Wednesday, April 7, 2010

3rd Week

This week we have had guests in the gîte – two French men, one of whom is a prospective buyer of the Mill. He has seen the place before – last year – and now he has come back for another look. He brought his brother and they stayed in the gite for three days and apart from Moulin du Clout have looked at other mills in the area. They plan to come back again with a wife either next week or in May.

I have made Clafoutis. As there are no wild cherries to be had this time of the year, although we do have some trees in blossom in the domaine, I have used tinned ones. The Francophiles amongst you will know that this is a regional French ‘pudding with black cherries’. The old Auvergnat name is millard according to Peter Graham our local published food expert. I didn’t use the recipe given in his book MOURJOU – The Life and Food in an Auvergne Village but my effort was pretty tasty all the same. If you visit us you may get to sample it – but don’t worry I don’t plan to make Tripoux.

Jim has laid paving down on the grass to the gîte. You will be glad to hear this Jennifer – no more wet slippers. The other day when the courier brought the broadband equipment he churned up the area in front of the gite turning his vehicule around. He was rather churlish when he arrived as he described the decent down to the Mill as ‘n’est pas facile’ so he took his bad temper out on the grass. Jim has had to fix it.

This is the Blue Peter bit. I like to recycle things – useless into useful and have been acquiring a quantity of large dog food tins. I have made planters out of them. You can do the same and you won’t even need any sticky-backed plastic.

You will need for each planter: 7 large dogfood tins (1,250Kg) , spray paint (suitable for external use), a length of wire, a length of raffia, small stones or coarse gravel, planting compost and 7 plants. Some tools: a large nail and a hammer, and perhaps a pair of pliers for tightening the wire with.

Take each cleaned empty tin and puncture several holes in the bottom with nail and hammer. Spray each tin with your paint. When dry group them together and fasten the wire around twisting the end with the pliers until it is tight. Put in position (they will be heavy when filled and tricky to move), put a layer of stones or gravel in each tin then add the compost. Top with a plant in each tin and tie the raffia around covering the wire in an artistic manner. Nice isn’t it? You could, of course, group them in 3’s instead of 7’s

Here is one I made earlier – last year in fact and although I don’t know what it looked like in the depths of winter it was struggling bravely on when we arrived and a few days of sunshine soon got it into full bloom again.

Next week – What to do with those bits of cardboard in the middle of toilet rolls? Although I hear that they have had to stop using them in schools because of Health and Safety issues!

As mentioned earlier we have the modem now but have to wait for the appropriate technician to install it. I looked at the instructions, which were in English and was tempted to have a go myself.

It turned out that I was the appropriate technician and I have installed it. It is now working but not without problems – we keep losing contact. Hey ho!
I have also got my iphone topped up and the number is 0640176280

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