Tag Archives: Cognac

La Coupe De Brousse…(The Bush Trimmer…)

Wayne how the fuck am I goin to pick this

You may have read previously about the Porters paying a flying visit back to the UK from France in order to pick up and transport a mini-excavator back over the Channel. The journey took them through Paris (see Paris Or Bust…)

Well, the excavator has been put to use and word has gone round. Wayne is now working around the local area as more people have become aware of the service he can now provide, and more and more work has been rolling in…

He’s now digging trenches, land-filling and landscaping amongst other things with his new machine. In between this he squeezes in the work on the farm with the Ostriches, vines, and work on their own house. Its actually non stop at the moment.

This all going on while Kerry returns to the UK for her week long stay every 3rd week, to work hands on in the offices in Manchester. Then travelling via Tram/bus/taxi and lifts, to which-ever place her diary dictates during that week long stay. I tend to bump into her around 9pm each evening as she manages to return back to my house to crawl to bed. The last time she came over I managed to squeeze a night out with her into the hectic schedule she kept, just before she returned back to France.

I met her down in Manchester with her friend from work at around 7pm that Friday evening and caught up with them in a bar-come restaurant on High Street in the Northern quarter, where they were ensconced at a table for two upstairs. I was going to wait down stairs at the bar until they were finished, but to the waitresses dismay, I was convinced to drag a chair over and block her route through the room and join them at their table.

I gathered the waitress saying, “Oh no its finnnne..” and her smiles were a trifle insincere when she clocked me with her elbows behind the ear a couple of times in passing.

Once seated, I sat and watched them munch their way through the variety of Mexican food placed before them, nursing my beer and slowly salivating and trying not to. To be fair they didn’t take long to lick their plates clean (in a lady like fashion) and we headed across the street to another bar.

What then followed was around a 24 mile hike drinking at various establishments. Just as I would stop sweating and catch my breath, it would be,

“Why don’t we go…”

And another forced march. I had told my wife to expect us home for around 10pm so you can imagine my surprise to find I had criss-crossed the city center a number of times, and now discovered I was on Deansgate having visited Piccadilly Train station en-route to drop Kerry’s friend off. It was, I discovered, now 12.30/1am in the morning and as the fresh air hit me I was also made aware that I was reasonably convincingly drunk and was faced with one of Kerry’s concerted yomps, to catch a tram from Shude Hill.

We did make it all-beit using that old favourate, one step forwards, two sideways and the two backwards shuffle. Which when you think about it ensures you get to your destination only if you head there backwards.

me and kez

It was I have to add an excellent night one I don’t get to do often enough with my sister..

A couple of days later, Kerry duly returned home to Wayne who had been beavering away with his excavator during Kerry’s absence with his own stories to tell.

What he has built outside the house now, is what you could only describe as a bungalow. Its all a matter of perspective of course, it actually being a home to house the Porters newest additions – the 3 chickens that they have bought. But even to a human eye its a big structure with everything available for the welfare of these new creatures. From a chickens point of view though, the ceiling must go on forever…It must cost a fortune just to line it with bales of hay..

Kerry went with a neighbor to buy the chickens, Francios’ mum Agatha, a 70 something year old, typical farming no-nonsense lady. Kerry’s French has improved daily since, but at the time the conversation during the journey in the car was a little vague, although Agatha happily talked none stop. Leaving Kerry to throw in an odd “Oui” or “Non” or guestimating her response depending on what she imagined the question had sounded like. While Agatha who also had no idea what Kerry was saying, but bulled on through the conversation like women everywhere do..

It went long the lines of,

“Ho frisés, quand avez-vous décidé de poulets”
(“Ho Curly, when did you decide you wanted chickens?”)

A look inviting Kerry to speak.

“Poulets? Ah! Chicken! I love chicken sandwiches! I love the sky so blue and clear! Oui!”
(“Poulets? Ah! Poulet! J’aime sandwichs au poulet! J’aime le ciel si bleu et clair! Oui“)

“Oui? Très bon! J’ai eu des poulets depuis que je suis petite fille. Ils ont nourri ma pères de famille pendant la guerre!”
(“Yes? Very good! I have had chickens since I was a small girl. They fed my fathers family during the war!”)

“Really? Your father? I see. (not) He road a bicycle then?”
(“Vraiment? Votre père? Je vois. (pas) Il route un vélo alors“)

En effet. Les Allemands auraient confisqué les avaient ils les ont trouvés. les porcs
(“Indeed. The Germans would have confiscated them had they found them. The pigs!”)

“It was a german bicycle! Ah. Oui! And he had pee..pii.pig! Pigs! Indeed! He also rode a pig?
(“C’était un vélo allemand! Ah. Oui! Et il avait pipi .. pii.pig! Porcs! En effet! Il a également la route un cochon?”)

