Friday, 26 February 2010

June 2007 Part 13

16 June 2007
I went into Chasseneuil to get some bread and came back via Vitrac to see what was going on. I think that they were still setting things up for the fair tomorrow; I was not sure what time everything was planned for other than the fireworks at 23h00 tonight. Parking though was still going to be a problem as there were a lot of big trucks there taking up what little room there already was.

I checked the veggie garden and picked a few things only to see the moles were moving back up towards the house again – I wish I could get the traps to work! Quite obviously I have not got the technique. David said to make sure my hands were covered in mud when I set them so I left no smell but so far that has not helped either.

Finally I discovered that everything started with the fireworks at 23h00 and by then I had decided that I would just watch them from the house. It was too late to cycle there as my lights were on my bike in the UK and I did not feel like getting the car out again. I obviously missed all the smaller fireworks but there were many up in the air. At least it had stayed dry all day though very cloudy and grey.

17 June 2007
Vitrac had their barbecue and fair today but as it had been continual drizzle I decided not to even go out of the house. It was quite sad as I had looked forward to going down and hopefully meeting a few more people. I have been working so hard on the house that I had still only met David and his family plus Octavie in the hamlet. Instead I rubbed down all the windows and the door to the garden working with the shutters partially closed. This made for bad lighting but at least it was dry and the wind was not too bad.

Nigel phoned early as planned, he had not had a good day. Having decided to go for a cycle ride the bolt on his saddle had sheared off and he had a long walk home. David came around to see if all was OK just as I was finishing the call with Nigel.

Lots of thunder overnight, I had a very bad night with a combination of thunder and very bad cramps again. Wish I knew what triggered them off!

18 June 2007
Sunshine at last, what a pleasure. I rubbed down the other folding shutter on the door and painted the first coat on both sides. It was equally as difficult to rub down as first one which was what I expected! I cut the lawn which was well overdue but the ground was still very soggy. The grass really needed cutting at this stage every 5 days but the weather so far had not let me get out there that often.

The moles were now moving up into the new grass, it was just so frustrating as they were making such a mess. The traps were useless and I had run out of ideas.

The quote for the shutters arrived in the post, not cheap but unfortunately this was a necessary job that we had to get done. I would have to go in with a deposit and make a date for fitting.

19 June 2007
I went into Chasseneuil for a few things I needed. Came home and painted the folding shutters with a final coat of paint. I then went around with weed killer outside the fence where the grass and weeds were taking over. David previously had killed the weeds around the gateway but he had not gone down the fence line. He left me with some of the weed killer though so it was not a problem. Professional weed killer I might add so it really works.

I had an email from Christelle, they leave SA on 11 July and arrive Limoges 18 July so they are getting very excited now. I am so looking forward to seeing them again. I also had a very nice email from Robin in South Africa, my ex brother-in-law. He tells me that his sister-in-law still in Zimbawe says an onion is now Z$16,000 and a crate of beers is now 3 million dollars, how they manage to survive up there I really don’t know but so many people are financial prisoners, they cannot afford to live elsewhere. The Z$ is a complete disaster.

It was a lovely sunny day up until 17h00 and the black clouds moved in once more. Goodness what an evening! I decided that I would make some courgette soup as I had found a large one that had previously escaped me. The Kenwood I have in France has not got a proper liquidiser but it has blades which I thought would do the same job. What I forgot is that the centre piece where the blades fit on is hollow and as soon as it spins the level rises. The end result was that I had soup everywhere flying out of the hollow section and splattered all over the kitchen!! As this was happening we had an almighty crack of thunder and the heavens just opened, first with rain then hail and then a swimming pool appeared under the kitchen door. What with mopping up soup and water I was not doing very well. This lasted all of ten minutes and suddenly the sun came out! It felt like much longer to me! Twenty minutes later it was raining again and by 20h00 it was dry once more!! I have to say the soup (that was left in the container) tasted great in the end but the ‘liquidiser’ was not successful and it was a bit like lumpy custard.

20 June 2007
It was a bit cloudy in the morning but it turned out to be a lovely day. I painted all the hinges and fittings black on the door shutters. It was a very slow job which took me several hours. I also managed to finish off a coat of paint on one of the windows in the kitchen.

The moles were still moving in closer and closer!

