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26th November

Visible to anyone in the world

There was a thick mist again this morning. I ventured out to Castelnau market, it was quite scary as visibility could only have been about 20 yards, the roundabout at the start of the town was a big surprise as it suddenly loomed towards me. I didn’t do much shopping, just keeping the Irish stall in business with a purchase of soda bread. While I was out Philip made a start on repainting the kitchen ceiling; the beams are currently painted with a dark brown gloss which needs sanding off before anything else can be applied. Sanding beams is the messiest of jobs, especially in the kitchen. I can see the next few weeks there will be a ladder set up permanently with bits of sand paper and brown dust everywhere, on the floor and all the work surfaces, but it has to be done.

The mist cleared by lunch time, but it was just a bit too cold to sit on the terrace. After lunch I set about finishing the job Philip had started, spreading and digging in the pile of cow manure in the vegetable garden. He’d left me to do the most inaccessible patch, a narrow strip behind the purple sprouting broccoli. The broccoli plants will stay there all winter in the hope they’ll produce some purple florets in the spring. I had to get wheelbarrow loads of cow manure around them without knocking any plants over. A very sticky job, then all the tools, wheelbarrow & wellies had to be cleaned. Next task was getting the polytunnel up. We spent hours wondering why very few of the poles fitted together; the ends were nearly all the same size. Happily (after emailing the manufacturer for some instructions) I discovered another bag of small pieces needed to slot the poles together.  The cover is on, we’ll anchor it tomorrow, I just hope the wind doesn’t get up tonight. The plan is to grow some winter salad plants in there.

Butternut squash & red lentil curry for supper, a rather good recipe from the guardian.

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