Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Packing up for winter

I did not have a good morning today! Friends who are away asked me to keep an eye on their chickens and cat for a few days. The cat was just fine, but I had a problem with the door on the barn where the chickens are kept, and I had 5 escapees!! I managed to get two back in fairly quickly, but ended up going to find neighbours to help me with the other 3. I finally left with escapees back under lock and key, but it was a nerve wracking couple of hours!   Life here is never dull!

This may well be my last post for a week or more, as I pack up the house here in France in readiness for my return to the UK this weekend for winter. David, my friend and neighbour, will keep the house and garden in order until I return next Spring. He also keeps an eye on the weather, and makes sure the heating is on low enough to use little fuel, but enough to stop everything from freezing. He is a very special person.

I will continue with my French posts while in the UK, as I have many photos; enough, I hope!  I will probably post a little less often, and as I will again be cooking for two, I may post a few recipes to keep everything up and running.

Meanwhile here are a few pictures of some local barns which I though looked quite interesting and one of our sunsets.






50 comments:

  1. Some lovely old barns and a wonderful sunset. I wish you a safe journey to the UK.

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  2. Thanks Joyful. I will be back here sooner rather than later I hope. Diane

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  3. Hi Diane..

    What an adventure with those chickens!! I know they are pretty quick, too! Glad you caught them and all is well..

    Hope you have a good trip back to the UK... and I'm looking forward to hearing about life over there while you are back there..

    Take care... Leese

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  4. Lovely pictures!
    These old barns are beautiful and certainly have long stories to tell!
    good luck with your packing, and enjoy your english winter!!
    Cheers, Diane!

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  5. That certainly is not what you want at the start of your day... We had a lovely sunny day yesterday .. but now its cold and grey , sorry .. hope the sun shines for your return , well at least whilst you are driving home. Poor you having to pack up for winter, must be such a pull.

    Safe Journey home, hope Nigel gets out there ok.

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  6. What a hairy time you had with the chickens. It's always so much worse when you are in charge in someone's absence.

    I hope you get settled in the UK pretty quickly. You are very lucky having someone to keep an eye on the place over the winter. As you say, these are very special people and very good friends indeed.

    Looking forward to reading more when you're back in England.

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  7. Leesa I will be posting about France while in the UK, there is very little around where we live to write about that interests me. Also I want to keep my heart in France. Diane

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  8. Noushka, you are right if only walls could talk!!!! Not looking forward to winter at all but hopefully the time will go quickly. Diane

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  9. Anne I am so worried about Nigel arriving here. There were strikes yesterday and today. I just hope they do not drag on. I went to the supermarket this morning and the students were barricading off some of the roads in the local small town!!!!! Diane

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  10. Sonia as I have said before I will not be writing about the UK. I want my heart to stay in France over winter. Diane

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  11. Jean I was getting quite desperate not being able to catch the chickens. Thank goodness for helpful neighbours!! Diane

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  12. Nice set of barn shots! Glad you got the fugitives back, Diane! :-) Have a great stay in the UK.

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  13. LOL!! In my mind's eye I can see you running after those chickens Diane and I have to smile. :)

    I will miss you while you are packing.

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  14. It's always nerve wracking taking care of other peoples critters. Your header is fantastic! It looks more like a brush fire than a sunrise. Absolutely beautiful

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  15. JM I am also glad I got them back. I had visions of sleeping there trying to keep the foxes away!! Diane

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  16. Joan, I can also smile now but at the time I was getting very worried to say the least of it. Always the problem with looking after someone else's animals! I will be back soon. Diane

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  17. Carol, thanks for the comments. It was a very dramatic sky and I was lucky to catch it as it was like that only for seconds. Diane

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  18. Escaping chickens is just what you did not need,they are impossibly difficult to catch!! I am sure despite the imminent return to the UK you are still excited at being able to actually spending more time with your husband. Take Care x

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  19. Lindy you are so right. When I went over to see to the chickens, I planned on being back by 10h00 to do the many jobs I need to do! I in fact walked back into the house at 13h00!!!
    The only good part for me being back in the UK is being with Nigel. I am too spoilt now living in France to enjoy a VERY small house, with VERY noisy neighbours, not to mention their language!! Diane

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  20. I once took care of a friends chickens, never again.

    You are lucky to have a great neighbor to watch over your place in France.

    I do hope you'll also post about what's going on in the UK once in a while. Yet I'm sure your life will be happily busy. Have a safe journey.

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  21. Gaelyn, I feel much the same re the chickens!!!

    We are so lucky to have a neighbour like David. He simply sees to everything while we are away, we know that there is nothing to worry about. Last year he even paid an account that we never expected to arrive!! He did email first to know if he should do it.

    If there is anything interesting in the UK, sure I will tell you about it, but if life is as usual it is pretty dull! Diane

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  22. You are lucky to have David. While it's a pain to pack up, I know you and Nigel will be happy to be back together for a long stretch.

    And, as far as I'm concerned, you can always show us around England, too! Safe travels; see you in a week or so.

