Hare and there….

My little girl has Gonads!!!!!
Thumper is a little boy.
I thought I would switch tactics seeing Thumps is doing crazy things every day and write in the present while going back every now and then to things I can remember while we had him in the first few days.

One thing about hares – they are after all wild and very different to the domestic Bunny.  They are incredibly curious and they seem to like to know exactly what the parameters of their cage, room, house, field…whatever it might be, they go from corner to corner, along all sides and ones the thorough investigation is complete, they settle down.

Thumps was the same.  When we put him in his little make shift box, he was very young and not very brave but within a couple of days, he has investigated that and his smaller box where he could go and snuggle in my scarf and he seemed quite happy.  Every morning, lunchtime and dinner, when Ted was safely asleep upstairs behind the bed, I would feed Thumps his 4 or 5 syringes of milk and then put him down on the floor.  Tass of course, was in her element, following him, licking him and just sitting watching him as he explored.  And explore he did.  Every…Single… Centimeter.
When the circuit was complete.  He would take a wobbly run and jump on his long and very unsteady legs which, together with his odd shape, made him look like a flea in a camouflage of fluffy grasses.  For some reason, I think he thought Tass was his mom, he would charge after Tass and if she was sitting and didn’t see him, he would gently try and find a spot to snuggle in somewhere.  That was a complete no-no for our independent Tass and she would move away and give him a dirty look.

So I became his mom.  He would reach up, scratch quickly on my jeans or dressing gown which I got to realize meant he wanted a lift up.  if he was sitting on my lap drinking his milk, when he was full, he would stop, wash his face, stretch his long legs out and then scratch quickly on my jersey.  I would open the buttons and in he would go for a snooze.
He was always secreted somewhere about my person during that first week.  Either in the pocket of my coat if I was outside in the chateau grounds, or tucked into a scarf inside my shirt if I was in the chateau tidying up.  He was quite content.
Craft CompanionI enjoy painting and I love card making and any paper craft.  Every now and again, as you can see from the photograph, on my very small little desk in our little cottage, I have a new crafting companion!

He got stronger day by day putting on weight quite quickly (this morning he weighed 545 grams!) and one day, he was charging around the house and he came and saw me sitting on the couch.  Usually, he would reach up and scratch on my leg but not this time.
He discovered his legs…but not his aim!
He didn’t jump like a dog or cat or even a frog where you see them stretch out to reach their destination – front legs stretch, back legs stretch and they …well…jump.
Not a hare, not Thumps.  One minute he was sitting on the floor and like a flea – he just shot up!  But as he was still in ‘practice’ mode, he just shot straight up and landed with a surprised look on his face exactly in the same spot on the floor where he started.
He looked at the couch, at his destination for a while and tried again.  The same way – no stretching, no reaching out, in a split-second he was on the seat next to me.  I don’t know who was more shocked, him or me.
Now I walk through from the kitchen to check to see where he is, and find him sitting on the couch as if it’s a natural thing for me to come in and see a hare sitting there.

Now you may be wondering to yourself…does he pee or leave droppings everywhere?
Like any puppy or baby, I would have to say his bladder control was very minimal.
He would drink copious quantities of milk and within  a minute, copious quantities of milk would come out.  I mentioned earlier that we started feeding him in a hurry on the only thing we had which was cow’s milk.  Well!  When he pee’d on me for the first time – through my jersey, t-shirt, jeans and panties – the smell was unbelievable!  The Not-So-Dear-One sitting next to me thought it was the funniest thing out when I unceremoniously plonked poor old Thumps on his lap and looking like I was performing a madman’s version of the Highland Fling, I stripped on my way to the kitchen, stuffed everything into the washing machine, switched it on and charged upstairs into the shower.
The next evening, Thumps pee’d on him.
Revenge was sweet.

