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Posts from the ‘The Bean’s Talk’ Category

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

Welcome to ‘Melting-Pot Monday’. To kick off this new series, The Bean has hijacked my keyboard to give us her reflections on being an intrepid tiny four pawed traveler:

It’s not easy being Bean. My job is to be faithful, loyal and unerringly stoic which skills I have in amazing quantities. But despite my dazzling talent, I don’t get any say in where I will be at any time. They discuss and debate and I doggedly jog alongside them. This goes for walks, runs and hikes and for bigger journeys that require cars or trains or planes.

When They are packing for one of these journeys I get quite anxious and I sit sentinel in my basket beadily scanning for signs that the car door may open whence I stealthily nip in and refuse to move. I worry, you see, that in their grandeose plans, they may entirely and completely forget me.

I am ten human years old. When I was half this age, She took me repeatedly to that house where the person sticks spikes in my neck and pokes me and peers in my ears and my eyes and then writes things with a pen-stick and after three times She was happy because the spiking person gave her a book with my name in it called a ‘Pet Passing Port’. This book gets taken with us every time we travel. When we travel to see my friends in the old country I have to have a filthy tasting pill forced down my throat through my resolutely clamped jaw.  This is the foul tablet which the French man who has also been known to spike my scruff from time to time claims is ‘un petit bon-bon Français’. That is a despicable lie. It is not a sweetie, it is no sort of candy.   It is vile and it is designed to make my tummy feel very delicate and undulous.  They say it empties me of worms but since I don’t have any wrigglers anywhere on or in my person it is a worthless cruelty. More recently, after we moved our place to Grenoble I got a better spiking doctor who gives me a meat flavored treat which they say does the same thing. I like the doctor who gives me meats.  I do not like the one who tells lies and pushes the wretched pill down my throat with gigantic  tweezers the size of Edward Scissorhands’ knife-fingers. He needs to be avoided which I did try to show Her whenever we went to his house. I would go on sit down strike but She would act as though She didn’t understand and would pick me up and carry me in. This is the worst think about being of petite and portable proportions.  I will give you his address if you contact me discretely.  You really do need this information so that you can be sure to avoid him. She thought he was nice, by the way, but He even had the temerity to jest that it is amusing and ironic that She, an English woman, has to pay him, a Frenchman, many euros to allow me, an English dog, back into my own country. He clearly doesn’t understand that I speak very good French and don’t really even remember living in that England, though I very much like to visit, and that I find it offensive that he dares make light of this dastardly situation. It is not at all ironic it is just undignified and rather rude. Come the glorious day when my true worth is recognized he will regret his facetiousness. This is my pledge.

Since I got my passing port I have travelled to France, Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Plus visits back to the England place.  I have driven many thousands of miles by car (about 90,000 at the last count which is around 145,000 km) and I have taken very fast trains. But the bit that humans are most interested in is that I do flying. Because I am sensibly svelte and compact in size, I am allowed to fly in the cabin with Them. I have to go in a bag which is rather a slight and I have to be weighed in the bag to make sure that our combined weight is acceptable.  Then I am welcomed by the nice food trolley people and I am stowed under the seat in front of Her. The first time I flyed was from Clermont Ferrand to Paris and then from Paris to Boston. When we got to Boston they let me out of the bag and I pooed on His foot. Since then they have cruelly deprived me of food until we land safely and are through all the controls where the humans look at my passing port and ask if I have brought food with us.  I don’t – I eat local food wherever I am.  Truthfully, I mainly just like to eat, and I am happiest with anything that falls from the table when They are eating but I will make do with what they call ‘dog food’ if forced – how silly is that … all food is dog food.  Obviously.  I like restaurants for this reason. I find that if shimmy into my most appealing and cute pose, people ask if they can pet me and then, when they are at their most vulnerable, I take my  limpid eyes up to Mach 3-charming and they ask if they can give me a tidbit. This is a skill I advise all dogs to learn well. It is truly life-enhancing.

He says that I kept Her afloat during the 5 years after they were married that we were not all together most of the time. I took my role as Her fierce protector seriously and it was quite tiring and I was always happy when He was with us. Now we can all be together and I can relax. Life is good in this new place. It is called Boston and in Boston they are very keen on beans.   She says people can learn a lot from my attitude which is really the attitude of all dogs that are fortunate to have humans of their own. She says that being simple and uncomplicated and enjoying the moment and loving where you are even if it isn’t the place you thought you wanted to be in, is a good way to live a life. She says that being fortunate is not counted in gold coins or sunshine but in the warmth you feel in your heart. I think she sometimes speaks some sense. Particularly when she says its supper time …..

