Thursday, 25 February 2010

June 2007 Part 12

6 June 2007
The sky looked very overcast when I woke so I decided to nip into Chasseneuil to get a few things that I needed. I found some mole traps, I only bought two to see how successful they are, the moles are now moving up the grass towards the house. I wanted to see how easy they were to set and it seems simple enough, but are they effective! There are so many holes now that I don’t know where to put the traps!!

By the time I got home the sun was shining and I put a second coat of paint on the spare bedroom shutters. I also sanded the second kitchen shutter. I then decided that I had better cut the grass before it got any longer and I went around the vegetable garden and the herb garden with the strimmer. 17h30 David arrived with his big machine (he had just done his own garden) and went around all the edges of the whole garden for me. He also pushed his trailer over for me to load up so that he could take a whole lot of rubbish to the dump for me.

I picked a lot of chard; I thought that Spinach Florentine with a courgette would be good for dinner. The courgettes and the chard are now beginning to take over! I certainly don’t need to buy any vegetables for the time being.

7 June 2007
Grey skies again this morning but it looked like it may stay dry so I did all the washing. By mid-day it was sunny but still a lot of cloud around.

I loaded the trailer up so David can take it to the dump when he is ready; unfortunately I have not got a tow hitch. I painted the kitchen shutters first coat and then rubbed down one of the shutters for the dining room. This took ages, it is a completely different surface (different wood?) and the paint just did not want to move easily. I did use the belt sander in some places but as the shutter has a handle, a hook and a catch which cannot be removed it was difficult to work around it all. I finally managed to get one coat of paint on it. Hopefully the weather will hold for me to do the second one tomorrow, at least the second one only has one catch on it.

No success with the moles so I reset the traps in to some new holes.

8 June 2007
I rubbed down the second shutter on the dining room window. It was not much easier than the first one but at least I did not have all the furniture attached to get in the way. I painted the first coat and later in the day I did some of the second coats that needed doing. Hot and sunny all day, what a pleasure and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

9 June 2007
I went into Chasseneuil to get a few things only to discover that there was quite a lot of mist around. By 11h00 it was very hot, I finished the shutters off and then spent the afternoon picking cherries from the second tree, pitting and put these in the deep freeze. I decided that I could not afford any more cognac!

10 June 2007
I put the handles back on the shutters on the road side of the house. I removed the shutters from the lounge, (David had helped me loosen the screws the night before), they needed repairing and I put them in the car ready to take into town to see if repair was possible. Some of the wood was pretty rotten and as they were folding shutters I suspect we may have to have new ones made.

I spent the rest of the day rubbing down one of the large shutters on the door that leads out to the garden; very hard work!! The thought of doing the second one was a bit off putting! They are very large and also folding like the lounge ones. The remainder of the house, all has shutters that are flat and easier to work on. The folds are doubly fiddly to rub down and the sun has baked the paint on very hard. It was also very hot as all the afternoon sun is on that side of the house. Never the less it was a great improvement on cold and wet!

I was just about to start the first coat of paint on the door and I went to look for one of my art brushes to get in the small places only to discover that three of the bottles of cherries were fermenting!!! I opened the one and tasted a couple of cherries and it was like eating pure alcohol!!! I would have to think what I was going to do with them. Eat them!!

I took the new lounger into Chasseneuil as the arm rest keeps popping out! I had only bought it in April and because of all the rain it had hardly been used. When I got there, the person who dealt with returns was not there, so I left it saying I would be back tomorrow.

When I got back home I painted all the furniture and the hinges on the shutters black. At 17h00 David arrived with wheelbarrow and spade to help move some earth for me from the pile next to the veggie garden. There is too much to complete the veg patch and there are quite a few dips in the grass that needed filling. David worked flat out for an hour while I tried to keep up with him raking the soil level. Meanwhile the children Leo and Leny were trying to ‘help’. Leo certainly makes an effort but Leny.....

After I had eaten some dinner I went out to pick some cherries only to hear the door bell ringing and a face at the window! David wanted to know if he could have some soil to fill two pots for Florence, what a pleasure it was nice to know I could do something for them even if not much.

12 June 2007
I took the shutters from the lounge into La Rochefoucauld to see if they could be repaired. The times on the shop door were 08h45 – 12h15 and 13h45 – 17h45, I waited until 09h15 then gave up! I got completely lost in the centre of Rochefoucauld and ended up driving back past the shop at 09h30 only to see that someone had arrived so I had to find a park again! After they took a look at the shutters it seemed like repair was out of the question but they would phone me at 14h00 to make a rendezvous to come and look at the windows.

On the way home I went to Chasseneuil to see about the lounger and was told that they could not replace it. They realised that I was not happy but they said there was nothing they could do. I am not doing very well with returns and as before I decided that arguing in French was far too difficult. I gave up in the end and brought it back home to see if I could do something with it.

