Approximately 10 hours to Boulogne Sur Mer yesterday and an overnight stop there and now next morning we’re sitting on the train ready to depart for England. Looking forward to seeing Rose (pussy cat), Tamarind (our UK home) and friends. Leaving behind sunny, blue skies and grape vines. Interesting new places and people. New friends. Le Petit Coquelicot (our French home) and fig trees, full of ripening figs.
I’m carrying on the theme of the French idiom, so here is the second one. I’m not sure that we feel our asses are surrounded by noodles BUT we do consider ourselves very lucky to have ourlittlehouseinfrance.
Dimanche 30 Juillet – up early and off to a vide grenier in Pujols.
On Monday morning the paving slabs for the terrace were delivered, the lorry only just managing to squeeze through the hedging.Also purchased a small chest of drawers via LeBoncoin from Eymet. A bit insignificant and so I ended up painting it cream.
On Tuesday morning our neighbour Margaret popped around with her daughter and children. She has been a resident in the village for a long time and knows many of the other residents well. Sylvian the plumber came to give us a devis for putting in an outside tap and changing the lavabo in the bathroom. He was very efficient and came to complete these small works the next day, Wednesday. Wednesday evening we drove to Saint-Loubes near Bordeaux to purchase a pine commode via LeBoncoin, bringing it back precariously strapped to the top of the car.Thursday 3 Août – Callum’s 16th birthday. Can’t believe I have a 16 year old son. Where did those 16 years go, in the blink of an eye!!!!! There would be a picture of him here as he’s very handsome, but he won’t let me post any pictures of him😟 so here’s a piccie of Bella between his legs. Candy fridge freezer delivered in the morning and then we went to Callum’s favourite city of Bordeaux. Had a good mooch around and Cal chose his pressie. Then on the following day we went back to Bordeaux again to the cinema to see “Spider-Man Homecoming”. Very entertaining but had to dash there from the car park as usual due to our late arrival.
Samedi – evening went to the Bastid’Art festival in Miramont de Guyenne with Michele and family. Super entertaining with a reggae band, acrobats and then a swing band.Dimanche – sad face as the boy’s return to the UK. Not before Paul and I had a snoop around the vide grenier at Sauvetat du Dropt. The boys flight was due to leave at around 3.30 but it was delayed and they didn’t get home until late.
Most of the week on my own was spent cleaning and oiling the staircase and painting the small chest of drawers purchased from LeBoncoin. I did meet up with Barbara a couple of times and had an evening with Lune and her family. Also, on the Friday I had a nice trip out with Margaret to IKEA. It was a bit of an epic trip as I hadn’t realised how long it would take to get there and walk around. In the end it meant leaving Bella for 6 hours. Luckily she coped with that. The evening I spent preparing for the girls arrival the following morning.
Saturday morning, the girls landed about 10am. It was great to see them and they both looked excited to be here. We didn’t get up to much and as they were acclimatising we just went for a walk along the Dordogne river in Ste Foy La Grande.
Dimanche 13 Août – the girls were happy to get up and go to a vide grenier in Pellegrue not far away. It was hot, hot but we managed to mooch around and pick up a few bits. In the evening we stood, and stood for over an hour to see “Mapping” at the Château de Duras, together with a fireworks display. It was well worth the wait in the end, although my feet were aching after all the standing about.
On Monday we went in the morning to Duras market, where I also caught up briefly with Barbara and Sharon and purchased a small common perennial plant in this part of France called “Gaura Lindheimeri”. In the afternoon we headed to Meilhan-sur-Garonne where we had a lovely walk along the Canal du Midi and down by the river Garonne. In the evening we had a pizza in the village restaurant. I wouldn’t go back. Monday night there was a tremendous thunder storm. Lightening lit up the sky and the bedroom. Wasn’t sure I’d get to sleep, but I did. On the Tuesday morning the girls and I decide to go to the Monflanquin medieval festival. We took Bella and enjoyed browsing the stalls and watching some of the festival acts. Although Bella didn’t like the drums. Mercredi 16 – visited Les Jardins de Beauchamp which is in Marmande. Catch my next post to see how beautiful these gardens were. After the gardens we went to see an armoire I’d found on the dreaded LeBoncoin (think I’m addicted). Needless to say it wasn’t as nice in the flesh. In the evening we went to the Monsègur night market. Then back for jollies around the kitchen table.
Jeudi – I am up very early writing up this blog. The plan is to visit Eymet market this morning and then go to Duras night market this evening. It’s hot today and we all enjoyed our mooch around Eymet market. The girls are enjoying the sunshine and I’m about to post this blog before joining them.
We’re here again, in our favourite place, South West France. Long trip again, with no stopping. Hubby and I sharing the driving and with a it much better plan this time as each of us only doing 2 hour stints. Still exhausted by the time we reached the house. My nephew and family set off at the same time and only missed each other by 30 minutes at Le Tunnel. We actually like our epic journey to be honest as it feels like the start if a big adventure.