PS: I am writing this from one of my favourite places in the wide, wide world. My humans are away from home for a week so they put me in my kennels which I really love. It is also the house of the local spiking man but he is one of the good spiking men. I love him and all the others in this house SO much that when we came to see him just after we arrived to make sure I was tickety-boo, I launched myself off her knee and did a full barrel-roll in the air which would have been of perfectly Cirque du Soleil standard had I not mildly misjudged my elevation and grounded with my back. I’m pretty sure I got away with the duff landing because Doctor Spiker was clearly very impressed and said it is not normally a problem he encounters that a dog is excited to be at this place. But I do love them. Because they are kind to me, I do love them. The law of the dog is quite simple, you see … all we need is love and we will absorb it and process it and give it back at a ratio that fantastically exceeds the original.

À bientôt

The Bean 

And your bonus is Mr Johnny Cash. He is singing a song that Her Daddy loved and I have used it as my title for this piece of unabashed brilliance because I know it will make her smile.  I hope you will too.  I wonder if any of you can sing every single word without tripping up …..

A note from the Editor in Chief (that’s me, Osyth) …. I have decided to join the Fandango One Word Challenge from time to time because I think initiatives that aim to fill the void left by the WordPress decision to halt their challenges should be supported.  The absolute essence of this post is that a simple outlook is generally helpful, I am submitting it to the cauldron of other entries here    #FOWC

I’ve got nobody to hug – I’m such an ugly bug

I’m not an ugly bug. I am a really really ridiculously GOOD-looking dog.  A dog with a serious message to share.   I am The Bean.

I may look like a handbag dweller (I am Metrically less than 4 kilos which makes me Imperially 8 and a half pounds) but I am feisty and fit.

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In order to keep my sleek appearance  I take a lot of exercise.  I walk many miles a week with my humans – mostly my mummy (because he is busy doing something called ‘bringing home the bacon’ although in truth I have not seen any evidence of this bacon, to which I am very partial) but bestly with both of them.  We walk and hike on trails here in the USA just like we do in Europe.

The winter here in New England has been unusually mild.  I am grateful for this fact.  I like snow but I am told that sometimes it falls in metres rather than inches and being quite economic in the leg I would soon be unable to walk at all.  We had some of the deep stuff but mostly it was the sort of snow I am used to and I had plenty of fun diggering and snuffling on my walks.

But now it is really quite Springy here and this is the point of me hijacking my mummy’s blog.  I got a tick.  I didn’t feel it.  It just sat on my back which is black.  Then it started to grow – at first my mother thought I had some sort of blemish.  She can be exceptionally stupid.    Obviously a dog as beauteous as I has NO blemishes.  These little blighters sit on leaves and blades of grass and wait for a likely victim (they call it a host but surely a host invites people to the party and I did not invite any ticks to mine).  They can crawl but they cannot leap or fly.

By the time my retarded people realised what it was, several days had passed and it was Sunday with no vets except emergency ones  open.  So they did what all humans do and they Googled.  I don’t really know what Googling is but it seems to be regarded as a fast track to wisdom.  Personally,  I prefer to use my nose.  I’m a dog – it’s what we do.   My daddy was satisfied to discover that his method is the right one.   You take tweezers and make sure you pull it hard and straight without pinching the skin.  But mummy was insistently maverick.  She had found an article written by someone who suggested something unbelievable.  My daddy was mistrustful.  But he agreed to try it.  Probably in the interests of shutting her up.   When he was deciding on a career many aeons ago, he considered being a surgeon.  He did a very passable impersonation of having trained thus as he got ready for the operation.  Sterilised tweezers were laid on the table for the inevitable moment when she was proved wrong and he was proven right and he had to operate with pincers as he had first suggested.  He donned blue surgical gloves and I was taken upon mummy’s knee (which I like very much) and stroked tenderly whilst she held my head in a vice like grip lest my teeth got the better of me and decided to nip.  Which I have to own up, they occasionally do.  Under stress, you understand.  Like the time when someone tried to sit on me when I was a puppy – I was under a cushion and they forgot to check – I was extremely small and the posterior bearing down on me was extremely large.  I had no choice.  Anyway, he  started to rotate the critter quite rapidly with his pointy finger.  His face had incredulity virtually tatooed on it and he was clearly just going through the motions to keep her quiet, so imagine his amazement when after about a minute the tick leapt off me.  Maybe it was dizzy with all the whirling although I don’t think ticks have ears so that can’t be right.  Or maybe it just didn’t like the sensation of being whirled but whatever it was, it jumped leaving no bits of itself in me although it had made a crater in my skin to sup my sanguine fluid out.  Which is extremely rude for an uninvited guest.

