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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Trimming my bush and other Francophile adventures.

Yesterday and today I have been trimming my bush. It was a big job and due to the regular bouts of rain we have been experiencing here in Nottingham I kept having to pop indoors and resume when it dried up enough to sit in the garden with my hardy clippers at the ready. Well to be exact I would have to say trimming my bushes but it’s good to get folk’s attention at the beginning of the blog post.

My referred to ‘bushes’ were the French lavender bushes (eight of them) that make up most of my bijou gardens either side of my house. After some careful pruning and secure trussing I have hung some of the longer stems in my kitchen window to dry. It almost looks like a French cottage. All I need now is the mistral to blast down the communal path and rattle the new gate and loosen a few tiles on the roof.

On Thursday I cooked a lovely peppery sausage stew with butter beans, tomatoes, onions, button mushrooms and fried courgettes (in olive oil) which I then decided to share with my neighbours and which we ate with some dark green Puy lentils, pain rustique and a glass or two of red wine. Yes I have lapsed Lord. Please forgive me and pour me another glass while you are at it. Merci.

Friday night, after pruning the bulk of the bushes I used some of the leftover stew and Region de la Puy en Velay Puy lentiles and had it with a very succulent pork chop. The pork chop had a beautiful coating of fat on its back which made it taste so much better than the usual dry specimens that the local Supermarché Co-operative package up for the healthy ‘We’re not really eating a pig are we?’ masses.

The finished meal.

I had spent the afternoon enjoying tinkering in my kitchen and felt I was almost in La belle France (Pays de mon coeur) as I tuned my laptop into France Bleu Charente Maritime. This time of listening there was a lot of phone in type chat and whilst my French is as fluent as a particularly bad traffic jam on the périphérique I did enjoy hearing the language and repeating some of it out loud to the amusement of next door’s cat Harris who was watching me from the open staircase. The fact that he yawned a lot I put down to general feline tiredness after a night sur les tiles. Why he was wearing a cat sized beret at a jaunty angle was another matter.

Le chat qui bâille sans beret.

Lavender in my kitchen window.

Today I ventured once more into mon petit jardin and trimmed my last bush for 2010. The smell in the house is lovely and quite soporific or as the French say; soporifique. Par exemple; Tros de vin peut avior un effet soporifique. There’s that wine again, pass my glass please.


Janette Jones said...

So rude Mr Phil, so rude!

Phil Lowe said...

What?? Does 'trim my bush' mean something else then? Gosh.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

it's like 'Carry On Phil' filthy!!!

Phil Lowe said...

Dom: Did you not read beyond the 'trim my bush' bit? "Ooooh matron!"

There's lovely description of my meaty pork chop etc. Some people!

Karen said...

Being a rather innocent soul, it was only recently that I was told of the other 'meanings' of that phrase! And your alcohol free spell didn't last very long - though red wine is good for you. Supposedly.
I trimmed my lavender & it died, so I hope yours survives.

Anonymous said...

Lavandar makes the house smell so nice. I think your pork chop looks delicious.
I'm not going to make a comment on "trimming ..."

Love the new look of your blog!

Marian Barker said...

The Lavender looks lovely in your kitchen

I won't even mention the size of my bush!!!!

Athina said...

I love this blog post even if the title is 'rude'. :) It reminded me of another newspaper column I read titled "I Donated My Organ to the Armed Forces". The writer said he's donating his organ because his wife ordered him "to get that monstrosity out of here!" It turned out it was the piano organ.

Anyways, funny mention of the mistral, I wish to fly to Provence right away. The bunches of lavender in your kitchen window were simply lovely. I think I will get my little bottle of lavender oil from where I hid it to have some sniffs. :)

Gailsman said...

Mine and Gail's introduction of the French hasn't been great. We have flown to Dubai with Air France. Came across this very officious aiport employee at CdG airport, who insisted that passengers were checked one at a time. And the airport shuttle bus driver who reversed into a truck on the airport apron.

PSFT said...

oh, your are awful, but I like you!!

Excellent blog - as always ;-)

Phil Lowe said...

Karen: Must admit I have indulged slightly in the alcohol since attempting to give it up. The secret with the cutting back the lavender bushes is not to be too drastic. I just cut off the long fronds and flowers.

Dedene: the pork chops were yummy. hmmm.

Marian: the lavender is grteat and smells great whenever I come home. I make absolutely no comment over the size of your bush. I am not worried cos I know that you have a big power tool to sort out any bushiness.

Athina: I am blushing at your story. lol. Enjoy snifffing your lavender oil.

GailsMan: That's only two French people. You can't blame a whole nation for airport problems. Hee hee.

Paul: Cheers mate and yes 'I am awful'. Loved Dick Emery back in the day.