The Living Room

Well, as Delia promised in her blog last week, I did finish my desk, which now slots into the bookcase with a leg that looks like a door and… well… below should tell it all. The living room is now suitable for… living (and, for me at least during the day, for working).  I have started insulating the ceiling of the cave (and floor of the living room, to keep my feet warm at my desk!) There’s still a bit of snagging and my desk to finish but I can almost tick it off the list.

Its been a bit frosty here overnight and the morning walk on the muddy track is even muddier after a lot of logging.

 

And about time too!

     

 

 

Delia is delighted to announce a new arrival… a hedgehog. A damn sight smaller than an echidna which is the nearest she might see in Aus! I heard a scratching at the catflap which I thought was the cat who hates opening the flap himself so I went to open the door for him and who should try to get in instead? – this hedgehog. I used to see quite a few in the UK but they were getting less frequent, to the extent that they are an endangered species in certain areas now

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes this blog is a bit late. I have no real excuse except being a bit busy at the weekend finishing the living room (well… nearly). The skirting is nearly done, just the awkward bits left to do last night. Its lovely to start with nice 2.5M lengths but then the awkward in and outy bits without right angles intervene! I still have to finish off my desk though, so perhaps this weekend will see the final touches. But the shelves are mostly full and furniture installed.

Last week we had been invited to a dégustation or tasting. The host was an acquaintance from my “Franco-Brittanique Rencontre” group. Fifteen of us mostly English but for 2 French and the guest presenter of the wines. French was the main language but it was relaxed and everyone dropped into English where necessary. The table accommodated us and the spread of food we had all brought (it was a temporarily re-purposed snooker table, as Delia illustrated by rattling the balls she had found in a corner pocket beneath the table cloth. The vendor gave us his background of working for small wine distributors and eventually setting up on his own enterprise utilising his contacts and specialising in small independent wine-makers. We had dozens of wines to taste (and I had to sip carefully as I was driving!). Eventually we selected 12 bottles, not the cheapest (normally we tend to favour supermarket wine boxes which are still good quality but cheaper). The bottles on offer here ranged from about 5€ to 15€ but the quality was excellent. Many were sulphite free which makes laying them down for years a bit hit and miss… we’ll have to drink those first then!

The day of the tasting was a busy one for me, an early start to drive an hour to a committee meeting of the most recent website I have completed. Looks like that’s a responsibility for me as “webmaster” that will continue but possibly diminish with time. It’s a group (CLE) we joined a while back but they were centred more to the north of us and being mostly retired members, events were usually during the week. I then had a two hour drive to my language lesson – the teacher had just come out of convalescence and had rung us all to see that we were coming. Then the hours back home for an hour break before heading out to the degustation (a mere 20 minutes away).

There is another nearer group centred around language lessons in nearby Rochechouart. Some younger members too. They had a meal yesterday (Monday) that we went to and enjoyed. We usually sit with a couple for whom I did a web site for but we know several others there – Delia through her art class and me through the photoclub. The food was excellent though with (I would guess) about 35 people, service was not the speediest and we had to leave before the lunch hour reached 3 hours.

The weather has been colder and often grey but a few blue sky days too. Here’s some shots from an Autumn photowalk our group took recently.

We do like to be beside the seaside

We do indeed, like the beach that is. Delia was brought up in a small seaside town on the Indian Ocean and she misses the sea especially. So our anniversary present to ourselves was to stay near the sea, in fact the Atlantic Ocean. We found a lovely pet friendly holiday home near the coast half way between Biarritz and Bordeaux. Google earth show the almost the entire length of this coast as beach and this was what it felt like. Contis, was the beach town (though we stayed a few kilometres inland on the edge of St Julien en Born.

The weather improved as we headed west and by the time we arrived the sky was a cloudless blue and 23°C. We settled in, and after quickly exploring the back patio and forest behind made the 5 minute drive to the ocean. Storm David had apparently passed by recently and the waves were boisterous. We had taken Siena to a small lakeside beach so we knew that she loved the sand between her pads already… and we weren’t disappointed – she bounded about like a puppy. After walking up the beach for a while went back to Contis and enjoyed a drink at one of the few bars open at this point of the season.

Deciding not to hang around for sunset we went back to the house to enjoy our Friday champagne (real champagne not just sparkling! A birthday present for Delia).  We spent most of the weekend walking on the beach or along forest tracks to get to the beach. We did walk in St Julien but it was mostly closed. The beach did seem to go on forever, though we never quite made it to Biarritz.

Back home and the lounge work continues. Doors being made and painted. It’ll be done before Xmas! By special request here is a sequence up to having the stitches taken out. I already could raise this eyebrow but now it’s a bit wonky.