Les poissons en France

Friday, June 28, 2013


John has been beavering away in the loft space above the salon. He first replaced pieces of the boarding in the ceiling of the salon and then repaired any remaining holes before starting to lay the insulation. We have now decided to have a wood burning stove in the salon so the polystyrene that we bought six years ago for the underfloor heating has become superfluous. You've guessed it, it has now become the first layer of insulation in the loft.
 He is supposed to be finishing the landing but seems happier playing in the loft, but in the general scheme of things does it matter.

The summer social scene is beginning to gather pace. John and Leslie arrived this week so that means that summer is here - although nobody seems to have told the weather. We are off to a choir concert this evening, out to dinner on Saturday and entertaining here on Sunday night for starters

Garden news. The irises (which are everywhere in the garden) did not flower very well this year, the reason being that they have not been split since they were planted four years ago. So I have started lifting one side of the iris walk. In my head I thought it would be an afternoons work - a week later I am two thirds of the way down the bed!!
Otherwise the roses are flowering and we have good colour in the garden. We have some lovely enormous red poppies and everyone who comes comments that I am growing my own opium supply. I wouldn't know a heroin poppy if I saw one!!
On Wednesday afternoon we played bridge as normal at the Gourdon club. This week the session was followed by the AGM. It was like AGM's everywhere with people having to be persuaded to become officers against their better judgement. Then it was open to the floor, not a good idea in France, as everyone talks at the same time wether they have the floor or not. I was astounded to hear John contributing as I had understood the general tenure but certainly couldn't/wouldn't have said anything. Nevertheless I was very proud of him. Formalities over it was time for a glass or two of champagne before going off to a restaurant for the annual dinner. It was fun to see these rather reserved "bridge players" become animated and let their hair down. John had loads of compliments about his French - "we didn't know you could speak French". I suppose they had only ever heard us say "petit trefle", small club!

Over the past month Yoda has eaten less and less and become listless so I became more and more worried about him. Of course this culminated in a trip to the vets yesterday. When we got there Yoda could not have looked more bright eyed and bushey tailed and even thought he would take on an Irish Wolf Hound. He had a blood test and it turned out that he has a slight kidney problem and two loose teeth with a resultant gum infection. No dental operation possible because of his heart condition. Sorry Yoda you are getting old like the rest of us.!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

We were quietly indoors having tea when it began to rain ... and it got heavier ... and heavier ... and then it began to hail!  Very large hailstones were banging against the patio doors and I was getting concerned that there would be some damage to the house or the car.  And, of course, the head gardener was very worried about her small, young plants!!!!!
Once the storm had passed over, all of our neighbours came out to inspect the damage.  Fortunately the house (roof and windows) was ok, as was the car but, as you can see, the rain had washed mud and stones down from the hill.  Work was required to clear the road and stop some of the water flowing down the steps to our front door.
Meanwhile Sue was checking out the garden.
Sue spent most of the rest of the evening wandering round tidying and talking to the little plant to reassure them that they would be alright.  When she finally came indoors she reported that there was not too much damage.  But the hailstones had still not melted!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday is Washday

Sue has been pestering me to get our pressure washer out so that she could wash down the stairs and walls of our top terrace.  It must be about 4 years since we used it but, today, I finally gave in and set it all up.
The pressure wasn't quite as fierce as we hoped even with the pressure pump, but the water has to come all the way from behind the barn.  However, it was good enough!
Sue was happy playing all morning and then again in the afternoon.
As you can see, she got a bit carried away and now the windows will need cleaning!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

At Last!!

John has finally started on the salon. Initially he is repairing the boarded ceiling and removing the hundreds of redundant nails which have accumulated in the beams over decades. 
Actually  he hasn't  totally finished the landing , there is a little bit of stone work and jointing to do before he lays the floor. He needs some sand to finish this work and for various reasons we have not been able to get any. However our guardian angel flew over yesterday in the guise of Michel our neighbour. He has about half a load of sand which he wants to get rid of.

The first flower has appeared on The Petunias. In fact many of them are in bud. They say everything comes to him who waits, although I think it will be next year before we have a flower on The Geraniums.
I have about a quarter of the long bed left to weed. It's like "The Lost Gardens of Mas de Bouye"; I keep uncovering things I'd forgotten I had. I'm so pleased that it has only taken me about five days. I think back to last year when I sat on a chair in the middle of the jungle and didn't make any significant progress. Everything comes to she who waits!!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Planting Out

We have family with us this week and so we're doing all of the tourist stuff; the local attractions of Rocamadour, St Cirq Lapopie, gardens, markets, etc.  However, Sue has still found a little time in the evening to plant out some bedding plants, although quite when they'll flower remains to be seen!