Just returned from shopping and lit the fire. Aaaaaahhhhhhhh……… The new coffee machine is here, and it’s ruddy lovely. Typically the rest of the order due alongside it, the one with the coffee beans on it, didn’t come, so fortunately I’d added some to the shopping list. A nice fair-trade, Ethiopian arabica. I had no idea what it would be like, but the packaging struck the right kind of ethical notes, and well, we’re those people now.

I put off putting away the shopping until I’d fiddled with the machine and at least made one cup. It has an extendy steamy nozzle thing, and of course I had the receptacle under the wrong nozzle as I ran the cleaning cycle. Half a roll of kitchen-roll later….. I ran it on a 3 coffee bean setting, the strongest. I ground the beans on the finest setting, also the strongest. I ran the 2 cup setting. I foolishly thought that this meant (as there are 2 nozzles) this meant you could make 2 cups at once. The giveaway should have been that 2 mugs would not easily fit on the drip tray at once, but I’m not a quitter. The result was, one cup of coffee wee, and another cup of molten treacle. This is clearly wrong. I did wonder why it stopped to grind more beans halfway through, because I’m clearly an idiot. Now I’ve made it on the 2 cup setting but for one mug. It’s delicious but Christ, I’m now twitching like a raving chihuahua. I think I might need to turn down the beans a touch, or not drink a double amount……

The special annual wheelie bin cleaning ceremony happened today. Our bin was emptied this morning, fortnightly as usual. About an hour or so later, a smaller bin truck arrives, and on the back it goes, steamy water goes everywhere, and behold my lemony fresh bin! Sometimes I love you France.

On our walk yesterday we saw the Swifts have returned, swooping and skimming the tops of the meadows which makes me so very happy. Perhaps this means summer is on it’s way after all!

In the kitchen yesterday afternoon, I glance outside to see Figs curled up under the window, next to an object. She looks up at me jubilantly. Then starts tossing this thing around and pouncing on it. It becomes quite apparent that it’s a mole. After several minutes of this, she picks it up and runs into the barn with it. Hmmm, that’ll appear on the front steps by the end of the day thinks I. Our resident Moledemort, had been quite prolific in recent days, I have to flatten the mole hills so I don’t royally bugger my delicate flower of a ride on mower, and each day they were back, in another place, bigger than before. The cats had dug into the entrances of the networks of tunnels, and you’d see them up to their kitty elbows in them trying to catch things, every time you were in the garden. Round the back of the garden it’s now like Swiss cheese.

Craig heads outside to light the bbq just to finish some chicken on, and sure enough, poked through the fence – tah-dah! Mr Mole displayed for maximum look-what-i-did-ness. Sigh. It turns out that coaxing a dead, and somewhat rotund mole, onto a garden trowel, is quite difficult. I howl with laughter at my husband, who is basically gently rolling and flicking this poor creature around the garden without success. Finally, like a macabre egg and spoon race, it’s done, and he has been placed on the Valhalla offering wall behind the post box, for a passing bird of prey to make use of. Once again, welcome to Saturday night in rural France.

At roughly 6.30am this morning, I awoke eyeball to eyeball with the Podenco, which is somewhat startling. I could hear, even through my earplugs the sound of kittens running up and down the stairs, and the Pondenco’s face was like – this is unacceptable!

Sure enough, in the doorway to the kitchen was a very hyperactive Figaro, and the kitchen floor and hall was scattered with shopping bags. Inside one of these was Barney, curled up all cosy, like a chunky broody hen. I fed them both, then out they went into the very chilly dawn. Seems the husband forgot they were inside……

Laters…. V x

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