This week included a trip up the long road on a delivery run in the northern areas of Dordogne. I was very lucky with the weather as it was considerably cooler than the previous week when I would have baked in my non air conditioned cab. In 2020 I did this very same run in 40 degrees and ended up at one of my clients houses with her delivery, late in the day, whereupon the lovely lady took one look at me deposited me in front of a fan with 2 pints of water, a cup of tea and a piece of cake. I am very lucky I know so many kind and considerate people. The trip through the countryside was invigorating and full of splendid scenery, beautiful greens filling the landscape after so much recent rain.
Of course all the rain means the sheep are inundated with delicious quantities of grass, making farming so much easier in some respects. And also no requirement for the summer water carting that is more normal at this time of year. The weather reminds me a little of Zimbabwe at Christmas, shorts and an occassional light jersey (sounds like a weather forecast). Here are some photos courtesy of my-in-laws. Just because it is nice to remember the beauty of other places from time to time. And comforting to feel connected through the sky and its similar hues no matter where you are in the world.
The butchery after 10 years of faithful service is having a full make over and expansion. Requiring decisions about positioning of sockets, cold rooms and colours and types of paint. Not my usual remit. Our builder friends are doing a fabulous job and have managed everything so far with little or no inconvenience for me. Gavin has decided he would rather carry 10 rolls of fencing over a 10 hectare field than sand a ceiling. And Patrick has decided that mixing concrete would not be his first choice of occupation though ok for a change for a very limited period.
Our original electric car which we have had for 5 and a half years finally had to go into hospital for a diagnosis and finally a new battery. Gavin was grief stricken as his favourite car was away from us for 4 and a half months. After having rather too much money going out on fuel he managed to convince me a month before the old car returned, that we needed another one and already knew where we could get a cheap, second hand, slightly crumpled, ex postman vehicle (have I been played?). So we are now fleet owners 😂 Fortunately the government are still running their subvention scheme for lower energy vehicles so we only paid one arm for the car rather then the usual arm and leg 😉
See you all very soon
This week we lost our first furry friend in France, Bluey. She was 17 years old and had been chief of all she surveyed for the last....well.....17 years. A friendly, furry cat partial to bird in her younger days and in her latter years liver was her particular favourite. Best remembered and loved for peeing in my brand new sandals, they were never the same again. And for her daring leap from the first floor window when we moved out of our single storey house :-0 . We knew she was fine on landing as she had a quick clean and looked about to make sure everyone was aware the whole acrobatic thing had been planned. She had definitely gone slightly doolally in her senior years and took to sleeping in more bizarre locations than the standard sofa or bed. Her company is missed.
Thank goodness for the rain. The sheep are happy munching through all the delicious greenery and the vegetable patch is looking in fine fettle. I will add some beans in next week I think, they are quick to grow and yummy. We have built a worm bed with an old bath, compost and worms from the pig zone and we put all our cardboard and plant clippings in it to breakdown. The run out from the bath is used as a fertiliser for wherever needs it. It seems to be working quite successfully. All our frosted dead looking plants have sprung back to life and the citrus trees have gone into a mad flowering session. The bergamot is way ahead of the reast and is making tiny fruit already.
The markets are back to usual with people circulating to have coffee with friends as well as do their shopping fro the week. I have become so accustomed to seeing people with masks on that I barely notice anymore. A new kind of normal reigns for the moment. I have seen some people in the last couple of weeks whom I have not seen for a year or more. Bizarre and heartening at the same time. And some new faces have appeared as well to join the social scene at the market.
Despite the pig rustling incident we are feeling quite positive about life. There are many projects coming up this year to keep us distracted and busy and with any luck the insurance are going to pay out for some of the losses accrued with the pigs and fence damage. We will have to be vigilant for the up and coming public holidays in July.
See you all soon
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area