Posted by: kathandroger | April 21, 2019

Back in the UK.UK.

`Last week was spent in the land of my birth. I have fallen in love with France, but it is always nice to go home. This trip was to be with the twin grandsons on their 4th birthdays, an event sure to be calm and serene. I joke.

The family live in Frome, a west country town now much loved by the DFL’s (Down from London), and I can see why. A pretty old town centre with lots of interesting shops, and steep and narrow roads.IMG_0553There are lots of small individual and unusual places to buy small and individual things; I don’t like shopping but managed to buy some bright red old fashioned wiring flex for making lamps… don’t find that in Bricomarche! And I wish I had more luggage allowance on the plane as the charity shops (which again we don’t have in France) were full of the sort of old junk that I love. There is also one little street with a stream running down the middle; if it were here in France I can guess what the chaps would use it for! IMG_0549Pubs are everywhere in Frome. One of the few things I miss here is the pubs and the good old fashioned British beers. I was dragged off one evening with some of the locals on the street to sample the ales. It was a difficult evening, but I managed it, although the old bladder isn’t what it was and capacity for endless pints had sadly diminished. I wonder why the French have not embraced the ambiance of the pub culture? Incidentally time was called at 11pm, but that only seemed to mean that a bell was rung for the clients to order more drinks; we left around midnight and things were still going strong!

But back to the reason for the trip. Twin boys have lots of energy. An ageing geezer with a broken arm less so. And the noise! Normal, excitable, emotional chaps on the main day of their year are a bit of a handful. Not me, the twins that is. Load of presents, all ripped open with delight and then discarded for the next gift, a seemingly endless parade of goodies. Then off to Bristol with both sets of grandparents and uncle Jim, to a hands on science set up.IMG_0566Two floors of buttons to push, things to pull (including a cows udder!), things to make, and even a space trip to visit the planets. The boys loved it.IMG_0558 (2)And outside was a paddling area to get soaked in, which really made the day. Well arranged parents!

So the short trip soon ended, after a cinema visit to watch the latest Mary Poppins film, which I loved. Ryanair was typically efficient and crowded, and the flight back to Limoges over in little more than an hour. Two hours in the car with Kath the Taxi ( I had planned to drive myself and leave the car at the airport) and we were home to the peace and quiet of rural France again. I took the dog up to the little building on top of our land and sat for a few moments in the peace and quiet; the silence only perforated by the cuckoo. Lovely trip, and lovely to be back in France.

Posted by: kathandroger | April 14, 2019

Bits and pieces!

Well I guess it is progress. I am managing to type with two hands this week. With the keyboard on my lap and not being able to reach all the keys it is still a bit of a struggle, but progress nevertheless! And only having one functioning eye doesn’t help either. What a miserable old blogger!

Last week some friends took me to a new brewery locally. Run by Tom, an escapee from the UK like the rest of us, it seems to be making some inroads into the local beer trade. He has set up his enterprise in a little barn next to his house, and at present is making a few thousand bottles a week of three different brews.dav I first met Tom one freezing morning at our local market, where he was trying to sell cold beer to cold French people without any success. Naturally I had to put him out of his misery, and I have to say it is a pleasure to sample something other than the local gassy bottled rubbish. Tom has brought his wife and two young children to France to start a new life and we all hope it goes well for them. I am not sure his advertising slogan on the back of his old delivery van will be universally appreciated, but it is certainly a bit different! Good luck Braslou Beers.dav

We have had more trouble with Brock the Badger. There are no chicken for him to take at the moment, but he managed to break the metal clasp on the back gate and gain entry to the orchard where he digs for worms. Bloody mess too, but it looked better after mowing, and I seem to have disuaded him from coming back with a rag soaked in Jeyes Fluid. Stinks like a smelly thing, and would certainly stop me from entering! But I like to see old Brock, so hope his still remains in the area.

The French seem to be very efficient at looking after and harvesting their woodland. Several little plots of trees locally have been felled and cleared over the winter. I guess we forget that trees are a crop just like the others, and need to be harvested when ready. This area shows the stages of the process, the logs, the twiggy bits and the huge shredded portion.IMG_0475 The landscape changes enormously, but it is all part of the charm of our local countryside.

