Thursday 2nd June. 00:33 (3rd)
Up around 8. I did not leave my phone in England. It was in my back pocket, but for some reason, the four or five times I checked my back pocket, I could not find it. Today I found it. I couldn’t charge it, however, because there was no sun. Anyway, let’s move on.
First thing, Chris went off on his mountain bike to look for a track that he’d half-discovered a few years ago and I set about building a fire. Not entirely sure why. Man needs fire.
Chris returned, then went off again, then returned again from Nantiat in the car with baguettes and pain au raisins. Or pains au raisin. I’m not sure.
This is the front room.
This is a large brown slug.
This is the cheap B&Q bookcase I then assembled and stacked with the books I’d brought with me. That was my priority.
Then we went looking for Alex, a guy who lives locally and whose father I had befriended on a Limousin forum. He wasn’t home. So we left a note then found a phone and called another guy I’d found on a forum who we hoped might be able to fix the front door. He wasn’t home either. We left a message.
Then we came back and got to work chopping down trees. I wish I knew the name of these trees. Not old trees, but trees that had shot up over the last four or five years. The trees that cover much of the two acres of land here. We started round the back of the house because I’ve decided that that’s where I’m going to plant my veg.
One thing made the work difficult. And painful. That thing was the proliferation of brambles. Brambles are evil. They climb up and over the branches of healthy trees and pull them to the earth. None of the tools we have are particularly good at dealing with them. We were both wearing shorts. They attach themselves to your legs and tear into your flesh. Even when they are long dead. They are the zombies of the plant kingdom.
We worked till gone six and then tried Alex and Simon (the carpenter) again. We arranged to meet Simon tomorrow morning. Alex still wasn’t home so we came back and cooked steak, potatoes and carrots on the fire. It was a triumph.
This is a toad.
Then we went back to find Alex in the hope that he would be able to help us fix the plumbing, which is one of the things we hope to achieve while Chris is still here. We met Alex.
Alex reminds me of David Thewlis. He is a drunken, sweary plasterer from Congleton. Or at least he was drunk when we met him. I’m not suggesting that he’s always drunk. Heaven forfend. Anyway, then we came back here and drank wine till half past midnight. He can’t fix the plumbing. But he knows a man who might.
Now I must sleep as Chris has stopped reading his car magazine.
It was a good day.
In fact, I would go as far as to say, I love it here. I love this life that I have chosen for at least the next few months, in spite of the fact that I have a rash on my neck that itches like the plague.