Today I did it. I finally braved the Post Office. Not the one close to me where the parking is awful and the shop hard to get to. I went to my favourite tiny town and walked in. All French phrases left my head and I said to T that I would listen to the person in front of me and it would all come back! Unfortunately for me the person in front was English and had managed to raise the ire of the Postwoman who babbled a lot in fast French. I understood a great many 'non's and 'pah's and the man stomped from the building uttering a lot of four letter words which were unfortunately very clear in any language.
I took a deep breath, walked up to the counter and said goodbye!!! Bonjour is hello, bonjourno is have a good day! Thankfully the postwoman laughed and told me to say it when I left, or was I leaving already. Some of this in perfect English, so she clearly understood the previous gentleman and was just being awkward! This had quite an effect on my confidence and I managed to send out a few Christmas cards without any further embarrassment. I'm going to make that my usual Post Office as not only is it a delightful little town, but I'm no longer terrified of the Post staff and need a good service for when I re-open my internet shop in the new year.
Meanwhile, back home at crazy acres, as I sometimes call it, the hay was fast running out and the ponies were planning another jail break. The two separate herds had broken the fence and were in togerther, the Eriskays had T's horses backed up into a corner and wouldn't let them onto the meagre strip of grass remaining in the paddock. Moomin and I gave them large buckets of feed and planned to ration the hay to last the weekend. Tempers were frayed, human and horse. I came in, soaked and cold and poured a large glass of Pastis and water. This is normally a summer drink and served with ice cold water is very refreshing, however, I've found it to also be quite warming after a cold day in the mud! As I started to unwind for the evening, I noticed an email from my lovely farmer, Pierre (I kid you not), the hay was on it's way. So, back into wet boots and outside to move the remaining hay ready for the delivery.
Pierre arrived on his Ferrari of a tractor (I'm no expert, but it's better than my car any day) and in less than half an hour I had five huge rounds of hay unloaded and covered and my pockets were a good deal lighter. It's good to know that we have hay until the new year, the cave is well stocked with food (50 kilos of potatoes from Pierre and cupboards full of cat food after a stock sale) our freezer is stuffed and we have over half a tank of oil from Jean Luc (honestly). We fired up the boiler this evening and mercifully have a working central heating system. It was such a huge luxury to feel warm and as the temperatures are due to drop after the weekend, it's quite a relief to know that we won't freeze like little match-girls!!!