Sunday, 10 November 2019

Cold chillis

I planted some chilli pepper seeds last Springtime, I got two plants that I grew to maturity outside in the veg patch.  Both plants produced some fruit; chilli peppers shaped a bit like lanterns, and yellow when ripe.

I learnt something new; when the fruits were green, they weren't hot, and tasted more like sweet bell peppers than anything else.  The Winter frosts are here, so I have picked all of the unripe fruits and I am hoping that they will mature off the plant.  They are certainly turning yellow; I will have to test to see if they get spicy hot as well.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Pizza delivered or not

I note this, because it's the first of its kind that I have seen in France, or anywhere.   A pizza vending machine, installed on the outskirts of Evron, beside the main road.  It's promising hot pizza with just 3 minutes' wait, or frozen pizza in 30 seconds if you want to heat it yourself.   I wonder if it will be a success.  Staff costs should be low, at least.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Head case

We bought a Rowenta battery-powered vacuum cleaner a while back.  We've been happy with it, but it developed a fault: the electric motor in the cleaning head worked only intermittently.  It took us a while to identify the problem, since we thought it was most likely to do with the contacts in the demountable tubes.

Surprise!  It was still under guarantee, so we took it back to the shop.  It'll be  6-8 weeks they told us, so in the mean time we reverted back to the mains-powered cleaner.   To fix the problem, they gave us a new motorised head; a newer model that's better than the old one - quieter but just as effective.  A good result.

One little black spot: we bought the cleaner in Leclerc in Laval, so it was to their after-sales desk that we took the faulty motor.  After the specified delay, we called them to ask where the cleaner was.  Turns out they'd had it for a while.  So why didn't they tell us?

 - There's no mobile number for you.
 - But there's a fixed line, and it has an answering machine
 - Oh, so there is.

Is gorm a word?  Whatever, it seems the staff were lacking in it.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Convivial weekend

A couple of outings this weekend.  Saturday night was the special, 30th anniversary dinner-dance organised by the Ste Suzanne Harmonie.  The dinner-dance happens every year, it's a fund-raiser for the group, and a good night out.  Many of the players participate in serving the food and drinks, but we decided to opt out and just pay for the meal.  The theme was Bavarian, and thus we saw about 650 French people pretending to be German.  In any case, it was good fun.

On sunday we went to the Euromayenne craft fair.  Euromayenne is an organisation set up to welcome people into the Mayenne, and also acts as a sort of anglophone ex-pats club.  The fair features local crafts people, who make exactly those sorts of things that make useful Christmas presents.  There is also a floor show, this year the themes were cabaret and magic.

We met this lovely lady of Irish origins, who was expertly spinning some wool.  The thread was fine and uniform, and she explained that she had carded the wool to make the task easier.  Apparently, once you have a couple of spindles full, then you can make a 2-ply using two source threads, spinning them in the other direction.  (The turned wooden bowl on the chair is what I bought at a second-hand stall that was in aid of an animal sanctuary.)

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Remy: Tweets resurface

It's not my habit just to repost other people's satire, but I couldn't let this one go.

Thursday, 17 October 2019


Self-seeded Cyclamen peeping out from between a couple of stones in the garden.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Borlotti beanz

I planted runner beans this year, and, as a trial, some Berlotti beans.  The runners didn't do anything much, but I got a decent harvest of Borlottis.   You can use them in cassoulet and other, Portugese or Spanish dishes that call for dry beans.

You can eat them fresh, keep them dry in jars (put Bay leaves in to stop bugs from eating them), or freeze them.  We have a cassoulet planned for this week, so I'll see how they taste.

I will plant more next year (assuming they taste OK).

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