Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bateau L'Olt

Hibiscus on 'lawn'
Raining heavily again Sunday morning so the trip to Quezac and Rouzier where there was a vide grenier was called off. Sad. The forecast is more of the same for the week.

Matthew and the girls arrived safely mid afternoon. Bo has bought her guitar so we have had endless several concerts.
Her favourite is - 'I like the flowers . . . '

Monday - into Maurs to stock up on groceries later we managed to play some badminton on the boules piste.

Tuesday - Jim's Birthday. Saskia made him a 'Pooh Bear' cake with magic candles. 

Bateau L'Olt
Jim's Birthday treat was a trip on the Bateau L'Olt with lunch included. Embarkation was 11.45 and the journey lasted three hours. The meal was salad, duck and Aligot, cheese and Baked Alaska.  The boat went through two locks and sailed from Port d'Agres to Boisse-Penchot. A very pleasant day out. Pictures below:

A happy sailor - Tess
Not the Titanic - we hope - Bo

Harvesting potatoes
L'Olt is Occitane for the river Lot.

Thursday - usual market excursion. Followed by some nifty stilt making for Bo.

Sunday 24th 
We all went to the above Fete this morning. The main attraction is the parade of old tractors - see pics below. There were about 30 altogether. I took the girls on a ride in a bullock cart. Well, that is one experience I can now tick off my list of things to do before I die.
Some large . . . 
 . . . and some small

And some not really tractors at all.
We have just got out . . . 
There were some pigeons and the like -
Weird - eh?
There were also some woodworkers -
Machine for making a right mess
He is making wooden clogs
Later Matthew and Jim decided to remove a large alder tree which was shading the terrace. It was a Laurel and Hardy affair. Saskia and I watched in trepidation and offered advice and general comment which was ignored.
The tree eventually fell, fortunately missing the bridge and the medlar tree, causing no damage to life and limb and only slightly demolishing the forsythia hedge.
the Tree
The sawing . . . (saw on a pole!)
What you can't see is a cable stretched from the tree to the tractor (off left). The tractor is slowly reversing and pulling the tree in the desired direction of fall. The cable kept on breaking.
The fall, three hours later
Matthew has a new project - carving spoons from greenwood. He had special knives sent from Devon and has selected some walnut wood. At the moment it is a work in progress -

And no, the shavings didn't stay in the tray
Get the soup ready!
Tom and Olga van Hoek arrive today. They are driving all the way from Maastricht in one day. Whew!

We are off back to the UK tomorrow for family functions and return in about 10 days so I will not be writing this blog again until Sunday 7th August. 
Keep your comments coming.
This weeks mystery object - answers on a postcard, please


  1. Well, that cheered me up, especially the decision to cut the Alder tree. That will be a big improvement. Maybe now that some of the Forsythia has gone you will see what I mean about the vista from the 'lawn' across the river and into the field beyond. Should I ever have a literary success of any import I will consider buying a ride on mower to cut the field and turn it into a healthy level sward, though I fear it will need some applications of fertiliser and manure before it does.

    I did need cheering for I have done my back in. Hopefully it will have loosened by tomorrow. At the moment I am hobbling with a stick - my sixtieth birthday present I seem to remember. All movement is agony. No doubt I have offended some species of fairy folk and they are sticking pins in me. At least I still have my fingers functional.

    Regards to Matthew and family if that is possible logistically and well done Tess.

  2. PS I do remember when combines like that were new and had just replaced separate threshing machines. They were the latest thing. I wonder if you saw a bailer, too. That's what I used to do. Taking turns to drive the tractor or ride on the baling sled stacking the bales as they came out of the bailer and blocking them four high, then slipping the footcatch and seeing them slide off the sled onto the brown and dusty stubble. And the sun always shone.