Wednesday 25 March 2020

DAY 8, and the bumblers.......

A loud buzzing sounded behind us. Oh drat! Must be a fly, and a big one at that judging by the bigness of the buzz. A bit early in the year for flies though, but then it has been another mild and wet winter, and whenever we have had a drop of sunshine and gone outside to enjoy the warmth there has always been insects flying about, including midges and even bumble bees.

So Lester does a mini moan. His head has been engaged with heavy coding on his computer. I regard him as a boffin type of person, someone who goes deep into his mind to produce the reams of code which sits behind what you see on the computer screen. Interruptions are not good, particularly anything which buzzes. He goes into hunter mode, grabs the fly swot which is always kept on hand, and goes on the hunt.

He is now in the far end of the Half Barn. I hear him start moving a desk upon which is a stack of fabric waiting to be packed, for are we not in the middle of moving house from France to England........ and is not the area of the barn in which L is now moving things about the area in which there are several already packed boxes, although I have not sealed them yet because we do not know if, and when, we shall make the move.

Lock down you see. Day 8. No movement allowed on the roads. Police making frequent checks. Can go to supermarket, get medicines, walk dog but only within a 1 km radius of the home, and can only be out for an hour. Six months in prison and a huge fine threatened if you flout this rule three times in a month. We have to fill a form in to go outside the door to say who we are, where we are going, what time we left the house, and the date. It is for our own good, which we appreciate.

I hear L move the desk again.
"What are you doing!" I ask. I am in the middle of writing, which also requires me to be deep in my head, similar to how L is when he is coding.
"It's a bumble bee" he says.
My concentration is now broken, so I go to investigate.
"Where's the ladder", L says.
"You sold it" I said, watching as he starts to move the desk again, alarmed that he is shifting piles of things waiting to be packed, which could turn into untidy heaps quite easily.

He then tells me to go away. He says that he is going to move the desk underneath the velux window in the ceiling, and can I get a container with a lid, and get a move on as the bumble bee is flying dangerously close to the spider's web which should have been removed ages ago but hasn't, so is now a super duper web into which a bumble bee might get trapped. He says he is going to stand on the desk to reach the bumble bee, but even then he will be at full stretch.

I go into motherly mode, and tell him not to stand on the desk, for fear that he might take a tumble and render himself senseless. He asks where the ladder is again. I tell him again that he has sold it in preparation for the move. He tells me to go away again because I am fussing. I go.

The bumble bee is saved. I give L a hug for his heroism.

The next day, about the same time, and another buzzing sound starts up, and it is another bumble bee, flying in the same spot as the previous bumbler. And the next day the same. For five more days did bumble bees appear in the same area. All were saved.

For some reason, and by some miracle of nature, those bumble bees must have over wintered with us, the same as the owl in the barn has been doing. It is nice to know that we are useful to the lives of other beings which are not of human form and reminds us that we are part of the global life force.

Bye for now, and hope you are staying well wherever in the world you are.

Love and blessings,


Saturday 21 March 2020

My singing nose....

My nose sometimes sings to me, but only when I am lying down and dozing, sometimes even deeply asleep. And it insists that it is paid attention to, refusing to be ignored.

But it is not words that my nose sings, but sounds which are like squeals and squeaks, which are surprisingly tuneful and not at all irritating. It is the listening to this nose-song which wakes me up because I simply have to listen to the sound because it is so fascinating.

The sounds are not on the same note, but are varied in range and tone and only ever come on the 'out breath', never on the 'in breath'. Rarely do both sides of the nose sing at the same time, normally only one.It would seem that my nose has made its own vocal chords.

I do not know if others would be able to hear my nose singing. I am not sure that they would want to. So my nose sings for me only.

I have not investigated on the internet if others have such noses, and if they have, then if they find it an irritation. For me, it is not.

10 minutes later 

On sharing the making of our morning toast, I had cause to mention to my partner that my nose did sing, and I asked him if he had ever heard it. Not expecting him to say that he had, I was surprised when he turned to me, gave me an unexpected hug, said that he had and that is why he sometimes went and slept on the settee.


So I asked him what my nose song sounded like.
"Snoring" he said.
But I said that it wasn't snoring, and he said that the sound was not like the open mouthed type of snoring which apparently I have also been known to do, but it was a sort of shishing sound.


