Saturday, 20 June 2009


Today was the World Tricycle Championship. It was held in France this time, it alternates between Belgium and France. The course runs out of St Marsault for 25 k. The winner this year was a young English guy (don't know his name yet!) and he did it in 35 min. Not bad for a course that was uphill and downhill through narrow French country roads and lanes.

Apartment was finished in time for this weekend as it was booked!
At least the first' lessees' were English and gave me some pointers as to what will be needed. The nice thing was that they said it was a good idea to have an apartment and that they will be vying for the occupancy next time in 2011.... Kathy did most of the work in the 'living' room and I contributed to the walls and art work.

I had the priviledge of looking after three of the riders with their spouses and that included last years Belgian winner with his wife and young son (Ward 4 yrs old). They are a lovely crowd who really enjoy the pleasures of riding on trikes as opposed to ordinary cycles. Maybe I will invest in one as I hate the idea of falling off two wheels, I will feel safer on three (or maybe 4).

This week we lost one Wwoofer and gained two. Amanda left us on Monday to further her adventures near Pons and Karen and Grace joined us on Tuesday. What lovely girls, they are Chinese from Australia and today - as a treat - cooked us a fantastic chinese meal. Kathy helped them and gave her some inside knowledge of what and how. Looking forward to trying it again later on.

The veg plot is brilliant at the moment. Loads of lovely spuds and peas. The best the peas have been yet. We have 3 varieties of potatoes - they are all delicious. Sertima, Charlottes and also Pink Fir Apple from the UK. The beans seem a bit tardy this year for some reason, still, win some and lose some. Looks as though the Tomatoes will be good though after two bad years for them.

The tree fruit is really good and we have a lot of Bramleys for later. We had some very high winds which took out the small fruits - natural thinning - so giving the rest a chance to develop well. We also have loads of quince this year, not sure what I will be doing with them later on.

Dominic cut the meadow for us and has managed to get 7 bales of hay out of it for himself. There were a lot of thistles in one area so we will have to clear that lot ourselves. Not too much of a problem though.

Have been looking at what sort of price we could get for our pile.. Am seriously considering down-sizing, got to persuade the man to agree though. I don't want to continue running this and want to have a quieter life and fewer worries and maybe get a bit of 'us' time which we are seriously lacking.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Another glorious sunny day

Sunday and the day starts off with this wonderful cool cloud and mist. We know - having a few years experience of living here - that the day will pan out to be something comfortable - growing into a warm and sunny evening.

Yes we were right. W decided yesterday that it would be good to have a barbeque today. We had salad and some meat in the freezer so it would be an impromptu bbq, and yes it did work.. By 7pm the weather was well settled. Salad was prepared, meat was seasoned, taters cooked (Jeff loves his potatoes!) beetroot was dug, cooked and diced, seasoned with balsamic vinegar. Lettuce was pulled, washed and shredded into a bowl with tomato, cucumber and sweetcorn. All in all it was a nice meal, with some delicious local wine (courtesy of Ken). Yes, a good time was had by all. Georges chewed on pork ribs (good for his teething!!). Charlotte enjoyed her food (sans alcohol) and we adults ate, chatted and enjoyed the ambiance of it all. Amanda leaves us tomorrow for pastures anew and other Wwoofers arrive on Tuesday.

Apartment is now finished..... goody, we have the first 'clients' arriving this week. Hope that they find it OK. I am sure we will get feedback if there is anything missing!!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Highland Games in France??

Today I went to the Highland Games. They were held in the grounds of the Chateau in Bressuire in the Department of the Deux Sevres. The Department in France that no-one has ever heard about. People hear about Brittany, the Vendee, Dordogne, Vienne and other places south, but they drive through the Deux Sevres and do not stop to see what we have to offer.

We arrived here, in the Deux Sevres, mid 2001. So did the Highland Games and Pescalis (the premiere fishing experience in France). When we arrived we did not know that the aforementioned had also arrived and were in their infancy. So this year I went along with Jeff and our Wwoofer, Amanda, and spent some hours under the unrelenting sun watching these overweight men throwing things around an arena and also watching pipe bands from Scotland, Ireland and Brittany (they were all so very good) and young girls and guys with their gaelic dancing. The temperatures were excessive and the youngsters were so red in the face whilst performing on the stage... If they had been my own I would have taken them into the shade and fed them gallons of cool liquid and told them to wait until sundown before performing.. Apart from that it was brilliant and would have loved to have devoted the whole day to this event along with tomorrow...

Amanda is an Art teacher and sculptor so we took her via the 'pre' that has sculptures created by local artists. She was absolutely delighted to see the works - we are pleased that she enjoyed herself. She came out to Wwoof and found that there was more to France than just gardening! Not many people come to the French countryside and find there is culture as well.

There is also every other year the World Tricycle Championship that takes place in a small village just up the road. We did not know that we would be so heavily involved in that - this year I even have the World Champion staying in my house! It will be a pleasure to meet him and his family.. Will write about this next week!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Wind and rain and thunder and lightning

Yes the rainy season is here, again, as you saw from my previous entry. It is raining and then the sun shines, the paths dry, then it rains again. Everything is so clean and green, the peas are swelling in their pods, the tree fruit is growing, the beans are stretching their necks to the sky the potatoes are developing underground AND THE WEEDS ARE GROWING AS WELL!!!

It is nice though to see my newly planted and moved shrubs surviving. I did wonder whether they would struggle under drought conditions after putting them in.

