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Cathy Winsor

26th October

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Edited by Cathy Winsor, Sunday, 13 Nov 2011, 11:54
I am quite exhausted and will skip my yoga class as I have an aching back. Self inflicted, I have been hauling around septic tank risers. Like everyone else in rural France we have a septic tank, it is inspected annually by someone from the Bionest organisation. It failed its inspection this year as we, or rather the builder had buried all the inspection hatches and we had forgotten where they were. A couple of months ago we spent several days digging up the lawn at the back of the house and finally found them, so now we have decided to have the lids at ground level, the problem was sourcing the right size concrete blocks and lids. So I have been to-ing and fro-ing to the local builder’s yard and found a few bits and pieces that will do. The other major event of the day was the delivery of a load of cow manure. I’d asked Etienne a few days ago if he could spare some and this morning he pulled up at the gate with about 10 tonnes of it in a huge trailer. I think he likes to confuse me. I tentatively suggested in my best French that it might be too much for my 50 square metre vegetable garden, he thought that was hilarious, in fact it was for one of his fields, he arrived later with his JCB carrying a shovel full of fumeur and dropped it in the middle of the potagere...the spreading can be a job for Philip, cow manure is very sticky. Given that he spent today taking time off and climbing a mountain he’ll have to make up for it tomorrow! Another task which I have finally managed to do I was the washing & storing of the butternut squash. We gathered them all (forty seven!) last week. Now they are all in a neat line on a ledge in the barn protected from the frost. I will have to Google recipes. I am glad I have something to give to kind neighbours, they only seem to grow pumpkins and haven't seen butternut squash before. Then I tackled the cleaning of the new windows, I wondered why they were all covered in finger prints. Unfortunately it isn’t easily removable dirt, but hardened Tung oil, transferred from the oak frames, so I had to tackle the job with rubber gloves and white spirit. I gave up after window number three, just eleven to go.
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