NEWSLETTER FROM LA BEHORAIS
SUMMER TO CHRISTMAS 2003
As happened the last couple of times, I am starting with an apology, for not keeping up with the diary/newsletter. I do not seem to have any time, also now I am settled in France it is not news anymore but normal occurrences. Plus on the email/internet side of things I have become well fed up with viruses that wipe you off the nets for a few weeks, pop up and Spam mail has also driven me like a lot of other people not to use it very much now. God strike wanadoo.fr but not a lot of choice over here.
I last left you at Easter. Doesn’t time whiz past you as you get old? The little bar I mentioned in Sovalance, a couple of km down the road, has become my weekly watering hole, normally for an hour Sunday lunchtime. What a good find that has been. Work on no. 1 went on and on and on and on, but then, as if by magic – bloody hard work really – at the end of August it was nigh as damn finished, which was a good job as I had Mr and Mrs Bentley with daughter Melissa and son in law coming to stay week one of September. Needless to say a good time was had by all with the Bentley bunch, no work done by yours truly, but copious quantities of mainly Vin Rouge drunk by all of us.
Even managed to get the Bentley@s on the golf course for a day, which as readers can imagine was a wonder to behold. I had played a couple of times earlier in the summer with some French friends and, although useless, enjoy it. After waving the Bentleys off with wet hankies all round, I moved me and Polly into no. 1, as I decided when I was completing the work it was too good to let so I am having it. It took a few more weeks to totally finish it off, I now live in a very nice house with loads of room for me and Madam, both a front and back door, plus internal door I can close and open just for the novelty factor. Yes, I am nearly back in the 20th century - only a dish washer to buy now.
It was a bloody hot summer, with temps of around 40 to 45oC. for week after week after week. Had a good plum, strawberry, grape and peach harvest - also the walnuts later were very good. Despite the very hot weather I have managed to keep myself in home grown vegetables and salad, now I know what grows well in the soil I will be self sufficient next year. The two sheep I kept had to be killed early as with the hot weather I ran out of pasture. These have pride of place in my freezer and taste “bloody marvellous” - it was a very worthwhile economic venture, so I am now self sufficient in meat. Next year could be the Gin and fag factory.
One very near casualty of the hot weather was Polly. She refused to come in the house no. 3 at the time and got infested by ticks despite being on front line treatment. She was very nearly a goner. When I moved us to no.1, the weather started to cool and I managed to coax her inside. By this time she had cat flu, but with some careful nursing she was starting to mend by early October when I had to return to England, but my French neighbours were understandably worried about looking after her for a few weeks.
I had to return to England as the tenants I had let my cottage to have decided not to pay the rent for the last 3 months. Having secured their removal via my Solicitor, I returned to find the cottage in what can only be described as shit order; it took me a week of cleaning to make it half presentable. If any of you Glemsford readers know the whereabouts of the scum tenants Martin Kelly (also uses the name Lynch) and Sally Cleave I would be grateful for their address.
Unbeknown to me my trip coincided with my Mother having to move from her flat to a Nursing Home near my Sister, which was good, as I could help instead of it being left to my Sister Margaret and Brother in law Peter. She is well settled in and enjoying her new home. I came home with the van loaded to the gunnels with the last of the furniture and some of Mother’s. I was very glad to get HOME as I had not enjoyed being in England mainly because of the state of the cottage, but still nice to see my family and friends. I managed to find a buyer for my cottage before leaving England.
I turned up at La Behorais at sparrow fart to find a much improved and very pleased to see me Polly, Praise be. She is, at the time of writing this, 200% and in full winter mode, this being inside all the time with the minimum time spent outside and doing her toilet as close as possible to the back door or using the litter tray if she thinks she can get away with it. I am so happy she is still with me.
On returning to La Behorais I spread the furniture round nos. 1 and 3, which is now ready for letting. I hope I have a let for February and March to a couple who are moving over here. I have started to demolish no.2 and I have a company coming to take the roof off and make good the roofs of nos. 1 & 3 as soon as I have the sale monies from my cottage. The sale of the cottage, as I should have expected, became a nightmare, but all being well it will be completed just before or just after Christmas.
Well: I am a very happy little French Peasant, and will be a happier one when all my business in England is finished, and all I have to do is come over to see my friends and family.
My main social life is still mainly with the French friends and neighbours. I see a few English people now and then but most of the time I am happy to potter around my estates at La Behorais.
Needless to say anybody interested in renting a cottage, it is one double bed, so for a couple or 2 very close friends, please contact me - email is the best or:.