And here is how far Danny, our French builder, has got on with sorting out the tall barn.
And this how far the Sheep House has got. Actually, more than we expected given that Mr T was accidentalised and out of action.
Or so we thought.
So: Hubs in a lather. What to do. Sheep arriving soon. Nowhere to put them. Only dry space on the property is the half barn or the house. Half barn not do-able because it is on its way to being our living accomadation. Only other place is the house, which is yonks away from being finished, the 'lounge' area being the possible temporary home. That's do-able. Do the fencing ourselves. No probs.
Danny arrives. With Brandon, his young apprentice. Start work on the tall barn. Hubs has a chat. Sheep House project re-erected. Danny has offered Jean-Pierre, his roofer, to come and help, with Brandon to start the ground work now. Hubs beaming. Good solution. Mr T can come and find us when he is OK to do so, meanwhile sheep will have their house, we will have ours, and the fencing will be done. We have to proceed. So all we have to do is the fencing. After lunch. Good start to the day.
Lunchtime: dozing on the settees in the temporary kitchen with the window open, and vehicle noises wake us up. "Oh, ********," says Hubs, "It's Mr T". then, "No, its not, its Danny", then "Yes it is, it is Mr T."
So: Danny out back, Mr T out front. Danny had young Brandon with him, Mr T had his young sons. One of which had been decked by Brandon a while ago and rendered unconscious for quite some days as a result. Mmmmmmmmm.
And you know when you have arrived in a bit of a picklish situation. When you thought you were doing the right thing, but somehow it has turned itself into a tangle. And you don't know what to do, because you don't want to upset anybody, but all you need is for the work to be done, because you don't have the time to linger, because the sheep have to get here because the grass is growing, because if it grows too high then they won't be able to eat it, because sheep can only eat grass up to a certain height, because they need a shelter from humungous weather conditions, because we must look after our animals, because we must not disregard their needs.
So I did the washing up. And heard Hubs unravelling the tangle. He is a bon homme.
Anyway, what was Mr T doing up on his feet! His son had informed Hubs that his father and grandfather were both in hospital, one for three months the other with a heart attack. Oh well, this was said in French. Misinterpreted more than somewhat by Hubs. In English then: Mr T had damaged his finger badly. Had had an operation. Was out of action for three months but was continuing to work because he was self employed and couldn't afford not to, and that grandfather had a check up at the hospital to see if his heart was still going along OK. It is.
Which is all good news. However: that still left Brandon and Mr T's two sons prowling around each other, Brandon still out front working on the ground work for the Sheep House, the other two young men sort of drifting about.
So I sat in the central zone, which is under the gate porch, and did my knitting. Keeping an eye on the boys. Making sure no further aggro took place. It didn't.
Hubs continued to soothe the tangle, and all remained calm. And I am well impressed by his skills at peacekeeping. I meanwhile sort of kept smiling at everyone, doing my bit towards keeping harmony. I thought we did a good job, Hubs and I.
And we said thankyou to everyone who was patient enough to cope with two English people trying to get a smallholding going in SW France who can't speak much French but who are nevertheless having a go, and who get themselves into tangles as a result and then somehow manage to get themselves out of the tangles again. Somehow.
And Hubs, worn out with the effort of it all, thinking about his Sheep House Project. It was the end of a long day.
But the good news is that Mr T is up on his feet despite having a couple of fingers strapped together which means the Sheep House Project is on its feet again, Danny is busy getting the tall barn up and onto its feet, Hubs only temporarily sat down and is up on his feet organising the various projects on the go at the moment, Brandon is up on his feet helping Danny again, Mr T's two sons are up on their feet and out the front doing the fencing. I am not on my feet because I am writing this at my PC! But will be up and running around soon, helping to do my bit with keeping this ship afloat.
Sometimes it feels like an unwieldy ship. With the wind out of the sails, and wallowing. And then a great gust of wind comes along, the sails billow out, and the ship lifts up and plunges forward. And that is what it feels like at the moment! As if we are plunging forward.
So with the wind in our sails, we go on. Hope you have the wind in your sails and that you are moving forward as well. But if you are windless, and wallowing, then never mind. Keep hope in your heart that the wind will arrive and it will. And soon you will be gasping at the speed at which you are travelling forward. And don't mind if it is only a little breeze which comes along and doesn't seem to be doing much to your sails. It is indicative that a big blow is on its way.