The moment we changed to goat’s milk, the smell disappeared, in fact there was no smell at all – but being pee’d on every evening – even through a thickly folded towel, soon began to wear thin and having so many showers was making me feel like the cubicle was becoming my new home, so I decided some ‘house training’ was in order.
I found a plastic seed tray in the garden shed – a cheerfully bright lime green – lined it with paper towel and because I had read the hare like to chew on straw or grass while they pee,  I filled it with straw,and patted it flat.
Every time Thumps had finished his milk, we put him into the tray.  It took about 4 days and he would wait until he was in the tray to go.  Even when he was charging around the house, I would make sure he had seen the tray (always put in the same spot in the kitchen) and he would neatly jump into it, chew some grass and..voila!  Every now and then he wouldn’t realise that he had got a little bigger and his butt was hanging out of the tray and half would go in and half out but on the whole, he is now fully ‘house trained’ in that department.  Not so much with his little round poops but to be honest, they are always very dry, very inoffensive and can be very quickly swept up.  That will take a bit longer to get right I think.

As the Beloved keeps the chateau grounds Out and Aboutand gardens very neatly cut, I now find myself having to go further afield to find greens for Thumps but in order to find the right ones, I bought him a harness and lead and let him forage for himself in the fields and hedges.
After taking careful note of what he goes for, I can make sure I bring him what he would naturally eat and I often find myself head first in the hedgerows or crawling around in search of certain treats to bring home to him.

He is a ‘time wasterer’ (if there is such a word), the house is full of bits of grass, straw and little round deposits, I worry about him and at times I wonder how I got to this point but when I read that to raise a hare is notoriously difficult and few succeed and when I see him charging round the house or lying stretched out in my arms, my heart melts for this little life and I acknowledge how privileged I am to play a part in this gentle creatures world.

Till next time,
Bisous
M x

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Introductions

We have this….I can’t really call it a dog….let me explain….. For a short while, I was living on my own in Cape Town and decided that what I needed in my life at that particular point was a companion of the furry sort.  To cut a long story short, Tass (short for Tassenberg wine – cheap plonk much loved by my mother) came into my life.  She was one of seven Maltese Terrier pups that were abandoned, or rather ignored by there mom 5 weeks after they were born so Tass was very small and from an early age, didn’t realise she was a dog.  She took to my dressing gown – a soft fluffy affair from Woolworths and would drag it after her stopping every now and then to suck on it.  He love affair with the gown won and became her ‘doo-doo’ blanket and I had to buy another one.  When my Beloved came home, she took to his motorbike like a duck to water and was soon in the newspapers dressed in a leather jacket, visi-vest and ‘doggles’ which we found on-line. Tass knows when I’m sick, sad or worried.  Tass is there for you – but only on her terms…as soon as she’s checked in, she’s off again to sit on the back of the couch or in the sun and will do anything possible to look for ‘forest friends’.

When we lived in Brittany, we took care of an estate and our house was near a fairly large lake. One evening, we let Tass out for a bit and no matter how hard we tried, she wouldn’t come inside.  She just sat in the middle of the lawn, in the dark staring at us.  Nothing would get her inside which was unusual.  We went out with a torch to find her sitting next to a hedgehog, wagging her tail and periodically giving the poor thing a wet and loving lick.  She was ecstatic when we brought it inside to get a better look, washed the poor things face and attempted to involve it in a game.
Inside the lake were ragadons or ‘coypos’ and in Tass would go, swimming slowly in the green water to see if they would come out and play as well.  Even now, if a bird hits the window and stuns itself, Tass is there with a gentle lick and will sit next to it until we come with sugar water (She could also kill all of these by breathing on them as her breath is not the freshest!)

tass and thumpsSo, with that background, you’ll understand why Tass isn’t really a dog.  To us, she’s – how can I put this the best way – to us…well she’s just a Tass.
When Tass saw Thumper, she behaved in true Tass fashion.  A wag of the tail, a giant wet slobbery lick, a thorough sniff and then a thorough bath.  And Thumper took to Tass and immediately wanted to snuggle in.  There Tass drew the line. She darted away, went down on her front paws, bum in the air, tail wagging furiously, demanding this tiny little hare to come and play.

Ted on the other hand – Ted we can’t trust and we have to wait till he’s asleep before we let Thumps out for a run around the house.  I’m sure it will come right, but for now we can’t take the chance.

