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Talking of rhubarb - I have a rant.... about ants! Last year they built a nest in my huge rhubarb plant and completely destroyed it. Now I have to start again with a new little rhubarb and it's rarely sold in France, so no rhubarb crumble this year.The ants here make enourmous nests about 1 foot tall.
Golly, Lizzie. One more reason to be grateful for good old Blighty,( as Prince Charles called Britain in that recent Countryfile programme from Highgrove.)
I saw that Countryfile. I like Prince Charles, he likes gardening and horses and seems full of common sense. (That will probably cause some comments!)
Well, Lizzie, I agree, anyway. He is sensitive and kind, and like his mother, he's a lover of the countryside.
Thanks guys, I just put that countryfile on iplayer to watch..
Not a rant but a very enjoyable programe. I have to say that I have always had a fondness for Prince Charles, he is very likeable and a pleasure to watch.
I think the poor bloke has spent his life trying to please - and often failing. Diana had a lot going for her (not least the way she looked!) but she was too young and too neurotic for him. Two sad lives, in a way, despite their position. I'm not in a position to comment on Camilla because she's had less publicity, and I don't know what I think of her divorcing her husband to marry Charles, but she does seem to have given him a measure of peace and happiness. He just seems like a nice man and one who cares about nature and the countryside.
Lizzie, tell us something of what it is like to be British and live in France. To justify doing so on this thread, I'll introduce it with a rant. Here it is.
Why is it that some of us have to stay in Britain and endure rain, cold, endless grey skies and I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, while others can spend their lives in sunshine and warmth and eat French sausages and cheese and the most delicious supermarket couscous I have ever tasted? It is not fair and I would like this wrong redressed immediately! I have spent time at my brother-in-law's gite in the Western Loire and - apart from the fact that the natives inconsiderately spoke a foreign language - loved it and longed to get my hands on the huge, fertile garden left to moulder under tussocky grass. If only they would have the good sense to learn English and speak it all the time, I'd move there tomorrow!!!
GG, I'm really going to enjoy reading the responses to your last rant!
GG I cant belive it!
Do you actually mean all of that?
But GG, I love England. Why do you think I do this forum, apart from love of gardening? Homesickness. We moved here in 1985 against my will. My husband had a stressful job and had always loved France and wanted to live here. We had 4 young children, then he started waking at night with chest pains, so I agreed to move. He loved it here and the chest pains disappeared for years. Then he died of a heart attack in 1998. I was 47, 3 children at university in Bordeaux the 4th still at school. The French have been friendly, but although I speak French fluently there is always a sort of hold back. English people are easier tomake friends with - more open and welcoming. This country is beautiful, but not as pretty as England. I'm really lucky as I live in a lovely old farmhouse in the countryside, but somehow, it's not home.
In winter it can be just as wet and grey as England, even colder. In summer it is often in the early 30s, but I'm an English rose and I find it uncomfortable. We get years of summer drought and the grass goes brown and the garden suffers. At the moment it's waterlogged.
As for food, I way prefer English sausages and cheddar cheese. French restaurants hardly serve vegetables. English food is much better than the English give themselves credit for. I like nearly everthing (except egg whites!) so long as it's correctly cooked.
I am stuck here (but it is a lovely place to be stuck in) as the children and grandchildren live here and , under French law, my husband's share of the house belongs to them too and they don't want to sell it. But my heart is in England.
The Irish Government turned over control of land fill to the county councils who in turn sold them off to privet contractors all land fill sites are closed to the public and you must have a licence to move rubbish be it scrap or white goods,we have a general waste bin which is collected every week and a green bin every other week they don't take glass that goes to the bottle bank, I compost all my kitchen waste and the cooked food that's not eaten will go to feed the dogs and cats in some ways I envy the French when Brussels says we have to do this or that the Irish and the British roll over but the French give two fingers to the bureaucrats for example when Mrs thatcher was told to sell off the Railways and the water and power companies she did so but claimed it was her idea ,maybe it was but the fact is they are owned by private companies and the British tax payer is still funding them ,the Irish Gov' followed in the wake of Britain , when S,N,C,F was mentioned in Brussels to be sold the French said NO NO NO it is still a state owned railway ,in Ireland the motor industry were told to modernise their forecourts at their own expense but this did not apply to the rest of Europe which is one reason why cars are more expensive here +vat +vrt+excise duty+delivery .
ps since when is HRH Charles ,. Common
Derek, 2nd hand cars are much more expensive here! (France)
Cilmeri, my tongue was firmly in my cheek when i wrote the last rant.
Enjoyed your rant, Derek, and I'm surprised that car are more expensive in France, since we all have the idea they are cheaper. You live and learn. I have found that, in general, France is quite expensive - the more so, of course, since the fall in the value of the pound.
