A third day of glorious sunshine in our corner of France. To make the most of the blue skies we headed over to Ariege on Tuesday and climbed Pic de la Calabesse It was a bit scary near the top as there was so much snow, but wonderful to bask in the achievement of getting there as I kept trying to persuade TOH it really wasn’t safe, but then when there was only 100m more ascent I just gritted my teeth and carefully used each of his foot prints in the deep snow. Yesterday it was nonstop gardening. I measured out the line for the runner beans and put in the supports for the wigwams. The bamboo poles weren’t long enough last year so I thought I’d use 7 foot string wigwams. I’ll get the plants in today; they are all outgrowing their pots. I spent the afternoon on the tondeuse, creating neat lines on the lawn and even did the tricky bits between the trees in the orchard. Some water lilies purchased on ebay arrived and I planted those and tried to lower them gently to the bottom of the pond. The water is so murky there is no way of knowing if the pots have stayed upright.
TOH was busy with the tiling. I managed to rig up a shade over the conservatory, using a bedspread with string attached to each corner so it can be pulled across by leaning out the bedroom windows. It seems to be going well. There was a minor setback in finding not only was the floor not level, but neither are the rustic tiles, some a few mms thicker on one side, the furnace shelves must have been sloping. A further discovery was the odd shape of the conservatory, a parallelogram rather than a rectangle, so the rows of tiles at the edges might look a bit odd. We had three visitors yesterday; the sunshine makes everyone feel social and neighbourly. Fatima dropped by with some eggs and I gave her some purple sprouting broccoli plants in exchange, then Claude appeared with some lettuce plants and he went off with the same. I probably won’t need the twenty remaining broccoli plants, but they are very showy with their silver grey leaves, a contrast with the green of the tomato plants. Later the neighbours with the newlywed daughter came round with a beautiful bougainvillea plant as a thank you for the use of our parking area to decorate the wedding Cadillac. We sat outside enjoying the warmth of the evening with a glass of Pellehaut. I expect the rest of France were glued to their TV sets watching the Sarko versus Hollande debate, or maybe just bits of it. It lasted three hours, a bit like the duration of lectures at French universities as our daughter discovered on her Erasmus year. It looks as if Hollande will win. I’m not sure that it will make much difference to la crise. Our local town has one of the highest unemployment rates in the region.