Tuesday, 26 July 2011

What is this?


Lots happening here in the Poitou-Charentes

I am in the process of getting my french drivers licence.... which means that I have to go to driving school every day to do theory lessons.  Then after I finish that I am allowed to do 20 hours of supervised driving with the school, then I can get my licence.  sigh  Really not a happy girl.

We have had so much rain that I think I am getting webbed feet.  If I start to quack, start worrying....

Had a quick trip to Paris/London with a girlfriend for shopping.  Badly needed new clothes, and we were so disappointed that we found almost nothing we liked.  Oh well, that's life.  So I am still wearing my too large clothes for a while till I find things I like.

Our shipment was transhipped... which means we are still waiting on it.  Starting to get a bit annoying now as we are desperate to furnish and have a proper home.  The company is very bad at keeping us up to date and I am having to chase them constantly.

We have had visitors to our empty home.  The poor things had to sleep on fold out beds.  At least they were good fold out beds, but still I feel a bit embarrassed that our home is not finished yet.

I really enjoy when we have visitors.  It is a bit isolated here during the week.  Everyone is at work in our little lane, and it is just me, the cats and the chooks.  Hedgehogs and red squirrels don't count as they don't play during the day...lol

Our latest visitor is a woman after my own heart.  She is like a sister to me and we think so alike on so many things.  I have really missed her since we moved from Paris as we used to see each other almost every day.  We had a great time.  I think the highlight for me was having someone to go foraging with.  We walked along the River Clain and picked wild plums, elderberries and I took cuttings of local weeds for the garden.

It may seem strange picking weeds.....  but these are pretty to look at, and are essential for butterflies.  We have had a lot of butterflies, and I want to ensure that our garden is very insect and wildlife friendly.

So after our walk and gathering of the fruits of nature we spent hours preparing the fruit.  I have since spent days making the fruit into lots of delicious treats... and have the purple hands to prove it! lol

Yes, the photo is elderberries, and they do have an amazing ability to dye everything they touch.  The raw juice washes off with no problems.  When you cook the berries it releases compounds which turn it into a pretty and very effective purple dye.  Squeezing the juice from the berries has left me with purple hands and strange purple/black rimmed nails.  I look a bit like I have decided to draw on my hands with permanent marker.  Pity it is not halloween as I could do a great costume starting with my hands as inspiration...lol

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