Yes, it’s that time of year when every village has a “Vide Grenier”, the French equivalent of a car boot sale. However, my rubbish is just that, rubbish. So this week we are having a couple of trips to the local dump to dispose of those things that neither of us (or indeed anyone else) wants, any more. My husband is a hoarder while I’ll happily discard anything that is no longer pristine. My first port of call is always the local charities who gratefully receive any of our no longer wanted clothes and shoes. Books and magazines that have been read, multiple times, end up at the Domaine library for someone else to enjoy, probably during their holiday, while lounging around the pool.
Trips to the dump are rare, largely because there’s a limit as to how much or what you can get in a Smart. So, on those occasions when we do hire a car, like now, for our trips on the past three consecutive week ends, it’s also an opportunity to dispose of unwanted, and generally irreparable, items and garden rubbish. Yes, the dead and decaying remains of my beloved’s citrus garden have now gone to the big tip. I’m hoping that our recent purchases: herbs, lavender bushes, impatiens and geraniums aren’t facing a similar fate. So far, he’s been enthusiastically watering them most mornings. He’s very keen to acquire some tomato plants but, before he does, I want to understand what’s required in terms of care and maintenance. Once my beloved loses interest, I’ll be taking care of them. Guess that’s why we’ve never had children or pets.
I usually spend Monday’s up to my elbows in paperwork but I’ve postponed the less urgent stuff and continued with my Grand Spring Clean which has spilled over into the summer. The cupboards on the balcony, intended to house washing machines and space to dry clothing, provide homes for my kitchen overspill (bakeware, saucepans, spare fridge, cleaning products, vacuum etc) and my beloved’s booze overspill and bodge it yourself stuff. I know he rarely (thank God) does any DIY, but it’s useful for me to have access to the correct tools so that I can do it myself when he hasn’t, doesn’t or has but hasn’t done it right or hasn’t finished it. The cupboards have been restored to a pristine state.
I am of course building up a bit of head of steam ahead of the Tour de France. Yes, this is the talking point on everyone’s lips at the moment and I’m not going to disappoint. With 6 stages being broadcast from start to finish, as well as the usual splendid daily coverage on French television, I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time indoors in the first two weeks in July. My third week will be spent following the Tour with my bike and my beloved.
During the Tour I like to feel that my time is being well spent. The Tour ironing mountain is developing nicely as is the pile of mending, easily my least favourite task. I’ll also be giving the silver a good polish, changing the displays in the cabinets and tidying all the drawers and cupboards in the lounge and dining room. The last no mean task, but wholly necessary as it was scheduled for last year’s Vuelta.
All this cleaning and tidying absolves me from hours spent watching the peloton ride through some of the most gorgeous scenery on this earth. I’m always jotting down details of places I’d like to visit. Maybe that then should be the “Ride of my Life”. While others head off to more dangerous parts of the world, I’d like to cycle all around l’Hexagone. If you fancy joining my support crew, drop me a line.
Postscript: Domaine’s having a “Vide Caves” this week end. We all live in flats, hence no attics or basements, just store cupboards.