Everything is growing like Billy O. I have no idea where the expression comes from, but it certainly applies to my grass, the flowers ( the early purple orchids have appeared this week), and to the lambs. The triplets are all doing well, but have been dwarfed by the singleton ram lamb who must now weigh at least double the smallest triplet. They all seem to get along well together and Polly holds no fear for them; it is wonderful to see them all gamboling together.

As an aside, my neck hurts a bit and I have just taken a paracetamol pill. The difference here is that my paracetamol also contains opium!! It doesn’t exist in the UK, and maybe that is why the French think the drug works so well. Certainly makes me feel better!

Posted by: kathandroger | April 7, 2019

Life with one arm.

It has been ten days since I was so cruelly ejected from my bicycle by a rampant dog. What a bloody nuisance! The broken arm is a useless appendage which hangs beneath my floppy clothing and does nothing but cause very unsociable sweating. And I  can’t reach the area with deodorant, so have to suffer the ascension of the undesirable odours with seeming implacability. Smile and pretend it is someone else, as with other effluents. Cleaning teeth and wiping bums is a a skill rapidly learned, but the other major problem has been that I wear contact lenses, and have no emergency spectacles to wear. What to do? Either spend my life unseeing, or try to put them in with the inaccurate left hand. The latter was chosen. Lenses up noses, falling from eyebrows, getting stuck in my porridge, and generally not reaching the intended destination. Eventual success was tempered by abject failure of removal in the evening. But such is life, and my temporary misery is nothing compared to others with permanent handicaps. The multiple skin scabs have been falling like leaves from a tree, and my now white bearded face is reappearing from the shrouds of multiple abrasions. The stitched up lip will, I hope, soon regain its function; at the moment whistling for the dog to come back results, not with any audible sound, but with the involuntary and unattractive loss of oral fluids. The dog seems quite amused by it all and, as usual, does whatever she wants to do.

Showering is both essential and complicated. A special waterproof sling has been meticulously fashioned from an old discarded bicycle inner tube, and serves well in the inelegant process of reaching all those difficult and intimate places that really must be reached. And the drying process involves well guarded exposure to the air; it is a pity that it is not a bit warmer, a chaps family jewels are barely noticeable. Putting two legs into the same trouser leg has become the norm, not aided by cursing aloud, and it only underlines my lack of mobility.

Typing this little epistle with the left hand has meant many hours of dedicated toil, hence the late arrival of this weeks episode. So what have been the good things about the episode? Well friends of course, without whom I would have gone completely mad. Thanks to all.

Posted by: kathandroger | March 31, 2019

Two stills and one face plant!

What an interesting week. Not for the best reasons maybe but interesting none the less.

We have had some lovely mornings; still and cool, but with the sun soon heating the ploughed fields causing rolling mists which my little camera does not really do justice to.

IMG_0454But the early mists have been followed by glorious days of full sunshine, and it was on one such day that I had the good fortune to be able to witness another still….IMG_0458This wonderful bit of kit was hidden in an old corrugated hut on the outskirts of a local village. I had passed it many times without knowing what was inside the ramshackle building, and was pleased when a French friend asked me to help him transport his 3 year old collection of rotting pears to be wondrously transformed into “eau de vie”. The large blue plastic barrel really did need two of us to get it onto the trailer, and it was with some trepidation that I drove slowly to the “distillery”. There were a few locals around, smoking and sampling and grunting and chattering on as the French love to do. The huge machine was charged with wood fuel and burning beautifully, gently discharging the precious liquid into dubiously clean containers.IMG_0464

Apparently “Pear William” is the best variety to use, and a few days later I was honored to be given a bottle by my friend for services rendered. And yes it does taste of pear, and yes it is very strong! I have to say I am wary of home brewed spirits after a pal became temporarily blind having tried some in rural Mexico, but first sampling has not caused any problems so far! I am not sure about the legality of all this, but was reassured that all taxes will be paid,……. and that a herd of flying pigs will soon be doing acrobatics over the village.

