Monday, 20 May 2013

Make that 2 glasses please

We have been back in Caunes for nearly a week. It felt like arriving home again and there was no "settling back in" time needed. Everything was as we had left it after our brief February trip….except that the garden was back to wilderness state. It looked amazing, with wild flowers everywhere.
the almonds are doing pretty well too
 There has been a lot of rain, and it has clearly done the plants (and weeds) a power of good. Also the builders have nearly finished the new terrace we are having built at the highest point of our land, from which, on a clear day, the still snow capped Pyrenees are visible.
Mark, surveying the building work...standing on what will shortly be a boules court
The anticipation of 7 whole weeks here, after our enforced stay in England since last September ( except for that glorious week in February), was enormous. So far, 6 days in, it has not been an anti climax. Just looking out of the windows, even on a cool, damp day, is therapeutic.

We have got straight back into doing the things we love doing when we are here. Mark has played golf a couple of times ( he’s doing that right now). I have supervised him digging various patches of weeds up, and he has succeeded in clearing my vegetable patch. I have now planted courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers……and have resurrected my complex hose pipe system which enables me to keep them watered.
very overgrown veg patch
weeded area, raised beds filled and planted......all is well.
Mark , weeding the vegetable patch area.....moving onto the vines next week.

does everyone have a drawer full of "hose bits" like this ?

We have eaten ( and sampled a few glasses of wine) in our favourite restaurant, we have walked down to the bar , drank their beautiful coffee and read the local paper. We have walked to the quarry on the edge of town and admired our favourite views again. The highlight of this trip was seeing a hoopoe, which posed arrogantly for us as Mark snapped away with the camera.

We also went for a walk to the opposite side of the valley, from our house, and saw it from a completely new angle.

the trees in the foreground are on the opposite side of the valley to our house, and from this angle, our garden can't be seen
We went to see the Baz Lurhmann Gatsby film. I thought it might be dreadful…but I loved it. It is the first time I have seen a film in French ( dubbed) without subtitles and was pleased to understand most of it. Of course, it helped knowing the story so well. But actually, I realised a few minutes into the film, that I had read it so long ago, my memory, whilst clear on the main thrust of the tale was pretty vague on some of the detail….and the film was just perfect for re creating my love of the book and the images it evoked when I first read it some 40 years ago. ( I also love Leonardo…..and thought Toby MaGuire was a perfect Nick)
Mostly, we have done things in small bursts…..15 minutes gardening, cup of tea, read the paper, 15 minutes more gardening, etc. I still get tired easily, but really think I am getting stronger every day….the walk up from the bar must be doing me good !

We visited our first vide grenier of the season yesterday. I am looking for bits and pieces to complete the transformation of the woodshed into the three bears’ house. This is actually a priority, as Liam and Izzie arrive next week…..and Liam is expecting the three bears’ house to be ready for him.
aluminium sign I had made which will adorn the woodshed as part of the transformation
I have so far failed to find a suitable table, for 3 different size chairs to fit around…..but I am sure I will manage to arrange something that will please Liam for next week. 
I think he will be pleased with the lovely old Ludo board I bought at the vide grenier……I suspect a few games will have to take place using it, as well as the lovely wooden horse counters that came with it.

So…..we’re back……it feels normal, it feels good…….and I feel better than I have done for ............... eight and a half months !