Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The belote* season is in full swing now with the village concours (competition) on Saturday, followed by a neighbouring village's on Sunday. There are usually some good prizes for the winners and the runners-up at these events: whole pigs (I kid you not), ski passes, sporting goods and equipment, restaurant vouchers. I'm still a novice so I'm deciding whether to play this weekend or to adopt last year's strategy - which was to stand at the bar chatting to the winners who looked the least sporty (the guy in a wheelchair was a dead cert) and wait for them to hand over the goods. Last year I "won" two free ski passes and a rucksack.

We're going to Méribel tomorrow to spend two nights in Miss Fit's chalet so we may not be in a fit state to play cards at the weekend anyway.

* card game played by just about everybody here - a bit like whist.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

shoot the mole

BB was helping Poire with his garage roof again today and came back at lunchtime to say that the gunshots I'd heard earlier (and assumed were hunters) had been Poire "de-moling".

Poire moved into a house on the plateau above us last year and spent thousands laying a new lawn (and planting various exotic flora - including banana trees - in the Alps!) which has been blighted by dozens of molehills. When his wife, Poirette, alerted him to some movement in one of the conical mounds this morning, he went out with his 12 bore and started shooting up the lawn. I was ready to go round there sporting my PETA T-shirt until I read the following on a gardening website on how to rid your garden of moles:

Trapping is often the best method for young inexperienced moles. The normal type of trap has a scissors action which to be honest is somewhat barbaric.

Fumigating is another method often used, however you are limited to how far the poisonous smoke will travel.

Baiting worms with poison is another method. This is best carried out by a professional mole catcher as the poisons used are licensed and very dangerous to other animals and birds.

Which makes shooting them sound pretty humane in comparison.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

quelle jolie table

The previous mayor came round yesterday to ask if he could borrow BB's van. We could probably make a living hiring it out given the number of people who've used it. In the beginning BB did the driving, until an acquaintance, Madame Pas De Mates, borrowed it for a removal and BB and I ended up hauling all her heavy white goods up six flights of stairs (while she chatted on her mobile!!) because nobody else turned up to help. Now the driver and the dogsbodies are not included.

Anyway, BB invited him in for a drink and imagine my surprise when he started going on about "quelle jolie table" as if he'd never set eyes on our kitchen table before. He's chased me round it often enough (funnily enough just after BB has left for the Sunday Club) but I suppose his mind wasn't on the finer points of mortise and tenon joints!

When I told BB about this "mayor trying to get wife in clinch" episode I thought he'd be outraged, but instead he said I should have "obliged" and we might have had our planning application passed quicker!

Monday, January 12, 2009

and the moral of the story

The intemperate weather continues, keeping the builders away, but at least allows us to ski without feeling as if we're skiving. The head builder came round last week with an invoice for the work done so far and said he'd be back "when it gets warmer", for which read: "after I've been to Acapulco on your big fat rosbif cheque and fancy doing a bit of work again."

My new year resolutions to drink less and exercise more fizzled out when I went to a party after two weeks' abstention and passed out after a couple of glasses of wine, and then my back went during the "pump" section of Davina's "High Energy Five" fitness DVD.

Moral? Story?