 

The weather has been wonderful for cycling. Our club ride was on Wednesday, but because it takes about 4 hours, and I was a bit busy, I decided to do a shorter ride alone. Happily descending into a little farm locally, I remember feeling what a lovely time I was having. Then it all turned upside down, literally. The farmers dog had decided to attack my front wheel, and the next thing  I knew was waking up in the farmhouse surrounded by the Ambulance crew! I remember them cutting off my expensive cycling jacket, and whingeing about my right shoulder, but then it was into the blood wagon and off to our local Casualty Unit. Very efficient these French; soon xrays and body scans had been done, lots of infusions had been given (but no Pear William), and it was into the observation ward for the night. Had a lovely time chatting to the staff, who all wanted to practice their English, and then was let free next morning. I can’t pretend it has been continual fun since then, but a broken arm and grazed face could have been much worse without the helmet.IMG_0479And the  dog was unharmed, my bike only a bit bent, and the insurance cover will ease things a bit, so it could have been much worse. As a friend said, I was lucky!!

Posted by: kathandroger | March 24, 2019

Goodbye Moins Dix.

It has been a lovely week. The first swallow arrived outside yesterday, just as I was thinking about him. Eating my lunch of Bulots and Crevettes (Whelks and Shrimps), outside, I heard the unmistakable chattering of the lovely bird, and there he was above me on the telegraph wire. It always gives me a huge lift when the first swallow arrives, and his mates will soon be here too. Though why I assume it is a male bird I don’t know, it may be a fearless leading female, there are lots of those around here! And the cowslips are out in abundance, the chiffchaff is chiffchaffing in the woods, and the redstart is bobbing up and down on the rooftops. Spring has well and truly sprung here.

 

But it was all too good to last. Moins Dix the goat is no more. I really did not appreciate how much I loved the old bugger; he was always escaping or eating my clothes, and did endless damage to the young trees in the wood. And he was always a friendly old thing, and played with both our dogs over the years. His big horns never found their way into anybody, and he enjoyed us giving him a good old scratch on his back. Even our neighbour thought it fun when the goat arrived in his garden and began eating his flowers! His age is disputed, but he was already a mature chap when he came to us some eight years ago. He was probably about seventeen, a good age for a castrated male.

His collapse in the cave was a few weeks ago now, and having left him to die peacefully, after a couple of days survival it seemed to be the right thing to lift him up and revive him. It was probably a mistake, as over the last couple of weeks he has collapsed several times, but always seemed keen to eat and drink when I lifted him. He loved the breakfasts I brought him in the Intensive Care Unit I built, usually fresh spinach leaves or brussels sprouts plants, and even escaped once, only to be attacked by Hercules the ram and left flat out again.

So when he fell over yesterday I decided to leave him alone. As before, he showed no signs of imminent death, but his plaintive bleats seemed to be those of suffering. So what to do? A search of the old medical bag revealed some ampoules of now highly illegal Heroin and some Adrenaline. The diamorphine (Heroin) was way out of date, but there was enough to knock out a big adult. So there it was, the only solution. In tears, I shoved the injection into the old chap and bid him farewell. A coffee alone in the house (Kath away on holiday in Japan), and then to check the corpse half an hour later. Bloody animal was still alive. Doing all he could to remain the bugger he always was. But this really was the end, and he was now not apparently suffering; nor should he with oodles of morphine in his body.  So with heavy heart but with unwavering intent, he was wheeled to the grave I had dug weeks ago. He tumbled in and I cut his throat. I cried.IMG_1142

Bye bye Moins Dix.

 

Posted by: kathandroger | March 17, 2019

Hunting Hares.

I thought that the hunting season had finished. No more noise from the guns, and no more white vans cluttering up our little lanes. So it was with some surprise that on Wednesday I came across dozens of hunters high in the hills a few miles away. It was a lovely bright but very windy day, and I didn’t fancy three and a half hours with our club bike ride, so went by myself for an hour and a half. There were no guns visible, but lots of hounds milling about aimlessly in the middle of a great big field, being shouted at by several chaps with whips. I engaged a portly bystander-there were lots of them, and not all portly, to explain to me what was going on. They were hunting hares, but hadn’t found any, and the season only finishes at the end of March.

Now I have mixed views about hunting. I loved the mindless hooliganism of jumping hedges and ditches on a horse in the UK, and Charlie the fox does need to be controlled, but it is all a bit ridiculous. And here at least, the bags of birds that are shot are nearly always small, and always eaten, as well as the meat from the wild boar (which do lots of damage) and the deer (who eat lots of crops and are increasingly numerous). But the Hare? Poor little chap bothers nobody, is a pleasure to see, especially at this time of the year when they “box” each other before mating, and surely deserves to be left alone? Apparently he is a cunning quarry, and even a pack of hounds, after hunting him for some hours often comes away defeated. Good for Mr Hare. I know that in Dorset the hunt, which is on foot, often provided the hunters with some good exercise, but that can be done without chasing a benign little beast. I hope he got away, and look forward to April and the proper end of the season. I hope to start slaughtering some of the local fish then!!

