Tuesday 7th July

It’s been boom boom zap on and off for the past couple of weeks now – very warm but pelting it down with thunder and lightening to beat any good firework display.

Impressive, and a little frightening, particularly when you are joined umbilically to a computer and the lightening is flashing straight into the house.

Fortunately, I hear that perms are coming back into fashion!
Today, after some light showers this morning, an apologetic sun is doing its very best to pierce the heavy cloud cover but without success so far.

And what a week we have had. First of all I had to have x-rays as I have developed a bad back and painful neck, and it turns out that I have the equivalent of a slipped disc, but in my neck. Ouch! Yes it hurts.

I am advised by my dear papa that it is probably due to unladlylike posture (meaning being slumped all day over my computer imitating the hunchback of Notre Dame) and excess weight! Me? Fat? Ridiculous.

Of course, I immediately reached for a consoling bar of Cadbury’s chocolate, washed down with a large and refreshing beer, to help me to contemplate my alternatives for my future change of lifestyle.

Next Monday seems like a good time to start. The problem is that best friend and partner in crime of many years, Rosy, is coming over next week, and it would be downright rude to start a diet, and cut down on the good things in life, while she is here. It would just make her feel guilty, so maybe I will start the Monday after.

Anyway much worse happened last Friday. We were working out in the garden, painting our shutters Catalan bleu, in boiling sunshine, not a cloud in the sky when suddenly it all went dark and thunder started rolling.

Really weird as it seemed to be such a beautiful day. Bisou, who rarely leaves my feet, panicked and tried to force her hairy little body into the house, through the closed door, and when she realised that she couldn’t pass through glass, disappeared.

We weren’t worried at first – she never leaves the garden – but it was soon pouring down and still no sign of the Hairy One. By nightfall, she had been gone for 8 hours and we were in tears, having driven and biked round and round in the rain all afternoon. The only explanation was that she was trapped someone and couldn’t get home.

The time of her insulin injection came and went, our imaginations were running riot. We left all the doors open wide but no Bisou. Around midnight, we started doing lost doggy posters to put up when I felt something wet and ruglike against my leg. Oh joy! Her Royal Hairiness had returned. She was soaking wet, filthy, starving but no worse for wear.

We think she has belted into the neighbours garden just as he was leaving for work, and closed his gate, locking her in. The return of the neighbour late evening must have been her first chance to get home. What a relief! It was practically worth losing her to find her again!

A bath, lots of love, and some diabetic treats quickly put the whole trauma into the past, and she is happily playing poolside as I write, massacring her squeaky toy, which she throws in to the water, and falls in after.

The end of last month saw our very own UK coppers from the UK riding 850 km across the Pyrenean mountain range to raise money for the charity LIVES Responders – a fantastic cause – raising money to train volunteers to deliver early Basic Life Support and early Defibrillation, patient assessment, oxygen therapy and general patient care, during those first few vital minutes of an accident, which can mean the difference between life and death.

Afterwards, we all met up at Las Papallonas on Argelès port. A great set of lads, apart from one Mr Grumpy who didn’t raise a smile throughout the whole evening celebrating their achievements but I suppose he is just a naturally grumpy git – see if you can pick him out on the photos!

Monday 20th July
The end of July is approaching with speed. P-O Life has gone to the printer and will be out next week, leaving me some time to sit down and ponder on my life here.

And what a life!, Always something to do, somewhere to go, old friends to meet, new friends to make, sunny lunchtime meetings in Perpignan with dear Jane, both of us bursting with ideas for the next P-O Life and future projects, evening apero with Olivier and a game of scrabble or backgammon on balmy evenings as we sit and watch the sun sink slowly down behind the Albères……. Never a dull moment.
The weather continues to be moody. At the moment it is quite still, with warm sunshine, not too hot – just right – but the azure sky of early morning is already dotted with cotton wool clouds and it looks set to follow a recent pattern of sunny mornings and unsettled afternoons.
We have had friends, Rosy and Alan, staying so of course we had a full day of rain, where the temperature dropped and the evening was actually quite chilly for July in the south of France. They gave me the inspiration to whip out my paints again, as Alan is a superb artist, but I don’t seem to have improved since the last time I tried. I strongly suspect that I will never make it big as an artist, or a singer (‘others’ may well corroborate that) but I’m not going to stop trying (‘others’ may well now be wringing their hands, tutting, and shaking their heads) but I will not be deterred!
Bisou is finding it hard to cope with the heat. Two insulin injections per day are beginning to take their toll, and it is quite difficult to get her out for a walk when the sun is up, (hence the minefield that was once our garden!) but she is still obsessive about her ball and dropping Mr Squeaky into the pool before falling in after him!

No chance of having a peaceful siesta with Her Royal Hairiness on the job. Mr Squeaky is shoved onto your sun bed and squeaked until you give in and throw it. Alan was quickly sussed out as the softie of the family, and has been victimised by Bisou all week, knowing that he was far too soft to say no!

And talking about Bisou….. she decided last week to do a bit of gardening and pulled up by the roots, the only decent flowers that we have in our back garden. As you can see in the photo there are some left, but she has been spotted with a beady eye on the remaining plants and has to be watched.

Jane and I went up to the Domaine de Falgos last week. What a fabulous place. I don’t know anything about golf but for sheer peace, tranquility and stunning views, this would be my choice for a weekend away. There are all the usual outdoor sports.

Golf (obviously) tennis, table tennis, myriad walks leaving directly from the domaine, but most important, a superb weekend is not dependant on the weather as there is a heated indoor pool with sauna, steam and jacuzzis, and beauty treatments for those of us who need them desperately!

Of course, being the mature, middle aged ladies that we are, we took some silly photos, acting our ages as always!

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