We still have no Hens, although we have tried. I'm sure we'll succeed, given a bit more time. Anyway, we still have no Hen Coop. Our planned trip South on Sunday to buy one, went by the wayside - after a trip North to near Le Mont St Michel, neither of us felt up to the drive down towards Bordeaux on the following day.
However, some progress has been made on the Potager/garden front, with a couple of - admittedly smallish - beds already stripped of turf, double-dug and one seeded with peas. We also bought a few plants: a couple of Aubergines, Peppers, Tomatoes and cucumber. All appear to have survived my minimal input and attention to date. Long may it continue.
The Pea Bed - more to be created:
Two Aubergines and one Pepper - potted on and still alive. Chillis not yet available from local nurseries:
The Toms and another pepper - still a bit to go before potting on needed:
Charlie seems to have settled into a routine of sorts: he disappears first thing each morning, usually rushing out with Jack, before heading off into the fields and hedgerows in the search for live tucker. As he's eating progressively less dried food each day I assume he's catching more and more mice, voles, birds etc. which means, of course, that he will require more worming treatment. Must keep an eye out, I guess.
He woke me at about 04:00 last night with a growling, squealing noise which could mean only one thing - he was fighting with a neighbours cat that had come in the cat-flap, through the utility area and into the main hallway. By the time Jack and I had galloped downstairs, the interloper had gone and Charlie was crouched under a coffee table in the sitting-room, looking a bit wide-eyed and upset. Dare say he'll get over it, and we hope the intruder has learnt its lesson and now keeps away.
Our closest neighbours appear to have taken off for a week or so holiday. This would normally be fine but, in this case, and in that sort of callous French way, they simply left their young dog behind. He's contained within their well-fenced rear garden, with a basin of water - now consumed - and no food! He is normally a rather aggressive dog but since we realised he was starving and began to feed him over and through the fence, he has become almost friendly and certainly dependent on us. We were tempted to report this to the local authorities, but rather than create possible strife, have elected to feed and water the poor creature and speak to them on their return. We will, however, make it clear to them that should they do this again we will report it in future. God knows if it will make any great difference, but the guy does keep sheep too - so perhaps he'd be banned from keeping any animals. We are not sure. Another neighbour, a Brit, suggested that this has happened previously, with the family going off for a week or two, leaving another, previous dog, to fend for itself until their return! Extraordinary behaviour. Unnecessary and cruel. Lord knows how they thought it was going to survive in the heat down here without food and, more importantly, of course, water!
Here he is, hoping I've brought some tucker. (Don't think a digi-camera would last long in his jaws, though he'd probably give it a go in desperation):
We nipped out to the nearby town this afternoon and bought a 5 litre bottle of mineral water, the content of which was - most sensibly in my view - discarded and replaced from the local Cave pump with a fine Rosé at only 1.50 euro the litre. With the temps heading towards 30 in the sun today, a BBQ and Prawn Pill-Pill is on the cards with a thirst soon to be liberally slaked by an acceptably priced, chilled Rosé.
We spoke to our old neighbours in Sweden yesterday evening. The snow is gradually receding, though there remains an appreciable ground covering. The temps have improved to +8 in the afternoons, dropping to just around or below freezing for a few hours overnight.
Soon it will be looking more like this - especially when the huge flocks of Canada Geese and Common Cranes arrive to mate and nest over summer:
Reindeer in Spring ;
Possibly me - despairing - will this sodding snow ever finally go?!: