The Arrival of the Stuff, Manure and Basket Cases

Yay!  We waited all day for the truck to arrive on the 9th February then we got a call to say the driver was running late and would be here round about 7.00 pm,  having driven over from the UK with lots of deliveries to make.  He literally blew in at 7.30 accompanied by poring rain and slushed his way to the door.  With no one to help him, the dearly beloved offered and together the brought in the 12 boxes that made up our allocated 1.5 cubic meters.  The pile took up,  not the modest space it had once occupied in the dining room in our house in CT, but rather half of the entire cottage downstairs area and two boxes high to boot.   To crown it all, every box had been sprayed with some sort of pesticide and we were enveloped in a concoction of mothballs and Raid.

I stared at the pile, stared at the mud that had come in with it, breathed in the heady smell and my heart sank into the puddles dotted around the floor. Where on earth was I going to put it all – I suddenly felt content with my one pair of jeans and sweatpants.  My stomach joined my heart on the floor when I noticed that one box had been battered around a bit, was seriously soggy and had split.  I recognised that box…it contained all my art stuff.  I decided to leave it for last before I faced the damage, no use crying over something I couldn’t change.  I settled with the comfort of a steaming bowl of potato and leek soup served with crusty bread and enjoyed with the beloved in front of a roaring fire.

Surprisingly enough everything found a home pretty easily.  The small cupboard under the stairs fitted all the “summer” clothes which we re-vacuum packed and everything else found homes in their right places – kitchen stuff, the husbands fly fishing and office goodies and my paper craft and art paraphernalia. Photographs in frames and a vase of flowers and it feels like a home.  Apart from a bent cutting mat and about 250 spilt colour pencils all muddled together in loose abandon, nothing was too wrong in the art department.

Having some older clothes and with Spring definitely in the air prompted some action so after a day of sorting and window cleaning, we decided on a place for the veggie-patch-to-be.  Piles of manure have been placed in all the surrounding fields ready for much spreading that would, in my brain, make an excellent basis for the veg patch.  I didn’t want to just go and take some so mulled it over for a few days thinking of a way to go about getting some.  Today the mutts were due for a bath so we took them for a long walk first knowing that, even though most of the mud has hardened in the clear weather, they would still get dirty.  We came to the turnip field and there was the coveted “pile”, large, deep brown, steaming gently in the watery sun.  We walked over to the farmers and I introduced ourselves before asking, in my best and very broken French for which I apologised profusely, whether I could have 2 barrow loads of “fumier” for my ‘potager’ (veg patch).  They all came round to add their bit as to what we would be planting and then asked if we wanted to help ourselves to some fresh turnips.  Armed with some beautiful specimens and a resounding “it’s ok. help yourself” on the fumier front, we went home feeling quite chuffed.

I worry about myself some days.  In this peaceful countryside, my world has come to be so different.  Different aspects of life now occupy a space in my head and questions like “will this wood that I’ve just split be small enough for the burner or should they be smaller?  Will the barn owl be out on the hunt this evening?  Is there a spider in my wellies because I left them out last night?  Do we have enough wood or should I fetch some? ”  Fashion, nail polish and lipstick colours seem to have been lost in another world and popping the dogs in the back and bouncing along the country roads in Anabel with the warm sun coming though the windows seems to be the grandest thing to do.  Life has changed and I don’t quite know how to deal with it all.  Perhaps Ted put it all into perspective when he found the empty gumboot basket, climbed in and dozed in the sun.  He became a basket case…..I hope I don’t follow his footsteps but rather    see this how it should be, a footpath that has lead me to a  new me, one I’ve come to like quite a bit.

A la prochaine


About M

I am at heart and artist...which spills over into other areas apart from the pastels, pencils, paintbrush and paper. I love cooking, I love gardening and I love nature. Leaving South Africa to come to France was difficult, but an adventurous challenge and together with my husband and two furry friends, I manage to do all that I love and more while I walk the 'Footpath to France'.
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4 Responses to The Arrival of the Stuff, Manure and Basket Cases

  1. Anne says:

    Glad your stuff arrived and that it is warming up by you. We are still freezing it snowed yesterday again. I can’t wait for spring. Annemarie


    • M says:

      Wow Annemarie – amazing the difference, winter is still really with you there….what’s your nearest City? Thanks for following the blog – love hearing from friends..Take care and keep warm, not too long to go before Spring arrives! xx


  2. Beverley says:

    Love reading your blog, my friend. Missing you!


    • M says:

      thanks Bev, it’s proving to be a great adventure but I miss good chats and familiar faces. Please give love to all, specially to your mom and dad,…..hugs xxxxx


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