Dahlia Mania

Well hello lovely people.

I know it’s been a while, but I fall in and out of writing, and general being too busy-ness has meant the luxury of sitting and tapping away with my thoughts, has eluded me lately. It should be eluding me now, but I’ve just had enough of chores today. We’re prepping for our friends from The Netherlands coming to stay next week, which we’re all excited about, but the last people to stay in the gite were a year ago (and the same friends), and since then it’s been used as a plant nursery, a painting workshop, and occasionally a refuge from the heat at night for my little bulldog and I. Work needed to be done! It looks lovely in there now and I’ve given the kitchen a little mini makeover which I’ll share in a later blog I think. I can close the door on “next door” and now concentrate on the hell our actual house has become.

This summer has been a dud really, and it’s all my fault because of these 3 things. Firstly, I bought many summer dresses in the sales last year and a pair of pristine white Converse that have left the house precisely once this year to date. Secondly, we bought a new and better plastic pool. And finally, we bought an air conditioning unit. So I’m officially apologising for this shit-show.

As a result, cutting the grass when it’s dry is a super big deal as it happens so rarely at the moment. I only finished at about 9.30pm last night but it had to be done. The next 10 days are not forecast to have a dry one amongst them. I’m anticipating many of them to just be showery, but still. Can’t cut soggy grass!

I’ve been stalking my dahlias with persistence for weeks now, and then, all at once, there they came! I can’t tell you the unbridled joy of walking your own garden with a floristry bucket and shears and cutting your own flowers. Of course I’ve snaffled peonies and hydrangeas and wild flowers in the past, but the dahlias seem so decadent and luxurious to me. Like a bouquet I could never justify the expense of buying. I can honestly say that growing them, and waiting for the different varieties to unfurl has been incredibly rewarding. I think they’re the thing that has given me the single most satisfaction from anything I’ve grown before. Just a shame I can’t eat them really, but I think that’s not to be recommended……

Poor hubs knee has flared up again, (you might remember that we ended up in A&E earlier in the year, and he had to have some fluid drawn off it). Thankfully I think it is gradually improving, but he’s been unable to help me with anything this week, usually we’ll divide and conquer and he’ll walk the dogs while I water the garden for example, but it’s been just me. Dividing my time between house, gite, dogs, cats and garden. The end is in sight now though, so I feel I can take my foot off the gas just a little without panicking. I’m looking forward to being a tourist and having a few nice lunches out for a week myself, I can’t lie. We’re lucky that our region Creuse, still has very low Covid numbers. We are a sub region of Nouvelle Aquitaine, which is so vast it also includes Bordeaux to the South, and La Rochelle to the East. Their numbers are 10 fold as many as ours right now. We’ll only be venturing over the border into Haute Vienne which thankfully also has pretty low numbers so at the moment it feels relatively safe, and we’re all double vaccinated now, with our EU Covid Passports at the ready. I haven’t seen anyone in the supermarket without a mask, even if people can stand a little closer than I’m always comfortable with these days.

Lastly, my Instagram account hit 9000 followers this week. I can’t quite believe it still, that so many people are interested in my photos, my life, my ranting and reels. It’s a thing I’ve come to rely on, during these times of isolation, a reminder I’m not alone, even if I can’t get to the UK to visit friends and family.

For now, I’m happy to celebrate the friendship of strangers, the genuinely lovely community that’s grown from a tiny acorn into perhaps not a mighty oak, but certainly a respectably healthy sapling.

Laters, V x

A mixture of Creme de Cassis, El Paso, Pompone, and Ice and Fire Dahlias, all mixed with green elderberries and vine leaves in my Brocante cabbage bowl. Happy days.

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