7 July 2007
It was the prologue for the Tour de France today; as I had no TV I would have to rely on everyone else for news as to what is happening.
The clouds cleared at 11h00 and I managed to get out and finish the hedge on our side and the laurel hedge as well. Still not a happy neighbour as he says it is still too high!!! I plan on it being about eight foot so he has no chance of peering over; he is only a shorty anyway but......
I felt very tired afterwards so after a late lunch I had an easy afternoon. I even managed a couple of hours on the lounger.
8 July 2007
It was raining again early but it stopped just before 10h00 so I went into Chasseneuil for a few things. I just finished unpacking the car when the heavens opened again and I just managed to make it inside catching only a few drops on my head!
I went down to get some vegetables when it cleared up and then I did get wet, the rain returned while I was at the bottom of the garden!! It was also very much colder today as well.
I took a ‘large’ courgette around to Florence then afterwards David came around and I gave him some beans which I had picked later. I still have plenty in the fridge! David also told me that one of our neighbours has been diagnosed with cancer; he thinks it is throat cancer, terrible news. What with Octavie’s husband slowly dying from an aneurism, one neighbour with cancer and his father with a heart problem there appear to be lots of problems for a small hamlet! Let us hope that these things only come in 3’s!
10 July 2007
It was very windy with heavy showers on and off all day. I went up to see Octavie and asked if she would like to come for an aperitif next Wednesday when Nigel, Christelle and Patrick arrive, she said yes, David, Florence and the kids will also be coming over.
I tried to rub down the bathroom windows between the showers but decided that my arms are not quite long enough through the bars to reach easily. Hopefully Nigel will find it easier than I can as his arms are longer than mine! I cleaned the house; it amazes me just where all the dust comes from! David and Florence have the same problem so I guess old houses have lots of spaces where the dust gets in!
Christelle phoned; they were all packed and ready for a friend to take them to the airport in Johannesburg tomorrow for their evening flight.
I only cut the grass on Friday evening and it needed cutting yet again! It was far too wet to get out there today though.
11 July 2007
The sun was trying very hard to make its way through between the clouds but it was very windy. I went in for a hair cut at 09h00 then went to see to Brian and Erica to change some books over. Brian said the forecast looked good and summer JUST maybe arriving!
I went to La Rochefoucauld, and drove past the beautiful chateau there, then to the supermarket on the way home and bought a few things. I topped up with fuel ready to go to the airport next Wednesday to collect Nigel, Christelle and Patrick. C & P leave South Africa tonight and then spend the next few days at Patrick’s mother near Poole. Nigel, Christelle and Patrick will all meet up at Southampton airport next Wednesday morning.
I weeded the garden and then spent a bit of time lazing in the sun, there was some cloud around but it was not too bad. I saw a tiny bat on the verandah, it seemed to be able to fly so I left and hoped it would soon find its way back home.
Nigel phoned later and while I was talking to him I saw a tiny bat fly on to the barn roof next door, could be the same one or maybe there are a whole lot around.
12 July 07
It was cloudy but appeared to be dry so I decided to cycle to the holiday resort where David works. I saw David and we had a quick drink before I made my way back home. Just as I got onto the D13 which was quite busy (I only have a very short distance on it) someone hooted behind me. I thought they wanted me to get over but as I was right on the edge there was nowhere to go! Next the car pulled up next to me and a voice said ‘Hi’ it was the young guy on reception from the resort and he had recognised me. It was a 34km round trip which was quite hilly. In the afternoon the sun came out so I cut the lawn and did some weeding. I even managed to enjoy the lounger for a while at 17h00.
I had text from Christelle & Patrick to say they had arrived at Gatwick and later a text from Nigel to say that he was stuck on the M4 returning from Bristol – there was an accident and both lanes were closed. He finally got home just before 20h00 and phoned me.
I raked up some of the loose grass cuttings at 21h00, the evenings are so lovely when it is warm to work outside. I had cut the grass shorter today than usual so there was an extra amount of grass on the ground. It is such a big area that I don’t use the grass box and normally I just leave the cuttings to compost back in. I hoped that the weather would hold so I could cut it again on Tuesday before everyone arrives.
