Sunday, 20 October 2013

Normal life resumes!

It's very hard to believe that come tomorrow, I will have been back in France for two weeks.  It's amazing how life has resumed its normal pace and I'm back to doing all the usual things I do!  Unfortunately we have had some rainy days so my intentions of doing a lot of pruning and general tidying in the garden have not gone quite to plan.  Still, it's just a question of taking the chance when we have nice sunny, dry days.... of which there are still plenty, given that we are well into October now.

One job in the garden was really too much for me.  The flowerbed that was in front the old conifer hedge in the back garden had become very overgrown and looked a complete mess.  I had a go at digging it but decided it was beyond me.  I had heard about a couple of ladies who have started a business here, not doing people's gardens in the usual sense but taking on one-off clearance type jobs.  Having got them round to have a look at what I wanted, we agreed a very reasonable price of €80 and they came round last week to do the job.  These first photos show roughly what it looked like "before" they got stuck in......

The girls did lots of digging and pruning.  They also added some plants that were in the area that we plan to use as a barbecue area, so would have been in the way.  They suggested we plant some bulbs ready for the Spring in some of the gaps and then cover it with bark chippings to minimise the weeds.  And this is the finished product - after 20 bags of bark chippings.......

I know we have a LONG way to go before the garden will look lovely again but I am SO pleased with how this flowerbed looks now and it's given me hope for the future.

Talking of which, Danny has now covered the pool (hole) for the winter.  The tarpaulins he's used are blue and the other day, looking out of the kitchen window, I said to him that if you squint your eyes when looking at it, you could be fooled into thinking it is the blue of a swimming pool!  (He just looked at me and told me I'm sad!!!)  What do you think?

Just to update you on the pool situation, we have now accepted a quote and, subject to the weather, work should start in February/March next year!  Keep watching this space!

For the most part, we are still enjoying mild, sunny days so it is still pleasant to go out on a Sunday morning to one of the local Vide greniers that I've written about before.  This morning we went to the old town of Parthenay where we found also a braderie or market plus a display of classic cars.  Of course we had to go and see the cars...

but imagine how excited Danny was to find no less than TWO Volkswagen campers there!

Now we are wondering how you go about "showing" your vehicle at these displays (partly because Danny thinks our camper is better than these!!)

After looking at all the cars, we wandered around the braderie  and the vide greniers, seeing friends as we did so!  But I want to leave you with a photo, which, for me, captures the essence of these days.   This is such a common sight at a vide greniers but it is so very French.  The family have a table with their wares displayed, but behind it, they are having lunch.  Not just a quick sandwich or a plate of chips! No, the china plates are out and there is a bottle of wine on the table.  As we passed they appeared to be having a pre-lunch aperitif so I don't know what the meal turned out to be (and clearly I couldn't just hang around with my camera at the ready!).  But I think it's such a lovely sight....

Well, I'm off now to feed the animals and make our Sunday dinner so I'll finish here.

A bientôt!

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