Saturday, 3rd May 2014

Good Morning Readers. Another week has passed in our new abode and we are starting to get started on all the jobs we need to do. We have a new compost bin for all the garden waste. The veggie patch has been extended and this afternoon will be planted out with some tomato plants, spring onion, maybe capsicum (bell peppers) or courgette not sure which yet. Also getting the pots sorted for herbs (currently thinking of chives, spring onion, parsley, thyme) also need to get the mint out of the garden and into a pot.

Pat has also got the garage mostly sorted (which included moving a massive work bench from my workshop into the garage). I’ve attempted to paint a melamine shelf – without much success – so back to the drawing board on that one. Why to paint melamine I hear you ask, well the kitchen cupboards may have wooden doors, but the sides of the cabinets and the shelves inside are all melamine. We spent part of yesterday researching how to solve this problem. I’ll take any suggestions.

Thursday was a public holiday here, as it was May Day, we also received a lovely little bunch of lily of the valley from our neighbour. They are beautifully scented, we also have some in our garden.
“At the beginning of the 20th century it became tradition in France to sell lily of the valley on international labour day, May 1, by labour organisations and private persons without paying sales tax (on that day only) as a symbol of spring.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_of_the_Valley)

Yesterday was Pat’s birthday, we had a lovely relaxed morning with coffee and pain chocolat for breakfast. We would have liked to have gone for a walk or had a picnic, but unfortunately the weather just was not that nice. We did head out for dinner last night to a local restaurant – it was an unknown to us, and I wasn’t sure about it, but as it was Pat’s choice off we went. We were first in to the place at 7:30 (got to get use to eating slightly later). The menu was limited and very French. We decided against a starter and just went for a main (as Pat wanted dessert). Pat had the duck confit and I went for the beef (with pepper sauce). Both meals were lovely, however despite my asking for a well done piece of meat, it was almost still mooing. I’m getting use to eating my meat a lot pinker than I would like, but it was very tasty. We then had a crème brûlée each for dessert and a small cup of coffee to finish. It was all in all a very tasty meal. By the time we had left there were quite a few people in the restaurant, most seemed to be locals and there was also a table of Dutch or Swedish (we think). Our little rural part of France does have a large mix of people from a variety of countries.

I also made Pat a birthday cake – chocolate with cherry conserve through the middle and topped with chocolate ganache and some very badly made marzipan cherries and hearts (photo below). It does, however, taste very nice (if I do say so myself) half of it is now in the freezer.

Our other little adventure this week was to go to get a piece of paper for registering the car. Off to Limoges we trotted on Monday – into an extremely busy Finance office only to discover that we needed to go Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche (which is an hour away from Limoges and a half hour away from where we live). On Wednesday we decided to head off to Saint Yrieix to a significantly less busy (but harder to find) Finance office, office found, information handed over, piece of paper in our hand to be told that we need another piece of paper (the last I hope) and that we have to head back to Limoges! So that is one of our plans for this coming week.

We did do a small explore of Saint Yrieix, which is a lovely town with a medieval heart. We had lunch in a crêperie and in speaking to the person serving us, in summer the town is incredibly busy with tourists. I can understand why, it is a lovely place to wander around. However no photos as we both forgot our cameras – so we will have to go back at some point.

I’m also off to speak to a French teacher on Monday, so that will be good. Lots of opportunities for practice that is for sure. Well I need to get this blog posted so that I can head to the gardening shop before it closes for lunch 🙂

Till next week…

Pat's cake with lily of the valley

Pat’s cake with lily of the valley

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