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Quote of the day: ‘Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master.’- Gretchen Rubin

Simon’s offering: ‘An incompetent gymnast walked into a bar…’

A relatively quiet day here today at Grudordy.


After the drilling frenzy yesterday afternoon through 40cm thick, stone walls, it is something of a relief for us all.

Shame the vacuum cleaner makes almost as much noise.

Perched aloft the dizzyingly terrifying scaffolding tower is the newest addition to our family.

Starlink has landed.

No husbands were harmed in the installation thereof, thankfully.

Feeling somewhat like a naughty schoolchild, ‘Bloody Bouygues’ (BB) have officially been given their marching orders. A weight plummeted effortlessly from my shoulders.

Of course, it was one of those extremely lengthy and convoluted French website processes to even find how to terminate the contract. Once the page was found, ‘twas easy enough.

Fibre is not a sensible financial or currently realistic option here. BB have been pathetically slow in enhancing their desperately inadequate service.

I feel I may have to become a Starlink ambassador as I can only sing its praises, loud and clear. With speeds as nifty as brain synapses, it clicks into action exactly as required. None of this ridiculous buffering or pixelating nonsense, or dragging of feet while searching for the simplest of things.

Best of all, save the death defying height at which it is stationed and of course, the infernal drilling, it’s easy to install, clicking together quickly and efficiently.

I am happier to pay Mr Musk 50 euros a month and get a decent and effective service rather than pay BB 33 euros, for something that is totally pants and virtually unusable.

Hopefully we can now, in reality, lessen our time spent using the internet as so much of it was being spent in utter frustration, going nowhere, or plodding extremely slowly as if being on hold.

Beware, pretty flower interlude…

Spring is really here in Lot et Garonne. The wild periwinkles (vinca major) are in flower.

So are the wild grass lilies (ornithogalum umbellatum).

And the wild grape hyacinths (muscari neglectum).

Peach blossom too.

Only Ruby and I are out walking today lapping up the warm sun. Arnie is pretty much confined to barracks despite the fact he is desperate to get out and rousting about. I feel churlish and mean asking Simon to keep him inside as I head out for the prescribed saunter.

Of course, Ruby finds something disgusting to roll in, returning homeward with stinking gloop caked to her shoulders and rump.

Delaying my return as long as I can, to avoid the feverish dusting and polishing taking place, I finally succumb as my wellies start to let in water. We had a bit of rain the other day. My flowerbeds are a bit soggy.

I can hear the vacuum‘s familiar squeal from 100 metes away.

Simon continues his crazed cleansing, bundling Rubes straight into the shower. She responds immediately afterwards by rolling in a huge pile of filthy sawdust, to then continue by liberally wiping herself immaculately clean all along the spotless white linen on my freshly made ‘day bed’.

The glorious high of 22 degrees centigrade means that we lunch outside, basking in the sunshine. Soon after, as the migrating cranes screech overhead, the heavens open. Great thunderous plops drive us back inside and Simon resumes his cleaning duties once more.

My afternoon is spent idling away time, as every other day. Failing at the Times samurai sudoku, as every other day. Writing a bit of this and that, as every other day. Reading, as every other day. Feeling like a sloth, as every other day.

All of it punctuated with questions ‘Do you want to keep this?’ or ‘What’s this for?’ every minute or so. Occasionally a statement ‘I’m getting rid of this!’, reliably accompanied by the sound of something more being jammed into a waste bin.

Simon ploughs steadfastly on through the layers of not insignificant dust that reached a highly significant level with yesterday’s drilling mania.

The hell hole in the far room is being whipped into shape with lightning momentum, being thoroughly purged as Simon Sparkle goes.

I think he’s trying to compete with the Starlink download speed.


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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