October has been a Very Busy Month !!!  We started off with our usual week on Il de Ré where we had the bestest of best times cycling (the island doesn’t have a hill on it which is why I cycle so happily there !), reading, cinema and just sitting at the deserted beach gazing into the far sea.  Paradise !  We came down to earth with a bump on returning home to find that one of the dogs had found out how to open our back gate so poor Louise who was sort of dog sitting for me, had had a right game.  All were present and correct when we arrived apart from Balto the gorgeous old  English Setter who has been with us since he was found in a garage after his owners moved house.  I was frantic when he didn’t come home the second night and by the third was hysterical.  I rang our mayor to report Balto missing and was told that the ex mayor had found a dog on Saturday.  I didn’t think it could be Balto as said ex mayor is our neighbour, albeit 500 metres down the road, and we would be the first people he would come to if he found a dog.  However I beetled down there …………. and there was Balto playing happily in Gerard’s garden where he had apparently been for three days.  Gerard had indeed been up to us but of course we were driving home so not there.  Now I am always banging on about how important it is to have your dog’s telephone number on the collar……. well, mea culpa, the number had ineed been on Balto’s collar but had faded to illegibility.  Anyway, a huge PHEW !  Gate is mended and collar number renewed ! 

Then my ‘old’ friend Phena came over for a few days.  We hit the ground running and didn’t stop.  Apéros, searching through junk shops, lovely lunches, coffee at the Sunday market and, on the Monday, a long drive round collecting books for the forthcoming (then) book sale.  We found ourselves very near to Cordes and since neither of us had ever been there, took the time to wander up to the top.  Loved it, especially because it wasn’t too chocolate boxy.

Thereafter it was all hands on deck to prepare for the Poorpaws/Cancer Research Book Sale !  The team was rather apprehensive as we had changed the venue, we clashed with the Phoenix Great Book Sale and our own personal Quercy Cake Goddess  Amanda, is having a right royal battle with T cell lymphona.  So the cry went out to our baking friends and they did us proud with offers of cakes, scones and quiches coming from all directions.  I feel I must give a special mention to Liz who came up with a carrot cake to beat all carrot cakes (don’t read this Amanda !!).  It just melted in your mouth.  The sale opened and we immediately realised we had lost three of our usual big spenders, one sadly has died , another has closed her shop and the third we expect was beetling up to Phoenix (no hard feelings any money raised for dog rescue is fine by us).  HOWEVER, we were very quickly very, very busy with people filling up boxes, bags and tummies.  Our new snack lunches of quiche and/or soup were a success as was the accordionist musician who generously played for free giving the whole event a lovely atmosphere. My fears were unfounded, we had the best sale ever raising 2,000 euros!!  So, from 48 hours previously when I was wailing that this would be the last sale, not doing all this again, never filling my bedroom – and half my bed ! – with boxes and boxes of books……………… we have already reserved the hall for Easter Saturday next year.  26th March, get it in your diaries.

Life is a little more peaceful now so I can get on with the many jobs that have been waiting too long.

As for dogs, well, Jack the little white Jack Russell has a great permanent home, Liberty has gone as have several pups.  Another dog who never appeared on the website for security reasons has now found a happy home well away from here and will enjoy a proper life instead of a small balcony 24/7.  Another great story is that Fleur the gorgeous Labrador will be going to a new home on Friday.  She’ll have a new ‘brother’ and we are all hoping that they will get on better than their first meeting when Max leapt out of the car and went for poor Fleur.  Max has a sad history and although he is now in a great home he tends to think that attack is the best form of defence.  After the initial shock he and Fleur walked happily together, though Fleur was, understandably cautious.  Fingers crossed for them.

I think that’s all for now, see you at the end of November – by which time I will be older !!!


Sue x




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