Week 8 and finally our furniture and other effects arrived from store last Monday. 67 boxes and assorted furniture duly arrived and the immediate reaction was to ask - can all this really be ours! It was a bit like Christmas opening all the boxes and being reunited with long lost friends we had packed up 3-4 months ago. Of course one problem was the need to reconstruct all our furniture. Wardrobes and bookcases were taken apart to assist in the move. Putting them together was something of a challenge, particularly as we discovered that we had no instructions, no step by step diagrams to follow. After much swearing and the occasional retreat after discovering the door put on back to front we finally got the reconstruction complete. This included putting up a huge bookcase in one of our upstairs room, now designated as the office.I got the bookcase erected and all the books reshelved (despite knowing quite a few librarians, I resisted the temptation to use the Dewey classification system). Anyway at around 6-45 am the next day, I was awakended by Mrs Parish who had spent a restless night coming to the conclusion that all our books, plus the bookcase would be of sufficient weight to bring down the ceiling. Did I think it would be a good idea to move the bookcase and books!!! I explained, quite lucidly I though considering the time of day, that I would struggle to calculate the load bearing co-efficient necessary to provide complete reassurance but that it would probably be alright. An hour later and after several cups of tea and close inspection of the ceiling and floorboards, Mrs Parish was finally convinced. After a week we now have all our furniture set up, the walls are covered in our pictures and finally it feels like our home, rather than being on holiday.

There is something of  a stand off with the moles. They appear to have moved out of the orchard and into our big field. It may of course be a strategic withdrawal, pending an autumn offensive. However, our neighbour Peter as part of our grand alliance has captured another mole so our eastern flank seems secure. We have been looking at the range of anti mole methodologies. Peter has tried gas, by putting a hose to his car exhaust and putting the end down the mole holes, he has also tried flamethrowing (petrol and matches!) and various poisons all of which seem to fail. The shops have sonic blasters which excites me but reports of their success are mixed. In one shop we watched an interesting video of one method of putting electrodes down the hole and when the mole  hits both wires he just explodes (I think this is video licence and not what really happens, but it looks dramatic). A lot for the allied high command to consider if the moles comeback.

Cats! As I have mentioned before we inherited two cats who own and run our house. They are outside cats who we feed at set times each day. The morning feed is straightforward as the cats appear outside the door as soon as I get up in the morning to make tea. They are next due to be fed at 4pm. Both cats are I think in competition top see how early they can get their afternoon feed delivered. Trigger has a simple and straighforward methodology. He starts as early as possible, from about 2pm putting on a pathetic look. This is helped considerably as he is lop eared, with one ear up and one down. He also has a wide eyed helpless look which is complemented by a plaintive crying which manages to convey the clear message that he is starving, has has a deprived childhood and has had a very trying day. This attritional behaviour continues for the next two hours or as long as it takes to break down resistance. Archie on the other hand is much more subtle. His method is to be so annoying that you eventually get so exasperated that you have to feed him. His tactics include sneaking indoors and disappearing upstairs and then hiding under the bed just far enough in to make you get down on your knees to get him out. His next approach is to jump up on to the worktop to explore any possible food sources that may be around. I try to resist and tell them its still an hour to go, I even show them my watch but it doesn't seem to work. The pressure is relentless. The combined effect of this two pronged assault is usually to ensure that by 3-30 at the latest we have given in and fed them. 

A good thing this week has been that Emile has been round and collected all our apples and pears, so no more back breaking picking up fruit. The even better thing has been that Emile dropped by with a large bottle of home made Calvados. So when moles are maddening, when cats get confusing and when furniture is frustrating I can can console myself with  a nice glass of Calvados. It also helps when the weather is as crap as it has been for the past week. Mind you the great thing about Calvados is that it is also good when the weather is nice!! Mmmm, perhaps its time for a wee glass now, yesI rather think it is.

A bientot