CARNIVAL TIME AT GOLFE-JUAN

A cloudless blue sky, sunshine, confetti, music, dancing and colourful floats…. CARNIVAL TIME came to Golfe-Juan today.

I met mum at the Hotel de Provence located in the town centre for a coffee and to watch the procession as it trundled past. Smiling and excited kids threw confetti from above – I expect we’ll be shedding the sprinkles from our clothing for a week.

Heading the parade were the cards from Alice in Wonderland, and the float included the white rabbit and Alice among other characters.

   

They were closely followed by musicians and dancers of the association of Portuguese folklore.

Behind them was a large turtle draped with an anchor – Perhaps they were lifesavers – your guess is as good as mine.

Another colourful float followed. Again there was no indication who or what they were, except that the decorations seemed to represent sweets [lollies – for any Australian reading this] so perhaps this was a clue?

Behind them came a group of Charlie Chaplin look-alikes ??

  

And bringing up the rear was a very cheerful jazz band

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of them as I recorded them on video instead, but for some unknown reason I am unable to upload it on my blog.

When the procession disappeared around the corner, mum and I slowly set off towards the old port to sit at café, the Brasserie L’Escale and enjoy an aperitif before lunch at the local Lebanese restaurant, La Cigale du Golfe. Both establishments provide great food and beverages at a reasonable price, the service is exceptional and it’s brought to you with a smile.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

RLB – Tomewriter

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Hip Replacement Update

For those of you who read my previous blogs relating to my left hip replacement operation – here’s an update on my progress relating to both recent hip replacement operations carried out at the hospital in Antibes.

I know I have been going on a bit about the pain I’ve been experiencing shared on my Facebook page, but maybe you’ll understand why by the following X-Ray photos of my two new hip joints.

The left one was done in July 2017, and the experience was recorded in my thirteen part blog which if you ‘missed’ is now archived under the months of September – October last year.

Apart from the occasional twinge, I’m glad to report that the left hip is now fully recovered:

Left Hip Replacement

The right hip though, is a different story. The operation was carried out 8 weeks ago [7th December 2017], and despite having spent three weeks at the rehab center [I’d spent four weeks for the left hip, which I thought was too much], completed ten physio sessions, applying ice packs two or three times a day, and taking pain killers, I am still experiencing a lot of discomfort. Although I must say it is slowly, but surely, getting better.

This one is taking longer to fix because of the femur fracturing when they were hammering in the prosthesis. They had to wrap a wire around the bone to hold it together. It also seems the prosthesis is in two parts held together with a screw…. Little wonder I’m still experiencing so much pain:

Right Hip Replacement

Yesterday [01/01/18], for the first time since the op, I was able to walk the 2.5 km round trip from home to the physio center in Golfe-Juan without the use of either crutch.

However, at this stage, I am still unable to put my full weight on my right leg, so going up any stairs is impossible unless one at a time with my left leg leading. Going down them is easy.

As of next Monday [5th February 2018] I will be commencing a further twenty physiotherapy sessions, which at three days per week, will see me complete them in time for my next appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Bohic, on 21st March.

A further update will follow after I see him.

RLB – Tomewriter

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Guest Blog by Amara Lebel

One of the nice things about being part of the Luminosity Publishing “family” is that you get to meet fellow authors, be it only online. Recently, a new author joined the Luminosity family.

As with any family that likes to support and celebrate each other’s achievements, so it is with the Luminosity Publishing family. I am therefore very happy to share with you Amara’s latest book : “Taming the Alpha” and welcomed her to include an introduction of her story on my blog.

Taming the Alpha (Balls & Chains Series #2)

By Amara Lebel

 

Title: Taming the Alpha

Series: Balls & Chains #2

Genre:  M/M Paranormal BDSM Romance

Words: 53,300 (114 pages)

Red-Hot Romance

 

Blurb:

Welcome to Balls & Chains, a BDSM Club for gay men. Cross the threshold and see the worlds of humans and shifters collide as these alphas dominate, and betas submit.

