Beaulieu is a beautiful place

The summer has certainly hit with force now. Its been heading to 40°C and at least in the 30’s for a fortnight or so now. It set to break with temperature in the 20s and rain, just when Delia’s mum arrives.

Not a lot to report from me these last 3 weeks, Delia missed a week and took my place last week. But I’m still incapacitated by shingles though these last few days it does seem to be improving so perhaps I do not have what the doctor called “postherpetic neuralgia” which apparently happens to 1 in 5 after shingles. The rash is still there though fading. Its good to know that it is just pain though, and not a progressive illness or a symptom of something more serious. The doc’s been trying things out on me to find something that will work for the pain… various antispasmodics, anti depressants and anti epileptics. Currently its ketoprofene, a cocktail pill of paracetamol caffeine and opium, lidocaine patches and amitryptiline at night. Travelling as a passenger on bumpy roads is the worst, apart from being very painful, with all these pills I rattle a bit too. I went into Chalus with Delia and her mum yesterday and it was merely uncomfortable.

I’m fine if I just sit still which means poor Delia has to do everything from cooking and cleaning to dog walking and nursing, a lot of pressure on her I’m sorry to say. At least I can do my work, I’ve been doing a shop site for someone we met on a dog walk and who it transpires lives between the wilds of north west Scotland and Lageyrat whose church spire can be seen from our upstairs windows. I have had to endure the wearing of a shirt though when they have visited me to discuss the site.

I haven’t been able to make my last couple of photo club meetings so I invited them to our place last Sunday so I didn’t have to travel. With the photo club we got some varied photos of Beaulieu perhaps to do a photobook. I’ve already got many of my own from all seasons but other photographers, some much more expert than me, could give a different perspective.

Heat, what heat! – 05th August 2018

Firstly the apology, with this blog being so late. Unfortunately life has caught up with me over the past 4 weeks. Work has been very busy and with Pat being ill a lot has had to fall off my to-do list. My blog writing was one of these items. I could also do with some sleep, the combination of the heat and a very restless Pat has meant that I’ve not had many a good night sleep.

We seem to have finally come to a combination of medicine that seems to be working for Pat so finally he might have some relief? He has the camera club here today (he couldn’t do the drive to them) so I’m upstairs out of the way. I have however made some courgette muffins for them (I’ve got so many courgettes and yellow squash this year) which are surprisingly yummy and healthy (one always has to taste test before giving them to others)! I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting on what can be made with courgettes this year, along with giving some away.

Yes it is hot hear in France and in our part of France very hot. It’s not the heat that is so unusual hear, but the lack of rain. We are in the Perigord vert, which means the green Periogord and summers are usually hot and humid – with the humidity building up until we have a thunderstorm and then the cycle starts again. This year however it has been dry and the rain has not come, so my grass is dead and there is lots of watering of the garden to be had. I will be honest for me it actually feels like a true summer this year which I’m grateful for.

I will admit I had to do house cleaning yesterday, a combination of the camera group coming today and my mum arriving at the end of the week, I really did feel it was necessary to do – house cleaning really isn’t fun in 35 degree heat, but the tiled floor dried really quickly as did my counterpane. For those of you who don’t know what a counterpane is, it’s a type of bedspread. So I decided yesterday that it was in desperate need of a wash – it states dry clean only – but that is just not going to happen – so I took it downstairs, too big for the washing machine. I remembered a friend used to have to wash her duvet in the bathtub, so upstairs we go. 1 bathtub, some washing powder one counterpane, and just add water and my feet – I was stomping up and down the bath on top of my counterpane – the water was filthy. You don’t see the water in your washing machine which I think I am now eternally grateful for. A change of water and a second stomping and things were looking much better. I then rinsed it, not an easy task as with all the water added it was very heavy. A final stomping, to get the water out and then the joy of carrying it down stairs and out to the washing line.

With the house now being somewhat cleaner and things seem to be slowly returning to normal – we hope I wish you à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia