Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cargo @ Christmas

My friend Cargo from Toronto sent me his picture for Christmas. I have never met Cargo but I know him from Alanea and Dave talking about him, he is a special boy with a lot of responsibility. He is bigger than me and Oscar too . I knew Oscar in Toronto but he now lives in England and Dave said someday we will see each other again.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

As this is my Blog I have the awesome responsibility and pleasure of wishing all of my loyal followers and friends a very Merry Christmas. Dave got me this lovely hat that Alanea says makes me look cute. I am not so sure about the cute referrence but if I can scam an extra cookie or 2 and sleep half of the night with Alanea in her bed by looking cute so be it.

We have had a good year. Alanea has been working hard, Dave is riding strong and travelled to Canada in August. Alanea went to Canada in November and I stayed here all year because I have an International Pet Passport. They both play golf which is a "pain in the ass" because I have to stay home alone.

Dave was granted French residency yesterday but was fined 220 Euros for being illegal for a year.

My world is good. So is yours if you let it be.

Have a great 2012.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Computrainer and me

Because Dec 18, 2011 was cold in southern France west of Nice (2 degrees celsius) and one of the few Sundays that Dave would not go outside cycling with the ASR Club, I got a ride on the Computrainer. Dave rides the Central Park 9.70 km course. Dave's average watts is 212 over 9.70 km but he is not happy with his Spinscan numbers. We really like it here in France because we (he) can ride outside most of the year but for those crazy windy or cold days the Computrainer is just the thing. Dave likes to ride the Central Park 9.70 km course to test his average wattage output. Follow us by becoming a follower. Note the new mezzanine that Dave built. His new Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL3 is behind us in a nice zippered cover. OH YA lets not forget the Gardin hanging on the wall after all it has completed 4 Ironman Triathlons before I was born.

Friday, December 16, 2011


It is Christmas time again and what would Christmas be without me going for a car ride to Saint-Tropez to see Santa Claus. Well OK that's a stretch but here are some nice pics of the event held at the Boutique des Maitres Vigneron where Alanea and Dave bought 4 X 1o litre boxes of Rose in the summer before Dianne, Bob, Warren and Joanne came to visit. We had a glass of the new Rose and Oysters and Santa gave me a special hat that I can wear on Christmas eve. Before the event Dave and Alanea took me to French class and Francoise the teacher gave me a cookie. I will post more Christmas later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santons at the fetes

These little figurines are Santons. People collect them and display them at Christmas they are very elegant. They depict life in France and are quite authentic. Dave is impressed with the workmanship and quality Alanea likes the colours and variety of forms and I like going with Dave and Alanea.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas fetes and mal de tetes.

Alanea says that I am a PIA but Dave took me to the Fete de Noel at Chapelle St. Roseline, wine tasting a Chateau Font, lunch at a restaurant (see my picture). At the restaurant I ate some Daube de Sanglier (look it up) and knocked over the Santa Claus behind me (he starting playing music and Alanea said she was embarrassed but laughed). After lunch we went to the Fete de Noel in Roquebrune Sur Argens (see the Santons). I bought Alanea a secret New Years card and she put it in a place where it won't get lost before the 31st. What a place.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dave's new mezzanine

For over 1 year dave has been planning to have a mezzanine built. He has had various quotes, comments and recommendations. After considerable research and planning he decided that he could do it himself and set about the task when Alanea went to Canada for a few weeks. He was delayed by the rain and flooding in parts of the Var however the real lessons were in the process. Dave opted for a chemical fix (cheville chimique) of the joist hangers to the cement block (parpaing) walls instead of expanding lag bolts. This was interesting because Dave had never used the chimique and some holes had to drilled into solid concrete and some into hollow cement block. Perhaps the most annoying and laughable part of the process was purchasing the 5 70MM X 150MM joists which support the floor at 500MM centres. The pieces are sold in 4 metres lengths and Dave needed 5 @ 2.7 metres. Imagine Dave's surprise when he was told that the lumber yard did not have a circular saw to cut the lumber. The guy driving a fork lift gave Dave a tree pruning saw and told him to cut the lumber himself. What the guy did not know was that Dave had frequented lumber yards with his father (JL) and grandfather (George) since he was 5 years old and he had no intention of cutting with a pruning saw. Dave went into the store, took a new Stanley saw (cie) and set square off of the wall and cut the lumber in no time. When he was finished he put the saw and set square back on the wall. The really dumb thing is that like so many stores Chiffreo closes for lunch at 12PM. Had the dumb guy helped Dave he would not have had to wait 30 minutes and close at 12:30PM. Dave was pissed but amused, see the pic of him cutting lumber. The mezzanine is finished, strong and costs about 1/3 (400 Euros) of what a contractor would have charged. Now the garage looks tidy and the only thing left to do is paint the floor.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pizza is best served with love and Italian vino

I made a special pizza for Alanea while Dave was planning the garage mezzanine and wondering whether he should spend his money building a storage area or an Arc (as in Noah). If I have to go out and round up 2 of everything I think that 2 Sangliers will take up most of the mezzanine (no room for wine) so we probably should just build an Arc and be done with speculation about the fucking weather (oops did I say fucking or was that Dave). The pizza was very good (we have 3 pieces left) and will last at least until the helicopters find us floating in the Med.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What a crazy week for me.

