Life in France

A not every day story of normal people trying to live their dream in France starting at the beginning and ending?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Vin De Noix

Yesterday was the day! Time to check out to see if the rocket fuel aka Vin De Noix in the barn was ready for bottling! After carefully bringing in the glass jars it was time to take off the lids! Weeheeeeey alcohol fumes permeated the kitchen, this stuff was definately ready to be tested and bottled!

First i had to pour it out of the jars through a filter, now not having such a thing to hand i had to improvise and so i borrowed one of luscious's stockings!!! She wasn't wearing them at the time! Cracking job it worked a treat, with the bits now out of the vin it was time for the first taste! yummy yummy yummy woooow! It slides down real nice but then has a nice warming afterglow...bloody hell. So to bottling, using funnel gently pour filtered fuel into bottle and as there was a little bit left drink it! Same again for second bottle and of course the for the tird! The next galss bottle was a slightly different recipe in that i added cannelle! so of course i just had to taste it and then do a comparision taste. Hmmmm not sure which oi prefer the best so better bottle it and keep sampling. Third more buttles and tas is oimproving i both like all of them. total six butles in stuck for imbybing at a latur date.

I tink i shull lyk this self surficency thingy.......

Friday, August 26, 2005

Dusty Brass

The social season is in full swing at the moment, fetes and free drinks everywhere! I have discovered after a conversation today that at the fete last sunday i was asked to play in a local sort of brass band! Seems i said yes it would be a great idea! I DID? oooo errrrr. Now they want to arrange to pick me up on a friday to go to the practise sessions which by the way finish off by going down to the local bar for a beer. Not sure how we got around to talking about bands but they know that i play the cornet au piston and are looking for players! perhaps when they hear me play they will change their minds! I did play in a brass band in england but the music here is shall we say errr different! Ahh well, thinks it might be a good idea though, you don't get paid but at the fetes you play at you get free food AND wine, sounds like a good deal to me so i am off to blow out the dust from my cornet and see what i can do. At least there are no people around here that can hear me, just the sheep and the cows so maybe i can start a stampede? I wonder if they know" d'ya ken john peel" and other english airs?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Wood Man Cometh

Hey YEH, I have had a telephone call, not unusual but this was different....the carpenter wanted to know if was ok to come and put the balcony up next week.....OK...OK...OK? of course its ok, why wouldn't it be? We have only waited for 5 MONTHS and after the beams just turned up why wouldn't it be OK? Of course as usual i was really nice on the phone and said that it would be great to see him again! Now i hope that he does actually turn up, he did say that he had been on holiday for 15 days and had just come back so was planning his agenda for the next couple of months! Like what happened to the last 5 months?

The cat is out mousing again and to cap it all i have a snake living in the barn! Bloody great, i tried to catch it the other day to move it out but it went into a hole in the wall. So now i have a 3 foot snake living in the walls of the barn and i don't know where it is anymore! I am not to keen on snakes as you may already know but luscious really does not like them at all! So now i have a quandary, she doesn't know that there is one in the barn, do i tell her? which means i will have to clear everything out in an attempt to catch it, what if i don't see it while emptying it out? OR do i hope that when she is in the barn that she never sees it? perhaps if i stand talking to the wall and asking it to leave us that would work? If luscious sees me talking to the wall she will just assume that the medication isn't strong enough and increase the dose!
i need a glass of wine to help me think about this..........

Saturday, August 20, 2005

OOPs Dust in the brain

I can't believe that a week has rushed past yet again. I am working like a slave to try and get these damned beams cleaned and the new plasterboard put up but it just doesn't seem to be happening! It wasn't helped i suppose that it was my birthday in the middle of the week, not that i stopped and took a day off work but even so not so much got done! As it was a day off on friday for luscious i sort of had my official birthday unofficially on friday! Bit like the queen really but then she has two birthdays a year! official and officially unofficial. confused yet?
Anyway, had a lovely lunch out on friday and then a drive out into a part of the region we have never been into yet, well, what a stunning surprise, the scenery was stupendous and the weather brilliant. All in all a great day. Saturday is market day as you know and tonight was luscious at work, me invited to another birthday do. The same day as me but he had his official unofficial birthday today as he was working wednesday as well!
Tomorrow is the final day of the village fete which has a compulsory attendance as there is free wine ALL day. Well not quite but certainly after mass ( you don't HAVE to attend mass to get the free drink(s)) and again in the evening for the community meal at which nearly 300 people sit down and eat and drink as much as they can in three hours then dance until maybe two in the morning so no work done tomorrow either. I suspect monday will be a hard day in more ways than one!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Broken Down

