We’re back in France.

Friday 19th July 2019.

We left England last Monday on the afternoon ferry, not a normal departure for us although we have done so in the past and driven the 380 miles down through France overnight. However this time we decided on a different approach and I booked us a room in the Ibis Budget Hotel approx 1km from the port, it is along the lines of a Premier Inn/ Travelodge but at £49 for the night including tourist tax was much cheaper, it was also a lot cheaper than paying £109 for an overnight cabin on the ferry.

First task when we arrive is always to cut the grass, so I fired up the tractor, it started at the first turn, ran for a minute and then stopped, it turned over but wouldn’t start, after a close inspection it turned out there was an air lock in the fuel pipe.I cleared that and in so doing found the fuel pipes to the filter and from the filter were seeping diesel, so the next day a trip to the local garden equipment centre was undertaken where a metre of fuel pipe was purchased for 13 euros, which seemed expensive to me. However I was amused because when I showed the assistant the pipe off my tractor and asked if he had any like it he replied “non” he then walked off and came back with a reel of pipe and said ” this is the same but it hasn’t got holes in it! ” I was amazed I never normally find people in these places have a sense of humour.

A week ago I began to suffer with arthritis in the big toe joint of my left foot, either one or the other foot flares up each year, I thought it was on the mend but by the time I arrived at the house it had got worse and has now spread to the next toe joint, it makes walking very painful. I decided to visit the pharmacy to get some anti inflammatory tablets. My French isn’t too good so I used Google translate to write a note before I went. Thankfully it was a good idea because no one spoke English, so I produced my note ” L’ arthrite est dans mon pied, Jai besoin de comprines anti inflammatoires, ” big smiles all round and I walked out with 30 tablets for 3 euro 80. I didn’t know before the French for tablets so that was a learning curve.

Our fruit trees are heavily laden, the apples are rather small and we are feeding those to our neighbours donkeys, however it looks like we will be making both peach and plum jam before we leave.

Since we were here last there must have been a storm as one of apple trees in the orchard which was heavily laden has blown over, so the chain saw has had to see some action.

Since we arrived the weather has been glorious, averaging 30 degrees each day with bright blue skies. We have quickly slipped into hot weather routine, working in the morning whilst it’s cool enough and again later in the evening, the afternoons are far too hot, so we shut the shutters to keep out the sun and keep the house cool and sit in the shade reading or taking a siesta. Some years ago my French neighbour after a solitary trip to England asked me why in England houses he had seen with shutters had them screwed to the walls, how he asked me, did they keep the sun out?

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