Saturday, 11 June 2011

you guessed it…is wait.

My goodness me what a week this has been. Retired and with all the time in the world is a myth and it is a mystery as to how you get all the ends tied up and all the bits of the puzzle  into place despite having nothing better to achieve than that. We finally got the Explorer through the MOT and that was a long and arduous challenge but all done for another two years.  The Camper has a gold plated exhaust system fitted after the chap at the tyre place manage to unhinge Mikes perfectly adequate repair by jacking the can at a ridiculous angle but gold exhaust suits us, well, I hope it is gold at the price we paid.

The allotment is holding it’s own and all we can do now is hope for regular rain. The strawberries have one more harvest and then we start on the broad beans, we have been eating peas and spinach already only sadness is that we are away and we may just miss a few but the house sitter will feast and go home a much more rounded and healthier person.  We have eaten two cauliflowers and a ton on spinach and today I made black current, and raspberry jam. Phew..

This is very exciting and interesting picture, Oh yes it is ….This is the beginning of the Electric to the mobile homes, the box is in, the wire is coming down from the supply box on the pole and now we have to wait for the consuel to call and check Mikes handy work, That has the potential of taking a life time to happen but we are forever hopeful that the vans will be habitable by August.

Ann came around to see us and wondered why we were not selling our propagated plants and frankly I don’t know why,  so Mike suggested  I seriously start taking cuttings from wherever we are and give it a go and here I am packing lush little cutting into a HOSS poo bag to keep them fresh. Well,  they are now in the pots so all we have to do……you guessed it…is wait.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Light my cuisiniere up again

Help,  I am  jamoholic…..I have harvested 40 pounds of strawberries in that past two weeks and there are still a load ripening. We had friends around for lunch today and they explained how they had no fruit this year so I packed them off home with a punit of mine and the promise of a propagation lesson next month so that they can grow new and luscious plants for next year. Growing strawberries has to be the most fun thing to do if you have a bit of space in your garden.  I have made 14 pounds of jam 2 litres of coolie and we eat them with every meal. I checked my food guru book to make sure that they were not too acidic for our aging joints but my word, it turns out,  they are a magic fruit giving just about everything you need… cream, no sugar though. Yeh right

We took the camper van into the local tyre place yesterday and the manager asked us to drive the van in and somebody would see to us shortly.….good,  service and a smile. Fifteen minutes later when the tyre engineer had finally decided to come to see to us he jacked up the van in such a way that it all  looked a bit precarious but, hey, it is his job. He then took the wheel off put it on the tyre changing machine when a couple of men came in who he obviously knew and disappeared around the back of the building with them. We stood there feeling abandoned and thrown on the scrap heap, no longer the customer of the moment and the engineer had decided to go off with another.  After ten minutes I asked the other engineer chappy to see where ours had gone but he was not interested and said he would be back. Sure enough he came back serving another customer who had come in behind us. Sorry guys, but I blew a fuse, and asked if he was going to finish this job and he bit back, oh dear, all the troubles of his day, all the work and no body else to deal with it, all the unfairness but more  sadly for him he had chosen the wrong customer to double cross and I stepped forward and told him to take it up with his boss in the office and get on with the job.  Mike also joined in and swore very loudly in the universal language that every nation in the world  understands and the job got done with no thanks or further interaction. I went to pay and had a  moan to the manager about the tussle I had just had and he went through the whole story again. I intimated that he was bleating to one to gives a dam and  he realised I was an angry customer and not just moaning so he apologised and that was that, so we thought. During the jacking process however the Van had twisted in such a way that Mike’s exhaust pipe repair broke, and as we plan a journey at the end of the week we decided to go to the exhaust people to see how much to put a new system in and I still have the wince on my face when they said they could get it all done by Friday for three hundred and twenty Euro, blast.

And this photo is here just to cheer us all up, I love my kitchen and can’t wait for winter just to light my cuisiniere up again

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Thank you for including us……

It was Sarah’s birthday on Wednesday and we all went out on a magical mystery tour.  Mike and I followed the Somer’s and Danna, way into the country to a secret location for a picnic and walk in the woods where the Dogs could let off steam.

We have come to the conclusion that with no family about to act as rent a crowd it is important to have a festive moment at every occasion with those who are close by. We are really enjoying the opportunities to get out and celebrate and I am now collecting things to go into my celebration a kit to make a fuss each time we do go out.  Now that I am a successful cuttings person I can give home grown plants as gifts as well and that makes me feel useful and productive.
We had the explorer booked into the local garage to have the bottom swivel thingy replaced but they called to apologise that although they said they could do the work, they can’t. It all came as a bit of a blow because I thought I had sussed the problem and even struck it off the to do list. We have therefore been forced to go to the local Ford garage at double the price, who also say they can do the job but have confessed that they have only ever worked on our explorer. We had the lights converted there two years ago and they still remembered our names so I guess we are embedded on their memories and a bit of a Problem. . 

Yesterday we went to Anna and Williams to feast in true French style on BBQ’d lamb and sausages. The food and wine just kept coming, it was both a delicious and fun al fresco lunch. Anna has a lively neighbourhood crowd and fifty percent of the people at her table were French which gave me a great opportunity to chat and laugh, mostly about my Belgian accent, but I threw my party piece into the conversation by asking what they were all going to do next year when their president is up for re- election, great to throw a cat amongst the pigeons it makes for such great discussion.

We sat out in the sun from midday  until eight thirty in the evening when I finally gave up with smile and laughter hurt sitting at the end of the table listening to a dubious attack of Karaoke and by the time we got up I was tipsy, tired and ready to put my feet up. Luckily, Anna had a power house of friends and family slogging away in the kitchen so I was able to act like lady muck and just enjoy the occasion. Well done Anna, great do, and thank you for including us……