Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Damp Day

We went out on our bikes early this morning; the dew on the long grass twinkled like jewels in the sunshine and the hedgerows were colourful with buttercups and purple pyramid orchids.  Oops, no, that was on Sunday.  Today it is cloudy and drizzling.  We were in two minds whether to go out or not.

“Shall we?”
“I don’t know.”
“We need the exercise.”
“It looks very damp.”
“It’s only low cloud, it’s stopped raining now, let’s go.”

It rained all the way. 

It was good to get outside though.  I saw a rabbit on the track ahead “Run, bunny run,” I shouted. Rabbits don’t have long, fluffy tails.  It was a cat.  I blamed the rain on my goggles. We cycled alongside the railway line and passed the train heading in the opposite direction south towards Agen.

“Why does the train driver always toot at us?” Paul asked.
“Because he can hardly ignore a mad woman in neon pink frantically waving at him,” I replied.  

 I just can’t resist, I get a childlike pleasure from waving at trains and getting a toot.

Monday, 22 May 2017

An Unremarkable Day


Today I played the dutiful housewife.  I did a load of washing and hung it outside to dry.  I baked some rock cakes.  I dug up some young beetroot and boiled them in their skins.  (I did spend some time looking at them to try and get some inspiration for John Gray’s competition but to no avail, into the pan they went!) I picked strawberries and raspberries.  I pulled some straggly succulents out of the courtyard because they were making the place look untidy.

The small, tender beetroots were delicious; we had them for lunch with salad and cheese.  It is so rewarding when you can eat stuff from your own garden.

rockery with Philippe's scarecrow in the background
This afternoon I made some chilli con carne for supper and then went for a wander around the garden.  Everything is slowly recovering from the frost but sadly all the young fruits have fallen off the peach trees.  No bellini cocktails for me this summer.  Paul has planted out the travelling cucumbers, they don’t seem to have suffered from their journey.  The courgettes (zucchinis) have just started putting up their first yellow flowers so we should be cropping them soon.  The French beans are coming along well and I can’t wait to start eating some baby new potatoes.

Paul's potager

The rockery is a riot of colour at the moment, I think the Californian poppies are mocking me.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Fickle Weather and Food

The weather forecasters promised me sunny spells and the odd shower later in the day so after breakfast I persuaded Paul to get togged up in his cycling gear and accompany me on a bike ride.  He wasn’t too keen, he said it was too cold and it was going to rain.  Nonsense, we need the exercise.  I dressed in my lycra, put on my helmet and gloves, grabbed my water bottle, opened the door and it immediately started to rain.

“Told you so,” said Mr Smug. No bike ride today.

It’s Saturday so my day off from cooking.  Paul is preparing Chicken Malay Rice for supper.  For me this dish is all about the intense flavour of the rice, you don’t really need the chicken.  The rice is pre-cooked and allowed to cool before frying with caramelised onion, red pepper and spices. For a vegan version we just leave out the fried chicken or add tofu.  It’s one of my favourites.

the poached egg is optional
Tomorrow should be the start of a week of sunshine so I’ll try getting out the lycra again in the morning.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Modified Dog Bowl

Yesterday it rained all day, the garden seemed to lap up the moisture and everything is looking very green and lush.

The lizards in our garden can’t resist drinking from the dogs’ water bowl (we don’t have a dog but like to leave water out for our regular canine visitors).  Unfortunately they sometimes dive straight in and then find they can’t get themselves out so Paul has installed a lizard safety net to help them clamber out again. It’s not easy giving mouth to mouth to a drowned lizard.

modified dog bowl (patent pending)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Leave the eyebrows out of it

I cut Paul’s hair this morning.  I forgot to trim his eyebrows so Paul decided to do it himself.  He didn't put the comb back on the trimmers and he is now sporting a new look – sans eyebrows.  I have been forbidden to blog about it, hence the title.

We had a Skype session this morning with Sarah and Buddy in Sydney, Australia.  First thing Sarah said, “Streuth Dad, what’s happened to your eyebrows?”  Okay, I admit she didn’t actually use the word streuth.

Skype is a wonderful thing, especially as I can’t hear too well and tend to avoid using telephones wherever possible.  We chatted for nearly two hours, it was almost as if they were in the room with us.  If only we could reach out of the screen and touch.  Buddy came and said hello after he had finished chewing his vegan pig’s ear.

It’s a misty, drizzly day here.  I pulled something pre-cooked out of the freezer earlier on.  For someone who is supposedly well organised I never bother to label freezer meals; sometimes I just like to live dangerously.  Looks like it might be a chicken curry.  We had chicken curry two days ago in the UK.

I have my tax return to do this afternoon.  Oh joy.