The rain came down from the sky like I have never seen, Dave said it was worse than June 15, 2010 when we had bad flooding in the neighbourhood, lots of fancy emergency equipment and Pompiers. This time there was more rain however the flooding was contained to the lowest areas. That said the water was almost over the main road. Roquebrune Sur Argens remains closed to traffic and Dave had to go the long way to Castorama (like home depot) because he wants to build a mezzanine. Pierre and Claire left on Friday, Heinz and Francoise will come soon. George and Birgit are freezing in Demark, Alex is driving all over the Var and Anne went to England on Sunday after a drive to Nice in the pouring rain. Dave misses Alanea but gets a lot of work done while she is in Canada visiting her dear mother. I took a few pics enjoy. In case you are feeling sorry for me, in January and February it will be sunny and 15 degrees. I will have lunch outside with Alanea and Dave on New Years day. Dave says that I am starting to stink from walking in the rain so I am going to hide now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Victoria College alumni summit in the Var, Rose tasting in disguise

Sorry about the photos, still working on why Julie's great photos only half loanload to my computer. These are the best that I can do for now.

Tom & Julie made it to Chez Tiffer and settled in very quickly. Alanea says that she is writing this post since I'm too young to remember those good old days.

With good friends you can just start talking as if no time had gone by....that's exactly what happened lots of talking in between rose tasting. Tom and Dave could hardly get a word in so they resorted to driving "the girls" up steep roads to scare them.....didn't really work but it gave us something else to talk about.

We had a wonderful, too short visit. We hope they will come back next year for longer. There are so many more places to explore together.

PICs to follow, problem with compatibility of Julies camera and my software

That's me!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gorges du Verdun

Dave, Alanea, Pierre, Claire and I went for a drive to the Gorge which is the Grand Canyon of France. We drove a total of 217 km and saw lots of things. The roads were very narrow and winding but I did not get sick. Pierre drove and Dave navigated when Claire and Alanea were not telling Pierre what to do. There was a bungy jumper jumping from a bridge which was 190 metres high, crazy.

Dave with new bike in front of wagon full of grapes

On this ride Dave had the group stop while he had this photo taken. The grape was very sweet as was the ride.

Pizza in France

This is an authentic French pizza made by Dave in our new kitchen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1 year later

Sept 12, 2011 marked the beginning of year 2 for us in France. We keep saying that we should have kept a better diary of our experiences however it is well accepted that whe world does not need yet another book about survival in PACA (Provence / Alpes / Cote d'Azur) or does it. From a little dog's perspective new things are intriguing and smell different therefore everything requires thorough scrutiny.

Just when you think that you have everything figured out, Dave drinks Coors Light, Alanea likes champagne and I get a raw food diet from Bark & Fitz in the Beach in Toronto where I walk on the sand every day they go and change things dramatically. Now I eat Canadian dry kibble imported from England (and madelenes), Dave drinks Rose and Alanea still likes champagne. Fortunately I am adaptable, where my people are is the best place for me.

We have visited lots of the 100's of wineries in the area, we have had lunch in many of the small towns that dot the countryside, we have walked on the beach at St Aygulf and taken a boat ride from Les Issambre to St. Tropez but we have not seen BB.

Dave has joined a cycling club called ASR Roquebrunoise (Amicale Sportive (Socialable)Roquebrune). He was doing well until the heavy hitters showed up in the spring then things got tough. When Dave returned from 4 weeks in Canada with a new bike things were worse as 4 weeks of no riding and lots of Coors can be bad for average wattage output. He now is riding stronger again but lags behind on tough hills. The best he can do for now is 4th or 5th however the gauntlet is down and coming wattage up. I think that the Computrainer will see the light of day soon.

I have met lots of very good friends. I live at Villa 24. 23 is Francoise and Heinz from Switzerland, 25 is my friends Pierre and Claire from Paris (they have nice grandchildren that talk to me in French through the fence. George and Birgit from Denmark live across the road, they are fun friends and they like me too.

Alex, Tatiana and their son Stephan are from St Petersburg in Russia. They are learning English and French fast and Stephan is going to school here now. He is a good boy but is unsure about me.

Ted and Irna are from Holland, Anne and Pascal from Lille, Judy and Roger from Australia, Chuck and Dianne from England.

