29 July 2009

CATCHING UP, part one.

During our week at our little maison, at the beginning of July, we had a few visitors. Some were more welcome than others.

We had just arrived, fresh from the SuperU at Descartes (our village shops close at lunchtime) and were having a late lunch on the terrace when there was a knock at the side gate and our neighbour, Mme André entered. She had half a clafoutis for us. She had made it herself and it was delicious. We think the other, probably main purpose to her visit was to be able to "oh lalalala" at the little flower garden that Nicole had made for us and was coming along nicely.

Mme is always interested in progress at the cottage. I can't blame her. She was obliged to live next to something that was gradually deteriorating and becoming overgrown with weeds for long enough.

On Monday we went to lunch at Chez Grand'Ma in the village to benefit from their 10 euro special and very good it was too. Buffet starter, choice of main course, cheese and choice of dessert. With coffee and a 50cl pichet of wine, all for less than 30 euros, a bargain.

When we got back this little chap was waiting for us in the big bedroom. We had been doing a spot of DIY and painting and had left the big window open. Getting him out was not so easy.

On Tuesday we had a visit from Alex, Nicole and the girls. They were on their way back from swimming, the girls having finished school already for the summer - incredible. Amelie somehow managed to chuck one of her shoes over the hedge into next door(below)'s garden. Fortunately she was not riding her bicycle by herself but was attached to Alex's, so having only one shoe to go home in didn't matter.

Later that evening, Barrie came round for aperos and dinner. We were sitting on the terrace, nattering, when he spotted a most unwelcome visitor - Roland the Rat. This creature was running to and fro along the back of our garden under the ivy "hedge" between one disused house and another. Rat poison was fetched and dispensed the next day.

Fortunately while Barrie was chez nous, the neighbours(below) appeared in their garden, which is a good ten feet below ours. Barrie is on good speaking terms with them so we were able to explain the shoe incident and Monsieur threw it back over the hedge to us. (We are on slightly less good terms with them ourselves since the tree-pruning incident of 2008. More of that in a later blog.)


  1. I hope that by the time you get back to your holiday home the poison will have done its work and that Roland will nolonger be botering you. Martine

  2. ...and thats one of many reasons to avoid ivy around buildings and trees.

    M. le Rat should have to pay rent if he wants to play in the ivy.


  3. Martine, Roland seemed to have disappeared by a few days later. But there's never just one.

    Gil, welcome. The ivy is a real pain but we are surrounded by it. Getting rid of it hasn't been a priority until now.