Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My best friends at Christmas 2012

Oscar sent me a Christmas picture and here it is.  We had oysters and Champagne last night.  Dave is an old shucker from away back and Alanea makes very good risotto with (Canadian) scallops.  Alanea spoke to her mother last night on Face Time a really cool computer thing on her iMac.  See the screen.  I am going to Italy tomorrow for a few days in a nice hotel that Alanea booked on Marriott points.  She is very lucky to have those points because the hotel costs almost nothing and they upgrade me to a superior room.  This is our 3d Christmas in France and it is very quiet here.  I am going for a big Christmas day walk in a few minutes.  Enjoy the photos more to come especially after Italy.  If you have questions let me know.  See you soon Oscar. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dec. 23 and counting

On my walk yesterday Alanea took photos of me beside the cepages sign.  Note the grape varieties that grow a Domaine de Plane beside us.  I am going to email Oscar to get a nice Christmas picture.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Big walk today

Today I went for a big walk up the hill to Domaine de Plane winery.  Dave always parks the car at the Grande Bastide (local producteurs grocery store) 2 km from our house and we walk 3km up the hill to the Domaine and back.  Alanea had the camera today and took our pictures.  Dave and me are beside the vine cuttings, Uncle Pierre from Paris knows what the cuttings are called but Dave forgot.  Alanea took a nice one of me resting in my new couch after the walk.  The sun was shining and it is warmer, 12 degrees.  Alanea likes to see the different signs designating the various cepages or varieties of grape.  It is quiet here this time of year but Francoise and Heinz just drove in from Switzerland.  Their house is beside ours but they only come a few weeks per year.  Lola has company too from Lyon, she lives across the street from me and she is a big boxer dog.  I will post her photo tomorrow.  I don't have a Christmas picture of Oscar yet but when I do it will be on the blogs too, he is probably swimming with Uncle Brad or James.  I can see snow on the mountain peaks but the mountains are a long distance from here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas season 2012

It is Christmas time again (my 11th Christmas) so Dave said I had to get to work on my Blogger.  I don't know what to say except that it is going to be a nice Christmas even if there is no snow LOL.  I will post every day from now until Dec 26th when I go to Italy with Dave and Alanea.  When I come back on Jan 1 I will have more photos and stories.  My friend Cargo sent me a nice card so I am posting that first.  Oscar send me a card too.  Dave made Chestnut flour pancakes today so that photo is on the Blogger too.  I was going to get my picture with Santa Claus at Carrefour but Dave would not take me because he wanted to go into the store and I am banned from Carrefour just because I have 4 feet.  OK so get ready I will post every day until Dec 26th.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Email to a friend

I emailed this to a friend this morning and thought it so profound that I felt obligated to shared my thoughts with La Monde.


It is December 1st 2012.  I am doing very well here in France.  The rain has stopped and the sun is out.  It will be 15 degrees today but there is a cool breeze.  It is the winter (hiver) season here in the Var but we do not get snow.  Now that the rain has stopped we may get a wind called the Mistral which is very strong and can blow you right off of your feet if you are not careful.  The beauty of the Mistral is that it only lasts 3 days.  When the Mistral is finished the sky is cloudless and so brilliant "brilliant" blue you can see the snow capped mountains to the north very clearly.

In 10 weeks the Mimosa trees branches will start to flower and the whole region will be bright yellow.  I walk with Dave and Alanea up a big long driveway (3km) to Domaine de Plane, a winery, beside our house and look out over the yellow trees.  There are horses beside the winery that people ride and groom every day.  The sun will get warmer and spring will be on the way soon.

We went out for dinner last night with some friends that Dave met at his French class.  We are going to drive to Italy on December 26 for a few days.  Driving to Italy takes about 1.5 hours but we will drive 4 hours to get to our destination.  Have you ever looked at a map to see where we live?

We went to England a few weeks ago to visit Brad and James, see next post, do you remember Oscar the little Schnauzer dog that lived at our other house in Toronto?

We like it here but sometimes we think it would be nice if we had a visitor.

Let me know if you have any questions about where we are or France in general.


