Sunday, 1 October 2023

Harvest process

The fig tree has produced prolifically this year, so a fig pie is in order.   Fig slices on an almod paste base.   What's not to like?

And if there's nowhere to store the squash other than a kitchen shelf, might as make an artwork out of it.

Friday, 29 September 2023

My WISE bank account

Well, this is interesting

My WISE bank account providers have asked me to prove my identity within a month. Fair enough; after all, we do have to confine money laundering to the élite, don't we? After uploading my ID three times using my phone, and crashing out at the photo stage (I must have tried 10 times to upload an acceptable photo), I tried using the PC webcam instead. The site told me at the time that this had worked, but today it tells me that, in fact, it didn't really. Perhaps it was just having a little joke. It told me that I have to try again and succeed within two days or they'll send me my money back.

Well, there ain't no-one going to give me a one month deadline and then change it to 2 days when I try to comply. I'm not doing anything more until I hear from them about how they're going to solve this problem; we'll see what happens. As an alternative, I could easily scan the necessary documents and mail them, and they can get a human to verify that I really do look like an older version of my ID photo.

This is a service industry?

I have communicated my thoughts to Wise via their website. I will keep you updated.

Update:  29/09  19h24   Email from Wise:  "The photos are too blurry."   Response: Yes I know but I have tried enough times, so tell me where to send scanned documents and a selfie (by email)

Also email from Wise "We have detected unusual activity on your account and logged you out of all devices"  Response:   Probably fair enough, I don't usually make 3 separate attempts to upload a carte d'identité and crash out on attempting to upload a selfie.  No email sent in response.

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

Winter squash

The hot dry spell has ended, and it's raining.   I have mature winter squash in the garden, and they risk splitting if the plant absorbs too much water, so I have to harvest them, at least the ripe ones.

I had quite given up on the possibility of getting any Butternut squash this year.   I thought that the mice had eaten all of the seeds I had planted.   But I stumbled across this enormous one today, and a couple more not yet ripe.   The orange Kuri squash plants are always very vigorous and productive, and I have left several more fruits in the garden to ripen.   The green and yellow striped ones are called "Honeyboat" and are quite sweet to eat.

I also have ripening some Musqé de Provence squash.   I never quite know how to look after those.  I have two enormous fruits ripening, (14 inches diameter) and some smaller unripe ones growing.   I find that the ripening fruits can wither and die, even when they are 6 inches across or bigger.  I am hoping that the big fruits have gone past that stage.

Monday, 11 September 2023

La fête du four

We have a communal bread oven in the village.   It used to be used by all the villagers for baking bread, but now, even if the people wanted to bake their own bread, everyone has their own oven, so it has fallen into disuse.

But it still works, and it offers a good excuse for a shindig, and once a year it is fired up and is the focal point of a bring-and-share party for the locals.   People bring their domestic speciality dishes, wine, pizzas, wine, potatoes, wine, salads, wine, fruit and wine in an extravaganza of bonhomie and gourmandise.

I didn't realise, but there is no fire in the oven while it is doing the actual cooking.   It is heated by burning wood inside it, starting the day before, and on the day itself the burning wood is shuffled around the interior to heat it all evenly.   The burning wood and embers are then scraped out, and the cooking is done using the heat retained by the brick walls.  You can see the smoke coming out of the chmney from the fire the day before the fête.

To add to the fun, some coloured lights were hung up over the eating area, and since we were in the middle of a heat wave, all the tables and chairs were outside under the sky.   

Saturday, 9 September 2023

I could give a fig

I'm proud of my fig tree.  After many attempts and failures, I got a cutting to root, kept it indoors for its first Winter, then planted it out by a wall in a sheltered place.   It has given a few figs before, but this year promises a bumper crop.

We have a "bring and share" meal in the village this evening, (more on this later) and these figs will be offered as a dessert for some lucky people.

Wednesday, 23 August 2023

Special offer

I got a seed/plant catalogue in the post today.   It features, amongst other things, a variety of onions.   As you can see from this page, you can buy a package of 250 grams each of red, white and brown onion sets for just under €15.   Or, for €20, you can get twice as much of each, exactly the same, if you buy them individually.

To be fair, they're not describing it as a special offer.   But I reckon it's pretty special, myself.

Fairy tales

I bought this book for next to nothing (troi fois rien) at a car boot sale recently.   I like books that have proper illustrations, and this one features reproductions of artwork that was published in different story books in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

I was reading the Cinderella story, it is well told in the book.  In english, Cinderella loses a slipper made of glass, a material not well suited for this purpose, it has always seemed to me.   In the french book, the slippers are described as being made of vair, which is pronounced the same as verre (glass) but is what was probably a highly luxurious leather made from squiirrel fur.   Makes sense.

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