“Oui. Tous les porcs. Porcs allemands. Porcs anglais. Tout le monde est un cochon! Votre cochon bouclés!”
(“Oui. All pigs. German pigs. English pigs. Everyone is a pig! Your a curly pig!”)

“I love bacon. Mmmmmmm. I love pig!!”
(“J’aime le lard. Mmmmmmm. J’aime porc!!”)

And they laughed together all the way to the farmers market.

Where they bought our new friends who Kerry and Wayne now know as Ginger (Black/ginger colored chicken) Betty (Because she looks like a chubby old lady chicken and Betty fitted.(?)) And lesbian Mary, (white chicken) (because fuck knows)

These new pets are providing the household with regular free free range eggs, if, the Porters can find them when they wander into the vastness that is the chicken hut to look. I believe a ball of string and regulars shouts of “Alls well!.” every ten seconds as they wade deeper into the building are encouraged, to maintain contact with the outside world…

All the chickens produce eggs that have that lovely vivid yellow yoke that come with real free range eggs. Lesbian Mary in particular lays eggs in monster proportion scale. They seem to be pre-historic, knobbly and larger than normal. And what’s more, Mary’s eggs and only Mary’s eggs , are double yokers every time..

I think it’ll turn out she was infected by something radioactive that had been carelessly discarded when she was a chick…

The Chickens

Wayne has had his own moments with Nicole Pierre’s wife, while Kerry was away back in the UK. It was one of those days when he was attempting to fit in the work on the farm whilst continuing his now on-going work with the digger.

He had been accosted by Nicole in passing. Wayne and Kerry help on the farm with the management of the Ostriches. Pierre being a retired Vet, has an assortment of animals for the Porters to contend with. So Unusual request’s aren’t uncommon. (see The Yokes On Wayne, Dance Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Ron, Vive Le Garlic (Long Live The Garlic)…)

This stoic old lady had accosted Wayne with an urgent job that needed doing. She had tried to get Pierre to do the work and he had pointed her in Wayne’s direction having no inclination to have a go himself, and rightly so.

Again, while Wayne is valiant in his attempts at fitting into the way of life in France, his actual spoken french still needs a lot of work. So his conversation with Nicole was if anything more prone for misunderstanding.

“Ah Wayne. Juste l’homme J’ai besoin de parler à!”
(“Ah Wayne. Just the man I need to speak to!”)

“Hello! How are you madame? well I hope?”
(“Bonjour! Comment êtes-vous madame? J’espère bien“)

“Eh bien? Non! J’ai besoin de votre aide. J’ai un arbre qui a besoin de rognage. Êtes-vous libre”
(“Well? No! I need your help. I have a tree that needs trimming. Are you free?”)

“I’m sorry madam. A arbre? A bucket? A spoon? Pardon. I don’t understand..”
(“Je suis désolé madame. Un arbre ? Un seau? Une cuillère? Pardon. Je ne comprends pas…”)

Old lady rolls her eyes…

“Mon dieu. Un arbre. Un arbre! Attendez! Un buisson? oui! Un Buisson”
(“My god. A tree. A tree! Wait! A bush? yes! A bush?”)

“A Buisson? Buiss..bui..Ah! Buisson! Bush? Yes! Oui! You have a bush?”
(“Un Buisson? Buiss .. u .. Ah! Buisson! Bush? Oui! Oui! Vous avez un Buisson?”)

(The final word gave way to a pause and a bit of hesitancy..)


“(Cher Dieu) Oui! Oui! J’ai un buisson. Un gros buisson. Il a besoin de rognage. Pouvez-vous couper mon Buisson??”
(“(Dear God)Yes! Yes!! I have a bush. A BIG bush. It needs trimming. Can you trim my bush??”)

“You have a bush? Yes? A Gross bush? Gros? That you want me to mow? Cut? Trim? Trimmm!! You have a bush, a massive bush, you want me to trim!! Yes!! Wait..you have a..Massive bush…(Oh Jesus..)

(“Vous avez un buisson? Oui? Un buisson brut? Gros? Que vous voulez que je tonds? Couper? Coupez? Coupez! Vous avez un buisson, un buisson massif, vous voulez que je rogne! Oui! Attendez .. vous avez un buisson .. Massive … (Oh Jésus ..)”)

Well. Wayne’s nothing but game. Put a problem before him, any problem, and he’ll tackle it. Over come it, learn by his mistakes and know exactly how to do it properly from there-on-in. Never afraid to try.

“It Can Be Done” should be Waynes motto.

