France Easter Trip 2022. Number 3

The past 10 days have been a mixed bag re weather and certainly a mixed range of activities. We have had two days where it rained heavily, that makes a total of 3 days in the 25 days we have been here, shouldn’t complain I suppose😊🌅We have eaten outside most days, lunch and evening meal and it’s been warm enough to sit out until at least 8 pm most evenings as it is as I write this blog.

It wouldn’t be a blog re France without at least one photo of me on the roof, thankfully I have now solved and cured the minor leak.

One curious thing that has been happening since we arrived is that fibre optic cabling is being laid along the lanes around us, and past our house, we are in the middle of nowhere but the underground cables go on and on for miles deeper into the countryside. So who knows we may have 5g capability next time we arrive, we need something as the wifi signal is quite poor.

On Saturday we visited the market at Ste Foy Le Grande, and from there onto an agricultural equipment centre to re place my stolen jockey wheel for the trailer, we then popped into a garden centre and bought a few conifers to fill in a gap in our hedge. Peter and Alison were with us and they bought an olive tree to take home. It was a very wet morning out.

Is this where Sherlock Holmes buys his pipes?

Sunday was another wet day we went as a foursome to two vide greniers but due to the weather there weren’t many stalls, we bought a few things and Peter bought a piece of South African pottery with a giraffe on it that was interesting.

Over the past two years a pine tree that was growing at the top of drive next to the gates had begun to lean in an alarming manner, I had on two occasions cut off a large number of branches to reduce its canopy but it was still leaning more. I took advantage of Peter and Alison’s company to help me to lop off the top of the tree. They were on rope pulling duty whilst I was up the ladder with the chain saw, thankfully when it fell it missed the gates.

They had to help clear up their car was down the drive, no way out.

Since I’ve had the house, 31 years now, we have always relied on a wall gas heater to heat the water for washing up in the kitchen, this meant keeping at least two bottles of gas handy and the price of these has shot up over the past two years. So I took the decision to take out the heater and connect the kitchen to the water system that feeds both bathrooms and the utility, the hot water for this comes from a large immersion heater. It took about 5 hours, there were initially a few leaks but a quick tighten up of a few joints soon cured that and now it’s working very well.

The hammer is essential😂

Michelle has worked extremely hard since we arrived, she has re emulsioned the four bedrooms, the small lounge, the kitchen, utility room and the main bathroom, she has also revarnished the floors in the two original bedrooms. It’s all looking clean and fresh.

Peter and Alison have a very nice swimming pool, they identified the need for a new pool cover just before Covid caused us all problems. Sadly during the time we weren’t able to visit due to Covid the cover continued to decline and so they had to order a new one, we gave them hand to fit the new cover when it eventually arrived via a French delivery service.

The old cover being dismantled.
Using a part of the old cover to provide support whilst the new one was fitted.
New cover in place.

As is the norm at the end of our visit we had to take Layla to the vets to get her pet passport completed, as we had further difficulties travelling here due to a date not being acceptable. I explained this to the vet and thankfully he agreed to issue a new passport at no extra cost, hopefully this time it will work, in four years Layla has got through four passports.

To end on an amusing note. Last November we received a letter from the Marie telling us they were going to issue us with a house number and street name, it hasn’t needed one for 150 years, the postman never had any difficulty in knowing which of the two houses in our petit hameau to deliver to, in fact we haven’t a post box so all mail goes to my neighbour ( if you aren’t here to open the box the snails eat your post, a variation of snail mail😁). Any way our neighbour kindly collected our number for us and when she gave it us I dutifully fixed it to the gate post ( not many other people appear to have bothered) later that day Michelle was looking at some paper work from the vets and informed me I had given the vet the wrong house number. When I showed her the letter from the Marie she said it wasn’t the number I’d fixed to the gate post. It turns out that my neighbour had given me her number😂 what is bizarre is that the numbers aren’t sequential, there must be a system but I’m not sure what it is.

The wrong number.
At last the correct number
The new name for the lane, apparently she was involved in the resistance in the second world war.

Sadly it’s our last night, tomorrow the long trek home so it will be au revoir until August.

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