October 3, 2013
WOOFS. Ever since a little doglet of our acquaintance went to the vet’s on the journey-of-no-return, my (human) pet has been super-nice to me, saying things, like ‘Biff, you’re the best dog in the world’ and ‘I’m so lucky to have you’.
I haven’t exploited this (much) as I know that there are lots of dogs out there who aren’t so lucky and who are languishing in rescue homes, waiting for a human to love them.
Some are even thrown onto the streets – something which, sadly, happens a lot in France when their owners decide to move back to the UK without them.
The Hope Association is a charity which helps animals who've fallen on hard times.
On the 18,19 and 20th October, 10–4.00 pm, it will be holding its autumn book sale at the salle des fetes in Clussais La Pommeraie, 79190 (on the D45 between Sauzé-Vaussais and Lezay.)
There will be thousands of books, both French and English, for €1 as well as homemade cakes and other delicious things, and a jumble sale.
The last sale raised over €8,000, so if you live in the Poitou, please do come along and support it.
If you have books to donate, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have clothes to donate, please email: email@example.com
August 8, 2013
Charlotte and Glyn have asked me to post a reminder for those living in the Poitou: this weekend (Friday August 9 and Saturday 10th) is The Mad Hatter's annual music festival with a great line up of bands. It starts at 4.30 pm Friday. You can pitch your tent and stay for two nights or book in for the evening feast and music on Friday or Saturday night. More information on their new website www.madhattersfrance.eu.
July 27, 2013
WOOFS everyone and happy summer Saturday morning!
Last night was very dramatic here in the Poitou: loud bangs, shutters rattling (along with my teeth) and big bolts of blue in the sky. I was, as one of our French friend says, 'very perturbated'.
But as you can see, I'm back blogging this morning. Or maybe I should call it 'dogging'? (KW: No, you definitely shouldn't.)
In addition to asking for more of me, many readers over the past few years have asked for pictures of the house where I live, but my human never got round to doing it.
(Honestly, if you want something doing, ask a doglet! There is a reason why we are considered reliable.)
So I thought I would start off with a picture of le petit jardin.
Last summer it looked like this:
A man came to knock down the building in the right hand corner and remove a flower bed.
When he had finished, he asked my human, 'Have you thought of having the wall repointed?'
She hadn't, mainly because she didn't know what 'repointing' meant. (Even I know that it means cleaning up the stones, chipping away the old cement and replacing it with a new sandy filling.)
I really enjoyed rolling around in the rubble and having more space to play in.
Unfortunately, as you can see from the top picture, the situation did not last.
I now have to share my space with some very tall flowers (although I'm sure they won't last) and all the clutter that humans bring.
July 15, 2013
And this is my summer, apres-swim look!
July 13, 2013
WOOFS AND BARKS. While my human is distracted (see below) I have decided that I will be responsible for updating this blog.
I think it could be a marvellous opportunity to show you some of my favourite pictures....of ME!
Now, if only I could find the password to her Witter account.
July 8, 2013
I’m sorry to have to announce that Sweet Encore, the fourth book in the Tout series, will not be published next month as planned.
I’m still some way off the point of ‘hanging the chandeliers’ as I call adding the final descriptive layer that I know readers love.
I really hate letting people down but I'm not the sort of writer who can bang out more than one book a year, and I was foolish to think that I could.
Quality control is very important to me and because of this, I’ve taken the decision to delay publication until next summer.
I feel very bad about this as I know that many of you have pre-ordered the book and were looking forward to it as holiday reading.
In addition, I’d like to apologize to those of you who’ve sent me emails recently and not had replies.
I love reading your feedback and lovely messages and I do my best to answer them all, but recently the back log has become rather out of control.
So I’m going to disappear for a while – and yes, drop off Twitter too – to concentrate on writing. I will be back but not for a while.
Sincere apologies, KW.
July 7, 2013
The invitation was my favourite kind: 'Come over for a curry and you can bring your human,' said the email. 'Provided that she is well behaved.'
Humans, as we all know, are a doglet's best friend and for the most part they make loyal and faithful companions.
However, you can never guarantee that they will behave.
When they do displease you, one of the ways that you can let them know is to confiscate their toys.
Mine has two of each, all lined up in row, so this takes a little effort. I fetch them from the bedroom and carry them downstairs to my doughnut, one at a time (as shown).
Your pet will protest and might even shout – as is the case when I confiscate a glittery black pair with little mirrors on them – but this is an excellent way to remind them who is in charge.
PS: As you can probably see from this photo, I have a new haircut. My human actually sniggered when she came to collect me from the coiffeuse. Sometimes, humans can be so insensitive.
PPS: My entire social life has ground to a halt until I've been to the vet to be treated for a few stupid fleas.
June 28, 2013
Surprise! I've written a book – but not the one that people are expecting. I've actually written... a diet book.
Why, you might wonder, have I done that?
The answer is that when you first move to France – and I'm sure other expats will agree with this – you lose weight, thanks largely to the stress of moving.
And then it starts to creep back on again. Before I knew it, I'd gained ten kilos (1 stone, 8lb).
Last autumn, I decided that something had to be done.
The answer came to me while reading a biography of Marie Antoinette.
The French queen, I discovered, liked sweet things and ate cake (actually a pastry) for breakfast, along with coffee or hot chocolate.
But according to her chief chambermaid, Madame Campan, she ate very lightly in the evening – nothing but a bowl of broth and a piece of chicken.
The more I read about her eating habits, the more it seemed that the queen knew instinctively what science has recently shown: for example, if you’re going to eat cake, the best time of day to do so is early in the day.
I discovered many other things that Marie Antoinette did, and about the 18th-century diet in general, that are very conducive to weight loss – and possibly the real reasons why (most) French women don’t gain weight.
I didn't mean to write a diet book, but the deeper I delved, the more excited I became.
In addition to historical research, I read over fifty scientific papers while writing 'the cake diet' as one reader has called it.
The result is The Marie Antoinette Diet (MAD for short, yes I know!)
It is not your usual diet book. It's written, in part, as a memoir, but served up with a lot of science and sprinkled with some interesting historical snippets.
It explains among other things, the benefits of following a 12-hour night fast and the very unfashionable super-food that can help weight loss if eaten once a week.
It also contains recipes for delicious cakes and soups, including the 18th-century recipe for the broth that Marie Antoinette ate for dinner, which is believed in many cultures to have astonishing health benefits.
I’m not a dietician or a doctor, but because I wanted the diet to be as healthy as possible and safe for others to follow, I consulted someone who is: leading dietician Dr. Mabel Blades.
But does it work? Well, the book explains how I lost ten kilos in ten weeks, eating normally most of the time but following a few simple rules. And yes, I did eat (homemade) cake.
The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight, is available in e-book format, at an introductory price of £1.98 until 7 July, from www.amazon.co.uk and on www.amazon.com. The print version will be published in January 2014.
Oops, forgot to post this, which arrived several weeks ago.
May 31, 2013
As promised, here is the acknowledgment letter from King's College.