Les poissons en France

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Party On!

Friday morning, still in my dressing gown, and the next load of chippings arrived. So we all set to and continued laying it in the courtyard.

We then got ready for an early evening start to the annual Fete. This began with an 'apero' concert outside the local bar. There was a good little blues band playing and lots of activity (drinking) in the street. This year's theme was 'rock and roll'!

Guy was a little worried when I told him we weren't eating till 8.30 but, of course, the meal didn't start till gone half past nine! He survived.

After the meal we were entertained by a 'spectacle' which was a DJ, violinist, dancers, fire-eaters, and LOUD, LOUD music. We thought they were OK, but Guy and Carla were unimpressed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Let's Party!

Wednesday was party night. Yoda had invited all of his friends to a BBQ to say goodbye. This amounted to about 25 in all (what with relatives and hangers-on).
As part of the preparations Sue gave Carla a quick 'French' cooking lesson. (We'd seen photos of Carla and Guy having cooking lessons in Korea)

We set up the tables and chairs on a flat bit of the front garden next to the porcherie and were all ready awaiting the arrival of the first guests when we were visited by a delegation from the organising committee of St Germain's fete.

We were duly celebrated by the accordianist and given a present of a jar of honey and a paper flower! At that moment, Yoda's friends started to arrive.

Having lit the 2 barbeques at about 6.30 it became difficult to greet, entertain, supply drinks and cook all at the same time. Thankfully, among the last guests to arrive was Jean-Luc who happened to be a chef! So it was my turn to be given a cooking lesson, albeit mine was just how to cook on a BBQ!

So, whilst the meal was a little late in getting going (but it is France), everyone enjoyed themselves. The 'french' table became a bit noisy but we were part of it and so perhaps didn't notice!!!!

Yesterday we all went to Toulouse for the day, and tonight it is the village Fete. Added to that, we've had another load of chippings delivered, so we've got to pace ourselves so that we last the course!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Holiday Mode

We've spent a few days 'entertaining' our 'guests', (although they have been working their passage).

We've been taking them to the standard 'tourist' destinations ...........

..... and restaurants!

We're now all getting ready for Mr Yoda's BBQ tomorrow. We've had to put it back a day because it RAINED today!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Cavalry has Arrived

Guy and Carla arrived into Limoges on Monday afternoon and we gave them a couple of days to settle in. But today they volunteered to help and we didn't say no. With their help it didn't take long to move the remaining limestone chippings.

We are very pleased at how far the castine has gone. We think that we might only need two more loads to do all that we want done at the moment.

This aftenoon, Carla was drafted onto 'hay raking'. Michel had cut the long grass on our wildflower meadow about 2 weeks ago and we need to remove it to stop any nutrients washing back into the soil. So, not withstanding the afternoon sun, she beavered away raking the grass into heaps!

Meanwhile, Guy and I started on leveling the courtyard. This entaled moving rocks; rocks that are already in the courtyard but too high for our level, or bringing in more rocks to raise the level ..... (just like the chain gang.)

Fortunately (or not?) there's no danger of running out of rocks.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Early Start

We were walking Yoda yesterday evening when our neighbour John suggested that we start moving the castine early. So we agreed that he'd help me at 7am. Alarm set for 6 am and we started promptly in a lovely cool morning.It was really good of John to offer to help, as two pairs of hands meant that we had finished the sepentine path by half past eight.

A quick cup of tea, and then I continued laying the castine in front of the back door.

We were pleased to see how much Castine we have left. It's gone much further than we feared!

Guy and his girlfriend Carla arrive tomorrow, so I'm hoping that he'll help me with moving the rest of the chippings.

This afternoon, I marked out the rose beds with sand, ready for Sue to spray the 'grass' before we dig them up. Another little job to add to my list.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Level Playing Field

Another scorching day and so I decided that sanity should prevail and I didn't do any more work on the path. But this afternoon I took advantage of the shade cast by the house and started to move the castine to level the area outside of our back patio door.

I didn't finish the area, as I want to make sure that there's enough stone to finish the path! Our neighbour John has offered to help me tomorrow morning to get the path done. However, I'm hoping that there will be enough castine left to finish outside the back door.

All of this has created another smile on the face of the 'guvnor'.

