Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Beware the barrenness of a busy life

The hottest day yet. The mercury touching 39 degrees. 'The Font' has been to the toy store and bought two shallow plastic toddler paddling pools. The PONs steadfastly refuse to do anything other than drink from them. We try separating the two pools to see if Sophie will use hers for bathing. So far no such luck. Bob believes water to be the devils hand maid and has no intention of getting wet.

The heat that has been building up has now turned into a dark purple haze that stretches across the horizon. A sign an angry storm is on its way.

The motorway jammed with holiday traffic. Thankfully, after the pay station our exit ramp is clear. What fun it must be on the motorway with long tail backs and a car full of arguing little ones.

The pineapples from the Ile de Reunion make a come back in the greengrocers. Angus buys three.

'The Font ' arranges for the chimney cleaner to come. It's suggested he replace the tiles on the roof. He clambers up willingly enough only to discover an enormous bee nest in one of the chimney stacks. The chimney cleaner comes down from the roof, refuses to go back up and tells us he'll only return when we've dealt with the problem.

The Old Farmer wanders over to see what's going on. He informs us that it's the anniversary of the day when his wife, eldest daughter and dog were killed in a car accident. '' I'm driving off to the cemetery. I'll be back this afternoon after a good long chat ". His good long chat involves a picnic chair, an umbrella a bottle of wine and two glasses. One glass he leaves on the grave. After the better part of nine years in a French village neither 'The Font' nor Angus think this behaviour to be in any way unusual.

The mayor knew a gentleman who was an apiarist but sadly he's gone to the great bee hive in the sky. Inquiries will be made as to where we might get help with the bees.

We used to have a flat next door to the Castle in Edinburgh, The crowds at Tattoo time were a nightmare.  Start watching closely at the 5:40 minute mark and see the photographer walk backwards into a piper. Any lip readers are welcome to send their translation of what transpires on a postcard to ....


  1. Bless the Old Farmer - I hope he gained solace from his picnic and chat.
    I'm heading to Edinburgh for the Book Festival in ten days time, and am already bracing myself for dealing with the crowds...
    Cheers, Gail.
    PS Good luck with the bees. Is there a local beekeepers' society?

  2. Enzo and Riley weren’t sure about their paddling pool either, but have you and ‘The Font’ tried giving your boys ice blocks while it is so hot? My two love them... an approx 1 litre container (e.g. empty yoghurt cartons) filled with water, kibble, vegetable scraps (not onion), dollops of yoghurt or peanut butter, leftover chicken, meat scraps, from our dinner, etc. all frozen the day before in layers and then given to the boys (without the plastic mould removed) outside our house. My two happily lick (or chew) their cooling treat for ages to get to the good bits while also licking cold water.

  3. Hari OM
    the heat is everywhere but over The Hutch... I have visitors from Canada arriving Thursday. They are about to experience the Bonny Land in its normal summer clothing I fear.

    You can lead a PON to water but you cannot make it dunk. Perhaps some water from the hedgerows would add the right 'come and roll in me' piquancy? YAM xx

  4. Perhaps the lady from whom you used to (or still do) buy your honey would know of an apiarist who would like to have the hive. I recall your having a problem with bees in the attic not long after you settled into the ROF.

    1. When we first moved in there was a bee nest in the attic above our bedroom. There was a sprightly octogenarian gentleman in a bio hazard suit who clambered into the attic and removed the bee hive and hundreds of bees that he carefully packed in cardboard boxes. He sadly is no longer around. The Font has been to see the man at the tractor repair shop who knows someone who knows someone who might be able to help. Seems that most local folks would prefer to spray the poor things with toxic chemicals rather tha have them collected.

  5. Gosh that is too hot. Good on the Pons for drinking the swimming water. At least they have cool farmhouse tiles to lie down on.

    I am thinking of buying a dyson fan now while they are on sale in our winter, to be prepared for another hot summer here.

  6. Every summer I had a toddler pool for Ebony (Lab), and C.C. (Lab, chow mix). Ebony would stretch her neck, keeping front feet away from pool, and drink from the large water bowl. C.C.would stand in the middle of the pool and splash the water with all four legs until not a drop was left. This made cleaning and refilling the pool very easy for me. Maybe if you put a toy in the pool, Bob and Sophie could be enticed to go in for it?

    1. I've tried treats, toys, treats in little aluminium trays that float. PONs it seems are extremely reluctant to go near water. Or, to be more precise, they are extremely reluctant to go near clean water. Puddles, water in ditches and the waterfall are a different matter.

  7. Apiarists often advertise on Le Bon Coin if they are willing to collect 'wild' hives. Otherwise, Pages jaunes.