Our gardening tasks are very much a day on day event and we are really getting through our chores now that the white board is a large and blatant reminder of what needs doing next. This job however was one of those that started as a thought and ended up as an epic, without getting anywhere near the white board. On holiday in the South of France we noticed that many trees in gardens had high crowns which made space underneath and kept them neat and shaped. When we got back I mentioned this to Mike and on a day when he could not face walking too far or digging too deep he set off with tools in hand to see what could be achieved, and I am really pleased with the result. We can now see across the pond into the allotment and when the willow was thinned as well the whole area was brighter and full of new colour and air. We now have hatched a plan to move the chickens to the pottager where the poly tunnel is and build a new patio so that we can sit out and look onto the garden without being too far from the house. Funny how a couple of hours in one area get you thinking about another.
The Consuel made another visit to look at Mike’s handy electrical work on the mobile homes and to our utter, and even more utter amazement they failed us again saying that the information the first inspector gave us did not comply to the regulations. Mike’s face was a picture, but my view was that we make this small yet annoying change and apply again just this one last time…..keep watching I really believe we have arrived.
Every 15th of the month I take a photograph from the window in the barn and this was August all looking jolly and tidy but sadly tinged with Autumn glum, and the sparkly and brightness is already fading from the flower beds, Mike and I are so amazed how quickly the seasons change and we are already thinking about our coal stocks and whether we move the chickens before the snow or leave it till after.
We had a fun filled weekend with my Mum and brother Billy with his new wife Maxine here for, Du Vin Du pain et Du Bousin. I have had a dodgy tum for a couple of weeks and I was so desperate to feel right for their visit that I ended up eating porridge for three days and I am glad to say it did the trick and the last few days has been full on wine and food.
Mike and I laugh very easily but when you are remenising with your Brother who you haven’t actually sat down and got drunk with in a very long time then it just takes laughter and fun to another level. Mum was in her element watching her two children and their life’s loves bantering over a table of booze and food. Ann and Graham popped over to say hello and a good time was had by all.
Our visits are all too soon over and I felt more upset than I have done in a long time saying goodbye. Mike and I have recognised a melancholy that descends on us when family go home, I get a sad tug on my heart strings but we also realise that this is our home and we must not allow emotions to take over or one day we just might will ourselves back to the UK and we are not ready for that yet. So It is stiff upper lip and a melancholy activity to take your mind off things. Billy and Maxine left their jackets behind so a mad dash to the post office so that the parcel will get there before next weekend put all our sadness to one side and at least the parcel is on the way back to them.
Today was ‘knee operation day’ for Mike and this morning HOSS and I took him to the clinic St Jean in St Lo. We took the camper so that I did not need to come home and even if they did want to keep him in over night I could camp out in the car park and be there for him. It did occur to me how hard it must be not having a good handle on the language but as the day progressed I felt much more encouraged watching the neat young nurse popping in with the little English she knew and then with the French Mike was confident with between them they did fine. The knee OP was a success and the consultant who speaks fantastic English was able to explain what had happened and what the prognosis was and although I engaged him in French to explain it again just in case he was avoiding some aspects he was unsure of linguistically we got a broad view of the proceedings. I thanked him for being able to converse with us and he just said it is all part of his service, WOW. HOSS and I spent Mikes unconscious hours camping in the grounds of the clinic, and we took a walk down to the Nation Horse Stables in St Lo but HOSS was more worried about getting me back to the van. We gently walked all the way there but he pulled me all the way back and sat waiting for his master.
The French Medical system does take a bit of getting used to because you can never sure what you are going to be charged for, so as the administrative work is done you need to keep a hand on your wallet just in case. When we went to the pharmacist to get dressings for the nurse to use when she comes we also had a prescription for painkillers and anti- inflammatory and because I speak French with an accent the pharmacists are also very keen to make sure that we understand the instructions. . The pharmacist said in the middle of all the what to do’s, that there would be a payment due on the ant inflammatory and my initial thought was to ask for a brand that fell inside the system pay structure but I was tired and needed egg and chips to get back on track. I got my bankcard out to pay for the drugs and she asked me for one euro ten cents. Trying to restrain myself from taking her into my arms for a big thank you I quickly paid and flung boxes of stuff in a bag feeling that I had got away Scot free, then wondered if it was not perhaps a government ploy to make you feel grateful. We must admit that this bad knee event was caused, diagnosed and treated in six weeks so we really should be grateful…and we are.