Tuesday, 29 April 2008

I was busy doing stuff

Hi remember me?

We've been home for two weeks now and I just don't know where they have gone. Obviously I have been doing stuff but what was it?

Well out of the last six days five have been spent gardening. Unfortunately only two of those on our garden. We got three days work gardening for someone else on the cheque d'emploi system. This is a way of legally doing casual work in France. The people employing you get a special cheque book to pay you with and the powers that be automatically add social security payments into the amount they pay. If you are interested there is more about the system here.

Well, when I say gardening job it was more akin to slash and burn as it involved clearing copious amounts of brambles, broom (which really is a weed here) and hawthorn from a plot that is going to be a brilliant orchard. It has a long south facing wall and it's own spring fed irrigation system. I was a trifle envious (read dark dark green) both of the plot and the fruit trees waiting in the wings. In fact I think I may be turning into a true gardener as I coveted that plot far more than the rather posh house it belonged to. The trouble was as the weather got hotter the slight slope somehow turned into a cliff face without it actually drying out all the brambles and broom and hawthornes enough to make a really good bonfire and complete the burn side of the whole operation leaving the garden clearance slightly less clear than one would hope. Just where is that Ray Mears when you need him?

Anyway back to our rather more humble Chateau La Pants where we have spent the last two days hauling horse poo, weeding and planting stuff. Oh but not enough stuff by a long chalk. We have leeks, cauliflowers, onions, tomatoes and salad leaves in the ground, peas, beans, pumpkins and squashes in our mini greenhouse thing hopefully sprouting and raspberries and currants newly planted in the orchard. On the decorative front (for we are determined to have a beautiful AND productive garden this year) we have a summer flowering jasmin, geraniums, gladioli, dahlias and crocosmia planted out with sweet peas and nastursiums in the greenhousy thing. That only leaves umpteen other things to sow in the ground or in pots and about half the garden still to clear of weeds. But we look like we have had our bit of sunshine for the week and the ground is still waterlogged.

So all in all this accounting of my time is a bit like trying to balance my cheque book. I can justify less than half of my expenditure. It's not surprising I never have any money or get through half the stuff I want to do. All I can say on both counts is, if I didn't spend it well at least I was mostly having fun probably.

Like so many of my school reports it's "must ty harder" and "could achieve so much more if only she would apply herself" and look now it's half one in the morning and I only just got round to the post I was going to do a week ago and I still have to get a good night's sleep then plant more stuff and go to the bank and do the laundry and get more potting compost and clean out the chickens and pay the house insurance, buy chicken food . . .

Oh and I'm still rubbish at French and then there's the paperwork to sort and I need to check out what all of you are up to.

Frazzled moi?

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Everything in the garden is luverley

Except for the plank with the nail in it that I trod on this morning.

But I hobbled on heroic and undaunted and have got the leeks and cauliflowers in and made a promising start on the weeding.

We picked up three sacks and a dustbin full of really well rotted fumier cheval (horse poo) from our friend up the road this morning and we will be going back for more of this black gold throughout the next week or so until we run out of space to dig it into the soil or she gets sick of seeing us. I'm hoping this is going to ensure a bumper harvest.

The Dinnerladies came home yesterday from their holidays and escaped from their run the minute we left the garden. "Oh they don't bother trying to get out under the gaps" Debra had said. Well obviously not at Chez Us in France where there were constant deliveries of treats and tit bits. I just knew they'd be legging it off down the road for the finer things in life the moment they got the chance. Ah but they blessed us with four eggs this morning so I forgive them their fickle little ways.

Oh and the sun has been shining all day. Fab

Monday, 14 April 2008

On a High

I feel good

Dooby doobidy doo

I knew that I would now

I feel good

Dooby doobidy doo

(yes I know you thought James Brown was in the room with you for a moment there)

Anyway I do feel . . .

Good so good

Yesterday was another story altogether I was happy to be home but the journey left me the most travel sick I have been since I don't know when. We had to make a sharp exit from Debra's place as it hit me hard as soon as we sat round her kitchen table. Then when I went to bed the room was spinning. Oh but today I'm completely and utterly with it and enjoying being back to the full.

Already there have been purchases of leeks for the garden and potting compost.

You would of had a picture of the violets we spotted in the woods this morning but we forgot to put the card in the camera so in lieu this is Mortemart. There's a plant fair there this weekend and I shall be rushing around it clutching my hard earned euros tightly in my fist. Who knows I might even prise it open and buy something.
Tomorrow we'll be going to buy the basic groceries like butter and bread that completely slipped our minds today in all the giddy excitement of leeks and compost (oh we know how to live we do). That's after we reclaim the Dinnerladies from Deb's place where they have been right royally looked after.
Then I need to dig over the garden and plant the leeks, peas, broad beans, carrots, onions, cauliflowers and all the flower seeds oh and the dahlias and gladioli.
Don't know what we'll be doing after lunch.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Going going ......

Can't hang around lots to do today

Cheddar cheese and tins of spaghetti to buy. Last minute washing to do. Car to fill up.

Thank you Martin for providing the lodgings and the rather fab pestle and mortar

See you on the other side

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Change it's as good as a rest

I've nothing much to say so I thought I'd add an award and change my background colour in the hopes of making you all think there was something happening here.

I could do Wooly's meme I suppose. Should I do you think? These are the rules

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So . . . 7 facts

1 My evening viewing is currently dominated by Scrubs and Monkey Business neither of which I watched till I've been staying with my brother (who I really should thank for the free lodgings without him our imminent return home would not be possible). Which leads to two questions

a)How will I cope without knowing what is happening to JD and all those primates even though it all happened years ago?
b)Is anyone actually making NEW telly programmes?

2 I got a bronze medal for disco dancing in the dim and distant eighties I was even wearing leg warmers at the time. Come to think of it you probably only had to turn up in the leg warmers to get the medal

3 I am really jealous of the students at the Geography Dept where I am working at the moment when I see the titles of their dissertations (god how nerdy is that?). So I have learnt that geography is in fact not just ox bow lakes. Although I still maintain that it is that ox bow lake nonsense that is taking up the brain cells that would otherwise enable me to learn French.

4 I'm scared of geese and they know it

5 Leading on from 4 I have a very strong instinct for self preservation and will always ensure that TS is between me and any geese. In the same way as I will also check that I could trample anyone between me and the emergency exit on the plane and quite unconsciously stepped just out of reach when TS was about to grab me for support when he was slipping in mud. It's not pretty but there you are I can't be relied on to sacrifice myself in a crisis.

6 I have a craving for liquorice tea and I absolutely have to buy some before we go back to France. I'll then have one or two cups and leave it to moulder in the back of a cupboard.

7 I'm not really material or into gadgets (except for those little magazines with the big slippers in) but I long for one of those Mac Air Books. You know the advert where they are slipping it out of the A4 envelope. It is just so so perfect.

That's my 7 then and you have no idea how long it took me to come up with them. TS suggested I included my special trying on clothes face but I don't think you need to know about that surely the leg warmers are bad enough.

Feel free to come up with your seven or even one or two. I nominate everyone on my side bar.