It’s been a surprisingly busy month. First up, village news. Only in the last post did I mention how many houses were for sale. Well, the house next door (although there is a field and path between us) not only has been sold but the pool has already been renovated and the sounds of splashing and children’s laughter have been ringing out over the last few weeks. It seems two families have bought the place and are using it, for the moment at least, as their holiday home. It has completely changed the feel of the village, it actually feels alive rather than on its last legs. So a very welcome change indeed.
We have, after all these years living here, decided to do something about the external walls of the property. We have only concentrated on the inside of the courtyard, garden and house; the outer parts have been ignored. Well, we (Richard mainly) has addressed this and now you need a pair of sunglasses when walking past. He’s also given all the other walls a fresh coat of paint too. One day we’ll have a house number to put up…
In the garden we inherited a load of fruit trees. We have rather neglected them to be honest, we do try and prune them but it’s a big job. One of the old peach trees has surprised us with a bumper crop this year. The branches were overloaded with fruit. They don’t look much, smaller than the commercial ones in the market, but are really quite tasty. They have been bottled for the winter days ahead.
We planted new fruit trees as well, many back in the winter of 2010. The pear tree was just a stick back then but is now way taller than me and has given us a great crop this year too. Many of these have also been bottled but we have some cooked in red wine for pudding. I should add that the fruit from both these trees were almost completely bug free. We of course never spray the trees with anything, the birds keep on top of the bugs for us.
Talking of bugs, here is a collection of some recent creepy crawlies.
It’s been a little hit and miss in the veg patch but hurrah! the peppers are turning either red or yellow and are just enormous. Can’t wait to have those. After we stopped eating the fresh runner beans the plants were left to dry and the dried beans have been collected for winter stews. There was about 400g from the 6 plants, not bad. Presumably they can be used as seeds for next spring.
I recently found some of the marvellous rock lichen that produces an interesting purple. I lost patience a little and didn’t wait as long as I should have for the colour to develop but it was good to get the dye pots and pans out again.
And Richard has also got his wood working tools out again. An old cherry tree in the field opposite was cut down last year and he snaffled a part of the trunk. He reckons it’ll be finished in a week or two.
Finally, we spent an evening on top of the local hill watching the Perseids, we’ve had a few trips to the sea, and a pleasant morning spent at one of the many river beaches in the area. Just a shame Richard got water in his ears and was deaf for most of the month. Pardon?