Actual time of arrival was just about 9am and it was straight to Leclerc, to pick up some provisions for lunch and tea. Arrived at the house to find an even bigger nest of House Martins. Poo all over the tiles outside the front door. Bella leapt out of the car straight into the garden for some well needed exercise. As I surveyed the garden it was pleasing to see all the plants doing so well, many thriving.
We also have produce, so there will be plumb crumble and fig jam, all being well.
Then once we’d gathered our thoughts it was off to Bricorama in Marmande to change the shower thermostat, which was only allowing us to have scalding hot water coming from the shower.
Back to house, replace thermostat and relax. Not doing anything else today.
Sunday it was up early to go to a couple of vide greniers close by. Thought my son would like to join us but he was spark out. Hubby and I spent a pleasant morning mooching around vides at Les Lèves et Thourmeyragues and Ste Foy la Grande.
Chines du jour (antiques of the day)
So no wonder we were exhausted by Monday. The tales of Monday and beyond to come.
So this is my take on how to make your own fig leaf tea.
Stage 1. You need to find the ideal tea pot. I found mine at the local vide grenier today. Usually I’m not a tea pot person, favouring the quick bish bash bosh of the tea bag in the mug, but I felt that for fig leaf tea it had to be a tea pot. And not just any tea pot, I wanted a delicate small one, something perhaps a little Oriental. So this little tea pot found me on an animal charity stall. 2. You need to find a fig tree. If you don’t have one, then I would recommend growing your own. There are many varieties and the fruit is delicious. I have planted 8 in our French garden. There are 4 Brown Turkey, an Israeli variety, a Rouge de Bordeau, Panache and an unknown one which has grown from a cutting that I plucked from the local road side and it has really tasty bright green figs.3. Gently pull away several leaves.
6. Very gently dry them out, either in a very low oven or in the sun.
8. Pop them in the tea pot and pour on the boiling water, leave to infuse.
9. Pour into a tea cup.
10. Sip and enjoy the flavour and all the health benefits of fig leaf tea. See my previous re: blog, Fig Leaf Tea.
So this is our petit sejour to ourlittlehouseinfrance. Set off Friday evening after work and arrived Saturday at about noon. Sunday was our first full day in France. I woke early to sunlight peeping around the edge of our bedroom shutters and to increasing whimpers from Bella, who doesn’t like waking up in a cage. We put her in a cage at night in France as she would be able to get to our bedroom doors and would wake us up in the night scratching to get in otherwise. Paul and I had already decided we would head to a large vide grenier that was being held in the beautiful Bastide town of Eymet. Although we have been to Eymet before, we’ve never been to a vide grenier there. My friend, Barbara called, she would meet us there. Eymet is about 19 kilometres from our house. I was prepared with my 2015 vide grenier hit list in my head.
Click the link below to see my pin board vide grenier hit list 2015.
Barbara has flaming red hair, usually, and so would be, or so we thought, easy to spot in a crowd. However, what a crowd. This was no ordinary vide grenier, it was humongous. Stalls all up the main street (main drag, as Barbara calls it) and then many, many more stalls up side roads and the back of the town. So with all these people bargain hunting, we didn’t spot Barbara that easily but eventually did see her wandering towards us down one of the side roads once we had already been back to the car with our initial finds.
Aren’t vide greniers a wonderful thing? Where else could you find people lugging home second hand plastic kids toys, a look of glee on their faces, alongside others carrying huge ancient pieces from old French chateaux. It was a sight to behold.
So here’s what I found at Eymet. Small vintage bamboo frame mirror, to go with the one I purchased last year. A small green/clear glass demijohn, again to go with the others I purchased earlier this year. This one was only three Euros but was very dirty inside and out. I should have photographed it in its dirty state really. I soaked it in warm water and washing up liquid and then put rice inside and swirled it around. This got rid of most of the grime, I then used a bottle brush to finish it off and et voila! all clean. I also found a lovely green Victorian glass vase and some jewellery.
So it’s been a short break but it has been a break. So tea with Barbara at her house. Walks around her garden and a short chat with her daughter in the States. Catching up with our lovely English neighbour and her two sons. She is in the middle of writing a book that she is very kindly letting me read. I feel honoured.
Callum has been out and about with Nathan and Matt. Bike rides through the grape vines and woods. Exciting stuff. Hubby has been mowing the lawn, I have been sneezing with hay fever. We’ve had extension plans spread out in front of us deciding where to put TV points, light switches and windows. Today we’ve taken Bella to the vets for her wormer, filled up with petrol for the long journey back to the UK and purchased a permanent marker to write on Panneau de Chantier which is the sign that we apparently should have displayed outside the house once we gained the planning permission for our extension. Better late than never!
More photos of the beginnings of the extension and our village in my next blog. Must dash actually going out tonight to eat and listen to jazz.😋