Monday, September 28, 2009

a series of small walls

Nicholas has finished requiring mortar every couple of hours and has found me other tasks that need attending to. Earth needs to be moved from in front of an doorway so that it can be properly enclosed for the winter. This meant shovelling soil into buckets and carrying them down the garden out of the way. The wheelbarrow wheel was punctured so no good at all. Positive attitude, a bit of exercise and a bit more exercise, that is one of my goals - to get fitter, it’s in the sunshine early on, with shade during the heat of the day and there may be treasure to be found.

Two days later I have longer arms, and now a wheelbarrow that works, three impressive piles of excavated material, one of stones and two of earth but no treasure. I have begun to find interesting things, well, to some. A series of small walls extending from the corner of the present building in several directions, one was expected and the other not, a third may give clues to an old well in the cellar, but as with anything archaeological, it is all guesswork. The corner of earth that was my original objective has been followed by several further cubic meters of spoil as we (I) (Nicholas is still fixing the roof) uncover things further. Imagining what went on all those years ago, monks fortifying their old barn against attack from bandits or quietly tending their gardens around the tower filled my imagination. I was surprised how fascinating it became and was keen to find the next clue. Was this the original wall, of did the other one come before it? THe only way to find out is to dig further and deeper. One wall crosses the other, it can clearly be seen by the foundations that run lower than the other, it also explains other constructional anomilies (help with SP required) within the buildings, a huge fire place in a small room, beams running the wrong way and on and on. There are any number of things to ponder when working on a building this age.

For a change I bottle beans and tomatoes from the garden to fill the cellar for winter, the beautiful weather continued to fuel bountiful harvests, baskets of produce every day. Collect the walnuts from the trees as they fall and spread them to dry in wooden crates, they will be shelled and taken to be processed into oil in late winter, they have to dry first. Plant cabbages and broccoli in the garden and keep the weeds under control.

We chat about the history of the place and the work that has to be done, discuss options on layout of rooms and the practicalities of saving grey water and solar panels. The opportunities to travel the world and discover amazing people, places and things. What we have done and where we want to be in the future, how being gay has influenced our choices and steered our paths. Amusingly named fruit trees that may be planted in the orchard and marvel at how chickens can turn the odd scrap of food, some grass and dirt into eggs every day. LIfe is fun and relaxed and the weather is treating us to the most amazing warmth this autumn.

I have cycled from the village along deserted country lanes for hours, enjoying the sun on my back and the amazing views, if I go far enough I can see into the surrounding valleys and ponder on the imensity of the size of france, it really is a huge place, feast on juicy blackberries and wish that i had a bag to take some home in or just find a shady tree to rest under for a little siesta (they are rather popular here, especially in the heat of the summer).

Scrabble, on line, has me hooked. That is partly the reason that I haven’t written in a while, every time I open my computer I just have to have a game, it has become quite an addiction and strangely sociable at the same time. Have played folk from Canada, South Africa, OZ to name a few and chat to people from around the world.

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