Back to the ranch

We have been back 2 weeks now and the first week was spent in bed recovering from a heavy cold. Both of us got it pretty bad. Not had a cold in such a long time!

I guess the travels added to a lot of fatigue. It was a great holiday in all. Visiting the family and also friends in London and south of France. Enjoying good food and wines…maybe a little too much I guess. The extra kgs are showing it at the moment. But having just recovered from this cold I feel right now is the right time to get back into shape.

Shape it is! I spent all morning cleaning the curtains and behind the sofas. In spite of having a charming lady looking after the place, the mice did not ask permission to their right of abode in our house. They were quite a few. The first thing was to get rid of them. After all they are not paying rent and were not asked to come in. So, right now there are little corpses to be picked up and buried far from the house. The chicken coop also had their mice number up. It was a real invasion there. They were scattering everywhere. They had the time to multiply with all the good grains that were fed to the chooks. What the difference now is that our beloved python is no more to keep them in check. And of course they had the chance to nest around the coop and had a ball. Yes, had. Because now the poison had the opportunity to work its miracle and I am pretty sure that they are not going to stay that long. Revenge! yes, they managed already to eat all my melon seedling that I painstakingly planted the other day. Yum! Melon seeds. But that will be dealt with shortly.

The cows have made it back today. All in form and are looking fabulous. Nice to have  our little troop back in the paddock. I did miss them. When they entered back in, I called them and they picked up their head and look at me. “Haha , you are back, I am sure they were saying, so are our treats ( I do spoil them rotten with special lucerne hay…nice and green). So, they came rushing back to the edge of the fence expecting but looked puzzled that I did not have it ready. Yes, girls, it will come. give me a minute!

Little butcher bird greeted us by coming straight into the kitchen demanding its ration, and that was on the first day! Lucky I had kept some meat in the freezer for him…sorry her. I just found out it was a female. I fed it and it did not want to move at all. In fact she remained there for quite a while on the sofa, its usual place. Welcome home little bird.

As for our fat Labrador it was such a rejoicing for her,  she could stop wagging her tail, but with her it is hard to know if it is the tail or the body that wags. That night she climbed up the stairs and onto her favourite place, beside us at the foot of the bed. Not on the bed mind you that would have been impossible. She did not wake us that morning to go out. She waited patiently till we got up which was quite late. She went for a little walk  but came straight back inside. No, I am not going to let you out of my sight right now she must have said to herself. And the whole day she followed us around keeping an eye, making sure we would stay put. And put we stayed indeed with that rotten cold.

Spring cleaning is under way. Washing all these dirty curtains scraping the dust from winter as well as the smell of burning fires of these cold winter months. Rugs got a heavy pounding and they are soaking the spring sun at the moment. Behind the fridges and the furniture with the vacuum and a good disinfectant.  It smells wonderful and ready for these balmy evenings where the breeze is caressing softly the top of the bamboos which sway gently. against the backdrop of the mountains.  It is a delight to feel the gentle warm evenings, the calm and serenity after busy London, Paris and Bangkok. The superb sunsets, the tweeting of the birds, the swamp hens that have taken refuge and settled on the edge of the dam, the rails that have had babies running around everywhere foraging, the magpies still shy  but ready to be fed if I called them, the mudlarks dirtying our windows as they see their reflection on the glass and peck it. What a mess they make! The wallabies hoping around the fields at sunset. A delight to the senses!

It is hard to reintegrate into the routines and the mind wonders about living somewhere else. Having another dog, living in Thailand where it is nice and easy, fantasising about all sorts of possibilities, hard to get re acquainted with friends and even forgetting some of the names. I always do that, finding it hard to remember names when I get back. Ready to take off again! dreaming, yes. But that was when we were in bed sick and lamenting about our health. So, the mind goes to find dreams and projects.

We are back on our feet and getting back into our routines and all these fantaisies have disappeared …almost …for the time being. It  is back to the ranch and back into our lovely setting and breathing fresh air and eating our garden produce. It was great to go and travel to see especially family, friends and relatives but it is even greater to be back and we settle into our home.  Comfort you might say, yes, there is something to be said about routines and the feeling to reintegrate what you know. We are creatures of comfort. A bit like a cat that loves the plushy sofa and stretches lazily. That is what I feel right now that lazy feeling of being back home.


Oh! and also the fact that I am going to loose these extra kgs . I have started already. No more rich sauces, wines, cheese, heaps of cakes…tho I am not so much of a sweet tooth, but I had a bit of Peter’s all the time and my own to be honest. These lovely buckwheat pancakes, with Calvados/cider from Brittany, these rich butter cakes called Kouing Aman warm and so easily tucked into! That delectable EDDU, a whiskey  made from buckwheat in Brittany…These oysters and mussels accompanied with french fries. No, my mouth is not watering right now, but I am happy and fulfilled to have indulged in these delectable specialties. Again? yes, but not so soon! Now for some more sober eating.

Till next time.

Coffee, scones and clotted cream at Selfridges, London


Mussels again and fried potatoes. Yum!

2 thoughts on “Back to the ranch

  1. So nice to see that you are back on your home turf Gigi! But I will sorely miss your travel posts. I love your description of the wildlife that make up the citizens of your farm. And not just the wildlife, but the domesticated life also! Now that you and Peter are back to the old routine, shedding those kgs, and enjoying your beautiful setting, I wish you a happy Springtime!


    1. Hello and many thanks again for your comments. It was a hard come back to reality, but after the mind stops meandering it becomes more sober. And yes it is great to tuck in back into the garden, see your friends again. As soon as the mice have gone, the spring will be lovely. My favourite season with autumn.
      Again thanks.


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