So as you can imagine upon translating what the old lady wanted doing theres was nothing else for it in Wayne’s eyes. He just squared his shoulders. Looked her straight in the eye and as dignified as he could he said,

Madame. It would be my honour, (Bow’s head even) Nay, My privilege, To trim your massive bush…
(“Madame. Il serait mon honneur, (la tête de Bow même) Non, mon privilège, Pour couper votre brousse massif…”)

Satisfied he finally understood she smiled at him, reached up and patted him kindly on the cheek and said,

“Oui, un bon garçon. Je vais attendre dans la cuisine pour vous”
(“Yes, your a good boy. I’ll wait in the kitchen for you..”)

It was with some surprise she opened the kitchen door to his hesitant knock 10 minutes later so see Wayne stood there, shoulders squared looking determined, clutching a tiny pair of scissors, which seemed even smaller in his large hands. The Old lady was confused for a moment, and looked from the scissors back to Wayne and said,

“Mon garçon Dieu. Vous serez là toute la journée avec ces petites choses! Mon Bush est énorme!! .. Vous devrez peut-être vous Digger…”

My God lad. You’ll be there all day with those little things! My Bush is enormous!!..You may need your digger…”

It was about this point that Wayne swooned.

Even Wayne has to draw a line somewhere.

The Yokes On Wayne..


The Porters have paid a fleeting visit back to the Manchester. This time in order to pick up a car for Wayne to drive back mid-week while Kerry works on till Sunday, then follow Mr. Porter home. Kerry and Wayne have been making do, driving Wayne’s van around, looking, like a couple of professional tinkers.

Its not the sort of vehicle you potter about in in high heels and tiny skirt. Its more designed for boots and muck. And towing excavators round Paris…(See Paris Or Bust)

So, the Idea for the car is to have a more comfortable drive around Cognac, so that when they visit someone it doesn’t look like they’re going to pull up in a cloud of diesel smoke, knock on the occupants and door and ask if they want their drive tarmacing or do they want this old tin bath Monsieur?

Also the main reason is so Kerry can drive herself to the airport on the monthly visits back here and leave the car parked when she lands back in France. This will save Wayne a 4 hour exhausting round-trip, to drop her off and pick her up each time she journeys to-and-from the UK.

They have been busy on the house over the last 3 weeks, concentrating work on the barn conversion, with an eye towards renting it out as a holiday venue for people visiting the area during the summer. This has also involved working on the front and back gardens to make it more presentable.


(Looking back towards the front of the house after working on the garden)


(Looking in the opposite direction before work on the garden, after fitting part of the fencing)

In between all this they continue to work on the farm, looking after the Ostriches. And finding at times its not all fun. The birds are moved into various fields as they grow larger. But sometimes, once they’re in the field, its obvious they’re not quite large enough. So Kez and Wayne will get the shout to bring back a couple of the smaller birds until they’re big enough to move back into the field. This involves bringing a trailer round, loading them in and driving them back into the immediate farm area.

This happened to two of the younger birds, who were duly transported back to the farm. It was upon the arrival back at the starting point, that Kerry was in the kitchen talking to Pierre, when she looked outside to see one of the youngsters panting heavily, taking gulping breathes, having a panic attack in fact.

By the time they rushed outside the youngster had dropped to the floor and was lay obviously distressed, not breathing properly and seemingly running out of energy. Pierre, a retired vet, immediately gave the bird a shot of adrenalen, and it somewhat recovered.

“The wheel barrow. Fetch the barrow Kerry and we’ll load the bird in and take it to a field on its own, where it can recover.’ He said

So Kerry went off to fetch a barrow to carry the bird in.

When she returned though, there was a family visiting Pierre. A mother, father and 3 children.

Kerry had done a double take as she came closer pushing the barrow. It was obvious the bird had taken a permanent turn for the terminal, and now lay prone, stretched out, quite dead.

Pierre in the mean time was explaining to his younger charges,

“Ah oui les petits! L’oiseau est endormi. Voir? Comment il a fermé les yeux et repose, comme un bébé endormi! Oui?”

“Ah Yes little ones! The bird is asleep. See? How it has closed its eyes and rests, like a baby! Fast asleep! Yes?”

Obviously, trying not to distress the children.

And Kerry played along.

“Yes, yes! Asleep! I’ll take our tired bird to the field to rest Pierre? Let it sleep in peace!”

“Oui, s’il vous plaît Kerry. Voir les enfants, l’oiseau va revenir à son champ pour se reposer oui?”

“Yes, please Kerry. See children, the bird is going back to his field to rest yes?”

So it was loaded onto the barrow but its long neck wouldn’t fold on, and it was a constant effort to keep its head on board as it kept rolling off and thudding onto the floor. It was like having a weighted kite tail flopping out every so often. The only thing Kerry could do was stop the barrow every 10 foot or so, and throw the neck and head back on top of the body.