And to prove the point that we weren’t fantasizing, two days later I got another one (purely in the interests of research you will understand) and the people did the same trick again and after about a minute it simply flung itself off me.

Daddy put the  tick  into a pot full of something called Gin and covered it with clingfilm.  Mummy says Gin is  also called mothers ruin – well it ruined this mother.  After several days it was very definitely a dead tick.  I don’t know if it was helplessly drunk before it’s demise – I am not that well acquainted with tick habits and I don’t intend to enlighten myself further.

The day after the first tick was removed my daddy rang my mummy and said he was going to the hospital.  He had removed a tick from himself after a run and left it wrapped in paper in a freezer bag in the kitchen.  His work people told him not to take any chances.  He asked mummy to take a picture and send it to him so the hospital could identify it.  I don’t really understand how they do these things – I just know how to pose for pictures and I know it makes them smile so I have become something of an expert at it because it usually generates pats and treats.

Daddy’s tick was a Deer Tick.  My tick was a North American Dog Tick.  I think this is a bad name because clearly no North American dog actually wants to be associated with these vile beasties.  They steal our blood.   Deer ticks carry Lyme Disease.  This is a very bad disease and it can kill people.  It can also affect dogs.   My daddy is fine because the hospital gave him antibiotics but he did have the start of a bullseye blemish where it had started to bite him.  This is a sign that the tick is infectious.

 

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Deer Tick

My people now spray themselves with DEET and their clothes too.  They went to the hunting store to get some.  The hunting store is full of stuffed animals.  I did not go with them.  I do not want to be stuffed.  They also annointed me with anti-tick drops which last a month.  I despise these.  I have them inflicted on me in France where my Vet refuses to believe that they hurt me very badly.  Because I can’t talk human (though I bark very eloquently if you speak dog) I can’t explain what the problem is and they say that my skin doesn’t have any signs of anything bad.  But I really really NO like.  I try extremely hard to rub the stuff off.  Therefore, they used trickery by getting me in the car (which I love), taking me to the running trail (which I love) and with my guard down they squoze it on me and then took me for a long, reasonably fast, run.  Each time I tried to roll they distracted me and by the time I got back I was so tired I had forgotten it.  Until next month.  Sometimes being a dog is very very hard.  This is why I have to have a cupboard full of snacks.  Because my life is tough.  It’s a dogs life ….

PS:  The title is from one of my mummy’s favourite childhood songs – Burl Ives ‘The Ugly Bug Ball’.  Interestingly even the bugs seem not to have invited ticks to the party ….

 

Joie de vivre

Here is The Bean in a bag.  A Bean bag if you will.  She looks so full of life, so vibrant.  Which she is.  A positive ball of energy madly running around nose to the ground sucking up whatever scents are assaulting her snout with a joie de vivre that leaves us breathless much of the time.  This particular day was excessively hot so we popped her in a handbag to save her overheated, fatigued legs.  We are careful of this Bean.

Last September we made the trip from home in the Cantal to Paris (about five and a half hours by car).  I had an appointment with the US Embassy and in deference to my tense disposition at the thought of the impending Green Card interview, my husband booked us into our favourite Hotel des Dames du Pantheon.  We have stayed before and The Bean is treated like royalty and always referred to by name by the excellent and delightful fully multi-lingual staff.  As ever we were given a room with a ‘vue impenetrable’ of the Pantheon in all it’s beauteous glory.  I had an appointment with an Embassy endorsed physician (there are two of them in Paris) for my medical.  I was nervous.  I’m not very good at medical for me.  During my morning away being examined by this charming Irishman, having chest X-rays and blood tests and vaccinations for things I have never heard of and am sure I certainly don’t want to be acquainted with, The Bean reclined regally in our room.  She had taken the air of the Cinquieme Arrondissement before breakfast, enjoyed a little smackerel of brekkie stashed in a napkin and smuggled back to the room for her delectation and was entirely happy to be fully relaxed and generally recumbant.  In the afternoon we walked.  She doesn’t get to run much off the lead in Paris but people are largely very dog-friendly and she is always happy to take a petit café an apero or better still, a meal with us because folk have a habit of slipping her a pat and a morcel of something nice.

