Posted by: kathandroger | July 28, 2019

General de Gaulle and the garden disaster.

In our field there are lots of stones. Some of them are fossils, which I collect from time to time, and others flint or just funny shaped stones. One of these, which may itself be an old fossil of some sort, seemed to have a familiarity about it. Soon the penny dropped, it was a likeness of General de Gaulle! In fact it was not really like him at all, but a bit like some of the cartoon images of him. There was no choice but to bring it back to the workshop and make a better likeness. But then disaster! My precious stone fell and the Generals’ huge nose was broken off. To discard or not to discard, that was the question. I chose the latter option, and with some difficulty and some good glue, the offending proboscis was realigned. After welding his cap from some metal, and some wire wool for eyebrows and moustache, he is coming on well, but not yet the finished masterpiece. It took a long time to find a flat stone that looked like an ear, and even more difficult to find another one which matched for the other side!IMG_0905 (2) I am expecting to be offered huge amounts of cash for the finished article to be displayed in the finest museums in Paris. Yes, the canicule has sent me a bit mad!

At last the canicule has left us. I even put some long trousers on last evening for the first time in weeks. But the poor old vegetable garden is a disaster, the worst we have had since being here. Despite watering every night, the brassicas have wilted and been eaten by little flies.IMG_0904Usually these plants would be supplying us with big fresh cauliflowers, but fat chance of that now. No parsnips, radishes or turnips, with the seeds just being killed off by the fierce heat. The tomatoes seem OK, and some of the early sowed perpetual spinach is providing good meals, but the French beans are very slow and small, and we have not been able to eat any yet. With the few centimetres of rain we had over the past few days, and the drop in temperature, I have resown lots of roots, and we may be lucky and have a late crop. At least the cucumbers, peppers, aubergines and most of all the courgettes have not minded the heat, and are doing well.

But what of the poor farmers? Actually, they have done rather well. The wheat and barley harvests have been good, the oil seed rape not bad, and the maize is doing well in the heat with the profuse watering going on. And that bugs me not a little. The rivers are very low, water is in short supply, we are not supposed to wash our cars, and any watering of the gardens has to be done in the evenings or overnight. But this does not seem to apply to the farmers! In the heat of the day, the great water shoots are all over the maize. I don’t really mind that too much, but it would be better if it went onto the crops, and not over the roads and tracks!IMG_0896There must be better ways of aiming this precious liquid, and preventing losses due to the inevitable leaks I see everywhere.IMG_0899

Anyway, that’s enough whingeing from me, and I do really like the local farmers, honestly!

But another disaster today, the Tour de France finishes, so what to do in the late afternoons, other than watch those magnificent athletes exhaust themselves riding up mountains? I am particularly poor at riding up hills, and even looking at some of the climbs makes me feel weak. I have immense respect for all the riders, drugs or no drugs, to be able to push themselves as they do. And it is good to see a young Colombian win for the first time; I would love to see the parties in his home town tonight!


  1. I’m with you on the careless irrigation by farmers. Our veg plot is a disaster, hardly any tomatoes, courgettes or cucumbers despite careful and thoughtful watering. The flowers are completely crozzled.
    Yet the number of times I we have come across farmers watering the road or ditch for days. We even thought of taking a sponge and some detergent, parking underneath one of the badly aimed pumps and washing the car!
    Then there are those who seem to pay no attention to the restrictions at all, watering their flowers and filling swimming pools. My mum always used to say that two wrongs don’t make a right but that’s hard to stick to at times.

    • Jean, good idea, perhaps we could start a pop up car wash business!!

  2. Roger… you have two Generals in one…
    your “cartoon” version…
    and the top left of his right ear…
    which is a much truer likeness.

    • Hadn’t noticed Tim, thanks! Am showing the other ear today…who does that look like?

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