Something New

After Francine took a morning census of orchids and got to 15, we started the day with a new view for Guillaume. Yesterday afternoon two Austrian campervans pitched up next door, beside us on the furthest lakeside pitch from les sanitaires and wi-fi.  They were essentially quiet enough, save for one evening burst of music which caused Francine to pop over and politely ask them to turn it down. We had, however, broken with our tradition of pitching Guillaume longitudinally down the pitch and, because there was flat ground and he fitted, we’d gone across the pitch, meaning we could sit in front of our awning and look at the lake. The down side is that we tended to notice neighbours more, too.

The Austrian vans were part of a small stream of one-nighters stopping at the site and they left by mid-morning. With an English-sided van pitched in our more usual fashion, we’d be better off in the vacated pitch ourselves, looking through a hedge to the neighbouring night-farmer’s field of cut off sunflower stems. Being unsociable bastards who dislike interlopers, we decided to move. It’s far from the first time this has happened.

Guillaume's new pitchWe whipped down the awning, disconnected Guillaume from his services and drove him round to the neighbouring pitch on his electric mover. Putting the awning back up was less easy than whipping it down. With the lack of rain much of the ground is cracked and has deep fissures. I was finding that where I needed some of the pegs, there was either a fissure or a stone that bent the peg. I managed to get a minimum fixing but had to leave the side panels off. No matter and we could still “see” the wi-fi.

Reconnecting Guillaume I disturbed a fledgling bird on the ground. It scuttled into the leaves and hedgerow so I don’t think it was ready to fly yet. It certainly didn’t look it. We suspect it must have fallen from a nest, though none were obvious. We could do nothing (including find it again) and hoped it might be found by parents and survive. I wasn’t hopeful, though.

planchaSince barbies are technically banned now, we popped off to a larger supermarket in Castelnaudary for food and bought ourselves a new toy in the form of an electric plancha. There were a few to choose from and we settled on this 1800W job with a combination of ridges and a flat surface. I saw some attractive rumsteck to give it a test run. Before grilling, we cooked all our coco de Paimpol and I dressed half of them up with some onion and tomato goop.

Time to set about the plancha. The instructions are, of course, badly translated from Chinese and gave us some amusement.

a. Install a large baking pan (refer to the base 1-2-3-4 four feet in order), and gear oil plate

Quoi ? Never mind the “refer to the base 1-2-3-4”; “Gear oil”? I think not. Just oil the meat and chuck it on the ridged griddly bit.

The rumsteck may have looked decent in the packet but it most certainly wasn’t. Rumsteck translates as rump steak, as you might imagine, but this, despite still being pink in the middle, was like no other rump steak I’ve ever attempted to chew. Boot leather sprang to mind and the flavour was, well, odd. [… checks to ensure that he didn’t actually use gear oil…] I really must stop buying lumps of beef ‘cos I very rarely enjoy them. I did enjoy the beans, though.

The night farmer next door was at it again, this time chopping up the sunflower stems left after harvesting them. Basically they get ploughed back in.

The plancha box is sizeable, I don’t know where we’ll be storing/transporting it. Hmmm?

Posted in 2022-09 France

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