Sunday, 30 September 2012

The last pile put in place for the new slipway.
Progress on the slipway - last week - the last banging-in of the piles. This is just the start.

Also a new start in my life again at the end of the week. I had a review with the consultant on Friday and this time the Xray shows that the cancer is starting to stir again (like a volcano!). So an end to the carefree days of no chemo and not much worry.

We discussed various options and concluded that I should try something that is not as heavy as the stuff I had last time. So I am going to try gemcitabine. If this is not effective, then the choice can be extended to something else. It is not quite organised yet but I am likely to go to the Day Unit every fortnight for this and it will take about half an hour to feed it in.

I was upset and shocked on Friday - I had got used to life as it was, although I was not entirely surprised that it was starting up again. I have tried to draw on a few inner resources - not entirely successfully. But I went to the beach in sunshine yesterday and I have calmed down enough to write this update.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

And indeed - back to some sort of normal today.
One part quite good - I went to the gym for the first time for over a month and have not lost much fitness - I started on modest weights and did OK.
The second part of normality is the rubbish weather - the end of summer. Heavy rain and a strong wind stopped me going out very far - I am not used to it. It looks as if there will continue to be squalls of heavy rain, dropping temperatures and little sunshine all week.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Sheep in woolly fold - being rounded up for their annual injections. Note how steep their pasture is. The red thing is my coffee cup!
I have uploaded my photos from the visit to Flickr at last -
Here you can see many activities and some stunning countryside.

I went out to the coast today with Aidan, which made me feel better about being back for the sea was also stunning. It was not windy enough to fly a kite, but the sun shone and I ate too many chips and drank a lot of tea and coffee - so a bit back to normal. Determined to be more back to normal tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The way through the woods - not closed
One of the paths up to the chestnut groves
The strange thing - I am a really urban animal - I have lived in the centre of towns of various sizes for most of my life. Yet I totally miss the woods, pastures and gardens of the farm.

So I have not settled back to 'normal' life yet, although I have done a few normal things, like watched a high spring tide creep up on the footpath by the caravan cafe. The weather is getting colder although no rain and even some sunshine.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

One of the things I came back to - - - no access to the slipway for dinghy sailing.

The piling barge and crane. New piles are being put in for the new slipway to replace the old one.
The old slipway is used as a work platform for doing the piling. It could not be left until after the end of sailing season incase the banging disturbs the - -  - - - birds! So there is no more racing this year.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

This is one of the things I thought about in an historical way - le ch√Ętaigneraie (the sweet chestnut grove) and the paths up to it - - -

A view uphill through the chestnut grove.
 Such groves were a feature of traditional farming from the 18th century - they diversified the rural economy of tough landscapes like this. These seem to have been planted in the late 19th century (the house is dated 1898) and there are well constructed paths up into the woodland. They were harvested by the previous owner but the trees and undergrowth have probably not been nurtured for some time.

The way through the woods - -
The well made path to the ch√Ętaigneraie

The woodland also yields some very large mushrooms - -

Mushrooms from the chestnut grove. In France you can get them identified in any pharmacy - stops people eating the wrong ones
I did not eat them - undue caution - -

Friday, 14 September 2012

This is one of the things I did - - - no slackers on the farm - - the background shows how high it is from the valley floor beyond. 

I weeded the vegetable patch and the paths - note the heavy boots - .
I enjoyed doing this although it is quite hard work. I trudged off (up hill) to an area that had been cleared by the pigs and then planted with beans, sweetcorn and some other vegetables (some we ate and they are excellent). It seems pretty fertile - but the weeds (herbes maivais) do well too. Here I am attacking them with a hoe - but I found a better method was to sit down and pull them out with a trowel.

Another area cleared by pigs and not planted yet - - the idea here is to plant a vetch to grow over the winter to improve the soil - and then lay it out for more vegetables.

A terraced area where the pigs have cleared (ie eaten)  the vegetation ready for the land to be cultivated. Their present home is in an enclosure in the woods.
You can see the roof of the farm to the right - which indicates the height of the vegetable patches - and that they have been previously well terraced - probably in the 19th century.

You can see the pigs being moved on the farm web site

This is where I have been - -

Rhoda and Doug's farm house in Pyrenees
The horrible hedge is due to be cut down. I will post my adventures (such as they were) on separate posts. I really like France and the farm; I am now plotting how to get back. It was a very exhausting journey but I did get back in one go. There was sun and heat all the time apart from the last day, when it rained as if we were in the Lake District.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I am heading off here to see Rhoda - by way of seeing Aidan in London and flying to Toulouse on Wednesday. I have been tested for flying and am apparently 'fit to fly'.  I may be offline but I am hoping to get an internet connection there.
Map of the area around  Rhoda and Doug's place
Rhoda lives near Bagnere de Bigorre, which is where the main roads meet. I think their place is about where the word Bagnere is on the map. This is rural living, with vegetables, trees, chickens, sheep, pigs, dog and cats, not to mention the wildlife and vermin. The weather is said to be forecast to be good. Their adventures are here -
A bit different from urban living.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

This is what I came home to on the U3A web site.
Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th August: Nasty looking stuff and it took me a long time to resolve the problem - largely because I did not knowhow best to approach it. I only managed because the support guys at our hosting service did know what to do. It interferred with pottering around in a comfort zone - and interferred with sleep and with doing a lot of minor things. I still keep checking to see that it is OK. I expect it was my doing as the software had not been updated - - I am unsure whether to fess up or keep quiet about this!

Latest message (Sept 2nd) " Google has not detected any malware on this site." Thank goodness!