Upon returning she was all smiles and attempting to put a shine on the situation.

“Ho Pierre. The bird is resting in the field (wink, wink.) He’s fast asleep children, having sweet dreams! (Smile)

Only for the eldest, a girl of around 10 to look condescendingly at Kerry and say,

“Eh bien, si ce n’était pas avant, il doit être raide mort maintenant, compter combien de fois vous avez essayé de cerveau le baiseur …..”

“Well, If it wasn’t before, it must be stone dead now, counting how many times you tried to brain the fucker..”

Maybe not quite that, but that’s what she would have said if she could have.

The Ostrich eggs are a great return financially. One egg, boiled, can be served to feed 5 people. Its a feast all on its own. These are collected from the 2 reproduction fields as they are spotted. Only that is, if whoever spots it, knows it wasn’t there the previous day. That way they know its fresh and hasn’t been sat in the sun for a number of days going rotten. If there’s any doubt then the egg is thrown away.

Now Wayne, in an effort to meet the demand of nieces and nephews who having gone to school to tell all and sundry their Aunt and Uncle are working with Ostriches, have began clamoring for Ostrich eggs, (Blown) to take into school in a kind of show-and-tell. So Wayne had picked up a couple of eggs that he knew wouldn’t be used and were due to be thrown away. These he duly took home to prepare for the smaller family members on the other side of the Channel. Taking great care, he took the first egg and propped it in position, then took his drill, set up with a fine drill bit, and carefully began to drill a hole in the end of the egg in preparation to blowing the yoke from it.

This drill bit was completely unsatisfactory though, and wasn’t really doing the job. So it was time to resort to a proper drill bit. A hole cutter in fact. The type of tool you would use to drill a hole to allow a set of kitchen sink taps come through.

This would surely sort it out.

The trouble, with picking up an unclaimed egg your not sure about, is the fact that its just that. Your not sure about it. Keep in mind you’re only going to blow an egg that is going to be thrown away. The problem is, although you know its passed its best you just don’t know how long its lain unattended.

Until that is you try and drill a hole in one end then the other so you can blow the yoke from it to create an empty shell.

Which is what Wayne did for his young niece and nephew.

Kerry was in the house at the time when she her the loud yell, which immediately trailed off into retching, and the sound of someone crashing around the barn stumbling into things. She rushed out to see what had happened, thinking Wayne had had some sort of accident. Which, in a way he had.

The trouble (as Wayne found out) with a rotten egg, is as it decomposes, gas builds up on the inside. So when you take your trusty Makita cordless drill, insert a 15mm hole-cutter bit, hold the egg between your thighs and begin to drill the top end of the egg, what actually happens is, that the hole you create, goes off like a sawn off shotgun.

The egg blew up in Wayne’s face like a geyser. A explosive spray of clotted, rotten egg. It erupted into his face, all over his hair, chest and even into his mouth.

In fact most of his person received a generous dollop of rotten egg. Wayne did the only thing he could do, which was drop the egg and begin stumbling blindly around the barn, throwing up all over the shop. It was all in a effort to get as far away as possible from the smell of rotten egg, which, considering that it covered him,
was difficult in the extreme.

It was like attempting to run away from himself, whilst trying to rub egg from his eyes while falling over everything in his path, bent double, retching, with his toes curling in his egg covered boots.

Into this picture rushed Kerry, slightly frantic hearing the noise emanating from the barn, to see Wayne in his obvious distress, struck blind, heaving like it was terminal.

The first thing she did was begin shouting Wayne.

“Wayne! Wayne whats wrong!! Are you O-”

Then the smell hit her.

“Wayne! Oh jesus Christ! WTF is that smell Urrrrrgh! UUUURGH!!”

Only now it had turned into a vomiting and retching contest, as both of them wheeled away from the other trying to get away from the source of the smell. Only, the smell was everywhere. Rotten egg is unbelievably pungent. If you’ve ever smelt one you will know what I mean.

Only, this wasn’t a normal chicken egg. This was an egg of epic proportions. This was a Desperate-fucking-Dan size egg. An egg to end all eggs. This fucker had just blown up all over Wayne, who was now folded over in the opposite corner of the barn from Kerry, in the process of trying to lick his own arse, in an attempt to take away the taste of rotten egg. Anything, in fact, would have tasted better than what he was currently tasting and smelling.

Whilst across the room Kerry squinted through the tears streaming down her face shouting Wayne.

UUUUUURGH! UUUUURGH!! Oh dear God Wayne! OH deeeeear Goooooooodddd!!!! UUURGH!! WTF have you done??”

