I reported last week about my assault against the moles who were invading our orchard. The chemical weapons were used and for the next few days it seemed to have worked. No new mole hillls or any sign of mole activity. We were congratulating ourselves on a great victory when yesterday there were about 20 new small molehills. So another round of chemical warfare which involves finding the mole hole, putting in some chemicals, closing the hole with a stone, to stop the mole coming back up and replacing the earth. Finding enough small stones to fill the holes is bad enough. One of our cats, Archie kindly helped by sticking a paw down a hole and the chicken had a dust bath in the earth of one molehill.  Our combined response to the mole attack seems to have been a failure as today there were more small molehills. The holes seem to be going down towards the bottom of the orchard. The question is have we succeeded in a flanking manoeuvre which will force a mole retreat or is this a clever regrouping by the moles ready for a counter attack. It seems only time will tell. We have run out of chemicals and the big debate is should we continue with chemicals or escalte to the sonic blaster. I quite like the idea of a sonic blaster but of course there is always the danger of creating mutant moles!! There will be further news from the frontline in next weeks blog.

The sheep have been trying the last of their cunning ploys. This week they tried the hiding one behind the sheep house ploy. The trouble for them is that positioning the other two in front of the house was a bit of a give away. I think they are running out of ideas. I have now made contact with the sheep's owners, a lady called Alex and it seems that the sheep are Portland Sheep and particularly uncooperative as a breed. She also told me that in November they will have an appointment with the abbatoir!! Perhaps for the next month I will have to let the sheep think they are winning and look suitably confused in the mornings when I go to count them! Apparently there is a leg of lamb in this for us, for looking after them. Will have to try to avoid looking at their legs!!

Anyway we have had a great couple of weeks as we have had first Kate's mum and dad to stay and then our daughter Amy. It has given us the chance to visit some of the local sites, including the remains of a Roman town at Jublains which is very interesting. The weather has been a bit rainy the last week but today the sun has been out again and we have been sitting with setting sun drinking white wine on the terrace. A great way to end the day. Now waiting for the sun to set so we can see the bats come out and hopefully the barn owls. Last night one flew over and sat on the window ledge of the gite, I think it was having a good look at me!

Now that all our visitors have gone we will have to get back to all the jobs we have lined up. I am painting the front of the house and Kate is digging over our vegetable garden ready to plant up for next year. We are also hoping to get a local builder in to do some work on the games room(and wine cellar) under the gite. We need to have the ceiling and walls done and some better electrics put in so we can improve the lighting and heating. The pool table continues to do well. Amy enjoyed a few games with us and we are considering what else we can include. The French "Foire aux Vins" continues to its last week this week so we are using the opportunities of cheap deals to build up our wine collection ready to go into the "cave".

Note to Mike  (brother). I don't think the french around here are too much into Argentine Tango, best you can hope for is some country dancing! Regard to shops, it depends what you want. plenty of food andf wine available but we are pretty rural so you need to go to Laval or Alencon which are about an hour away from us. Not found any bike hire but we are looking at getting some bikes for the gite. You may have to stick with walking, playing pool and eating and drinking, if you decide to come over!!

Time to eat again and I have to go to open a new bottle of wine.

A bientot