We are the Champions!

Saturday 11th May 2019

On occasions whilst we are here in France there is a quiz night at one of the local restaurants we frequent, we participated in one in February and came last, however last night teamed up with Peter and Alison who are out here visiting their holiday bungalow, we came first, beating into second place the 6 person team that usually win. Possibly because the final 10 questions weren’t straight quiz questions, but were ones that required thinking outside the box, completing sequences etc where we scored 7 out of 10, if we had known the colour of Noddy’s hat our winning margin would have been greater. Our prize was a 80 euro voucher to offset against a meal at the restaurant.

Thirty years ago I and my family were invited to spend two weeks with friends who had just bought a French farmhouse for holidays, unfortunately they didn’t make it to France because of a family illness and we had the house to ourselves. And so began my love affair with the Dordogne and France and lead me to buy this house 6 months later. It was therefore a surprise when we arrived out here this time to find that friend Mick was here doing some work to that very same house, inevitably it lead us to invite him to join us for a meal at our house along with Peter and Alison.

We had a very convivial evening with French onion soup, asparagus tart or chicken, with lots of veg, pear crumble and a cheese board, a small quantity of beer and wine helped the meal and the evening flow, as I’ve known Mick since we were 17, there was a lot of reminiscing.

We have as always been busy with tasks, laying extra calcaire( limestone chippings) on the drive, and building terraces at the rear of the house has kept us busy, we visit the local sand quarry to obtain the raw materials for building, so I know I’ve mixed and laid 500kg of concrete and we laid 1,000 kg of chippings amongst a lot of shovelling and wheel barrowing of soil and rubble.

One task I’m pleased to have achieved is the successful re wiring of the two way switch on the stairs to the guests bedrooms which since I installed it had never worked correctly, so Sophie you won’t have to use your iphone now when you go to bed.

We have as a result of much of our work and tidying up made two trips to the local tip ( dechetterie) where we were surprised to find the 3 operatives there obviously hadn’t been on the appropriate training as they were cheerful, friendly and helpful, not the norm at all as evidenced in the previous week when the refuse collectors refused to empty our bin because I’d put one wrong item in.

Just outside the local tip and the Netto supermarket the gilet jaune movement have set up a base camp with caravans and awnings and posters, I’m not sure if they are bachelors or their wives have disowned them but they seem to sleep there.

It hasn’t all been hard work, we have visited another vide grenier where this time I spent a whole 5 euros on two pottery jugs and a stool that winds up and down. We also went out with Peter and Alison to just outside Bergerac, they had expressed a desire to buy some grapevines and tomato plants so we took them to a favourite garden centre we often visit which they really enjoyed and managed to purchase all they needed, it was then on to visit Decathlon sports and leisure outlet where a few items were purchased.

One of the things we enjoy here is the variety of wild flowers and birds, when we arrived we found a pair of blue tits had built a nest under our open sided verandah and were raising young, the adults made a fuss whilst we were out there so we had to take to sitting outside the verandah, after a week they flew the nest and we reclaimed the verandah, that is until yesterday when they returned and are obviously sitting on eggs and raising another brood. We have also had two swallows flying in and settling on the beam so who knows we may have even more lodgers.

Our break is near its end, we are beginning the wind down before we pack up and leave on Monday, then we will wait upon the Brexit outcome to book up again, hopefully not too long, I’ve cut the grass in the field short but it is currently growing as you watch it.

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