164 – The End Of Queaux

When I left Lyon fourteen months ago I wrote:

‘Tomorrow I leave this city and Blogley in Lyon will be finished’ (Blogley 113)

I wrote that because at the time I thought I’d probably ditch Blogley once I got to Queaux. I had more important things to do. A book to write for one.

But I didn’t. Didn’t have the guts to take him out into the yard and blow his brains out like an old sheepdog. I let him fight another day and renamed him TRROAMIF. Or as you’re more familiar with The Ridiculous Ramblings of a Man in France. Continue reading “164 – The End Of Queaux”

163 – Blogley’s Photography Blog Challenge

In an unusual departure from writing about myself, I decided to give myself a blog challenge.

To make a photographic record of ‘The Ten Things I Like Doing’ in the vain hope that others may follow suit and so create a new phenomenon like the recent cold bucket thing – only better. Continue reading “163 – Blogley’s Photography Blog Challenge”

162 – Blogley in Bordeaux…almost

The book sale went well. I sold three copies. But that was before The Cement Manufacturers of Great Britain nominated me for their Annual Blog award – third category, second division.

Luckily you can still buy The Ridiculous Ramblings of a Man in France – The Book! at £3.18 by clicking on the picture to the right of this post. Of course, once I’ve won the award I’ll have to increase it to £40, so best buy now and get yourself a bargain. Plus I won’t be here for much longer. Soon it’ll be Blogley in Bordeaux and I’ll have to release another book, so you better get cracking. Continue reading “162 – Blogley in Bordeaux…almost”

161 – The Ridiculous Ramblings of a Man in France – The Book!

To celebrate three years of Blogley in France, I’ve ripped out the best bits and stuck them in an E-book for you to buy for the price of a pint. Currently £3.18 in the UK (average – I checked it).

Ha ha ha. Ho ho ho. Looks like another fictional Blogley: there’s no such thing as The Ridiculous Ramblings of a Man in France – The Book! What a ludicrous idea! Have you lost it?

Not quite. Continue reading “161 – The Ridiculous Ramblings of a Man in France – The Book!”

160 – Blogley, Technology and Bordeaux

It’s 4th September and I’m sitting in the same spot I was a year ago. Outside on the stone steps of the farmhouse drinking coffee thinking and watching. Watching the finches land on the telegraph line that runs parallel to the driveway and then out into the open world. Continue reading “160 – Blogley, Technology and Bordeaux”

159 – Blogley in the UK: Analysis

I spent a total of 452 hours in the UK. For 400 of those it rained. Or was blowing a gale. Or was covered in slate grey cloud. Or was just downright miserable.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Oh and France is so damn great is it?’ Continue reading “159 – Blogley in the UK: Analysis”

158 – Blogley in the UK: Half Time Report

The clouds and rain of Hereford clinched it for me last Sunday. Only half a week back in the UK and I was lying in a pool of water in a tent in a field cold and wet. Proof if I needed it that I was back.

I had a hangover as well. One of those treacly thick ale hangovers that can only be shifted by bacon and eggs and strong Yorkshire tea. The one thing Blighty does well, I’ll give her that. Doling out X-rated hangovers that simply don’t exist anywhere else. Like fish and chips. Continue reading “158 – Blogley in the UK: Half Time Report”

157 – The House in Queaux: A Retrospection.

The subject of this last post before I return to Blighty for a few weeks is: What has it been like here for the past eleven months?

Well. Apart from the flies. It’s been great. Better than expected in fact. We haven’t run out of money. We haven’t gone nuts. We’re fit and healthy. I’ve written my damn book. We’re alive. Continue reading “157 – The House in Queaux: A Retrospection.”

156 – Stop The Clock

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I used to be a real weekend guy (above). A thoroughbred clock-watcher. A Monday to Friday work horse who believed in the sanctity of the weekend as though they were the only days that mattered. For me life began at five o’clock on a Friday evening when I walked through the factory gates and into the pub. Continue reading “156 – Stop The Clock”

155 – How I Wrote My Novel


At school all I wanted to do was to write stories. But my teacher thought they were silly so I gave up writing them and focused on science. Ending up fifteen years later with a Biology degree I didn’t want. After university I concentrated on music – my grandfather’s profession – playing in bands in Nottingham for a few years. In my mid-twenties I went abroad to teach English and started writing stories again. I was back where I started. It felt good. Continue reading “155 – How I Wrote My Novel”

152 – Blogley in Bordeaux?

When I first started this blog back in 2011 it was called Blogley in Lyon. It’s aim if you recall was ‘to chart my progress in Lyon over the coming months.’

And for the next two years it did. Then I moved here to Queaux and renamed it Blogley: The Ridiculous Ramblings of a Man in France. Queaux with a population of 232 seemed too small at the time to give it a platform on my precious blog. Continue reading “152 – Blogley in Bordeaux?”

151 – Making Films and the Art of Writing

Some of you may have noticed over the past few days a number of homemade videos appearing here and on YouTube. There’s no real reason for this flurry of cinematographic nonsense. Except that I’ve always wanted to make a film. Continue reading “151 – Making Films and the Art of Writing”

150 – The Return of the Mighty Quad

This is the title of my book. But that’s not important at the moment. What is important is the importance of editing.

When I returned from my cycle trip a few weeks ago, I was not happy with the book at all. All I could think of was ten months wasted. Continue reading “150 – The Return of the Mighty Quad”

149 – Hay Bale Gymnastics and The Continuing Theme of Outdoor Living

The best thing about living in the countryside is that I don’t go to the countryside anymore. It comes to me.

Continue reading “149 – Hay Bale Gymnastics and The Continuing Theme of Outdoor Living”

148 – World Cup Heroes and Outdoor Living

Another English World Cup campaign comes to an end (in effect), but the sun still shines here in France. So much so that we’ve moved our lounge into the garden. Everything in fact. Even the coffee table and the horse and cart motiffed drinks coasters. The only thing we haven’t moved is the woodburner (not necessary in 30 degree heat) and the bookshelves (there’s football on). Continue reading “148 – World Cup Heroes and Outdoor Living”

146 – Marsh Frogs and Dragonflies

It’s half past ten on a Monday morning and I’m sitting by the pond in my deckchair minding my own business. Reading a novel set in Vienna during the war. Sipping treacly black coffee from my ceramic beaker. Lazing on the banks in thirty degree heat. My skin already the colour of bark after a burning week of sun. Continue reading “146 – Marsh Frogs and Dragonflies”

145 – Decision Making and Nomadism.

Time moves gently on. It’s been nine months since we sat outside on that first morning sipping thick black coffee and tucking into the full English breakfast I’d prepared as a celebration. Continue reading “145 – Decision Making and Nomadism.”

144 – Drilling for Water and the Art of Novel Writing

Writing a novel is like drilling for water: at first there’s so much material, you think you’re going to drown in it. You’re overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of it swilling around you. Memories you thought you’d buried are floating past like corpses. ‘Where did these come from!’ you scream. You feel helpless and terrified. ‘What do I do with all of them? There’s so many, they just keep on coming.’

This is where the novel starts. Continue reading “144 – Drilling for Water and the Art of Novel Writing”