A week has gone by and still Mrs. Parish and I are discussing how it all went wrong. How did we come to be out of Europe, who is to blame, were we lied to and it is a national disgrace? However much time we spend going round the problem, looking at it from different angles and completely analysing the problem we just have to face the facts England lost to Iceland and we are out of the Euro 2016 tournament. Oh the humiliation of such an abject performance.

Of course we had an immediate message from our Welsh friends, Steve and Lynne, congratulating us on such an historic defeat. Not helped at all as the Welsh then went and beat one of the favourites for the tournament, Belgium to reach the semi-finals. The next day were then hectored in the lane by our neighbour Daniel who was keen to remind us of the result accompanied by hoots of laughter. He may of course be laughing on the other side of his face this evening as France is now playing Iceland! It would have been great to have watched England play France and we were planning to go to a local village bar and to have traded insults with the French. 

Now at least we can support our adopted Country and hopefully cheer France to victory and perhaps a game against Wales in the final. Mrs. Parish and I will be discussing the projected outcome and also what the future holds for English football and who should be the next England manager. In my view Mrs. Parish is ideally placed to take on the role. She clearly would have no truck with England players feeling tired after a long season and she would get rid of Wayne Rooney.

If only it were so easy to resolve the political problems in Britain. It now seems that 2 million people who voted to leave have changed their minds after seeing that all the warnings about Brexit are coming true. It is also nice to see Boris Johnson getting his come upance after spending the whole campaign lying and misleading people. It also seems that his assassin, Michael Gove will also get a kick in the teeth and not get on the ballot paper for leadership of the Tory party.

It is a right mess and the sad thing is that many people are feeling the fallout from the Brexit decision. For all those British people who live abroad, as we do, the fall in the value of the pound is a big problem and those with fixed and limited incomes will find it tough to make ends meet. The uncertainty about our right to remain in France will it seems last for some time. So Mrs. Parish and I are very pleased that the liars and having such a bad time.

What with Football, Brexit and the current state of the Labour Party, Mrs.Parish and I have so much to debate over breakfast that we are spending more and more time on these issues and this is keeping us from our daily chores. Once the Euro 2016 is over we shall soon be into the football season proper and there will be much to talk about. Hopefully the political situation will calm down or nothing will get done here.

Well, if things were not complicated enough I have had to replace my mobile phone and a new Samsung Galaxy phone duly arrived at the beginning of the week. I don’t mind new technology but have problems when things change. The Blackberry I used to own had a proper keyboard and so I knew where I was. The Samsung has a touch sensitive keyboard and I have podgy fingers so I kept changing the page and moving off to some other bit of the phone. And trying to type correctly was a bit of a nightmare. Mrs. Parish kindly (and for her own sanity) bought me a pokey thing with which to manipulate the screen. This is a vast improvement. Apparently I am now also able to take a “selfie”, so look out for these in future blogs!

It is a whole new world and thankfully much faster than the Blackberry. But it is amazing that there are so many “apps” for this new device. Apps are software applications and it seems will do almost anything. However the down side is that there are so many, how do I choose which I need or would want. I tend to jot down things that happen during the week so I don’t forget to put them in the blog. So I looked for a notes app. There must be 50 to 100 of these. Apart from trial and error (which it would be for me!) how do I know. I need an “App Advisor” who can guide me through and advise on the apps I am going to need to survive in this Brave New World. I managed to stumble on one or two of these apps and received a helpful message from a friend welcoming me to the 21st century. Anyone offering to act as my app advisor should apply via some sort of app with a full CV (is there a CV app?).

Anyway enough of politics and new technology and back to the La Godefrere animals who have been keeping me amused all week. The Little Owls have definitely got young owlets in the nest as we can hear them wheezing and scratching about from inside the gite. We have to warn visitors about the strange noises otherwise their imagination may run wild! The parent birds are working their socks off going back and forward with food and then resting on the TV aerial, which gives good opportunities for photos.

Our Little Owl on TV aerial

The cats have not been seen that much as the weather has been so awful. Although on Friday we had a sunny afternoon and Archie and Moggie took the opportunity to bask in the sunshine behind the hedge out of the breeze. Most of the week they have disappeared into the cat palace and have tucked up together. They of course came out yesterday as we got the barbecue out for its first cooking in earnest for us and Mrs. Parish’s brother and family. So there were 8 of us. The barbeque, so diligently put together by me did not fall apart and although it got cold we have a nice barbecued meal inside. The cats patrolled around like a load of sharks hoping to be able to pounce on any unguarded food.

Cats finding a sunny spot

Archie and Moggie best mates (sometimes)

The cows have all gone from the field next to us. Some I suspect will be off to the abattoir while other will be off waiting for the cows to give birth and we will probably get the new calves back in two to three months. This of course is a problem as I no longer have an outlet for a chat behind the gite. We were exploring some interesting political and philosophical ideas and the cows had strong views on the new England manager. Unfortunately before they could give me the benefit of their view they were taken away. So we will never know who the cows would have wanted for the manager’s job. The problem now is that I have only the sheep left and they are far from communicative apart from bleating about life.

The chickens are doing well and taking literally the free range concept. They roam around the orchard and garden and take great pleasure in playing chicken when I am trying to cut the grass suddenly appearing from behind some plants and then walking straight across in front of the tractor and then wandering slowly along meaning I have to stop and wait for them to move away. At least they are laying their eggs in the chicken house and keeping us well supplied.

And still it rains and rains. The problem is that while it rains the grass is growing and I can’t get out to cut it. Then it gets too long to cut properly and it is all very annoying. It is supposed to be sunny now but we have clouds and drizzle. Of course that only adds to the topics of conversation that increasingly lengthen our breakfast time. At least the Tour de France has now started and we can watch that every afternoon. The plan is to visit the Tour tomorrow as it goes past St. Hilaire a small town about 40 minutes away.

Maybe time to do some more work looking at these apps. I must look up and see if there is a wine app that can advise me what bottle I should now open.

Bonne semaine