La cheville cassée- the Cankle Chronicles part two

img_20170121_102921So here we are. Please excuse the remnants of an ancient pedicure; I will not be rocking any cute high heeled sandals any time soon.

My normal, skinny foot and bony ankle right helps illustrate what I am limping on left.

Xrays show that above and in front of my left inner ankle bone I have a (recently) healed fracture. This now makes perfect sense.

Back in September, I miss-stepped out of the back door in UK and it really hurt. I remember at the time telling Trev that “something crunched” . No apparent swelling. It hurt for  day or two only, then the pain went so I just carried on. Shortly after we spent two weeks of hard graft in France & I don’t recall  much more than a niggle.

Then, in the third week of November I spent two long work days on my feet in court shoes and it started hurting again. I switched to flats and it stopped. Then a week before Christmas the whole area around that ankle swelled right up, but as I could recall no very recent injury I ignored it till last week. Then I was told it was “probably” a sprain.

It wasn’t getting any better and I needed a definitive answer, hence my hospital trip yesterday. Numerous X rays later , healed fractures are located which fits the chronology above. I’m told they have healed well and in the correct alignment and I must work on getting back to normal use; a course of physiotherapy has been booked.

The red marks are a reaction to the neoprene ankle support. My skin is rejecting it big time!

It’s a pain, literally , but at least I know now.

Two positives here- one obvious thought I had was Osteoporosis/detriorating bone density (my bones are good apparently)  so that’s a relief. And I clearly heal well, so my basic health remains good. How I walked around on the break I don’t know; though , as a family, we have a high pain threshhold.

Oh, and a shout out to Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, UK  for the lovely staff I met yesterday  who were coping with an overstretched A & E department with  exceptional grace and humanity. This hospital often gets a bad rap. not least from me and I have taken issue with them in the past. This time? 11/10, even with the wait.


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The Cankle Chronicles

Partly due to a blog discussion with my fellow strap-support wearer Osyth, who confirms my belief that a second opinion is advisable, I have braved the Accident and Emergency Department of a well known West Midlands UK hospital.

OK. This is a contentious current news item. Why am I here when I could go see my GP? Because I can’t get an appointment for five weeks, and he would refer me to Xray department here anyway. 

No, we don’t have private insurance.

I thought it was just a sprain, but the melon shaped swelling is not reducing after weeks and weeks of just putting up with it. OK, today it’s a small cantaloupe rather than the giant water melon it is on some evenings.

I have just been advised that “non-urgent” cases, and I fully accept that I fall into that category, will have an eight hour wait. In a few hours I will no doubt be joined by accident prone drunks and more sad souls from local nursing homes ( those stats always go up on  Friday night)

I’m not normally given to social commentary but as I’m stuck here…

The NHS is indeed on it’s knees. Wish me and my cankle luck.

Posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France | 15 Comments

The most wanted list – qu’est-ce que l’on veut?

antique old pine wine rackSo, what’s the old stuff we all want these days?

I may not be able to give you the definitive answer to this burning question, but I can reveal the top five UK best sellers that the third quarter of our new furniture rescue business has thrown up.

  1. Old wine racks ( indeed anything in really old pine)
  2. Old oak ( stripped and waxed, not varnished!)
  3. Painted demi-lune console tables
  4. Rustic stools
  5. Small round side tables

I’m a little suprised at the enduring popularity of old stripped pine. I truly thought that had been done to death over the last few decades but no… and we have just sold a rescued and restored wine rack to a proper, posh London wine shop & restaurant. I am thrilled.

The old oak, I love this myself and liberating it from brown varnish is one of my missions in life. I just like to see the wood if the wood is good!

waxed oak antique stool benchOak stools









The most wanted paint shade? Dark graphite grey. We have mixed up an exclusive grey with a subtle blueish undertone we call “Orage”. Showcased on the painted console below left.

Trevor has also become expert at rescuing coloured inlay

Storm grey and cream carved French console Dpale grey painted inlaid side table

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Friday French Fix- Quelques idées pour les petites pièces

7be2dbc09fe81ae8099d3c1d8c30f5bcOn the basis  that size isn’t everything (there’s a talking point) here’s some small French rooms.

The textiles are a bit twee here for moi, but the palette is great and SOMEONE here has had the chutzpah to rock TWO chandeliers ( what’s with the white tee shirts behind the bed???)


This blue dream confirms that a smaller kitchen just makes you more creative. And maybe more authentic. And why can’t you have  a decorative painted cupboard over the sink? This is from –

enhanced-buzz-wide-29726-1370624029-23This one left is very Swedish I think; in fact I have two panels of antique Swedish embroidery on white linen almost exactly like these hangings here- from

And many elements of this space below echo our French features- the frame on the doorway (tulip bedroom)  terracotta hearth inset into wood floor (salon) how our restored wood staircase will look. And the wall in the foreground has the same finish as the spine wall in the terrace bedroom



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Episode 150 – Go

img_20160826_160144Yes, this blog has been very quiet of late. I have had a lot of thinking to do. It’s tiring doing that, the day job, stock hunting, the finishing flourishes to Trevor’s furniture…….

Last Wednesday  was Decision Day. We have talked about moving to France for a decade, then our fortunes changed, and changed again; I nearly died, he nearly died. It’s called life .

So, last Wednesday the Landlord of the Victorian cottage that we currently rent in the UK called me to ask if we had a date to decamp to France yet; he’s not pressing but he needs a concrete  date for personal reasons. So that’s it. The Procrastination Period is at an end.

We  move to Our French Village in March….help!

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À la fin de l’année- the end of a tough year

img_20161231_145646So we walk into our closest large supermarket (UK) & this bottle of crémant de Limoux is on the shelf with all the other bubbles.

A bottle of Premiere Bulles rosé, with that toffee coloured tint that so many Southern rosés have, read about it here

In my book, this is a sign. Then these arrived, four vintage carved plaques to insert some character into the centre panels of our Languedociennes bedroom doors at the French village house.


We wish you all a positive, peaceful and prosperous New Year

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Christmas food

img_20161226_201914A little late, but Merry Christmas blog-buddies.

Every year I tweak the family favourites a little. I may have perfected cranberry sauce

9 oz fresh cranberries

3 fl oz orange juice

3 oz dark muscovado sugar

cinnamon stick or half teaspoon dried cinnamon

Sprinkle of sea salt, good grind of black pepper – Don’t faff, chuck it all in a pan and cook, stirring till cranberries beginning to break up, cool and refrigerate.

Easiest lemon tart ever

Use prebaked tart cases, OR, if you are making from defrosted frozen pastry (gluten-free “flaky” in our case) then cut squares, 2-3mm thick, press into greased bun/patty tins.Use a cutter the size of each base to make an impression almost all the way through and prick JUST this base. Don’t worry if it goes all the way through in places, once cooked for 15 minutes at 190 degrees, then chilled, the filling won’t escape. For our tins, a blanquette flute was the perfect size cutter !img_20161226_200814

Fill with one tub mascarpone and same weight in good lemon curd. Whisked together till smooth and fluffy; pile into cooked cooled pastry cases. Mine are rustic, as you can see, I’m no food stylist! I made my own candied lemon peel too…

We had turkey and gammon- glazed with truffle and runny honey, mmm…

Left over flaky pastry was layered with crushed sea salt and chilli flakes to make little savoury nibbles to serve with pre-dinner drinks


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