Sunday, August 21, 2011

House Parties

Amelia and Daniel

Sunday 14th. Big clean up today - Daniel and Amelia, our new workawayers arrive. They are already in France and have been staying with friends near Rodez.
I am cooking a big meal for all of us this evening - the old standby - gigot of lamb, together with Jim's potatoes, Jim's cabbage (cooked with red onion and lardons), leeks (not Jim's) in cheese sauce. Followed by Moulin du Clout peach clafouti.
The peaches are now ripe and there are hundreds - or so Jim says. We also have a quantity of ripening pears and apples. Charlotte has previously been making crumble with the pears and the remnants of Jim's rhubarb - delicious!

The workawayers' friends, Stephen and Sylvie dropped them off around six and first impressions are good. We are going to get along just fine.

Monday morning very early Tony took Chloe to Limoges. We loaned him Kate - our Tom Tom who has now changed sex to Tim (I got fed up of that bossy madam) to help him on his way. All went well and he got back by lunchtime.
Meanwhile we have discovered why the vide-grenier in Quezac is on today - a Monday - it is another Saints day and consequently a holiday. I need some shopping but will have to wait until Tuesday. 
We went to the vide-grenier which was average. No taxidermy, jigsaws of note or family photos in interesting costumes. Amelia bought two hats (she haggled and got a reduced price) and some French books. Tony got a coffee jug and the boys some games.
After a day weeding the vegetable garden and working on the old bikes out of the stables which they hope to restore to a rideable condition, Daniel and Amelia, with Jim's help have got the equipment ready to make apple juice.

- or perhaps not
Also Tony and Jim have embarked on the project enlarging the terrace. The ribes has been re-sited and the ground marked out for trenches. It's all go at Moulin du Clout.
Excavations for terrace extension

Tuesday - Shopping, ironing and cooking day. Tony and family went to the animal farm at Gramat. It was lovely day weather wise. 
Daniel and Amelia are proving to be very resourceful in their labours. A lot of strimming and hacking down weeds has been done. We spent too much time after supper putting the world to rights so the apple mashing has been put off. I have bought a steriliser and am occupied translating the French instructions. I always read the instructions. I am a woman.

Tony has investigated the swimming pool in Maurs. he says it is good and open to the general public at reasonable cost.

Wednesday - good day today. Amelia and Daniel, apart from other things made a start on blazing a trail across the crags. Daniels father is/was a trailblazer. They also set to enthusiastically to make apple juice with our equipment. The novelty soon wore off. It is hard work for little reward although the resulting apple juice is delicious if rather murky. And nobody read my instructions.
Amelia mashing the apples

Operating the apple press
Tony cementing the ridge tiles in place
Tony got on with the roof and Jim with the terrace extension. I set to for an hour weeding the boules piste which I am saddened to report has a fine thatch of weeds. 
Before weeding
During this episode Rufus snuck up into the gite and raided the boys bedroom, stealing a treasured toy and running up and down the Redwood field avoiding capture, tossing the teddy into the air as he ran with the owner, Alfie screaming in protest. Wretched dog. No real harm done fortunately, that a quick wash and a turn in the tumble dryer couldn't rectify.


Charlotte's excellent Tarte Tatin
Even Rufus enjoyed himself
In the evening we had a grand barbecue with all the adults imbibing freely and swapping stories, with Rufus and the boys playing on the lawn throwing his toys for him to fetch. Great, convivial evening.

Thursday market day and a fun fair appears to be being assembled in Le Place de l'Europe.
Work continues on the nature trail, the terrace extension and weeding the boules piste. The weather continues hot and sultry. In the evening Daniel and Amelia agreed to baby sit so that the four of us could go out for a meal at L'Auberge de Mourjou. Excellent meal as usual. 
On the way to the restaurant we are treated to spectacular skies with brilliant sunlight behind us and an electric storm with rain ahead. The light all around is a strange yellow.

Still no news about Tony's Landrover. Charlotte took Ollie swimming in Maurs and Alfie helped Daniel and Amelia trailblaze the crags.

Saturday - we lit the breadoven and tried the pizzas again. Jim also prepared a sawdust bin for Alfie to fire his clay pots.
It is so hot energy is sapped and we all sit lazily around all day or doing odd jobs.

The pizzas worked well this time - only Jim's fell apart on the oven floor but we learned the lesson - plenty of flour on the plates and shovel.

My pizza is in there somewhere
Here it is - perfectly cooked

We later watched Withnail and I - again, for the benefit of Daniel and Amelia - it's still very funny.

'Hortensia' blossoms


  1. Wish we were there! I'd even help you with the weeding. Peaches look really wonderful. By the time we arrive they are always a bit manky. But best of all the old Mill is starting in your blogs to seem like a home. Full of life and happy people. Which is what I said it always needed. Where's the Mayor?

  2. PS Sad you've lost Kate. She always seemed so calm, patient and unhurried yet knowing much more than me. My ideal companion!