Monday, 22 April 2013

Animal rescue and more antics.

So what have we been up to this week?  We have actually had a great week, the sun has been out and it has been hot and Dave had two extra days off work during the week as he was having to work a few hours on both weekend days.

On Tuesday we finally got one of the big jobs that we needed doing done. The front barn that has basically been used as a store everything space, It had got to the point over winter that we were just opening the doors grabbing what we needed, storing all the wood for the house in there, then shoving things back in when we had finished with them. It felt we were likely to break a leg climbing over the tat trying to get through to something we needed. So we decided to tackle the massive clear up that needed doing, all in all we took a van load of rubbish to the tip (the throw out pushed along by me as Dave has a very - we may need that bit of thing someday, type attitude) and we still have about another van load to go but we are starting to get it organised. And some of the old doors and stuff that was stashed in there made great firewood, so that's also helpful.

The front of the barn before the tidy up

The front of the barn after the tidy up,
 We also decided to tackle our tax fonciere (like council tax) form that was requesting to see how far through the renovations we are. After filling in as much as we could I took loads of photos of the house and Dave and I hightailed it up to the office to talk it through with them. It went well, they understood where we are and seemed to appreciate the info we gave them. We did this all in French and it really makes me appreciate the French lessons that I'm having - thanks Hélène. Now we just have to sit and wait for the bill to come in, we've no idea how much it will be.

On Friday when I was out dog walking I saw our neighbours (Thierry's) donkey sunning himself or so I thought on the ground. When we got back he was still there, so I took a closer look. Dave came home and came to check on Kito (the donkey) as well, he looked as though he had fallen over, so Dave went to get his owners.The ground at the  bottom of the field was still very soft and he seemed to off got stuck and then fallen over. It took 4 of us to get him back on his feet again and when he did the poor boy was a bit wobbly, but a hour later and he seemed as right as rain. It's amazing the resilience of animals isn't it. 

After this piece of rescue work and after Dave had gone back to work I decided to get all the grass cut. Now this takes a few hours as we need to cut the field as well. So I got cracking, put my music on loud and got to work. In the field we have some evil divots because Carmina (a half shire horse that grazes in our immediate neighbours field) but I couldn't see them because of the long grass and when i was nearly finished I managed to twist and sprain my ankle :( Didn't feel too bad at first but when I took my work boots off it killed. Next day I went to a local chemist and they gave me some stuff for it and it is amazing!! cost me a bomb but was worth it as I should be up and running again soon. Or as anyone who knows me probably just nearly choked on their coffees - Donna running, no surely not, I didn't mean it in a literal sense. But hopefully back to normal soon.

Dave borrowed the Merlo - no not badly spelt wine but a big piece of machinery with a bucket on, and we moved the tractor up into the field, the front looks much nicer without it on it. These little things really make a difference to the feel here.

Due to the beautiful weather we have really loved it here for the last few days and evenings. Sat in the garden with chickens, the cat and dog at our feet, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine with the sun on our backs - lovely. It's simple pleasures like these that make as the hard work on the house so very worth while.

Fidget has also had his summer hair cut and is looking so cute, looks like he's lot a stone in weight due to the  slim line look.What do you think? cute eh.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Hello everyone, sorry it's been a while.

Hi guys, 

Sorry it's been a while but in all honesty there's not been much to write about here. We have just been getting on with much of the muchness with nothing too exceptional happening.

We have been carrying on with the house, we have finished all we need to do and are now waiting for the ever elusive electrician Fredrick, who if he isn't here in a day or two will have a boot up his jacksy to get him moving.

A weekend ago we where about to go out and the van just wouldn't start, s**t we thought what the hell has gone wrong now. Maybe that battery we bought was a dud? So we went and asked Christian to give us a jump start and nothing happening so he went and got Joel who also has a Transit and he thought could give us a bit more juice, nope still dead. Then Michael stopped off and he had a test meter in his car, tested the battery and it was putting out 100% and he said that it was our démarreur (starting motor) was knackered. :(  It's such as pain, our van has been really good for years and now lot's of trouble in one go.

Luckily Joel was just going out so he offered us a lift to the shops. The same day my phone died and refused to take a charge bad luck eh. But luckily we have some amazing friends, and one friend Roz offered to lend us her car for a bit till our new part came through and another friend Sandra gave me a old android phone that she couldn't get on with. How very kind eh.

After this things started to go our way again, i ordered a new starter motor from the UK as car parts are very dear here and it arrived 2 days after the order! That's amazing we couldn't even get orders to the Isle of Wight from the mainland that quickly (i can feel all the islanders nodding in agreement at the awful parcel and post service that's offered to them there.)

Also we have finally after the horrible downpours that we have had, got some decent weather. the sun has finally come out and is currently forecast to stay for a bit. We went car booting on Sunday and it was so hot it was t-shirt weather. I bought a lovely pair of winter boots for 5 euro's so will be prepared if the fickle weather changes it's mind again.

Also on a positive note we have finally been able to get our bank account changed to our most local branch, it took a while but at least it's done now. 

Dave came home the other day with a new addition to our flock. She's a bit strange but has fitted in ok. She's happy to roost in the cage with the others at night and after a initial confusion on our chickens part she seems happy in there with them. We haven't let her out with the others yet as she is very flighty and we don't want to loose her. She's very timid of humans and hides when we go in the run, but hopefully this will improve. Her name is Gabby and she is  guinea fowl.


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter and other news.

This last weeks has been a bit odd. We have had some extremes of weather. Spring had appeared to of sprung and we had some lovely warm and sunny weather. We cut the grass and cut the field as well for the first time, which was lovely as it was getting a bit long and had been too wet to cut previously. The girls (chickens) has been out and loving all the cut grass and we where generally enjoying the warmth and dry weather.

I always take Fidget (our dog) for a walk in the morning and we always walk around places local to us. I went for a walk by a local wood and loved seeing the all the spring flowers out. We have primulas and  cowslips out now and it is looking lovely.

The next day Dave and I went to see some friends of ours and Louise gave me some thinnings out from the tops of her white peach tree. So after we returned home I have made some hardwood cuttings from the peach tree and planted them up and hopefully some of them will take. Our two nectarine trees and just starting to come into blossom and the first few leaves of the year are arriving on them. Hopefully we don't get a windy April and May like last year as last year we lost all the blossom and we don't want a repeat this year. 

Sounds like things are going ok doesn't it? Well we knew that we had rain forecast for Friday so got all our out doorsy type things done during the week. Friday dawned and Dave had a 7.30 start at work and when we opened the door guess what we where greeted with?? the utter madness that was a snow covered garden!! I have to say we where really surprised and weren't expecting this at all. Luckily it had gone by just after lunchtime but it certainly was weird. Since then it's been warm and dry until the wind blows which is still a bit chilly. Roll on summer, we have had enough of winter for now.

In the house work has been continuing towards the electrics. Dave thinks we have about 2 days work left and Freddie has about 1.5 days work then he can submit his paperwork and we wait for our inspection. So we are getting there. We have also had a reorganise oin the lounge which has made it a bit roomier and user friendly. Mind you just getting the materials out of the lounge has helped.

For easter this year it was a bit strange, it's the first time that we haven't spent easter with our daughter which felt a bit weird. Ruth was off visiting Dave's mum for the weekend so she would of been fine but we did miss her. We didn't do anything special and just continued as normal with work on the house but we made sure that Dave had some proper layins too which is lovely when he's been working so long hours at work recently.