I can’t really go on in good faith describing the retching contest that went on like tennis across the barn. The smell.(Jesus the smell) And the noise of the stomach churning hawking. Each one setting the other off like a couple vocal minefields. As one began heaving the other would then react accordingly and follow suit.

The only thing I can really add, is that the young niece and nephew are still waiting for they’re blown Ostrich eggs.

And the only way they’re like to get one is if they come over and blow one themselves.

Wayne has a drill set up, waiting to be used. Kids, come on over.

Paris Or Bust


A foreword…

Any of the French tales in this blog concern my sister Kerry and husband Wayne who recently took the plunge and moved over there after spending 6 years renovating a fabulous old property part-time. They decided it would need a dedicated push to complete it.


That’s what they’re doing. They moved over full time in 2013 with Kerry flitting backwards and forwards working in the UK with occasional visits from Wayne…And people queuing to return the other way…(see Dance Like A Butterfly Sting Like A Ron, Sucked Off By A Camel, Vive Le Garlic (Long Live The Garlic), Ostrich Heaven)

Kerry and Wayne recently returned to the UK To collect Waynes new excavator and transport it back over to France. They drove over here in their car to sell that, then bought a new van and trailer to load and tow the excavator back home..It was like an adult swap-shop for vehicles.

They spent the week over here which, as ever, flew by and it was soon time for them to return to France before they knew it. I think all the visit did for Wayne was reinforce what a good decision it has been to move to France in the first place. Free from the day-to-day grind and stresses that we all encounter over here. Kerry is gradually getting to the same frame of mind. I think initially it was daunting for her as she still comes back to the UK every 3 weeks or so to continue to work, and I think its harder in that sense to completely be free of the mentality that comes from being in the grind that is the UK.

Coming back here more often, only slows down that integration into the laid back way of life that is integral to where they live now. And I don’t see much of her when she’s here for a couple of reasons I think.

One is, I think Kez feels she intrudes in some way and tries to keep busy, out and about till its time for her to come home to sleep. (She doesn’t Intrude and is no bother what-so-ever)

Secondly, everyone wants to see her and she spends her time trying to cover all those bases, in between doing squats, press-ups and boxing sessions at the gym.

From trying to fit in arrangements for new business ideas she has, (watch this space…) Its taking time to source all the things she wants in place, but Kerry is as ever, ultra efficient and covers all the possible areas before she’ll get anything up and running.

So. Lots to do. Then its back to France and a 2 hour drive home when she lands, a going from a svelt C cup to a massive DD cup due to the packets of biscuits she secretes into her bra for Wayne when he lands. I mean, What security guard is going to stop a woman with big knockers strolling slowly (she knows you can rush a good chocolate digestive) through customs to search her bag, when you can stare at her busty – if somewhat crunchy – chest instead..

The last departure saw Kerry and Wayne driving home to Cognac towing the Digger. It took almost 3 times as long to drive back than it did to do the journey a week earlier coming in this direction. The reason being that the van couldn’t safely tow the Digger over 55 mph. They drove to Dover and slept over, then travelled over to France on the ferry. Once in France they were faced with the journey down to Cognac. Wayne had driven the first leg and now it was Kerry’s turn. So he programmed the Sat-nav. Normally they skirt the capital, avoid if they can any heavy traffic. Certainly, avoid driving through Paris full stop.

So it was no surprise that the Sat-nav took them straight into the center.

The trouble with sat-nav is you trust it. Blindly. When it speaks in that cool, calm voice and says,

“Turn right”

of course you turn right.

“Turn left”

And your already rolling the steering wheel. So when it said

“Take the second left and continue for 3 miles”

That was what Kerry did.

Only the second left took them into a height restriction zone. Kerry has said before, every time they end up in Paris, she’s the one driving. (She often finds she is when Wayne programs the sat-nav. I think he just likes to take in the sights while Kerry sweats.) As she turned the corner and saw the height restriction signs, suspended across the road, she felt her stomach knot and knuckles whiten as she gripped the steering wheel that bit tighter.

The first sign she hit took off the hazard light off the top of the cab with a plastic CRUNCH follow-up by a metallic “CLANG” as the arm of the digger dinged it as it swung back down like an after-thought.

Ohshitohshit! We’re on the wrong road again Wayne!!”

“look kez!! Loook!!!! There’s the Eiffel tower!!”

Kerry was probably still looking at him in disbelief opened mouthed as she hit the next barrier.



“Is that Notre Dame???”

At that moment a barrage of lights and sirens went off in front of her. Big yellow arrows flashing and pointing Kerry off the current thorough-fare and up a side road. She had no option but to steer the van, trailer and loaded digger off up this new route which was a severe hill taking her away from her current disastrous ordinance choice.