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  23. Oh no about the chickens! I'm glad they were all found in the end though. The clouds in that sunset photo are lovely! Hope you have a safe trip to the UK!

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  24. Oh Margi I know only too well how lucky I am to have David as a neighbour. If we had asked for some one like him we could not have done better.

    I doubt if I will be travelling anywhere in the UK, other than to see some of Nigel's family. We cannot afford the fuel over there, and with Nigel working we don't have the time. IF I go anywhere I promise I will tell you all about it. Diane

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  25. Faith I can laugh about the chickens at the moment, but I have to go through the whole thing of feeding and collecting eggs again tomorrow, and then on Friday. I just hope I am still laughing on Friday!!

    Yea I also took a fancy to that cloud formation. Diane

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  26. I know that you are not excited about leaving France, but it will be wonderful for you to be with Nigel on a daily basis.
    Jusy read a post about another lass that had trouble keeping the chickens at home. Hers got into a neighbors tree.

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  27. Mya the quicker Nigel can retire and we can be together in France than all will be well in my world!
    Chickens in the neighbours trees - don't give those birds I am looking after ideas, she has my sympathies. LOL. Diane

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  28. Diane...chickens? I'm not sure what I would do about watching chickens. I've watched our friends Border Collies, but they become part of the family. Their owners(parents) call us their God-parents(the dogs god-parents that is).

    Funny, seems like everyone wants at leats a glimps of your life in the UK! Have a safe trip back!

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  29. Lyndsey I never want to look after chickens again!! Having said that I will probably get hooked into at at some stage!!

    If everyone knew just how boring my life is in the UK..... If there is a glimpse worth glimpsing, I promise I will tell you about it. LOL My heart will still be in France though. Thanks for good wishes. Diane

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  30. I love the sky shot - hurry back to France and then we will have that meet up and a glass of vino (or two?!) keep in touch xxx

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  31. Roz I will be back as soon as it is possible..... No doubt about the two! I will keep in touch for sure. Diane

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  32. I am glad you caught all the chickens. Cool pictures of the different barns. Have a safe trip back home.

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  33. I've been cat sitting before but never chicken sitting! Sounds like an adventure!

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  34. I love that stone work... you must feel sad leaving it all behind every year. I would sooo miss your house and lovely town. Do you live in a city in ENgland? I would imagine that would make the switch more stressful when you have to go from farm to a high rise!

    I love the story about chasing chickens... no good deed goes unpunished, especially when it comes to minding animals.

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  35. Travel safely, Diane. Will be looking forward to you on the blog again. We have started our trip home...slowly. Hope to be HOME in a week. Thanks again for your wonderful comments about the loss of our dog.

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  36. Thanks Pam. I am also glad I caught the chickens!!! Diane

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  37. Debbie it was more than adventure. I hope today's visit goes better. Diane

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  38. lostpastremembered. Yes I do hate leaving it behind. We live in the suburbs of a smallish town. But the house is VERY small, no garden other than a paved area, VERY noisy neighbours with VERY bad language. There is little pleasurable about being there other than to be with Nigel. Diane

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  39. Susan Thanks for the comments, I am sorry that Kippy is not with you but keep those memories warm.
    You also have a safe trip back. We will soon catch up with each other in new destinations. Diane

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  40. We will miss your blogs for the moment.
    Leon and Sue

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  41. Leon and Sue, you will not lose me for long, I will be back ASAP :-)
    Diane

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  42. Oh my gosh! What a time with the chickens! Glad you retrieved them all! That always bothers me when watching pets for friends; I'm always afraid they will escape. You are so lucky to have someone watch out for your home. Love those barns! You have a safe trip back to England and I will be looking forward to more great posts about France! Bet Nigel is so happy!

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  43. Pam I was very relieved when today they behaved like angels, they almost seemed happy to see me!

    I just keep singing David's praises, we are very lucky.

    No argument about Nigel being happy:-) I just hope the French do not strike tomorrow to prevent him flying in!! I don't really want to drive back on my own though I have done it before. It's a long trip. Diane

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  44. Hope you have a safe trip back to the UK. Hope you have a good winter. Hope the time passes quickly for you, as I am sure it will.

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  45. Oh no! Well I'm sorry to hear about your morning, but glad that, with the help of your neighbors, you were able to round up the rest of the chickens. I'm sure packing to go back to your home for the winter must be lots of work. My uNcle makes lists' upon lists', but it's become fairly routine, and you you too, I would imagine?

    Look forward to your posts' from the UK. And hope they're not too less frequent. =)

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  46. Thanks Vera. Will be back on the blog ASAP. Diane

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  47. Ree, I hate going back to the UK, but I at least have Nigel with me for whole of winter which is good.
    Be back soon. Diane

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  48. Travel safely, thanks for all the snippets during your stay in France. I just love seeing all your photos of the area, your garden and the countryside.
    Safe journey.
    Love, Julia

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  49. Thanks Julia. I will be in touch when I get back to the UK. Switching off now, and telephone and internet will be closed down until our return. At least we do not have to pay for it when we are away! The car is very overloaded with food and wine :-) Luv Diane

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