La barriere et des mouches

The gate, it turns out, is not so easy to paint. I’ve spent now almost a week on it (Well, an hour every morning!) and I’m still a long way to go. Still, I painted the top gold yesterday, to Steve’s disgust. The gold bell was what got him the most. Apparently, he doesn’t do gold bells. Jake liked it, though. And he’s got good taste. He must, because it’s the same as mine.

The bells... the bells!

It’s been a bit overcast these last couple of days, but Jake has busied himself with treasure maps, making ‘Karate-Kid’ style dens in the grange and making an ingenious swing from a log and a piece of cord. He seems to be absolutely loving it. He had a bath yesterday morning (and we found that the bath water comes out in the courtyard…. bizarre!) and went for a mammoth bike ride with Steve, before spending the rest of the afternoon making maps and gyms and assault courses and obstacle courses. He isn’t yet for making friends, though I did see two little lads on bikes this morning who must live in Les Hauts Ecures, but he’s not for going out to socialise. Quel dommage!

Jake, the Moll and the obstacle course

Steve has been ‘crepi-ing’ the barbecue – Crepi is a bit like stucco render and is impossible to get on/make stick, but it looks amazing. I’m impressed!

Crepi - what walls use instead of Touche Eclat

Molly has taken well to La Vie Française, spending her days flat out on the pavement next to the road like a true French dog, or rampaging through the big garden. She absolutely loves the space and she’s very good at coming with us ‘helping’ on whatever job we’re doing. She spent the morning next to me and ma barriere, then came with me whilst I pruned back some of our triffid-like grapevines. I don’t know what the hell is in the water (well, Jake’s bath water!) but the leaves are bigger than any I’ve ever seen round here.

Basil has got the measure of Molly though. She had a run up to the house, giddy as you like, from the garden, about 20 metres, and then rampaged into the house. Basil watched her approach, yawned, stretched, stood up, arched his back, puffed himself up to full Basil size and hissed. She skidded to a dead stop and turned tail very sheepishly, as if she’d been caught running naked through church by the bishop.

And me? I’ve been bitten to death (Jake has a bite on his nose and his arm. Steve has none. Typical) am filthy, smelly, sweaty, cut and bruised, covered in black and gold paint, but very happy. I’ve ruined three pairs of trousers and a pair of trainers, but all in a good cause!

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