To be sure, there is a huge difference living in France and summering here. For me France is an Idyll, not reality. It is our escape into a dream where we spend dreamy days, hopefully in the sunshine and surrounded by extraordinarily beautiful countryside and food to die for!
Nevertheless, the maintenance of our ‘Idyll’ is considerable and our little farmhouse and small orchard require The Man a great deal of hard work – which he more or less enjoys – I would bet that at nearly 70 years of age, ‘less’ enjoyment at the necessary jobs that need doing. In addition is the trudge all the way down to the Lot and this year a long period of torrential rain which make it rather difficult to see to the damp wall, a major issue and a roof tile that upon investigation was split in two and easily replaced. The Man has as of an hour or so ago replaced the tile and within a few days will tackle the damp wall, which requires much more extensive work – again on the roof.
However, I’ve managed to digress from my point that our chosen place of Idyll is one hell of a long drive, that requires at least two overnight stays and leaves us rather exhausted by the end of it. So here are some photos of how the place looked upon arrival:
Everything looks best in the sunshine and the place looked much better than expected. April, May, and June were extremely hot and the result was that the growth of weeds and grass was stilted. In the next day or so we will be buying some hanging baskets of flowers and fill our tubs with geraniums and other annuals such as 'bizzy lizzies' and begonias.
The Man 'scrubbing' the patio -- so glad I don't get to do this! This year the surface is extremely grubby and taking longer than expected to complete. Of course endless torrents of rain do nothing to speed up the process...
The orchard is its usual mess. The first cut is with something called an 'Allen Sythe', I believe. It has huge teeth in the front that move back and forth as sit 'saws' through the grass. In true Lotois style this machine is at least 40 years old!
Oh Ugh! Not again. This problem confronts us every year. This wall backs directly on to the neighbouring farmer's 'atelier' and the problem is the guttering between the two roofs. The Man attempted to solve the problem last year -- obviously to no avail -- What looks like it might be 'mold' is not, but where The Man has scraped of the wet plaster and paintwork in the first step to trying to dry out the wall -- not easily done when it's constantly pouring down rain!!!
However, the living room is snug and dry and the fireplace is working perfectly. Last night, the perfect relaxing end to a busy day. Maybe next week sunshine will prevail ... More anon, an Internet connection providing!