As you might tell from this week’s heading I have had too much time to think. This is dangerous and leads to all sorts of strange ideas. There I was on Wednesday sat in the garden looking at the orchard when an apple fell to the ground. For me this led to a bout of swearing and cursing the fruit trees that create fallen apples and pears that I then have to go around and pick up, causing extreme back ache and regular battles to fight off the wasps. Sir Isaac Newton in the same situation, 300 years ago, thinks, an apple falls so I will discover gravity and go on to a life of fame and fortune. Such are the breaks in life. Newton gets famous and I get to carry on picking up apples.

This leads me to thinking that Darwin has much to answer for in determining his theories on evolution. It seems to me that he must be wrong. If evolution applied then quite clearly man would not have developed an upright stance and short arms. Given the need to pick up things from the floor, evolution would surely have maintained us in an apelike form closer to the ground with long arms, thus making the job of picking up fruit so much easier. It has also been my lot this week to have received a lorry load of wood. Mrs. Parish is determined to be prepared for the winter and has ordered a vast quantity of logs. They were delivered on Thursday in a huge tipper lorry who deposited all the logs outside on the courtyard. Mrs. Parish who is firmly in charge of all things to do with the wood burner explained that the wood needed to be kept dry in order for it to burn to maximum efficiency. This required moving 10 cubic metres from the courtyard to the wood shed and then stacking the wood in orderly piles. This of course meant picking up the wood and taking to the shed in a wheelbarrow and then picking it up and stacking it. Of course come the winter we will have to do this process in reverse and take the wood out of the shed and into the house ready to put on the fire!! Any way the process of shifting all this wood and picking it up several times has not done my poor back any good. Again another fail for Mr. Darwin, Mrs. Parish mentions survival of the fittest and I think she means that I am doomed to extinction.

All this thinking leads to me consider what Karl Marx might have to say about all this labouring. So I look up his theory of surplus value. This is all about exploitation of the worker and trying to extract the maximum value from the work done by working people, usually by paying low wages. Now I am labouring unpaid, which I suppose could be considered to be slavery. There is my daily round of picking apples, sheep counting, bird and cat feeding as well as log shifting. Add to this cleaning and ironing for both the house and the gite. La Godefrere Enterprises is maximising the surplus value from all this labour to create profit. I need to discuss this revelation with my friend Red Keith, to find out what Trotsky has to say about this. I am struck by the realisation that the surplus value extracted by La Godefrere Enterprises will be distributed to the five shareholders, me and Mrs. Parish (and three cats). It is clear that I am in a horrible Marxist contradiction in that I am exploiting myself. A revolution is obviously required.

Well the cats are certainly exploiting me; they started bothering me for their tea an hour and a half early this afternoon. I was sat at the computer a suddenly noticed that I was being menaced by three cats who had me surrounded. I showed them my watch and explained about the time but this had no effect and in the end we had to persuade them to wait outside. The cats have had a trying week as we have been visited by the three legged ball of fur called Tommo. He is not quite sure what to make of the cats unless they run away in which case he barks a lot and chases them. Moggie on one occasion stood his ground and made himself look big and Tommo was quite confused. Ian, Emma and their friend Sarah had a good time and the weather was great. It also meant that the La Godefrere petanque team could resume their winning ways. However there has been no improvement on the darts front.

In thinking about Newton discovering gravity, it occurred to me that I could discover something. My nearest shot seems to be my singing which is effective in scaring off moles. It may also be the cause of death as we discovered that Moggie had found a dead mole in the veg garden. The mole may have been overwhelmed by the power of my voice or Moggie might have caught it. In any event it is one less mole to be tunnelling in my garden. The moles particularly dislike Bob Dylan but on the other hand I may have made a discovery that the cows like Howlin Wolf. When I last mowed the grass, I was singing along out loud to Howlin Wolf and had rendered my versions of Smokestack Lightning and Little Red Rooster when I looked up to see that all the cows were at the fence, looking at me. I could not quite tell if they were looks of admiration or bewilderment. Unfortunately before I could experiment some more the cows have been taken away, to the abattoir. It could be organised suicide to avoid further exposure to my voice. They have been replaced by around 21 new young beef cattle who are this year’s herd to be over wintered. It will give me time to try out my singing on this lot.

As you can see it has been a somewhat strange week and to finish it off, I must report on the bats. I have mentioned before that we have lots of bats that come out around dusk from their roosting sites in the orchard trees. They fly around catching moths and other insects and are quite spectacular. I have discovered that if you stand in the lane beside our house you can see the bats hunting in quite large numbers and see them clearly against the sky. The best bit is that the bats travel at great speed down through the lane (now renamed Bat Alley) and fly straight at your head only swerving to one side or doing a loop the loop to avoid hitting you. Their superb echo locating technique means that they will always be able to avoid bumping into you but it is quite hard sometimes to avoid ducking. Such things amuse me and have also amused the guests staying here, so it is not just me!!

So, I have just made drinks for me and Mrs. Parish while she cooks dinner – pork cooked in Emile’s cider, very lovely. I must now go and complete my latest obsession of Killer Sudoku from Guardian online before dinner. It’s all this being retired that has opened a whole new exciting world.

Bon soiree