Saturday 23 July 2011

Bastille Day

Although not in France, Bastille Day  was a time for celebration - with French champagne - and a time for reflection. 
Question - What drives an extremely cautious woman to purchase an old derelict house in France  over the internet,?
Answer - An irrational passion for France.
Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.  Francois de La Rochefoucauld 
There are many attributes of France (and the French) I find appealing. Currently they blind me to the faults, foibles and frustrations of this hexagonal piece of intrigue. But will familiarity eventually spawn contempt? ..... 7 months after purchasing My French Folly I still don't possess the keys to the house ..... missing mail ......  disappearing artisans ..... French taxation ..... a dwindling bank account .......  
Oh, the price of passion!

Sunday 17 July 2011

Hands in the Soil then .......Back to Work

Life here has been pleasantly mundane - which at my age, I prefer to a roller coaster existence. Last weekend we made a trip to the family's cottage; the first in in 8 weeks so it was quite an exhausting few days. The hedges and weeds were out of control again, but we made little headway trimming and tidying up because we had to remove a gum tree which had fallen across a fence on our 12 acre plot a land, (a few kilometres from the cottage), allowing the neighbour's bull to roam freely around our paddocks........ Hours of work, but at least we have a pile of firewood and an erect fence for our efforts..... and glorious mounds of bull dung for the fruit trees.
Husband and I purchased the land (nicknamed Snake Gully, for obvious reasons) with a view to building a house so we could play hobby farmers. But My French Folly has curtailed our construction plans. Despite the lack of a dwelling on site, we still derive enormous pleasure from Snake Gully. There are 10 fruit trees, 10 olive trees and a large pond with yabbies (freshwater crayfish) and 50 silver perch (fish) which we are feeding to accelerate their growth, with the view to eating them as soon as they are about a foot long. Producing, harvesting and cooking one's own food provide simple pleasures, which are deeply satisfying. The older I get, the more I enjoy getting my hands into the soil. Although it is the middle of winter, I picked black olives during the weekend, which I am preparing to preserve after which I will make some marmalade from the lemons off our lemon trees. It is my mid-year holiday now, so I am having a delightful time in the kitchen.
However, next week it's back to work.......holidays over ........ Another lemming moment.......Must learn to swim.