With no internet and an intermittent phone signal, we have to drive around, Alice glued to the phone and me with my eyes on the road. We have discovered that there is no single spot where one can guarantee reception. It seems to change daily. This might be normal. As I frequently tell my frustrated children, I was born thirty years too early and don’t understand the mechanics of it and frankly, don’t really want to know. I just want it to work.
It was a joyful delight when I discovered that I could go to the mairie and log onto the internet there.
This afternoon I hit the office and sent off a couple of important emails from the computer (an ancient relic, according to the offspring). Suddenly I was overwhelmed by runny nose and watering eyes and blamed A for giving me her cold, but as she has pointed out, it’s more likely hay-fever. There is pollen on every bush and the surrounding fields are full of flowering oil-seed rape, so as a former sufferer, I’m probably in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As I was leaving the mairie, a gentleman I had noticed arriving whilst I was busily intent on sending my emails came out after me. Quite charming and with very good English, (which I tried not to speak, but we ended up doing so anyway), I discovered him to be H, the current mayor. His family formerly owned Le Prieure and he is going to look out for the papers and tell me the history. So far, I’ve read four different stories, all dating it to different centuries and uses. It would be great to read the real one!
It was whilst bagging more leaves on the drive I discovered the wisteria has sent out shoots along the ground that have rooted in lots of places, so I sent a silent prayer of thanks up for keeping all the water bottles I used to fill the fish tank (please don’t write and tell me I shouldn’t, it was an emergency and they survived!). I cut the shoot up and I got ten cuttings which are now duly planted. I felt very satisfied! I then planted parsley seeds and lettuce seeds, the only ones that came out from England with me, despite having made a great collection to bring with us. I must have mistakenly put them in storage on the day we left. The roadsides are covered in cowslips in this area at the moment. Driving along the narrow empty lanes, where meeting another car is an occasion, they are a truly beautiful sight. I hope we will soon be eating the mixed lettuce from the seeds I planted this afternoon. A small nursery is steadily growing on the veranda wall, ready for planting when all the borders have been cleared and mulched. I am feeling much encouraged!