Thursday, July 19, 2012

What a nice surprise!

Yes, sounds of friendly voices and laughter down the road at Lieneke's - good to hear her having fun. And then silence, followed by a couple of voices out here. "Hmmm - I recognise those voices" I thought to myself - and, yes, Claude and Françoise came to say hello.

It's been over 2 years since they were here, my neighbours from up the road who moved back to the Midi. And they've come back for a wek's holiday and to tell me all their news. Firstly, they are no longer in the Midi.One thing that we forget, living out here in the wilds, that there is no stress at all except what stress you make yourself. Being in an urban environment you are involved with everyone else's stresses. 10 years out of all that, and Claude couldn't re-adapt. Now they've found a quiet rural place in the Haute Loire.

All kinds of other changes too, and so we had quite a chat today about all of it. It's nice to see them again.

Today was easily the best day of the year so far - totally glorious and 36°C outside. so why only 83.2 amp-hours of surplus energy?

Firstly, I've had the core drill going for about an hour and I've made another 5cms of depth - now up to 42 centimetres. The problem with this is that the drill is so heavy and the motor is so powerful and I'm working up a ladder, and so I can't do more than a couple of minutes at a time without stopping for a rest and trying to stop my arms vibrating and my ears buzzing.

But I use a long drill to break up the granite that's in the wall and you can see that that has broken through in a few places, so it should (in theory) become easier and easier. But that sounds like famous last words, doesn't it?

The second reason is that I had the electric vegetable steamer working again (just as well that I had some electric vegetables, isn't it?). I cooked the remainder of the potatoes to add to the megacurry that was on the menu for tonight, and seeing as it did such a good job, I let it have a go at some rice as well. And I'll tell you what - I have never had rice that was cooked so well or tasted so nice. If this vegetable steamer holds the pace, it's going to be an excellent little machine.

 If that wasn't enough, I carried on building my wall today. I didn't actually build too much of it though. I didn't think that I had enough stones to do it all (all those breeze blocks in view will eventually be ripped out and replaced by stones) and so I had a good scavenge around to see what stones I could find.

I've managed to find quite a pile - I hope that there will be enough by the time that I finish, whenever that may be.

You can see that I've hung a window frame up there. It will be pretty dark, especially as I forgot to install the rooflight that I had to hand, and so I need to be able to let the light in. a glass door will go on the front, but a window in the side will do the rest. I'll build up underneath the sill with stones and then put brick pillars down the side. It should look quite nice when it's done.

I also had a chat with Percy Penguin this evening. It's her birthday.

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