Past sins have forced Cadeon Rosseau into isolation, his pack turning against him and casting him out. Self-hatred and mutilation made him the male he is today. An alpha in his own right, he prowls the rooms at Balls & Chains in search of the one who will either save him from himself or break him completely. Jaded and alone, he finds it difficult to pull away from the self-made hell which has become his life, until a new submissive garners his attention…

Curiosity and a need for adventure lured Blake Copeland to the doors of the famous gay BDSM club. He craved distraction from his monotonous life and had been assured that he would find it there. Little did he know exactly how true that statement would be. Not only did Blake find what he was looking for, but he also left with a slightly unhinged mate in tow…

Will these two lone wolves find the strength to battle the obstacles in their path and build a future?

 

Adult Excerpt:

“I can live with that. The fact that you’ll try for me, is enough.”

Cade’s chest ached at Blake’s words and the emotion in his pale eyes. If he weren’t careful, this male would be his undoing. It didn’t change the fact that he wanted him, though, and always would. He ached for him. “Blake, I need you.”

“Yes, Mon Liege.” Moving back, Blake remained on his knees, casting his eyes downward as he moved into position. “I am yours to do with as you please.”

“Such words, yet you have no idea what you’re asking for.” Cade stood, moving around his male as his body reacted to Blake’s willing submission. “You’d be nothing but a plaything to me. I would use your body, taking everything from you, and I wouldn’t go easy. I’d push you beyond your limits, force you to do things you normally wouldn’t. And then, when I’d exhausted your body and mind, I’d fuck you until you felt, nor knew, nothing but me. Think you can handle that, loup?”

Blake groaned, squirming where he knelt on the bathroom floor. “Yes, Mon Liege.”

Cade had to bite back the groan threatening to escape him. His male was something else, and he wanted him more than he had anyone else before him. “Bien, go to the playroom and get into position. You know the rules. I’ll be there soon.” Without uttering another word, Cade turned and left the room before he gave into his needs and took Blake on the bathroom floor like the animal he was.

A few minutes later, he was standing by the open door, staring down at his new plaything where he was kneeling on the floor, naked and in position. He was so fucking beautiful, and an eager and obedient submissive. It pleased Cade greatly. He wanted to reach out and touch Blake, to praise him, but now was not the time. He was his Dominant right now, not his mate. So instead, he moved to stand by his head which was currently pressed against the hardwood floor. “You know the rules. Repeat them, word for word, otherwise, we stop here and now.”

“I am unworthy of you, Mon Liege. I shall not look at you, nor will I touch you. I speak only when you give me permission to do so. I shall always refer to you as Mon Liege. And if I disobey, I will be punished.”

Cade smirked, he was so proud of his mate, but he wasn’t about to tell him that. Not yet. Without saying a word, he walked past Blake to retrieve two pairs of cuffs from the cabinet. One leather, and the other steel. “Stand.” As Blake moved to do as he was told, Cade made his way back to his plaything’s side. “Bend over and grasp your ankles.” Cade stood at his back, watching appreciatively as he bent over. His ass was bared and open to him. Temptation.

 

©Amara Lebel. Luminosity Publishing. 2017.

 

Buy Links:

Luminosity – http://luminositypublishing.com/product/taming-the-alpha/

BookStrand – http://www.bookstrand.com/taming-the-alpha

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2jdKS5m

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2AwOP9y

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/757654

 

Author Bio:

“I am not Perverted. I am a Depraved Sensualist. There is a difference!”

 

I am an Erotic Romance and ManLove author. A huge fan of all things male; I watch, read and drool over everything to do with them. Yes, I am a little perverted, yet in a good way. I have a vast Yaoi collection, and spend my time fantasizing about steamy scenes of male love, sensual encounters, and so much more.

With a little encouragement I eventually put pen to paper and wrote my first ever MM romance which was published in Sept 2014. Now I take great pride in sharing my erotic stories of forbidden lust and enchanted romance with all of you, my fellow depraved sensualists.

A true Irish lass born and raised I come from a small town in Northern Ireland called Derry, where I now live with my handsome (French) hubby and gorgeous family. I’m a full-time mum of three, and believe me when I say they keep me busy. I spend my days chasing after my lil darlings, my nights lost in Yaoi, and thanks to my amazing husband I spend my weekends writing up a storm.