Friday, August 14, 2009

More Hard Labour

Having finished the edgings of the path, we need to fill it in. So, 10 tonnes of chippings (castine) came this morning. We wanted it tipped in the 'ruin' but we weren't sure if a big lorry would be able to maneouvre in to it, so we thought that we'd start off with the smallest lorry.

It's just as well that we did, as the lorry was bigger than we imagined and he couldn't get in to the 'ruin'.

You can see how hard he tried to get in!!!!! Actually, the driver tried to be as helpfull as possible; we couldn't complain.
So, having decided that he'd have to tip it in our parking area next to the house, the driver remembered that he could tip to the side of the lorry.

At least we're not blocking the road!

So began the wheelbarrow race. I could only do three short spells as the temperature was in the mid thirties!

Yoda walked down what I had done so far and gave it a wag of approval. And, most important of all, the gardener is very pleased!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

No Lie In Allowed

That one day of rain that we had a week ago has revitalised Sue's enthusiasm in the garden.

She and I were out in the garden this afternoon, marking out the Rose Beds.

It was scorching (again), well into the 30's and you can see that the 'lawns' are all brown. Despite the extreme weather we're experiencing, we've noticed that roses seem to love the heat. So Sue's hoping that these two rose beds will provide constant colour throughout the summer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The End of the Road

I'm pleased to announce that the last of the sets for Sue's 'serpentine' path have now been laid.

All we've got to do now is buy and then lay the filling for the path. Or at least Guy has to lay it when he gets here next week.....although he doesn't know that yet! Am I glad that that particular job is over.

So, now I can concentrate on the other two paths at the front that Sue wants done as soon as possible!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Much Ado .......

Yesterday our Book Group had decided to attend an open air performance of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing', the play being performed by a touring company of English actors. The performance was at the foot of a medieval tower in Montcuq, a small hill town south of Cahors.

We all gathered a couple of hours before the start to have a pic-nic and discuss the play.

As you can see the discussion is a very serious affair! The performance itself was extremely well done. An imaginative production allowed the whole thing to be done in and around the audience.

Everyone agreed that it had been a splendid evening, but, for us, the excitement wasn't over. On the drive home (we were passengers) only quick reactions on the part of our driver Jon avoided us hitting a wild boar. Well, we actually did just run in to him; he shook himself before running off and Jon and Sue (another Sue) were left with a bent number plate.

You never know what's round the next bend!

Then, this morning, there was more 'to do'. I was just walking Yoda when our English neighbour John reported seeing a small flock of 'big strange birds' in a nearby field. Yoda and I went to investigate and we saw 11 Stalks resting.

Half an hour later they were still there when Sue and I returned in the car. But by then the word was getting round and the twitchers were beginning to arrive.
It was obviously an unusual sighting; some of the older people (older than us anyway) said that they'd only seen one Stalk in the valley before.

Curiously, this afternoon we heard a report from some friends of a demonstration of gypsies, people taking photographs and a police presence in the locality. We wonder what was the origin of that!!!??

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Rain at Last!

Yes, that's right! We've got rain at last .... and the gardener finally has a smile on her face.

It started to rain during the night and quite a lot had fallen by the time we got up. Then it came on heavy during the morning, until, at lunchtime, it really threw it down. We're hoping that it will continue to drizzle for the rest of the day. We want to get as much as possible as the forecast shows dry, sunny weather for all of next week. Still, gratefull for small mercies.

A Snooze in the Middle

Yesterday was a very busy day. We'd been invited to friends for a 'Car Show'. Everyone had to make a car to compete in a table race.

There were 12 entries, to be judged on speed, design, 'greenness', aerodynamics, etc. There was even one trying to use rocket propulsion!

Our 'Strawberry Punnet' racer won a prize for innovation in wheel design but wasn't the fastest.

We returned home about 5'ish and Sue retired to bed. Her excuse was that she needed to recharge her batteries before we went off to the Gospel show in Gourdon which started at 9.30. I think that she perhaps was too enthusiastic with the food and drink. Having said that, I must admit that I did close my eyes for half an hour, but that was just because I'd got up early.

We went off to Gourdon and found the venue for the concert in the square in front of the Church.

Fortunately we'd got the time wrong and so were half an hour early, but it was just as well as it meant that we managed to get seats. This was a free concert and by the time it started people were standing at the sides.

The performers, Gospel Feel, were brilliant! They were extremely talented, extremely well rehearsed and extremely entertaining. By the end of the evening they had the audience standing, clapping and cheering.