Thursday, 23 October 2014

Thermals, here we come!


JUST TO SAY THAT I AM FIDDLING ABOUT WITH THE BLOG DESIGN, SO SORRY IF IT LOOKS MESSY AT THE MOMENT



OOooooo, and here I am, sitting at my pc, and for the first time this end of year I feel chilly, which isn't too bad seeing as how it is nearly the end of October, so I can't complain. AND we have decided to get someone in to help get the kitchen moving because work on that has ground to a halt what with Lester having to keep on getting those gates done so the piglets can get out onto the future veg patch paddocks so they can grow happily, forage and dig, and prep the soil for next year's veggie growing. That's the plan. 

However....., winter is a-coming, and I am not going to go into a moan and groan about not having any heating in the house, apart from the heater in the bathroom and the small heater we keep by the computers for when we are frozen to the bone, which is not often because we have just had two mild winters, so most times we just feel jolly chilly. 

However....., and I say this with some pride, we have managed six winters so far without central heating, and would not have central heating if you paid us a million bucks. Nope! Not at all. I no longer suffer from chronic sinus problems nor ongoing chest problems which last for most of the winter, nor is my skin dried up to a frazzle. Dry and unhealthy air, that is the prob with central heating. Fresh air is what we live in now, and are glad of. Well, sort of 'fresh air'. Even down here near the Pyrenees we still get chem trails in the sky above. 

But let's not go into that. Let us rejoice that a nice man is going to come here in a few weeks time and get the tiles laid on the kitchen floor, and also is hopefully going to help Lester get the Rayburn cooker in. Yes, that same Rayburn cooker which has now been standing in the hallway for a year now. Not to worry, we have been doing other things, and if we don't manage to get the Rayburn in for all of this winter we might get it in for a some of it. If not, then definitely for next winter. I can always climb into bed and switch the electric blanket on for quick warm up if things get too frosty.

And another thing. My legs. I am quite a busy person, not as busy as I would like, but I do like to do lots of things. Trouble is, that after a lot of years working sitting down, my blood is starting to find it hard to get back up my legs, so thread veins are starting to appear, and a couple of purple patches are being hinted at. Now I am not being a vain person. I don't mind that I am getting older. I like how I am now I am of this age. (67) I am kinder, more compassionate, more loving, more wise, and much better in myself than when I was younger. 

However....., and this is the thing, I still maintain my spiritedness towards everything to do with life, but my body is starting to not like this spiritedness quite so much. So, good old Amazon, because I have purchased an exercise bike. I reckon that ten minutes a day should sort out my legs, and give my heart a bit of a work out as well. I have, of late, been having palpitations, but only when I am sitting down and not when I am up and about being active, which suggests that the heart is sound but that activity of not the right sort is mucking up my heart rate. 

Now you could say that farm life should keep me physically active, and it does, but for the winter months I shall be spending a lot of time writing, which means sitting at the computer, which means the legs are going to suffer. This will not do. I cannot have those legs of mine getting any worse than what they are. Therefore on the bike they are going. I hope they enjoy the experience, because next spring I hope to send them off on the ladies racing bike that I brought here to France with me, which is currently sitting snugly beneath a pile of DIY hay in the Middle Barn.  


*****


And here is the parcel that Amazon delivered yesterday.....my new Casio keyboard, which is a replacement of my old Casio which has developed a tendency to cut out at most inopportune times, as in the middle of playing a hymn for a local monthly church service. I might have mentioned this before, and sorry if I have, but the next time I play will be at the Remembrance Day service in November. It would not do to have had the keyboard cut out in the middle of playing the Last Post or the Reveille. So, needs must, and a new keyboard it had to be. 

I like the Casio because it is touch sensitive and has a piano length keyboard, but is also a very good synthesizer. It is unlikely that I shall ever return to playing a 'normal' piano because there is too much fun to be had on this type of keyboard. 

Band practice this afternoon. Looking forward to it. Still wobbly with playing the piano accordion, although slowly improving, as are my arm muscles. I can now lift the accordion more easily, and can manage a fuller extension of the bellows more frequently without running out of  arm strength. Lester wants me to play the accordion in the band. Ummmm........ well that's alright for the slower pieces, but not when he gallops of into playing jigs and reels. Not to worry. I shall keep practising. 