Spring has sprung here and I await the first swallow any day now. The violets and Lungwort are out in the woods, and the cowslips are opening in all the ditches and grassy banks. I saw this splendid Magnolia in our local town yesterday.IMG_0430 (2)And the fruit trees are in full bloom all over. I will get on with the vegetable garden soon, but I reckon we all tend to go too early, and the frost will get some of the young plants.

We have lots and lots of Gendarmes in the garden. Not the ones that give us speeding fines, but little red and black beetles, called Firebugs in the UK. They like lime trees, and these are in the ivy just under one of ours.IMG_0429 (2)They are interesting little chaps that are often found coupled. Apparently mating can take up to eight days! And they are supposed to eat vegetable matter only. Nobody has told my colony which I found happily devouring a large dead rat behind the heat pump!

Finally good news, if only temporary. Moins Dix the goat is still alive, eating and generally looking old, frail but content. His left eye is blind now after being rubbed in the dirt for some days, but he even got up by himself yesterday and was bleating his contentment. I shan’t fill in his grave yet, but he may have a few more weeks in him.

Posted by: kathandroger | March 10, 2019

Multiple deaths, and Ode to a Goat.

It happens to all of us who keep animals. They die. This week we lost our last two chickens to the fox. My old hen house is very secure, after lining the base with metal after the badger took some hens this time last year. The weak point is the automatic door, which is triggered by daylight, and closes at dusk. Our latest batch of chickens were not the brightest, and sometimes stayed out until after closing time. A fatal mistake. At this time of the year predatory animals have young to feed and are particularly daring, and the view to greet me on Monday was one of scattered feathers all over the orchard.IMG_0420I found a headless corpse nearby, that of Vanessa, the Warren, only Alice our Light Sussex had been taken. Not the badger this time but the fox, who must have jumped up and over our perimeter wall to get access. With only two kills it is much less upsetting than in the UK, when the whole flock of maybe a dozen birds would be killed. I am told it is something to do with the response to flapping which makes the fox kill all the birds.

So it means we will have no more eggs for a few months until I buy some more chicks. I will miss them because each chicken has its own character, and this remaining couple were very friendly and amusing. Still the garden won’t be dug up so much, the bare patches they have made in the gravel courtyard can be tidied up, and I can also repair the holes in the lawn the chickens made. Every disaster has its compensations!

Moins Dix is our male, castrated goat. He has that name because he was born when the temperature was minus ten degrees, and he has been with us for maybe eight years. I don’t know how old he was at that time, but he did have some happy years with Titty, out lovely retired milking goat, until she managed to suspend herself whilst trying to eat some high leaves in a tree, trapped her foot and died. Useless shepherd! Anyway Moins Dix is a bit of a character. He has short legs, like me, runs in a funny way, like me, but can still jump over our fence to eat the farmers’ crops next door. I don’t like eating oil seed rape, and can’t jump anymore anyway. Often passing cars would stop to tell us our goat was out, but he always came back when I called him for food. And he and Hercules the ram, were always good mates and used to go off for manly chats together when the females were occupied with infants.

So I was upset to find Moins Dix obviously dying this week. He had been a bit off colour and even refused some food one day, and then I found him unconscious and unresponsive in our cave. He had obviously gone there to die. I dug a big hole for him.IMG_0421It upset me greatly; he had been with us a long time and was always friendly and would eat out of my hand when he was not trying to eat my trousers. But the next day he was the same, and the day after; not responding to anything, laying on his side with just the odd twitch of his back legs. Even Polly the dog looked upset, and Dennis the cat also came with us to see if he had passed away that evening. Ditto the next morning. So what to do? I hauled the near corpse outside, stood him upright leaning against my legs, and gave him some water. To my astonishment he drank it, and even scoffed a handful of grass. Each time I moved he fell over, but after about an hour, with Polly licking his ears, he was able to stand alone.IMG_0424He even began to eat some sheep nuts and take a few steps. But then Hercules arrived and immediately rammed him over. I am told that animals recognise sick beasts and want them out of the flock, but Hercules was not going to undo my good work, so the sick animal was placed in a newly constructed Intensive Care Unit.IMG_0428And there he remains. He was collapsed again this morning, but responded to being pulled upright. I guess he just likes being got out of bed. So time will tell, but he is an old boy now and death comes to all of us one day, so if he lays down again tonight I may not pick him up again. You have been a good companion, Moins Dix, but I shan’t fill in that hole just yet.

