Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bloody Flies

This morning we both took Rick out early for a long walk through the chestnut woods.  The walk should have been idyllic but we were plagued by flies, even at that early hour.  It seems to have been a particularly bad year for flies.  A few weeks ago I got a painful bite from a horsefly on the back of my leg and the same thing happened to me today.  I knew I should have worn trousers instead of shorts.  I grabbed a large fern leaf to swat the flies and managed to cut my hand.  This walk was not going well.

We both ended up walking along carrying large bunches of ferns, swishing them around like a couple of manic cheer leaders.  Rick’s fur coat seemed to protect him from the vicious horseflies.

We planned to have lunch outside today but at midday the skies darkened and we had a thunder storm.  We dined indoors and ate gambas flambĂ©ed in garlic butter and olive oil; soaking up the garlicky juices with French bread is the best part of the meal for me. Why does food taste better when you eat it outdoors?  At least there were no flies inside.

Monday, 14 August 2017

No Words

No words, just some random photos I took outside today

Sunday, 13 August 2017

National Grass Mowing Day

Jean-Paul mowing this morning
Sunday morning, the sun is shining and the only sound you can hear is birdsong and .... lawn mowers!  It’s like being in suburban England on a weekend.  Everyone in our small French hamlet is mowing their grass this morning at the same time.  Is it a national grass mowing day?  What’s happened to my haven of peace and tranquility?

Joel mowing his patch of grass

Monique mowing next door

Friday, 11 August 2017

Good Boy!

both boys jumping nicely

“Have you got six plastic flower pots stashed away in the barn?” I asked.
“Yes, why? Are you planting something?”
“And three long bean sticks?”
“What are you up to?”
“Agility training for Rick!”

It took him a while to work out that we wanted him to jump over the sticks rather than run around them but he got the idea in the end.  We had lots of fun and I think Rick enjoyed himself too.  I’ve just got to figure out how to make a see-saw for him now.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Random Thoughts

plenty of room for a dog agility course

Nothing much to write about.  Heavy rain showers and a cool breeze have kept me indoors.  We managed to miss the rain on our morning walk and when Rick was looking bored I did a few circuits of the garden with him mid showers.  I’m thinking he might enjoy an agility course with jumps and hoops although I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up with him.

I got stung by a dastardly wasp a couple of days ago and my hand has swollen to twice the size. Okay, I’m exaggerating slightly, it’s just a bit itchy and puffy where the bite is.  Paul is concerned his ears are getting bigger and that he has one ear bigger than the other.  I told him not to worry, the small ear will grow at the same pace as the big ear.

I wish I could be with my daughter in Australia; she is suffering badly from her relationship break up at the moment but in a month’s time hopefully we will be greeting her at Toulouse Airport.  Her little sister arrives two days earlier so it will be a long awaited family reunion, the first time we have all been together in over three years.  We are already stocking up on bubbly.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Cooking with Papa

What you doing Papa? I'll come and help

It’s been raining for most of the day.  The sun was shining when I went out with Rick at 8.00 a.m., there was a heavy dew and the air was fresh.  Philippe was busy digging up his potato crop when I got back.  By 10.00 a.m. it was pouring with rain.  Philippe doggedly continued working in his potager but finally gave up and went indoors. Paul is bored so he is baking a Mezze Pizza Braid (courtesy of Bosh) for lunch.

The filling for the pizza braid comprises tomato paste, red peppers, artichoke, sun dried tomatoes and olives. We didn’t have any red peppers so we used green instead, and substituted artichoke with aubergine.  We also used pesto instead of tomato paste.  Apart from that Paul followed the recipe precisely!

brushing the braid with olive oil

the finished pizza braid

It took a bit longer to put together than the Bosh demo and their video doesn’t show all the washing up either.  But it was a very tasty lunch, might have been nicer with red peppers.  Not sure if we would do it again as it takes a while to gather all the component parts.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Saturday Morning

scrumped plums

The skies looked threatening early this morning when I took Rick out so I took my waterproof jacket rolled up into my small rucksack.  I didn’t need it after all but my bag came in handy to carry all the plums I managed to scrump from Monsieur Escalier’s trees. When we got home Paul was dressed up (clean shorts and t-shirt) and ready to drive off to market.  As soon as Rick saw the shopping basket he raced over to the car and wagged his tail.

“I thought I’d leave him here at home with you.”
“You can’t disappoint him now.”
“We can’t let this dog rule the household,” Paul said sternly and went over to the car to send Rick indoors.  Rick jumped up and hugged Paul with his paws. Rick went shopping.

I decided to go with them and take Rick for a walk down by the fishing lake in town while Paul got a few things from the market.  I looked a horror as I’d just pulled dog walking clothes on straight after breakfast, unbrushed hair, muddy shoes – you know the look.  Rick and I sat by the lake and all was quiet and peaceful until the Plump Power Walking Family went by.  Mum strode by first, earphones, bottle of water, nose in the air, arms swinging, short sturdy legs.  Rick went berserk. Young daughter, a smaller version of mum, trotted along behind. Rick barked.  Dad was a long way behind in his vest and shorts trying to keep up.  Rick just looked at him in disgust.  They were clearly going to do several circuits of the lake so Rick and I walked up the hill to the public swimming pool (closed in the mornings) and I showed him where the girls used to swim when they were young.  When we walked back down the hill the power walkers were still striding round the lake.