Thursday, 12 November 2009

Nothing Much Happened Today

When I was a lad, I got given a diary for Christmas. Not my favourite present, and I even think this happened more than once. I was encouraged to "keep a diary" and to "write something in it every day". I started dutifully on Jan 1st, and vowed to keep it up. Things get difficult of course when you're back at school, since, as we all know, nothing happens at school:

- "What did you do at school today?"
- "Nothing."

After a few weeks I was struggling, but managed to write something every day. So I never really understood why my Dad wet himself laughing when he observed my entry for the day (probably some time in February) "Nothing much happened today".

So today being an ordinary day, nothing much happened. I woke, did my flute scales, the went with the wife into the village to pick up our laundered bed linens (for the gîte) from the village hall where they get delivered by the laundry, except they weren't there. She sent them an email.

Then I went down the the bar-restaurant down the road for a morning coffee with Marie, who doesn't charge me, and to try to find Jean-Claude so that I can invite him and his wife to dinner. I have been trying to phone Jean-Claude for a couple of days and he hasn't been answering his phone, but I have seen his car about.

Marie doesn't know where Jean-Claude is, but Karine in the tourist office tells me he's somewhere along the river clearing the banks. So I go in search, chatting to a couple of fishermen on the way who are fishing, I think, for Perch:
- Catch anything?
- Nope
- What you fishing for?
- Perch
- Are there many in this river?
- Dunno
- We'll find out

I find Jean-Claude upstream, he is with a co-worker, cutting brushwood, and has a big trailer-load of it ready to burn. Brushwood is ideal for shredding; I use the shreddings to cover my flower beds to keep the weeds down, and I persuade him to deliver this and subsequent loads to my car park, to save him having to burn it.

We decide Thursday evening for dinner, but he has to check with his wife first.

We discover that when I phoned him, his phone rang but didn't connect, so I make a mental note to do a test to see if it's his phone or mine has the problem. Back home a simple trial reveals that it must be his phone with the problem, so I must remember to tell him.

In the afternoon, I dig up my gladioli. They're not frost-hardy so the Winter is likely to kill them if I don't find somewhere cool, dry and frost-free to store them.

I am sure that every year I have fewer and fewer Glads. Apart from the obvious conclusion that some die, I have no idea why.

Canna Lillies are also supposed to be killed by frost, but since I have had almost no success keeping them alive in storage overwinter, I have decided, by contrast, to try to overwinter these plants in the ground this year. I will cover them with a thick insulating layer of the wood shreddings I make from the brushwood pile, and see if they have any better luck getting through the Winter this way. It can't be worse than trying to store them.

And oh yes, the chimney sweep came. You're in trouble in France if your house burns down and you haven't had the chimney swept for more than a year. You're probably in a spot of bother anyway, but without the certificate from the sweep, your insurance company will add to your woes, and claim the French equivalent of "contributory negligence", contesting your claim.

So not much happened really. What shall I do this evening?


@eloh said...

That is surly not nothing.

Actually sounds quite fun. Do you have your own shredder? I love your furnace (thanks for all the pictures way back).

If you can find something that will cause a bit of composting to put on top the lillies, it should generate enough heat to keep them going.

It will be interesting thi spring to see if anything comes up.

Jonathan said...

Your busy days must be exhausting. I like the sound of this pace though.

Cogitator said...

Hi Eloh, yes, I do have a shredder, there is picture of it in the very first post to this blog.

Of course - a bit of composting will generate that little bit of heat to keep the frost away - especially if it is under a thick blanket of chippings. I will raid the compost heap.

I'll keep you posted in Spring as to what comes up, though I fear I might have to post a picture of nothing other than a little patch of dirt.

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