The following day we made our way by car (which had hitherto been parked in the underground carpark nearest the hotel) to the Place de la Concorde.  We were a little late out of the starting gate and had to be at the Embassy promptly at One to get through security.  These were our emphatic and clear instructions and we did not want to put a foot wrong.  We had about 49 minutes to park the car,sneak a quick lunch, return to the car to deposit dog and get in line for the main event.  Lunch would need to be somewhere around Fauberg St Honoré which runs along the back of the Embassy and about 5 minutes walk from the car.  We hot-footed it, taking lengthy and rapid strides towards our goal of a likely lunchery.  The street is fairly narrow and we were stuck behind a posse of rather bulky people walking excessively slowly.  So I put my  foot on the imaginary throttle and powered past, The Bean (the Athletic Bean as she perceives herself) gambolled along behind me.  It must be noted that I was at this point in my life uptight to boil-over point.  We had been waiting for two years for this moment, jumping through a seemingly endless series of hoops and I had absolutely no idea what questions I was going to be asked.  It is rather akin to being asked to interview for a job but with no job description to guide the prep.  As I passed the entourage a woman’s voice rang and twang in my ears ‘oh that poor little thing being dragged and choked near to death’.  I snapped.  The world slowed down as I span round like Wonderwoman and eyes flashing squared up to the offender.  ‘She is neither dragged nor choked so I suggest you SHUT UP!’ I spat – my clipped, polished and perfectly enunciated English worthy of Maggie Smith at her most pithy.   The woman was clearly appalled at this deranged firebrand addressing her.  I imagine she had assumed I was French.  Assume as my youngest daughter reminds us makes an ASS out of U and Me.  For my own part I have only just recovered my equilibrium, so livid was I at the unjustness of the flung accusation.  It was only as I glided on my way, sure in the knowledge that I had put that wench squarely in her place, that it occurred to me. She being American and in the street that runs down one side of the Embassy building that she might, might easily be the same person who would interview me for the fabled Green Card that very afternoon …. mercifully this was not to be an occasion to add to my overstuffed portfolio of ‘oh bugger’ moments.  If she is on the Embassy staff she at least wasn’t confronted by me twice that day.  But not for the first time, I wished I was that person who has the ability to just waft by situations.  Lunch did not slip down easily as the lump in my throat expanded.  The Bean, yet again was the winner …. she rather likes saumon fumé au fromage frais de chêvre though I believe she was less than enamoured of the salade.

Bean Bag!

Bean Bag!

PS:  I post this in response to the Daily Press Weekly Photo Challenge entitled Vibrant.  For me vibrancy is about a state of being not simply about vivid colour (though that is a reasonable interpretation of the word and many have quite brilliantly here) and The Cruelly Treated Bean is vibrancy incarnate.

I wish I had a million dollars … Hot Dog!

Given the title Half and Half for this week’s photo challenge I immediately thought of The Bean.  She’s half Jack Russell and half Chihuahua – a feisty combination particularly if you are a rat since both breeds are bred fundementally for snapping and trapping rodents.  I get asked all the time what she is.  I could answer ‘une croix’ which means a cross but the correct expression is la moitié x and la moitié y which means half x and half y.  I learned this from the delightful middle child of friends of ours.  He must have been 6 at the time and it was a relief not to have a poo-related conversation.  This particular evening he fired moitiers at us all and we had to act them out.  I thank him for the half fish-half hippo, half dragon-half horse, half raptor-half mouse etc etc because it really really helped my French.  With his growly childish slightly lisping voice it has taken a while to tune my lame ear in but he and his beautiful siblings are always forgiving of this apparition of a lady who speaks French like a two year old.  Middle child also happens to adore The Bean despite the fact that she once bit his nose.  She has no idea how lucky she is.  But I know how lucky I am to know, love and be loved by the three of them.

