A very house-focused day


The day isn’t over, but a lot of small things got done. Most of them were not farm-related.

  1. FAMILY: A superfast visit to Auch found the cheapest appliance store. 1700 Euros later we own a reliable washing machine, a dishwasher and a big deep freeze. I’ve never owned a good-sized deep freeze before. See point 5.
  2. QUATTRO: Jean and I met with the anesthetist for the birth of Quattro in a couple of weeks.  Things went as well as they can go for that sort of meeting. Jean also got pre-admitted to hospital so she can just show up on day and give birth.
  3. VOISIN: Michael and I spent an hour and a half in Orange/France Telecom getting a phone and internet coverage for him. Problem number one is that the main phone line to his house was knocked over by a falling tree in the big windstorm of February 2008.
  4. WARM: I arranged for one of the local JCB (excavator, tracto-pelle) drivers to come by and dig a quick trench so Mark the Spark can run an electric and water line alongside the main house. Before we moved in the water line ran under the house and we think it had a leak. Mark found that the old iron pipe was corroded and moved around a lot, usually a sign that there was a weak spot in the line somewhere.
  5. FAMILY: I found someone who is slaughtering a veal soon so I can put a pile of beef into the freezer. Half a veal is about 120kg, which is a fair bit of beef even for  family of six. We need to figure out how much we need. This is also good practice for when we sell grass-finished beef in a year or two. Richard the local pig farmer/roof fixer/window installer will also slaughter a pig for us to add even more good local meat to the freezer.


I’ve been wondering about how in fancy neighborhoods of America people spend a lot of money to get a French rural look with patina, and out here people spend money to get rid of that look. Jean thinks that we should keep our ‘light fittings’, these bundles of old wire that have a bulb hanging out the end. She has a point: I can see Restoration Hardware selling wire knotted light fittings soon.



Several of the barns have walls made out of found objects, doors, planks, holes, whatever. There’s no financially sound way to fix these short of just hacking them. To fix things properly we’d be better off building a whole new barn.



In other farm news the final renter is moving his cows off. I need to go for a wander in the morning to see if they are all gone. I also came in too late to check if his hay and silage [wet baled sorghum that was left to grow way too woody] are gone.



And I’m pretty sure that the corn in the foreground there is still on the stalk. It is getting late in the year to harvest corn, it was mostly done two or three weeks ago. For his sake I hope it stays dry a while longer.

And I fired up the chainsaw yesterday to cut up some wood for Michael’s fire. He has a working fireplace, unlike us. It’s a Zenoah, steel body, made in Sweden. In this photo it is sitting next to the John Reekie tube amp.


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