Posted by: kathandroger | August 20, 2010

Tiles, squash and baby chicks!

Another hectic week at La Belardiere – entertaining, doing a spot of tourism, keeping on top of the produce and above all…moving tiles!

The first tile movers were our neighbours, Matt and Sophie. I’m sure they hadn’t expected to spend a couple of days of their holidays riding up and down the field transporting 800 tiles to Roger’s kiosque. At least playing on the quad bike is quite fun though! Matt and Roger then tiled the roof, which is now just awaiting the hip tiles on the edges. Only problem is that it has been too hot to make the mortar to fix them in place! The next lot of tile movers arrived for their annual labour camp this week. Here are Martin and Penny in action:

It’s great having friends and family with high achievement drives – give them a challenge and they are sure to complete it! Their’s was to empty what is to become the lawnmower and equipment store and shift all the tiles to the other side of the courtyard to their new store. Here they are on Friday morning pleased with their efforts/relieved/knackered!

Meanwhile the garden produce continues to come thick and fast. We have kept on top of the courgettes and beans (just about); the latest surplus is plums (or rather greenguages – la Reine Claude in french). They are absolutely delicious, but once you have made enough jam for the year (2?), several tarts in the freezer, lots of compote and eaten several kilos you start to dread going down to the tree in case another few kilos have fallen! Mustn’t complain – we’ll be glad of all the conserves/tarts in deepest winter!

The other garden event of the week has been to cut open one the big green things that was growing in the potager …

I have no recollection of planting them – but we have an awful lot – and they are big! Someone suggested that they may be water melons, so we thought it was time to investigate. It turns out that they are a variety of squash after all…anyone know which?

It was moderately tasty (nowhere near as good as the potimarrons we grew last year) and needless to say roast squash has featured highly on the menu this week, as well as a large pot of squash chutney!

I wrote 3 weeks ago about getting some fertilised eggs for our broody chicken; on Sunday we thought it was all foutu, as the french would say. The stupid hen got her eggs mixed up and went and sat on the one that had just been laid, rather than the dozen she had been keeping warm for more than 2 weeks. By the time we noticed the eggs were cold and we feared the worst. So it was a nice surprise this afternoon when I popped my head in to find 3 little chicks, just hours old, and to hear at least one trying to break out of its egg. Here is the proud mum with one of her offspring…


Let’s hope Boudie will be able to add to our expanding household in 3 weeks time!

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