It was a good job she wasn’t asthmatic at that moment because her heart was already pounding and breath was hard to come by. It was with sweaty palms she drove up this exit, looking left and right for a way out of her predicament. But unable to change course she was faced with – as it turned out – a severe incline of Everest proportions stretching away before her.

“Oh. My. Fucking. GODDDDDDDDDDD.”

With the knowledge that she was towing 3 tons of digger behind her, the now flashing remnants of hazard light dangling, swinging to and thro across the front windscreen and Wayne pointing out the Seine off to the right, non of the above were doing her anxiety levels any good at all, faced with the near 75 degree incline before her.

The sat-nav by this point has gone from its calm “Turn left, next right 300 yards” drone, to a hysterical

Eject! Jesus Christ!! EJECT!! Get the fuck out we’re all going to diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!!!!!”

In my own mind, I have an image of two Clouseau-like figures sat in two swivel chairs, at the Parisian traffic control center, completely relaxed monitoring the traffic via a bank of monitors. They will have gone from a complete dough-like postures, draped like limp flags in their chairs, staring blankly at the monotonous mono-chrome images of congestion before them. One will be sat, arms hanging over his head, down the back-rest of his seat, gently blowing raspberries to himself in that, stare-at-a-corner-straight-jacket induced boredom goggle. While his compatriot, no less injected with enthusiasm, is sat in a similar relaxed posture, and by turns, gently sucking a croissant and then a smoking Gauloise.

To suddenly being assaulted by array of flashing lights, pre-nuclear strike strobes in fact, and wailing siren in the tiny room..

They will leap from either chair, leaving them spinning in their wake, as they both run around the small space, crashing into each other in their panic, leaving one on the seat of his pants. There will be a soggy half-eaten croissant spat across the black and white images lit up before them, and a smoking cigarette smouldering in the carpet. One will be frantically wiping the TV’s with his tie, in an attempt to identify the obvious catastrophic emergency, while the other clambers to his feet to run away, only to frantically rattle at the door nob to find it has automatically locked when the sirens went off.

Eventually they identify Kerry and Wayne hitting every low-level warning sign along their current route.

“Oh merde regarder. Ses ces gens anglais encore. La femme avec le grand cheveux! Smashing leur chemin à travers gay Pari! Mon dieu! Ils ont pelle cette fois! Ils ont une pelle putain!!!”

Oh shit look. Its those English people again. The woman with the big hair!! Smashing their way through gay Pari! My god! They have digger this time!! They have a fucking digger!!!.

And his compatriot fumbling for the big red button saying,

Mon Dieu! Pas encore! Allumer la lumière! Gousse d’ail doux! Obtenir ces fous de la route!!”

My God! Not again!! Turn the lights on! Sweet clove of Garlic!!! Get these lunatics off the road!!!”

And with a solid Thump Clouseau No 2 hits the emergency exit signs which appeared in front of Kerry guiding her over the road and shut down the siren and lights blaring in the control center.

“Dieu merci pour cela. Nous avons sauver Paris de nouveau mon ami!!”

Thank god for that. We have save Paris again my friend!!”

And then the fire siren and sprinkler system kicked in to put out the cigarette burning slowly in the carpet…

Kerry in the mean time was currently moving slightly faster than backwards as she traversed at 5 mph up the incline, panting all the way like she had run it herself. It was only when she crwled to the top that Wayne surfaced from his Parisian observations to realize they were not where they should be and traffic was blaring their horns and flashing their lights behind them..

“Jeez KeZ!! Can’t you follow a sat-nav?”

And also sudden realization,

“My Light! My flashy light!!”

Followed by a tip of the head and gentle offer of,

“Would You like me to take over from here and get you home sweet heart?”

At the speed she was going, Kerry had a long moment to stare open mouthed at him whilst framing her reply, before she even had to worry about anything in front of her. A lonnnnnnnnng moment.

Instead she kept her silence. But with a heaving chest and receding near stroke symptons, her look probably said,

You. Can fuck off mate.”

It would have been small consolation to know 2 traffic controllers were near drowning in a small sealed room filling up with water from an out of control sprinkler…


“Sucked Off By a Camel” …as they say in France

Camel Domino teeth

Hearing the latest from Yosamity Wayne and Kerry in France I can only pass it on.

If you’ve read “Ostrich Heaven” you’ll know Wayne has a tendancy to dress like Clint Eastwood, what with the leather chaps, ten gallon hat and spingly, spangly spurs.
And this is only to drive the tractor to pick up the paper.

But, seriously, that’s not true. He wears them when he’s on round up with the ostriches, Donkey and flouncy camel. I say the flouncy camel lightly, but its a huge creature. Not some big humped, easy going moulting fluff ball. Its massive. And if it decides it wandering over there, then tip your hat and clear the way because,

Its going over there….

