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La Darnoire
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An experiment in economical self-sufficiency
An experiment in economical self-sufficiency

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Some complicated plumbing work took place today. You see, last year we were given an old wall-mounted shower by T&M (his uncle was changing his bathroom and throwing away the old equipment). The problem was that the uncle had managed to lose the main control knob, so the shower was, in essence, useless. I kept the original shower head and the fibreglass panel, and purchased a cheap mixer tap from Ebay. By soldering a brass connector to the mixer tap, and by using some hosepipe connectors I had managed to successfully get the shower working. However, as the shower itself is now mounted on the wall, the mixer tap needed to be fixed more robustly to the fibreglass rather than using the friction effect of the previous rubber hosepipe. To cut a long story short, I was able to re-use some 1/2" plumbing fittings from a box of sundry oddments discovered in the recesses of the aged FIL's workshop, and the mixer tap is now securely anchored to the fibreglass shower panel.

It was, perhaps surprisingly, another sunny day, and LSS was rubbing her hands together at the thought of doing some more uninterrupted gardening. Well. The best-laid schemes of mice and men, as Robert Burns said, oft go awry...

When we collected our €20 wardrobe last month, one of the chaps who assisted in loading it onto the trailer turned out to be an avid naturalist. (No, there's an "a" and an "l" in there, which means he likes wildlife, not walking around without any clothes). We happened to mention that the pond had had a visit from a fish eagle (<i>Pandion haliaetus</i>), and a black-crowned night heron had become a fairly frequent visitor. He was exceedingly interested, and said if we didn't mind, he'd pay us a visit to see our pond and its environment. Today was the day he had selected for the visit. So I'm afraid LSS's gardening did not progress as far as she would have liked. 

There were some spectacular natural fireworks during the evening; there was a thunderstorm.
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We took a couple of days off to visit a friend in Tours. T&M kindly agreed to look after the hens, rabbits, and cat whilst we were away.

As expected, we didn’t sleep much. The friend lives opposite the cathedral in the town centre. There are lots of pubs, bars and clubs in the area, which means from midnight onwards there are drunks arguing or fighting in the street, people walking home talking loudly, and ambulances arriving at the nearby hospital with sirens wailing. Then at around 5 a.m. the street-sweeping vehicles start their waltz; brushes cleaning the gutters like the hems of twirling dresses. This is followed by the dustbin men starting their rounds, and then the general population starts to emerge, blinking, yawning, and calling out its morning greetings for the start of a new day. Now that we live in the peace and quiet of the countryside, we’ve come to realise we can never go back to living in a town.

Mind you, we saw a spectacular 14th-of-July fireworks display on the banks of the Loire river, which lasted for a solid 25 minutes.
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The start of Year Three!
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