Posted by: kathandroger | March 3, 2019

Always on the go!

It would be nice to be able to sit down for a bit and contemplate the world. It just doesn’t happen here. There always seems to be something to do, and sitting only brings the undone tasks into focus.

The main effort over the past fortnight has been digging all the old joints out from the paving around the swimming pool; a lousy, noisy and dirty job which seems to go on for ever..but more about that next week.

The spring weather has finally broken, but not until we had the warmest day ever for February in France. It was 23 degrees on our bike ride on Wednesday, but again there was only two of us in shorts, and only me in the summer riding vest. Oh, les Francais!

Around La Belardiere it has been wonderful for early morning walking in the mist and sunshine. I was astonished to find this field.IMG_0406The first cut of silage has already been made! I had noticed it had been cut, but was too slow to catch the collection. The farmer on this plot usually gets two cuts of silage, then ploughs and sows sweetcorn. It starts a bit behind the other maize fields, but soon catches up. In England if silage was made in April they had done well, so this early crop was extraordinary.

But we have had a bit of wind. So have I after eating lots of Jerusalem Artichokes from the garden recently, but that is a less pleasant story. My Giraffe, which was fitted over a sturdy post, has fallen onto the wall and is now overlooking our new “STOP” sign at the corner of our property. Incidentally I am not sure why the English word is used in France, but guess it is international. Anyway I was planning to pull the animal back upright but it looks amusing where it is so I will leave it until there is an official complaint.IMG_0404

I am in the process of joining another walking group in La Grand Pressigny, a pretty village just over the river, but in another Department and Region of France! It is all a bit more official than our group here, but and needs a medical certificate for insurance purposes. Accordingly I made an early visit to my GP in another village, having carefully checked his times on the computer, only to be met with this..IMG_0407It says, in effect, “bugger off, I am on my well earned holiday”! Now I really like the chap, who works like we did in the UK fifty years ago, with no staff and an open surgery every day. But I do think that in this day and age he could have let his clientele know a bit more efficiently rather than stick a scruffy notice on his front door. C’est la vie.

And again on the walking theme, last Sunday was a special walk for all clubs in the region over the river. It was marked by the production of crepes (pancakes) for all the participants, eaten with jam and honey (bizarrely never with lemon and sugar in France), after the walk.IMG_0396All the crepes were produced by members of our club, but I have to admit that I pleaded incompetence and was pardoned from production. Cider is drunk with the pancakes, and all seemed to be well received by the participants. There were hundreds of them, both pancakes and participants,IMG_0395and the day was gorgeous. After 14 kilometres the crowd had dispersed quite a bit! What with walking the dog each day I reckon we walked more than 50 km last week, but in the lovely sunshine it was a real delight. We still need some rain, but who is moaning?

Posted by: kathandroger | February 24, 2019

Bizzare….les Francais.

I really do love the French. They have been so friendly to us and have made living in their country a real pleasure. It is important to speak the language of course, and my initial pathetic attempts are now much better and I can talk to anyone. Whether they understand me or not is a different matter however!

So it was with some pride that I announced on our club bike ride on Wednesday that I had planted my peas in the garden. Astonishment all round “but don’t you know that it is a full moon”? Yes I did know it was a full moon, but what difference does that make, I planted them during the daytime. “The full moon means it is time to plant root crops, not peas, there is no chance of them coming up!” Not that I would be planting roots at this time of the year, but no matter. The French are convinced that the moon controls all our gardening efforts, and no way can they be disuaded. We will see if the peas come up-I shall only tell them if they do so!

And another thing about Les Francais. It was warm on Wednesday, so I did the sensible thing and wore shorts on the bike ride. Much amusement. “But it is only February, we can’t wear shorts in February”. Yes but the weather is like summertime, so why not be more comfortable? No way would they be convinced. I used to think of the French as a liberal, free thinking race, but no, they are the most regimented race I have come across.