During the first week of having Thumper, it could only drink milk but after a week or so, we introduced it to dandelion leaves and some grass.  One afternoon, I took it to a patch of wild hedge and let it choose while trying to note carefully what were the favourites.  We were both learning from each other really and I was rewarded by the fact that when a bird flew overhead, it ran and hid in my lap.  Thumps was beginning to trust us.

The Dear One, after much hoo-haa-ing, decided to take the bull by the horns, brave the Internet (you never know what you’ll come up with ) and check if Thumps was a boy or a girl (sounds strange but when they’re that little, it’s actually quite difficult to ‘see’).
At this stage, we think Thumps is a little girl and to be honest, she acts like a little girl.
She loves love, loves cuddles and will reach up on her really long back legs to get a kiss on her head.  She seemed to learn from very small that the milk came out of a syringe and tdinner timehat I was usually the one who was in charge of that.  She would run up to me, lift herself
up and scratch on my dressing gown.  As soon as I bent down and held out cupped hand, she would pop herself in and wait for the lift to the kitchen counter where warm milk would be waiting.  Five or six syringes later,she would dig in the open V of my gown or jersey, crawl inside, wash her hands and face and snuggle in for a nap.  She’s actually like no other pet rabbit I’ve ever owned and doesn’t seem to realise that she should be a non-domesticated wild hare.

Every day, we pop her into the scales to see how she’s doing and steadily her thin little body started to plump out.  Soon she was weighing 200 grams and we had passed the two week period where she would either make it or not.

What a relief!

Bisous
M x

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Hare-raising

I had finished the endless rounds of cleaning up mud and grass that, no matter what I do, ends up throughout the cottage and was sitting on the couch catching up on e-mails (and getting side-tracked by wonderful card making dies and stamps on the net) when the Dear One walked in boots and all..oh well….
Now one thing I have to explain to you is that my Beloved is a true Country Boy at heart but, after years of the rat-race and city life, has only just discovered just how ‘country’ he is.  Together, we have discovered just how beautiful the countryside of France is, how much it has to offer and how slowly it tangles it’s serenity into your soul, allowing your mind to find tranquility and peace.

In he walks, and announces he has brought me a present. No, not a bunch of field daisies or the first daffodil of Spring but like and excited boy pulling a frog out of his pocket, with the flourish of a magician, he pulled out this tiny baby ‘rabbit’ and plopped into my lap.

What on earth? He explained that he was driving the big tractor through the fields on the far end of the property and was pulling the cutting plateau at the back trying to get some sort of control on the brambles and nettles that were growing in wild abandon all over the place.  As he passed, he saw this little bunny hopping aimlessly around in every direction.  He left it (as leaving your footprints on nature as small as possible is a good motto) but on his return, it was still there, out in the open, hopping first in one direction and then another.  My Beloved has a marshmallow center when it comes to animals in distress so he got off the tractor and walked up to it.   He could see it was very young and very thin and it didn’t run away when he scooped to pick it up.

Given the unique grand name of Thumper from the start, weighing inwe weighed it and the breathing, living ‘scrap-of-nothing’ weighed just 120 grams.  We’ve looked after bunnies before when we found them and their dead mom bit they were quite big, already eating grass and we didn’t keep them long before releasing them into the woodpile.  I thought Thumper looked a little ‘different’ and was pretty much convinced that it was a hare and not a rabbit.  This created a few problems because rabbits are born in a burrow, blind, hairless and helpless.  When they venture out of the burrow, they’re dependent.

But a hare is different.  A mom Hare will have one baby in a hollow dent that she makes in the sand.  Quite a way away, she’ll have another one and may have three or four in quite a large area.  The babies are born with hair that is speckled black, brown and beige like the surrounding grasslands and they know from the beginning to keep really still during the day and wait for mom to come and suckle them, one by one at night. We’ll never know why this little one was out and about.  Perhaps it got a fright on hearing the tractor, left the safety of it’s shallow bed and got lost.  From it’s size and still crinkly ears, we gathered it was no more than one or two days old and when we presented it with fresh young dandelion leaves, we realized then that it was too young to eat greens.