Here comes The Bean, running back from a shady ditch to jump in the car for the obligatory post walk drink, served from her bespoke bowl made from the bottom of a small mineral water bottle, and a treat from her personal supply kept replenished in the car at all times.  As you can see from her tongue she was a hot dog … a condition she has had to get used to these last few weeks as we boil and frizzle in France.  The picture is a little blurry – life here is a little blurry in the heat but it sort of seems to fit the challenge in that she is half the frame – give me some licence here, please!

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PS:  Do I wish I had a million dollars (or whatever inflation has done to the million since George Bailey exuberantly made his wish in 1946) … not really – give me the love of beautiful children, my tiny Hot Dog and HB²,  the place I adore, and I feel as I do – the richest poor girl in the whole wide wonderful world.

I love not man the less

Here is The Bean demonstrating the joy of being outside in uninterrupted open space.  The grass tickles her underside, the sun beats down on her topside and she is solitary except for the necessary human behind the camera capturing her off-season delight at a mountain to herself.  This was June last year but here it is mostly off-season

In the high range of extinct volcanos that spirals upwards to its climax at the Plomb du Cantal, July and August bring all manner of tourists.  Hikers, bikers (those using their own pedalling power and those with petrol horses between their leathered thighs), caravaners, motorists and wanderers.  For a couple of months it is difficult to get around without coming face to face with far too many bothersomes for my liking.  I’m a bit schitzophrenic about tourism to be honest – I want it and encourage it because I want the region to thrive but I detest it because I have the soul of a hermit.

It’s a family trait – I remember well a holiday in Scotland.  We normally went  on that unseasonal cusp between Winter and Spring, but for some reason, this particular year, the sharabang north happened in August.  We went to the gloriously named and, as it turns out, hugely popular, Trossocks.  Each day my father got us out of bed earlier and earlier in the morning and drove us hell-for-leather to avoid the ‘wagons ho!’ of caravans in convoys sometimes hundreds long winding relentlessly towards whatever beauty spot had been picked by one of them and  seemingly passed on to all the others by osmosis and which always seemed to coincide with whatever the parents had planned for our day out. From our hotel.  In our estate car. With no caravan.  We had no caravan.  We did not WANT a caravan.  The wagoners seemed quite happy to chug along nose to tail.  We werent.  Selfishly we preferred the wilderness to ourselves  and would park the car and stride or, more accurately scramble for those of us on more juvenile, less emphatic legs, penetrating deeper and further into the hills through prickly heather and crunchy bracken and the odd morass of unsolicited bog, each day dragging our picnic bags and groundsheets and rugs to happily enjoy some family isolation.  Every day, every SINGLE day at around 1 o’clock my father would bellow ‘bloody hell!’ as he spotted life trudging towards us.  We seemed to magnetically attract others.  I think the truth was that no-one else shared our desire to just BE in unperturbed nature without the company of strangers who, though Blanche Dubois took such comfort in the kindness of, sometimes, indeed mostly, one could not stand to be near.  I haven’t changed.

Off-Season suits me and was the title of this weeks photo challenge … many finer interpretations can be found here

IMG_2859PS:  The poetry lovers amongst you will have spotted that the title is stolen from The Lord Byron ‘I love not man the less, but nature more’ from There is Pleasure in The Pathless Woods which, albeit referencing  the seashore and woodlands rather than mountains, pretty much captures my attitude perfectly.

Time and Patience

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Cold it is and she takes so long.  But if I sit here long enough the door will open and in the meantime, I look small but perfectly formed in the whispering of snow and worthy of this year’s Christmas Card.  I am also very smart and have lifted my title from Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece ‘War and Peace’ … ‘The strongest of all warriors are these two – time and patience’.  My mum loves Russian literature – this has surely earned me a treat.

The Daily Press Weekly Photo challenge titled Scale brings forth some wonderful entries which you can see here

Climb every mountain ….

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The Weekly Photo Challenge this week asks us for a picture that illustrates ‘Achievement’.  Here is The Bean being hoist high after successfully conquering the col de Croix de St Robert.  1451 metres (that’s 4760 feet) on short legs is not to be sniffed at and besides its an opportunity to use a line from The Sound of Music – something which must never be missed.

The peak is in the Mont Dore Mountains of the Auvergne in the Massif Central in France.