That is Dave with a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau 2012.  A new release of this fresh young wine is eagerly awaited every 3d week of November.  Dave says it is not the finest vintage but it is fun.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Alanea and Dave finally took me to see my best friend Oscar in England.  Oscar and I were close friends in Toronto, we played together every day while Dave and Brad drank beer and James and Alanea worked.  Oscar moved to Guildford, England 6 years ago and I did not see him until Nov. 8, 2012, I thought about him every day and he thought about me too.  A lot of things have happened in 6 years including Oscar's hang gliding without a glider over the rocky 20 metre cliff in Cornwall a few years ago (he is perfect now but swims to keep his legs strong see photo).  Oscar spoils Brad and James but they like it.  We drove from Oscars house to Rock, a village in Cornwall (west England), and had a great time in a beautiful big house that Oscar rented for us for a week.  The nice Tesco grocery delivery man was impressed with the ratio of beverage to food in our order but how great it was to have a week's worth of groceries delivered within a hour of our arrival, so civilized.  We ran around like crazy on the beach when the daily tide was out and Dave found a pub with Coors Light in Padstow, he took a water ferry to get there but he was happy with the result.  I sat on Dave's lap until he was finished and then ate fish and chips while Alanea shopped in Padstow or did other more intellectual things.  We traveled around Cornwall to little villages, saw the remains of King Arthur's castle, went to St. Ives and did touristy stuff in Brad's new car which I found very comfy.  The roads are really narrow and windy with big hedges on each side and sometimes big black and white cows walking in the middle.  I have never driven on the left before.  Alanea and Dave finished off the trip with a trip to Canterbury Cathedral and Dover where JL was during WW2.  Enjoy a few photos, Dave has more if you want to see them just email him at fitt50ish@gmail.com.  Alanea may do another post but this is a good start I think don't you???  I love Oscar and we promised to get together again so Dave and Alanea had better start saving up money for my next air plane ride.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Champignons a sign of autumn in the Var

Dave and Alanea took me for a big walk through
Domaine des Planes winery next to our house....
it's a 1.5km walk straight uphill...luckily it's downhill
coming home....we saw amazing mushrooms...here are some pictures Alanea took....the French know which ones to pick but we just look...I think it's in their genes.
The lovely olive tree reminds us that we have NO olive crop this year so we will be picking all the olives of our neighbours who are not here....then we will have a big pot of olives in salt brine for about 6 weeks before they are ready to eat.
All this talk of agriculture is making me hungry...must
be time for a snack....they hide my biscuits for me so I can have the fun of the hunt.....I'm pretty good at finding them in record time.....but no champignons for me...unless I can learn to find Truffles and then I can pay for my own treats.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What a thing

I can hardly wait to see my friend Oscaroo The Schnauzeroo in the UK.  I am going with Dave and Alanea on Nov. 8 and I can hardly wait.  Oscaroo is my best friend except Alanea (Dave is a dink).  Oscaroo and I met in Toronto where we lived a few houses away from each other.  He used to come to my house and I went to his house every day depending on who had more Coors Light, Dave or Uncle Brad.  Poor James was either booting Dave out or dragging Brad home.  Oscar and I just played in the living room.  More on that subject to come.  On Saturday Dave was in the kitchen cooking all day long in preparation for the big birthday bash.  OK OK Alanea made her own birthday lunch but it was not just for her, and Dave would have screwed it up.  Auntie Karin and Uncle Rick were here too.  They are our big friends from Toronto that own a house a few KMs away from us on the coast.  Everyone had a good time as the photo shows.  I have posted a photo of me facing the wall today.  That's what happens when I don't get my dinner when I want it, I pout in the corner so there.  Dave has no sense of humor, just because I got him up at 05:30 for breakfast does not mean he should make me wait until 17:00 for dinner, I love me dini.  I will try to find a picture of Oscaroo.  It sure rained here yesterday.  I found Oscar's photo.  I added Cargo The Border Collie because he is special.  I love you Oscar, see you soon.  Cargo is a funny boy, he lives with my Auntie Sharon in Toronto (a special girl).
Cargo sent me a new picture after seeing himself on the blog.  He is running in the ravine where I used to run in Toronto.  One day when I was a puppy I scared Dave by running into the woods and when he found me I was sitting in a police car because 2 girls found me.  I was only missing for 10 minutes but Dave was mad about that and would not let me run anymore.  That was a bad day for me.  Dave did not tell ALanea that story for 8 years. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Road Trip to Dolce Fregate Golf Course

I went on a nice car trip yesterday with Dave and Alanea.  We went to the Dolce Fregate Golf Course to see it because Alanea wants to play golf there.  The Roquebune Club members have priveleges there meaning they can spend money there too.  Dave bought Nike arm warmers (for cycling) in the pro shop for 8 Euros.  There is a nice Hotel with everything for people but not much for me and Alanea would have to pay 25 Euros per night for me.  Alanea just got up I got to go, more later.  We have important guest coming today for lunch.  It is Alanea's birthday on Oct 23.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October in Southern France

