Archive for novembre 2008

Airplane Airplane

Last week I went to a funeral in Holland, never a great moment, but this time also we couldn’t fly to Rotterdam since there was no flight on tuesday, so we went to Brussels, me refusing to put another foot on Schiphol airport Amsterdam. (We had to go to Breda anyway, which is closer.)

Anyway, we came back, no wait…, we were supposed to fly back from Rotterdam, on friday, got up at 6.30 left Breda around 7.30, arrived after trafficjam etc around 9.30, left the car at rentalcarparking, waited, checked in, waited, waited, had to take the bus to Eindhoven, (too much wind in Rotjeknor for the plane to land), so off we go to Eindhoven, 1.5 hours busdrive, waiting there for some stupid passenger who didn’t arrive (went to Eindhoven by himself) so we were back in Nice around 6.30…. 12 hours travelling day… Thanks.

So I just heard this funny joke I wanted to share it with you :

A man at the airline counter tells the rep. “I’d like this bag to go to Berlin, this one to California, and this one to London.
The rep says, “I’m sorry sir. We can’t do that.”
The man replied: Nonsense. That is what you did last time I flew with you.


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Things have been a bit strange since the beginning of September. Good and bad things, happy and sad things, things of life!

First of all, our house, family house, ‘was’ sold, it was a real relief, knowing we all could go on, my mother to a flat, we probably could have bought a fine home for ourselves, but then after all it didn’t work out! Big deception for all, and now with the crisis going on we still hope someone will have a crush on it very soon…


We had spent our august holidays in Brittany. As always we were invited to stay at the lovely home of ‘Bonnemaman’ and ‘Bonpapa’, they are my sister-in-law’s parents. They have a lovely holiday house right on the beach of Loctudy, near Pont l’Abbé (south from Quimper). For many times we have been there and it is always a joy for the kids and for us to spent two full weeks of rest on that extraordinary Brittany beach.

This was the pleasure of the holidays, but the sad thing was the awful and complete sudden departure of ‘Bonpapa’ who died of a heart attack a month ago. It was an awful loss for his wife, his children and grandchildren (our niece and nephew) and of course our own kids were touched by this event since for them ‘Bonpapa’ was like a grandfather to them!

We will miss him terribly.


My sister-in-law has to go through the unpleasant time of grief, losing a parent is very hard, I know, but she also suddenly had to spend days in hospital last week, has been operated and is waiting for results, hopefully they are good, but until that, time is very long.


As I read all this, actually it looks like a long letter of bad things that happened, since I wrote earlier last week about our own loss, our beautiful dog ‘Paquerette’. We miss her very much, she was so there when she was alive, always ‘hanging’ on to us and she would share the couch with me in wintertime, while I watched a movie… it sure will be cold around that couch this winter. Pablo (our Golden Retriever) is doing fine, he sometimes looks at us with a questioning eye “Is she coming back?” I take him for long walks, every weekend we go for hours walk, and through the week, as soon as I have a minute I go.

Trying to think of the good things in life over the last few months, well, I had a lovely b’day party in July with all the people I love.


But most important, WE’VE GOT AN OFFICE! Riviera Expat is now officially working from a real office! We have spent 8 years at home, computer, fax, phone… but we couldn’t go on with it anymore.

My daughter (almost 12) needed her own room; kids have been sharing the same room since they were born. We couldn’t afford a ‘multinationalofficespace’ but… we found the right spot, at the right time!

It is actually just in our village, two minutes from home, opposite the parking for school so we drop off Bart at 8.15 am. and we’re in the office, he comes out of school (6.00 pm after homework classes) and we’re off home again! Great days, hard work, but very efficient and some clients just loooove to come and visit us, cup of coffee and a little chat… And…our friends; they all come over at 8.15 am for coffee so now Philippe decides not to open the office until 9.00… we’re better of like that, even though it’s fun, I feel like having my Bar/Restaurant back, I do miss that conviviality!

Pictures for this office will come soon when it’s all finished, same thing, we are no multimillionaires who can spent loads on furnishing their office, we do it step by step, and it starts to be really cute! We are very proud!

At the house it is all getting worse, I couldn’t sum up all the big problems we’ve had lately, the heavy autumn rain has ‘flooded’ the complete cellar window out of the wall, so now when it rains, not just a ‘little’ water comes in as usual, no, the whole f****** street floads in the house…

We had cleaned out the cellar lately, put everything on bricks and wood to have precious stuff dry, but it is a disaster. Then also, every time it rains we have to move our dining table, put a bucket under it, like a tap water drops from the ceiling into the living room.

Our shower has all tiles falling apart, the wall is getting so soaked and moist and disgusting that roots are starting to grow… This weekend I am going to take it all off and do something about it… all the things our landlord wouldn’t do or hasn’t done in 30 years… He should be ashamed of himself and you would be very surprised to see the state of our house.

The wooden doors to the terrace are falling apart, rains, air whatever just goes through it, like Philippe says; – “when the heating is, it’s for the birds…!” I won’t refer to all the shutters (what am I saying, shutters? Are they shutters or something that used to look like shutters???)


We try to take all this with optimism and as I told you before, we are so happy with the office, Dorine finally having her own room and the ‘zenitude’ on having the privacy at home, no more phone calls from clients on Saturday, no more faxes coming in on Sunday… real ‘home sweet home’!


Autumn has been very rainy, today the sun is out, we are looking forward to a nice weekend, Bart has another rugby competition, he has been selected for the ‘A’ team, we are very proud, looking forward to have him on the national team in a few years…

He also integrated HIP HOP dancing classes with all his buddies, that’s going to be a great show in June next year in Grasse’s Theatre ! We always go there for Dorine’s Gala dancing show, but then Bart will be in it too!


I think I went through it all, I told you I would update things a little, well, that’s done! Thanks for being here, thanks for reading and keep visiting my café, I will try to make my posts a little more ‘fun’ next time !

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Today we had to put her to sleep, she suffered from a lungcancer, in May the vet told us she had a few days left, she decided it were months… months of good food, (every day I prepared her meal, beef or chicken, fresh fish, fresh vegetables, the best menu in town !) months of playing, running, swimming and barking !

Last night, after her chicken, carrot and rice, which she ate with alot of energy, she layed down and since that moment she didn’t want to get up anymore.

All night was tough, she made alot of noise, slept a little, but I didn’t, I knew she was fed up, tired and exhausted of trying to breathe and stay alive…

This morning we took the big decision, never easy, but if you love your animals and understand them enough you can see it in their eyes… she asked for it, so we relieved her !

-« Au revoir ma Paquerette », she was only 9, but she gave us a wonderful time, love, laughter and tenderness, we will miss her alot !

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