Day 5: No sign of a body!

There were some plumbing issues to be dealt with at La Maison so after the usual breakfast, S headed up to the house with B to tackle them (B acting in an advisory capacity and on face licking duty).

Tuesday is market day at Sourdeval with an excellent live stock market too (when we came in search of houses in April, the lady at the house we stayed at had spent a small fortune on ducks for her pond who kept flying away!) P had always had a hankering for chickens – indeed the family had gone as far as to name them Chick Norris (see what we did there!) and Penny Fluffy Feathers.  However, the sensible head knew that they weren’t really practical and we were not sure who would the rule the roost (!) once B met them; but S thought a sheep may help to keep the garden in check or a pig to fatten up and keep B company would be a super idea. We are sorry to say that by the time we got to the market, it was too late to buy any livestock (I wonder how that happened!)

We did however get some vegetables – they are a lot easier to look after and P a leather belt as her trousers keep falling down (not sure how given how much we are eating) and a scarf for S then back to the lodge for lunch and then back to the house to carry on with jobs.

When we bought the house some of the floor tiles in the kitchen were raised and on closer inspection in July some of the cement had had some sort of chemical reaction forcing the tiles up. S and P spent time carefully taking tiles up to re-use in the knowledge that there were some spares in the shed if needed and the tools found in the shed proved particularly handy as S whacked the concrete to break it up – a messy and dusty job. We speculated that the chemical reaction may have been caused by a dead body decomposing, but thankfully we haven’t found signs of anything yet. There are two bin fulls of detritus to take to the tip when it is open on Wednesday and the next task will be to fill the hole up with cement – without the obligatory body I think and then relay the tiles – not sure all that will be achieved this time.

B had a great time haring up and down the garden and trying to eat more of the peaches – he still isn’t showing much interest in the little dog next door, much to her chagrin, maybe they don’t speak the same language……

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Day 4 – Fried Fish

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Fire Salamander

After a good night’s sleep Simon was up bright and early and as the last few days had been spent in the car, he felt it was time for a bit of a walk.  The day hadn’t really got going and there were still a few wisps of mist around as Simon set off down the path that leads to the lake.  Something was crawling on the path in front of him – a toad? no a salamander!  The salamander was happy to crawl away and Simon, having some idea that salamanders are toxic, was happy to watch it!  In fact, Fire Salamanders excrete a neuro-toxin that causes muscle convulsions, hyperventilation and raised blood pressure and in some species it can be life threatening but only if you touch it enough to absorb the toxin through your skin.

After a breakfast of bread rolls, it was time to go to Salo for the weekly Saturday market.  It is a fine market with many stalls selling clothes, household goods, cheese (Simon and P bought some 36 month aged Grana Padano), Salami (Simon and P tasted a few and bought a couple), fruit and veg (blood oranges and asparagus) but the main reason for going was the fried fish.  Simon scours every Italian market for the fried fish stall with varying degrees of success but Salo never disappoints and the lunch of fried fish eaten from the bag was worth the 2 year wait!

A trip to the supermarket and them Simon and P were set up for the week.  A lazy afternoon and a walk down to the lake and around the campsite to the bar for an icecream set them up for a tea of barbecued sausages.  Perfecto!