Wednesday, 11 February 2009

There's a moos in ma hoos!

Ah, so Cherry, bless her, popped her head round the corner of the gatehouse at the same time as I came out of our new computer room en route to the kitchen caravan for drinks. In wellies, rainmack, dripping wet and carrying a box of gooey cakes. "For you" she said, "to cheer you up." But we were OK. We had survived yet another blast of wind, which had decapitated Val-up-in-the-Charente's car hangar and replanted it several yards up aways, plus had literally blown apart her stout chicken shed, and laid waste to loads of her barn roof. No, we were doing OK. No mischief done here by the weather. Apart from feeling that we might float away down the Adour, such was the amount of rain which has fallen. But we haven't.

Munching away, nattering on. A movement. Out of the corner of my eye. A squeal mid-stride erupts from my throat. A cough and a choke. Cherry saying "I didn't think the cakes were that bad" just as a bouncy little mouse sits itself up on the back of the settee. Not three feet away. Plump and round it was. Probably from raiding Boolie's dog dish which he never quite cleans up after his supper. I think he feels the need to leave a couple of mouthfulls in his dish in case he never gets fed again. Oh and so what the hell are the cats doing around here, the cats which are half-wild so presumably have to eat off the fat of the land, which would also include, I presume, plump little mice filled up with dog biscuit. Oh and so what the hell has the cat been doing which has been hanging out amongst the boxes and stuff in the bedroom attachment of the awning attached to the kitchen-caravan? Not eating mice obviously.

And so life continues on its quiet way down here in the south west of France. We are gathering to ourselves live-stock of various types. All is well. I won't mention the snakey-thingy I dug up the other day from a pile of stones out front. Over a metre long, with green chevrons down its back. Apparently an OK snake. Didn't stay too long to find out. If it wiggles and its long, head somewhere else tout suite is what I do. And I did. Another squeal only of slightly less volume was delivered on sight of the mouse. As I say, we are gathering unto ourselves a menagerie, none of which is anything to do with self-sufficiency but all is well.