No, not me that's more like run down but anyway, yesterday we went as usual to the local (20 miles) market and did our usual shopping. Nothing unusual so far eh? we met up with some friends and had coffee and on the spur of the moment decided to go on a picnic! whizzo idea we thought as i have finished rendering the bedroom and our friends have not long bought their house so to celebrate we made "le picnic" We decided to visit a local ( 6 miles) chateau which was originally built in the middle ages and is famous for being involved with the Knights Templars.
No problem getting there and we enjoyed a wonderful picnic with wine of course with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. We tok a tour of the chateau and finished off with an icecream. All going to plan when it was time to leave to get luscious back home intime to get changed to go to work. We said our goodbyes climbed into the car and turned the key.........
silence.. well almost, just the noise of a relay clicking but definately no engine starting!!!!!
Bloody great, i got out and luscious climbed into the driving seat and our friends and i tried to push the car backwards. Not easy on a slight uphill slope and she weighs nearly a ton!!!!
think toyota landcruiser!!!!!!! At this point a family walk back to their car and i dash across and ask in my bestest french if they would aide us... no problem, so... me, 2 friends + 3 french push the car backwards, luscious turns the wheel, we get the car pointing downhill and push like hell.
Chug, chug, vrooom, vroom yeehaaa started. Profuse thanks given to french assistants who just said it was fun to help!! then off home.
Luscious only 15mins late to work....result....... no idea what the problem was as car now working without a hint of problem!!!!
What a day........

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Last night we had a huge thunderstorm but these lillies decided to come into full flower. Isn't nature funny sometimes?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Naked Flames

When you want to set a scene of romance you light candles, turn off the lights and maybe light an incense stick as well don't you? That's what i did just so we could have some US time rather than working on the house, entertaining guests or running around sorting other things out.
We had a nice relaxing meal and were cuddled up on the sofa watching a video..."The Tamarind Seed" starring Julie Andrews & Omar Shariff, a love story of a kind when Luscious remarked about a funny smell, no it definately wasn't me and the cat was out, so as i couldn't smell anything we carried on watching the film. A couple of minutes later i noticed the smell as well but couldn't work out what it was, after getting up and walking around the room i established that it was coming from the area that the candles were burning but couldn't see anything amis so sat back down again. MISTAKE, about 10mins later a small wisp of smoke drifted up towards the ceiling and it was then that i realised what was happening. The candles were on a ledge with a wooden shelf about 6" above them and the heat from the candle flame had eventually caused the wood to smoulder!!!! Without further ado i got a cup of water and poured it over the top of the shelf which started to hiss and pop and produce a lot more smoke/steam + the most god awful smell. This shelf is an original part of the house and i think must have been used at some time as a toilet by the rats that used to run around when it was a working farm!! The smell of smouldering rats urine was disgusting and put an end to any romantic notions that i might have been harbouring.

With the "fire" finally damped down and with it our libido we decided to have a cup of tea and sit outside as the smell inside was revolting... even with windows/doors open during the day it took the best part of three days for the smell to completely go! Needless to say the offending piece of wood has now been removed!!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I forgot

Her is an apology to my fellow blogger mandy at pennyforthem i forgot, yep it's an age thing you know? She tagged me and i forgot..... gets down on knees and begs forgiveness.......

Anyway i remembered finally so here we are;

"TGIF meme"

What are the things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play?

* Sitting watching the sun go down with a glass of wine.
* Riding through a forest with the sun shining through the trees.
*Walking in the mountains and just sitting looking and listening.
*Playing my cornet (musical instrument!!) It might annoy others but hey!

What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level?

*Living where i do and not working for a living anymore!
* Taking the bikes out for a good long ride to nowhere in particular.
*sitting outside relaxing talking with my luscious.
*Watching the deer feeding on my windfall fruits.
*loosing myself in a book.
*Not having to worry about what day it is!

There you go, that's it, all i have to do now is tag 5 people so watch out it could be you!!!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Not much good with a camera but think this turned out ok? it is a common swallowtail and we had masses of them flying about this morning as we sat on the swing with our breakfast. I live in such a beautiful place i think.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Self sufficiency

Well, the cheese hasn't gone bad and i am assured by those in the know that that is how it should smell!! I remain unconvinced, but after smelling some of the local cheese these are pure perfume! Luscious is ever busy on her return home each day from work building up our stocks of homemade preserves from all the fruit that abounds at the moment. Apricots, white peaches, pear chutneys, raspberry and nectarines. 5kg of apricots for the princely sum of 4 euros!!! manna from heaven i say. I am left to look after the alcohol making side of things, the rocket fuel is macerating nicely in the barn and hasn't as yet melted off the seals so all being well i should have the first tasting session at the end of the month! Have also set on its way some blackberry scnapps and raspberry scnapps ready for tasting in October so all things being equal november should be a good month for drinking! Evidently the next set of rocket fuel should be started in october with the pear harvest so i shall go and buy some more 90° pure alchohol to be sure to be ready.

In the meantime i shall have to continue working on the walls in the bedroom as guests arrive for two nights in a fortnight and i need them done.

suns back out, its getting warmer again after a few cool days (26°c) and it is the season of fetes so lots of excuses to get out on the bikes at the weekend.....heaven!