Thursday, 13 December 2012

what we had for dinner today

A few weeks ago we tried a mushroom torte bought from the local supermaket.  We quite enjoyed it so today Nigel had a go at making one.   Below is his recipe.


2 x 230g packets ready rolled flaky pastry
360g sliced mushrooms
200g good quality smoked lardons
200ml crème fraises
1 medium onion diced
3 garlic cloves crushed
Knob of butter
1 tbs plain flour
1 tsp herbs de Provence (mixed herbs)
½ tbs olive oil
1 egg beaten

1.         Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and lardons.  Cook gently until the onions are soft and the lardons are cooked through.
2.         Add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs and cook for about 5 minutes.
3.         Add the knob of butter and when melted add the plain flour.  Cook for about 1 minute, and then start to add the crème fraises a little at a time stirring continuously until you have a thick sauce.
4.         Once the sauce is of the desired consistency simmer for about 5 minutes, season as required.  Turn of the heat and allow to cool.
5.         Pre-heat the oven to 220˚C (475˚F, gas 7).
6.         Lay 1 pastry circle on a baking sheet and spoon the creamy mushroom filling in to the middle spread in to a circle leaving a 1 inch gap from the edge.  Brush the gap with beaten egg or cold water, lay the 2nd pastry circle over the mixture and seal the edge.  Brush the top with beaten egg and place in the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry cooked and golden.
7.         Once cooked allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, 16 November 2012


On Tuesday afternoon we had a visit from Joseph, a local chap we get our straw from, and there was this little dog in the garden, he shrugged and said "peut-etre chasse" (maybe a hunt dog), she was so friendly and Joli had a great time playing with her.  When Joseph left the little dog chased his car up the road and round the corner and we thought that was that.  Well half an hour later I went out to go on my afternoon walk and there she was sat at the gate begging to come in.  When we opened the door she was in! and now she's moved in lock stock and barrel!  We took her up to the vets to see if she had a chip - no chip, no tattoo, no name tag or number, so we put a note on the vets wall, we went to report her to the Maire's office, put her on Chien Perdu and Anglo Info.  Well so far no-one has claimed her or enquired so it looks like she's staying.  We'll wait till after the weekend then take her back to the vets to get her checked out.  She seems really healthy, still very young, lovely white sharp teeth, we've wormed her and she doesnt seem to have fleas, she's had a powder bath (pic above) and lots of brushing and she is constantly hungry and thirsty and is very restless and yappy.  Our main concern is that she might be in the early stages of pregnancy so we need to get that checked out and cross that bridge if and when we come to it, but all in all it looks like we have another dog as a companion for Joli.  At the moment she is Nigel's shadow and definitely responds more to his commands than mine (its always the same).  She doesn't seem like a chasse dog to us and she is more or less house-trained (apart from the odd accident) asking to go out at the door.  It would be nice to know her story, very sad if she has been dumped, very sad for her previous owners if she has got lost, but in that case why is she so happy to stay and not try and leave to find her way home, we can't get rid of her let alone need to keep her here!  Unfortunately it is a sad fact that lots of dogs get dumped all the time, personally I can't get my head round how anyone could do it.  The lady at the Mairee's office said to put her back out on the street and she would find her way home but Nigel and I just couldn't leave her on the street, our garden isn't secure so she could go any time she wanted but she doesn't want to!  Will continue to post updates.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


It's been so long since I posted I thought I'd better do a quick update!  I am now at exactly the same stage as my last posting but in this case with the other hip.  I did really well for a short time doing plenty of walking but unfortunately both my right knee and back were giving me a lot of grief.  I went back to see Dr Bled in St Brieuc and he arranged for me to have more physio sessions on my knee (the x-rays on my knees showed I have no arthritis in my knees - thank goodness), another injection into my spine to help with that pain and to go and get fitted for special insoles for my shoes to correct the way I walk (my knees knocking together due to the hips).

After the physio on my knee and the injection in my lower spine I felt so good I did lots of exercise, unfortunately the more I walked the worse my left hip got!  When I saw Dr Boscher (my surgeon) at my 6-week appointment after the first operation he asked me if I wanted to go ahead and get the other hip done.  I said I didn't feel I was ready because of the pain I was getting in my right knee (this was before I saw Dr Bled and had the extra physio) as I didn't feel my right leg would be strong enough to hold me up when the left one was out of action.  He decided we would give it a bit longer and made an appointment for me to go back and see him again at the beginning of July. 