Its a mite unpredictable with the size and presence to be and go where it wants to. But looks pleasant enough, actually like most livestock that people are inspired to pet then say

“Awww its soooo FLUFFY!

So, with the camel, huge as it is, with its roly poly plodding gait, its surprising how it just blends into the scenery and goes stealth bomber.
Like its been coated with a mental anti-radar paint.
Thats why Kerry and Indiana Wayne try keep the farm between them and it.

So you’ll be impressed to know they are adapting and integrating daily into they’re new lives, and, with all that’s thrown at them.

What I’m glad to report is Kerry has leapt forward in her relationship with the Ostriches. She’s now a fully fledged member of the flock

How? How has she done this?? – I hear you all cry, and Wayne most of all.

Indiana Wayne

See, as we’ve already seen its about the gently, gently aproach NOT, the strangle them firmly till in a headlock and kick ’em when they’re down.
(“Get down and STAY down!”)
Tripping over your spingly spangly spurs doesn’t help either.

I mean how can you creep up on an Ostrich going “Ker-ling! Ker-ling! Ker-ling!??
You CAN”T. (Wayne)

They’re all on the opposite side of the field before you’ve taken your second step from your 1934 tractor.
And buying that bullwhip on amazon isn’t going to do any good either.
(You’ll look FANTASTIC though xx)

To be fair how Kerry discovered how to approach the ostrich’s without them all galloping off in a cloud of dust was by accident. I know this because she’s only just worked it out herself and begged me not to tell Wayne. Unfair I think, but who am I to destroy a new growing fad in Cognac?
(If you ever visit and go into town for a nice coffee and the waiter bullwhips it from his tray onto you table – you can seriously look wayne in the eye, shake him firmly by the hand and thank him for inspiring the experience.)

So, what has Kerry discovered? Its her hat!
She wears one of those leather hats with the furry rim and drop down furry flaps. And, when you look at her – out of the corner of your eye – from 80 yards or so, you can actually see what the Ostriches are seeing!

They seem to think she’s a miniature Ostrich! So when she comes into the field they surround her thinking she’s a stunted short arse Ostrich who need help! Its like they do a Big Bird wagon circle and pen her in, so she’s at the center of a flock of 9 foot birds.
I mean, take your pick – who do you want to get a grip of first??
Which is why Kerry is now the equivalent of an 1800’s chimney sweep’s apprentice. You know, the person your going to send up the chimney. That really tight space, with a brown paper bag (What for? we’ll tell you if you need it son. Upsadaisy.) and say

“You’ll be fiiiiine. Its a doddle. There nothing to it.”

So its a case of –

“kez off you go into that field full of 40 something 9 foot turkeys and just, you know, just bring them over here.”

Ending with

“You’ll be fiiiiiine. Can you run fast by the way? Why? Oh just to get them here quicker..avec.”

So it was with some pride that when Kerry and Wayne had visitors over Christmas, namely my Mum, Holly and Wayne Emmo, they took them down to the farm to demonstrate they’re amazing progress with the animals.

“Wait till you see the RAPORE we have with the animals! Its fantastic! Gently, gently – works wonders!!” (with Indiana Wayne cracking his whip and prowling up and down the fence – KerlingKerlingKerlingKerling – just waiting, for his chance to shine.)

And Kez, at the fence just demonstrating how – hat on – the birds come galloping to see her, -hat off – and away they drift.



Hat on – here they are! Swooping across the pasture to see shorty bird!
Hat off – Wtf! – where’s shorty gone? Come on girls back to the other side of the field..


As You can imagine she was like an Ornithologist equivalent of the karate kid mentor –
A real life Mrs. Miyagi. (wax on, wax off. Wow).

My Mum and Holly and Wayne Emmo as you can imagine were amazed.

Then in dropped Stealth Camel.

As Kez was taking her bow, an invisible 2 ton camel leaned over the fence and took her entire head in its mouth.

Obviously the 3 visitors are applauding madly thinking

“Jesus, this is AMAZING!”

Something you would pay big bucks to see in Vegas, happening in front of them!

And here, right HERE Was Kerry showing her RAPORE with another of Gods creatures!

And oh! Look! Here come all the Ostrich’s thinking kerrys got and even BIGGER hat on!

And Oh! Oh! They’re trying to form a Wagon Circle around Kerry and the camel – who at this point is actually sucking off kerrys head.

(sucked off by a camel – Not something that happens everyday.)

And NO! LOOOOOK! Indiana Wayne has taught the camel to take A BLOODYGOODTHRASHING with his bullwhip!

And finally, it let her go.


