Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Bits and bobs.... nothing exciting!

We have had rather bizarre weather for the last couple of weeks; days of warm sunshine mixed with dreary days of incessant rain.  And even more bizarre are days like today when we had a mix of both extremes on the same day! 

We each have a list of jobs that we want/need to get on with but with the way the weather is behaving we are chopping and changing so that we can seize the opportunity of doing outdoor jobs when the weather allows.  My biggest job outside is pruning and cutting back shrubs, particularly in the front garden and last Friday we had the sort of day made for such work!  I did some general tidying up but two major jobs got done; first the plants around the well....

(You can just see the well, behind the hardy fuchsia!)

Then, I got rid of the Virginia creeper that was covering the side wall of the big barn.  It's a shame because I do love it when all the leaves turn that vibrant red but frankly the rest of the time, it's something of a nuisance!  Having done that, I gave the shrubs along that side a really good cut back!  Now it will go one of two ways - they'll either flourish next year or I will have killed them - you can never tell!  But whatever happens it looks a lot neater and will look even better when I've added some new shrubs to give us year round colour hopefully!  This is what it looks like now.....

Needless to say, it needed a number of trips to the déchetterie (tip) to get rid of all the cuttings and weeds.  My biggest regret?  Not taking a "before" photo to show you quite how big a job it was!  I did get Danny to take this picture of my arms afterwards.... not sure how well you can see how scratched and scraped they were!

So what else have we been up to?  Well, also last week, I went back to the Craft Café.  You may remember that it was something I joined earlier in the year.  It's held every other Wednesday and is an opportunity to meet others, have a natter, do some knitting or sewing and also have a slice or two of cake!  I stopped going when I had the operation on my shoulder and then summer came along with visitors etc.  So one way or another, there was always a reason not to go.  But now that we're in the grip of autumn, I thought it would be good to return.  I took with me some crochet this time and actually had a really lovely afternoon.  There were far fewer people than when I went last and it made it more companionable somehow.  I shall certainly carry on going now.

On Sunday, we had been invited round to some neighbours.  I bumped into the lady of the house, Ligia, in the supermarket a couple of weeks ago and she invited us. (This is the family whose children played with Danny's grandchildren when they were here).   By the time Sunday afternoon came around I was a nervous wreck, worrying about how I would manage with my limited French.  The one thing that kept me going was by remembering that all the grandchildren had managed to communicate so it couldn't be that difficult!! And of course I need not have worried as it all went very well.  Ligia speaks a little English as do a couple of the children and somehow we managed!  Danny is at a stage now where he understands a lot of what is being said and can also speak some basic things so it was fine for him too. 

The only other things of any interest are that we've had our central heating looked at and, although it seems to dictate to us when it comes on, it seems to be working okay.  Also, we've managed to sell a few bits and pieces, for example the hob and oven from the old kitchen.  And when the weather's been too bad for Danny to work outside or in the barn, he's been doing some painting in the kitchen!

So you see, things are just jogging along.  We are both knuckling down with our French lessons and afternoons like Sunday spur us both on.  We are still optimistic of some fine weather before we have to hunker down for winter.  And even then, we have plenty on our "to do" lists to keep us going!

Until next time, à bientôt!

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