Monday, December 29, 2008

Nearly the end of the year

Put your hands up all those who are glad that the eating and drinking binge time is almost over. I'm not quite the size of this cartoon lady alongside but - give me another week or so of chocolate and champagne consumption like it is going out of fashion - I soon will be. It doesn't take much to make me lose control; any old excuse for second helpings and my plate is the first to be outstretched.

The Christmas lunch went off okay, although my roasties weren't as perfect as usual (arrogant? moi?) - I think they were more suited to be plain boiled spuds, the sort used in salads and, unfortunately, the only ones I could find. There were masses and masses of roast veg - far too many for the three of us (is it just me who gets carried away with quantities at Christmas?) but I'll tell you what. All leftovers worked out really well as a Christmas shepherd's pie eaten on the 27th - with the turkey and stuffing as the base and the poorly roasted spuds and the rest of the roasted veg all blitzed together for the topping.

Presents were good - I won't list everything I received but the highlights were definitely an electric motor for my trike to enable me to whizz up the Breton hills without breathing my last shallow breath; runner-up best presents were a little disc-drive attachment for my notepad that I type all this drivel on and a big brown leather case in which to put all my OU books of the current course (beats my old carrier bag any day).

I've just done the Big Tidy Up - with a hangover too. Last night we went to some neighbours for Breton Coffee (this is their answer to my English AfternoonTea) and a lot of red wine and champagne was drunk. It was good we only had to stagger down two paths and a bit of street to get home. I'm very behind with all my favourite blogs and one other thing that is currently occupying me is that a big pile of books that I ordered last week from Amazon has now arrived and I'm busy working my way through them, beginning with Alan Bennet's Writing Home. I should really be getting on with an essay plan for William Wilberforce but - quite frankly - the old head is banging away a bit too much.

So, chocs and booze away, I'm off for a snooze.


Henry the Dog said...

Welcome back FF. So glad to hear you had a great Christmas and wonderful pressies. Keep eating the chocs - it's good for the poor folk apparently (see my recent post). Mum's Christmas dinner wasn't too successful. I tell you about it in my post on 26 December. What I didn't mention was that she burnt the sprouts too and her roasties were also soggy. It's the only time mum cooks anything - on Christmas Day - and she managed to make a mess of it as usual.

French Fancy said...

Henry, I've just played catch-up on your blog so I know all about it. Seems like your mum and I shared a 'bad roastie situation'.I'm quite a perfectionist when I cook, so I was mortified. Your mum has an excuse as Uncle Hugh normally cooks - I could hear myself blaming it on the potatoes (but of course I'm going to say that). I thought though that they didn't look very promising at the peeling stage,

Frankofile said...

Sounds like a good time was had. Enjoy all that fresh air now on your whizzy bike!

Gotta go, I'm supposed to be workingout with Kelly and Flavia...

Cynthia said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous food feast and now it's time to settle down to some good books. I'm waiting for my order to arrive and reading Julie and Julia (Julie Powell) again. (...while also procrastinating over writing a chapter-school assignment.)

LadyFi said...

Can you really have too many roast veggies? I don't think so .. but that could be something to do with the fact that I am vegetarian!

Glad to hear you got some good presents.

blogthatmama said...

I'm right there with you on the over-indulgence, one choc after another, yes please to that next glass of wine. Top tip for the shepherd's pie. Happy New Year!

justme said...

I am seriously considering not eating AT ALL for the rest of the month! Stuffed, I am........
As to drink.....please no! I need a break. If I had the energy I would waddle down to the gym!

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm an AB fan too and I keep Writing Home by my bed. I can't bring myself to finish the last pages because then I'd have finished it. Is that strange?

French Fancy said...

Frankie - you've really caught the dancing bug. Have you been back to the Breton dance session yet?

Cynthia - the trouble with enjoyable books is that sometimes they seem more tempting than my study books.

LadyFi - the cold roast parsnips were yummy. (secret divulge time - I picked them out and ate them cold whilst I was blitzing up everything else)

blogthatmama - hello you. I have very little self control and normally do not surround myself with tempting stuff. It's hard to ignore the open boxes here and there - I'm trying not to think about them (obviously not very successfully)

justme - I used to love going to the gym I used to go to in Muswell Hill. I like the weight resistant machines - you don't get anything like that here in this bit of France. Maybe some yoga here and there but no old school modern gyms

Lulu - isn't he wonderful. I don't mind finishing WH because Untold Stories is waiting to take its place. Hope you had a good Christmas by the way

Brother Tobias said...

Your Christmas sounds well civilised. And I am deeply envious of your electric motor. And of your trike. Deeply.

Jennysmith said...

Great image there. Yes, i can relate to that lady. And your wonderful and detailed blog of course.

I thought you might come to England for Christmas.

I envy your books and your quality of life. Happy new year to you.

love xxxx

willow said...

Those mounds of veggies sound heavenly! There are far too many sweets around here to start the new year eating plan. Next week is when I have to get really mean. Not yet.

lady jicky said...

I see you did not mention the "D" word.
Nevermind, I will say it for you - I have eaten too much and I don't know about you Ms Fancy but this old Lady is going on a diet! LOL

Blu said...

Just not enough hours to fit in all the things we want to do..My pc is on all the time because I keep loading on photographs..Dont stay away in the UK for a long time now, your humour is missed.

nikkicrumpet said...

Sounds like you got some great gifts...and you survived the holidays so far. I've been a bit lacking in the blogging dept too...It sounds like everyone in blogland has been taking a week off so I feel better about being a bad blogger. I hope the rest of your week is a good one!

Carol and Chris said...

I'm hearing you on the eating and drinking binge...and ours is not going to stop any time soon!!! We've had so many leaving get togethers that I'm starting to lose count...which is lovely but is not good on the old waist line!!