Hastily searching the Net yielded the recipe of watered down milk in syringe. Et Voila! Or baby drank its first meal. After having told the Owner of the Chateau about our new addition (he was due to visit that weekend) he came back to us via email to say he had been in contact with an expert on all things hare and rabbit and was advised not to feed the little thing cows milk as they are lactose intolerant.  Greatcropped-baby-thumper.jpg!  Thumper seemed to be thriving on it but, he said, it will seem all is well but it will die suddenly after a week or so.
The alternative?  Kittens milk (yeh right!) or Goat’s Milk.  That we could do so off to the local supermarket and armed with said milk, we continued the hourly feeds.  Thumper started to put on weight.  Yay!

Bisous
M

 

 

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‘Hare’-ey History

My husband and I are from South Africa and we’ve been living in France for four years now, a year in Brittany and then, just in the right time, we got a job as Estate Managers and Guardians of a Chateau in Normandy with 55 hectares (about 110 acres) of gardens, orchards and forests.(Our journey here can be read on https://footpathtofrance.wordpress.com/)

There is a lot to do here, tourists hire the chateau, farmhouse and grounds in the summer for a week at a time.  If the Chateau is hired, it sleeps 18, the Farmhouse sleeps 10 and then there is the Pool House which can act as a function room as well as games room and has two bathrooms and a separate kitchen.  There is a loft which houses my Holistic Aromatherapy Massage and Reflexology room and a lounge.  My husband and I are often called upon to provide meals for all that stay here – a Continental french breakfast, country family dinners or a beautifully plated evening meal for special occasions.Chateau

We have a Character-French Gardener who comes 4 and half days a week in true French-I-Will-Only-Work-35-Hours-a-Week Style and the rest of the time, it’s just the two of us and our two dogs from SA, Tass and Ted.

It’s a wonderful life if you’re a Country Bumpkin (and fortunately we both are) and for me, the Spring, which is absolutely breathtaking, comes at just the right time – just before my soul finds the grey skies of winter – beautiful as it can be – a little much.

We’ve had a few critters and creatures that have come into our lives for a bit of T.L.C before leaving again.  Birds that hit the window need a bit of sugar-water mixed with a tiny spot of brandy, salamanders that fall like bright red and black or yellow and black rubbery jewels into the swimming pool, stray flocks of sheep that wonder aimlessly through a hole in the fence and into the Chateau Gardens, a mother bird that insists on making a nest in the postbox every year needs a sign of privacy put in French telling ‘Madame Poste’ to please put the post and parcels in the black bin provided and not into the post box, an Tawney Owl that flew into the Farmhouse through and open window and needed help getting out, bats behind the Chateau shutters that needed relocating, a blind cat and then of course the rescue a swarm of bees that flew into the chateau, lost and confused by the strange number of Queens that swarmed with them. They needed to be gathered together and placed safely into a new wooden hive hastily bought from the local ‘Agricol’ shop (and a quick panicked lesson from YouTube on exactly how we go about doing it!)

And then Thumper the Hare entered our lives….a ‘Hare-raising’ baptism of how to take care of a tiny, weak 1 or 2 day old baby European hare that just managed to miss the blades of the tractor while my husband was cutting the fields (from now on my husband will be referred to as ‘The Dear One’, ‘The Beloved’ or, on occasion, ‘The-Not-So-Dear-One’)….

But more about that incident next time.

Bisous
M

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There IS a Reason – Take Two! (I pressed publish by mistake!)

So as I was saying – I’ so sorry about the previous half-story – I meant to click ‘save’ and pressed ‘publish’ ….mmm…just proves the ‘little grey cell story’ I was telling you about…

So to start over…

I looked back to my last post and discovered it was in January!  And to make matters worse – it started off with ‘I feel bad, so very very bad…’  so I can’t very well start this one off in the same way now can I?  BUT…it doesn’t stop me feeling that way and I really am sorry…I hope you are still with me and haven’t wandered off down another way more interesting footpath, and to be honest, I wouldn’t blame you if you did!

