Friday starting very promisingly.
Chantal had been chatting to a local lady about girlie cooking stuff and as a result she came rushing around to help out with the making of the quince jelly and green tomato jam. The quinces arrived after a recent scavenging session: there are dozens of quince trees in the village but no-one but us seems to use them. Did I tell you about the quince pate de fruit? No? Just as well…..you’d only put on weight.
Anyway, our friend arrived with a gift of Clerodendrum thomsoniae, although being bought in France it was not labeled. I was explaining to anyone who would listen that it was the same genus as the offshoot we were given a year or two back by a local gardener: C. trichotomum fargesii, the former African and the latter Chinese. This seemed to have interested few people and there was a suggestion, not articulated, that perhaps I should get out more. I did get out, and planted up a new bed in the sunniest part of the garden, added Cistus Callistemon and Lagerstroemia to the Hibiscus, Nepeta and Cytisus battandieri already there.
Then some jokers arrived to fit a new fire we ordered, covering the whole of the ground floor in soot, leaving electrics in a dangerous state and the chimney at risk of falling at the first puff of wind. Tradesmen wonder why everyone has it in for them: this is why. Having been the victim of such people in the past we know the drill and are writing our thoughts on the matter in two languages; copies to the company, our insurers and our notaire. This one could run and run, with new carpets and furniture ruined and the family coughing up soot most of the day. I’m amazed the TV and laptop haven’t blown up with all the mess which much be inside of them.
On Saturday we gave ourselves a break from the chaos and visited the Fete de St. Denis at nearby Lucay La Male. The dog liked the donkeys and the man herding geese; there was a great junk market, a family pressing their apples for juice the old way, an amusing potato competition, serious and not so serious art and pompom girls leaping about to the local brass band. On the way back we collected Chestnuts and mushrooms for dinner.
A man has just come and gone, rating our carpet unclean-able. Never mind, on Friday we are off to Courson, that great, biannual plant buying opportunity south of Paris, where we can sooth our woes on a shopping spree. Expect to see photos here very soon. This year we have not been asked to guide anyone around or give talks so we can just concentrate on indulging ourselves.