Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The choir, the maize, the barrels

Did a bold thing last night. Put the big lights on in the car, the ones which show a big beam of light. Don't normally used them. Don't want to be a bother to oncoming traffic. But it is surprising how much more one can see, especially when the road seems to be veering away in a different direction to the one I am going in. Crikey, but it was magic seeing where I was going!

So why was I out and about at night? Went to a choir practice in Maubourget. It is  a French choir, although there are some English. Joined in January. First six months quite hellish. Being surrounded by fast speaking French people made be feel swamped and isolated. Persevered though, but welcomed the summer shut down. But with enthusiasm did I pick up with the choir again in September. I have become addicted to that choir, to the friendliness of the French, of the comraderie with the English, of singing my lungs out, of wearing non-farm clothes, of wearing tidy shoes instead of boots, of bothering to make an effort to live a life in France rather than coasting along in a cosy English enclave like most of the English do here. And I get to sing in various venues, mostly village churches, which is sort of sightseeing but with a purpose.

And today our French farmer friend, Jean-Marc, is delivering one ton of maize. "Oh whooppee", the geese and chickens are going to think, "All for us?...." as they see it dumped on a tarpaulin on the ground. Methinks that it is going to be quite a battle to keep those little feathered beings away from it.

But Hubs is off to get some container bins to keep it in. Saw some large water barrels at the local Brico (equivalent to a DIY shop except loads more expensive) which should do the job. Will have to get the maize into those barrels. Hubs has a full day of work ahead of him, working on his PC as per usual. So guess who will get the task of shoveller? Correct! Moi!!! No doubt assisted by the feathered members of the Labartere team. At least I won't have to sweep up any escaped maize seed. Have seen loads scattered over the roads. They are harvesting the maize at the moment, and during daylight hours, and often into late at night, the throb of machinery is to be heard as the farmers harvest it, then take it away to the grain silos.

One of the tasks which hasn't been done has been the cutting of the wood for the fire. Jean-Marc has offered his services for this task. It is a relief. Takes one more job off our shoulders. Also means hours of a cosy burning fire for the winter ahead. We have a humungous wood pile comprising the old wood from the house. It will be nice to see it gone. Like the caravans, it has associated memories. It is also rat-city and mouse-village. Needs to go.

Hubs now off to Plaisance to buy the water barrels. Just going to help him hitch the trailer. Will try to not worry about those bins blowing off the trailer. Gave him some string to tie them on with. Said he could manage without it. I think it was the fact that the 'string' was made up of loads of bits of string which I had tied together. He said it was a 'Vera-job'. Not sure what he meant by that......


10 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Ha ha, it is amazing how much you can see with the headlights on!!! You are right those water barrels are expensive, I want some for the real thing but can't afford them :( Diane

Horst in Edmonton said...

Here in Canada if the load in the trailer is not tied down, you can get a big fine. So most farmers carry proper tie down straps so they don't have any problems. I carry several of them in my boot, (trunk) of the car. Glad you are stocking up for the winter.

Vera said...

Diane, at the Brico the barrels were about 50 euros each, which we thought were quite reasonable, but they are big round green bins and not the more fancier looking ones which, as you say, are more expensive.

Horst, we are in a very quiet corner of France, so not much traffic is about. But Lester was careful, the trailer is quite large, and the bins were heavy so all was well. Good idea about the straps, though. Will look out for them although have not seen anyone using them here. And it is nice to have a store of winter feed for the animals.

John Gray said...

yes vera
winter will be with us very soon... I AM STOCKING UP AND DOING JOBS BEFORE THE WEATHER TURNS.. LOVELY TO CATCH UP WITH YOU "ORDINARY" LIFE... ITS A LOVELY READ.X

Vera said...

Hello John, it's a busy time isn't it, trying to get things sorted out before the winter. Glad you enjoyed the read.

Jean said...

"Vera-job" sounds as though it ought to be a compliment, but I'm not sure either.......!!

Vera said...

Jean, I am not sure of how much of a compliment it was either!

Ken Devine said...

Vera-job, indeed! He needs telling off! Seems to me that you do a grand job and have a massive input there.
Incidentally, I admire the way you are interacting through the choir. I can understand you enjoying 'You' time away from the daily routine.

How do you cut your wood?

Vera said...

Ken, I told him off! Didn't make him his morning tea to get him up the next day! 'Twas 'punishment' indeed! We cut our wood by a very inefficient electric chain saw. Need to get a 'proper' bit of kit because most of the wood we have left is thick old oak beams. It is a task indeed to do this job! But good for the muscles although not so good for the back!

Roz said...

How rude!! Funny though!! Hope your shovelling wasn't too hard xxx