There IS a reason though – so bear with me while I explain….In  January (when I last blogged), I had an epiphany!  I felt I needed to learn something new, to expand the brain and, to quote a famous French Detective – Monsieur Hercule Poirot – ‘get the little grey cells working’.  I figured that if I did that, I would learn to ‘be out there’ a bit more (I’m not a l limelight person and the Dear One has been known to tell me I ‘lurk’ in the background – not sure that I like the work ‘lurk’, but I guess it’s better than ‘skulk’…) and perhaps meet a few people who needed my help, or better yet, learn a bit more french.  So – to cut a looong story short, I am now a Qualified Holistic Massage Therapist, Hot Stone Therapist, Aromatherapist, Reflexologist and Certificates in Ayurveda Indian Head Massage and the  ‘piece de resistance’  – non-invasive face-lift massage therapy, which is pretty cool with incredible results.  Now I tell you all this, not to brag, but to try and give you an insight into how many hours of ‘practical’ work this all needed and how problematic it can become when you have no idea what it all is in the French Language.  I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish – I met lots of new people who had to be ‘case studies’ as I kneaded, massaged, stretched, pushed and pressed my way to passing each exam.  I improved my French, even if some of the new words were mild expletives and I worked the grey cells so vigorously I nearly burnt them out.

Now is the above not a reason?  Let me add to it then…if that wasn’t enough, visitors to the Chateau seemed to want more and more creative dinners and deserts.  I thought I’d better expand the patisserie horizon (and in doing so, not expand my waistline)

That was where I left off so let me continue…
So I bought two ‘Be a patisserie Chef at home’ type books and got to work and it has been such fun!  From layered mouse desserts to madelines, raspberry mille feuille with white choccie ganache and choucettes – all these wonderful french delights have exited my tiny kitchen – a 2 meter x 50 cm surface, a 50×50 cm fan oven and a kitchen table.  My electric beater has never worked so hard and at times slows down as it wades through batter, butter and Italian meringue but together we make it to the end of the day without too many mishaps.

So between cooking up a storm for up to thirty guests at the chateau, massaging them and organising the linen and laundry, life has been a bit busy – hence the REASON for not blogging.  But it’s good to be back here again, hoping you’re still on the other side, and hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later.

In between all of that, my two nieces spent 6 weeks here so there was sight seeing to be done, Paris to visit a few times and a very welcome 5 day break down in the Dordogne area, a favourite place of mine – and we went in the middle of a heatwave not experienced in the last 12 years so we boiled and melted around the sites.

The good news is that I can finally and unconsciously understand conversations between two french people who are standing behind me in the supermarket queue or if they greet and chat to each other within ear shot.  It’s still a bit fast but the overall meaning is clearer now which then means it’s much easier to make phone calls and explain stuff.  It’s a very subtle progress but its there and thanks to that small step, I don’t feel quite so ‘alien’.  That. together with the fact that we’re often at the Friday morning market with guests, has led to a good portion of the store holders at the market yelling out ‘Bonjour’ when they see me. or they call me over to chat about something new they’ve grown or have on their stall or ask how we are.  It makes France feel a little more like ‘home’.

So – next week is a very busy one and after that, I’ll try my best to get back here.  I have lots to tell you, a few deaths happened around the chateau grounds, new life was discovered in the lavender bushes and more ‘thank you’ macarons had to be delivered to neighbours.  The dear one is still busy and decided to try his hand at making four of the bushes around the fountain into giant topiary ice-creams before mentioning it to the owner…oh and after 9 years.., the Beloved got the fountain working.  But that’s all for  next time, I can smell that the guests dinner needs some attention so I will end off here.

Take care, thank you for your patience, tell me your news
A la prochian (genuinely)
M
x

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there IS a reason!!!!

I looked back to my last post and discovered it was in January!  And to make matters worse – it started off with ‘I feel bad, so very very bad…’  so I can’t very well start this one off in the same way now can I?  BUT…it doesn’t stop me feeling that way and I really am sorry…I hope you are still with me and haven’t wandered off down another way more interesting footpath, and to be honest, I wouldn’t blame you if you did!

