Wednesday, April 23, 2008

spring clean

We've been waiting for weeks for France Telecom to come and move the phone lines that pass over the roof of the mill and for the crane man to come and negotiate the sale of a crane - and they both arrived yesterday. BB can't take the old roof off before the lines are re-routed and we've decided to buy a crane to make his job a bit easier (the ridge height of the roof is 10.8 metres). We now have some nice new wooden telephone poles (which means that we can get rid of the concrete monstrosity that they've replaced) and we have a crane arriving in four weeks' time.

We spent all afternoon clearing out one room in the mill before demolition begins (the whole building is going to be demolished apart from the exterior stone walls) - plastic plant pots, broken crockery, bags of redundant work clothes, books, an old kitchen sink etc - most of which went straight into the van to be taken to the tip/charity shop today. BB then left to go to the écurie (where Mini-B milks his cows) for a pastis and when he came back, the van was empty, Mini-B having claimed all our junk.

He turned up this morning on his tractor (wearing my old Aquascutum mac!) to turn over my potager (kitchen garden) at the same time as a neighbour arrived to discuss a land swap. The current potager is on another piece of land we own about 200 metres away and the only way to get water up to it is by filling a 1000 litre plastic bidon (to which BB welded the rear axle of a car and a tow bar) from the river and towing it up there - which isn't ideal. We want to swap it for a neglected walled garden just opposite the house through which runs a stream. Our neighbour has agreed so now we have to formalise the deal with the notaire. The only disadvantage is that we'll lose our mature fruit trees from which we made our own cider and griottes - cherries preserved in sweetened gnole.

So, it's all happening.

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