January 2007

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Het weer in de Gers


noire de bigorre
Tasty, tasty, very very tasty...

tree fellers
One of our oaks died last year. M Lahille sawed it down and
cut it to size.

The geobiologist discovered that our house is a hotbed of
electrical grids and fault lines

M. Andréoli pinpoints the fault line that crosses our home

ernest and his bok
Ernest has a soft spot for Caroline. He saw that our saw horse
was on its last legs and made a new one.

It was good to finally see Huub and Rosemarie, with whom we stayed
a couple of times, en route from Amsterdam to the South West.

Our lunches were suddenly being taken indoors again

Pork chops
Our new year guests flew home and we were back to just the two of us, daily log sawing sessions and glorious, crisp, sunny days. Our neighbour, Ernest, popped by with a plastic bag. He and his son had slaughtered their three pigs and turned them into ham, bacon, sausages, paté, chops and boudin (a sort of black pudding/bloedworst). We enjoyed boudin with apples and potato purée that evening and chops the day after. Fresher than fresh.

The next week, we opened the front door to find a plastic bag hanging on the handle. Our neighbour, Sophie, who breeds the black pigs Noires de Bigorre) had also left us some chops and a boudin. She came by the next day and we bought a large chunk of jambon too. The taste was exquisite, since the jambon of the Noire is hung for two years as opposed to the eight to 12 months for normal pork meat.

Chop chop
Our village has a large wood, near the lake. This year a lottery was organised for all villagers to draw for one of the 54 small plots. The idea being to clear the wood of shrubs and awkward offshoots to allow the growth of the better specimens. A forestry manager marked the trees that were to stay and to go. On the day of the draw, we gathered at the Mairie, 25 euro cheque in hand. Caroline went to pull a number out of the box and we ended up with a plot with over eight cubic meters of wood. That is easily enough to keep two log burners full for a severe winter here. We bumped into a neighbour while checking our plot a few days later. Monsieur Lahille. A bear of a man. He offered to fell and cut our trees and deliver them to our house. Not having the equipment to do the job ourselves, we were very happy to agree. A week later the tractors arrived and we unloaded our prize. A whole summer of sun and warm winds will make it ready to throw in the burners this next winter.

Faults, grids and energy fields
We knew that there were a few underground streams running under the house and barns. We were aware of some electrical fields and wanted to get a professional opinion before we decide where we would place our beds, desks and armchairs. These energy sources can often cause bad health, headaches, etc.

A geobiologist came to discover what we had in and around the house and then proceeded to reduce the effects of a rather intrusive fault, by placing two wooden poles as antennae in the garden, either side of the fault line. He showed us where the earth's magnetic grid criss-crossed different rooms, advising us not to sit for long periods on or near the points where two lines crossed. He also found that our bed was across the fault line and heavily charged. We moved the bed and pulled all electrical cables away. We also had to rethink the positioning of our bed in our bedroom-to-be.

He explained to us that our house was built in alignment with the moon. Often the case with farmers' houses. As one drives through the countryside here, one sees that nearly all the houses are built at the same angle.

A new horse
Caroline is good at woeing the villagers with her joking and general good humour. The old carpenter, Ernest, came by, not with more boudin, but with a self-made sawing horse (bok). He proudly pulled it out of his white van and placed it in the open barn. Caroline was thrilled and gave him a well-earned kiss. That made his day too.

Friends from the Auvergne
Huub and Rosemarie, old friends of Caroline's parents, came to see us. They were our halfway house during our definitive drive from Holland. Retired, they have a beautiful house near Issoire, in the Auvergne. We had lunch outside in the sun. A pleasure we can often enjoy in January.

From one extreme to another
After some glorious T-shirt weather, January turned on us. We had a few days of bitter cold and snow. Plants died and the early blossom paid the price. But all in all it had been a very mild winter. The hibernating beasts were getting restless...

Until next month,

A bientôt.

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© 2007 Perry Taylor and La Baguette Magique, France.