I went back to see Dr Boscher on 3rd July and the x-rays showed my left hip was in just about as bad a state as my right hip had been so he booked me in for his first day back after holidays to do the same operation on the left side.  I went into hospital on Sunday 19th August, had the operation the next morning and came home again the following Sunday.  The surgery went well, apparently there was a little scare in the recovery room, I think the drain from the wound became blocked and they had to put in a second drain but nothing major to worry about.  After the first horrible couple of days I found this time in hospital much easier than the last because I was much stronger, I had built up the strength in my right leg and arms so could move myself about much easier.  I also didn't seem to have as much pain as the first time and Nigel and I think maybe I had a little infection in the wound the first time, I know this time they seemed to be keeping me pumped full of antibiotics for ages.

I've now finished my injections and physio for my left hip replacement and am really happy with it, it seems to have been much easier this time and my left hip is brilliant.  I am now walking really well, still with one crutch but I don't think that will be for too long, I hardly have any pain when walking.  My main problem now seems to be in the right leg, the hip is great but there is a muscle or tendon or something in my groin which is very painful when I raise my leg, ie climbing.  I have to lift my leg to get into bed and can't get through the night without pain.  Something to bring up with Dr Boscher when I see him on Tuesday!

Friday, 6 April 2012

First Month Over!

Well thank goodness!  I had my last physio session this morning and yesterday I had the last of my daily visits from the nurse to give me an injection into my tummy!  I can hardly believe I have been home from hospital for a whole month.  Now it is up to me to keep up my walking regime to strengthen my new hip and leg muscles.

I went into hospital on Wednesday 29th February and had my operation on Thursday 1st March.  I was out of bed sitting in a chair for a couple of hours on Friday 2nd, had my first walk on a zimmer frame on Saturday 3rd and was up on crutches and managing stairs on Monday 5th.  On Wednesday 7th Nigel picked me up and took me home - what a whirlwind!  The physiotherapist in hospital told me to walk for an hour a day, first of all split into 6 x 10 minute sessions, gradually lengthening the sessions as I got stronger.  In total I have had 12 physio sessions, 6 in the first 2 weeks at home and 3 a week for the past two weeks at the physio's office.  The last 6 sessions at the physio office have consisted of me lying on a bench surrounded by a cage, my leg being connected up with bungies and pullies and weights and doing repetitive lifts and stretches.  It was exhausting and hard work but now, 4 weeks later I am finally starting to walk with only one crutch! (On the deck that is, I think I will need both crutches for a little longer when walking up the road outside our house - it is very steep!)  I try to walk out on the road several times a day but the rest of my walking is done on our decking in the garden which is totally flat.  Here is a picture of me on the deck just after I came out of hospital with Pataud trotting along behind me!  Now he justs sits on the grass and watches me!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Hip Replacement Operation

After putting up with so much pain with my hips things are finally moving forward!  Dr Bled, the consultant at St Brieuc referred me last June/July to see the surgeon at the Polyclinic in Pontivy with a view to surgery on my arthritic hips.  I got in to see Dr Boscher at the Polyclinic in August filled with hope that I would be going in for the operation soon after.  All my hopes were dashed however when Dr Boscher said I was too young for the operation and would have to wait.  He told me to make an appointment for February and have more x-rays so he could see the rate of degeneration.  To say I was disappointed was an understatement!  I cried so much on the way home and that evening that its a wonder I wasn't dehydrated, the amount of tears I shed!  After seeing my gp, Dr Manet, I came round to understanding Dr Boscher's reasoning and fully expected to have to wait probably several years before I got the operations.  I went to see Dr Boscher again on Tuesday 7th February, had the x-rays taken and went into his consulting room resigned to being put off again.  Imagine my surprise, and elation, when he said he could see how much pain I was in and did I want to go ahead with the hip replacement operation!  Yes please I said and he booked me in there and then for Thursday 1st March for the right hip and said I would probably get the left one done a month or so after. 

Tomorrow I go for all my pre-op tests, I have an appointment with Dr Bauleret the cardiologist I saw last year, at 9am (early start), then over to the Polyclinic for a 10.30 appointment with the ear, nose and throat specialist and then a 1.30 appointment with the anaesthetist.  All being well I will go into hospital at 3pm on Wednesday 29th February and have the operation on Thursday 1st March.  Dr Boscher told me I would be up and sitting in a chair the next day and would only be in hospital for 5 days so that means I should be home by Monday 5th or Tuesday 6th if not before!  I was given a prescription which I filled at the chemist for two rolls of elastic bandages and a couple of crutches (I had to pay 34 euros towards the bandages though - very expensive bandages!).  We had a visit last week from a couple of reps from our health insurance company Generali who confirmed all my hospital and operations costs would be covered by our insurance and the bill would be sent direct to them which relieved me a great deal, the idea that we would have to pay the bill and get reimbursed was a huge worry!

Monday, 2 January 2012


Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog!  My new year's resolution - to keep my blog up to date!