*****

But the sun is still shining with some warmth, 
so as I close off this blog,
I leave you with this photo taken yesterday.


Bye for now,

Vx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Gosh, and how time flies!

Just a quick note: I am going to tidy up the look of the blog so it is highly likely that it is going to look messy while I do that.....if it actually loads properly at all!


Gosh, and how time flies! It didn't seem such a long time ago when I was in the thick of bringing in the harvest produce from the over-run-with-weeds veg plot, and here I am in the middle of October wondering where the year has gone. And we still do not have our Rayburn wood burning stove installed because we are still making the gates for the Back Paddocks so that the four month old piglets can have the experience of a good sized space to run around in, digging up roots and making lovely big holes in the process. So why do they need to do that? Because they are for the freezer, and we can't go through the slaughtering and eating process unless we know that they have had a good life, and so far they have been confined to the much smaller pig pens, which they don't seem to mind, but we do. They haven't dug one hole yet, and that is just not the way of little pigs.

Anyway, getting the pigs sorted out remains our priority at the moment, so while Lester does the necessary work on the gates I now have taken over the job of painting the kitchen. I would have preferred to have light cream as the colour for the walls, but paint here in France is expensive, so we have opted for white. One more coat of paint on the walls should do it.

Things I have learnt: That it is not a good idea for a buxom lady to try and climb through the rather small trap door of the scaffolding tower so that she can get to its first stage so she can paint round the edges of the ceiling. She will get stuck. This I have found out. I was so stuck that I could not budge for quite a few moments. It was not a nice experience.

*****


And this is us lot, the Maubourget choir, waiting for the coach.
We were off to Lourdes, to sing in a regional concert there.
The concert hall was huge,
the stage the same.
I was playing the piano for one of the choir songs.
I had to play a D major chord to begin with.
But quite clearly I played a C major chord instead.
Not to worry,
a quick glance from Juliette, the choir master,
soon had me corrected.
It was just as well that the chord was played in advance of the choir starting to sing.
otherwise it would have been a disaster.
But we all smiled,
and I didn't go into a fluster,
and I managed the rest of the song quite well.
I think my Mum and Dad in heaven would have been proud of me.

And then the next day it was us lot again, but fund raising in Maubourget town square.


I am the one in the red blouse and cream skirt, standing behind others.
It was not a busy day,
but it was fun.

...and John, reduced to playing his whistle to earn a drop of money to pay for the coffee set that Kathy wanted to buy. Just kidding around, that is what we were doing.
Lester is standing behind the three seated ladies.


It was good to get away from farm life for an hour or so.

Things I have learnt:
That good friends are a treasure to have around.
That taking time out is a great energizer.

*****
.... and then it was back to making the gates,


......and Boolie looking ticked off because he was bored.
He is a Springer Spaniel,
and a diva.
Vx

Monday, 6 October 2014

Will it fall?


This is the oak tree by the house.
It is leaning.
Should we lop off the right hand side branches,
which has already been done several times over the ages,
or should we let nature do whatever it intends to do with the tree,
which is probably to fall it over
slap bang onto the fence of the home field,
thereby rendering both tree and fence most thoroughly broken down.
Nature is to decide the fate of the oak tree,
that is what we have decided.

Meanwhile, things trundle along here.
I have finished harvesting the veg now,
mostly because I am done with the job, rather than having got all the ripe produce stored away for winter.
But nothing is wasted,
and the pigs are enjoying the provender.
They are also enjoying the milk from Lissie.
I still have no proper cheese storage area in the house,
so am not going to make any cheese until we get that sorted out.
Not to worry,
the pigs absolutely drool when they smell the bucket of milk coming their way.

Still have open doors here, but it is getting cooler.
Still have no wood burning Rayburn stove installed yet,
but we shall have sometime this winter.
It is our last winter without heating,
of that I am sure,
so I can remain patient,
and savour the anticipation of having a woodburning range sometime soon.

Meanwhile, 
I am off to bed.
It would seem that winter hibernation is fast coming upon me,
and as the days grow shorter,
so, too, does my energy seem to be diminishing.
ZZzzzzzzzzzzing along,
I go!
Vx