[(I met Jenny Rhodes for the first time in 2008, in their deliciously cosy cottage in the heart of Les Angles, just a five minute walk from the ski slopes. Rosy, fun and delightfully chatty, she explained to me that she was in the middle of pickling everything that moved. I stood very still…. and asked her whether she would be interested in providing a ‘gossip in the mountains’ type of column for Anglophone-direct readers. She has never looked back!)]

April 2011

My goodness it seems to have been a long time since I mumbled.
It may be a blessing for some of you.
Well let’s see what has been going on. My world turned “beige”, the resort has closed for the season, my daffs have bloomed and I’m getting some shelves built.

Let me start at the beginning with “beige” Beige food to be exact. I have just spent a week in the new hospital near the airport. Very nice, very clean and tidy but what on earth possessed the planners to put a hospital at the side of a railway track, a motorway, an airport and worst of all next to the Crematorium. Even with the windows closed the traffic noise is dreadful, the railway rattles all night and planes land until late . And words don’t even come half way to what I thought about the Crematorium. Maybe it cuts down the cost of hiring a hearse. You just get wheeled across the field and “Bob’s your uncle” you’re there and waiting. I digress.

Back to the “beige”. Now don’t get me wrong I am no Gourmet diner but I like food to look like food. Everything we were given was “beige” OK it was different shades of beige. Dark beige, light beige, pale beige and even paler beige. The soup was differing shades but all tasted the same and through a straw [I was flat on my back] was revolting.
Not being a science buff I forgot all about setting up a siphon system and ended up with earful of “beige” The puds were vile and the meat was “faggoty” things dressed up in skins.
The lady in the bed next to me was of the same mind and even though my French is rather bad she and I were howling with laughter every time the food arrived and it was “beige” Her husband was keen to let me know that the food was much better at the Medipole and we asked him if he could arrange to have our food delivered from there  or better still have us transferred there for meal times.

On a positive side the staff and care was second to none. Even if the guy who gave me a bed bath used to be the manager in Castorama.

On to brighter things….the resort has now closed for the season. It closed a little early due to the warm weather and the fact that the ski slopes were running in water by lunch time. The station had hoped to keep everything open until Easter but it just wasn’t possible. The village is now wonderfully quiet and the regular summer maintenance is underway , Roof work is being done and all outdoor work is underway.
Last Autumn I planted a large variety of bulbs and to my delight they have come up. I hadn’t expected them to bloom until June but they have come early and look wonderful gently nodding in the breeze. Spring has come to Les Angles.

Now to the shelves……everybody needs storage, nobody ever has enough. We are all secret hoarders and spend our lives squirreling things away just “in case” we need it at a later date. I can’t bear to throw anything away that looks as though it could be useful, things that belonged to Mum, things that were bought for me by the kids for birthdays, Mothers Days and Christmases . They all have secret hidey holes and boxes. But now I need places for all those boxes and today Mike has started to put some shelves up in the spare room. Sad person that I am, I’m actually quite excited at all the squirreling space I will have.

There has been an old house for sale in the village for some years and has finally been sold. Its windows were bricked up and nobody seemed interested in buying it but today when I walked down the lane  I found that much work had been carried out. The windows have been opened up and the building appears to have a soul once more. There were workmen on the roof stripping the ardoise [old slates] carefully stacking the old ones in a cherry picker ,then re- stacking them on the ground as they are very expensive to replace. The great thing about all of this was the fact that they were down to the original waterproof layer……the Cow Poo.
Yes that’s right Cow Poo. I thought it was just a joke that we had been told when we first bought our house but it is true. In the old days they didn’t have all the new fangled things that we have today, they used what they had in abundance . [I will try and get a photo tomorrow]
Well I had better go and look at how my new shelves are doing and give praise where praise is due.
‘til the next time.

THE NEXT DAY…. Sorry no photos of the Cow Poo roof. By the time I hobbled up to take the photo the workmen had stripped it all off.

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