It would seem that in my head I hear the various tones which make up the song, but to someone else it just sounds like a shishing snore.

Oh well. I shall await more investigation into the full range of my nose singing. It is always different, never monotonous, and really quite tuneful.


Into the fourth day of the lock down here in France. We are not allowed to travel without a written form about where we live, where we are going, and why we are going there. Plus we have to have some form of identification. There are police checks everywhere to make sure we have these, with fines if we don't. They will also turn you back if they think you are driving too far away from where you live, or if they think you should be shopping at a supermarket closer to your home.

Most everywhere is closed, apart from the supermarkets, some of which seem to have fully stocked shelves, others are emptier. Most are allowing only two items of one particular product, and some are allowing over seventies to shop from 8.30 am to 9.30am. I am in that age range but do not feel ancient enough in myself to take advantage of that offer. 

We are in rural France, which I think is the best place to wait for things to settle down. As with everyone else in the world, we do not know how long this will take, so to shut down the worry because that will not do you or anyone else any good, and to stay busy with doing things which give you ease of mind. 

Bye for now,


Monday 16 March 2020

So what do you do......

So what do you do if all of your smallholding equipment is sold, the same equipment which you used during recent years to provide yourself and your partner with food for the larder? The years when you were virtually self sufficient.

- when the large chest freezer full of DIY meat to feed us for the coming year was given away because you thought you would be soon to be changing countries, and to take it with you was unrealistic because the temporary home you hope to stay in for a while is about the size of a rabbit hutch with a pocket handkerchief garden, it being an English country cottage so nowhere near the size of the home you currently have, this being a French country cottage with an attached acreage of 5.5 hectares, the cottage itself being far greater in size than its UK equivalent.

- when the work contract in the UK which facilitated the move starts on April 1st......when the French business account has been closed down in readiness for the move, ..... when the French bank is getting itchy about keeping our bank account open because we have told them we are leaving France.....

- when our UK bank will not allow us to access our UK bank account because we are in post Brexit and financial borders are closing, so the bank wants us to give them a UK contact phone number, which we do not have because we are still in France. We have to be in the UK to have that phone number.

- and then there is the lock down happening as I write this blog. I find it ironic that for most of the twelve years we have been in France I have had a larder big enough to support us for several months, most of the food being produced by ourselves. This has given us a sense of security, that no matter what the social or economic situation is out in the world beyond our farm, that we shall not go hungry.

- So what do you do if plans have been put into place, which you are half way through fulfilling and which were rolling along at a cracking pace, and which were going to take you and your partner from here to there in one seamless effort, what do you do when things are locking down making that 'seamless effort' suddenly not do-able. What do you do?

- Well, if you were me, you would carry on with packing in the hope that things would right themselves, meanwhile not minding that you do not really know if things are going to turn around on their heads and you might have to eventually unpack and start growing our own food again, but minus the meat because the sheep and the chickens all have new owners. Also minus the tractors and other smallholding equipment because they also have new owners. I do not even have any flower pots to grow seeds in. Not to worry, I can always use some margarine and yoghurt pots.

- As I say, if you were me, what would you do. I would look at my stash of wool and start a fresh project, that is what I would do. I would also consider unpacking my sewing machine and fiddling about with making something from my fabric stash. In a nutshell, I would do something which keeps my head from dwelling too much on our somewhat precarious position. Stay here in France without any employment (thank you Brexit!) or go to the UK within the next two weeks to maintain my partner's current work contract. But there is lock down starting to happen. So, all in all, what happens is entirely beyond our control!

- But I have some lovely red wool which I have just found a pattern for on Ravelry, and I am also of a mind to have a rummage through my fabric stash. One thing is for sure, though, and that is when we do eventually buy our home again it will have to have enough land for me to grow our own food again, and for there to be a sizeable larder space for storing that food.

When times are not going quite as you expect them to, then do something else while you wait for those times to sort themselves out. And to think calm thoughts about everything turning out alright just before you go to sleep, because not to put positive thoughts into your head at that time will result in some not very nice dreams of possible nightmarish content during the night.

Ah well, which box did I put my crochet hooks in....... it's a good job I wrote a list on the side of the boxes about what was inside them!

Meanwhile, wishing you well, .......