Author Links:

Email: amaralebel@gmail.com

Author Site: https://www.amaralebel.com/

Blog: http://amaralebel.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amaralebelauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amaralebel/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/amaralebel/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amaralebel

Luminosity Publishing: http://luminositypublishing.com/amara-lebel/

Siren BookStrand:  http://www.bookstrand.com/amara-lebel

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zJySjk

BookLikes: http://amaralebel.booklikes.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29908002-amara-lebel

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amaralebel

ManicReaders – http://www.manicreaders.com/AmaraLebel/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AmaraLebel

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An Aussie Author in Provence

An Aussie Author in Provence by Robert L J Borg a.k.a. Louise Roberts

Article previously published November 2017 in Hearts Talk – the official magazine of Romance Writers of Australia

People living in Golfe-Juan will tell you the country is made of two parts: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur [PACA] and the rest of France.  Since moving here in March 2016 I can now appreciate what they mean; for in this region everything seems to move at a very slow pace. As an example it took almost a year since buying my apartment into actually receiving the deeds.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking the place; quite the opposite in fact. France in general is a very beautiful country – I travelled around it a fair bit in the late 1970’s, but the south of France is an entity that swallows you whole.

In winter, the coastal towns are so laid back you feel as though you are the only one living here – it is so quiet. However, when spring and summer arrive, it’s as though someone has applied a defibrillator to it, as the region suddenly becomes fast paced and alive with tourists, the rich and famous among their number. Stunning yachts fill the ports, exotic cars cruise the coastal roads, and restaurants and bars are filled to bursting.

It inspires you to visit new locations and revisit places you have been to before. As an author this time of the year is best, especially for people watching. The more you see, the more character developments start to fill your repertoire to eventually find themselves into one of your stories. It is an inspirational part of the world where history and traditional values play an important role in its very special identity.

I left Australia with an amount of uncertainty at what I might find. When I arrived I knew I had made the right decision. Although the French can be suspicious, annoyingly slow, and have a weird sense of humor, they have also a generosity with their time for you, especially when you make the effort to speak their language. French is not particularly easy when you haven’t used it since learning it at school – in my case some fifty plus years ago. I still struggle with it today even though I am told I speak it very well [personally I think they are just being polite].

Re-reading everything I have written so far, it sounds like a plug for their tourist office, but changing it would mean that all I have said hasn’t had a major effect on my writing, when in fact it has.

Since March 2016 two books were released by Luminosity Publishing under my pen name, Louise Roberts, and a third was released on 26th October.  The 37,000 word novella “Dragoon Serenade” is located in this area set during the lead up to the Allied invasion of southern France on 15th August 1944. The region’s history, its people, the communities that encompasses them has entirely influenced my story. You can get a glimpse of it on my blog or view the book trailer on YouTube:

https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/dragoon-serenade/

https://youtu.be/yo2PHH2gjmQ

On 15th November 2017 Luminosity Publishing will be releasing a paperback entitled “Romance in War – Volume One”. This comprises of books 1 – “Letter from a Stranger” and 2 – “Dragoon Serenade”.

Despite giving my pseudonym the bulk of my time, I have also found some for myself. Apart from writing fiction, I also dabble in travel writing which is probably why the start of this article sounds like a travel brochure. More importantly for me, I have had the time to completely re-write my very first novel “Out of the Darkness”. Although originally completed in 1994 I never thought it good enough to submit. The calming effect the Côte d’Azur has influenced me to have the courage to tear it apart and start again. Hopefully I can find a home for it in 2018.

https://tomewriter.wordpress.com/out-of-the-darkness/

At present I also have two Works-in-Progress on the go, but I’m not rushing them as that would go against the way things are done in the south of France.

*

RLB – Tomewriter

 

 

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10 Things You Should Know About Writing A Historical Romance

Louise Roberts Author

It was a rare treat to be approached by Female First an online magazine to provide a feature and to enable me to promote “Dragoon Serenade”

I had been asked to provide only ten things about writing a Historical Romance.

In truth, there are a lot more topics one could draw on to make the story as real as possible. For now, these were the ten that I deemed essential. You can read them on the following link:

http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/dragoon-serenade-louise-roberts-1102653.html

I hope you’ll enjoy the article.

