Troublesome things, moles. They don't seem affected by the chemical weapon offensive. Despite major efforts the moles seem to be digging in for the long term.the war may not be over by Christmas. this despite forming an alliance with neighbour Peter who has been invaded by the moles. He has been trying to lay traps to capture the moles. An interesting approach which seems to involve putting traps down holes and then marking them with bamboo canes with flags on top. Not sure yet whether he has captured any. Judging by the number of molehills in my orchard probably not. Sonic blasters seem to be the only answer now. Could try playing tapes of the x factor down the holes!!

This rural idyll is not all its made out to be. seems to be a continuous battle against nature. This week we have had to contend with crows and jays eating the walnuts from our walnut tree. Not only do they eat the nuts they also drop the husks all over the grounds with a load of twigs, which I then have to pick up! And while I'm on the subject of picking up, why is it that the apples and pears have to fall off the tree, resulting in more things to pick up. You'd think they could just wait and let themsleves get picked! Hopefully our friend Emile will come and pick up the fruit next week with his friend who will turn the apples into cider  and the pears into perry. This sounds much more idyllic, tasting the outcome! The other problem with the fruit is the wasps who hide in holes in the fruit waiting for unsuspecting people like me to pick up the fruit!! We discovered a wasps nest in a tree near the gite. This seems to be another problem. However as I have previously reported local shops have an amazing array of substances that can deliver death and destruction. Kate was despatched under cover of darkness to destroy the nest. At last a victory!!

At least the sheep are under control, they seem to have run out of ideas to try and deceive me. It may be something to do with them being on borrowed time. In the field next to the gite we have some new visitors. The farmer, a nice guy called Luic has put in 20 bullocks to over winter. It is nice to see them in the field. They are Normandy cattle and seem quiet neighbours except around dusk when they get quite lively and dash about alot.

Have spent the last week trying to sort out our car and get it registered in France. This is an amazingly bureaucratic experience and it is also proving a real test of Kate's french. We have had new tyres fitted and arranged to have the headlights fixed so that they point the right way. We then have to get the car tested and fill in a large form and take to a Government office. If we are lucky we then get french number plates!

Next week is a big week. Kate arrives at a noble age on Thursday. There is of course a saving grace as being 60 she can access her pension from Dorset County Council. We are off to stay for the night on the Mont St Michel at a hotel on the mount. It should be really great to there when all the visitors have gone home. We just have to hope for decent weather.

Off now to watch Downton Abbey.

A bientot