Posted by: kathandroger | October 6, 2019

Bloody Television!

We don’t watch much TV here. In general the French programmes are rubbish, either dubbed American films or lots of French people laughing at one another. Apart from the weather ladies that is; always decorative and a joy to watch, even if the weather is poor. But recently, with the change in the climate, rain and relatively cool, and the fact that the Rugby World cup and World Athletics championships are on, I have to admit to having become a box watcher. Dennis the cat thinks it is wonderful, because he can jump onto my lap and sleeps whilst occasionally sinking his claws into my chest, and the dog just sleeps and scratches herself… I must get rid of those fleas.

The French are not doing well in either sport, although the rugby players have just beaten Tonga and are through to the knockout stages, a term appropriate to the way the game is played nowadays. I noted that the Tongan forwards averaged almost 20 stone each, and the collisions were enormous. How easy it is to play rugby whilst sitting in an armchair! The athletes have not yet won a gold medal, and the poor decathlon favourite, Kevin Mayer, who should be English or American with a name like that, manage to injure himself and not finish the event. I think I prefer the Athletics. The shape and size of the participants, besides being of both sexes, is a panorama of human variety, from the miniscule long distance runners to the huge hurlers of hammers and shots. And the joy of the exhausted winners is wonderful. The Rugby is on for another few weeks, so box watching is still on the cards, but sadly the Athletics finishes tonight. I will have to get off my fat backside soon.

But I have been playing in the workshop. The local disused railway line has been torn up and eventually the track will be a walkway and cycle path. Tons and tons of old line has been taken, but some of the supporting brackets have been discarded and left. They are cast iron and very heavy, and in demand from hobby metal workers like myself, who have pinched any remaining specimens. Add to that an old fireplace iron set, and a new sculpture of railway workers was screaming to be made. The only problems were twofold, firstly that the cast iron is impossible to weld to, and secondly that the finished article would be too heavy to move!IMG_1062 (2)

In fact the two pieces are separate, so that moving them is not really a problem. Not sure it will make a competition winner but it was lots of fun to do, with lots of sparks and hot metal falling all around. Boys will never grow up!

On my way back from the UK last week, I chatted with a chap who lives in a village south of Limoges. He was very excited, because the next week the French championship of Conkers was to be held in his hometown. He had been practicing endlessly, and was hopeful of winning and becoming eligible for the World Conker Championships later in the year.

IMG_1060 (2)

The dry weather does not seem to have affected the conkers, but our walnuts are very small this year. And the grapes and figs are as abundant as ever, which I don’t understand given the long drought we have had.

There is lots of Mistletoe here. The plant allegedly feeds off trees but does not damage them to any extent. This one seems to be of the killer variety however.IMG_1059

The poor apple tree was very dead and seemed to have succumbed to the enveloping saprophyte, but the mistletoe was very much alive and singing. Funny thing is Nature.



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