No sooner had I started writing about grey, damp days the weather improved dramatically and we have been basking in 18 degrees centigrade in the afternoons (warm enough to sit out on the terrace for a while). Mandi the cat has now woken to the delights of spring and is beginning to get his small head around the fact that his world has grown beyond his wildest dreams. For the first time in his life there are no walls, roads, other cats or buildings within his sight and now that he is beginning to get it, he has been driving us mad by wanting to go in and out and in and out in as many different compilations as he can manage. He is most active during the night, preferring to sleep it off during the morning. I think his days of sleeping at then end of the bed may be coming to an end!
Ian has spent more time working on the outside of the house. We dug out for the second Canadian drain. These are air vents in the form of plastic pipes that are buried into the ground and have an inlet above the ground to draw in air and an outlet in a vent in the floor. As they pass underground the theory is that the air is slightly warmed in the winter and slightly cooled in the summer; well that is the theory! We thought it sounded a good idea and better than having vents in the windows. However, as we investigated it further we found out that it was rather more complicated than we thought and actually would make very little difference in terms of heat in our part of France as it is not cold enough (or hot enough) for long enough for it to be effective. We also did not have the 1.5 metres of top soil necessary so put it deep enough. So, in the end we have compromsied and made an air inlet pipe that goes underground a little! The run in the ditch by the side of the house and in digging it out Ian managed to break the sewage outlet pipe with the digger! As it was sunny he took it in his stride and promptly fixed it!
I am currently in Bordeaux. I am only working a day and half this time which meant that I didn't have to get up too early! However, I still had to get the 9.12 train, and as we drove to Ste Foye le Grande we passed the monks and followers from Plum Village on their morning walk. I smiled to myself as over their sackcloth dress they were wearing hi-visibility vests. Even the budhists are not exempt from health and safety!