Les poissons en France

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seemed Like a Good Idea

I started to fit the spraying jets to the watering system this morning but, when I turned the water on to see how far they reached so that I knew how far apart the jets needed to be ......... pathetic!

Our problem is lack of water pressure. Firstly we are the end of the line and we're not sure how far the water's already come from the village's own water tower. Then, by the time it's come over 100 metres from our outside tap to the first of the jets in the beds, there just doesn't seem enough pressure left to give a decent spray. So we figured that, by the time there's some 30 jets in the line we won't get anything.
As a result, we charged off to Cahors this afternoon to take back the unopened packets of 'bits' and have changed them for a 'drip' sytem, We're not sure how well this will work, but we feel that it must be better than nothing. Time will tell.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cracking the Whip

This morning the Head Gardener was sorely tried by the lack of water pressure in the hand-held hose, and she forcibly voiced her thoughts to the garden labourer!!!

So, I tore up my sick note and started to set up the 'automatic' watering system which we bought some weeks back. It hadn't made it's way up to the top of the Urgent list....until today. I feel sure that the Gardener thought that it was just a matter of laying tubing on the ground, connecting little jets and away you go. However, I managed to convince her that the tubing wasn't going to last if it lay ontop of the ground across the road and out came the digger.

I had to take the tubing across our 'alley' where we drive the lawn mower, but then it had to go across the road up over the hill, the one the chasseurs (hunters) use in the winter.

Fortunately no one wanted to go up the hill whilst I was doing this. There's about another day's worth of work to get the system all set up for the serpentine bed at the front, but I expect it will rain now!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Back to Normal

...well, almost!

The summer has finally settled in; hot, sunny days with temperatures nudging 30 degrees.

Since I came home from hospital I've been working in the garden so that, without Sue's careful ministrations, it won't revert to a wilderness. But I felt that it was time to recommence buiding work. As it was going to be hot today, I was up and out (relatively) early and made some cement to continue with the courtyard wall.

My intention was to work in the garden after I'd used up the cement, but it was already getting hot at half past ten so I spent the afternoon in Bedroom 3 organising the lights in the en-suite. There's always a back-up job!

Sue is improving slowly but steadily; she's found the neck support a great help. You can tell how much better she feels as she's begun to potter in the garden and has been busy looking on-line at different plants that deer are not supposed to eat. (I don't think I'll persuade her to get a gun)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

News from the Old Crocks

Well, I'm back home again after my latest visit to Toulouse Hospital, nearly at the point of resolution! I don't like to think about how many times we've thought that we were going to receive a diagnosis. I had my heart biopsy last Friday ( which really wasn't a big deal, lying on the table talking to the surgeon) but, of course, I didn't expect the lab to be working over the weekend. So, Monday morning I was sent home still awaiting to find out what is being deposited in the mucles of the walls of my heart. The opinion is that it is a protein, amylose, which my bone marrow has started to produce and which my body can't break down....so it's collecting in the heart muscles .... a rare condition!
Following a definitive diagnosis, I'll be back to Toulouse for the start of a course of treatment. What is reassuring is that there isn't anything physically wrong with the heart, it's this 'secondary' condition which is causing the problem. So, the prognosis is really positive....can't wait to get back to doing things again!!!!!
Meantime, the other crock finally went to the doctor today who told her that she has Arthritis in her neck and only time will cure it (although, of course it won't be cured, if you see what I mean)

So there she is, neck brace fitted and pills in hand! Isn't it good, this gradual aging process. Still, Diana is taking her ageing without worrying.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flaming June!!!!!

When is our Summer going to ever start?

We seem to have had rain since forever, and, as you can see, we're about to grow webbed feet.

So, even without me tripping forwards and backwards to Toulouse Hospital I wouldn't have been able to do much work on my wall in the courtyard.

Naturally, the gardener isn't too pleased, especially as she has a problem with the deer who are continuing to wreak havoc in the beds of the back garden. They don't seem to come to the front of the house, so the front garden is developing well, even though the rain is battering everything down.

I'm hoping that we might finally be getting to the bottom of my heart problem. I'm going back to Toulouse for a heart biopsy on Friday to finally, and hopefully definitively, see what is being deposited in the muscles of the heart wall. Lets hope that life, and summer, can then start again in earnest.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Never Rains But It Pours

Last Thursday we were scheduled to have a storm in the afternoon but did expect one which started at 1 o'clock and was just about tailing off at 10 in the evening. John took himself off to Toulouse hospital early in the morning as I was not fit enough to drive down to Toulouse and back up to Limoge to collect our friend Betty. However our friends Sue and Jon kindly stepped into the breach and agreed to collect Betty. However there are breaches and there are breaches and I dont suppose for a moment they expected to encounter the conditions which they did. The tempest raged all the way there and back, except on their return journey they had to contend with floods and torrents of water gushing across the roads. Betty's plane eventually landed an hour late having landed once but then taken off again instantly. Presumably not being able to stop due to the volume of water on the run way.

Meanwhile, chez nous, there was feverish activity with every one trying, in vain , to keep the water out of their caves. Suddenly I forgot the "bad back" which I had been nursing all week as I tried to change the direction of the "river" which was rushing down the hill and flooding the porcherie. After about 20 minutes I succombed to the greater forces of nature!! We ended up with an inch thick layer of mud and slurry in our front porch but nothing inside.

On returning home Sue and Jon had to start bailing out their own cave and kitchen. I bet they'll think twice about doing somebody a favour next time.
However in reality we got off very lightly here compared to Cahors which had cars swept away as roads became rivers. All the new cars in the Ford garage ended up in a heap of useless metal. I hope to add some pictures courtesy of the local press, when my technical assistant returns from hospital.

Its all cleared up now despite 2 days of more thundery showers.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


You may remember Sue spending a few days making little piles of earth and then planting Nastertium seeds. They've started to grow well ....

..... perhaps too well, because last night they were found by a deer. We had to chase her off twice, and this morning we could see the results!

The gardener was not happy to say the least!

Sue decided that we needed some potatoes and that it was time to investigate our crop.

You may not realise that she's just spent 2 days in bed with a bad back....in fact she'd forgotten herself till I reminded her!

Sue lifted some respectable potatoes, although I think they've not finished growing. Her work was made a bit more difficult as we've had a day of very heavy showers. No sign of settled summer weather yet.

Monday, June 07, 2010

What's Up, Doc?

I've been back to Toulouse Hospital again for an MRI scan which should have shown exactly what is my problem. But it didn't! We know what is my problem; a hardening of the muscles in the heart walls. But what is causing it remains a mystery. I think the doctors have gone away to ponder their next course of action. Meanwhile my medication has allieviated my symptoms, so I'm getting back into the swing of things.

We are still experiencing unsettled weather and so, as today was lovely and sunny, I spent the day on the courtyard walls.

Slow and steady progress.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

More Light Duties

We've been having a lot of unseasonal rain, so much so that I've not been able to get out on the wall! So I've gone back indoors and have been putting the french version of lining paper on the walls and ceilings of the landing and bedroom 3.

The material is a form of glass fibre I think and, as you can see, it's fairly see-through but it covers the imperfections well!

Out in the garden Sue is a bit disheartened as she's had an attack of hares. They have been in the veg patch and eaten the tops off the sweet potatoes which she'd been carefully nurturing. So, once I've finish the courtyard walls, I'll start putting up a fence around the vegetable plot, hopefully deer and hare proof.