Monday, 9 January 2017

A bit of a relief.....

I don't complain and rant about things on this blog,
because I don't believe in passing on bad humour to my readers...
....with relief the temperatures are up a few degrees this morning!
For weeks we have had very cold and frosty mornings together with freezing fog.
The house has stayed reasonable with temperatures,
and we have not been lighting the wood burning Rayburn until after 5pm,
because the sunshine, which we have had most days, has heated everything up  a little bit.
However, the last two weeks we have had temperatures to minus 5C,
which I know is not that cold in comparison to other parts of the world,
but it is cold to us, spoilt as we are being, on a parallel to the Mediterranean.
And we have found ourselves getting irritable, tired, and generally miserable.
The Rayburn is just about coping with keeping the house off chill,
but we could keep it running for longer,
but we still have the wet season to get through,
so we need to conserve wood for that.
And yesterday morning it was freezing again.
But hooray!
By mid morning the weather started changing, and the freezing cold was lifted away.
I cannot tell you what a relief that was.
Simple things really.
A lift of a couple of degrees created quite a mood swing in us.
Living with the changing seasons makes life very interesting,
but really, this very long spell of freezing weather has been a bit much,
the sleep of hibernation being the driving need,
which means that things which ought to be done don't get done.
On the subject of the Market Garden Project:
Lester is collecting the wood, for the raised beds in the courtyard, from the local wood mill this afternoon. Six beds to be made and filled with camel and cow manure.
And to stop our heads from going round in a spin, we are taking each step at a time.
The seeds have been ordered for the back veg plots. These are the 'normal' vegetables, nothing fancy.
The raised beds are going to have the more unusual salad vegetables grown in them, with the emphasis being on baby veg, no F1 seeds, just heritage and heirloom seeds.
How we are going to make the step between growing for ourselves and growing for the public is still a mystery to us. How are we going to actually sell the salads and vegetables, ......well, that step will arrive when it is meant to.
We were having a 'this is too big a project for us' moment the other day, and arriving in my head came 'Le Jardin de Salad', (the Salad Garden) which is now the name of the project, and will have 'vegetables in season, fresh herbs, range of salads, all ancient varieties and bio, (or something like that)' tagged on to the title.
The arrival of the name was sufficient to lift our spirits, and push us on again.
I have no doubt that further inspiration will come when it needs to come.
Such trust in the Universe bailed me out of many pot holes in my life,
got us here to France, walked us through the renovation of the house, and the setting up of the smallholding, and lots of other things too numerous to mention, so I am holding fast to the trust that we shall get Le Jardin de Salad off the ground.
I hope.
...... and a snippet from the blog I wrote on Friday January 4th 2013:
'So it came to our afternoon 'stretching of our backs' in the bedroom caravan, which some people may call a 'siesta' but I think a siesta is a state of being whereby one drops the eyes shut for a space of time. 'Stretching of our backs' is just that: giving our spines a rest from the hours of sitting working at our PC's. Our eyes remain open, although may have a momentary droop, but definitely do not shut completely. Lester will be listening to his Ipod, and I will be drifting about in my thoughts, or reading French, or we will be having a family pow-wow. 

As soon as I was lying prone on the bed, straightway into my mind came 'HOPE' again. And this time the letters of the word became split up: 
H is Happiness: that living in hope will bring long term happiness. 
O is for Opportunities: that living in hope will not allow for any opportunities to pass you by. 
P is for Prosperity: not necessarily with copious amounts of money, but a richness of self. 
E is for Excitement: which is how you are going to feel if you live in HOPE because you will be living your life, not sitting on the sidelines and watching the days of your life pass you on by. 

But like all things, being Hopeful requires effort. No gain without pain, as the saying goes. What I mean is, that it is hard at first to learn to be Hopeful. But with practice, it becomes easier. 

I have been thinking of these words often over the two days. When I push them out, they pop back into my head. So I pass them on to you as well. I have definitely become filled with more optimism, something which had become drizzled away with the effort of making a fresh start in somebody else's country, and I feel my feet stepping lighter as a result. What I have been doing to achieve this state of being, is every time I have a worrisome or negative thought drift into my mind, I turn it around on itself by Hoping for a good outcome. 

