Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I picked up fitw's tag

Because I have been spending vast amounts of time tackling the really difficult border which has been ignored for about five years - the one knee deep in brambles, nettles and horrible big spiky things, I have been out of the zone for thinking up posts (mainly because I have been rather exhausted from all this gardening - but in a good way). I have done things I've never done before, hard physical things - hosing down the ground until it resembles Glastonbury at its muddiest, lots of bending, tugging, double digging with a big fork, clambering up slopes and not falling in the dirt (but still being covered with mud at the end of it all). Losing weight has really helped with moving of the body and I'm hoping that all this exercise will minimise the calories gained from the bagel-fest in which I have been indulging (I'll know by this afternoon - it's weigh-in day*).

Anyway there has recently been a meme going round where people had to answer ten question and pose ten more. I have already picked up Scarlet's tag and now I will do that of the fly in the web (who is erudite and funny and tells me the truth about what is going on in France)

1. What will you be doing while the football world cup is on?
I've not watched any of the matches but that doesn't mean to say that I don't want England to win (yeh, like that's going to happen). I have been watching Big Brother which I know is something most bright people hate, but I happen to adore watching people get up to game-playing and bitchiness. In fact I have found a 'naughty' channel that is streaming it 24/7 (I'm not able to sign up to the official stream because of being out of the UK and deciding not to carry on down the proxy route). In fact I am now a moderator on this BB channel and I am having a lot of fun there. Mail me for the link if you want to see it for yourself.

2. What picks you up when you're down?

I've got to say that all this physical stuff I have been doing is keeping any down moments at bay. They always say exercise gives one a mental boost and I have proven it. There is nothing like being out of doors, muddy and tired, the mp3 player keeping one amused (although I have to watch I don't sing along loudly and give the neighbours a laugh) and bags and bags of garden detritus to show for my pains.

3. Indian or China...we're talking tea here, not economics...
I like very very strong breakfast tea. I keep the bag in the cup for about five minutes, a splash of soya milk is added (in France they say sojjer for soja - like Roger) and I won't drink it very hot. When in London I always used to drink Earl Grey with a squeeze of lemon but all my finesse left me when I moved here.

4. What do you value most about blogging?
The people I have got to know - and I do consider I know them and care for them just as if they were friends that lived round the corner and that I saw regularly. I really hope that before I die I will have met each and every one of the people whose blogs I enjoy and who come to kindly visit me here.

5. What can't you bring yourself to throw out of your wardrobe?
I have a very ornate and glamorous jacket that I have worn a few times to go to fund-raising dinners (an earlier life). It is totally OTT, came from the designer room at Selfridges and is about as far removed from my current life as my Earl Grey with lemon is)

6. Would you rather someone didn't ask your views on controversial issues?
I've never been afraid to speak out, have not much pc-ness about me and have often said things that I later do regret. My mother taught me early on to say what I thought about something with confidence - that doesn't mean to say I know what I am talking about though.

7. Do you recommend people..and then wish you hadn't?
A few times in my life I have managed to get people positions with whatever job I was doing at the time. I eventually learned that it is daft to recommend someone because it never quite works out.

8. Do you own up to reading light novels, or hide them under the cushions if visitors arrive?
I very very seldom read what I term 'airport' novels. I admire well-written prose and the likes of Jeffrey Archer or similar just make me cringe and despair.

9. Content with your own company or gregarious?
Both - I used to be the original party girl in London, always out and about with a gang of people. That changed to being out and about with a few close friends and now I am in the French sticks I spend a lot of time on my own.I'm happy with solitude and happy with people. It has been said I have a sunny disposition and it takes a lot to make me down.

10. One thing which would noticeably improve your life.
A private plane on standby to take me to the theatre in London.

If there is any question you would like to ask me feel free - see, this muddy gardening has thrown my caution to the proverbial wind.

*obviously eight bagels and hours and hours of muddy clambering are good - 800gm lost this week.


Delana said...

There's something wonderful about gardening exhaustion, isn't there? I miss that. I agree about the blogging friends. Very curious but so true. And we are GOING to meet! That is sure. I seem to collect leave-behind-books and I try to read them all..
Love the term "airport" books. So true and in fact, I read the airport. As for your sunny disposition....that is so evident...even if I only know you through our blogs...and I welcome each contact we have.

Steve said...

I'm Earl Grey all the way... though for some reason making it at home isn't as nice as when you get it in a restaurant or hotel.

Lulu LaBonne said...

'Gardening tiredness' is the best, I always feel delighted after a day tussling the undergrowth.

I'm Steve's opposite, nowhere makes tea that I like as well as me (I'm a bag-stewer too)

the fly in the web said...

A cup of tea after gardening is my idea of double bliss..Earl Grey if I'm on my own, strong Indian if it's the two of us

willow said...

I have one of those sequined little numbers in the back of my closet from a former life that I just can't bear to get rid of. I guess you could call it a keepsake.

willow said...

