February`s Blog - A Bit of a Change


(Christine Phillips) #1

The trouble with February is that it is so short! It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was writing January’s blog & here I am again, Archers on, bringing you all up to date once more. On the other hand, the good thing about February is that it is so short- it is always a pretty dull month for us here & this one has been no exception really. Thankfully, although it has been really cold here recently there are signs of spring everywhere so I have high hopes for a better times ahead next month.



We have had quite a few B&B bookings coming in – again largely due to this new “coffre cadeaux” box which is proving to be a good thing for us. Gite activity though still remains very quiet. Geoff keeps reminding me that this, for us is normal, as most of our gite guests are French & they don’t tend to book that early. March is when things start heating up for us. I know all this of course, but it doesn’t stop me worrying every year – especially when Twitter & Facebook friends keep saying how well all their booking is going! I really must stop reading those Tweets – very depressing! The good news is that Geoff is as busy as ever & has started with two new business clients this month – always the most lucrative -& so is working very hard. I hardly see him some days, what with work, guitar lessons, meetings etc – but I have to say that he is a very happy boy at the moment! I just hope he realises that when we get busier with the B&B & gite he will be required to help at home too!



All this extra work has obviously turned Geoff`s head too – but in a good way. Not only has he said that we will probably be able to afford a cruise again this year, (I have already started looking - I need to get it booked before he changes his mind!)but he has also stared to take me out for meals again. I have met up with him for a couple of lunches in Issoire, he took me to our favourite restaurant for Valentines Day, & we went out to celebrate his birthday too. We also went to the cinema the other day – to see “The King’s Speech” which is fantastic by the way & not to be missed. Our son, Matthew, reckons that someone has kidnapped his dad & left a lookalike in his place & that I should start to check his e mails in case he has something to hide! Joking apart though, it is nice to be able to feel a bit more secure financially & to be able to treat ourselves a bit again. It has only taken four & a half hours to get to this point after all!



Geoff is having to do some of these new lessons in the evenings to fit around his clients working hours, so I have been watching quite a bit of TV recently. As a lot of you already know, when we moved here we made a decision not to have English TV to try & improve my French. We watch with French subtitles for the deaf so that I can follow more easily. I always thought I would miss my favourite programmes but honestly this has not been the case at all. I now enjoy French TV apart from the weekend “lets all sit around a table & discuss stupid subjects & laugh inanely at ourselves” shows. I’ve even become hooked on the popular French soap “Plus belle le Vie” & get quite cross when I miss an episode! We have even caught ourselves saying things like “ Oh no, we will miss “Josephine, Ange Gardien or “Camping Paradis” tonight if we go out" – never ever thought those statements would pass my lips four years ago! I enjoy watching programmes such as Grey’s Anatomy, Experts, The Good wife &_Inspecteur Barnaby - although its odd seeing John Nettles solving murders in chocolate box villages whilst speaking perfect French! My only real gripe is that the French TV planners insist on putting several episodes on one after the other & as peak time TV doesn’t start here until after the news programmes at 8.30ish it can mean that to watch them all takes us way past our normal bedtime! To my great joy we now have a French version of Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars) & although I don’t really know who half of the “stars” are, I am really enjoying it all. My poor SMS forfeit is suffering though as I try to keep David Ginola (who incidentally still looks really good!)in the show! My other big favourite just now is Diner Presque Parfait – the French version of Come Dine with Me. It is really good & as you would expect of a foodie type programme in France, very competitive. I love it! So to any of you who are reading this & who live in France, I would really recommend that you give up on your English TV & try the French channels. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!


(Christine Phillips) #2

Aww thanks Anne Marie. I get really fed up with Brit peeps saying that French TV is all rubbish! Nice to have someone in my corner! And it has helped my French so much. The only thing wrong with that was that when we first arrived here there were so many policiers on so I learnt things like “pose ton arme” & “ou est le preuve” etc - not much call for that in rural France!


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #3

Hi Christine

I am new on here so just checking around :slight_smile: I like your feb blog !!! Looking forward now to the end Of March lol, I can understand your thing about the tele, it helped me to learn french too !!! I watched rue de la fortune !!! that helped me to spell etc… when I first moved to France there was never any opportunity to have the english channels si I went straight into the french channels,oooohhhhh I could have cried, those saturday night shows :-((((((( exactly as you described lol
I too watch a diner presque parfait I love it lol, and dancing with the stars too, although I do admit to missing our Bruce lol lol
Anyway it was good to read your blog Best Anne Marie