Everyday life in a rickety old Scottish farmhouse with a very happy Polish Lowland Sheepdog. A record of those unimportant little things that are too important to be forgotten.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
The olive tree
Apart from that the village remains in pandemic fueled silence.
A map of Europe showing population density , It seems there are places in France even less densely populated than our little patch of paradise. We, somehow, seem to be in a narrow band of development , shaded orange on the map, that runs from Toulouse up to Bordeaux. How quiet must the parts of France coloured yellow be ?
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
The drought ends.
Pandemic inflation. $722 a day for a Toyota Camry :https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2021/04/22/why-are-visitors-cruising-around-u-hauls-blame-pandemic/
Monday, April 26, 2021
What greater start ?
Sophie is harnessed up and in the back of the car for our daily trip to the strawberry farm. We manage to get there before any of the pushy Parisians in their large silver Mercedes show up. The strawberry lady tells me that her sales are down 45% but her outgoings are down even more. Having three teenagers at home during lockdown keeps productivity up and wage costs low. What the teenagers think of this is not said.
Overnight the village has become home to three new inhabitants. What happier start to the week could there be ?
Once you start scrolling this wild flower website becomes strangely addictive :https://coronationmeadows.org.uk/coronation-meadows
Whoever thought this Icelandic story would become popular ? One of Netflix's pandemic pleasures and now nominated for an Oscar :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjuphuG3ndw
Half of the UK's ambassadors are women. This lady in Beijing manages to combine subtlety with the political. Who could object ? :https://twitter.com/ukinchina/status/1384479125067341828
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Gentle and kind :https://www.amazon.com/How-Love-Animals-Human-Shaped-World-ebook/dp/B08PNL5VJ5
Saturday, April 24, 2021
The weather moving, haltingly, towards summer. Another bright, cloudless, rain free morning. The local farmers all have their irrigation systems on. This lowers the water table which in turn means that the well water at The Rickety Old Farmhouse is set to have an ever more finite life. The well water usually runs out in August. This year I'm betting we're done and running off water from the village lake by the end of June. The weather forecast calls for rain on Monday. As the weather forecast is a sure contraindicator this means that it will be a scorcher of a day.
We stop and say hello to the old mayor. He's out and about with two of his grandsons watering the freshly planted Dahlias in the church flower borders. The grandsons, who are five and three, are quite happy to potter around with him and be helpful in a way they wouldn't with their father. Sophie is not sure about fast moving little humans and maintains a respectful distance.
So much to discover :https://gizmodo.com/bones-of-extinct-giant-cloud-rats-found-in-philippine-c-1846748820
Friday, April 23, 2021
Some of the Manhattanites are thinking of relocating full time from New York to Vero Beach. This travelog on Miami was intriguing :https://devonzuegel.com/post/field-notes-miami
Thursday, April 22, 2021
A new hotel in a train on a bridge : https://www.krugershalati.com/
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Canine contentment. Sophie returns form her start of day 'comfort break' having excavated every mole hill on the lawn. There are many mole hills on the lawn but no moles. This in now way diminishes her sense of accomplishment. I point out to her that it's the mud on her muzzle that gives the game away.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Whoever knew there were shops specializing in nothing other than table cloths ? :https://www.summerillandbishop.com/collections/stripe
Monday, April 19, 2021
A quiet weekend. Three walkers pass the house on Sunday . So do four tractors and five cars. The PONette greets each and every one.
Sophie starts her Monday digging under a bush and spreading the dirt across the pool tiles. She gives me that ' What's it to you?' look.
This hotel, next to Malmesbury Abbey, traces its roots back to 1220. We used to stay there 40 years ago but on a more recent trip 'The Font' found that it had gone downhill. It has been bought by a couple from Dripping Springs, Texas ( what a wonderful name ) who are going to give it a 'refresh'. https://oldbellhotel.co.uk/
A quick Google search of Dripping Springs turns up this rather charming website. Seems you could spend a weekend there contentedly imbibing :https://www.destinationdrippingsprings.com/p/aboutus/blog/top-10-things-to-do-in-dripping-springs-tx
A poem that was one of the highlights of the last week :https://twitter.com/b_judah/status/1383758707146641412
Sunday, April 18, 2021
And on a separate note - the last woman in the world who knows how to do this - sea silk from clam secretions – a rarefied skill, literally hanging on by a thread on the Sardinian island of Sant’Antioco : https://www.chiaravigo.it/index.html
Saturday, April 17, 2021
This is an unusual occupation : http://www.rushmatters.co.uk/rush/harvesting/1/
The Trug she makes is the sturdiest and most practical garden companion you'll ever find. Someone has 'liberated' ours so a replacement needs to be ordered. She made medieval style rush wall coverings for the chateau at Azay-le-Rideau. Quite something for the French to call in a British artisan. You can see them in the two links below:
Friday, April 16, 2021
The new pool liner is grey. The solar powered pool cover is blue. This is helpfully pointed out by the pool man. He also points out that the skimmer flap and the light surrounds are white. ' Some folks might like the contrast' he says with what I can only imagine is sullen contentment. Angus quietly wonders to himself why the pool man couldn't have said something earlier.
Emptying the pool was easy. Filling it slow. The water has been on for 36 hours and it only seems to be three quarters full. The stone to replace the old tiles around the pool was supposed to be delivered last week. I call the stone mason. ' We'll get round to you just as soon as possible' he says employing French non-commitedness before adding ' Covids keeping us very busy'. The pool man who was going to lay the replacement stone says he'll come back when its delivered. One step forward, two steps back ?
Sophie, who by character is more of a supervisor than a 'get your paws' dirty participant, watches the pool man with disdain. Three days in a row he's been here and no Jaffa Cakes. The sun is a bit bright this morning so she moves to the grass where it's cooler for carefully observing what's going on.