Oh, I see you're reading The Human Stain. It's been on my list for years, since I really enjoyed the movie.

love those cupcakes said...

I can own up to watching BB now!

Will said...

Gardening might be slightly OK, but mowing lawns sucks. The same goes for raking leaves and pulling weeds and standing with a hose watering some dumb plant.

Oh, and we have five hilly acres filled with tall trees, tree debris, oodles of mud, brambles, tangles, blackberries, stinging nettles, wasps, bugs, slugs, an occasional coyote or bobcat. If the economy wasn't in the toilet, I would sell and move to a condo, preferably on the 40th floor.

Ken Devine said...

Well done for getting stuck in. There's something about ripping weeds out and clipping borders that makes anyone disciplined enough to tackle them, feel great.

I enjoyed the selection of questions too...and the answers.

Ken Devine said...

Q. Have you visited ALL of your142 followers?

Clarity said...

Theatre, tea and books. One day we'll meet :)

Peace, love, xxx

Lane said...

Very interesting answers FF. It's always nice to learn a little bit more about a friend.

I've been doing some heavy garden work too and much as I moan about it (alot), it feels good afterwards.

I am so going to call soya milk, sojjer from now on:-)

e said...

Dear FF,

You are a wonder...gardening, books, theatre and tea...

I wish I could garden, but its a bit too tough on the knee...

One of my blogging friends was kind enough to send some really nice Earl Grey Decaf whole leaf my way, and I'm really enjoying it...

My runner has done a final run and communicated this via e-mail today. Regrettable but not wholly surprising, though I'd have at least the courtesy to communicate by phone, I think.

This is a wonderful set of questions...perhaps I'll give these a go on my blog since I've gone dry of material recently.

I do hope we meet someday...I've half a mind to book a flight right now, though I'm not usually hasty about such things. Perhaps you'll photograph your gardening efforts?

Angie Muresan said...

I love that you call them airport novels. And if I could fly you into London for the theatre, dear FF, I would.

Ed Pilolla said...

ha! a private plane.
you sound like you are in good place in life. i'm just re-discovering the value of regular exercise. even just for a little while.
england has got as much of a chance as italy, which i am foolishly rooting fer.

MelRoXx said...

I know what you mean. Garden exhaustion can be wonderful sometimes.

Wonderful answers, btw! xxx

French Fancy said...

Delana - I've overdone the gardening exhaustion this morning. I've been out in the sun since about 8.30 and as early as that is it was still very hot. I'm shattered now and it's only 11.00. Oh well - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger they say.

Steve - on the occasion that I am in a hotel or tea shop here I will still go for Earl Grey. The French don't do normal tea as strong as I like it. Once at morning breakfast in a hotel I had to ask for five tea bags to get the pot of tea for one to my required strength.

Lulu - a day? a day? Blimey - I can only manage about three hours tops, especially in the sun (this border is largely in the south facing sun). You are made of stronger stuff that's for sure - but then I put the W into wuss.

tfitw - I used to drink a lot of coffee but a few years ago when I had a lot of stomach trouble my body just seemed to not like it any more. I'll have a cup of coffee about twice a month I suppose - and from someone who never much liked tea this is odd indeed.

willow - it's nice to have something really over the top and glamorous - should the film premiere ever arise (as if)

As for the Roth - I have to say my interest is waning a bit and it started off so magnificently too.

Dedene said...

You're great for reminding me that the more physical activity one does, the more one wants to do. I'm glad you've discovered the pleasures of gardening.
Love the answers too!

French Fancy said...

cupcakes - I feel no shame in admitting to being a BB lover. I was hooked from the first series however much I tried to deny it to myself. I missed vast chunks of the second and fourth shows in an effort to tell myself I did not really like it. By the fifth series - the 'jungle cats' I decided to just go with it and wear my love with pride. My mum used to tell me 'never apologise/never explain' so there you go. (although I think she was meaning when someone wants to come over and you don't want them to).

Hiya Will - gosh, five acres is a lot. We have a smallish garden and yet I still can't keep up with it. I never mow the lawn though or rake the leaves. I'm the planter and now it seems also the digger/lopper/pruner etc.

As for the penthouse condo - I'd like that as well as a house in the country. If only we could have it all, eh?

Ken - your garden looks beautiful and I know first hand how much work that takes.

Have I visted all my followers? I don't really keep tabs on when new ones join actually. A lot of them don't comment and until someone does, I reply and visit them and then a bond is formed, I have to say that I don't feel that connection with them.

Clarity - yes we will, that is a promise.

Lane - isn't sojjer a great word? The first time I tried to find soya milk here of course I got nowhere. Now seven years on and all the supermarkets sell it - I think more and more people are going off dairy products.

e - how nasty of your runner to just go off like that without having the courtesy to tell you to your face. As for my knees with gardening - I don't often kneel actually, I've been bending which, with all the back trouble I have had over the years, seems astonishing to me. The more I bend the stronger my back seems to be getting.