Yes and another whinge about my country of residence. I have recently joined a walking group in another village. They are a lovely mixed group of French and English, and the walks are well organised, varied in location and very enjoyable.IMG_0389But the difference between this larger and well organised group and our little band here in St Remy is that they are affiliated to the regional walking group. I am not sure what advantages that bestows, but it does mean that I need to provide a medical certificate as well as a fee, to join them. It is for insurance cover of course, but it does get right up my nose to have to go and see my Doctor to get a piece of paper saying I am fit to do what I do every day anyway. And if I rejoin the dancing group, I will need another certificate, and likewise for cycling. One blanket certificate will not do. Oh, la la la, les Francais!

Anyway, the fine weather continues, the daffodils are out all over, and our lovely crocuses on the lawn continue to give me great pleasure. IMG_0385Is there anything more lovely than nature in Springtime?

Even the local milking herd of cows are out in the fields already, almost unknown for February.IMG_0392In Dorset I remember seeing the cows let out into the sun for the first time after being inside for all winter; they run around like schoolchildren let out to play. Lovely.

The warmer weather means the lizards are becoming active, and one made the fatal error of coming into the kitchen this week. Dennis the cat caught the little thing, bashed it about for a while, and then called Polly the dog to come and have a look.IMG_0387I like the little chitchats as we used to call them overseas. They are harmless and pretty, and don’t deserve to be serially dismembered by domestic animals. But then again do my pretty little lambs deserve to be dismembered by a hungry human?

I watched the rugby last evening in a local bar with some French, Scottish, and English friends. Happily there were no gloating Welshmen there, as we were well beaten, but at least the French were happy with their first victory this year. We were just like schoolboys again. Good fun.

 

Posted by: kathandroger | February 17, 2019

A Lovely week.

We often seem to have some good days in February. This week has been exceptional, with crisp morning frosts and freezing temperatures morphing into warm days of up to 16 degrees. I walked with another group on Thursday, and we saw our first Brimstone butterflies, as well as the emerging celandines and even a couple of daffodils. Incidentally, the lesser celandine is also known as “pilewort”, and was used to treat piles because the bulbous roots look like that nasty condition. The “Doctrine of Signatures” was a belief that medical conditions could be cured by application of a similar looking plant. A load of cobblers of course, but I bet it still has its believers. Anyway, back to the lovely weather IMG_0375This is our little hamlet in the early morning from one of my favourite viewing points. And on my way to the local townIMG_0357this great plume is in fact steam coming from the paper factory in Descartes. It was much more impressive close to, but I couldn’t get a good picture.

The silence of the early mornings in the frosty, windless days, is really impressive, and any sounds seem to travel for miles. The local hunting hounds are housed over the hill about a kilometre away from us, but the other day they were baying for their food and it sounded as if they were next door!

Meanwhile the new lambs are doing very well.IMG_0374The cold weather never seems to bother them, it’s the wet and wind that is more dangerous.

I came across this lovely old root with two types of moss on it whilst I was waiting for the bloody dog to stop chasing a hare through our local woods.IMG_0379It is amazing to notice nature’s treasures, and I feel we all ought to linger a little longer to appreciate them.

Back from the great outdoors, it has been a good week for entertainment. A lovely local bar has musical evenings on a regular basis. It is a tiny venue, but the ambience is good, the landlady lovely and dotty and the food generous. We watched a French duo a couple of evenings ago, and they were fantastic. The guitar playing really was Eric Clapton standard, and they both seemed to be enjoying the performance.IMG_0381I still don’t know who they are, but it is a pity that to be successful commercially nowadays all groups need to be glamorous and young. The musical standard we experienced was so much better than lots of the crap we hear today.

And finally on the culture scene, my friend Martin Looker had an exhibition of his work at the local La Roche Posay centre. He makes wonderful sculptures from bits and pieces he has found, using old bits of metal, bones and stones. For an ex bacteriologist and landscape artist he has found another outlet and I wish I had his talent. Anyway, the “vernissage” (opening of the exhibition) was last evening, and the catering, ambiance and the art were all perfect. But, typical with the French, the local curator, a real character, said more that a few words, explained that the 100 years war with England had never been formally ended, and challenged Martin to a duel outside! The weapons were oversized paintbrushes, and the shields were painting palettes.IMG_0383I am not sure that there was a victor, but the real victory was for the evening. Well done all concerned!

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