Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Now Give Me Money

Just can't hang around here all day places to go people to see I'm busy doing this and this.

Yes the real world is breaking in so money has to be earnt or is that earned? No wonder I'm so useless at it I don't even know how to write it down.

Neither do I know how to put one of those you tube thingys in the blog cos I know a song about this so you'll have to put up with a link

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The Best Things in Life Are Free

We are enjoying the most consistently good weather since we arrived yet we are busy preparing for Winter.

I am making the most of the weather and the fabulous clothes washing machine to wash quilts and blankets.

We have accepted the fact that we've neither the time nor money to convert the attic into a second bedroom and have laid down insulation and boards to close it up. This has had the stunning effect that for the first time ever it is warmer in the house than outside. Yes the first time ever. Plus no need to worry about the mongoose any more

The chimney is swept and the heatproof board up to keep the warmth from the Rayburn disappearing up the chimney and bits from up the chimney falling in our tea.

We have sold our trailer, bought a chain saw with the proceeds and surveyed our bits of woodland. The patch at the bottom of the garden, the bit down the lane and the Woods that Legend Spake Of. There are enough fallen trees to keep us in firewood this winter and maybe next. We reckon that if we cut the coppice in the bit down the lane during the winter that should do us a winter too. All in all we're well sorted in the heat and cooking department.

The only drawback is we will have nothing to cook. We have managed to produce enough food to eat something of our own every day but alas just about no surplus.

This of course means we shall need money. Bugger

Thursday, 6 September 2007

It's Not What You Come With

The Gods of Used Electrical Goods are smiling down on us this week. Hard on the heels of the washing machine comes a telly.

Visiting friends we mentioned our theory that French tv would help us with the language and they promptly produced not one but two tellys surplus to their requirements. We chose the smaller of the two. As my grandma used to say it's not what you come with it's what you go home with that counts.

Now we just need to get some kind of televisual signal to it (I'll leave that to Tech Support). Yes the theory is that watching things like quiz shows where a formula is repeated and where the conversations go "Hello, who are you, what do you do" etc etc should boost our command of the language no end. No doubt I will become profficient at phrases like "come on down". Whatever, it will beat asking for socks of apples at the bakers when I mean apple turnovers.

In fact thinking about it "come on down" could of been useful the other day at the DIY having ordered and paid for our roof insulation we went round the back to the collection point where I boldly pressed the buzzer on the intercom (being the person in charge of communicating in an official capacity with French people) then said "aaahm bonjour aaahm je aaahurrrrm" and then got a fit of the giggles . Luckily the warehouseman was fluent in useless English woman trying to buy stuff and came out to get my receipt.

Seriously though I would like to extend my conversations with Madame next door beyond "yes isn't it a nice/horrible day you are welcome to the eggs yes the chickens are laying very well what? your dog is on the roof?" I have been watching various DVDs in French with English subtitles. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favourites but I don't seem to be picking up much vocabulary, anyway to my knowledge we don't have a big vampire/demon problem round here.

So if we ever get more than snow on the tv I shall teach you some useful catch phrases for your holidays.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

The Washing Machine Goes Round and Round

Washing, clothes that is, has been something of a problem around here. Well washing full stop if I'm honest we have only just this week cured the leak on the shower.

But back to the clothes. Today took me back must be oh more than 35 years, to the day my mum got her first automatic washing machine. Like most families we had a twin tub. For anyone who doesn't know this was a washing machine that had, well twin tubs, one for washing the clothes in and one for spinning them. You moved the clothes from one to the other using a giant pair of wooden tongs (because clothes were boiled to within an inch of their lives in those days and yet my school socks were always greyish not like those girls who always had brilliant white socks and the elastic was always a bit shot probably due to the boiling I still have issues with white clothes) anyway when I say spinning boy do I mean spinning. It certainly got the water out but you then had to peel your creased beyond all recognition clothes off the side of the drum and they would have all the marks from the littles holes permanently in them.

I had a twin tub when I first got married. The spin on that was so vicious that it would come dancing across the kitchen to get you disconnecting the hose on the way and flooding the kitchen.

So anyway, mum got an automatic washing machine and we all sat mesmerised watching it go round, even the dog. It was a day of firsts actually because we also tried instant mashed potato that day (not a success).

Today we did the same except for the instant mash and the washer is in the cellar not the kitchen and the cat watched as well as the dog. After six months of hand washing we are the proud owners of a new to us washing machine. My life is transformed.

No, seriously it is. Honest. I don't know how my mum felt all those years ago but after six months of hand washing everything I really really appreciate having a washing machine any washing machine. I draw the line at a twin tub though.