Best Wishes

Louise

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10 Things You Should Know About Writing A Historical Romance by Louise Roberts

The following link speaks for itself. I’m just sharing it with my followers:

https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/10-things-you-should-know-about-writing-a-historical-romance/

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Louise Roberts makes a tough call…

Louise Roberts has today made a tough call – to shelve her current Work-In-Progress and move on to another story which she hopes will be better.

When a story is just not good enough…

How do you move on when you have recounted a story that you believe is the best one you have ever written?

Where do you start to write an even better tale?

My current work-in-progress, “Balor’s Landing” [Book 3 in the Romance in War series] is set in September 1944 on the tiny island of Toraigh, county Donegal and is centred on a local girl falling in love with a ship-wrecked mariner who had been washed ashore after his ship had been torpedoed by a German U-boat.

The problem is that I began writing it at the same as Book 2 – “Dragoon Serenade”, and because I was so engrossed with it, that Book 3 in my opinion is just not good enough.

In fact “Balor’s Landing” is too quiet a tale, and is more likely to make readers fall asleep rather than keep them entertained.

For this reason I have decided to shelve it for another time.  Although it was a difficult decision to make, I believe it’s for the best.

“Dragoon Serenade” is scheduled for release as an e-book on 26th October 2017. Watch the Book Trailer on YouTube and make your own judgement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo2PHH2gjmQ&feature=youtu.be

To take the place of “Balor’s Landing” I will now bring forward Book 4.

“Warm Nights in Alex” is set in North Africa immediately following the Allied landings of ‘Operation Torch’ in November 1942. I shan’t divulge anything else about it just yet as I’m still doing the research and initial planning. All I will say is that the hero and heroine are [were] real [both now deceased], and this story is to be written in their memory.

I hope “Warm Nights in Alex” will be able to equal “Dragoon Serenade”, perhaps even better it. After all, isn’t that what we all strive for – to improve as we move forward?

Time will tell if I’ve made the right call…

Best wishes

Louise

There’s nothing more to be said other than ‘good luck’ with “Warm Nights in Alex”, and with “Dragoon Serenade” :o)

RLB – Tomewriter

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Another Romance by Jessica Lauryn…

Title of book: An Amorous Dance

Author: Jessica Lauryn

Publisher: Siren BookStrand

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Type: Novel (93,894 words)

Sexual orientation: M/F

 

An Amorous Dance Blurb:

When Hannah Rabourn, daughter of Rabourn Theater’s late owner, is attacked, a surge of flashes prompts her to consider that her father may have been murdered. Hannah’s antagonistic stage director insists her subconscious is merely seeking closure. But as she and Evan become close once again, Hannah’s suspicions about the past deepen, and she wonders whether the man she’s falling in love with for the second time knows more than he’s letting on.

Evan Masters’s dreams were shattered when theater-owner Baron Rabourn destroyed his budding acting career. Having forged an alliance with Rabourn’s former partner, Evan assumed a mission to transform Rabourn Theater into what it always should have been. Fellow conspirators believe Rabourn’s daughter is the key to power, and Evan is the means by which to achieve their ends.

But Evan’s feelings for Hannah are stronger than he believed. And when he realizes Hannah’s life is in danger, he must decide between his passion and his heart.

 

Buy Links:

 

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/book/an-amorous-dance

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WW7ML4B

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-amorous-dance-the-rabourn-theater-2-jessica-lauryn/1125841876?ean=9781682957813

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jessica_Lauryn_An_Amorous_Dance_The_Rabourn_Theate?id=uJkwDgAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-amorous-dance-the-rabourn-theater-2/id1209533909?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/an-amorous-dance

 

Excerpt:

Unable to stay still, Hannah maneuvered her way around the surrounding obstacles so that she could pace. She’d been trying to convince herself that these flashes of memory didn’t mean what they appeared to, but the truth was that she’d always had her suspicions about the way her father died.

