17. Phallus impudicus

Some mushrooms appeared on our lawn. Well, that’s too grandiose; weedy grass would be more accurate. They looked like those you can buy in the shops, white on top, pink underneath and they peeled easily. Living in foreign parts we decided on caution and took them to the local pharmacie. The chemist looked at oneContinue reading “17. Phallus impudicus”

16. Toad’s tool

Forget playground jokes about how the fairy became pregnant. This is a serious post. Toad’s Tool is the first, and only, graphically oriented Super Mario 64 level editor. Does that mean anything to you? Me neither. An acclaimed scientific journal claims that ‘mankind has hankered after a tool that can detect impending seismic activity’. ItContinue reading “16. Toad’s tool”

15. Pigeon pie

Well, here we are, again, back at square one; maybe square two as the schools are open this time. It makes the title of this blog, freefromlockdown.com, look increasingly jaded. Not that many people actually read these posts, although there is one stalwart from China who rarely misses a day, but never comments. We areContinue reading “15. Pigeon pie”

14. Oh deer………

We were having breakfast on the terrace when we heard the hounds baying among the trees up on the hill in front of us. We have nothing against hunting per se because we can see the damage that farmers have to tolerate. The main culprits around here are the sangliers or wild boar and itContinue reading “14. Oh deer………”

13. Murder hornets

We were lingering over a long Sunday lunch when there were two loud bangs which shook the windows. The military don’t fly over us at weekends so they weren’t the culprits. Beside the house is the orchard and opposite, on the other side of the country road, is a converted barn – the home ofContinue reading “13. Murder hornets”

12. The fastest game in the world?

If you’ve driven through towns or villages in this south west corner of France you must have passed a fronton, like this one adjoining the church in the captivating village of Ainhoa. Look for a church and you’ll probably find a fronton, maybe sharing one of its walls. This is the playground of pelote (pelotaContinue reading “12. The fastest game in the world?”

11. Knobs………and nobs

Multi-coloured and vibrant, but what are they? Just  decorative baubles at an Eco Fair?Perhaps we all need some colour in our lives these days. The title of this blog freefromlockdown.com now seems dated. No sooner do we think the corner has been turned than we’re told it hasn’t been. We’re not free yet and noContinue reading “11. Knobs………and nobs”

10. We’re having a heatwave…….

  …. a tropical heat wave, the temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising, she certainly can can-can….Irving Berlin wasn’t referring to the weather when he composed this. It would not be PC to write this many years on when the summers seem to get hotter and hotter and the damage to property and wildlife is moreContinue reading “10. We’re having a heatwave…….”

9. On parade

What do these people have in common? Charlotte Church, the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sting with Pavarotti, and  Kiri Te Kanawa?  Not much you might say, but they have all recorded César Franck’s captivating setting of Panis Angelicus, part of a hymn  written by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century to celebrate theContinue reading “9. On parade”

8. The bank with no money

Is cash out and the contactless card in? The French bank notified us that we can tap up to 50 euros, which is a giant leap forward in a part of the country where people delve into their bags or pockets for their cheque book.  Technology moves slowly in the deep SW and a cheque-lessContinue reading “8. The bank with no money”