Saturday, 18 August 2012

Frisky Slugs, Feeling Blue and Finials

Permanent Wave
I don’t know who they are but they keep waving.  We are risking life and limb here waving back at them.  Well, the LGB is risking life because he is atop the roof and has to let go of the rope to wave and whilst I’m not actually risking a limb to wave back there is the chance that I could take an eye out with this paintbrush.  And they have already driven past six times today and waved each time and now my arm is aching and I’ve got paint splashes all over the place. Actually we love it.   

‘Who’s that who just waved?’
‘I’ve no idea.’                                                                                                      
 'Who's that then?’                                            
‘Isn’t she the Irish lady who introduced herself last year?’       
‘I think you’re right.’                                                
‘Who's in that tractor?’                                                     
‘Is it the one that has the red car with the three legged dog?’ 
‘Oh, maybe.’                                                         
‘Why are you waving to him?’                                         
‘Just in case we know him.’                                                  
‘But he’s a UPS delivery driver!’    

The LGB adding finishing touches to the roof
 The LGB continues to lay and point the ridge tiles in high temperatures.  It was still 30 degrees in the sun when he finished at nine o’clock tonight.  (He is currently talking to a moth that has got into the caravan, explaining why he has to swat and kill it!  I think the sun has got to him, poor thing - the LGB not the moth!  I hope the sun has got to him and he has not decided he gets a better conversation from a moth than from me!)
The finials are in place

Feeling Blue
No sorry, the colour is just not doing it for me.  The one colour I did not want for the windows and shutters was blue.   Specifically Charentais blue, but blue all the same, so why did I choose blue?  Because I thought it was grey blue.  But it is blue and now I’m blue.
I have decided to simply undercoat the windows and ponder the final colour at leisure.  Maybe by the time I make a decision the undercoat will have a lovely aged, crumbly, flaky look (sounds like an ad for a chocolate bar), looking like it’s been there a hundred years.  Perfect!  The pot of Pebble Drift paint previously purchased will have to be used on garden benches and chairs and anything else that looks in need of a lick of blue paint.  So don’t stand still around me for too long.

Jobs Worth
As you know I have a bit of a fetish for interior design magazines, in fact I bought two yesterday that I already have!  On the rare occasions I have access to the internet I have become a bit of a blog stalker.  They are my on-line magazines.  They don’t take up any room, I don’t have to hide them from the LGB and best of all I get to have a little nosey into other people’s houses.  I laughed out loud when I read one such blog where the American blogger referred to her ‘wallpaper installer’!  How posh is that!!  Whatever happened to the good old ‘decorator’?  I am at present working as a ‘paint applicatrice’ (I just made that up).  Suddenly with a job title like that painting 24 windows and doors doesn’t seem such a chore.  Loving it!

Next Night
Ignore the last two sentences.  I have under-coated five window frames and four and a half windows (half means just one side of a window).  That has taken me a day to complete and that is a 9 pm, twenty one hundred hour finish.  If the LGB had let me have UPVC windows I wouldn’t be feeling like I was drowning under a sea of frames and windows.  I know, I know it’s in black and white, I have libelled myself, I confess it was me who wanted wooden windows.
I actually enjoy painting, I find it quite therapeutic.  However, sadly I am allergic to paint brushes.  Well not exactly the paint brushes but the cleaning of the paint brushes.  If I won the lottery I would throw each paint brush away after use.  Come to think of it, I haven’t won the lottery and that is what I do anyway.  I don’t mean to.  I wrap them in cling film with the good intention of using them again but when I get round to using them they have gone hard so I just throw them away.  The LGB buys a nice set that he says are ‘his’ and I mustn’t use them, but of course I do and then I have to sneak them into the bin when they are hard and beyond any usefulness as a brush.  Unfortunately, he usually finds them in their cling film wrapped – ‘I promise I will use you again soon’ state and he just puts them in the bin with a sad little face and a ‘what’s the use telling her off she’s not going to change now’ expression. J

Closed Shop
Today was an absolute scorcher.  The LGB made an early start but had to call it a day early afternoon.  We went in search of chestnut flooring for upstairs.  We didn’t have much success as, unlike the mad-dogs and Englishmen, most of the French population have shut up shop and are sunning themselves on golden beaches.  They really do literally put a sign up to say they are on holiday for two or three weeks (congé) .  They do not seem fearful that their customers will take their business elsewhere.  I admire them for that.  The nearest we could come to joining them was a cold beer, some people watching and free entertainment from a rock band in Angouleme.   It was still 33 degrees in La Rochefoucauld at 9 pm.
Can you believe the mess an ants nest makes?

Lots of sanding before they could be put in place

We are preparing to put the oak trusses in the kitchen/diner.  The beautiful beams have been stored under a sheet and alas have some water damage and once again the ants have been nest building and have made a dreadful mess of some of the lovely oak beams.  It now involves a lot of time and effort to sand and clean them up ready for use.  I am also treating them with an insecticide and applying a colourless varnish for protection in case it rains before we can get the roof on.  Did you notice I said ‘we’?  I can help tile this roof as it is only one story.

A Sluggish Night
The LGB and I sat down last night to enjoy a well-earned glass of wine and a spot of relaxation.  I should have known it wouldn’t be what we were hoping for when my glass of rosé would have been better described as vinegar and his red vino wasn’t much better.  Well, what would you expect at 50 centimes a bottle.  Not really!  The LGB paid over 5€ for his.  I threw mine away, but he has never been one to give up easily on a glass of wine however rancid.  
Brendan caught sight inches behind our heads of a most extraordinary spectacle, we thought the bad wine had given us hallucinations.  We both leapt from the seat and crept forward to get a better look at what I first thought was a little snake coiled up.
I ran for the camera and he moved the sofa.  We spent the next ten minutes in blatant voyeurism watching two slugs unashamedly copulating whilst hanging from some kind of slimy snotty stuff.  I am sure a biologist would have been enthralled.  Apparently it is called apophallation but I am not going into the details of this because you may be eating your breakfast or tea.  It was eerily mesmerising but also rather disgusting; like something from Alien.  I will let the photos speak for themselves.  We let them finish their business and the LGB dislodged them with a slurp and evicted them from the awning with a caution for lewd conduct and a public disorder offence. 

Look away now if you are of a nervous disposition.

In flagrante delicto

Sperm is exchanged through their protruded genitalia 

 Apophallation allows the slugs to separate themselves by one or both of the slugs chewing off the other's penis - nice!

All done!
Here endeth your biology lesson.

We have made more progress on the build but it is getting late so it will have to wait until next time.

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