It is October and the weather is cooler, the rain is falling and I like it better than hot hot hot.  I went for a walk this morning with Dave to one of my favorite places, The National Water Ski Teams lake.  There is a nice place for me to walk there.  Dave took a few pictures of the our terrasse, garden and olive orchard behind or house.  You should compare the garden with the earlier blog when the garden was newly planted.  Dave was a Benevole (volunteer) at a mountain bike race on Friday.  The race is the Roc d'Azur and there are 20,000 entrants in 6 or 8 different races.  Dave has posted a picture of the water station at the peak of the 80 km race with 2000 riders.  I am very busy these days watching Alanea work while Dave tends to a few properties.  Dave is curious about what followers would like to see on this blog.  Send him a note or email fitt50ish@gmail.com.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dave working and me supervising

We are into our 3d year in France and I have a new little couch that Alanea calls the Tarte Tropezienne.  Dave bought a real tarte and brought it home, it tastes very good and has cream inside.  Dave has been working on Anne's garden with his Brouette (wheelbarrow) and is now finished.  I am a supervisor and I watch Dave go off to work from my special place in the window.  He moved 7 tons of stone and laid Gazon Synthetique, nice job.  The weather has changed but is now tolerable, the summer was very hot.  I went for a walk yesterday at the Ski Nautique where people water ski, I love it there because I run with no leash and sniff everything.  Alanea was in Greece last week when Dave was working on the garden.  She brought nice Feta cheeze and olive oil home.  I had some cheese.  I have 4 new friends, but they are baby cats.  They were born just outside my fence in a water drainage pipe so I am watching them and barking when they get tooo close.  I would like to play with them but they are afraid of me and I cannot stop barking and wagging my tail at the same time.  Cats, who needs them?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Foire aux Vins

Dave and Alanea went to Carrefour today.  Usually a trip to Carrefour is preceded by a lot of moaning and groaning because neither of them enjoy the crowded, recession resistent grocery monolith that is Carrefour.  Carrefour is the what Loblaws in Canada wishes it could be, a destination, busy all of the time.  HOWEVER, once per year Alanea wakes up smiling, jumps out of bed and is out of the door before Dave can say corkscrew.  Yes the Foire aux Vins is the biggest wine sale of the year and it takes place in several locations.  Alanea is thrilled with her haul, why wouldn't she be thrilled, great Champagne, wine that you rarely see and all for a fraction of the price we paid in Canada.  Pizza and wine, a winning combination nes pas.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Glacon Garcon

Alanea calls me the Glacon Garcon because I love eating ice cubes and glacon is French for ice cube and a garcon is what I am, a boy, clever eh.  I don't care I will take the attention and it is so hot here I want 6 glacons every day.  Dave says eating ice cubes is weird especially after they have been soaked in Rose.  I pee more but that't OK.  I have new food too and I get Dave up every morning at 06:00 to eat it.  Alanea ordered it from a special place and it shows up at the door 4 days later like magic food.  It is September 3d and finally after relentless, sunny, hot 34 - 38 degree weather it is raining gently.  Dave said that the grapes will like it but it might be too late for some crops.  Dave got a new Garmin GPS for his bike but cannot go out in the rain.  I went for a nice walk yesterday.  The ocean was crashing into the rocks and Alanea was smiling at me.  She is lucky to have me around to watch her and make sure she is safe from Dave, he plays tricks on her.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Camera hurray

The NIKON is a piece of shit.  Sorry Dave said that, he was so frustrated with NIKON that he bought a new Panasonic Lumix for 2/3 of the cost of the NIKON repair. OH well Dave has a new camera and as Arnold would say "I am back".  I have been very busy but it has been too hot here to go outside much.  Even Dave who endured Woodstock winters and Toronto temperatures said it was hot and it still is hot.  We have had 2 short rainfalls in 4 months, maybe more months but it sure has been hot.  Dave has left me home a few times because he says it is too hot for me outside.  I still like it here and Alanea has bought me a new food that I really like.  I like it so much that I get Dave up at 06:00 every day to eat it.  I went walking yesterday at the water skiing lake and got so dirty Dave bathed me, he said I was a filthy boy but I loved getting dirty in the mud.  I am going to see Oscaroo in England in November which is very nice because he is my good friend and I have not seen him for 6 years.  He was only 2 or 3 when he moved to England with Brad and James.  Alanea might have bought a new computer, she is very quiet upstairs.  She has had the old one for 8 years and is now ready for an upgrade.  I will be in deep shit when she is figuring the new system out and I want attention.  Dave and I can sneek out and have a beer in the garage.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My 10th birthday

