It's not all been plain sailing since we've been in France. People have said how lucky I am to be here. It's got nothing to do with luck, just the money from the sale of my house and a grim determination to be here and succeed at our goals.
I was asked yesterday if I had a job yet! Yes, the job of carving out a living from my smallholing, my art and Reiki courses and selling our produce. On top of that I'm hoping the Gite will bring in a modest wage and then if there's any time left after all that, I may enjoy working with the ponies/horses and mucking out their paddocks.
Anyway, I digress, the joining of two households together has not been a smooth transition and so with great difficulty we've decided to rehome Echo. She hasn't coped well with the move and has seen my dog as a huge threat. Being a dog of little courage, Manchee then became the victim which resulted in a very unhappy incident. That's all I'll say on that matter, but I've been on my own a lot lately while the situation has been managed! I daresay it will come right in the end.
As part of the small-holding enterprise, I've been able to rekindle my love of preserving things. The food here in France is very seasonal, unless you want to pay a small fortune for something. Citrus fruits are a good price at the moment, so I bought a couple of bags of oranges and grapefruits and decided to make marmalade, which is really expensive in the shops at any time of year.
The preparation of all the fruit took three hours, but as life is pretty quiet here in the Autumn, it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The house smelt delicious.
I finely peeled the oranges and grapefruit (and my finger!) and then sliced the pith away from the skin. I also took excess pith off the fruit and removed the flesh from between the membranes.
The skin was finely chopped, but I found it all much easier with a pair of kitchen scissors, that's top tip no.1.