There is so much progress here, all happening at the same time. Everyone has their strengths and main job they are in charge of, but everyone helps wherever is needed. As I have mentioned, Matt spends a lot of time on the land & doing electrics etc, Luka is now in charge of the saw, Dani the poly tunnel, Nige makes gates, doors etc out of our own wood, and Gina often does working day lunches, watches the kids when needed & usually collects the eggs.
So what do I do? Well, having young kids, I don’t get an awful lot done on the days they are home; which is 4 usually days per week during school term. I seem to spend most of my time doing domestics and preventing disaster;
For example; making sure which ever farm vehicle the kids climb into has no key in the ignition, stopping my son drive his bike over a terrace or getting tangled in electric fence. He is not allowed to throw building rubble at cars or his sister or run all over Dani’s veggies; and the barn is out of bounds as it’s full of lethal power tools and saws!
Then there’s the animals; The cockerel was attacking the kids and me, so after many occasions of me running after him screaming, with a large stick; we ate him. Shame, he was a beauty!
Clochette, the goat, keeps getting out and eating the plants she’s not supposed to, and getting on the roof/in the house/cars/trampoline so I chase her around a lot.
The chickens are often getting wounded by something. This week one was attacked by a friends dog and another by a bird of prey! Matt helps sew them up, when necessary and I do general care with Mums help. Matt thinks I stress too much about the chooks, so I must toughen up! Here I am cuddling a wounded one….ahhh.
I’m still trying to tame the donkeys, but have finally got some help with that because I simply haven’t got the time to stand in a paddock, attempting to charm 2 donkeys with an offering of dry bread for hours on end. We also don’t particularly enjoy trying retrieve them from the village whenever they feel like going for a wander, when there is zero chance of getting a head collar on them so we have to herd them all the way back! It takes 4 people to pull that off and a lot of running about! We want them to be an asset to our gite business, not just clearing animals; so we need to get them trained to carry packs for walking groups.
I do love taking the dogs & goats for walkies, so that’s my simple pleasure, when I find the time.
So aside from keeping that lot alive, my other job is kitting out the interiors of the gites and Mum & Dads house. I research a lot on line, and spend a fair bit of time at tile shops, antique markets & DIY stores both in France & Spain.
When ever I can, I help with painting (lime wash) & treating tiles, making signs or cleaning out the chicken pen etc. I really enjoy the practical work. (Lets not mention the paperwork!).
Soon we will have a lot of vegetables to process and jar for the winter months. Dani and I will tackle that together I should think.
Lastly, we entertain a lot, especially in the summer when we can eat outside and cook on the fire. I don’t have time to cook like I used to on yachts, but it’s good old farmhouse food, no frills, but hopefully enjoyable!