One man and his Tractor heading into the setting sun. An iconic image, bringing to mind images of Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter. At least in my  mind on a Sunday afternoon in Mayenne. Maybe it was the fact that the sun was setting and as I rode out to meet the advancing tide of grass, there was something of the wild west about it. Just me, my tractor and the vast wilderness that is my garden and fields. Maybe it was the fact that as soon as i started up the tractor, the cattle in the next field all came to my fence to admire the lone rider. Kate rather unkindly suggested that it was more likely they thought I was a real farmer with bales of hay for them to eat!! There were never any cynics about when Clint got into the saddle. Anyway the grass has been tamed and the tractor is at rest in the shed waiting for its next adventure.

The cattle are actually quite interesting. They are all young males who have been castrated. Loic explained to us how it is done with tight elastic bands. Brings tears to your eyes. They all have numbers on their ear tags. Number 3392 was very handsome but 3375 seemed to have a more inquisitive nature. i think there is a revolutionary slant to 3375, I am not a number, he is one to be watched.

Its been a quiet week on the mole front. Not too much mole activity but they are still there. I think we are in a phoney war at the moment. Peter next door managed to capture a mole in his trap but unfortunately the mole was dispatched before we had chance to interrogate it. We continue with regular patrols along the front line awaiting the mole next move.

Good news this week as Emile and his tractor came round and collected from the trees all our cider apples and perry pears. Not only does this mean, no more back breaking picking up the fall downs but we can expect some cider in return. This seems a good plan.

A big week for Kate this week as she was 60 on Thursday. We had a trip to the Mont St Michel. We stayed at a really nice hotel  within the walls with magnificent views over the bay. It was intertesting to be there after all the tourists had gone home. We had a wonderful 5 course meal overlooking the bay and had a great time. They are doing lots of work trying to recreate the Mont as an island, improving the flow of water around it and building a new road to the Mont. All the car parking is now away from it, with shuttles to take visitors. fascinating look at lots of big trucks and cranes, great stuff.

We had this great plan to feed the two cats while we were away. As with our cats in England we thought we could use the cat feededr with timers that open at set times. we duly introduced the cats to the new equipemnt and on the day we left filled them with cat food an set the timers for their feed times over the next 24 hours. Before we had got to our car, Archie had one of the feeders open and was busy eating the afternoons feed. Trigger then joined him and the other feeder was soon demolished. Bloody cats, we left them to it.

This weeks challenege to Kate's french skills. One morning I noticed that the electric fence surrounding the cattle field was shorting out with lots of sparks on one post. We were worried that the fence might go down and the cattle may get loose. Kate was despatched to our neighbour, Giselle to explain problem and to get her to phone the farmer, Loic. After looking up french for electric fence, sparks and escaping cattle Kate set off. She seemed to manage and the message was relayed. Later we met Loic in the field and he explained that it was a slug which had caused a short between the wire and metal post. The only casualty was a grilled slug!

Tomorrow our furniture at last arrives. Only 8 weeks after we moved in! Useless removal firm but we have managed to survive, though it will be really great to have our own stuff at last.

A bientot