Somebody sent this to me and I thought it was rather sweet …….and so true !

So, November, what went on ? Of course there was the book sale on the 4th which was wonderful as usual. Fewer people than usual so therefore slightly smaller takings, but a very respectable 1,700 which meant the vets’ bills were settled and there is enough in the tin for dog food and treats for a few months. A huge thank you to all of you who braved the wet and windy weather, and thank you also for the kind comments and pleas to keep going. I love books so I will keep on for as long as I am able and as long as you keep coming. I think next time I am going to have to look out for young muscle to help load and unload the van, that is becoming more problematical when most of us have dodgy backs now and there are very many heavy boxes to shift. I must apologies also for the number of punaises diaboliques (stink bugs) in the boxes ! I went through the boxes the night before the sale but clearly missed a few of the beggars !! Hopefully the Winter will get rid of them and I will check more carefully next time.

Danielle is absolutely snowed under with very adoptable dogs and is unable to take any more until a space becomes available. She does an amazing job there on her own taking great care of the dogs -plus other animals who find their way to her door – doing all the feeding, walking, kennel cleaning and maintenance work alone ,with a little help for the latter. So, if anyone living near Castelnau has time to spare and can give a hand, mainly with cleaning kennels, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Mostly she is asked for small dogs weighing under 10 kilos but these are few and far between. These requests usually come from elderly people but quite honestly I think an older medium sized dog would be better, because the little ones can so easily trip you up.

Our Brittany Spaniel Isabella is giving us some sleepless nights at the moment. A couple of months ago she was coughing non stop and I ended up taking her to a clinic in Toulouse to get grass sead heads removed from her throat. All was good for several weeks, then she started coughing again. To cut a long story short, it seems that a grass sead which couldn’t be removed because it was too far down, has shifted to a lung and may be doing serious damage. An operation is out of the question, much too major and she is not in the first flush of youth. Apart from the cough she is as perky as always, running around and eating well, so it’s fingers crossed that the situation doesn’t deteriorate.

I went to England for 48 hours for the funeral of a dear friend and on the flight over, got chatting to a lady who lives in Nice (I used to live just along the road) and was going to visit her son and daughter in law in Southend on Sea, where I lived until I was in my twenties. Then on the way back from the funeral I sat next to a French lady who had lived in England for over 40 years and she was coming back just for 48 hours for her Mother’s funeral ! On the Sunday I left Toulouse in brilliant sunshine and arrived at Stansted in pouring rain, then on the way back I left Stansted and arrived in Toulouse in a rain storm. In fact the pilot had to have two goes at landing ! (The second was successful !) My friend Tricia, whose funeral I went to, was one of the kindest gentlest people I have ever known and clearly many thought the same, there were 200 people at her funeral, including pupils of hers, now adults, who said she was the kindest, most favourite teacher in the school. She always had time to listen to the children and help with any problems being to do with school or home. Sadly missed.

I’m off again on the 7th for a pre Christmas get together with pals in England, then a big change for Ernst and me, we are going up to Annecy and La Clusaz for Christmas to be with Ernst’s sister as she celebrate’s her 80th birthday on Christmas Day. She has booked a restaurant up in the mountains for dinner and I’m not looking forward to that. Last time we went there, we drove up a certain way, then transferred to a sort of snow mobile. On the way down I, being the smallest, was put on to the front of the machine with just two handles either side to hang on to as we hurtled down in the snow. I reminded myself of Bette Davis in the film Now Voyager with Claude Rains where, at one point, Bette Davis goes out on a yacht with a much younger man, the weather changes and gets stormy and Bette Davis tries to pretend she is having fun whilst being blown about all over the place. That was me, smiling and laughing whilst all the time thinking ” Get me out of here !!!” Hey ho !!

Have a lovely Christmas and if you are thinking of getting a fourlegged pal, do go to La Mere Aux Betes and give a dog the best Christmas present ever. Danielle has got some really lovely ones there at the moment.

Sue x

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