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I think summer may have arrived!

June 7, 2013

Sunday weather was indeed better but I really only had time to use the weed wacker to clear all the edges. We managed to BBQ the steaks which were great and spent much of the rest of the day admiring the place from the terrace. Monday was equally good and we spent the entire day in the garden, mowing, weeding, trimming etc. It’ll all need doing again next week!

I got an internet enquiry on the house on Tuesday – turned out to be another French estate agent who called and asked to visit on Wednesday. She spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable so we decided to let her list it as well. Interestingly they use the US ‘caravan’ system to show the property to the rest of their staff and we are expecting that to happen soon.

We had arranged to meet Peter & Jenny for lunch on Wednesday – when we arrived the restaurant was closed so alternate plans were needed in a hurry. They knew of a place close to the sea at Noyalo so off we went. June thought all her birthdays had arrived on the same day as their ‘plat du jour’ was moules frites. The galettes and crepes were nothing to shout about but it was a pleasant enough interlude and good to see P & J again. He is back to England on Monday but Jenny is staying so maybe we’ll have some coffee/tea afternoons or lunch or….

We received notice that this weekend the local cycling club is hosting a stage on the Tour de Bretagne – so much so that the main road loop from Treffléan, past our house, down towards Theix and back will be closed from 12:00 to 18:30. So we got all the necessary shopping done well in time and have supplies in for BBQ on the terrace. The weather is not cooperating, although the temperature is OK at around 19C, the wind is still around 20 – 30 mph which makes lighting and using a wood charcoal BBQ interesting. I managed a couple of steaks on Saturday evening but the constant monitoring and running outside and back in got very old. So on Sunday we decided the ribs would be cooked slowly at lunchtime and we’d sit outside and watch the bike race. I prepped the ribs with a sweet and spicy rub the day before and left them to mature overnight in the fridge – they were delicious. Cooking was still a bit of a challenge as the wind would not let up and excess draught seems to consume the wood charcoal much quicker than the old briquettes. I still prefer the wood though, less flavour contamination from the binder materials etc.

The bike race took forever to get going – couple of bikes went past, several officials in high-viz jackets parked on our lane, loads of neighbours parking their cars in case they need them and then without much warning a whole gaggle of motor-cycle officials followed by numerous support vehicles and about 200 multi-coloured lycra-clad bodies rushed past. They were immediately followed by even more support vehicles, motor-cycles and bods on ATV’s. The French take this stuff very seriously and apparently they do 17 laps of this circuit, coming round about every 15 minutes. Entertaining for about two laps but it gets old pretty quickly. The locals clearly enjoy having the road closed; there were hundreds out enjoying the walk in the sunshine.

Tour de Bretagne 014

Tour de Bretagne 024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a very productive day in the garden on Monday, while I cut the grass June went round with the hand shears and cleared the patches around all the cuttings we planted and discovered that at least 90% appear to be healthy and growing. We were expecting them to grow new shoots from the stalks we planted but in fact they appear to be sprouting from underground so they are obviously going to take a bit longer to become really visible. We plan on making some more cuttings of the hedges so we can plant them out later this year.

Bad stuff always seems to happen in threes – first off I managed to cut through the electric cable to the Flymo which blew the main breaker and that necessitated resetting clocks, computers etc. I repaired it and finished the job then I got the weed wacker out and discovered the locking nut on the extension piece had stripped its thread. Finding a replacement was a tortuous experience as Ryobi France won’t sell direct; Ryobi UK has no warehouse and the parts stores wanted £20 for shipping an 80p screw. I did get through to Ryobi in the UK and they said they could order it from Germany and send it to me – for £3! Sold! Finally we found a damp patch on the wall behind the boiler; we suspected a rain leak when it first appeared but it hasn’t rained for days and it has been drying out quickly. Anyway, late Monday night it was almost dry but after the morning ablutions it was soaking wet again – call to fosse man as this needs investigating and he promised to be here early next week.

More gardening work removing all the daffodil leaves now they have died off and trimming up the edges. We made a bunch more cuttings from the hedges just in time as Malcolm came armed to trim them this week – they really needed it. It took him all day to trim the big hedge and load up his trailer with the clippings. We took that to the déchetterie (I went in case he got questioned as he isn’t local) unloaded it and then came back home to load up all his scaffolding. Long hot day.

Thursday was even warmer (27C) and humid with it but we decided we would have a BBQ dinner. While June was at the hairdressers I did a bit of shopping and came back with wine, cheese, salad and two large entrecote steaks. – The threat of thunder, hail, rain was with us all evening but never materialised so we spent the time out side grilling and drinking!

We have been invaded by moles and after much research decided that all the “tried & tested” methods of flooding, noise-makers, rotting fish heads in the holes etc just don’t work and what we needed was a professional trapper. He arrived on Friday morning as arranged and spent considerable time in repairing all the damage from mole hills and laying traps. He will return in a few days to discover the results, in the meantime we have a sort of miniature croquet lawn.

moles 002

moles 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House sale is going nowhere fast – we are now renewing old ads after being given some good incentives and also I have advertised it on e-bay, can’t hurt and isn’t expensive. Now let’s hope the weather stays dry so we can cook and sit out.

Cheers

David & June

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2013 19:36

    Sounds as if you are getting on with life and the weather is improving. French do take their bike rides seriously indeed. Hope the right buyer finds you soon. Caravaning – that’s new for the French!! We left horrible weather in P.C. and enjoying gorgeous sunshine in Scotland! Go figure. Bonne summer!

  2. June 9, 2013 10:33

    Glad you found the good weather – it didn’t last long here. Now we have grey, high winds, thunder and hail 😦

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Mrs Niklasson's Adventures

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