I have found that the HOPE word is a very powerful assistance in lifting one's spirits. As I put on my Facebook page yesterday: to HOPE is to be a travelling-forward-in-life person. But to be without hope, and therefore HOPELESS, is to be a going no-where person.'

That's all for now,
off to get some lunch.


My Life in the Charente said...

I hate cold weather and hope is all that ever gets me through it. I hope that that spring arrives early, I hope that summer lasts forever and I hope that autumn never turns back into winter! Think I lived in a warm country for far too long and my blood just never thickened up again to cope with the cold!!!
Hope your veggie shop works for you. Good luck and may 2017 be a great year. Diane

Jean said...

Isn't there a certain amount of bureaucracy to grapple with when becoming a trader instead of just a smallholder growing produce for own consumption?
I've heard all kinds of horror stories about this..........and admire your determination! I hope it all goes well.

Vera said...

DIANE, Lester also feels the cold because of his South African upbringing!

JEAN, we can sell vegetables direct to the public because we are a registered farm already. We can also sell eggs providing they are date stamped. But no doubt we shall have lots of paper work to fill in along the way!

Dawn McHugh said...

We have a cold front coming end of the week, I think when its cold you just have to stay in and huddle down. I like the name you have chosen, fingers crossed it all goes well

Vera said...

DAWN, I saw on the news that the UK was in for a cold spell. I don't mind the cold weather, but the endless weeks of freezing fog and frost have been a bit much when we normally only get a couple of frosts every winter!

The Broad said...

I just wish it would be one kind of weather or another and not this one week warmish/wettish the next week freezing. I have a long lingering cold that will not shift -- I think I caught it from Her Majesty over Christmas!! I am pining for a nice long hot French summer where I need to sit in the shade because the sun is too hot! That is my HOPE...

Vera said...

THE BROAD, I hope to have a sunbed this year so I can sit in the shade as well when it is very hot! Meanwhile, stoically coping with getting through the winter!

DUTA said...

What you call trust in the universe I call trust in God (the creator of the universe), and this trust sure helps in life.

John Gray said...

Once on a very cold day here a few years ago, i caught one of the sheep to check her hooves
The warmth of her fleece made my day

Horst in Edmonton said...

Here in Canada (western Canada) we have at least 6 months of winter, so I think that the people in Europe and in Briton have it very nice with the month or two that you call winter. We have to make sure our homes are highly insulated to be able to survive the -15C to -40C. We also have to make sure our vehicles have antifreeze in them for -50 winters. Our animals have to either be kept inside (milk cows and milking goats). Our beef animals can handle the winter but must be fed a lot of hay & grain to survive. The one thing I know about Europe and Briton winters is that when it is cold, the cold is very wet or moist and that makes it feel very cold. For Canadians (western Canada) it is the wind that makes winter very bad. Here in Edmonton we have a lot of sunny days that make winter a little more pleasant so we do a lot of recreational activities. I hope it is not to cold for you Vera, and Lester so you can maybe do some winter recreational activities. Have fun and enjoy life.

Cro Magnon said...

I woke this morning to the sound of rain; something we haven't seen for months. Still, I shan't complain; we need it badly.

Vera said...

DUTA, I also use the term 'God', but for the blog I try to stay neutral on this subject because of other religious sensitivities.

JOHN, ....and no matter how much it has rained, the sheep will be warm and dry underneath the dampness of their top coat!

HORST, I did have you in mind when I wrote the blog! As for 'winter recreational activities', our life on the farm gives us plenty of those!

CRO MAGNON, I agree, ..... it was quite pleasant to see the rain pattering down this morning!

Kerry said...

Not keen on the cold either but I don't think it's been too bad here, just the odd chilly morning with a bit of fog. Love your 2013 post, so inspirational.

Vera said...

KERRY, I think we have had it colder here because of our close proximity to the river, and we are close to the Pyrenees mountains. Not to worry, still love living here!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

It has been very cold here too this week, and we got our first real snow. It should warm up some tomorrow though.

Vera said...

LISA, we have snow forecasted in a couple of days time.... but only for one day! Although we are near the Pyrenees mountains, we are also close to the borders of Spain and on a parallel to the Mediterranean, so generally snow does not last for longer that a few hours!