Saturday, August 22, 2009
Moving on. I met Donna a few weeks ago at my first helpX host here, she appeared on various occasions with delicious desserts and bottles of wine and was good enough to take me climbing one one of my days off there. We talked about the help exchange website and before I knew it, she had signed up and now I am staying with her, just down the road from where I was to start with.
(In at the deep end. Two hours after arriving, find myself spinning and stepping around the open plan living room of her house with a group of expats in practice for a scottish ceilidh the following weekend. Rather like barn dancing, but a bit more scottish, a great way to meet people and, at the real event, wonderful to have a bit of an idea of what we were supposed to be doing. )
A smart house next to a little river at the base of the mountains, just a stones throw from the town of Tarascon and within easy reach of mountain walking, flatter valley cycling and a great location for doing absolutely nothing.
I know the house looks a bit strange, though once I found out it used to be the works depot for the local council, it suddenly looked OK again.
It is August now, and the weather is wonderful, cool mornings, warming nicely through to lunchtime, a scorching hot afternoon then pleasant evening and cool enough to sleep at night. A little siesta after lunch is a marvelous thing, just to get through the heat of the day, sandwiched between a morning of gardening and a decent cycle ride, walk or a bit of climbing later on in the day. I could get used to this in a big way.
Have enthused Donna into planting more veggies, and now that the plot if free of weeds, the whole thing should be a lot easier to look after. There was already plenty in the potager, but it appeared to have ‘got away’ somewhat and had become a task too great to attempt. Tomatoes, courgettes, raspberries, strawberries and beetroot already to be harvested. Newly sown carrots radish, lettuce, spinach, rocket, more beetroot and chard. All will be ready in good time, before the frosts of autumn arrive.
Gareth, an Ozzie helpXer and traveller, and I have fixed up some supports for the soft fruit bushes and repaired the raspberry cage. Done copious amounts of clearing and weed removing, had a couple of great bonfires and generally brought the place up to a manageable state for when we leave. Caught up on some great films. Had a great night out in the local village hall, Ceilidh style. Feasted on a constant supply of wonderful food and had a thoroughly great time with the most friendly, laid back and wonderful Scottish girl that I have ever met.