Crikey! I was unwell.
Not just reading the last post with it’s melancholy tone, but the way I have felt on the last day and a half have confirmed just how ill I felt. Now feeling the joys of Spring, literally as its been 20 degrees here for the last couple of days, I am much more chipper about the whole thing!
Xavier, the digger driver, has scraped and levelled the entire garden but I have only raked and prepared half of the area. This is not, due to any any circumstances other than, as usual, priorities change when you are actually here rather than planning works from 600 miles away. This time, I decided that while we had a digger on site it would be wise to clear the area beside the big barn that will eventually become our pool courtyard.
This area had been used by the farmer for dumping bricks, blocks, polythene and bundles of bailing string over the years he kept his cattle in the barn. The idea to scrape all this waste to one side, dig a big hole and bury it, soon became an impossibility as we hit solid rock 30cm down. This left us with a massive pile of rock, blocks weeds and rubbish and nowhere to put it. After much head scratching I walked up to the farmer’s house to explain the problem. He jumped in his van and came down to speak with Xavier and quickly came up with the solution to fill a hole on his land. Problem solved.
Whilst all these ground works were going on I was planting bundles of bareroot hazel, roses and guilder roses around the newly cleared boundaries. This is where I committed my second incidence of perceived French thievery.
Emerging to a beautiful frosty morning at 8.00am to start work I noticed that a string line had appeared overnight, on the newly cleared and planted boundary.
I was soon accosted by Robert, who hands on hips, pointed out that I had planted about ten plants the wrong side of this line. He asked for them to be moved, showing me a stud set in the ground by the surveyor at the time of the sale of the house marking the boundary. The irony of this being it was only our actions of clearing the site that had exposed said stud! Anyway best keep everyone on side.
Saturday morning, departure day, I was out on hand and knees replanting these plants before cleaning the house and packing. This was made all the easier as due to a busy weekend on the Eurotunnel and massive supplements on my prepaid ticket for sensibly timed departures, I had booked into a budget hotel in Calais, thus relieving time constraints on leaving Frelon Cottage.
I am writing this after a good night at the rather funky Ibis hotel in central Calais and am now on the train home……..all in all a good week!