Anne from England lives here all of the time and her son James visits from Kent in England. She is very nice and lets me out sometimes when Dave is away for a few hours if Alanea is not home. Dave cuts her grass and helps with little problems. Anne's husband passed away a few years ago and she is a real trooper, I like her to come here because she knows where the cookies are and she talks to me.

There are lots of little dogs around here but I don't play much with them. I sometimes look at Lola the Boxer through the fence but she is a big girl. There are 4 other Yorkies but they are yappy and immature.

A farmer named Gerrard grows olives behind my house, I now have 2 olive trees that I let Alanea take care of, Dave bought a new one for the 1 year anniversary.

It is fun here most of the time but gets very hot in July and August. Dave was in Canada in August and Alanea said the traffic was very heavy so she spent a lot of time at the pool. Alanea is now a great swimmer but I cannot go to the pool. Nothing much happens in France except vacations in August.

Alanea is busy as always working on her business and reading Ango Info and other web sites. I sit on a click clak couch and watch her work. She was going to sell my click clak couch but decided not to do it. Thank goodness.

Dave and Alanea play golf a few times per week and I have to stay home. Alanea is good golfer, Dave is a hacker. That is a drag however I do need to rest occassionally as you see by the new pic I like the lounger in the yard.

We are only an hour and 30 minutes from Alassio in Italy where the picture of Dave was taken. Alassio is nice because there is a long pier to walk on. Italy feels different, the pasta is finer and I like the drive along the coast road. Our friends from Toronto Rick and Karin bought a nice house on the coast and we go there often.

The house is fully furnished the garden is great for me. There is a wonderful new pave terrasse and an umbrella to shade Dave from the sun while he has an afternoon aperitif and Alanea works.

Alanea and Dave bought a lot of nice wine at the annual Foir aux Vin (a big sale on wine).

I will add to this in a few days. Let me know if you need any info I am full of it.


Friday, September 2, 2011

OK OK OK Dave got a new bike

Dave is a PIA he wants to show off his new bike. I just had a bath and Alanea will come home later to be with me.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August in the South of France

Sorry for the lack of posts....July and August have been so hot I have been the King of the Siesta....on the cool tile floor and Alanea feeds me ice cubes shaped like stars to keep me cool.

That's what all these people on the beach under the umbrellas are doing...keeping cool and swimming in the sea. I don't like the sea it tastes salty. Alanea likes the pool but I don't like that either...it's too wet.

The lovely grapes are right by our house and part of my 3 km walk....although last time I had to be carried part of the way it got so hot by 9 in the morning....and then there were more ice cubes. Before we knew it Dave was on his way home and our lovely neighbour George picked him up at Nice airport. Dave is very happy to be home in France and he thanks all his friends and family for allowing him to drink their beer and stay over night in Toronto and Woodstock. I would suggest that you consider buying some Coors stock before the next quarter results and sell a few days after.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Roquebrune Marche Nocture and Village pics

Dave and Alanea took me to the Market at night "Marche Nocture". It was really 6PM. Dave took a few Village pictures on Saturday. They are mixed to give everyone a sense of what a small French village is like and how it has not changed for many years (like Dave). Alanea is very good to me. We went for a walk on the beach at 7AM today. Dave was scandalized by what he saw. I cannot post a pic. Alanea laughed. I saw Maiken and Jens from Demark again today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More evidence that there is a God, perhaps she lives in Switzerland

Our neighbours' son and his beautiful wife (my friend) brought Dave some Coors Light from Zurich. The 10 bottles were gone before you could say "contraband". Alanea gracefully declined Dave's offer of a mere sip of the Nectar of the Gods. The expiry date was not a problem. Today is July 20, 2011 the wind is blowing like crazy. Alanea calls it the Mistral but it keeps me awake at night. Dave said that it will stop tomorrow but George's daughter does not believe Dave so she is holding on to her bikini top. Her husband Jens is a Tour de France fan so Dave and he talk about that while I peed on the fence.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dave & Alanea's boat trip to St. Tropez without me!!!

Dave said it was too hot to take me, so Anne my friend came over to watch me and let me out for a nice pee. Here are a few pictures. There is a pic of Alanea on the Espadon (boat) to St. Tropez, an aweful looking scultpure, St Maxime from the boat, skinny models at a photo shoot on the street, inside a fancy shoe store that uncle James would like and Dave on the same boat. St. Tropez is hard to get to by car because of the traffic so Dave and Alanea took the boat from Les Issambre, they were very POSH (port out starboard home). They had a very nice lunch at a little restaurant (Petrus). John McEnroe was scheduled to play tennis at a specially constructed court across the street from the restaurant last evening. Dave concluded that he will never drive to St Tropez again as the boat is so easy and he can drink at lunch. Sorry about the lack of updates, please sign up as a follower and let me know how you like this blog. If enough people like it maybe it will be a hit and I can buy more biscuits.