There IS a reason though – so bear with me while I explain….In  January (when I last blogged), I had an epiphany!  I felt I needed to learn something new, to expand the brain and, to quote a famous French Detective – Monsieur Hercule Poirot – ‘get the little grey cells working’.  I figured that if I did that, I would learn to ‘be out there’ a bit more (I’m not a l limelight person and the Dear One has been known to tell me I ‘lurk’ in the background – not sure that I like the work ‘lurk’, but I guess it’s better than ‘skulk’…) and perhaps meet a few people who needed my help, or better yet, learn a bit more french.  So – to cut a looong story short, I am not a Qualified Holistic Massage Therapist, Hot Stone Therapist, Aromatherapist, Reflexologist and Certificates in Ayurveda Indian Head Massage and the  ‘piece de resistance’  – non-invasive face-lift massage therapy, which is pretty cool with incredible results.  Now I tell you all this, not to brag, but to try and give you an insight into how many hours of ‘practical’ work this all needed and how problematic it can become when you have no idea what it all is in the French Language.  I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish – I met lots of new people who had to be ‘case studies’ as I kneaded, massaged, stretched, pushed and pressed my way to passing each exam.  I improved my French, even if some of the new words were mild expletives and I worked the grey cells so vigorously I nearly burnt them out.

Now is the above not a reason?  Let me add to it then…if that wasn’t enough, visitors to the Chateau seemed to want more and more creative dinners and deserts.  I thought I’d better expand the patisserie horizon (and in doing so, not expand my waistline)

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Guilt, Lentils and the world…

I feel SO bad…so very very bad…. It seems so long that I’ve posted on the blog that I have to find my way around WordPress all over again!  Shocking..and I truly am sorry.

BUT, in my defense, since I last blogged I seem to have managed to do some extremely strange (and wonderful) things.  I’ve teetered on a stepladder trying to reach a corner of the wall to paint it and too lazy to get off the stepladder and move it (I’m not good on stepladders so once up up, I’m pretty much glued there) and in stretching too far, managed to stretch my shoulder half out of it’s socket.  People, don’t do this!  It is extremely painful, not to mention stupid.  I have braved my fear of being lost like Air Malaysia or plummet like Air Asia and I went home to Cape Town where I got myself lost in a very dodgy township, ended up bright red, slightly hysterical with hair standing bolt upright at the appointment and feeling more than a complete idiot.  I have dragged my suitcase, and I mean literally dragged it because unknown to me, the wheels and bent inwards and weren’t even touching the ground, around the airport wondering why it was getting  heavier and heavier.  I’ve helped the Not-So-Beloved push a huge and heavy car – which is actually a 4×4 but in Normandy mud it became a 1×2 – out of the mud..not once, but twice and managed to pull the muscles in my back and in that state, went off to Austria to teeter down the ski slopes until I found my ski legs.

In between all of that, while in South Africa, I went to have ‘lentilles’ fitted.  Lentils you say…no Lentilles!  French for contact lenses.  Since then, having found them on my collar, searched for them in the bathroom basin and had them pop out in the middle of Woolies while clothes shopping I can see why they would call them that, they do resemble a lentil.  Now this may sound odd but I have always found that wearing sunglasses makes me feel a little ‘out-of-touch’ and almost deaf.  It’s very weird and it takes a while to adjust to the fact that I have some form of blinkers on.  So what, I thought, would my new lentilles feel like?  I felt for a bit, as if I was underwater.  They didn’t scratch, they didn’t hurt but they did make me feel a little vague.  Is this normal??  So vague in fact that when I was sitting in the airport in Cape Town to fly back to Paris, even though I was there two hours before, I managed to get to the gates about 5 minutes after they had closed.  Not only had my lentilles reduced me to a bewildered and blurry person, but my watch had stopped as well.  When I finally got through the gates and headed for the airplane door, my knickers were in a total state and I was beginning to feel slightly sick with nerves.  I arrived, once again, red in the face with my hair standing straight up, but this time, clutching my stomach to try and soothe away the feeling of loosing my casually eaten sandwich of just moments before.  It didn’t end there.  On seeing me in this state, the air hostess (who wasn’t particularly charmed with me) proceeded to ask me whether I had a fever and had I come into contact with Ebola!!  I crawled into my seat with the help of a very kind and sympathetic air host who handed me a glass of water and told me not to worry, they were still waiting for two other late passengers….. I wondered if they’d just got lentilles fitted too.