Glad your Christmas went well...sounds like you got some really fab pressys (I'm planning to blog about our Christmas once I've finished updating on everything else...may be a while :-))

Have a fantastic new year and I really hope that 2009 brings you everything you wish for :-)

C x

Lee said...


French Fancy said...

BroTob - I got a trike sent over from the UK a couple of years ago because I never learnt how to ride a bike and am not a very well-balanced person, in every sense of the word.Mr FF got me a motor for it because he is sick of loading his bike and my trike on to our bigger car and driving them both to the start of our rides.This way we can set off from home - we have an immensely steep hill just round the corner - I could never cycle up it - I can't even walk it without lots of moaning.

Jenny -I'll be in London for a meeting I have to go to mid-Jan so we stayed here for Christmas. My parents are both dead and Mr FF's ma lives very near us out here. Lots of sundry cousins and friends still in the UK but no close family. Maybe a little bit of me that bangs on about being glad not to have kids secretly wonders what my life would have been like if I had,indeed, chosen to have them-like you did. I miss certain moments that bloggers like you tell me about.

willow - I've had to cut back right now because the afore-mentioned meeting I'm going to in the UK means I will be attempting (and it really will be an attempt) to put in one of the smarter outfits that I used to wear to work.I've sort of spread since living out here - stringent measures are in action.

ladyj- I'm always watching what I eat - I've always been a yoyo dieter with naturally greedy self-indulgent ways. I've reigned them back in temporarily.

Blu - we'll only be gone five days and it's not for a couple of weeks yet.

nikki - thanks. I think though that there was lots of blogging output over the hols because it took me ages to play catch-upyesterday

Carol - thanks sweetie - I want to hear all about your Thai Christmas.

Lee- indeed that is the sound we hear a lot of at the moment.

Happy almost New Year everyone

Lane said...

Nice pressies! I love the idea of an electric trike. Do the dogs run along behind?

Happy New Year FF:-)

French Fancy said...

Lane - we've talked about putting them in the mega huge basket that is attached to the back of it but with Pop's weird behaviour when she spots : other dogs/ runners/ walkers/ ducks/ swans/ cycles/ cars (delete as appropriate), we'd have to be very careful. We could attach her to it but if she tried to leap off either it could do me, her, the trike (delete as appropriate) some harm. As for running behind, one of her problems is a heart murmur (together with the hernia, allergy and various mental probs) and after alot of exertion she sort of collapses on the spot - so running is a no no. Misty has endless energy so she could but would be jealous that Pop would be in the basket.

In a nutshell, they stay at home and bark at the birds feeding on the balcony (who seem very chilled and used to the noise by now), Laney

Happy New Year to you and your gang,Laney

Anonymous said...

Oh I am with you on the 'never want to eat again' theme. Too much white meat, too much rich mincemeat and cake and chocolates and wine. Today we are having scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and tomorrow a good red/bloody sirloin.

What courses are you taking at OU? Loved my time with them, graduated 2005 in a ceremony at the Barbican.Aged 70.

Steve said...

Sounds a superlative Christmas and no mistake. Pleased to say my wife's roasties were spot on - but she has been practising all year. I kid you not. Used up the last of the leftovers yesterday by serving up some incredible bubble & squeak. Spouts have never tasted so good!

cheshire wife said...

Food cannot have been all bad if you have had too much to eat! I am impressed by your Shepherd's Pie - a very ingenious way of using up the left overs. We have had cold turkey, turkey lasagne and turkey curry. Now the remains are in the bin.

Hope you have a Happy New Year.

Elizabeth said...

Snoozing sounds good
ditto your food.
we still have the turkey - lurking
must chuck out but miserly frugal me is feeding it in small doses to visiting dog.
What are you studying? I need to wake up my sluggish brain......

Femin Susan said...

Absolutely fantastic post! Good job!
Great! Keep writing…….
Good week………
" A Happy New Year''

Bill Stankus said...

See? A 500 ft. length driveway - on a hill and a week's worth of snow (about 24") does wonders for that I-ate-too-much problem!

Sounds like you had a grand time!


French Fancy said...

Moanie - I could list what I've done but better still - here's the link to all my OU blog entries - if you ever have a choice between a boring household task or a boring lot of posts to read about a fellow bloggers trials and successes with the OU here is the link

You've done fantastically well to graduate at a mature age - that sounded patronising but I truly genuinely did not mean it that way. I know how hard those bloody TMA's and exams are and anyone who graduates has my envy.

Steve - don't sprouts cook up well a few days later. Mmmm bubble and squeak-haven't had that for years. Lucky you to get perfect roasties on your plate though - mine are usually all gone but there were so many left and I don't blame my eating coterie for only having a couple - they weren't good but mashed up well for the leftover pie.

cheshire wife - It was great to use all leftovers in one huge platter of pie. It felt quite a ceremonial moment - blitzing both parts together. I know you are a first rate cook though - I can just tell, you know.

Elizabeth -lucky visiting dog. One of our bichons is allergic to all poultry products so I can't give it to either of them - there would be bichon wars if I did - they each smell each others' breath after eating to make sure the other one has not had extra treats.

I'm currently doing the 50 years between 1780 - 1830 (the Enlightenment to the Romantic period) as part of a Humanities degree. This month is Wilberforce, the anti-slavery laws and his form of 'Real Christianity'. Marked essay needs to be in byJan 9th so lots of studying will take place next week. All that is done so far is essay intro. 1300 more words needed.

Susan - thanks feminin one. I you and everyone you love have a great year ahead

Bill - 24" of snow in a week. No wonder you are lean (I'm guessing you are, you sound in good shape.)