21 June 2007
Cloudy but dry again in the morning. I removed the shutters from the second window in the lounge and filled the spaces left with wood filler. The month was up for the drying putty so I also went around putting an undercoat on all the places I had touched up. It rained on and off during the afternoon.

I took a large courgette over to Florence and asked if David could come over to read a French email for me, it was re the shutters, when he arrived home. It was totally beyond me and I needed to have some answers fairly quickly. He duly arrived and explained the email for me and we managed to fit in a quick pastis as well before the children descended on us.......

22 June 2007
I woke up to rain yet again. When we bought this house we were told it was a drought area and there were often water restrictions, things have certainly changed since we have arrived. The shutter people phoned and asked if they could come and measure up both windows exactly so no mistakes would be made. They arrived just after 10h00 and we arranged for the installation on 24 July, I gave them a deposit so hope all now goes ahead as planned. I might add he measured up in the rain and got soaked!

I painted the spare bedroom window and the kitchen window with the shutters closed so light was bad to say the least of it but with the rain coming down I had no choice. I only hoped that in complete daylight I would not have too much to repair!

The sun flickered out a few times during the day but it only lasted a few minutes each time. It was mainly rain for the whole day. I was beginning to think that I should ask Nigel to bring my wetsuit when he comes over!

23 June 2007
It was raining yet again in the morning but it cleared a bit during the day although there was a lot of cloud around. I went into Chasseneuil early to get petrol for the lawn mower and to get a couple of other items I needed.

I lightly rubbed down the kitchen, dining room and spare bedroom windows and painted another coat. David popped over at lunch time to see if I was OK; the children had gone swimming at Florence’s parents so it was extremely quiet! I have to say I have grown very fond of the two boys and the younger one Leny (who is the noisy one) is the first to always come for a kiss when I see them.

I cut the grass in the afternoon; the moles were making such a mess, if only I could find an answer to them, there must be dozens of them around now judging by the number of hills that come up each day! It is beginning to look like Mole City.
I had my ‘almost’ first home grown dinner. I had chard, sorrel, baby carrots, beans and courgette. I spoilt it by putting a fried egg on top and as we have no chicken I cannot claim to have home grown eggs!! Maybe this will happen when we move here permanently!

24 June 2007
The weather was just perfect for once, slightly cloudy, warm and only a light wind. It was just right for cycling but I decided that my priorities lay elsewhere. I would get back to cycling in the not too distant future I hoped.

I did the washing and then painted in the morning. Afterwards I cut all the edges round the herb and veggie garden. I spent the afternoon moving soil so that I could try to get the remainder of the vegetable garden dug over before Nigel, Christelle and Patrick arrived.

25 June 2007
Just for a change there was a lot of thunder early last night and rain on and off during the night giving me a very disturbed sleep. I got up in the morning feeling like I had not been to bed. I kept thinking that I should go through to the spare room when there was a storm around as it would be quieter but once in bed it is difficult to then make the move! The spare room is built into the barn so it has a large space between the ceiling and the roof which is planned for another room in the future. It also has not got a window in the roof which we have in our bedroom. There was rain and sun on and off all through the day and it was very windy. I cooked a mid-day meal as with the weather I thought I may as well eat then and see if the weather clears later so I could get on with some work outside.
I cleaned the house and while doing this I realised the ceiling in the alcove had not been painted, also the tiny bit of wall between the lounge and the alcove had not had anything done to it! It is above my head so I don’t look up there too often especially in an alcove.

I sanded the ceiling down and the bit of wall in the alcove in the afternoon (so much for all my cleaning in the morning!). I papered the small bit of wall. If it was dry tomorrow I could paint that and the ceiling. It is in the middle of the house though so it may take a couple of days to dry out.

26 June 2007
It was cloudy but dry so I took a chance on painting the outside window frames of the lounge. At 13h00 I decided as it was still dry that I would go and move some more earth from the veg garden, this of course made the weather change and by 13h30 it started raining again. I managed to partially close the windows and hoped that they would not stick. By 14h00 it had stopped raining so I decided that while I had the chance I would try yet again to move the soil. The next soaking came at 15h30 but by then I had moved as much soil as I needed and I was already starting to dig over the rest of the garden. My back needed a rest so the rain was in fact good timing!


  1. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

  2. Glad you are enjoying it, It will get more interesting when I get to 2009 and I have met more people in the hamlet.


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