Sunday 23 April 2006


The usual panic about travelling is setting in. I've booked with LDlines, £40 return can't be bad, but I will have to sit up overnight (or sleep on the dirty floor, which I hate doing) as they are undersupplied with cabins.

Plans for when I arrive, well, getting the water and electricity connected are the tasks that still take priority after my disastrous failure in March. I also have to source a french telephone (Leclerc I hope) and find the socket at the house to plug it into, because I'm buggered if I can ever remember seeing one there.

We went to an army surplus store yesterday and bought me a single ring gas camping stove so I can heat some beans for my suppers. It's a miracle of modern design running of a 227g tube of butane like a big lighter but must be frightfully inefficient and bad for the environment so I shall be looking out for a more conventional cooker pretty damn quick. Another Rayburn would be marvellous but although they come up secondhand at bargain prices you have to be there fast before it's snapped up by another Brit. and I won't be there long enough to find one this time.

I'll be taking a few plants to start the gardens, some potato seed tubers to be planted in hay/straw under a plastic mulch sheet and netting and old AOL cds to create a barrier over my willows to discourage the deer. I'd like a reliable strimmer but I'm scared to buy one, they're not particularly cheap and the models available in the DIYs and garden centres seem excessively fragile and prone to breakdown. I'll get some prices from the supermarkets in France, in the past their prices have seemed to be a little better than their British equivalents.

oh, and I'll get a picture of that otter this time. Honest.

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