again!

Haddock's is almost filled to capacity. There is just one corner left for a third row of 'Contender' French Beans. 

It's at this stage when everything starts to over produce. With the Beans already starting, I can see that we shall soon have excess. I've tried freezing them in the past, but they don't freeze well. Lady Magnon always asks for plenty of beans; then we become inundated. We can only eat so many!

We're now harvesting Courgettes, Peppers, Beans Onions, Perpetual Spinach, Potatoes, and Salads. We'll also soon be eating Tomatoes, Aubergines, and other Peppers.

There are also Cherries, Tayberries, and Black/Red Currents. It is amazing how much food can be grown on such a small plot.

Some clever person observed that 'Gardens require water; mostly in the form of perspiration'. We'll soon be needing some of the other sort; it's very hot and dry here.

This was our very favourite Cumin flavoured 'Compost fry-up' that was created with yesterday's harvest (above). A vegetarian dream.

The most recent addition to Haddock's is the Brighton Seagull (top left). Yes, it's wings rotate when the wind blows. Kitsch, or what!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Knife Crime in the UK.

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Last week two London schoolboys died, in separate incidents, as a result of knife crime.

Last year (2016) there were a staggering 32,448 recorded knife crimes in the UK. In certain circles, carrying a knife has now become the norm. It is the preferred weapon of the under 18's.

Many years ago, such offenders were sent off to Borstal, Approved schools, Farm schools, and other 'naughty boy' institutions. Not exactly pukka prison, but the regimes were usually pretty tough.

Nowadays there are Secure children's homes, Secure training centres, and Young offenders institutions. From what I understand these places are no more than 'homes away from home', and they offer very little in the way of correction; I believe attendance is viewed as a 'badge of honour'.

No home is without a knife drawer, in fact a home could hardly operate without knives, so they are within reach of every young person; and a single knife would probably never be missed if 'borrowed'. Many children regularly take a knife with them to school. The situation has now become so serious that police refer to it as an 'epidemic'.

Children are being knifed for 'looking at someone in the wrong way', or 'for coming from the wrong side of the estate', or even 'for talking to the wrong girl'. Anything can be 'wrong', and no excuse is too feeble.

As with the threat of terrorism, knife crime is almost impossible to police. Many do-gooders were against Britain's 'Stop and Search' policy, claiming that it was racist (Theresa May herself was against S-n-S). Why searching someone should be racist I'm not sure, but I suppose they mean it's racist if the person being searched is of 'Afro-Caribbean' descent.

N.B. Having said all that, I must admit to being never without a knife in my pocket. However, mine is there for bucolic purposes; NOT for aggression.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


If there's one blasted weed that I hate more than all others; it's the common OXALIS.

My neighbour's cleaner once boasted that it was thanks to her that I have them all over Haddock's. She had thrown the tiny bulbs over the wall (before I'd made it into my veg' patch), and boy how they spread!


The wretched plants pop up over night, and are simply everywhere. I try to dig out the tiny pink bulbs, but it's a never-ending task.

When each of my four separate growing sections at Haddock's are cleared of their finished crops, I shall simply let the wretched things grow, then blast them with the most evil Agent Orange Oxalis Killer that Monsanto can make for me.

They're driving me absolutely bloody NUTS!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Booty from the Boot Sale.

Frayssinet le Gelat hosts the first 'boot sale' of the season that we actually attend, and on Sunday it provided this wee haul.

A very nice set of 10 silver plated 'Christofle' desert spoons. I've only cleaned one so far.

A cute little early jug, for which I cannot imagine any use; other than to admire.

And a silver plated ice cube grabber; fun for the boys, and very practical for Lady M's G & T.

Not bad.


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The Bees arrived about three weeks ago, the hives are brought in to pollinate the Chestnut plantations; whilst doing their job, the Bees often stop off en route to drink from our pool.

I have always lifted out bees and other insects by hand when I find them in difficulty on the water, and, until now, I have NEVER been stung.

Yesterday, however, whilst I was busy doing my 100 metres breaststroke, I saved the life of a bastard rogue Bee, and he returned my generosity by stinging me on my finger.

I went directly to the 'net' to look for home remedies, and came across several. Honey, it seems, will do the job, but I wouldn't give the Bee population the pleasure, after such behaviour. Baking Powder can be made into a paste and applied. And the sting can be immersed in Apple Cider Vinegar. I chose a version of the latter.

I soaked the middle bit of a sticking plaster (Band Aid, Elastoplast, etc) in the ACV, and stuck it on my finger. The effect was almost instantaneous, the pain subsided, and I almost forgot about it at once.

In future I will set aside my insect-friendly bravado, and use a skimmer net.

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