13 July 2007
This was the best day we had had seen since April, hot and sunny it was glorious. I left home on my bike at 08h30 and cycled to Lac de Mas Chaban. It is a very pretty lake with a couple of picnic spots on its banks. I saw a stoat pop its head up to look at me by the side of the road then further on I saw a buzzard. Coming home a pair of red kites was flying along the side of the road very close to me and they stayed with me for some distance. I came back through Cherves Chatelars where I bought a baguette for lunch then home past Michael and Kate who were working on the pointing of their stone work. I stopped and had a chat, they said they had come to see me last week but I was obviously out as the shutters were closed. It was a very enjoyable 42 kms round trip.
I had a good clean in our bedroom and ‘swept’ the stone walls. I guess the stone work will eventually be easier to clean, but there is so much dust that it settles on the uneven finish.
I picked masses of beans, they are coming to an end but I will have to freeze as I have just too many to keep in the fridge until Nigel, Christelle and Patrick arrive. I saw that the spell of drier weather had encouraged the courgettes to grow again and now there are also many small peppers on the pepper plants. I suspect the latter will only be ready as we are about to leave at the end of July!! David and Florence will have to help themselves.
14 July 2007
Sunshine!! I did the washing and it was all dry in about 30 minutes with the heat and the wind. I cleaned the car inside and out as it was very dirty from taking garden rubbish to the dump. I picked yet more beans; they just seemed to keep appearing! The chard was incredible, I was eating it everyday and it never seemed to get any less!
What a beautiful day, blue skies and very hot. I had a couple of lazy hours on the lounger in the afternoon. I saw that David had at last filled their large plastic pool out in the garden with water. The other day he despaired of ever using it this year!
15 July 2007
It was very windy over night and in the morning. I had planned on cycling but the wind was a complete put off. There was lots of dust that had blown in under the doors so I decided to clean the house throughout but I suspected I would have to do it all again before everyone arrived.
It was very hot in the afternoon but still windy. I went down to pick some beans and pull some carrots and discovered a frog sitting in amongst the chard obviously trying to keep cool. I looked it up when I got back to the house and discovered it was an Agile Frog – “one of the most elegant frogs found in meadows and moist woods”. If it had not have moved I would never have seen it as its camouflage was superb.
16 July 2007
Change of weather today and it was grey and overcast. I cleaned the house yet again in the morning, the dust just seems to accumulate at a rate of knots with the wind we had been having!! After lunch I decided that I had better cut the lawn again as I was not sure how much rain we may or may not get later. As I started cutting it started to drizzle but held off mostly until I had finished and then it came down in torrents. I could hear dripping so I checked the barn roof, there was a little coming in so I put a couple of buckets where there was a problem.
17 July 2007
It was hot and sunny; I drove into Chasseneuil to do some last minute shopping and went to the bank and the P.O.
When I came home I got the dinner ready as far as I could for tomorrow night and then weeded the vegetable garden. Something (I never got to see it) stung me quite badly on the back and then zapped me not so seriously in about 5 other places. I am presuming after one sting the ‘poison’ was not quite as potent. I came in and wiped them with surgical spirit and took an anti-histamine tablet just in case as I know how I react to bees and wasps. I went back and finished off the weeding only to get zapped again by something, perhaps there is a nest of whatever in the middle of the vegetables!!
Nigel phoned and luckily I asked him if he had his drivers license – No – so the search was on, what was he wearing when he flew back to the UK earlier in the year? A phone call later he told me it had been found! I said I would phone him at 04h30 UK time tomorrow to make sure he woke up to go to the station. Christelle had already said she is sure she would not sleep waiting for the alarm. They seem to have everything sorted out right down to booking their train trip back to Wool from Oxford on 2 August. Nigel was worried about having to catch three different trains, two changes, and hoped that they would all be on time as there was no leeway for delays. A friend had said he would pick Nigel up from home and take him to the station which is a huge help. Taxis we had discovered were not over reliable!