I should have taken some photos before I began really - I might have some already and I must have a reccy.

Angie - I sometimes wonder if it is me just hanging on to a bit of my past with this theatre thing. I worked at one for quite a long time and could go free into any show, so could take my pick of the best things around. If I had to pick one or two now during a quickie London break I would not know how to begin to choose

Ed - as for exercise - you have all those glorious beaches along PCH to walk along. I loved the ones at Santa Monica and Laguna - well I loved them all really(but Santa Barbara is where I just felt I belonged and did not want to leave)

Mel - hello and my thanks for that

French Fancy said...

Hello Dedene - we cross-posted there. If you could see me now - I'm flaked out, still damp with perspiration and a little bit shaky for over-doing it this morning. I think the garden and I have come to a full stop for the day.

A Super Dilettante said...

My dear, I love your answers. Out of all of them, I think NO. 5 and No. 10 answers struck a chord with me. I love to see you in this glamorous jacket! I can appreciate why you think it might be OTT. I often feel the same as I live in the place where it lacks glamour, elegance and sophistication. I often feel that I need to tone down! I would like to be able to afford to go down as often as I could to London to visit theatre and cultural happenings.
Lots of love ASD xxx
PS. I got your card yesterday and it made my day!!! I'm very touched by it. I thought you always chose the right card!! You know me so much of what sort of things I like, my dear...

ladyfi said...

Great answers! Bagels are almost fat-free so I think you can indulge.

Physical work really is great for the body - and mind!

Rob-bear said...

Marvellous answers, Julie.

Earl Grey with lime, please. Lemon is a reasonable alternative. Sojjer is NOT! (Don't pollute your tea!)

Having been away for a few days, the weeds and grass have taken over the garden. If you give those weeds an inch, they'll take a yard, as in the whole yard. Tomorrow . . . unless, of course, it rains; thunder showers are predicted.

Have fun with your various endeavours and "pastimes."

Selina Kingston said...

What a great read. I think Ms Fancy that we have a fair bit in common! I thought I was dead classy for drinking Earl Grey but I'm clearly not proper posh like you ....drinking it with lemon! You're clearly a real lady!!

C. Troubadour said...

Gardening -- am totally there with you. My latest project is pruning the heath in the side yard that has overgrown itself in 8 years of previous-owner neglect. All legs, no body!

Owen said...

It's good to get muddy from time to time, if it's for a good cause.

The people digging out from under the mud brought on by the deluge in Draguignan the other day is another story...

Maybe we could share the cost of the private plane on standby for London theatre trips ?


Carol said...

Congrats on the weight loss and on all that gardening!! I am most impressed!!

I do, however, have to mention your tea drinking habbits...OMG from your description you could probably stand a teaspoon upright in it!! I like to show my hot water the tea bag and nothing more and when I read that I actually said 'eeeewwww' out loud and scared the cats!

C x

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Jeffrey Archer is my godfather....

(ha,ha, just kidding!!) ;)

absurdoldbird said...

As I don't (yet) do memes in my blog, here are my answers to these:

1. What will you be doing while the football world cup is on?
Hiding. I hate football, more so the world cup.

2. What picks you up when you're down?
Distraction. I always need something or someone to distract me. Humour often does it, comedy too. When I felt at my lowest when I was withdrawing from Valium a couple of years ago, I watched one or two episodes of a comedy every afternoon. My fave, at the time, was 'Goodnight Sweetheart' - a TV series from way back.

3. Indian or China...we're talking tea here, not economics...
Indian. I like flavour to my tea and I like it with milk and honey. Earl Grey is my fave currently.

4. What do you value most about blogging?
Getting to know people via their comments, talking to them via their comments and their blogs and, in my own blog - being appreciated for being myself is nice, too.

5. What can't you bring yourself to throw out of your wardrobe?
My vinyl LPs that live there, some handbags I never use, and some sandals that fall off as the velcro's become sad and woeful.

6. Would you rather someone didn't ask your views on controversial issues?
Usually, yes.

7. Do you recommend people..and then wish you hadn't?
Recommend people to or who or for what?

8. Do you own up to reading light novels, or hide them under the cushions if visitors arrive?
I used to read them, but I'm more of a non-fiction fan. Did I hide them when I read them? Not really, but I do have an odd habit of turning books face down!

9. Content with your own company or gregarious?
I'm a loner who is married to a loner. I am okay with people in small numbers but am not gregarious, no.

10. One thing which would noticeably improve your life.
Selling some more artwork! Er, and more sleep. And less butter. And... oh, but this asks for just one thing. Dammit!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Just realised that I too have very very nearly lost a stone. Not sure what that is in grams. Well done you for losing weight and being so chirpy in life (I aim to emulate you as I have tended to be more serious in the past.) Thanks also for being such a prolific blogger and lifting everyone's spirits.

Hope you can back when you have rediscovered your blogging mojo!