Friday 29 June 2012

How doing your best gets you into trouble

Him Outdoors has taken on most of the outside jobs in our rented house in England, including cutting the grass. He's always liked lawns and is happy to walk up and down behind a mower. Here there is a ride on so he can play on a machine too.

The disadvantage of a ride on is that if you leave it too long between cuts (due to the horrible wet weather) then you get left with a cut hay field. We have a private lawn which we have kept raked up but the main grass was a hay field. Eventually his tidiness and boredom got the better of him and he raked it up by the barrowload and dumped it around the property in hidden corners.


Letter from neighbour asking him to pick it up again from their edge of the bridleway. Visit from landlady asking him to move the pile he had made.

Apparently the neighbour had had a goat eat cut laurel from the bridleway and died and the landlady says that horses die if they eat cut grass. The grass dies if you leave the cut grass on it so could he please spread it out again.................................

My main horror is that I had no idea that horses died of eating cut grass - apparently it ferments in their stomachs - and might easily have given it to them. I know they break their legs just running along which seems daft enough but to not be able to eat grass????

Sunday 10 June 2012

Sunday Rain

Tomorrow we have to spend all day in the car driving up France.

Today we have woken to stillness with steady, pouring rain. Just birds, drips and a cup of tea. We have all day to gather ourselves and nothing particular to do, so just peaceful gazing out at the rain.

Counting my blessings.

Saturday 9 June 2012


Yesterday we found out that the man who owns the house we sold our house to buy, had died.

In the local town they post the deaths of locals on notice boards around the town, and the friend who lived opposite one of the notice boards said that people had been slowing down their cars all day to check out who it was.

A glimmer of hope.

Co-incidentally my twin brother emailed last night to say that they had at last managed to buy a house they have been waiting for for months in the States..................................


Friday 8 June 2012

The Lavender Man

Up early this morning for the fosse septique man. Huge tractor and pooh tank arrive at 8am as expected.

The toilet in our little rented house has been doing the 'flush, fill, fill, fill, fill, fill, OMG it's going to go over the top, slow down, slow down, stop, stop, slowly, slowly empty' thing. So lets divert the disaster by getting a man in.

The appointment had been arranged by our letting agent but last night we found a letter in our letterbox from the owners asking if we could get an estimate for spreading the contents of the tanks on the land! Not on my garden thank you, not with children coming to hunt out all the tiny wild strawberries hiding under the trees. But, in France, c'est normale.

Lots more teeth sucking

Much interest in the holes uncovered, something completely interesting about huge vats of pooh and other waste. Lots of shrugging and teeth sucking and mention of problems 4 years ago.

And..................... the whole drainage system is blocked. Fortunately after the tank which is now empty so we are ok until we leave on Monday and then they have 3 months to fix it. Thank heavens we are renting.

PS My parents always used to call the septic tank man The Lavender Man is that familiar to anyone else?

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Return visit

Last night we went for a drink at our old house. We were both more than a bit wary of returning and seeing all our hard work in other peoples' hands.

She's a lovely house but now we know what a rare thing she is. How rare is the glorious view over your own fields, peace and quiet. How well done up she is.

We sat in the garden and insisted that it was fine, she was too big for us, we wished we had found somewhere else but hey. Of course it didn't matter that the garden was full of weeds, how could it not be when they weren't there most (or any) of the time. A lot of the gaps were because of the extreme cold in the winter. (And the french gardener who has pulled out every self seeding cosmos, cornflower, nasturtium, forget me not and left gaps he will be paid to keep clear.)

The thing that really got me was the spotless white downstairs loo - that worked perfectly with toilet paper,basin, soap, towel - I could have sat there for days.