Obviously my mum finally clocked that it wasn’t a show and went nuclear mother hen. And then after mopping all the camel saliva off Kerry, was frantically trying to talk her into a Tetanus.

But Kerrys made of tough stuff.

A few Domino sized teeth gnawing on you’re head are nothing!

And I mean NOTHING to an Ostrich whisperer.

Ostrich heaven

Ostrich Heaven

My sister and her husband recently moved over to France down near Cognac. Famous for its, well, Cognac. I’m yet to visit and intend to as soon as circumstances allow to see just what a fantastic job they’ve done renovating an old farm house into a livable home.
Its been some 6 years of hard work, travelling backwards and forwards trying to do mass amounts of work in short bursting spells. Until finally they decided to give it a go permanently and get the house completed and settle over there.
I know its been a massive decision to finally attempt this opportunity, with reservations and stress over leaving their everyday routine lives over here and re-establishing a life in another country. Communicating will always be an issue until they get to grips with the language, but with plenty of LOUD conversations with locals, (shouting always makes it clearer).
I know for a fact this does work as my grandfather demonstrated to me as a boy.

We had a French exchange student staying and my Grandfather called during her visit. What followed was a perfect demonstration in communication.
“CHURCH OF ENGLAND? (she was French mind) OR CATHOLIC??” This was important to my grandfather for some reason and was the first thing he actually asked her.
She in the meantime was sat looking bewildered shrugging her shoulders palms up.
It just got louder.
The thing was I actually started trying to help.
I caught myself as I was shouting it louder than he was and sent him out.
But, with plenty of avecs and toute sweets we got by.

Now Wayne worked in the building trade like myself, which with the best will in the world is just an apprenticeship in Tourettes. Absolutely fluent in Fuckanese. English is probably a second language. So I can understand how hard it must be to go somewhere where you have to get past your pigeon French and begin living an established life and be able to communicate. Something they’re managing well, and gradually learning the language.

So I have no doubt that as this coming year passes their French will improve to the point of all the locals learning better English. Just to save time.

But seriously I know its been an upheaval and I know there will be some things that will be missed. But on the whole I think its a good thing and a great opportunity to lead a more relaxed self sufficient life.
As the house has come along, and I mean it really has come along magnificently, I think their slowly but surely creating a space for them selves in the local community. The great thing on the whole, is that the local community are making a space for them. You see they aren’t just there to visit, or holiday. They’re there to live and I think that this is respected due to the fact that they’ve taken on board a derelict farm house and re-established back into the working village life.

Kerry come’s back to the UK and stays at my home for a week once a month. She work hands on in her old job then spends part of her time back at home in France doing the same job via the PC.
During the rest of the time over in France, Kerry and Wanye have become part of the local working environment and have taken skills over there that only add to local life.
Wayne can work on the construction side of life or, repair and fix vehicles. Always on the go, busy not happy stood still and always something to do. Just always ready to work hard and overcome a problem and make something work. Plenty of strings to his bow.
Kez has always been very get-up-and-go, very hands-on, multi talented and loves creating. She used to hand make broaches and head-dresses for functions and wedding. Just stuff out of nothing . Bits of cotton, gauze, beads, you name it. She just enjoys being busy and doing. Creating. I think they compliment each other so much, both prepared to work so hard for the other.

Kerry and Wayne have taken to working part time on the local Ostrich farm which has been a source of entertainment. The birds are powerful, extremely large and very nervous. Part of the work involves treating the birds, checking them out, tagging, just plain dealing with them.

There’s two ways of getting to grips with them and these are

A. Kerrys way.
B. Waynes way.

Normally, to get hold of one, they are herded together until someone can actually get “hands on”.
Once they’re close enough you have to get a grip on their neck to restrain them, drop a blanket on their noggin and someone else will lean on their backs to help control and guide them until whatever needed to be done is.
It can be a wrestling match.
Wanyes route to success is unintentional throttling until the bird blacks out. With hands a gorilla would be proud of I suppose controlling how hard you grip the birds neck is hard to judge.
And the first time old “banana fingers” got to grips with one, the poor bastard just collapsed and blacked out till someone explained he was choking it. And air is a requirement.

Kerry’s way, ah. Finesse. Gently, gently gain the birds confidence. Stroke the neck on a regular basis. Whenever your passing in fact . This way it gets to the point, the birds approach you.
Then its just a simple thing of getting (a gentle) hold until it becomes a secure grip, bag on the noggin, guide where you want, Do what needs doing, release….etc, etc, ect – Francois’ your uncle.

Wayne will be stood watching in awe at this point with his lasso drooping and Stetson tipped back…Its not all Berets and Garlic cloves over there.

But seriously, he doesn’t wear a Stetson.

Unless its sunny and he’s picking the vines.. but that’s for later.