My latest Sherlock Holmes short story Miss Violet Dixon (deceased)

My latest Sherlock Holmes short story Miss Violet Dixon (deceased)
The front cover created with Gimp with help from Aubrey Watt on You Tube.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer seems to have finally departed here in Brittany, there is certainly a coolness in the air of an evening and for the last few days it has been a bit damp and miserable. Daytime temperatures are hovering in the high teens (ºC) and at night they have dropped to below 10ºC when the sky is clear.

Still, we have had a corking summer, our daughter and her partner flew over to see us last week and whilst they were out on a nice coastal walk, he proposed to her! So, we have a summer wedding to look forward to and enjoy next year. I hadn't realised that you have to plan about a year ahead for these things otherwise they get booked up. Some venues are booked up a year and more in advance!

The Internet between Brittany and the UK has been buzzing with emails and photographs about possible wedding venues, photographers, guest lists etc. plus the costs of such items!! Being the bride's parents still has a sting in the tail even though they left home and set up their own home about 10 years ago!

The change of season means that we will have to order some wood for our large wood burning fireplace in our lounge. It is a bit of a beast and consumes at a rate of knots (no pun intended!). Last year we bought 2 Cords of wood and stashed that in the underground cellar. One cord is 3 cubic meters and the farmer who brings it loads up his trailer and then just tips it outside our basement garage door and then it has to be barrowed into the cellar. With my arthritis and heart problems, we have to rely on a friend doing this for us. He also brings his axe and splits the larger logs into more manageable pieces.

Finding suppliers of wood is quite difficult here as the farmers tend not to declare this income to the French tax man and so have a fairly tight circle of clients and only reveal their existence by posting a mobile number and will only accept cash. Our supplier has either run out of wood already or has packed it in as when we rang today he had none. To his credit, he did give us another number to try and we do need some more, we get through about 2 cords a year @ about €185 a cord.

Towards the end of September sees us planning our autumn trip back to the UK. Hitch up the trailer to the 4x4, put the cats in the cattery and go back to our flat that we have kept in the UK. My wife is vegetarian, a strange concept to the French. The trip back with a small 'coffin sized' cool box which soon gets filled with vegetarian goodies that will be consumed frugally over the next 3 to 4 months is an essential. I top up with some DIY bits and bobs that are far cheaper than in France, some computer bits and maybe a carpet cleaner. As almost all homes over here have hard wooden / tiled floors (the only fitted carpets I have ever seen have been in homes owned by Brits.) with the odd odd rug, the idea of being able to hire a carpet cleaning machine is quite alien. I may have to invest in one if I have space in the 4x4.

Anyway, have a good week where you are.  Good news on the publishing front, I have submitted my books to Amazon and they are now on sale there! They have only been live for 2 days (as of 9th September) and I have sold 11.
Here are the links 'Sherlock Holmes Fireside Collection  and 'Saline' can be found here

Dick xx

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