A fleeting indoor moment

Yes, yes. I know. Late. What on earth happened to Friday’s news? Well may you ask. This is the June madness month. And that means if I am lucky I can stay out until just after 9pm gardening.

Up at 6am, back at 9pm. Something has to give. And that means I can barely make a fist with my right hand from all the weed pulling (let’s not mention the bindweed / liseron forest that threatens to take over this mountain), I sneeze so loudly from the pollen that I scare not only myself, but the two hares which are lurking about just waiting for me to forget to shut a gate.

Oh and of course I live on tinned tomatoes, fried eggs, and bread. It’s the only thing I make time to cook.

So what with the outdoor frenzy, and the rushed everything I have let mooching in front of the computer slide.

Today however you get to see what I have done with the old septic tank.

Ah, yes, that will make you sit up with delight. Farewell old tank, hello new compost heaps.

See, you thought it couldn’t get worse with talk of tanks and now you get compost. But it’s a natty construction and I am very proud of the results. And best of all, the whole structure held up under the assault of two solid days of wind with 80 km per hour gusts.

The structure held up better than the gardener. I call this vile wind from the south the Doolally wind. But I am sure it has a more prosaic term. We get the mistral from the north (but it doesn’t affect us with a mountain in between) but this storm just battered us relentlessly.

And according to Meteo France we have had 100 days of very windy weather this year – double the normal amount.

So what better climate disaster than testing one’s DIY skills in building with pallets of wood filched from friends?

First up I had to level the site. This is the large area of land hiding behind the soft fruit orchard – I’m rather hoping the black currants will hide the whole thing from the vantage of the courtyard.

Can you spot it? I’ll zoom in.

Actually this was the action shot before I clothed the whole thing in chestnut fencing. I had to wait until Alice came to visit as the 10 metre roll of fencing is a diabolical beast to wrestle into position. She was the star.

It would of course have been better had the height of the fence not loomed so high over the pallets. A 1 metre high roll would have been better.

As fresh chestnut it is a bit yellow. But it will mellow in time. And it will encourage me to water the fruit bushes so they put on a bit more height.

But back to the site. Guillaume kindly left me a cubic metre of crappy soil to fill in the tank when it was decommissioned. (I’m not going into the gory details of Monsieur Cheynel’s visit.).

But as I was starting to shove the soil into the now glistening empty 1.5 cubic metre tank I paused.

What a waste. Good useful landscaping material this stuff. Well, there was an awful lot of rocks and stones. But I decided.

The lid was closed. The smaller chambers blocked up. And I merrily set about raking all the rest of the soil across the sorry site.

Then not two but three layers of weed proof fabric over the top (luckily the felt liner from the pool was being ripped out on the day I did this, and I snapped it up before the lads could take it away to the tip.)

The hardest part about this whole area is the fact it is a jungle of weeds as soon as the bindweed, nettles, brambles, and annual everything else get anywhere near the richly manured soil beneath.

So three layers of hope and then it was on with the pallets.

One side is going to be for just weeds that won’t make me weep. And the other for bindweed. It is not going to get in contact with any soil. Instead I have stacked it up on pallets and aim to be diligent with my separation of goodies from baddies from now on.

Yes. Well. Good luck with that.

Oh yes, and we had enough of the roll left over to repair both gates on the side of the potager that is closest to the hares.

All I need to do at the end of the day is to remember the shut the blasted thing and keep the critters out.