The doctors she’d spoken with had confirmed her father had a heart attack, but she’d always found it hard to believe that a man in his fifties—a man in excellent physical condition with no history of heart disease—would die suddenly, for what appeared to be no reason at all. Having felt this way from the get-go, she’d conducted a bit of research, from which she’d discovered that her father had had an argument with Bruce Lancaster prior to the start of her birthday dinner. The stress of whatever they’d discussed might have taken a toll on him, and for years Hannah had believed that a heated discussion with the theater’s former owner had directly contributed to her father’s death. But if the images she’d been seeing were real, maybe her father’s death had had nothing to do with physiology at all.

Maybe he had been murdered.

“Hannah?” Evan called out as he opened the door. Failing to flick the light switch, he made his way around, almost tripping over the settee in the corner before asking, “Hannah, are you in here?”

Hannah covered her tearstained mouth. She had no desire to reveal herself, but she realized before she could hide that Evan had already seen her. After hastily wiping her face in hopes that he wouldn’t realize she’d been crying, she snapped, “What the hell are you doing in here?”

“Me? What the bloody hell do you think I’m doing in here?” Evan demanded, squinting at the gigantic mushrooms behind his back, as if they were going to agree with how ridiculous her question was.

“You shouldn’t have followed me. I wasn’t thrilled to see that my cousin decided to stay in a show her former stalker is a part of, but…I’m a big girl. I can handle anything that’s thrown my way, Evan Masters, I promise you.”

“Hannah, you’re shaking,” Evan said, catching her arm and pulling her back to him before she could walk away.

As Hannah looked downward, she realized Evan had no intention of releasing her. His grip was strong, but his palm felt like melted butter against her skin. She attempted to laugh at him, but instead fresh tears formed in her eyes. Evan took her into his arms before she could stop him, bringing her against his body with a force that demonstrated he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Unable to fight him, or whatever it was he was doing, Hannah allowed herself to be drawn against his warmth. His lightly bearded cheek sent tingles up her spine as it brushed against her own.

Evan held her, cupping the back of her head as he urged her toward the settee he’d all but killed himself staggering over a moment before. As he whispered a couple of soft, indiscernible things into her ear, the familiarity of his masculine scent soothed her raw nerves. In her mind, she held an unpleasant picture of him about to kiss her cousin’s shoulders, but the present moment played right over it, and Hannah let go of her anxiety, allowing herself to simply feel, to let her lover from another lifetime make everything right.

Evan brought his fingers beneath her chin and lifted her head so she was looking into his eyes. His smile giving way to a smirk, he said, “I saw you, Hannah. I saw the way you were looking at me when I was holding your cousin. The heat in your eyes wasn’t there out of concern for Alicia, or even because you were angry about my going ahead with the play. You emitted that scream because you wanted to be playing Blair on that stage. More so, because you wanted to be the woman that I was holding in my arms.”

Her eyes widening as her body grew cold with fury, Hannah said, “Clearly the sky-high opinion you’ve always had of yourself has only gotten higher. You make it sound as though you actually think I could still want you after all this time, knowing that I’m fully aware of what a bastard you really are.”

“You may hate me on the surface, Hannah, but I daresay your body responds quite differently. You shiver when I touch you and your skin warms on contact because it wants more, just as you wanted more the night I carried you off to the dressing room and gave you the passion that both of us so desperately craved.”

“So apparently you aren’t just egotistical, you’re also certifiably insane. You know, you’re offered an extensive benefits package as part of the position that you cling to with the very balls of your existence. You ought to ask HR for a referral—clearly the shrink who ought to be treating Sebastian Nathanson has some extra time on her hands.”

Evan secured her in a grip that prevented her from running. Easing her back against the wall, he said with fire in his eyes, “Is this crazy, Hannah?”

Author Bio:

Romantic Suspense Author Jessica Lauryn has been writing since before she could hold a pen! A true romantic at heart, she is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is seducing the heroine from the first point of contact and she believes that EVERYONE deserves their happily ever after!

Jessica is a proud member of both Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys shopping for the prettiest of antiques and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

 

Author Links:

Website: www.jessicalauryn.com

Newsletter Sign-Up: eepurl.com/ck5-O9

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081732.Jessica_Lauryn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicalaurynauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaLauryn_

Blog: romancebyjessicalauryn.blogspot.com

 

RLB – Tomewriter

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Watch Out for the Curveballs – Final Part

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Thirteen – Unlucky for some

[Final Part]

 

Friday 18th August 2017 and I woke earlier than usual. I expect it’s the anticipation of going home. Having shaved, washed and dressed I made my way to the restaurant for the last time. It was closed. They open at 7.30am and I was ten minutes too early. As I sat in the main foyer waiting, a guy in a wheelchair parked himself next to me. He was at the centre when I first arrived on 24th July but after a week he vanished.

