Thursday, 17 September 2009

sixteen days

It has been 16 days since my last post. The wwoofers have gone, bless them they were an absolute godsend for us. They both worked so very well and put up with a lot from us. They went back to the dismal and wet UK with sunkissed skin and a healthy outlook. I do so hope that they remember us - we will certainly remember them. They left us with poetry in our Wwoof book!!

There has been a very strange, loud, grating noise in the garden. Whatever it is, it is competing with Peu Peu and our neighbours Guinea Fowl. We eventually tracked it down to a stunning petit rainette. Watching his throat swell to almost his body size to make the noise that he was making was amazing. The last time that we saw these little tree frogs in the garden was 5 years ago... They are beautiful!! We have also had stick insects in the garden but I have not seen any preying mantis this year.

We have had rain since Monday (14th Sept) not a lot but enough to give the ground and the plants in it a breath of life. It is so very good. Everything was so very parched - I am sure that I have lost lots of plants - the lovely willow bought for me in the UK
(Salix Integra Hakura Nishiki) for my birthday, I am sure is no longer with us.... but the Kilmarnok willow is looking good. If my garden off the kitchen had been done earlier this year then the Hakura Nishiki would have been installed and growing.... never mind - will have to buy a new one then!!!! It seems that the weeping willow cuttings that I had going have passed on as well. BUT - the lovely juvenile linden from St. Clementin is looking good and we have a site for it this winter...

K and children will be leaving us before the end of October.... it is a shame - I dread to think how young Charlotte will cope with English education. She has had 3 years of 1st class teaching out here and now she will be leaving it. I think it will be harder on her than her parents think. She has two languages and is able to read and write in both of them. She is a bright child and I do worry that she will fall behind going away from here. Georges though will be no problem. He says '"hi ya", "bye bye" and "'ello", "au revoir" with ease at the moment. God, I will miss him so much! He has even developed one of his granddad's mannerisms - he can drop his bottom lip to expose his bottom teeth - the rest of us can't do it!! Amazing.

We have despatched our cockerel - his spurs were the size of sharks teeth ! He made a very good curry. We have his two sons - both hatched by the delightful Peu Peu (from St Clementin - brilliant saint as well as village!!) They are stunning birds, both pure bred Marans. We may keep one, not too sure - can see the 'buds' on their legs where the spurs will grow. Will have to see how to de-spur them.

J has now accepted that things need to be downsized...Had a long chat. Getting older, forgetting things, too much land to look after, too much maintenance cost, etc. etc.. What if one of us has a stroke/heart attack/breaks as leg, etc, etc... and he now agrees that "yes! it would be a good idea to think of the future".... hoo-effing-ra!! We have also had invitations to go to Sri Lanka, New Zealand as well as South America.... the only way is to downsize (
lower taxes and household bills), save pennies and then go travel and yes he agrees - Oh! it has been such a battle over the past few weeks but am getting there.

Have given up the B&B but the apartment is in the offing. It has been awared the prefecture 2 star as well as Clevacances 2 keys. I am really pleased with that. The B&B was 2 key I was not too sure about the apartment. I suppose it is because we are situated in such a lovely area, it is so very quiet and peaceful. I have had people there this year already and they have all said how nice it was and that they felt rested after being here... It will make life so much easier for me. I find it very difficult to do the mornings**; there is a reason, explained later on. I need to finish off some of the small detail in the B&B and have found a guy to do some work for me. J does not mind, he is glad that it is taken off his shoulders. I should have done this a long time ago but didn't want to upset him. We have reached an understanding. If he cannot, or does not know how to, do the job then we get someone to do it for him/us. He realises that he has limitations. It has taken a long time for this but we are getting there. At least we are talking!

Mornings**: I sleep well at night until around - anytime between 3 & 5 am - when I am woken by J talking/shouting in his sleep. It has become a regular thing over the past couple of months. Some of the time I understand his words - a lot of his words are 'agressive' - he also thrashes about in his sleep. I wake up - and stay awake!! I suppose I get around 5-6 hours sleep a night if I am lucky. I get so very, very tired and cannot sleep during the day (too much light)
I need my sleep at night - at least 8 hours..

Have booked for us to go to Pornic for a few days. Last time we were there was during 1996. We were en vacance at La Baule and took a trip out over the bridge at St Nazaire and found Pornic, what a delightful fishing village - we are looking forward to some good sea food - YUMMY!!!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

another month

it is now the 1st Sept 2009......

Another month, wow.

What has happened since my last entry, I do not remember. We have had a german wwoofer stay with us. She was a 19 yr old student, due to find a university in Germany to study psychology. She found one eventually. Her mother used to call every evening - her daughter was her only child. A lovely girl who did not know a lot of the practicalities of life. I do hope that I taught her something.

At present we have a couple of English girls (both 26 yrs). They are absolutely delightful, have a fantastic sense of humour and work very well. One of them is studying neuroscience.... wow - she looks into the brains of fruit flies!! The other one is studying for social work - and has done archaelogical digs in the SE of UK.. Both are wonderful girls - I like them very much and would like to be a mother to them!!

We have had some rain today, not a lot, just some.... it looks as though the drought is about to break. Everything is so dry... it is unbearable. I do, though, have lots of tomatoes to bottle. In 2006 I bottled 40 litres of tomatoes. 2007 and 2008 we were severely affected by blight so this year it is a bonus for us. My shelves will be groaning with produce!! (I hope) but I do not really want to spend my summer weeks doing this!! Have also harvested the Bramley apples. Made some chutney and also bottled some for apple sauce. Got some more for chutney. Also made beetroot chutney and courgette chutney... am really into the preserving lark! Mind you, I did it in the UK for many years... The aubergines are absolutely lovely this year, even the 'ancient chinese varieties' that we grew from seed. Looks like lots of ratatouille to be bottled or frozen as well - yummy....

K came back from UK with children last week....

It looks as though they will be relocating to the UK for the time being. They need to get the money together to finish their house.... Lord knows how long that will take... K said that they plan to go back for December.. Will miss them of course.. I do love Georges so much. He is as much mine as I have know him since birth.. I will get used to the change of course.