Well as the British Embassy do not wish to furnish my husband of 21 years with a visa in time so he can go and visit his friends in London we decided we would make the most of Monday and go for our annual "jourcances"/"daycation" at the beach. Above one happy Zimbo enjoying sun, sea, sand and book. As you can see it was a great and lucky choice of day. The sun shone and I sunburnt the tops of my feet. I think I have dipped my toe in the Atlantic on slightly warmer occassions, but the happy Zimbo used to swimming in Zimbabwean swimming pools in September, just as spring is starting, dived right in following our ever enthusiastic Number 3 and a borrowed friend for Number 3. The kids also dug a hole in the beach that was so deep they found the sea again which they were delighted about. However when the beach filled up at about 4pm there were some grumpy people moaning about the fact that it took up a whole families sitting spot. Honestly no sense of humour.
We ate sausage sandwiches made by a delightful company not far from our house, "Franklin Farm", with tomatoes and cucumber from the market, followed by melon and biscuits. There was a little bakery on the side of the road into Lacanau that sold multi cereales ciabata that was delicious . Just before our return we fired up the kettle in the back of the car and had a Zimbabwean cuppa with cashew nuts and crisps or chips, for all the foreigners who don't know what crisps are. Would have loved to have had chocolate cake however the sunshine would not allow it.
We are now feeling refreshed and ready to face the rest of the year. Gavins parents returned from the UK and a wedding, having met up with people from Zimbabwe they haven't seen for years. What a reminiscing, catching up summer it is turning out to be. All births, deaths and marriages in the last 12 years have been discussed, mourned and registered. Gosh a lot happens when you are busy.
We visited a new Equestrian Centre recently opened in Mussidan for a friends birthday party on Sunday and with all the gadding about have a list as long a your arm to catch up with, not to mention paperwork that always arrives just before the kids go back to school as France goes back to work.
Just to prove we have done some work this week. Or at least Gavin has.
There is potentially an article going out in "The Gourmand Magasin" attached to Sud-Ouest about us if the charming woman actually understood my french down the phone so keep a look out all you locals.
See you all soon.
Well Gavins parents arrived safe and well and I don't think they have stopped talking since Friday. There is 3 years of gossip to catch up on. So far they have seen a lot of road and people selling sheep as we are currently trying to replenish our depleted stocks after the dog incident, which requires a fair amount of internet searching, telephoning and driving. We have been very lucky and have managed to find some very nice girls to swell the flock numbers.
We made it out for a trip on Wednesday and spent a pleasant afternoon at Brantome Police Horses meeting the residents in all their forms, looking at the latest art exhibition by Suze Turland and eating delicious tea and cake. The in-laws had a nice time I think and it was a rare event for both Gavin and I and all the children to be away from the farm together for a visit to somewhere other than family and friends. Not of course that we have any complaints about visiting our delightful family and friends.
To continue the Zim photo session from the other week. Here is a pic of our dogs from zim (Ritz, Sebatian, Tip, Stripe and Bessy) all of whom are no longer with us relaxing by the pool with some lambs. Drilling for water. All our water on the farm was from boreholes very delicious. The most delicious water I have ever drunk was at a friends farm (Vee and Colin) and they lived on a farm where the soil was mostly sand.The water tasted fresh and clean no chemicals. The children on holiday a few years ago with Gavin off on a ride around the local game park with baby in tow. Isn't it cute. So cute here is another photo of it wanting to play before they set off.
Well Patrick has had his stitches out today and is once again nearly fighting fit so back to the grind stone for him for a couple of weeks before I lose him to Bordeaux again.
The girls are looking forward to abandoning me again and going back to school. Well I think Number 3 is Emily would rather stay at home and watch The Food Network Channel all day.
See you all soon
Another One Bites the Dust
Well we were on track for an uncomplicated week Gavin and I home alone, kids off to Grannies to swim in the pool all week, eat pizza and go to the cinema.
Happy and blissful was I driving home from Ste Foy market chatting to Emily.
Ring ring....."Hi Dad....... yes we are in Montpon..........He did what!!"
Me "Who did what?"
Emily "Patrick stabbed his arm with a knife. Mum! Don't worry he is in an ambulance on his way to Libourne which is why we need to hurry so Dad can follow the amblance".
A while later at home, following the blood trail into the house, it turns out Number 3 coped remarkably well in a stressful situation and fetched and carried phones and tea towels to make a pressure bandage staying perfectly calm taking it all her stride, whilst her brother lay on the floor concious but in shock under a blanket waiting for Dad (who was round the corner) and/or the ambulance to arrive and take over.
The local drums were already beating at the sound of the sirens as our lovely neighbour appeared at the crossroads to see if she could be of any asistance whilst Gavin and Patrick waited for the ambulance. And about an hour for the first call from a friend of Patricks in Ireland to enquire after the invalid.
Later, at the hospital and after 5 blood soaked bandages, the doctor decided he required immediate surgery. So straight to theatre, general anaesthetic, 30 minutes in surgery, 10 stitches (7 on the top of the arm and 3 on the bottom) and who knows how many inside, holding the artery together, 2 hours recovering, a drip, private room and satellite telly we have our mended boy back.The lovely nurses provided the following picture and said it was quite fiddly work. Don't you just love modern technology.
Thank you to all those lovely medical people who participated in fixing our son/brother. I decided not to post the gory fixed wound as some of you may have a more delicate constitution than us.
It is never dull chez nous!
See you all soon
The Cheek of it!
Well I never! I am still in a state of shock.
There I am loading the van in preparation for market, and a strange car drives down the road. My neighbour from down the other road (we have lots of long distance neighbours in our commune some of whom I recognise only by their vans/tractors) pops out of the car and says
"I have a delivery for you".
"Oh goodness thank you so very much "c'est trés gentille", did he drop it at your house by mistake?"
"No he came to the market at Montpon and told me that he did not have time to drop it off up at our commune so I must bring it up for him. It is not the first time he has done this to me, usually I say no, but seeing as it is you and you are only round the back of our house I said yes this time."
"Lucky for me" said I.
Other pleasantries followed and she and her daughter disappeared up the road.
Now I always knew this was a small community where everyone knows everyone but I had not realised that the small community bit stretched as far as cheeky delivery drivers in Bordeaux. Good job she knew me otherwise we would have sausageless markets this week as all my sausages skins were in the box. Now just to be clear this neighbour was not arbitarily accosted on the road by delivery man, she is actually a market trader. One enters a new echelon of community here when one becomes a regular market trader, quite handy really, restores ones faith in people.
Now I am not usually one to trip down memory lane but as Gavins parents are visiting soon for a month and Gavins Dad has just won an award for services to the dairy industry in Zimbabwe for over 50 years "The Dairy Oscar 2014", I thought I would share some pics of what we used to do and what his family continue to do in Zimbabwe. These pics were taken during December when it is warm and wet just before we left to come to France in 2004 , the dog herding cows in Gavins mums garden was Stripe, Gavins dog, they won the Zimbabwe National Sheepdog Trial Championship together one year, I forget which year. Stripe is now chasing sheep in doggie heaven. The bottom line shows the farm transportation, Mum-in-laws pool and our house with various younger versions of the family in each photo.
See you 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