Mon plus grand faible

Sundays aren’t a day of rest Aux Écures – I was up at 7:30 painting the gate, and Steve wasn’t far behind me. The trouble is the sun hits the gate at about 10:00 and then you’ve no chance. Hammerite is gloopy and disgusting when it’s warm.

Still, I am loving the hammered metal look. Love, love, love. Chanel need to do a nail varnish in the same colour so I can sit pretty by my gate.

La Barriere

I’m going to paint the top flourish in gold. I like a bit of ornament and flourish. So, there we were, 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, painting the gate, Infectious Grooves disturbing the peace, enjoying that quiet time before the boy awakes and we spend the next twelve hours being butler/chef/hostess/cleaner/test subject/ideas generator and entertainment. It’s now on to the third morning of painting. It’s pretty fiddly, but I’m feeling the zen of it. It’s not like we’re in a rush, anyway.

Steve was in an über-productive mood and chopped down an old cherry tree that had ceased to be productive, cleared the secret garden, weeded, strimmed and chainsawed, whilst entertaining the boy at the same time. I spent the morning kneading bread and putting poppy seeds to good use. Nothing goes to waste chez nous! Then I lay under a tree trying to read, but looking up at the sun and thanking those powers that be that I’m so lucky to have the family who helped me get here, glorious August afternoon as it was, blue skies and not a cloud to be seen.

I know that might sound bizarre, but I contemplated the sky for a good half an hour, counting my blessings and trying to memorise this moment in life when all is well.

My zen moment under the tree

Some things I have been pondering, though, regarding daily French life:

1. Where are all the chilli peppers?! I can’t find a single one in any supermarket! Definitely a case of growing our own! I was going to pickle some plums for plum sauce, but what’s the point in that if you don’t have chillis??!

2. Why is the French paprika, to steal a Steveism, such ‘weak sauce’?

3. Why, when the car parks at supermarkets are vast, do people still fight over places near the doors, even though it’s glorious weather and it’s really not a chore to park 20 metres further away?!

4. Why do people complain about the expense of stuff and then not shop at Lidl, where stuff is way more cheap for the exact same thing – e.g. 40 cents cheaper for cheese in the same box??!

5. Why is the cheap ham nicer than the dear stuff?!

Anyway, home-made potato wedges await…

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