August 21st, 2018
The entertaining continues down on the farm, both for our two legged visitors and for our new 4 legged arrivals from The Maine Meunier. The cat freaked out and left home for 3 weeks but we fetched her home from our old house and spoiled her a bit with some homemade paté.
Below Paddy and Patricia are just leaving the trailer to accustomise themselves to the new accommodation.....a little larger than their previous residence but a little more noisy. Gavin keeps reminding me that the pigs were in fact my idea, and for once I don't think I can contradict him (don't tell him that though). However we seem to be having a population explosion. Having had about 20 something a few weeks ago we now have 40 something as a couple of our sows have decided to pop at the same time as our new lodgers arrived. I have a feeling this year is going to get extremely busy and I am brushing up on my charcuterie skills. I hope everyone needs a ham for C.......s, or in fact Thanksgiving! ;)
Emily's BF has flown the yard, quite literally, with KLM. I don't think we scared him off.... but he had to do some serious eating and socialising with us, and our friends and family whilst he was here. A whole pile of new experiences as well with all the animals. Sadly though when we visited our local night market at Le Pizou there was no electric accordion man, so we have saved that for next time.
Now that we have finally got ourselves ready for the eartag police, the boys are plodding their way through the shearing with many helpers on hand to pick up wool and load trailers. Hot, hard work but quite satisfying when you look at the end result. All the lambs have been weaned now and we have just got in some lambs to bottle feed from an organic sheep milk producer. Because as we all know Gavin does get bored during the autumn months, and likes to have a few babies around to keep him up till all hours. ;)
Now as you all know I like to sit around and drink a lot of tea whilst Gavin is running around labouring. So to stop myself becoming fatigued with life, I will be cooking at a night market in Saint Michel Leparon et L'Ecluse this Saturday 25th August. If anyone fancies a bit of light entertainment and somewhere to take guests for a typical Dordognian evening out in the summer, then it is usually good fun and very children friendly.
Occassionally we have an opportunity to sit down with the family and relax for a few hours and here we are below doing exactly that. More family arriving in a few days along with some Scicilians from Holland (!?) don't you just love living in Europe.
See you all soon.
Sun, food and friendship
It has been a busy old time down on the farm for the last few weeks. But enjoyably so. We have reconnected with some very dear friends from Zimbabwe, whom we had not seen or spoken to for 20 years. Other than the fact that their children have grown (!), it was as if we had seen each other yesterday. We ate a lot of food, talked a lot of talk and went for a canoe down the river. A marvellous visit.
All the children are home now, with attachments, and mother-in-law has also arrived. The house is full, lively and hungry. Number 3 child keeps running off to other peoples houses I am beginning to wonder if she has become unacustomed to living with the general banter of family life as she is so often an only child these days. Well it is either that, or the fact that I keep insisting that she read a book every now and then which can be quite a challenge.
Gavin has been trying to keep up with some repairs and maintainance now that he has some assistance on the farm. And that was all going smoothly until the tyres we had ordered for the trailer 10 days ago did not turn up which meant a trip to Perigueux to visit the warehouse of said deliverers. Shall they remain nameless.....no not today I don't think....GLS. They gave us the round the houses treatment with the telephone numbers and then stopped picking up altogether in Perigueux. On arrival in Perigueux Gavin was confronted with a very full warehouse, with rows and rows of parcels neatly grouped into post code areas for the Dordogne, and an articulated trailers worth of parcels to unload standing outside with another expected that evening.
After some rather irritating moments he discovered that the probelm is lack of drivers to deliver all the parcels once they have arrived at the central warehouse for the Dordogne. So if anyone has a parcel coming, check who your delivery service is, and if necessary make alternative arrangements.
It does make me wonder why people so often say there is no work in Dordogne. Do people not like driving? After all I would not have called our department a particularly taxing environment for driving....Or are conditions for delivery drivers so appalling that no one wants to do it?.... Or is the "we want it now" generation of purchasers that we have become, begining to finally take its toll on logistics, with its inability to provide the complete service through over demand creating no supply? Who knows.
The animals are hot and the piggies have found the first green acorns so are very excitedly ploughing up their field in an effort to see if in fact acorns actually grow underground. I think they are going to be disappointed. When Gavin or Patrick go to put the pigs away at night time there is one pig that lies down and pretends to be a tree root. As they do so much wallowing at the moment occassionally it manages it and gets left behind.
It is a busy month in the butchery as well, with everone else enjoying visits with the family or friends or both. And the markets have hotted up, literally ;) It is looking like it will be a scorcher this coming weekend. Never thought I would be wondering what to wear to a market....What is cool, protective, smart yet casual and resistant to be ripped through carrying heavy items with sharp corners? Answers on a postcard please. 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