Saturday, 27 February 2010

June/July Part 14

27 June 2007
It was cloudy but thankfully it was dry all day. I painted windows in the morning leaving them open to dry and worked in the veggie garden in the afternoon. The latter was now almost fully dug over and ready for further planting at last.

I took a couple of courgettes around to Florence in the afternoon. I had an early dinner so that I could go to bed soon after Nigel phoned, I had not had have a very good night last night. Not sure what woke me at 01h00 but it was nearly 04h00 before I dosed off again.

28 June 2007
It was cloudy yet again but still dry. I went into Chasseneuil in the morning and then went over to see Brian and Erica. I brought the computer up to date with everything while there on their broadband. I borrowed a few books to read as I was getting low on reading matter.

I spent the afternoon working in the veg garden. Sure that there are lots of bits of roots left that will surface as weeds but the next digging over should be easy by comparison. I took some beans round to Florence as I now have masses.

David came around later to let me that they would be away from Friday afternoon until Sunday night. Florence’s uncle had to suddenly change his wedding plans from next year until before the beginning of July to solve a tax problem!!! They were all off to the mountains beyond Bordeaux where the Uncle has two restaurants to celebrate the wedding.

29 June 2007
When I woke up the weather looked pretty good so I decided to have a cooked breakfast to give me some stamina and I would go for a cycle ride. By the time I had finished breakfast the sky was grey and there was a cold wind blowing – so much for the cycle ride! Instead I painted in the morning and cut the grass in the afternoon. I froze a couple of bags of beans and a couple of large courgettes, too many for me to eat now and I wanted to keep some for later in the year.

It was still quite grey in the afternoon but the wind settled and it was reasonably warm.

30 June 2007
Sunshine!!! I had a good breakfast and then went for a ride on my bike; I picked a shortish route as not having cycled for weeks I was not too sure how I would feel. In fact coming home I was feeling so good I nearly extended the distance but then decided not to and hopefully I could go out tomorrow as well. As it happened it was a good job that I did not change the route as coming home I saw an English car and a couple renovating and I stopped to chat. They had just had their barn roof done and they (Michael & Kate) gave me the phone number of the guy who did it who is from Vitrac so very convenient. The job looked quite good to me but they did recommend being on site while work was being done to make sure odd jobs were not left off the list. It is not far so Nigel could have a look while he was here plus probably chat to Michael as well.

The route I took was only 26.6km but I had my fair share of hills to do so that used up the extra energy! On cycling through Montemboeuf I stopped at the Boulangerie for a baguette for lunch. I really do love cycling here, the country side is so lovely and the terrain interesting to say the least of it. At the moment there are so many wild flowers out that the sides of the road are quite lovely. There are whites, yellows, oranges, a few red poppies still about, pale blues, dark blues, mauves and purples. The only ones I can name are the cosmos, poppies and the foxgloves; think I need to buy a book on wild flowers.

The farmers were out busy during the morning baling their hay while other fields made me quite homesick for South Africa gazing across acres of sunflower and maize.
I did the washing on my return and then decided that while it was dry I should cut the top off the hedge which is now getting very high. Our ‘friend’ next door is complaining about the height of the laurel hedge but I have no intentions of cutting it as low as he wants it to be, all he is interested in is seeing what I am doing! I think he has at last got the message and apart from the odd bonjour we don’t have much to say to each other. He just complains now to David about the hedge instead of to me saying I don’t understand him!! Quite the opposite I understand completely!!

Having cut two sides of the fir hedge (the other neighbours) which took me almost five hours including picking up all the bags of cuttings from the neighbour’s side I never did get to the laurel hedge! Maybe tomorrow, but at the moment I feel like every bone and muscle in my body is complaining and I look a bit like I have come out of a war zone with all the scratches from getting caught up in the brambles that were in the way!! The hedge on the second neighbours side is very difficult as the ground is not only lower but it slopes so two legs of the ladder have to be under varying size stones to make it upright. It had to be level enough for me to stand right on the top!!! No health and safety here!! Thank goodness I do not have a problem with them over the hedge height and they are happy to let me cut it however I want and also to go onto their property to do so. I only really met them when I went around asking their permission to go on their property and they seem very amiable and pleasant. If only the neighbour on the other side was as easy to get on with!

