Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Powercut and Cats in the Garden

I came downstairs this morning, loaded and switched on the dishwasher and switched on two sets of lights.  I walked out to feed the rabbits and chicks and on the way back to the house went into the gym/utility barn to feed the tropical fish.  Their tank was not illuminated.  I pressed the light switch – no light.  I check the fusebox for downed switches but they were all in the up position.  I went back into my house and no comforting hum from the dishwasher and no lights.  We had a power cut.  When there’s a power cut I like to check this out with someone else in the village to make sure it’s not just my electricity supply which is down, but no-one was home, except for Sylvie my neighbour who works nights, so going to see her early in the morning isn’t an option. 

I read in the garden for an hour joined by Purrdy who climbed up onto the pergola above my head and disturbed raindrops from the clematis and honeysuckle which fell on me and dampened the pages of my book.  By 9.30am – an hour later - I decided to go shopping.

Yesterday I heard from my surgeon that my mini gastric bypass was to be postponed until Monday because of a shortage of anaesthetists during the holiday period.  So I have a few more days to enjoy a bit of high living in the food department.

This morning I went shopping for food to take me through some of those extra days I now have before going into hospital. 

Beautiful, ripe, vine tomatoes were on offer at a ridiculously cheap price, and they smelled seriously tomatoey, so I bought a big bagful to make some sauce, as mine in the polytunnel won’t be ready in quantity for a few weeks yet.

As I arrived home, Sylvie was in the lane.  I stopped the car and simultaneously we each asked the other if we had electricity and then laughed.  I suggested that as she is French and can be better understood than I can that she use her mobile to contact EDF to see if they knew about the powercut.

So – all that food and no fuel to cook it – frustrating eh?  I put three Weetabix into a bowl and drowned them with milk and sprinkled them with sugar.  No bacon for breakfast today then.

I’m not sure how long my battery lasts on this laptop.  I’ve just checked and I currently have 2hrs and 28 minutes, and now Sylvie’s arrived with news about the powercut.

There has been some sort of accident which has cut the power, but, and you have to understand that only in France could this happen, they are switching the power back on at 12.00pm so people can cook their lunches!   They’ll try to keep it on for an hour, they’re not sure.  Then it will be off until 5.30pm. 

If you don’t have experience of France you may not know, but at midday sirens sounds in all the towns and lunch starts.  Workmen drop their tools where they stand and leave for two hours for their lunchtime.  Shops close, the streets become like streets in ghost towns and people just disappear inside to dining tables across the land.  When I first arrived here, I constantly forgot this and would drive 20-25 minutes to my nearest diy store for supplies only to find the doors shut and that I had a two hour wait until 2.00pm in the car park.  You’d think I’d have remembered after the first time, but I didn’t.  Time and time again I’d have to make the decision to turn around and go home or sit it out.  I learned to leave a book in the car permanently so I always had something to pass the time.  In the larger supermarkets, which don’t close, it’s a wonderful time to shop as there’s no competition for browsing counters and no wait at the checkout.

So – we may have power for lunchtime and then nothing this afternoon which is a real pain as I have loads of things I want to do, all of which involve electricity, for instance both my mobiles are nearly out of battery and need charging, laundry etc. etc.   That’s the trouble with modern life.  At least I’m slightly better off than Sylvie, who has electric shutters on her windows which she closes every night.  They shut out every pinpoint of light and so she’s in pitch black over in her house until midday. 

I have stood out in the lane with my mobile, walking around until I found a signal, and called my friends who live about 3 miles away.  Sylvie was out there too trying to make contact with the outside world! They have electricity, so after lunch I’ll pop over there for a cup of coffee and to continue using and simultaneously charging the laptop.

My little hamlet is a very quiet, calm place, hardly any noise except for birds and the lunchtime siren which you can just hear from the town three miles away, if the wind is in the right direction.  However, today is it very, very noisy.  Men with very big red machines are resurfacing the road.  This is one of them - a grader apparently.

I’ve never seen so many big machines at once.  They started on Monday, but disappeared for the whole of yesterday and now they are back in full force.  We have had some terrible potholes after the last two seriously snowy winters, so it will be lovely to drive along without having to negotiate the worst of them.

Well – midday came and went without the promised lunchtime electricity supply.  I went out into the lane to see if anyone knew anything and our two English holiday home owners were chatting to Sylvie and have arrived to spend a shortened month in St André. 

Sylvie’s shutters were still firmly closed and her three daughters were all fast asleep still, having not been woken by daylight!

I had coffee with my holidaying English neighbours as they have a gas cooker and could boil water.  We caught up with events since they were here around New Year.   I then went on to my friends to charge my laptop and have some coffee.  When I returned at 4.35pm, via the veggie patch, we had electricity again – thank goodness.  I picked some spinach and runner beans, the first runner beans this year, and will look forward to having them with my supper.

No comments:

Post a Comment