My 10th birthday and Dave still does not have a camera.  He figured out how to take a picture with his web cam.  Hi everyone sorry about the lack of posts.  Dave is negligent.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A blog with no photos day without beer

So Nikon has responded to my enquiry with a 110 euro invoice.  I called customer service but they are in Ireland.  Spoke to a great guy but he was not successful in convincing Nikon repair to drop the 30 euros delivery charge assuming that I opt for repair.  I can buy a new camera for 50 euros with a 1 year warantee WTF.  The guy in Ireland said that I should have a native French person call on my behalf as the repair folks may respond more positively to a French person, welcome to France.  I took an alternate route and contacted the Canadian office they asked me to send an email describing my experience to their customer service area.  I did this and have received a survey.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Camera to Nikon

Wouldn't you know it, the camera crapped out just over 2 years from the date of purchase.  It had a 1 year warantee.  The online return facility provided by Nikon is great but the Postal system like so many other little things give Dave a good laugh.  After packaging the camera in the original box and wrapping it in brown paper Dave went to the post office with all of the paper work.  The post office rejected the package and said that it should not be wrapped but sent just in the original box.  Dave took it out of the wrapping but the post office rejected the way Dave had taped the box closed.  Like so many other times the Mairie in Roquebrune S/A helped Dave by providing packing tape.  This time the post office could not have been more helpful.  So typically French, ya gotta love these people.  Not a free thinker in the bunch.  Give them a straight forward typical problem and they are absolute professionals, give them a challenge or something that requires thought or a deviation from the norm and they cannot deal with creativity.  Think I am wrong EH ask about the golf course fiasco this morning.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Notice to followers

I must apologize for the lack of posts.  The camera (2 years old and out of warantee) will not work, the shutter button is not working, so much for Nikon quality.  He will get another camera soon.  I am hot and lazy.  It will not rain, it is Toronto humide (weird for southern France), and relentlessly 32 degrees in the shade.  My favorite place is the clik clak couch in the office under the window and Alanea makes sure that the shutters are closed and the window open for a breeze for me.  It is getting busy here with more tourists on the roads and beaches.  Alanea just got back from her 20th trip (without me) to Moscow.  I am not very happy when she goes but she always comes back.  I will try to find a nice photo in the archives.  That is a bicycle made from profiteroles.  Dave hanging out.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Family and Friends

Here's me looking uber cool....what do you think of my sunglasses....actually borrowed from Alanea....I think they look pretty good on me.  It's getting very hot here....a straw hat might be next....I would look good in that too....but I draw the line at a bathing suit...I go "au naturel" on the beach.
Here are also some other family pics....Aggie and Kenzie...who is Artie's little sister....as you can see Artie is a Yorkie and almost as cute as me....the girls are cute too! And finally a picture of my dear friend Oscaroo from his boating trip....he is quite a sailor and takes his parents Brad and James with him for company.  I am looking forward to seeing them all in November when we visit.  Must go relax on the lounger now after all this typing.
PS Oscar is on a boat.  The picture must have been taken when a big wave hit or Dave does not know how to alter a pic taken with an iPhone.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux

David did a big race on Saturday so Alanea and I went with him to the race.  We stayed in a nice hotel in Orange but the race started in Beaume de Venise.  The race went over Mont Ventoux which is called the Giant of Provence and is 1907 metres.  Dave's time was 5:10.  Check out the photos.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roses are Red

Hi everybody Dave did it he figured out the problem with adding photos.  Today is a great sunny day.  Dave and Alanea took me walking to The Ski Nautique which is beside Chateau Vaudois.  The roses are at the end of each row of vines.  I posted a similar photo last year.
Alanea and Dave are taking me on a road trip tomorrow.  We are going to Beaumes de Venise which is close to Avignon and Orange.  Dave is doing a big bike race and is looking forward to it very much as there will be lots of people and the race goes over Mount Ventoux.  He will get another jersey and eat lots of good food.  When the race is finished Dave and Alanea will relax.  I of course cannot relax because it is a big job to watch those 2.

Chateau Vaudois May 31, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012 a very dismall day

Today is a great day for blogging, in fact it is not good for much except blogging.  It is raining and very windy outside.  Dave took my picture too show everyone how rainy it is.  Dave put a big piece of wood in front of the olive tree to stop it from blowing over.  All of the planted trees have support and now that the olive tree has grown so much it will need support too.  Alanea is going to Greece next week so Dave and I will be home and making our own lunch.  When Alanea gets back we are going for a car trip so stay tuned.