Morning all,

And so it continues…. Strimming this morning and more bramble shredding this afternoon. Sadly I’m now at the limit of what 2 extension cables can do, so lots of walking backwards and forwards to the shredder now, but can’t be helped. At least we’re in the home straight now, but I fear given 21 degrees is forecast for next week, that once Spring is finally here with a resounding thump, everything will start to grow like crazy and what’s left to clear will become an uphill battle. The problem is that the brambles are interlaced with branches on rather large trees that we had taken down when we first bought the house 5 years ago. We were still in the UK for the next 2 and a half years before we made the move, and in this time, it’s amazing what Mother Nature can do the minute you turn your back. What we thought would be a job for the chainsaw on our next visit, turned into an absolute battle over the last couple of years. Only now, here full time as we are, with the right gear and a lot of elbow grease are we starting to get things chopped back. We started weeks ago, working with the weather and it really does feel like progress. One of the many reasons we need to get this done, is that it’s time to bite the bullet and get a survey for a new fosse done, and it’s likely to need to be right under all of this detritus. Goodbye cess-pond in the cellar, and goodbye kitchen sink discharging right under the kitchen window! Got to love French plumbing, but it’s either a fosse or neighbours, so fosse wins.

Why it possessed me to paint my nails yesterday is beyond me. I’m trying to stop biting them, and I thought this might help. All fine until I dropped a full sack of pellets into the hopper of the boiler by mistake this morning while I was filling it. Short arse that I am, I had to get a small step ladder to retrieve the 15kg sack and even then was on my tip toes. My fingertips didn’t fair well clawing at the plastic sack until I could recover it, then I spent the entire day in leather gloves fighting the brambles. There is literally no point trying to look presentable. I really need to colour my hair, but under a facemask when I leave the house, I don’t think another week will hurt…….

The kitchen is a bomb site but I just can’t face it for the moment, and I make no apologies for pizza for tea tonight. I can’t seem to be able to keep a clean house and a tidy garden. It’s one or the other but most often it’s failing at both. Dogs and cats in and out constantly, dusty boots from the cellar and outside, doing the washing, bits from loading the log basket, and a thousand seedlings on every window ledge. Also the kitchen windows are desperate for a clean thanks to all the bird feeders and the mess the birds make throwing seeds and bits everywhere from the fat-filled coconut shells I hang on the shutters.

This sounds like I’m complaining – I’m not I promise. I might hate cleaning but I do love being in the garden, and one is a trade off for the other. If you’d said to my 20 year old self that I’d end up being essentially a housewife I would have laughed you out of town. I still get more fulfilment from the poly tunnel than any presentation I’ve ever given, and it takes you a good 20 years in a career that you fell into rather than actually loved, to acquire that protective layer of cynicism. When you’re 20, you’re convinced every long hour you work, lunch worked through, and extra thing you do will be ultimately noticed and the rewards will come. When you’re in your 40’s with 2 redundancies under your belt you absolutely know how naive that is. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be here, doing this instead. Notice I say fortunate and not lucky. We didn’t win this life in a lottery, we worked incredibly hard for it. We took a huge risk, we even signed for the house the actual week of the referendum result, not actually knowing if we’d done the right thing. It isn’t always easy living here, especially in isolation from friends and family that I suspect it’ll be 2 years from when I last saw them before I get the chance again. I worry about things a lot. We couldn’t ever afford to get back on the UK property ladder now if anything was to go wrong for example. I love it, but I guess it’s not for everyone.

At least redundancy one paid for the re-wire, so, every cloud.

These words were my mantra on my final morning commutes around the hell that is Leeds Ring Road.

Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate
Look I’m meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well if that’s your road then take it but it’s not the road for me

Photosynthesis – Frank Turner.

You get one life peeps, this is not a rehearsal.

Laters…… V.


  1. Wow! Well that certainly resonated with me…even the bit about the water from the sink discharging under the kitchen window! Ours is a holiday home at the mo but I’m hoping we’ll be able to move there full time next year as we love it and miss it so much 🤞. Ps Love your blog 😍 x

    Liked by 1 person

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