Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Red, White and Rosé

Back in February Roger went for a boys wine tasting session, just up the road from here and got to sample all that was on offer, choosing one of each colour to be ready in April. The wine was delivered in 10ltr boxes and needed to be bottled, something we’d never done before much to the surprise of Denis. Our potato hero came to the rescue again as he had the corking gadget and knowhow and made the corking look so easy. I couldn’t even pull the handle down, never mind hold the bottle at the same time, I needed both hands to get it to work. One unusual thing, the labels were soaked in milk before being stuck on the bottles, not sure why so something I need to find out more about. We bought enough for 19 bottles plus a couple of glasses leftover and all the wines are delicious, but the white is my favourite and I’m not a big white drinker. I don’t think the 6 bottles we have are going to last very long.

Wine 1

Getting ready.

Wine 3

Filling the bottles.

Wine 2

Corking.

Wine 4

Wetting the labels in milk.

Wine 5

Ready for the cave.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Triffid Spuds

We’ve been keeping some potatoes back, ready for planting in our neighbours field, but the weather hasn’t been kind this April and this has caused delays. It’s not easy to plant in a soggy field. We had been hoping to get them in before our trip back to the UK for my sisters wedding but it wasn’t to be. Then on our return, because conditions were good, the spuds had gone in. Aghh, what were we going to do with 11 kilos of spuds that were turning into triffids?? We had no room in our veg patch as it’s already full of Charlottes and we didn’t fancy making it bigger, but then our lovely neighbour Denis came to the rescue with his tractor and potato planting gadget. What a hero. Also thanks to Lucie and Camille for their help.

Spuds 1
Spuds 2
Spuds 3
Spuds 5

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Wedding No 2 - Sheryl and Brian

My sister Sheryl looked absolutely stunning, and our new brother-in-law Brian looked very dapper too in his kilt. I was reliably informed that the kilt along with the long socks was very warm until there is a bit of chilly breeze. Now they know how us girls feel. Their wedding was held in the beautiful house and grounds of Lainston House near Winchester which dates from the 17th century and thankfully after the downpours of the previous day the rain held off, even though the sun decided not to make an entrance. Something new to me at a wedding were the rings being brought to the best man by an owl called Eric. Totally unexpected, this brought a gasp from the assembled guests with his wingspan skimming the tops of our heads. Have a fantastic honeymoon Mr and Mrs T xx

Mr and Mrs T 1

Scottish tablet, our wedding favours.

Mr and Mrs T 2

The new Mr and Mrs Thomson with myself and sister Natalie.

Mr and Mrs T 3

The confetti throwing which finds it’s way into every crevice.

Mr and Mrs T 4

Our nephew Danny not looking to sure about Eric.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Beautiful Day

We’ve had typical April weather here, sunshine, rain and even the odd thunder storm, but yesterday we had blue skies and 20 degrees, perfect. Here is a photo looking through the blossom on our cherry tree.

Cherry Tree

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Get em In …

…said our neighbours before it rains, so we did. What did we have to get in?, our potatoes. These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago and we timed it just right because by the evening it was pouring. Roger dug the furrows and I popped them in. Last year we put our new potatoes in our neighbours field, but we’ve put them in our garden this year so we can eat them over the summer. We still hope to go potato planting with our neighbours in the next couple of weeks, but the ground is still to wet for ploughing. The veg patch is starting to fill up, we’ve planted strawberries, garlic, carrots, radish, onions and rocket so far. Because we’ve had some chilly evenings, sprouting in the greenhouse has been slow, but some of the seeds are starting to come through and we hope to get them in over the next couple of weeks.

Spuds 1
Spuds 2

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Bees Bum

Bee

That’s what stopped our boiler working on Friday. This large bee had got in through the outside vent, got stuck on a wire which stopped the photo cell from working. The photo cell detects whether there is a flame and because the bee's bum was in the way, it couldn't detect it and switched itself off. You don’t realise how much you take hot water on tap for granted, when it isn’t there. Our usual plumber plus the backup couldn’t come and see us for a month, but another was recommended, so we left a message and kept our fingers crossed. We really didn’t fancy washing ourselves with a kettle or two of water for another month, it’s not fun. In the meantime we asked our lovely neighbour if they could recommend anyone just in case plumber No 3 couldn’t make it , and when we mentioned our problem they said we were welcome to use their shower. I jumped at the chance of a lovely hot shower. What a lovely gesture and very much appreciated. Thankfully all was fixed today, never ever thinking that a bee’s bum could cause a boiler to pack up.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

What we spent in March

ParsnipsOur spending for March in France went very well, just 84.50€/£67.60 for the whole month but our recent visit to England bumped that right up. We’d only popped into Tesco, Aldi and a couple of other stores for a few bits we can’t get here or are cheaper and spent just under 125€/£100. We didn’t plan on spending that much but a large gammon, lamb shanks, Shreddies, Weetabix, custard, a couple of lumps of cheddar, some hot cross buns and other essentials or is that treats, seemed to find their way into the trolley. But the things we bought will last us for a while and on our next trip we will try to be more restrained.

The parsnips above are the last from the veg patch and needed to be harvested before we could rotavate. These giants are all over 30cm long, apart from the one that’s lost it’s bottom, even though you can’t tell that in the photo. Today I diced them along with our last potimarron and made soup, roasted them with our chicken and blanched some for the freezer. Just half a potimarron to use up so any suggestions apart from soup or roasting would be welcome.