And then a few weeks after that, we left for Kitzbuhel in Austria and our timing couldn’t have been better.  We flew three days after the Charlie shootings and ‘je suis scared’ let alone ‘je suis Charlie’ but all was ok – there were lots of police milling about in Charles du Gaul but everything else was quiet.

I encouraged the Dear One to at least try to ski once.  So many people never get the chance and it’s good for the brain to try something new.  This would be my fifth time on the slopes but I still prefer the more gentle ones so being on the baby slope again until I got my ‘ski legs’ suited me just fine.  I still remember my first time skiing, after leaving the baby slopes we went to the top  and together with fellow wobbly learners we made our first run down a ‘proper’ ski slope…only when I reached the bottom, I found that the usual learners snow plow that you do in order to stop wan’t working for me very well and stopping was becoming a distant happening.  The restaurant building was looming ever closer, the ski’s had a mind of their own, the four steps leading up to the restaurant were covered in snow making a slight uphill slope.  There was only one thing left to do.  I yelled at two very startled gentlemen as they came out of the restaurant
“Open the doooooooorrrs………………..!”
With a look of horror at seeing this apparition with a giant pompom garnished hat descending at full tilt toward them open them they did and I sailed into the restaurant, slowing down as I reached the carpet and coming to a stop at the counter serving hot goulash.   I took off my skis and ordered..with some hot wine to go with it.  One needs something to calm the nerves you know.

But the Beloved did really well.  After telling me to let him ‘get on with it’ and watching him fall about 40 times while I tried to look the other way and not be too concerned, we exchanged a few ideas and I slipped a few technique tips and voila!  He was down the slopes looking great. The two year olds and up waited patiently  behind him at times but altogether, it was a great day and it’s lovely thing to be able to say ‘hey I tried!’.

Winter hasn’t been very quiet.. we may not have any visitors at the Chateau but painting, maintenance and general things to do still carry on and the days seem to fly past.  The owner of the Chateau wanted the wooden teak floor in the small study sanded down to it’s original and then sealed.  The job settled on me.  I got out the belt sander (waaay more vicious than a normal sander) loading it with paper and fired it up.  When sander met floor it shot across the room dragging me with it and getting my tea shirt stuck underneath it.  In a crumpled heap in the corner of the room, me, my tea shirt and the sander unwound ourselves from each other and started again.  Two hours later and a strip of about 50 cm completed (this was going to take a few days) I decided to call it a day.  I looked like a vertical desert.  Dry, dusty and an odd shade of pinky brown.  I rolled my clothes up ready for the next day – pointless washing them until it was all over.  After four days, my clothes embedded with dust, I surveyed the room with pride, trying not to notice the brown blue walls and non-existent light fittings.  I was just res chuffed to have finished at it looks great.

On a last note, making macarons is do-able in a Normandy winter.  The fussy little things that don’t like humidity, warm air, cold air being mixed too much, being mixed to little etc came out perfectly when I had to make a batch as a thank you to the farmer next door who eventually answered my 2 kilometer march to his door, my badly grammar-ed french asking for him to please bring the tractor to get the car out of the mud and his good humour at being interrupted whilst eating his lunch.

So – I will try my very best to write again soon, I’m currently completing courses in Indian Head massage, Indian Face massage and Aroma therapy massage and I have to practice on a few unsuspecting locals before I write the final exams..could be interesting…..

I hope you’re all ok, I hope you’re still ‘with me’ on the journey and haven’t moved on to more interesting and more conscientious bloggers….
Take care of yourselves and each other
A la prochaine
M
x

Now

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