He is of Middle Eastern origin and was keen to learn English. So as he spoke to me in English I replied to him in French and we corrected each other when necessary. He told me that his ‘vanishing act’ was due to being transferred to a hospital in Nice for major surgery to his ankle. I had always wondered what had caused his foot to swell up so much that it looked like a piece of polished wood. He told me that the cause of it was due to his ankle being crushed. I didn’t ask him the details – poor lad!

I had first thought him to be in his early thirties, but I was surprised when he told me he would be turning forty tomorrow [19th]. He thought it amusing when I told him I was escaping the centre two days short of my sixty-sixth birthday.

When the restaurant opened he hesitated entering as he wasn’t sure which table he would be assigned to. I had a hunch that it would be the spot Michel had vacated yesterday. I stepped over to my table and picked up the piece of paper that shows our name, room details, date of birth, and pre-arranged menu. No way would I even attempt to say his name as it was all Arabic to me. When I showed it to him, he was pleased to be seated opposite me.

Pierre however did not seem too happy when he arrived at the table. When I welcomed him with a ‘Bonjour’ he returned with the comment “not such a good start to the day”.

It never ceases to amaze how many people in this world of ours are racists. Personally I couldn’t give a fiddler’s fart what colour or creed a person is. As long as they are amicable, good to talk to, and enjoy a joke or two I will get along with that person. On the other hand if they start to preach at me about religion or politics or any subject that irritates you can be damn sure I’ll try and walk the other way, because the alternative is me stepping up onto a soapbox and letting rip with an argument which won’t be too pretty.

As we ate our breakfast I had to admit our new table mate had some questionable eating habits. The jam tub was licked clean to the sounds a cat might make when lapping up some cream. Then his index finger was wetted on the tongue to pick up every crumb of bread that was on his tray.

I sideways glanced at Pierre and raised an eyebrow. He was not impressed, and he physically cringed when I told him that with me and Tomas leaving today his two further new companions might be just as interesting as this chap. It wouldn’t surprise me if Pierre put in a request to have all his meals delivered to his room from now on.

With breakfast finished I returned to room 127. Francois was just finishing off getting ready and left me packing my bag as he went off for his morning meal. I was pleased to find my medical file, x-ray, and script for physio on the bed along with my morning meds.

Once I was all sorted I phoned Mum to say I would phone again when the ambulance arrived. She and Lesley would meet me at the flat bringing along my things I had left in their care, including all my medications. On the day of my arrival the doctor at the centre on learning I had brought my own meds had instructed they be removed off the premises for safety reasons [I expect they needed to have complete control of the medications being administered – so I had given them to Lesley to look after]. Mum and Lesley were also going to bring lunch for us and a soup for my dinner that evening.

Even though the receptionist said I could wait in my room, I preferred to make my way down to the main foyer. As I sat waiting on one of the comfortable armchairs a few people I knew stopped by for a chat; including Francois who was heading off for his physio session. The ‘Vampire’, so named because he was the nurse who almost every day or so would take a sample of my blood, stepped over with blood sample tubes, tourniquet, and syringe. He smiled when he saw the panicked expression on my face, but then he told me he had heard I was leaving and wanted to say ‘good bye’.

The ambos arrived early and I was home at 10.30am. Mum and Lesley arrived at the same time. Although I had hoped for a reasonably quiet weekend my heart sank when I noticed that my very noisy Italian neighbours were in residence. One consolation they are not here all year around, just a few weeks per year – but why did it have to be this weekend…

*

In all the last four weeks have been an interesting experience which I never knew I would have. However life throws us curve balls all the time. All we can do is watch out and deal with them in the best way we can.

THE END…. Well at least for you.

As for me I’ll be going through with it all over again on 7th December 2017 when my right hip gets replaced.