Interesting results in the local and european elections and still the current government haven't quite got the message that Gordon has to go, maybe it will sink in soon. What a surprise though for the BNP, maybe they will make the rest of the politicians think harder about their policies. I am not really a political person but must admit that I find it interesting how things are panning out. It is a shame that people out there are tarring the BNP as fascist when all they want is to keep Britain (England?) British (English) or have I got the wrong end of the stick. I have not read their manifesto but did read the manifesto of the English Democratic party and to me they seem to have the same ideas as the BNP.

Written on Sunday - Posted today - a rant and rage!!

Today am on a run with my family history, found lots more info on other relatives and what happens? We have a windy day and the internet keeps kicking out. It really pisses me off as I lose web pages and the stuff I am trying to update doesn’t. So what can be done about it? I don’t know – I really hate it when the wind gets so fierce. I bet it is not blowing like this in the village. Could really do with a wind speed meter just to let the France meteo know that winds can exceed 50km per hour here when they are less in the village. So much for not getting insurance paid on the lost barn roof…. Really pisses me off – it is one of the reasons I want to move, the wind that is. And we are not that high up – we are not on the top of a hill but on the edge of a valley. Yes, the wind sweeps across from the Atlantic via the Vendee and then hits us. It skims over the tops of the trees, and takes out our internet and interferes with the phone lines and my blood pressure.

Oh for electricity and phone lines that go underground. No use thinking about having internet via satellite, the wind even interferes with that so we lose the television…. Blah!

I have written this at 1pm on Sunday, 7th June 2009, when it is really windy….

And here we are at 20.18 and still no bloody internet… It has been farting around all day and I am REALLY ANGRY!!!!!!!!!! Want to throw the box on the floor and stamp on it and scream and tear my hair out in a rage and go purple in the face and then cough a lot ‘cos I have this rotten throat as an after effect of the dreaded ‘rhume de foin’.

It is Sunday, a day or rest and a day where I like to do more FH research - and can I? No I cannot (effing not!). The bloody box goes off – and - on - and - off - and - on - etc….. I can’t get into my email box – ‘cos – the – nets – not - on – I want to go in offline but it - won’t – let - me I want to check what to do with the box but I can-not get the information. I am so bloody pissed off with it. Had the same problems with France telecom and their box. Maybe it is the phone lines - I don’t know. What I do know is that it is now beyond a bloody joke.

Oh good God, how many times have I used the ‘p’ word I could have used the ‘f’ word instead, maybe it is me being polite!!

I think I will have to get France telecom out to check the line. Trouble is it will cost money just for them to say ‘c’est bon – pas de probleme’.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Rhume de foin

Sunshine and possible rain - please!!!

I have hayfever, 'rhume de foin' as it is known out here..... It started Weds evening after our trip our to see friends. Yesterday I felt so very bad, sneezing all the time and my eyes very sore and weepy. Went to the pharmacy and was given something to squirt up the nose and something else to squirt in the eyes. Also some dry ice (version famillial) for the verrues that have appeared on my hands. Hope that it all works.

French pharmacies are wonderful, they have everything from the best face creams for a younger and youthful complexion with fewer wrinkles to remedies for 'jambes lourdes' which is an affliction peculiar to french ladies affecting the lower parts of the anatomy. They also stock homoeopathic and herbal remedies alongside conventional medicines.

They can treat anyone from the elderly to the very young, or your dog, your cat, your goldfish, French hen and even your budgerigar for whatever illness they may have - be it acne, mites, scabies, fleas, dropsy or dull plumage......

Must admit I feel as though the remedies are working, my plumage has never looked so good - I do hope so - can't stand another day of it.

Maybe it will rain tomorrow as the meteo website has promised just to damp down the pollen. We do have veg that need the rain as well also some flower seeds, will they grow this year? I wonder.

I see another popular figure has died through indulging in auto erotic sexual practices. Why do they do this the poor deluded guys? Maybe he should have visited a French pharmacy..

What a way to go and as for their families and wives/girlfriends/partners, how do they feel?

Can't understand it at all.....

Thursday, 4 June 2009


Thought I would change my picture, boring little me, not at all inspiring. Thought I would replace with a photo of Clematis Jackmanii which is growing in my garden - Beautiful plant - one of my favourites...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Response to a telephone call........

OK................ so what is the problem with everybody?

The guys had a falling out - yes it happened - so what - people do - fall out that is - all the time.

K. and her children are going back to the UK for a break, she mentioned that we might be selling up - so - what happens????

In the UK they assume that we are going back to that drowning country.... Now just let us get this right. We will not be going back to the UK - we might downsize..... - note - DOWNSIZE - nothing more. Nothing to do with the row or our children.........

God it makes me bloody angry that things are twisted and misinterpreted....... Jeez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right ! - Got that off my chest.......................

3 days later

So here we are at the beginning of June 2009. Again it is a fantastic sunny day. The temperatures are in the high 80's... oh too much for me.....

Amanda is helping J in the garden, bless her she is such a hard worker. So much of the 'little' stuff is being done. Things like shredding branches etc... God bless Wwoofers!!

Went to see Siggi and Don this afternoon. It is so good to see Siggi with colour in her face. Last time I saw her she was so wan and drawn. Don - bless him - still has a superb sense of humour in spite of the caring he is having to do. I am so glad I saw the both of them.

Spoke also about down sizing, I think J is beginning to understand my way of thinking. I had input from others, and not before time too....

Maybe it will happen in the near future, as long it is not too long. A couple we know have put their 'pile' up on the market for 750,000 euros, we reckon around 400,00 for ours by comparison. We will be able to get a small easy to run place with lesser bills.. That is what I want - to enjoy our retirement and not worry about paying bills.... I think J has got the message - just got to wait for him to say something!!!!!!!!!!!!!! peut etre!