Thursday, July 24

First supper under the lime tree

24th july
I uprooted the thistles and nettles that were foresting the area in front of the house. There is a beautiful but unkempt lime tree whose branches were almost sweeping the ground. I lopped back the branches as high as I could reach and cleared away the rusty scrap iron piled up around it’s trunk. Now I have a shady area for dining with a view over the the potager wall, now we can see the poor old pear tree victims of digger man. Amazingly they are valiantly still producing fruit. As I was gardening I uncovered a massive cedar stump which is in an ideal place to build a campfire, it smells fantastic when burning. On Tuesday, to inaugurate my new dining room I decided to invite the Bontettes for supper.

Mr B is ex-military and probably quite likes a bit of camping but Mme B is a lady with a French manicure, a weekly hairdresser habit and very high heels. I can see their place from mine - they drive the 500 metres to my house. My front ‘lawn’ is quite a challenge to high heels. I set the table under the lime tree, got the fire going and did the cooking right there. The problem with running a dinner party single-handed in a new house is that it’s the sort of learning curve best experienced with good friends. Not having the right implements, correcting wobbly tables, embers getting too cool too quickly all had it's effect on the food. I also forgot to get candles, learned that the outside lights don’t work and that it really does get quite dark once the sun goes down.

The Director called. Apparently the series isn’t quite as ‘in the bag’ as we’d thought. I flew back to the UK late last night.

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