Seems like its been a short interlude since arriving back from the USofA and leaving again. Thankfully Macron saw sense (rare for modern day politicians) and opened the borders again so plans could be made to chase the milder climates once more. Naturally we’ve been trying to recall what we’ve been up to the past four weeks…. with difficulty! What we have noticed though, is that Google Earth has spotted us and now pinned our solar panels to The Ranch! We’ll be putting out pot plants and bird feeders before Miss Ellie realises! Given the glorious walks across the road, it isn’t a bad spot to live 😉
Anyhow, thankfully everyone close to us is well. The Ranch is the usual hive of activity. Jigsaw saw off the new Jack Russell puppy on the block, Hattie. Bless her, she was quivering with fear at the site of a small marauding furr ball, hissing! Smarti has recovered well from his op and the horses are in fine fettle. Pamela and Bobby continue to spend their days finding jobs to do, irrespective of the weather, which might explain why they were caught keeping warm under the hay?! Miss Ellie and her best friend Jolene have been out and about, cutting the light fantastic into the evenings and DIY Dave has continued to be handy.
Christmas and New Year came and went, celebrations with Wendy and Terry in Redditch followed by further celebrations at The Ranch with the clan. We are grateful for all the hospitality afforded us! Nick made his Christmas pie before we left for the US so it was just the veggies to do on the day… you all know Nick’s culinary skills, though and his carrots took hours! Jigsaw thought about escaping before hiding in plain sight… idiot!
We always try and catch up with everyone and it’s been great, friends settling into new homes, cooking superb lunches, friends selling homes and most staying put and also cooking some tasty fayre. We’ll never be hungry with such a great bunch of pals! Nick was pinned down by another female and survived, gorgeous Grace. We didn’t dare introduce Jigsaw, who’d have been mistaken for a squirrel! Our mobile home had a short stint at the fixer uppers garage, enabling our only culture trip of note, Newark Cathedral. Nice to be in a home grown one for a change. We swapped the tyres front to back washed the van and buffed it…. does it seem like we’ve been killing time? Living the dream eh?!!
Lots off odd jobs completed, I trained as a plumber on YouTube and passed my electrician grade 1 test by rewiring a new pond filter in at Manor Barn. Nick meanwhile did the macho stuff like cutting back trees with a big saw and creating white ghosts in the flower beds (wrapping tree ferns). In the “don’t let your children do this” category, I tried out some plastic bags for wrapping large planters in (when we have to put them in store before you ask!)
So what’s on the horizon? Delaying our departure so we could watch the final of “Only Connect” on BBC2, we leave, as usual, with a skeletal plan. We’ll meander down through France towards Carcassonne and that area, before a cross of the Pyrenees into the North East corner of Spain. Our local guide Marianne has certainly whetted our appetite for that part of the world.
Take care everyone, see you when we get kicked out of Europe… again! x