Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Morning mist over the millpond
The family arrived in the afternoon and we were ready for them. Over a pot of tea plans were made for the week and various projects discussed. 

Monday morning - Saskia, the girls and I went shopping while Jim and Matthew started on the first project. It is situated in the abandoned  Pumpkin Field.
Work begins

For lunch Saskia made pumpkin soup with the flesh of one of the large pumpkins. It was delicious.
After lunch we tried our skill/luck with the junior potters wheel we bought for five euros at a vide grenier. I was rubbish - I didn't get on with pottery at college and I haven't improved since then.
Do it like this, Bo . . . 
I'm watching . . .

There - perhaps not a masterpiece

Slowly does it

The rest of the pumpkin is being put to good use. I will make pumpkin pie and Matthew has carved a Halloween Lantern.

Day two of the Project but it is raining which has slowed progress. Tess has a cough so we are playing indoors today. Bo has discovered the games on my iphone. 

Matthew spotted a Fire Salamander on retiring to the gite. I was very pleased to hear this as I thought we may have lost them due to being worried by Rufus.

Wednesday dawned fine and warm and we decided to go to the Animal Park at Gramat - about an hour's drive away. Jim stayed at the Moulin to do some chores and to keep Rufus company. The rest of us had a very pleasant day.

Bo with the goat she called 'Opa Jim'!

Market day as usual on Thursday but it was sadly depleted as the day started wet and now that winter is upon us not so many stalls set up shop. We needed to buy groceries for our 'Apero' this evening. We had invited Cyprien, Marie-Therese, Den and Caro round for drinks and snacks this evening to say  goodbye to them. I made a pumpkin pie and various others bites. We shall be sorry to go - we have made good friends here and had a wonderful seven months.

Unfortunately the kiln is not going to be finished this visit. It has become a work in progress. The wall is unfinished too but I managed to get the tins and tubs planted up between the showers. Various tidying and cleaning jobs were accomplished. A couple of trees came down in the heavy rain last night and these had to be cleared away as one of them was blocking the road.

Matthew and family left on Saturday morning and I felt bereft. It was so sad to see the last of our vistors and to finally realise that our extended holiday had come to an end. Nothing for it now but to pack up our stuff and clean the house leaving it ready for incomers. 
We left on Monday morning in the rain - not quite as early as I hoped and we did not get to Orleans until dark. However, this time the GPS managed to find the Ibis Hotel without any fuss.
Tuesday night was spent in Kent - in a pub called The Oak in Charing which was excellent which is why I am mentioning them in this blog. They were very welcoming especially to Rufus and allowed him to sit with us during our meals there and several customers tried to make friends with him but he was very confused and shy until a female Jack Russell appeared and then he became quite frisky. We thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone coming from the Channel Tunnel and looking for a bed for the night. The food was good too.
We arrived home safe and sound on Wednesday 9th November. It was raining here too. So ends our second summer at Moulin du Clout. We do love it there and have had a marvellous time - not learning a great deal of French but enjoying the company of many people of several nationalities and learning something of the French culture. We hope that we may spend more time there in the future although not staying for such a long period again. A big thank you to all of you who have shared our adventure and also to those who have kept pace by reading this blog. Perhaps you will visit us next time.
A bientot.

P.S. Next year's calendar in production now - 'Portals of the Auvergne' - if you would like a copy just ask. Visitors to the Moulin will automatically get one.