Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The last days of summer

I am going to need the holiday after this week of moving belongings from room to room to make way for the window fitters, it did not help that the first thing to happen was a change to the work order which meant much of the work to clear a key room had to be undone as it partially filled with stuff. We have far too much stuff since J’s family have been here for 60 years, they brought stuff and then collected more with a vengeance! Even my near thirty years of trips to the dump have not got us anywhere near enough to be as organised as I would like us to be. Thousands of books have gone over the years but we still have too many for the remaining book shelves! Once about ten years ago we cleared J’s mothers room when she died and someone paid us for all the books on 60 feet of shelves, J took the money and straight away started buying more new books from a catalogue! J is the only one who can decide about the accumulated family papers, that should at least keep her busy till the spring.

She does not seem to be as sensitive to the sealant smells as I am, I have escaped to camp amongst the piled junk which now fills the computer room, at least I can stay up late unmolested by calls to come to bed. At last I have found time to feed in a pile of discs which a friend’s daughter Lucy who I have known her whole life, feels I would like. The pile is only a fraction of the fifty classic albums which she borrowed from me at Christmas, her father is hopeless and only seems to be interested in jazz while we are both eclectic in our tastes. I am getting music organised for the time away, there is even a restaurant where we eat where I can pop the ipod in the dock and play my choice!

So far we have had the longest dry period this summer for the window job. The old windows have been in for over 110 years and when they are opened up some of the muck has to be seen to be believed and despite their best efforts it has been impossible to keep the place clean and it has been exhausting running about trying to do so.

At short notice much had to be reorganized, medications topped up appointments changed or in the case of my top lip and a patch on my chin emergency perfecting by electrolysis is required, we are just being fussy now because with the naked eye it looks OK but you can just feel a slight prickle and remember in France there is constant kissing for greetings and departures! Why do I like France?

This is a crazy time to leave the garden when so much is now ready. Apples and pears have gone into cold store or been cooked and frozen ready for a roast pork feast! My garden help, Liz has orders to harvest and distribute anything left when we are gone, the first frost will not be long coming and much will die overnight. The evenings are chill now so not really missing much, next year will be different if I can organise some glazed cover for some crops.

We have now had the longest spell of dry weather this summer and it has coincided with the change of windows. They were slipping a little behind so I played on their male egos and made suggestions that it was a shame that they were not capable of installing the last six in one day and they fell for it! Today since it is after midnight, they have to return to finish internal trim but it is nearly all done. Lucky I never believed that they could finish when they said they would! Twenty six hours from now we will be on our way so don’t expect any comments or posts till the second week in October.

Last time away I was thinking of the posts I would write on my return only to be distracted by all the illness and upturned relationships reported while I was away. My adventures mostly went unreported in the atmosphere of gloom I found on my return. So if you want to read of my exploits please stay healthy and happy.




  1. Have a great time in France, Caroline! I'm going to miss you, while you're gone. I love reading your blog. You have such a wonderful dry sense of humor! It always touches my funny bone.

    I used to have a garden, but with a two hour daily commute, 9-10 hour work days, and nearly 3 acres of grass to keep cut on weekends, in addition to grocery shopping, laundry, etc., I gave up on it, and it is now overgrown with honeysuckle. The picture you have posted of your harvests, has almost inspired me to clear it, and replant in the spring, but alas, it's too shaded with overhanging trees now, and the only other suitably sunny place, is through the woods and down the hill, on the banks of the pond. I'm afraid the deer would eat everything down there, before it had a chance to mature, much less make it to harvest.

    Melissa XX

  2. Caroline, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the French government is discouraging pecks on the cheek because of the dangers of spreading the swine flu. You don't want to wind up in a French prison! I hear they make you wear horizontal stripes, and feed you nothing but cold fish soup.

    I sympathize on the hoarding nature of your wife. Mine is a pack rat, and I dread the days when she gets positively reinforced for having saved something. Argh!


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.