1 July 2007
A complete change of weather!! Rain in the morning cold and grey for the remainder of the day!

I watched a mole hill rising out of the ground but there is no way I am quick enough to catch them. There seems to be nothing I can do about stopping them. Perhaps I should think about buying a ferret, not that I know if that would help either!

I tidied the house, painted the bits in the alcove that needed doing and swept and tidied the garage. It was too cold to work outside so the laurel hedge was still not done.

Jim and Wendy who are camping there way through France phoned to say they will be coming to stay over on Tuesday night. They must have had some very wet nights, I am quite sure I would not enjoy camping with the weather we have had.

2 July 2007
Raining just for a change! At 10h30 it looked like it may be clearing slightly so I decided before everything got totally soaked and heavy I would load the car and go to the dump with all the hedge cuttings. I just managed to fit it all in to one load. I went into Chasseneuil and bought bread and as I got home it stated raining again. I rubbed down the door and frame to our bedroom and painted the frame, it is a full door with no panels so I plan to leave it for Nigel to paint. As I have said previously he is much better then I am at painting large areas with gloss paint.

3 July 2007
Non stop rain all day!!!!

Brian and Erica came over in the morning and Brian worked out how to change the light switch in the kitchen for me so that when the outside light was on, the inside lights did not go off! So much for French wiring!! They also put up the curtain rails in the kitchen/dining room for me. It was not so simple, there were three different surfaces so we discovered. Brian is obviously used to ‘French funnies’ and has learnt to work his way around them. He also had all the correct equipment. Thank you Brian and Erica.

Jim and Wendy arrived in the afternoon (having packed up their tent etc in the pouring rain) and stayed overnight. Not weather for a camping holiday I have to say, rather them than me!! Wendy supplied some chicken for dinner and I supplied the vegetables. We had cherries and ice cream for pudding. It was hardly an ice cream day but..... When I went over to David to ask if it was OK for Jim to leave his car and trailer parked up next to his barn, they had lit their fire!! IN JULY!!!

We went to bed too late – talking for far too long.

4 July 2007
Someone up there was switching the rain on and off all day!! It was also VERY windy and difficult to stand up outside.

Jim and Wendy left about 10h00. I washed the sheets off the beds and finally managed to get them dry between rain storms and the wind wrapping them around the line. I rubbed down and painted the door frame of our bathroom and then rubbed down the metal trunk and painted it black. This is one of the two trunks that came over from SA that were locked separately in the container with what were supposed to be the valuables! I will paint a picture on the top and then it can be used for storing ‘things’ in and will look (I hope) attractive.

5 July 2007
I spent a bit of time trying to clean up the bathroom and toilet windows but they need rubbing down and new putty so I can only do this on a day that is somewhat drier than today. They are the only windows which have bars on them so it is not going to be easy working there.

I went into Chasseneuil after lunch to discover the bank was being refurbished and appeared to be closed so I had to go into La Rochefoucauld instead. They told me that the bank was in fact still open but as there was no obvious signs of activity (other than builders) and no arrows or signs I had no idea how one gets in there. Anyway problem solved I withdrew some money and did some shopping.

6 July 2007
Raining again!! The forecast says hot and sunny tomorrow, I will believe it when I see it.

We have a Black Redstart nesting in the roof over the kitchen and it was very noisy this morning, it sounds like it is right in the kitchen itself! I am hoping to see some babies soon.

I managed to get out and weed the veg garden. I then caught up with emails; there was little I could do outside as it was very dark with showers on and off.

Nigel rang at 19h30 and at 20h00 as the weather had cleared I decided I had better cut the lawn while I could. The little lawn mower just cannot cope if it gets too long.

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