Life in France

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just keeping warm!

Willow just keeping warm after a hard morning out chasing mice! It really is hard work all this running around and a cat does need to be comfortable and warm after all her exertions.
Just to prove she is catching mice she usually leaves the bits she doesn't like just outside the kitchen door for us to see! Posted by Picasa

What Snow?

Another week over and no snow. Well, not enought to speak of, maybe enough to dust the top of a christmas cake with but definetely not enough to get rudolph and the sleigh out. This despite continued weather forecasts of heavy snowfalls above 300metres. We are at 490m and nothing, zilch, nada, bugger all.. i am upset as i wanted to get out and make a bonne homme de neige, maybe later?
So with all this snow forecast and temperatures down to -1 during the day the work planned for outside has been temporarily postponed. What to do? so much to choose from, shall i sand down the plasterboard in the roof and paint it? try plastering the walls? render the wall behind the fireplace? Lay the edging floor tiles in the lounge? lay the tiles in the kitchen ohh the list is endless, now where did i put that pin?
Has a cup of tea, closes eyes and brings pin down onto list.... hmmmm lay edging floor tiles, great, more work on my knees.. think i will just chop my legs off as i seem to be always shuffling around on my knees recently!
Better go and get tiles from barn...shuffling off whistling "Hi Ho Hi HO it's off to work i go"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Such lovely weather during the day yesterday up at a mere 18°c so not bad for mid november. However, the evenings are getting to be just a little cooler. I even had to light the fire! Last night was a cool -2°c and today so far the temperature has struggled to make a measly 2.4°c so any idea of doing the wall outside is right outof the window! You know it is getting colder beacause even the cat comes back inside during the night and doesn't move until about 7am, normally she wants to be out early...2/3am! The forecast is to get colder at night and maybe even some snow on friday... NOVEMBER.....not normal for here!!! Must rush now to dig out the thermal longjohns and ear muffs and the medicinal warming brandy and firewater just in case of course.
toodle pip

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the new garden and broken wall that i uncovered and now have to rebuild.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Err, very, very sorry for not posting for a week! Not that anyone noticed of course, you know what they say? "Too much of a good thing is bad for you" complete tosh of course but that's what they say! Although the balcony varnishing is finished all the doors and windows needed doing again as they have been in for two years now so that's what i have been doing. Bored out of my mind with it.. not difficult. small mind.
However during brief lull while waiting for varnish to dry i have been trying to create a small garden out the front of the house. Not easy as this was originally an old farm and they didn't really build or plan anything close to the house for gardening. After cutting back the blackberry bushes that are everywhere it revealed a barbed wire fence so down it came with gay abandon. Next, dig out the roots of the blackberries and have a bonfire to burn them. I liked that bit!
As i was digging over the soil i discovered the remains of an old wall!! cripes, now what to do.. instead of just a bit of soil and muck raked out to plant on i have to rebuild a wall as the ground is a little steep and the soil will fall away if i don't. Typical, doing one simple job always leads to three/four others just to finish the first... but that is the way of it here.
What fun eh? All i wanted to do was plant some tulips, daffodils and snowdrops......

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Specific Gravity

After a week of being on my knees..;yes i know my place in life......i have finished varnishing the bloody balcony... it is a job that has to be done but it felt like painting the Forth road bridge. It just went on and on and on and on. You get the idea? Soo just for a little light relief as it was the first week of November and the fruit i put in to macerate in alcohol was ready to bottle i thought it would be a good idea to get on and do it. I had done two lots of fruit, one of blackberries and one of raspberries. It was now just a case of straining out the fruit and putting the remaining liquid into a new clean bottle. Simple eh? Of course it was.. Fill up bottle with flavoured liquid firewater and ooops a little bit left ah well better taste it..hmmm very nice... cough splutter jeessus loss of voice....wooowww Better do next bottle..and the next.....

This stuff is made from a mixture of fresh fruit, neat alcohol 90% proof and special fruit alcohol 40%proof left in a darkened place for three months!!! It is now bottled and ready for drinking in another month or so just in time for christmas. I could do with a specific gravity hydrometer to find out just how strong it is.. i reckon about 60/70%proof with a hint of fruit flavouring.. whatever, it upset my sense of gravity as i was back on my knees crawling back to the sofa where luscious was already reclining after a little sample as well.

Such a simple peasants life we have here.....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Party time Again!

After the exertions of the apple pressing we needed to rest a little. We were invited to a surprise birthday party for a friend in the village except he had found out about it and didn't want it, but as the venue and food was booked already then it went ahead anyway. We arived and the friend was there as well. His logic was, ah well as it is going ahead anyway i might as well be here as sat at home!! He is 79 by the way!!!
Drinks were 1 euro a double shot so the pastis was going down very well. Three doubles in an hour and more lined up on the bar bought by others in return for us buying them one etc etc etc. The meal started at 9:30 late as usual and just intime to stop us sliding to the floor as it soaked up some of the pastis in my stomach. Only problem was that it came with FREE wine ohhh errrr
What a dilemma? do i drink or not drink the wine? Rude to refuse really especially as M. Le Mayor was pouring some out!!! There was a disco afterwards and that played a strange mix of modern( think 80's) music and traditional folk dances... bizzare.....Somehow we made it home but the next morning yeeeeewwww the inside of my mouth felt like a badger had sh*t in it as we used to say in the army..... Luscious had a delicate head and lounged in bed all morning...
I have a great cure for a headache but she wasn't interested, choosing instead to throw up in the toilet......aint life grand?...