I painted the hinges on the barn door black and gave the shutter furniture a second coat.

I received a phone call at 14h45 to say they would see me at the house for the shutters at 15h30 and they arrived spot on time. They were all measured up for new ones and I was told that I could collect the devis (estimate) on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.

I then went down and cleared the turf from the next section of the veggie garden when I suddenly realised that it was Tuesday. Nigel sometimes cycles with the club on Tuesday and if so, he phones me early so rushed back up to the house to wait for his call. The light evenings that we were now getting were wonderful and I really enjoyed working in the garden until it was late.

13 June 2007
Rain again though not a lot, just enough to make any outside work impossible. I did manage to get outside to paint the primer on the catches of our bedroom shutters. Octavie came past while I was doing this; she had just been down to post a letter. She was not walking well today, she said she had been working in the garden and her back was taking the strain. To add to this she had had two hip replacements and one knee replacement so my guess was that she has arthritis in many places.

I decided to have a cooked lunch today as time could be a bit short later. Weather permitting, David had planned to pick up the trailer to take to the dump and as it is all our rubbish I had better go to help him off load. I painted the single folding shutter on the door with a second coat of paint, the rain had eased off and it was also under the cover of the overhang. I still have the other one to rub down but I need a whole dry day to do that, it must be painted straight after in case of rain. As the first one took all day I suspected that the second one was going to take equally as long or longer, it also has the furniture on to add to the complication. There seemed no way I could remove any of the bits so it meant working around them.

We had a flying visit to the dump so everything now looks much tidier!! David was late home so we really did have to rush to catch the dump before it closed. The way David drives there did not seem to be a problem!

14 June 2007
There was a big storm early in the morning and when I went through to the kitchen I thought that the washing machine had been leaking. In fact it was water that had come under the door, there must have been a very strong wind blowing that way and I mopped up three quarters of a bucket of water. I did go out and clear the drain as that may also have had something to do with it. When they repaired the road last year they put on a lot of small loose gravel and it gets pushed off into the drain all the time. I must remember to ask David if it has happened before when we were in the UK.

The sky cleared slightly so I did the washing and went down to get some veggies and rake over the mole hills – I still have not caught any, they are much too clever!

At 13h30 I brought the washing in as it was almost dry and the sky was very black again. I did a trip to the dump with all the cardboard boxes to recycle that I had unpacked and four bags of garden rubbish that I had not managed to fit into David’s trailer.

After I went to La Rochefoucauld to collect the devis only to be told that they had not finished it and they were waiting for figures! They could have phoned me to save a trip but.... I came home the long way and popped in to see Brian and Erica. It looked like another big storm brewing when I left to go home. Maybe Brian and Erica got it but we only had some light rain. I changed a few more plugs when I got home and sent some emails to Nigel when the thunder started again so had to switch the computer off.

15 June 2007
I woke up at 05h00 to pouring rain. At 08h00 the sun was filtering through and by 08h30 it was pouring again! At 09h45 the sun was out yet again, very strange weather. According to the weather report this weather is going to continue until Tuesday so maybe my plan to cycle to Vitrac St Vincent on Sunday for the local fair and show my face will not materialise. I could try going there in the car but I suspect that parking will be a big problem as there is not a lot of parking space. I have not got a rain coat or an umbrella in the house, at this time of the year I did not think it was necessary. Brian and Erica commented yesterday that at this time of the year the grass is usually all brown and they are struggling to keep enough water on their veg garden to keep it alive!

The weather changed by the hour during the day from sun to rain and back again, a continual very strong wind howled around all the corners. I went over to see Florence and she said that the Vitrac Fair is going to be a big problem if this weather keeps up and according to the forecast that is what was expected. There was a huge firework display arranged for 23h00 on Saturday night!!

I had a cooked lunch as I thought maybe the weather would settle and I would be able to work later in the evening but it looked less and less hopeful. When I went to pick some vegetables I found two of my chard plants had been chomped off at ground level, I suspect cutworm so I treated around the other plants. When I dug the new piece of ground over there was a lot of cutworm there so when the weather is a bit better I will treat that before we plant anything. The courgettes are growing literally over night and the round ones have gone from cricket ball size to half a football, by tomorrow they probably will have doubled again!!! I decided that I had better freeze some in case when Nigel, Christelle and Patrick arrive in July they may have gone over or the cutworm may have been at them!
I rubbed down the inside of the other door but I dared not touch the outside. If it rained before I could paint it the wood I could end up with a problem. The wind though was a big problem and all the paint that I cleaned off ended up in house, down the passage and in the lounge so cleaning up after was not much fun.

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