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Outdoor pursuits

April 27, 2013

Monday arrived with more fine weather so I decided to cut the grass. I am amazed how long it took, nearly 2.5 hours sat on a ride-one mower is quite hard work. The suspension is a tad hard and the ground is still very uneven so I get bounced about a lot. Anyway that is done for a few days and hopefully it will get easier.

The wind was very strong again for most of Tuesday and Wednesday but it is now much warmer and we have stopped lighting the fire every night – just as well as we are very low on wood and Mme J cannot deliver any just yet as they have had a major tree-cutting and wood clearance project done – they can’t get to the stored dry wood piles.

I have been watching the weather very carefully as we needed to plant the rest of the cuttings and get the grass seed down. The planting happened on Wednesday and the grass seed on Thursday afternoon – rain forecast for Friday. Friday dawns without a cloud in the sky and of course it didn’t rain all day! On Saturday we dragged out the full length of our hosepipe and luckily it reached far enough to get the grass seed watered. There is no outside tap on this house – the only useable one is in the garage so the hose had to reach out of the garage, up and over the terrace all the way to the other end of the house. Then it was grass cutting again – it grows while you watch it – which again took over 2 hours. I suppose that gradually we’ll even the ground out but it is very tedious.

All the French tax forms arrived so I had to sit down and decipher them and figure out what I can claim as “eco improvements” then how to put that on the forms. After much reading and Google translating I went on-line and filled out the tax forms, it turned out to be fairly simple as the main starting point asks what types of revenues and what types of deductions you are claiming and then simply provides the appropriate questions. I found all the items I needed, completed the forms and filed it electronically. Now we’ll see what the result is later this year when they send out the notice and request for payment.

The weekend brought the Bahrain GP – BBC with its normal sense of timing put the recorded highlights on at 6:00pm so we had to avoid all the news programs until after we had watched it – however it was a cracking race without all the stupid tyre degradation issues of recent events. As someone said we are looking for the World Driving Champion not the World Tyre Management Champion. I see Pirelli have already changed the tyre specs for Barcelona so may be we’ll get another good race.

The weather is steadily improving but by Tuesday evening the living room felt a little cool so we decided to light the fire. No sooner had I put a match to it at 5:30 and nipped outside for a couple of pieces of wood from our not-quite-dry stack, than Mme J rolls up with her little tractor and trailer loaded with dry and seasoned wood – she’d seen the smoke from the chimney and knew we didn’t have any manageable pieces left. Just amazing people – she helped us stack it in the garage and disappeared just as quickly.

What a difference a day makes, Wednesday was bright and sunny and we had asked Malcolm if he could help put up a fence and gate at the end of the terrace to form a windbreak. He duly arrived with his trailer and we set off for Castorama. A fence panel, a half panel (gate), posts, hinges, bolts and concrete bags loaded and about €110 lighter we went back and he started digging post holes. I cut and drilled the wall post, wrecking at least two drill bits in the process and then we mounted the hinges to the gate & the wall. This meant we could position the first post and discover we’d done it all wrong and had to move the hinges on the wall post – this will now need a trim piece to finish it off. Digging the post holes wasn’t quite straight forward as the concrete foundation for the terrace stuck out a bit underground but eventually he got it hacked off. Then he mixed a barrow load of concrete and set the posts. They now have to stand without a load for at least a week or more so the fence and gate are in the garage. By the time we finished at 5:30pm it was over 24C on the terrace and we were both got sunburned and knackered

Windbreak 001 Windbreak 002











Thursday was nearly as warm and I decided to cut the grass again – it does seem to go better if I don’t leave it too long and it’s all starting to level and filling in nicely – we still had to water the grass seed though. Activity on the house seems to be on the rise slightly, I had another enquiry from a French couple who wish to visit next week and we already have two English couples who have made or will be making appointments. The hits on the website are increasing too so maybe the holiday month of May will really kick things off.

The weather was threatening thunderstorms on Saturday but it dawned bright and sunny so I took the opportunity to get the weed-wacker going and trim up all the edges – that’ll last at least a week so if we get visitors the place will look at least presentable. And now it has clouded over and rain is threatened – I think the science of meterology is about the same as astrology – useable on an historical basis.


David & June

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2013 13:40

    Bloody strange weather in this country! 23C for a few days then frost one morning ?? A meterology: the only job that you can be more than 50% wrong and still keep your job! Looking good for a sale soon. Fingers crossed. Happy gardening. Jo

    • April 27, 2013 13:59

      I have to tell you that I hate gardening but it has to be done. My next place will have a window box with plastic flowers 😉

      • April 30, 2013 09:13

        Now now David you know you don’t mean that, just look at how beautiful your garden is, plastic flowers indeed!!!! 😉

      • April 30, 2013 09:48

        It’s what I call a 20 foot garden – looks great from 20 foot or more 😉
        Thanks for the kind words though, safe trip

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