May 8 Victory in Europe Day

(Crédit photo : Eric FEFERBERG / AFP)


Well, Le Pen was well and truly trounced in Bordeaux with a whopping 86% for Emmanuel Macron. There were no spontaneous celebrations, unlike when François Hollande was elected, but civic duty had been done to block the unpalatable FN. Bordeaux is typical of one of the many French Paradoxes. It has a reputation for being snooty and bourgeois, it has some very snooty neighbourhoods and a lot of ‘old’ money whispering around. Yet it votes left in all the elections, and just to be contrary, votes without fail for a right-wing mayor.

Whatever you think of the liberal policies Macron will no doubt try to introduce, he actually does have an idea of economics and has more than the simplistic ‘It’s the fault of the immigrants’ reply to every question. But nothing is less certain that, just because the French voted for Macron as president, they will vote his way in the legislative elections next month. Some call it keeping a balance. Others call it utter chaos. This is France, so don’t imagine that the FN will roll over and die. And expect Jean-Luc Mélenchon to get back in the saddle and bring the young people out on the streets behind his far left party. The fun isn’t over yet.

Microfiction: Gardening

In the pot with the dead primula, something was poking through the withered leaves, not a single shoot, more like a brush sprouting.

I rescued the living thing from the pot full of death and flinched away from what lay on the trowel—no healthy root, but a clump of brown pods like pomegranate seeds emerged, dense and shiny, chitin-like, a colony about to hatch. The mass quivered. Was it the breeze? My trembling hand? I hesitated between destroying the thing and curiosity. Curiosity won.

I have put it in a pot in isolation at the end of the path, away from the flowers. I inspect it every day, watch the brush bristles shove higher, purplish brown, awkward-looking, thrusting in different directions. Today, small, flat leaves opened. Like hands waving. In thanks, or in threat?

New toy

Some of you may remember that a couple of years ago I bought my first ever mobile phone, a little Wiko Goa. It was tiny but it did the job, and it had a camera that I was thrilled to bits with. When it liked the lighting, it took gorgeous photos. Unfortunately, in June of last year it stopped receiving emails, and sending me the photos it took was taking days, literally. it got very possessive of its pics and in the end, refused to part with them at all. So I treated myself to a new phone, an ultra cheap Chinese phone but which claims to have a super camera.

I’ve had it for a fortnight now, and tried out the camera during the freezing cold miserable weather we’ve been having. I was a bit disappointed with the result; everything looked over-exposed. However, on fiddling about with it this morning, I discovered I’d had the flash turned on all the time, and it actually takes pretty good photos for a €60 phone.

These are the photos I took this morning.

Sky fish


Every time I stop, Finbar jumps over the parapet. Even though the tide is coming in, it’s not the moment to fall in.


Pont de Pierre east-facing.


Pont de Pierre shady side.  bridge2

A new aim in life

It’s seven years since we adopted Finbar. For seven years he has lived in town; his domain is bounded by the garden and stops at the front door. Every morning he has to be forced out of the house to go for a walk which isn’t a city pavement walk, it’s along the river and through the gardens where he has a whole pack of friends. Still, he has to be dragged out, trembling, because he’s afraid I won’t bring him back again. Now he has discovered Tamberlan, the farm named for some very mysterious reason after the Mogul emperor of Marlowe’s play.

Finbar now has a lot of meadow to call his own, and a small road that luckily only sees about six cars a day go past and a few walkers at the weekend. Because he has to charge over to them, barking just to let them know who’s field this is, and I have to go out and apologise. It’s a great way to meet people.


So now, he wants to be outside all the time, and when I say, time to go inside…


Nightmare trip

Just thought I’d post this to show how weird imaginations run in families. At supper this evening, son told us the very vivid dream he had last night in which Trixie (fat black antisocial cat) was killed when the Zeppelin she was piloting crashed. Pilot error was not at fault. She had been targeted by Sir Ian McKellan who, for some obscure reason, was after her blood and had her shot down. She was last sighted scuttling into the galley as the Zeppelin went down in flames.

I don’t somehow think I shall be working this into a story. If you want to use it, feel free. And good luck.Trix8

The ghost in my phone


I’ve just had an interesting conversation with a blogger friend about receiving messages, or tidings of some sort, from an unknown source, through coincidence, dreams, or tarot cards. The stuff you maybe don’t believe in, but you do really. Maybe.

That particular conversation has inspired me to jot this down, a weird experience I had the other night.

On Friday evening I sent a text message to the youngest who had been to see a film with the eldest, asking her was she on her way home to eat. I put the phone down on the chest of drawers outside the bathroom, picked up whatever it was I’d gone in for, and looked at the phone to see if she’d replied. The screen was still lit up. She hadn’t replied, but in the box at the bottom was the start of a new message. It just said ‘Zbigniew’. I certainly hadn’t written it, and there was nobody else at home who could have written it, even supposing the phone had been out of my sight, which it hadn’t. I mean, why would anybody write Zbigniew anyway?

Apparently the name (Polish) means something to do with anger, either getting rid of it or having too much of it. Could it be that some Polish guardian angel was telling me to stop giving out at the kids about their general idleness? Could it be that my phone is haunted by someone called Zbigniew?

What do you think? Does anybody believe spirits or whatever can communicate through text messages? I know Tricia Drammeh does. She’s written a novel about it, The Séance. I’d be interested to hear of any similar experiences.