Wednesday 6 October 2010

6th October

I held my first beginners painting day here at La Maire yesterday. Friends Lisa and Jenny, Sara and Jeff happily agreed to be my 'guinea pigs' for the day and it was very helpful to be able to run through the class here and check that it all works well. We had a bonus in that the weather was wonderful - clear blue sky and very warm, so we were able to spend the afternoon painting a view from the garden (see above) a after a relaxing alfresco lunch.

Today I am making fig jam with Odile up at the farm. Our trees are overloaded with ripe fruit at the moment, so I asked Odile to show me how it is done here! She was delighted to help and we had a good chat while collecting the fruit - another step towards good neighbourly relations! Janine also joined in and there was some discussion over whether the fruit should be cut in half or not, but Odile was in charge, so cut in half they were!! Odile also showed me more of the farm - in particular the very large pigs awaiting slaughter this winter and the flock of guinea fowl who have just started roaming around our land!
On the DIY front, we are still trying to get the small bathroom up and running before we return to Maidenhead on Sunday for 3 weeks. To be continued.....

Monday 4 October 2010

4th October

Mum and Dad arrived safely last weekend after a good drive down through France despite having developed a love/hate relationship with their new Satnav! They were very lucky with the weather this time. We had plenty of sun and it soon warmed up after a chilly start to the week.
We still haven't needed to light the boiler and start up the cenral heating!

We had a few trips out, including one beautifully sunny afternoon to the village of Sabarat (see photo above)and Le Mas d'Azil. Mum and Dad also got 'stuck in' with jobs at La Maire. Mum painted all the new patio chairs (12 of them!) with teak oil, and Dad put on the wellies again and created a lovely new rockery at the entrance to La Maire.

Our 'waterair' swimming pool kit arrived on Wednesday. It arrived in an articulated lorry, so I was very relieved to hear that it had 8 kits inside and wasn't filled with just our stuff! The driver decided he wouldn't be able to turn around here if he drove right up to the property so we half expected him to give up and leave, but he left the lorry at the bottom of the lane and brought everything up here in two loads with a fork-lift! Very entertaining for the neighbours!! The 'pool' is now stored in the barn (see photo) ready to be installed in November.

On Saturday evening we hosted another dinner party. French friends Marielle and Olivier from the mohair farm came, along with Jean Paul (my English pupil/French teacher) with his girlfriend Marie, and also Lisa and Neil to boost the English contingency - and to save Dave from having to speak French all evening! We cooked roast pork followed by apple pie and plum crumble with custard. The gravy and custard were eyed with suspicion at first, but all seemed to go down well and the conversation was very entertaining!

Finally, the first photo above is of the wonderful sky at sunrise the other day - taken from the living room!