Monday, 24 May 2010


Well it was last Friday anyway, but I began this post and then didn't publish it on time...

I have managed to use up most of the veggies in my last week's basket, except for a few new spuds. It makes me get the recipe books out and really work at being creative.

I was invited for lunch on Friday to friends whom I haven't seen for 40 years or more. They live quite near where I pick up my basket, so I went to their place after going to the farm. I took dessert. I made lemon curd on Thursday and got up earlier, or rather trailed around less Friday morning and made some individual lemon meringue tarts.

Last Thursday I took Ellie for a walk in a country lane on the way to the big beach at Tréguennec. It was absolutely lovely, not too hot, amazing how deep in the country one can get in just 10 minutes from where I live. There was a profusion of wild flowers along the sides of the road, lots of bluebells, red campion, cow grass smelling strongly of honey, and a lot of little white flowers of which I don't know the name. There were quite a few butterflies too, including some tiny orange ones that I can't identify on internet. Might be a fritillary of some kind? Photo is a bit blurred.

My palm flowers are opening up and growing enormous. Each flower splits into several branches, and each of those into yet more little branches. They are bright bright yellow. They don't smell of anything at all, the little tiny balls which are the individual flowers are hard, like couscous! Some of the flowers are opening, they are still hard, but form little cups with tiny stamens inside. They attract no bees, but then we don't seem to have bees here anyway.

Looks quite exotic, doesn't it?

I bought three more cherry tomato plants to replace the one that mysteriously died. But I have planted them in front this time, less cats to worry about. The beef tomato on my back terrace seems to be doing OK, but no flowers and certainly no tomatoes.

Last week I took my courage in both hands, picked up a paintbrush, and actually base coated my hallway. This is no mean feat as those who have been following my DIY prowess recently will know. I have gone from working wonders ten years ago to being completely useless, and especially completely lazy now. It has taken me a year to get down to it. Well it's done, and I even went out and bought wall covering (no it's not called wallpaper any longer, it's much smarter than that) and will do that this weekend. I opted for a cheapish solution, not the extremely expensive stuff I found at the end of last year which cost 20€ a metre! The difference between wallpaper and wall covering (in France anyway) is that you don't put glue on the paper but on the wall. So you don't have to get the table out, and glue everywhere, you slap it on the wall, roll the paper up backwards, if you see what I mean, with the back of it showing, and then you don't even have to pre-cut the lengths, you just stick it at the top by the ceiling and let the roll unroll to the bottom and cut it then. Neat huh? Well that's the theory anyway.

The practice has been somewhat less comfortable. It's all very well to say "slap glue on the walls", but it goes everywhere, drips and splatters and yet still there often doesn't seem to be enough along the edges. And the paper tore easily, although that type of paper is not meant to. I don't like the result. I've done a fairly neat job, but what looked silvery grey on the roll looks far more navy on the wall. It darkens the hall a bit, and to me looks a bit too modern. Well it's better than plasterboard with the joints showing, there's always time to cover it up with the classy wall covering if ever I have some money to spare!

It has been so hot today it was hard to do anything. I can't leave doors open because Ellie would escape into the garden and beyond, so it's been a bit hot inside.  I just took her out for a walk at 22h00, a bit cooler, we went around the block, it's still broad daylight! It's going to be even hotter tomorrow, quite unusual for Brittany, they announce 29°C in Brest, which means that here it'll go above 30°. It appears there has been a serious fire in the forests and moors of the Monts d'Arrée 30km north of here. The firemen are still trying to put it out. We often go up there with a picnic. That will be out of the question for the rest of the year I suppose.

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