P.S. You’ll be pleased to know that I will not be blogging this second experience

 

RLB – Tomewriter.

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Watch Out for the Curveballs – Part Twelve

Watch Out for the Curveballs

 

Copyright © Robert L J Borg 2017

Part Twelve

 

An ambulance has been booked by reception for 10am Friday August 18, 2017 to take me home – not a moment too soon.

I’ve made a few of friends here, and I will certainly miss some of the nurses, orderlies, and physio therapists. All have been very kind and supportive, and surprisingly they also possessed a great sense of humour.

As for the friends I can honestly say that only three stand out. Francois, my current room-mate, who although, according to his name bracelet, is two years younger than me [he shares the same birth day and month as cousin, Ron: 15th May] looks as though he is ten years older. He is a pretty sick man and I feel pretty lucky what I had was only a hip replacement. I didn’t ask him what his problem had been, but he had a scar three times longer than mine running down the front of his chest, and he was obliged to wear a urinary catheter – poor sod. He and I got on quite well together. He certainly was tidier than Tomas, although his hygiene standards left a lot to be desired, which surprised me considering his condition. I would have thought that someone in his state of health would ensure to wash his hands every time he went to the loo, but I never saw him carry out such an important function. Nor did he ever use the hand cleansers that were dotted on the walls of the centre, including by the door of our little room.

On the subject of the room, number 127, it was located on the first floor literally opposite the lift. The room itself consisting of two beds, two desks with chairs, one armchair, two wardrobes and two TVs, had a very effective air conditioner [thank God] and two large windows. More often than not we would have one of the windows open which upset the air conditioner and one of the nurses who thought what we were doing was not environmentally friendly.

    

On the doors of every room was a nautical picture which made the corridors really pleasant. Ours was two sailing boats:

The second friend was Michel, a delightful old man in his late 80’s whose room I shall certainly be requesting [if available] when I next get admitted. It is a small single room located close to the main front terrace with a fabulous landscape view beyond Biot. He tells me he lives in the village of Malaussene located high in the hills behind Nice. By the sound of it you need a sturdy donkey or a 4X4 to negotiate the roads up to it. From what he says he has lived there most his life. By all accounts his presence at the centre was due to his hip breaking unexpectedly while he was gardening. He had some interesting stories to tell, but with my limited French and his mountain man accent they were somewhat hard to decipher.

Yesterday was August 15, 2017. It was a public holiday due to a religious day – which is amusing as France always professes to be a lay country, but when it comes to Christian holidays they’re up the front to celebrate them. Needlesstosay, as a public holiday everyone was away [no physio] except the domestic staff, who eventually showed up to clean the room at around 11.50am. Seeing the same cleaner in the restaurant later at lunch time dishing out people’s meals I silently prayed she had washed her hands after seeing them around the rim of our toilet!

Anyway, as usual I’m changing the subject. So going back to Michel, I walked by his room and stopped to chat to Nurse Coo Coo who was handing out medications. Michel invited me in and was grateful when I accepted. He was seated at his chair so I lowered myself onto the bed, which made a farting sound as I did so – he giggled and said it was an air mattress. I followed through by saying what a bit of luck – he could always blame the bed should he let one slip if he had company.

Not being very pious I had no idea what the religious festival being celebrated was, however as a keen historian and writer the only significance the 15th August had for me was the invasion of southern France, code-named “Operation Dragoon” in 1944. Michel told me he was fourteen years old at the time and still remembers it as though it were yesterday. It truly must have been a frightening and memorable day. For me personally, I am excited at the prospect of seeing my book “Dragoon Serenade” being released on October 26, 2017. The story is set in France during this time. If you’re interested you can read the blurb on my pen name’s blog at: https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/dragoon-serenade/

So onto Pierre – a character larger than life and such a comedian, that without his sense of humour would have made my life at the rehab centre unbearable. We sat next to each other at meal times, with Michel sitting opposite me and the dreaded Tomas opposite Pierre. Francois sat at a nearby table next to Michel in the company of three women. Pierre was [is] everyone’s friend, but especially with Michel, and despite his bravado and good humour at breakfast today [17th August], when he said if he had a black arm band he would be wearing it, because this morning Michel would be leaving the centre to return home, you could sense that he was genuinely saddened to see Michel’s impending departure. Perhaps his light comment was more serious than he let on.