Lizzie, I sympathise deeply. You made me shed a tear or two. My heart is in Wales, too. Just love those mountains and the ride over the Beacons to Brecon is breathtaking. (Some people walk - I ride ).
Lizzie, having travelled, endured, had homesickness (definitely not a nice thing to have) my heart always lifted to see the green fields of England again and started singing when I reached Thirsk in Yorkshire by train car or plane as I was thirty minutes from home.I was telling my Daughter Stockton is born into us not us born in Stockton, I am now settled for good, my passport ran out, my travel insurance ran out, my Visas are scrap and none will be renewed, seen it done it home is best.Joan was not a lover of France the French or the Food, she did love the small shops full of drawers and cupboards full of sewing cottons and material, she once talked for nearly an hour to a French Lady shop owner about tapestry sewing knitting and came out with all the things she could not get in England, she could not speak French the lady could not speak English and I just listened to the animated conversation and paid at the end.We both loved Austria and saw it from all angles but two weeks and Joan was hankering for home. I once did suggest going somewhere warm for the winter and she told me two weeks only which we did, left here in a snowstorm had two weeks sun came back in a snowstorm but she was happy.My rant then is people run down this little "septic Isle" OK I know not as written, yet once we leave its shores we find there is nowhere better, plus what on earth do you talk about when it is constant sunshine, dull dull dull.
I love Thirsk and all the surrounding area. I have friends in Ripon and an uncle near York. My heart always lifts when I get back to England too. But I grew up in Surrey and lived in Kent when married.
I only know of one shop here where they sell cottons and tapestry things, but they hadn't got the right canvas so I bought it in Battle, East Sussex!
The English don't know how to praise themselves. The French think the only English cheese is Cheddar and that English food is like school dinners after the war. English sparkling wine won a world prize, beating French Champagne, but the French think that wine isn't made in England. English fashion is way above French, the French are just beginning to realise it. But all they see are retired English women on holiday wearing baggy Tshirts with baggy shorts. English architecture is wonderful - look at the Houses of Parliament, Lincoln Cathedral, thatched cottages and Cotswold stone houses. French men have a reputation for being good lovers, but they can be bossy and rude, the English men I know are far more considerate. And so on ..............
I've just read the recent posts and I've got a lump in my throat. Travelling to other countries is wonderful but it often makes us happy to come back, and what comes across here is that whether we're from Scotland, England,Ireland or Wales, underneath we have a great sense of belonging to this little island we all call home. As we say here in Scotland 'wha's like us'. I have a foot in both camps as my dad was English. He came up here, met and married my Scottish mum, and never went back. He loved it up here- the scenery, the peace and- yes -even the rain! I lost them both a few years ago and I miss them but they had good long lives and were together 60 years in all. I scattered their ashes up in Ullapool where we spent many childhood holidays. A beautiful quiet place. They can spend forever looking out across the little bay. I've had a troubled few years but I know how lucky I am here and, like most people, guilty of not appreciating it often enough. Sorry but tears coming now so in the spirit of this thread I'll finish with a rant! Those *%$"* ing call centres!!!!
I know this seems strange but for years every time we went up and down the M5 and saw the Malvern Hills I had a hankering, then with caravan we used them or this area as a weekend retreat. We began to dislike where we lived and in the last few years there never felt settled although OH had lived there all his life and me most of it. With a serious health scare wirth OH we made adecision to put house up for sale (we lived in Staffs) and move south. Did not know where. Then evrything fitted into place. OH was made redundant so being near B'rum was no longer necessary, Daughter met someone from Worcs who she now lives with and loves dearly, and then someone stopped me in the street when walking the dog and offered me a cash sale on the house, Didn't believe them at first, they wanted a 6 week turn around. We potentially were going to be homeless. I contacted estate agent on S. Worcs and one phoned up and said we have these ex-MOD houses, last open day is Saturday, bids for them to be in by Mid day on Monday. Malvern. Came down, loved the houses despite the amount of work they needed and especially what looked as if it may be a large garden. the house seemed full of light. Faxed bid through with 20 mns to go for the dead line. Next day we found we had a house. Love it. The trips up and down the M5 still stir my soul when I see the hills. It feels like coming home and yet no connection to area. Or so I thought until in an old wartime address book of M's I found the address of my grandfather and yes it was in Malvern.
Everyhting fitted into place so quickly, right down to getting caravan storage in a very secure place.
Love it here. Not a rant but it fits with lizzie and like GG said it's where your heart is
And to add now the garden is cleared we have the most amazing views of the hills and every morning I lay in bed looking at the ever changing picture before me.
Alas my M moved with us but never really was able to enjoy it. She became ill, which set off a rapid dementia and is now in a home, fortunately within walkng distance.