Archive for January, 2021

Wood Burners.

January 27, 2021

Wood Burners.

Wood Burners are Good.

They keep these old stone built houses slightly above freezing in Winter and cooking on top of them is fun, especially when you think of all of the gas and electricity that you are saving.  Also very easy to kick start in the morning if you know what you are doing, which I now do.  Rake the ashes and Voila.

However, it is a bit like living in a warm Woodshed what with wood chipping and such all over the floor.  In fact it has crossed my mind recently that this might be easier since you wouldn’t have to cart piles of wood indoors every day and be forever sweeping up.

And then my mind turned to Ye Olde Dirt Floors.  Not such an awful idea, eh what.  The detritus gets walked into the dirt and vanishes and no muddy footprints or dog’s paws either.  Not sure about the dog shit, but who cares.  You likely wouldn’t notice.  What with the House Cow and the House Goat living under the stairs to The Seed Loft.  Just keep them chained to the wall, otherwise they might wander about a bit in the night.  Who needs a Cow giving you a kiss at O’Crack Sparrow Tweet.   The Hooks are still there.  I couldn’t bring myself to remove them.   And besides, I was a bit worried about the wall falling down.

Come Spring you contact The Dirt Floor Man who delivers a ton of earth.  No idea how much but I bet it was cheaper than having all those very expensive Floor Tiles laid.

Then you throw a Cheese and Wine Party for the neighbours who do a bit of Breton Dancing.  And how’s your father, you have got a new, clean dirt floor. All stamped down and ready to go. To be reciprocated all around the Village of course.  Resulting hangovers nothwithstanding.

Breton Dancing is something else.  Really hot foot stuff when you are young.  But it does involve a lot of hanging on to each others arms, which means that you don’t actually fall over no matter how pissed you get.
There are Dances for Chances and some of it is quite beautiful and tells a story.  The footwork alone is incredible.  I don’t know what it means, but I learned how to do it because it is lovely.  And it made me feel good.


January 18, 2021

Now here’s a Riveting Enterprise.

All you need is a Wood Burner, a Big Bin Liner, a Decent Pair of Loppers and similar Secateurs.  Not to forget a Rampant Wisteria, of course.  But you will have one of those already. Three weeks of lovely flowers and then nine months of unadulterated misery as it tries to strangle you every time you go anywhere near it.

First you save money on Firelighters which makes you feel useful.  And secondly it gives you some time out in the fresh air when you can’t think of anything better to do.  Usually in the middle of January when it’s really cold, although hopefully not pissing down again. Then you just chop it into Stove Sized Pieces and store it for next year.

But watch out.  Wisteria has tricks up it’s many sleeves.  Just as you are about to hack it to death it starts growing Flower Buds.  Now I don’t know about you but I couldn’t do it last year, which is why it is that bit more awful this year.

O’Connor, of course, thinks this is a wonderful game designed just for him as he grabs the really long bits and dives around the garden depositing them as far away as possible.  He gets loads of exercise and so do I as I try to retrieve them while he runs off with another bit behind my back.  But at least he isn’t digging up the garden at the moment.  Must remember to be thankful for small mercies as well.

One very big bag for now and probably another bag to come.  I am getting a break today because it is raining again.

Kindling has long been an industry in Brittany when for centuries old women like me used to scour the hedgerows for it.  Fortunately I don’t have to do that because it is all in my garden, so perhaps there is more to be said for Wisteria than first I thought.


January 12, 2021

I went shopping today for the first time in six months. Oh, what joy. And I never thought I would ever say that.

First I went to The Butchers in Melrand to spend my 20 Euro Voucher for not getting an Old Person’s Lunch this year. I bought half a leg of Lamb. It was expensive but fresh and unfrozen. And it wasn’t my money anyway, so no worries there. Some people around here grow a few Lambs but chuck them straight into The Family Freezer so no one else get’s a look in. This is not generally Sheep Country.

I was as ever treated with absolute charm and good manners. This still surprises me after thirty years. The Bretons are such kind people. And how lovely it was. That alone made my day.

Then I went to Carrefor clutching an 8 Euro Voucher off this week’s ordinary stuff. I am up 28 Euros by now. Also got two Bidons of Parrafin which were 8 Euros off the normal price. Up 44 Euros. Things were looking good. So I blew 12 Euros on reduced Smoked Trout. That saved another 6 Euros, if you can see where I am coming from. Plus a packet of Peppered Mackerel, although I can’t remember how much that was reduced to.

So let’s call quits on 50 Euros saved. I came home full of delirious delight. 2021 is looking up.

The Moon.

January 3, 2021

Well, here’s an uplift for you all. I am feeling great. Until the next time.

Full Moon passed over three or four days ago, although I always admire The Moon most when it is doing it’s worst to me. So my fascination must be genuine.

An awful lot of people are affected by this marvellous thing but don’t ever realise. A few down days and then everything is fine again. Me? I tend to pull the duvet over my head and sleep a lot. Or I eat Black Grapes. It depends on whether or not I see it coming. I don’t actually go looking for it, especially at this time of year when it is fucking freezing out there. In Summer I sit in my garden under it’s canopy and raise a large Gin.

If you should be so inflicted then it helps to know that it will pass. I would never want to be without such a glory.

The Year of Our Lord 2021

January 1, 2021

Xcuse me while I bog off to get a hot water bottle. I forgot that before I embarked on this debacle. It is bloody freezing here. 10 degrees in my kitchen despite the wood burner and a paraffin fire belching out God knows what to offend the environment. I don’t actually care.

My own particular offering to a New Year Bash has fallen into disaster. Everyone is ill so no one turned up. I am alone again, apart from Robin Dominic and he isn’t exactly what you might call fun. I can only hope that they haven’t all got Covid 19, or 20, or even 21. And certainly not Robin Dominic. I need him to deal with The Wisteria, which has gotten a bit out of hand. Largely due to leaving it a bit late last year when it produced so many buds of flowers to come and I couldn’t bear to cut them off.

Three weeks of glory and then nothing. Wisteria is a weed which coerces. Don’t grow it unless you want eleven months of utter boredom.

So No Hail to this New Year. Mayhap tomorrow.

But we do have a Complete Palindrome this year which I find interesting. Although I somewhat doubt anyone’s Calendar. But we can only work with what we have. Numbers are everything Mathematics are all. You can do anything you want to do if you understand the most basic of principles.

I have had a really good year. All is well in my house. I have gained a couple of good friends while still missing another, but then he was the beginning. And everything starts somewhere.

This is for Alice.