Since the end of last week Pierre had been teasing Michel saying how the village band would be in the streets welcoming him back with a fanfare of trumpets and trombones. Flags would be flying and people would be waving at him from their windows. During lunch yesterday the entire tableau had me in tears from sheer amusement generated by my three dining companions.

The main meal consisted of white haricot beans [Heinz style but without the yummy tomato sauce], a grilled pork steak, and some green beans cooked in curry.

Michel looked at his plate then at us and out of character announced that who would need trombones – after eating this lot I would be making my own music!

On the other small table Tomas was cutting at the meat so vigorously that the entire table was shaking so badly it was as though we were in the middle of an earthquake. Pierre on the other hand had stabbed at the piece of meat with his fork and with his knife was cutting a small hole in its middle with the precision that would make any surgeon proud of his cutting technique. Then placing the blade through the newly made hole he lifted the meat well off the plate, and declared that the soles of his shoes were tenderer than this piece of merde! Actually I don’t know what he was on about, as I found the meat the tastiest thing on the plate. The only problem was by the time you cut away the bone and fat there was no more than two small mouthfuls.

Ironically I have an appointment at 2.45pm today with the dieticians – they don’t know what they are in for. I shall divulge the outcome later on in this little memoir. Before I see them however, I will be visiting reception to get my discharge papers, medical file, and most importantly the return of my cheque. I also need to pay them for my phone line.

The ambulance has been booked for 10am to take me home tomorrow Friday 18th August – it can’t come soon enough. Meanwhile I’ve just checked my watch – it’s 11.40am better make my way downstairs and see what delights the kitchen is dishing up today!

Lunch was oddly enough quite edible except perhaps for the starter: Cucumber sliced finely and floating in milk – sorry “crème” – to my eyes it was still more like milk. Adding some mayonnaise improved it a bit, but I shan’t be serving it up at any dinner party I might have!

Nothing is ever plain sailing for me – I went over to reception after my meal and paid my dues. They returned my cheque which I immediately cancelled and collected my discharge papers. My medical files however are to be delivered tomorrow morning when the nurse does her rounds – I just hope she’s not too late as she sometimes is.

Needlesstosay in the mood I was in the dieticians got more than they bargained for, but as they nodded their little heads I could see my words pass through one ear and drift into oblivion from the other. They did agree the yoghurt that is provided isn’t very nice, but that it’s because of the budget they have to work to. What did I say earlier?? I told them it would be better off not serving it up at all as half of it gets wasted. It would be better just to have a piece of fruit. They left soon after whether any of my suggestions will be implemented I’ll find out on my next visit when I get my right hip replaced.

When I went to the physio clinic after lunch with my HP Slate tablet in hand to take a couple of snaps, the therapists were suspicious and demanded to know “why”? I told them that as I was leaving and I had just spent practically every day of the last four weeks at their mercy, I wanted a souvenir of the chamber of torture.

  

Joking aside the team did [and still do] a wonderful job, but apart from offering guidance and manipulating your leg for about five minutes, the remaining fifty-five minutes is hard exercise left up to you to do. All the same, it was the routines that made the difference and the guidance will be locked in my brain on how to look after my legs moving forward.

Thanks to Mum and Lesley who have found a physio therapist in Golfe Juan conveniently located I shall be continuing my sessions as of Monday afternoon next week [21st]. I just hope the doctor here remembers to include a script for it in my medical file.

The daily ice packs have also been a great help. Talking with one of the orderlies about them she told me I can buy something similar at any pharmacy. So I guess that will also be a place to visit next week. Meanwhile though, for this weekend, Lesley said she will loan me a freezer block [the type you put in an Esky].

Reception just phoned for me to come downstairs to see them. Now what? I thought.

Ah! They needed my address for the ambulance driver. So much easier to call me down rather than access my file online and obtain the details that way!! Despite me repeating my street name three times, she still managed to write it down wrong. Thank God I’ll be in the ambulance [I hope] so that I can direct him.

 

To Be Continued…

RLB – Tomewriter

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