Friday, August 28, 2009

Wood




Our wood for the winter has arrived. In order to get it, I had to use my best French on the phone to a local french farmer. The wood is priced by the 'stere' and we ordered 6 steres. Combined with the wood we already have stored, this should be enough to get us pretty much through the winter. The quality of the wood sold can be variable and last year, we made the mistake of buying some unseasoned wood-and initially thought the problem was with our newly installed wood burner when actually it was a problem with the wood. The wood burner also powers a total of 8 radiators placed throughout the house. This wood is of much better quality-a mixture of well seasoned beech and oak which smells fantastic. It actually took quite a while to move it into the next door barn-luckily we did have some help-now M will start splitting some of the logs and I can stack them. Nothing is ever straightforward here. It's not a convenient life. Having said that, there's something very reassuring about paying in advance for your fuel-and then being able to see exactly how much of it you've used-rather than just anxiously waiting for the heating bills to come in in the new year.

Monday, August 24, 2009




I have been very busy in this glorious kitchen making jams and chutneys and stuff due to the fantastic harvest of PLUMS or GREENGAGES that we've had this year. Never even noticed that fruit tree last year. Thanks to the lovely people who've sent some more jars, i could carry on pickling even more-giving them a share of the result, of course. The shelves are starting to fill a bit now.
In the meantime, we've had a few fantastically hot days and on one of them, Hilda decided she would be happy to pose for a few closeup photos. She's quite a friendly hen and has some fantastic feathery bloomers too so one day I must just post a piccy of her rear view on here as well, if she obliges.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Colour Purple

Someone has given us some beetroot so I pickled it today and also made this orange gingerbread which came out scrummy.
I've never given beetroot much thought before-it actually comes with long leaves with deep purple veins which are solid purple when you cut through them. i read in my recipe book that beetroot used to be grown solely for it's leaves-so I put some in our salad tonight. the leaves have a little bit of heat to them, and are pretty. I gave the really wilted leaves to the chickens so we may get some mauve eggs soon. The water left behind after cooking the beetroot was a really lurid pink. I can't wait to grow beetroot myself now.
M has finished decorating the toilet now!!!!! The saga is still not quite over since it's flushing mechanism is worn out but hopefully we're getting a new flushy bit tomorrow . Currently, it takes about 7 vigorous flushes to wash away a single bit of loo paper so not quite up to M's daily doings as yet....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tradition




We went to a local country fair this weekend. Saw horse ploughing, local crafts, and champion chickens and suchlike. Also there was this old-fashioned 'wedding group' in traditional dress- including the rather strangely shaped 'monsieur' on the far right of the middle row. Inspired by the sight there of a mother duck teaching her babies to swim, we decided to show our own ducklets the pond again-M seen here escorting one of them. In the course of which, he noted that they're putting on weight and started muttering dark things about duck on the Christmas table. Never, never, never.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mugginess




We've been getting some very muggy days-not especially hot as such, more just tiring and humid. The pets, as ever, are much more sensible than us and take their siestas during the day, then race round the garden like mad things in the evening. M is still working on decorating the loo-it's involved getting a 'new' one fitted now. I've weeded the now empty vegetable patch. Wondering what i could put it in next for the winter...

Monday, August 3, 2009

A bit of a squeeze!


We have pretty much completed our potato harvest now-which has reaped two big sacks worth of potatoes for storing. I started off by digging them up which unfortunately results in too many of them getting damaged-so had to resort to scrabbling around on all fours in the mud, which was kind of fun I suppose. One of our chickens has laid a huge egg-pictured here next to a standard egg. it was nearly 100g. All a bit eye-watering really. I think it was Joan that laid it-and she's up in the egg box right now clucking over something so hope the next one not as big...We've had the four chickens for 16 days now and had 31 eggs so far which is a pretty brilliant result I think given that they can take a long time to adjust to any new surroundings. We've had a major invasion of caterpillars in the red cabbages (suddenly that children's book 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' does not seem so sweet any more) so I've sprayed them with soapy water and hope that that does the trick.

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I've lived with my partner in Normandy, France, for about four years now. There's lots I love about our lives here-including our beautiful surroundings-but I also miss my wonderful children and grandchildren who are back in the UK. I trained as a hypnotherapist originally in the UK and am now registered for this in France, I also like making (and hopefully selling) some jewellery.