Disney is the answer

I live much of my life on my own with only a tiny dog for company …. from time to time I luxuriate in my husband’s company but sweet turns to bitter (not in a lemon sucking bitter way but in a sad, saline tears sort of way) when we say au revoir, à bientot as we did at 06:00 today, Clermont Ferrand gare ferroviaire.  My antedote is a good old slug of fairytale Disney chateau and my local one is Chateau du Val – the princess in me never died and a few Rapunzelling towers make me and my long hair feel so much better – particularly when the sun shines!

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A Frozen Bean

I am a dog.  My needs are simple.  Food (not necessarily dog-specific food), a bed (actually three beds – one up, one down and one in the car) and exercise.  In return I give total devotion and protection from the evil cat next door.  Serious  … it might look harmless but it’s actually extremely dangerous which is why I must attack it.

Today I want to tell you about snow.  I did not ask to come to this place (which took what felt like my whole life to get to and, even though I am small, I was squishelled in the car so tightly that to move risked the whole thing bursting on the peage) but I really do like it here.  I get to run around loads, I have discovered that I don’t mind getting wet and I rather like the snow.

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Snow is white and it is very very sneaky.  I never know that it’s occuring because I can’t see much from down here when I am in my house or in the car unless I stand on my back legs which I can do very well but I reserve the skill for getting attention and treats.   Snow makes the world look completely different and is strangely inviting.   Don’t be fooled though – it might look like a nice warm blanket but it’s actually very cold and when it blows across exposed places I have to close my eyes into slits which makes it tricky to see and also possibly makes even me quite unpretty.

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The best sort of snow is crusty and I can walk on top of it.  The worst sort is soggy and I can’t.  Then I have to walk in the footsteps of my humans.  His are best because his footprints are bigger and just the right size for me to jump in and out of. He’s quite often not here though so then I have to compact myself into hers.

DSCF4907Things smell different when it has snowed (they smell different when it has rained too – unfortunately you are only a human with a weak nose so you wouldn’t understand) and I find myself irresistibly compelled to dig in it – luckily my snout is quite gimlet-like and my paws are nice and pokey and nimble (which is why I can type) so I can make short work of digging a fine hole.  It’s what I do.  I am a dog.

The Bean

The Bean.  Who on earth is The Bean?   Often I am asked what on earth is The Bean?  If you want to know what she actually is you will have to ask me!   She came to me in 2008, fit in the palm of the hand tiny, bald as a result of a bout of mange (that’s the infestation not the French word for eat) and very very cross.

She got me through one of the worst crises of my life just by being but was always entirely untrainable – she tolerated the other dogs she lived with but would openly assault them if she was in the mood and came with a general warning not to go near because she, like Tolkein’s Schmiegel could turn into Gollum without warning.   She was in short a hand-bag dog with a bad attitude.  She lived indoors most of the time, would go out into the garden if forced and occasionally enjoyed a walk but if the weather was less than clement she adopted the ‘talk to the paw cos the face ‘aint listening’ approach.

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Two months later post arrival,  The Bean is transformed.  Loved by the locals she is ‘gentile’ (kind) and of course ‘mignon’ (cute).  She hikes with me.  There are over 300 promenades et randonees across the region and I intend to walk all of them.  With The Bean.  Here in Sumène Artense we have completed 21 out of 25 and they vary in distance from 6.5-15 km with denileve (that’s the difference between lowest and highest point) varying from 60-410 m but bear in mind that if the raise is small its because you are walking at altitude.  In this village we live at just below 500 m but are walking at up to 1200 m.  So the terrain is rocky, rugged, steep in places and full of mountain streams.  The seasons are well defined here so we now have snow and ice. It is Winter.   In fact, Autumn was brief – an Indian Summer with full sun and temperatures into the high 70s gave way immediately to blizzards of sleet, snow and hail.   She takes it all in her stride.

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She is remarkable.  She goes to market once a week and potters around, she takes coffee with me in my village and in Allanche where the glorious Josette presides … I digress – Josette is a story you have to wait a while to hear.  The Bean is popular in Monsieur Bricolage, my favourite DIY store.  Still feisty she is home.   And that’s the thing.  The people here are so easy, so accepting.  When she barks, now rarely, or growls, even more rarely, they tell me it is just because she is defending me.  Another day I will write of the people.  Correction, most days I will write of the people because although I am captivated by the geography of this region it is the people who make every day a joy.  I will try to do them justice.   For today it is all about The Bean ….

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Now that she has been introduced to you, you can expect that she will blog her own stories … she is you see @thetweetingbean …..