Posted by: kathandroger | April 29, 2018

Spraying, Yorkshire, and rape on the table!

The season has opened. We can take up to 16 guests at our little farm, but this weekend we have a French family of four generations, and countless people. Seven cars are parked in the barn, each seemingly with up to five people, including hoards of children. They are a lovely bunch and have even braved the swimming pool in outside temperatures of about 15 degrees!
So all the last minute preparations have been completed. One of our least favourite jobs is renovating the garden furniture, so this year I decided to make things a bit quicker. A spray gun and compressor make the job easy and fast. Lots of hissing noises, fogs of dense paint spray, a personal tan, and the task is over in minutes.IMG_3958
It is important however, to make sure the ground is covered beforehand. Last year we were left with dark brown stains all over the white gravel of the courtyard and the boss was not amused. I must find something else to spray; it is another of one of those boys’ games that I love.
But the large table on the big terrace was painted with care by hand a few days ago, and left in pristine order. To our dismay it appeared spotted after a light rain shower the day after.IMG_3959
At this time of the year the rain deposits a yellow green powder over everything it touches. The car had just been cleaned and was similarly affected, and even rain puddles have a coloured edge. The cause is the multiple fields of oil seed rape we have around here. They are in full bloom at the moment and the pollen must rise into the atmosphere to be left all around by the showers.

Our students visit to Yorkshire was a great success. After months of planning by Kath, four days were spent in and around York, aided by a large bus to take us on daily excursions. The young pupils were keen to leave France for the wonders of the north of England.IMG_1491
Kaths’ parents, who had been staying with us, also made the trip back to Leeds Airport from Limoges, and were very handy for teaching the vagaries of the local language. Each student had learned to say “Ey up” by the time we arrived, and the Passport Officer was beaming with delight after the same phrase had been used to greet him twenty one times in succession by a posee of beaming French tourists.
Our cosy hotel in York was the base for visits to the magnificent York Minster Cathedral, and other days were spent on the Moors, the Dales and in numerous country pubs. Highlights were the prize winning fish and chips at Whitby, where everyone was told told order small portions but still had far too much to eat.IMG_1524, and sampling the wonderful menus at local hostelries with ample good old English beer. Each member of the party had a song sheet for “Ilkley Moor Bar Tat” and the old song was given a splendid rendition when passing through the area on the penultimate day. Almost all the party attempted to speak English, and being amongst them, I was twice congratulated on how well I spoke the language! And the most amazing feature of the trip was that we saw no rain, and even had bursts of sunshine to enhance the wonderful abundance of daffodils. Well done wife, for a wonderful trip.


  1. I don’t think it’s canola pollen. I think it’s tree pollen. It’s been particularly bad this year. A couple of times driving I’ve been able to hear it hitting the car.

    Congratulations on the Yorkshire tour and the progress you’ve made with your English 🙂

    • My wife said the same thing, but it does seems strange with so few trees shedding pollen and there being lots of colza about.
      Thanks for the accolade, I may try to learn strine next!

  2. When we took our French friends to the UK they had a great time – and Odette fell in love with fish and chips! It was a good moment showing off the best of the UK (Kent, the Cotswolds, Liverpool, Yorkshire, Cambridge)

    • Fish and chips seems to be the star for everyone. I wonder why it dosn’t exist in France?

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