Thursday, 21 April 2011

Tues 19 Apr - Simone de Beauvoir, & a Bit of a Faux Pas

I treated myself to a day working outside today, and what a good day I had.  I weeded the bed by the house ready to plant my herbs as soon as I've find them. So far, however, I've only come across oregano, thyme, basil and fennel, but then I haven't really been looking in earnest.  Rosemary we already have in a huge bush at the side, and there is clearly mint under the olive trees (as I found out when mowing last night), but I would rather like some sage, chives, tarragon and dill as a starter, and I would dearly love a bay tree.  Ho hum.  One day at a time. 

Tidied, pruned & awaiting herbs
The bed cleared of all the couch grass, thistles and dandelions, with various indeterminate plants being left in situ until their identity (friend or foe) is revealed.  All the rubbish, rubble and old plastic bags were removed and the bed was actually starting to look rather pretty.  

A few gaps were filled with some thyme and oregano that I'd picked up a while ago, as well as a very pretty petunia given to me by a very nice man in the Scafa store.  I then set to attacking a huge but very dead Yukka with a saw.  Two chances, fight back, survive and spring to life, or shrivel and die never to be seen again.  The mandarin tree certainly did fight back in response to my thinning and lopping.  What evil thorns!  A few other shrubs were cut back and thinned out and you could almost hear the garden breathing again. 

KP & strimmer, a dangerous pair
Happy with my handiwork I went to see what KP was up to and quickly changed my next plan of planting out the veggies bought in Scafa earlier.  A great job he was doing with the strimmer in the bottom field, but there was just so much grass to be raked.  So off I went to join him with rake and wheel barrow.  

I hardly made a dent in it before it was time to take my bike up the hill to pick up a few provisions and start getting supper on for the evening, before I left it too late and we both got tired, hungry and scratchy (timing is key here).  

My second treat of the day was listening to Radio 4 as I chopped and prepared.  Good friend Sarah B text to tell me a programme about the life of the great Existentialist, Simone de Beauvoir, one of the greatest women's writers of all time, was about to start.  Now, how could I miss that?  So I went against my own self imposed principle of only listening to Italian radio (except for a snippet of John Humphries in the morning before getting up, oh, and Farming Today) and had a very pleasant time listening and chopping.  

In the meantime, we'd had an afternoon visit from Max who'd popped round earlier with the geometra from the commune whilst we were in Scafa.  Damned nuisance we missed him but they still had a good look round, and the geometra was happy to work alongside Max.  Even better, Max said he'd be happy to start work around 15 or 16 May.  All good there then, but we still have the problem of Fabio, who telephoned earlier not too happy about losing the project.

Oh dear. I think we may have inadvertently committed our first faux pas. I don't think gathering estimates and making your choice is quite the same here.  We have a meeting with Fabio tomorrow.  Could be interesting.

Just a fraction of the grass to be collected :(

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