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Trip Advisor Report 29
September 18, 2014
08:05 AM

Trip Advisor Report 29

Report in Tripadvisor last night.
"A jewel in the Languedoc”
5 of 5 stars
Martin and Sile run an outstanding chambre d'hote and table d'hote in the heart of the Languedoc region. My parents and I spent 5 wonderful nights in very comfortable, tastefully decorated rooms overlooking the picturesque Orb valley. A stay in Le Presbytere is good for mind and body. The house itself is full of character and is decorated with flair and intelligence. You can look forward to delicious local and seasonal food for both breakfast and dinner. Dinners are truly "special" as Martin promises and are served with ease in a relaxed manner, but with great attention to detail. Martin and Sile work very hard to ensure your every need is catered for and are more than happy to help you plan your day. We hired a car and found lots to do and see in the area. The highlights for us were visits to the artisanal town of Pezanas, the port town of Marseillan, the medieval villages of Cessenon, Roquebrun & Olargues and not forgetting the awesome viaduct at Millau. We are already planning our return visit.
Room Tip: We loved our rooms at the back of the house with their wonderful views down the valley.

The Epic Tale of the Elbow continues ;
07:38 AM

The Epic Tale of the Elbow continues ;

Since my visit to the GP on Monday, when he advised me to put the arm in a sling ( a fetching blue scarf of Síle's) my roaming elbow joint has managed to stay, where it should be, in its own socket. Yesterday I went to see the surgeon (third of a series of medics who have been consulted) and he, like the rest, professed himself mystified.
I hate to blow my own trumpet but it seems I am making medical history here- whole generations may well remember me as the inventor of the Dwyer Popping Elbow Syndrome.
But I digress. The surgeon, as the radiologist had predicted has sent me back for a MRI scan and told me I must keep the arm in a sling for the next three weeks- he was quite keen to set it in plaster but fortunately I managed to persuade him that I would be good.
So there you have me, not much wiser but maybe ...after next weeks scan..... (In the meantime I am prepared to offer my services as a slot machine in Las Vegas.)

The Elbow Part Two
September 17, 2014
01:02 PM

The Elbow Part Two

Day two of the Elbow Saga and I go to the local clinic for an x-ray.
Síle kindly comes with me.
I had been there once before to get pictures taken of my prostate gland (they were fine).
We arrive early but to our suprise get seen immediately. The x-ray technician makes me twist my elbow in various angles for the shots, which I find terrifying as I expect it to pop any second. It doesn't. I am sent back to the waiting room to await summoning by the man in charge.
When this happens I am greeted by a large grin from the same doctor who to my astonishment was the same man who told me my prostate was fine and who remembered me AND who speaks perfect English.
He professed himself utterly in the dark as to how and why my elbow is behaving as it is and suspects that the surgeon will send me back to him for further scans which might show the ligaments in dissaray. When I tell him I need my elbow for my job he says I remember, you are a Chef. I am kinda gobsmacked, how do these people remember these things?
Anyway we get on well ( Síle, and the rest of the waiting room can hear my laughter) and then we go to pay. It now cost €3 for the process-which is a fee for storing the files of the photos.

I am an Emigrant.
September 16, 2014
09:31 AM

I am an Emigrant.

I suppose that now I must label myself as an emigrant. I haven’t lived for any decent period of time in my native country since 2008, a whole six years ago now.
Strangely I find it hard to see myself in this role, as this emigrant person- I suppose because the emigrant had always a certain image in literature and films, the forever lost Paddy pining after his native fields and friends or the hugely successful millionaire returned Yank.
I am very definitely neither of these and find it very difficult to relate to either- the reasons are many.
Most important I suppose is my age when I decided to move, 59, the moment when one is dipping ones toes into the Troiseme Age the time of pensions and grandchildren. It also marks the time when you have made friends with whom you are entirely comfortable with and trust- you know that your friendship has staying power and a mere couple of thousand kilometres distance is not going to shake this.
More important even than this is the family, my own children and grandchildren, my brothers and sisters and brothers and sisters in law. In a strange way the same rules apply as those relating to friendships. Some you move out of contact with and then contact again only to find that all the old affections are intact, those affection forged in the family home and then again reinforced with the shared experiences of growing older together.
I suppose really that I have put the cart before the horse here and should have said that old friends become a sort of family and the rules of acceptance of people complete with the odd stray wart is part of the process of growing old together- or growing up together in the case of the nearest and dearest.
Then there are two major factors which differentiate between me and an old style emigrant, one is modern communications and travel,You know the stuff I mean, emails, mobile phones, Skype, Face Time, Face Book, Twitter, texting, and then Ryanair and the revolution in airline costs.
The other factor is in fact a lot more deliberate on our part : The fact that we have a B&B.
This provides us with the space to put up with quite a lot of people at the same time and old friends, and even old acquaintances, can stay with us comfortably without being invited.
This makes it very easy for friends to stay, maybe only for a night if they are on holiday in France, this in turn keeps the friendships simmering gently on a back burner.
The one thing we never anticipated when we moved here was the wealth of new friends we would gain in Le Presbytere. Old nodding acquaintances becoming buddies, long lost buddies re-entering our lives and brand new friendships with people from all over the world being formed over dinner and a few glasses of wine on the terrace of Le Presbytere.
All this without mentioning the friends we have made here, from all over the world, of people who like us have moved south in search of the sun.
So emigrant yes, but not to be pitied like Bob Dylan’s “who wishes he should have stayed home”

The Elbow
06:28 AM

The Elbow

Last week I am waiting in the queue for the check-out in the Super U when I suddenly get a huge pain in my elbow, I grab it, as you would, and hear a click as I push the joint back into its socket, out of which, for some inexplicable reason, it had decided to jump.
And so. since then, every day and sometimes several times a day, it has decided to repeat this particularly painful and nasty trick.
My first recourse is the internet which doesn't give much comfort- spontanious ones usually need surgery to be fixed- ones caused by falls can sometimes be encouraged back to submission by exercise and physio.
My GP backs this up today and so I have to get an ex-ray tomorrow and have an appointment to see a surgeon on Thursday.
I'll keep you informed.

  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef